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Showing posts from June 13, 2013

Calls for shocking images showing the dangers of alcohol to be put on bottles

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Shocking images of diseased livers should be put on bottles of alcohol to warn people of the dangers of binge drinking, claim doctors. They are calling for pictures of the harm caused by excess alcohol which would be similar to those planned for cigarette packets by the end of the year. Graphic images that could include babies damaged by foetal alcohol syndrome should also go on posters in bars and pubs, said doctors attending the British Medical Association's annual conference in Edinburgh. Binge drinking: Doctors want to target teenagers who think drinking excess alcohol is acceptable Doctors also want soft drinks to become 'significantly cheaper' than alcohol, and labels showing alcohol units per drink to be a mandatory requirement on bottles and bar taps. Dr Raj Nirula, a urologist at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend, said alcohol consumption had apparently doubled since 1960, leading to more hospital admissions and associated crime. Alcohol misuse costs

Hospitals on alert as drinkers steal high-alcohol hand gels used in battle against superbugs

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. A string of deaths have been caused by the colourless gel, which contains 70 per cent alcohol. Hospitals are being forced to remove the gel from public areas and instead have it only on wards under the watchful eyes of nurses. At least two people have died this year after drinking the gel and Lewisham hospital in South East London confirmed 10 cases where people had stolen the gel from its building. Alert: The alcohol-based gel has been removed from all public corridors at Lewisham Hospital The thefts happened between March 2007 and June this year. It is thought the gel is mixed with other alcoholic drink to make a deadly homebrew. Last Tuesday Southwark Coroner Court heard how two homeless men died in agony after drinking the deadly disinfectant. Thomas Sajdak, 29, was found dead in Streatham, South London, in February, while his friend Oleh Wowczyshyn, 29, collapsed and died four days later after complaining of severe stomach pains. Detective Constable Nainesh Desai confirmed

Drinking just one glass of wine a day can INCREASE risk of cancer by 168%, say the French!

The INCA study said alcohol was now the second most avoidable cause of death after tobacco. The findings contradict numerous other studies which have found that the antioxidants in red wine actually reduced the risk of cancer, and that a single glass a day was also good for the liver. A separate study last year published in the medical journal Neurology said those who drank modest amounts of alcohol developed dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, at an 85 per cent slower rate than those who did not drink. Britain is the tenth biggest drinking nation in the world, consuming around 12 litres of pure alcohol per person per year - the equivalent of three glasses of wine every day. Luxembourg consumes the world's most, at 16 litres per year, ahead of Ireland, Hungary and Moldova, all on around 14 litres. France is in 17th place, on around 11 litres of pure alcohol per year, according to World Health Organisation figures. The same study also found that eating more than 500g (1.2

Thousands of young teenage girls hospitalised after binge drinking

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More than 5,000 girls under the age of 16 needed hospital treatment last year after bingeing on alcohol. The number, which includes girls as young as ten, has soared by 21 per cent in the past five years. The increase is even larger among older age groups. In 2007-08, just over 13,000 young women between 17 and 21 were admitted to hospital for problems caused by alcohol, up almost 50 per cent from 2003-04. The dramatic increase highlights the problems of the growing ladette culture among young women, which is seeing women being diagnosed with liver disease at a much younger age. But among women aged 26 or over there has been a similar rise. Almost 300,000 needed hospital treatment compared with 196,625 five years earlier  -  again up nearly 50 per cent. The figures, which emerged in response to a parliamentary question by Labour MP Sally Keeble, include treatment for conditions ranging from upset stomach to mental or behavioural problems triggered by alcohol. Last October, Mrs Keeble

Children under 12 need A&E treatment for binge drinking every 48 hours

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A child under 12 needs emergency hospital treatment every 48 hours because of binge drinking. Official figures show that 181 young children were admitted to A&E departments last year for alcohol abuse. The statistics were revealed as doctors called for higher alcohol prices and a ban on advertising to stem the toll of deaths and harm caused by excess drinking. Concern: One in four underage drinkers consumes 20 units a week The British Medical Association has demanded that the Government impose a minimum price of 50p per unit of alcohol. At its annual meeting in Liverpool yesterday, the BMA backed the restrictions, which were recommended by Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer, earlier this year. However, the Department of Health rejected the calls, saying such restrictions would unduly impact on the majority of responsible drinkers. The figures, released in a parliamentary question, show that since 2002, 1,426 children under 12 have been admitted to hospital d

Average Briton drinks 84 times their bodyweight in alcohol

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The average adult consumes 84 times their body weight in alcoholic drinks over the course of their life, say researchers. Or, to put it another way, if all the drinks we consume in our lifetime were to be placed on a giant pair of scales, they would weigh the equal of an adult bull elephant. Enlarge   Carol Vorderman at the launch of the ALCulator, a tool which is part of Lloyds pharmacy's Neighbourhood Health Watch programme, at the Spice Buffet Pub in Birmingham On average, Britons drink 3.7 pints of beer, or 8.5 large glasses of wine, each week. If they were to sustain this for 60 years they would consume 11,800 pints – which weighs in at 6.6tons. For an average adult weighing 12 and a half stone, this works out as 84 times their body weight, according to figures compiled by Lloyds Pharmacy. The research warns that many drinkers consume around 1,000 calories each week just from alcohol.   More... A very merry Christmas: Europe's largest wine warehouse prepares to

Revealed: the astonishing amount one fifth of British 15-year-olds drink in a year

As Britain's schoolchildren enjoy the freedom of the long summer break, an alarming new government report has revealed just how much alcohol they are drinking. According to Department of Health statistics, one in five young people between 11 and 15 drinks more than 600 units a year. This amounts to an astonishing mountain of alcohol. Britain’s binge-drinking epidemic sees 200 under-18s admitted to hospital every week with drink-related injuries. But it’s the long-term damage these young people are doing to their bodies that concerns me. As someone who helped to establish the first liver transplant programme in this country back in 1969, and oversaw George Best’s liver transplant in 2002, I am horrified by the latest figures. It would be worrying enough if they related to older teenagers, but in fact none of the 7,700 school pupils interviewed for the NHS Information Centre’s report was over 15. Many were as young as 11. The immediate ill-effects may be nothing worse than a h

Doctors gunning for Health Secretary Andrew Lansley over NHS reforms

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Doctors are set to deliver another blow to Andrew Lansley’s faltering NHS reforms today – by lambasting them at a specially convened conference. Some 350 delegates have been summoned to London for an emergency meeting of the British Medical Association to discuss dozens of motions highly critical of the Health Secretary’s policies. And the medical profession may even declare at the meeting that it has no confidence in Mr Lansley. The meeting is expected to confirm that most doctors are firmly opposed to the controversial proposals to hand £80billion of the Health Service budget to GPs. Doctors are expected to claim his changes will worsen patient care, squander billions of pounds and threaten the principles of the NHS. Their motions will lay bare a nightmare scenario under which services could be cut, waiting times could lengthen and hospital departments could close – as a direct result of the reforms. It tops an awful few days for the embattled Health Secretary, whose controversial N

Doctors gunning for Health Secretary Andrew Lansley over NHS reforms

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Doctors are set to deliver another blow to Andrew Lansley’s faltering NHS reforms today – by lambasting them at a specially convened conference. Some 350 delegates have been summoned to London for an emergency meeting of the British Medical Association to discuss dozens of motions highly critical of the Health Secretary’s policies. And the medical profession may even declare at the meeting that it has no confidence in Mr Lansley. The meeting is expected to confirm that most doctors are firmly opposed to the controversial proposals to hand £80billion of the Health Service budget to GPs. Doctors are expected to claim his changes will worsen patient care, squander billions of pounds and threaten the principles of the NHS. Their motions will lay bare a nightmare scenario under which services could be cut, waiting times could lengthen and hospital departments could close – as a direct result of the reforms. It tops an awful few days for the embattled Health Secretary, whose controversial N

Alcoholics given mobile phones to help them quit drinking

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Health chiefs have launched a £75,000 project to send encouraging texts to alcoholics on special mobile phones. Detox patients will receive automated daily SMS messages to check they're staying sober. They'll text back to say they're doing OK - or need help. The dedicated handsets are being handed out to 120 addicts in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in the first scheme of its kind in Britain. They cannot be used to make or receive standard calls. The dedicated handsets are being handed out to 120 addicts in Bolton, Greater Manchester, in the first scheme of its kind in Britain. They cannot be used to make or receive standard calls If patients respond to their daily text with a positive response, saying they are fine, they get an automated reply congratulating them on their progress. But if they text back that they are in danger of drinking again, they'll be offered face-to-face help or a phone conversation with a key worker as soon as possible. The programme was d

Britons drink 5,800 pints in a lifetime (and suffer 726 hangovers!)

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If you're suffering from a hangover after an ill-advised drink after work last night, you may not be pleased to know it is just one of 726 that you will experience. It's not surprising when you consider the average Briton will down more than 5,800 pints during their adult life as well as glug 8,700 glasses of wine. A survey of 2,000 people found we drink at least three nights a week and have nine drinks in total - which works out at 468 a year. However, while over half (57 per cent) sip a beverage in the comfort of their own home, just 17 per cent say they regularly visit the pub. The resulting bar bill comes to an eye-watering £58,201 over a lifetime. The poll, by Benenden Healthcare Society, also revealed a fairly widespread dependency on alcohol. The average Briton starts experimenting with alcohol at the tender age of 14. Four out of 10 admitted they can’t go longer than a week without having a drink, while 10 per cent said they would struggle to make it through just two d

Average Briton spends FOUR years with a hangover

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The average adult spends FOUR years of their life with a hangover, a study has revealed. Researchers found we struggle with a splitting headache and nausea for 24 days a year, which equates to 1,452 days during an average adult lifetime. The survey of 2,000 adults, by YorkTest, found while Saturday and Sunday were the most common 'sorehead' days, one in 10 said they were often hungover on a Monday. Hungover? The average adult spends four years with a sore head, as portrayed by Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms Dr Gill Hart from YorkTest, said: 'Feeling the effects of the night before adds up to a staggering number of days where we feel worse for wear. 'It's one thing having a drink and enjoying yourself, but often it doesn't take much to tip you over the edge and you'll be nursing a headache the next morning. 'This means millions of Brits turn up to their office and do little work, don't turn up to work at all or waste their day sp

Living alone 'increases risk of dying from alcohol'

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We all like to have our own space but apparently living alone could be putting your health at risk. A Finnish study found two-thirds of people who died from an alcohol-related disease or accident were living alone. Researchers said this suggested a lack of social relationships should be regarded as a potential risk factor for death from alcohol related causes.  They added that living alone was a very modern phenomenon that had weakened social relationships, with fewer people getting married or living in extended families. The team, led by Kimmo Herttua from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, in Helsinki, analysed information from the 18,200 people who died as a result of alcohol between 2000 and 2007. Causes of death included liver disease alcohol poisoning and accidents, as well as violence that involved alcohol. The results revealed between 2000 and 2003 men who lived alone were 3.7 times more likely to die of liver disease compared to married or cohabiting men. Between 2

Leading doctor warns of liver failure epidemic in young adults as cases soar

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Consultants have called on the Government to introduce new curbs on alcohol advertising to protect young people. In an open letter they warned Britain is facing an epidemic of liver disease caused by a binge drinking culture and cheap booze. The North East has been hit particularly hard with figures showing a 400 per cent increase in the number of hospital admissions for people in their early 30s with alcoholic liver disease. The consultants are supporting a campaign by Balance, the north east of England's alcohol office, demanding a stop to the alcohol industry recruiting young people as the next generation of problem drinkers. Balance said children were 'swimming through 40% proof advertising' and were being encouraged to start drinking younger, and to drink more. In the open letter published in The Guardian the consultants, mostly liver specialists and gastroenterologists, blamed the problem on our having created 'an excessively pro-alcohol culture by selling alcoho

Thousands of children wrongly labelled allergic to foods by online tests

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Children are wrongly being diagnosed with food allergies due to unreliable tests, experts claim (file photo) Hundreds of thousands of children are wrongly being diagnosed with food allergies due to unreliable tests, experts have warned. Youngsters are being put on unnecessary and restrictive diets, avoiding products containing egg, milk, fish and wheat, which can leave them malnourished. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence says GPs are often too quick to dismiss parents’ concerns over their child’s runny nose or tummy ache – which can be symptomatic of an allergy. Unsure what to do, many parents then turn to so-called ‘alternative allergy tests’ sold by private firms on the internet. But these can provide inaccurate conclusions and have ‘dangerous’ consequences for children’s health. The draft guidelines from NICE will say that many of the techniques used by these firms – which include analysing strands of hair to measure someone’s electrical activity or muscle streng

Mystery of why asthma admissions for children peak in September

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Children with asthma are most likely to be admitted to hospital in September than any other time of the year. Hospital admissions for under-16s in England were 58 per cent higher during that month last year, according to data from the NHS Information Centre. The same phenomenon occurred the previous September, when admission rates were more than double the monthly average for the year. Peak: Figures released today show children with asthma are more likely to be admitted to hospital in September than any other month (posed) Experts have called for further investigation into the seasonal surge, but say it could be linked to poorer control of the condition during the summer holidays combined with stress and exposure to infections when children return to school. An analysis of data for 12 months from May 2009 to April 2010 found each month, on average, there were 2,320 hospital admissions for asthma among children under the age of 16.   More... Asthma inhalers 'increase the ri

Allergic school boy,7, suffers two heart attacks after teacher hands him chocolate nut in class,

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'My son could have died', says horrified mother A schoolboy with a nut allergy suffered two heart attacks after a teacher apparently handed him a chocolate with a whole hazelnut inside it. Rehan Butt, seven, had a massive allergic reaction and had to be rushed to hospital where he was hooked up to a ventilator to help him breathe. His family said staff at the Bradford school had been aware of the boy's allergy since he started there three years ago. It appears the youngster was handed the treat by a substitute teacher but his mother said there was a board in class with pictures of which children were allergic to what. Rehan Butt, seven, had a massive allergic reaction after biting into the chocolate and had to be rushed to hospital where he was hooked up to a ventilator to help him breathe Rehan was handed the Quality Street chocolate with a hazelnut in it at the end of the school day on Tuesday and began eating it. His mother then saw him spit it out at the school

Allergies: Woman's soulmate brought her out in itchy eczema... until he proposed

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When Charlotte Davies met her future husband there was an instant attraction. Unfortunately for her, there was also an instant reaction – on her skin. Within weeks of meeting her soulmate, her eyelids erupted with eczema and her eyes had swelled to the size of golf balls.  Experts concluded that the euphoria she felt when she was with boyfriend, accountant Dean Strohm, was being played out on her skin. She was allergic to love. Even more astonishing was that it disappeared after her wedding day. The university administrator met Dean three years ago in a bar in Colchester, Essex, and the pair quickly became inseparable. But a month into their relationship Charlotte, 32, awoke to find she could hardly open her eyes. She said: ‘I knew Dean was ‘The One’ from the moment we met. ‘I could have described myself as a bit of a Bridget Jones before we met. I was always looking for love, but was hopeless at finding a decent man. ‘When I found him I was deliriously happy but neither of us could

Allergic mother-to-be lives on Big Macs in pregnancy and gives birth to a 10lb 2oz whopper

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When Suzanne Franklin fell pregnant, she was at a loss as to how she would eat for two. The 23-year-old had suffered from extreme food allergies for year from eggs to dairy and fruit and vegetables.  Burger baby: Suzanne Franklin and baby son Harry with a Big Mac, which helped sustain both of them during Suzanne's pregnancy Doctors warned her that pregnancy would make the symptoms worse but that antihistamines could harm her baby. But Ms Franklin knew she wasn’t allergic to McDonald’s burgers - so she ate a Big Mac burger everyday throughout her pregnancy. Any worries about her unusual diet affecting her baby’s growth were unfounded - as she has given birth to her own 10Ib 2oz whopper.   More... Payout for mother who lost womb and 33 pints of blood in botched caesarean A medical miracle: World's most premature baby, born at 21 weeks and five days, goes home to her delighted parents Miss Franklin said: ‘All those burgers definitely didn’t do him any harm. It was the o

Giving small doses of egg to children 'can cure allergy'

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Quiche, omelettes and pasta could be back on the menu for children with egg allergies, after scientists developed an effective exposure therapy. In tests, more than a quarter of youngsters fed small amounts of egg lost the allergy altogether, while others showed higher tolerance to exposure to eggs. The findings add weight to the concept of oral immunotherapy - where the immune system is taught to tolerate something with small but increasingly growing exposures. A quarter of particpants were able to eat eggs after the treatment Simliar studies have suggested the same approach could be useful in milk and peanut allergies. But researchers from the John Hopkins Children's Center warn that although showing promising results, oral immunotherapy is still in its infancy and should not be attempted outside strictly controlled research conditions.   More... Why going to work on an egg is healthier than it used to be: Nutritional benefits have increased in past 30 years For the st

Home allergy tests 'dangerous' waste of money that delay treatment

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Parents are wasting money and risking their children’s health by buying £60 allergy tests, experts warn today. There is no scientific basis for such alternative tests, which can delay proper diagnosis and may lead to malnutrition in children wrongly put on restrictive diets, it is claimed. The warning comes as the NHS issues its first guidelines to help GPs identify and treat food allergies in children more quickly. It can take months and even years for allergies to be suspected and families referred to hospital specialists, who may have long waiting lists. Desperate parents are often forced to seek alternative and complementary testing as a result, said Dr Adam Fox, a consultant in paediatric allergy at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Dr Fox, who worked on the guidelines, said a study in 2006 found 40 per cent of families seen in specialist clinics had used alternative allergy tests. ‘It’s not at all unusual that parents will come in with their printout of things [foo

Home allergy tests 'dangerous' waste of money that delay treatment

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Parents are wasting money and risking their children’s health by buying £60 allergy tests, experts warn today. There is no scientific basis for such alternative tests, which can delay proper diagnosis and may lead to malnutrition in children wrongly put on restrictive diets, it is claimed. The warning comes as the NHS issues its first guidelines to help GPs identify and treat food allergies in children more quickly. It can take months and even years for allergies to be suspected and families referred to hospital specialists, who may have long waiting lists. Desperate parents are often forced to seek alternative and complementary testing as a result, said Dr Adam Fox, a consultant in paediatric allergy at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Dr Fox, who worked on the guidelines, said a study in 2006 found 40 per cent of families seen in specialist clinics had used alternative allergy tests. ‘It’s not at all unusual that parents will come in with their printout of things [foo

Marian Adejokun nearly dies from rare allergic reaction to eye drops

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A teenager nearly died when her skin peeled off after she had a one in a million allergic reaction... to eye drops. Marian Adejokun, 19, from Croydon, was left covered in blisters from head to toe and lost layers of her skin after using a small dose of over the counter medicine Optrex. She spent more than three weeks in intensive care at the Royal London Hospital where baffled doctors diagnosed her with life threatening medical condition Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Marian Adejokun suffered a severe reaction to eye drops, which left her in intensive care for three weeks. She still has to be fed through a tube in her throat Marian said: 'Everywhere was swollen. My nose was huge and my eyes were so red you could take a spoon and scrape out the blood.' Marian was prescribed the Optrex eyedrops on January 11 after complaining of an itchy eye. Her mother Remi applied them before she went to bed but within hours red lumps had appeared all over her body and she was quickly

Allergies: Gene defect 'triples risk of peanut allergy in children'

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Scientists have found a gene defect which can triple the risk of a child developing a peanut allergy. It could lead to new treatments for the most common cause of death from food aversions. An international team, led by researchers at the University of Dundee, studied defects in the Filaggrin protein, which are carried by more than 10 per cent of people. Previous studies showed this defect caused a range of other allergic conditions including eczema and asthma. Dr Sara Brown, of Dundee, said: 'It was a logical next step to investigate whether Filaggrin may also be a cause of peanut allergy, since a child may develop all three of these diseases together. 'Allergic conditions often run in families, which tells us that inherited genetic factors are important. In addition to that, changes in the environment and our exposure to peanuts are thought to have been responsible for the recent increase in peanut allergy seen in the Western world in particular. 'Now, for the first ti

Allergies: Young mother must wrap up all year round because she is allergic to the COLD

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We all look forward to the time we can leave our coats at home, but one young mother from Portsmouth has to wrap up warm even in summer. Chelsea White, 19, is allergic to the cold and breaks out in itchy, blotchy hives if her skin is exposed to the slightest breeze. The mother-of-one always wears gloves when she is outside and avoids downing chilled drinks and snacks that could cool her body temperature. Chelsea said: 'When the rash breaks out, I look like a tomato. My arms and legs flare up into really itchy hives, and even after all these years, it's embarrassing. 'I was bullied a lot at school because I was always the one wearing a hat, scarf and gloves when all my friends were in summer dresses. 'I know what brings on my reaction, but sometimes I just can't avoid it. If I'm out and it starts raining, my wet clothes make me cold and I flare up. 'I can try and take precautions like dressing in warm clothing, but if it's a windy day, I either hav

First-borns more likely to suffer from allergies

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Did you ever think your eldest sibling moaned more about falling ill than anyone else? It could be they had just cause. Researchers have found first-born children are more likely to suffer from allergies than their younger brothers and sisters. Japanese scientists found that multiple births build up the immune system in the womb which is transferred to babies. It means second and third children are less likely to suffer from hay fever or develop food allergies. Scientists surveyed the parents of 13,000 school children aged seven to 15, and asked them the order of their children and what allergies they had. The findings showed four per cent of first-born children had rhinitis, conjunctivitis and food allergies compared with 3.5 per cent of second-born children. Meanwhile, just 2.6 per cent of third-born children suffered from allergies. Dr Takashi Kusunoki, who led the study for the Shiga Medical Center for Children and Kyoto University in Japan, said: 'It has been established that

Histamine intolerance: Common allergy which causes bloating and eczema

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Genny Masterman’s main memories of her childhood are of feeling constantly itchy, tired and bloated. ‘I had eczema on my legs, arms and all over my scalp ever since I was a little girl,’ says 35-year-old Genny. ‘It was not only desperately uncomfortable but looked terrible. Genny Masterman suffered from eczema, bloating and gut pain. Three-and-a-half years ago, she discovered the culprit for her discomfort - histamine intolerance 'Then, in my teens, I started to develop a visibly bloated belly, even though I was otherwise perfectly healthy, taking regular exercise and eating well. 'I also occasionally had cramping and terrible diarrhoea.’ Doctors prescribed creams and oils for the eczema, assuring Genny she would grow out of her symptoms. The bloating and gut pain they put down to hormones; the diarrhoea was ‘just one of those things’. But she continued to suffer from eczema, while the gut pain and diarrhoea worsened. ‘I would be rolling in pain on the bathroom floor ever