Are Your Postcode Making You ill? (Part 2)

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

2.    Your blood group

40% of us have no idea which blood group we are but in recent years it’s become clear it has a major influence on our health. The best way to find out your type is to give blood; go to blood.co.uk to find out how.


Your risk: Ovarian cancer

A US study of nearly 50,000 women found that those with blood group AB or B (that’s 14% of the UK population) had a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer pain

 Ovarian Cancer pain

Fight back:

·         Know the symptoms. Frighteningly, almost a third of ovarian cancer diagnoses are made in A&E, probably because just 3% of us recognize the symptoms. They are: persistent stomach pain, bloating, difficulty eating and feeling full quickly, needing the toilet more often, change in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss and extreme tiredness. ‘It shares symptoms with IBS but if anyone in your family has had ovarian cancer don’t be fobbed off with that diagnosis’, says Marilyn. ‘See a Gynaecologist for a scan.’

·         Exercise more. Sitting down for hours increases oestrogen levels in your body, an excess of which is linked to ovarian cancer, so having a ‘muffin top’ ups your chances. ‘Your waist to hip ratio shouldn’t be more than 0.8’, says Marilyn. Check yours using the calculator at bbc.co.uk/health/tools.

·         Know your history. If two women in your family have had ovarian cancer, ask to check if you carry the BRCAI or BRCA2 gene, which makes you about 20 times more likely to develop it.

·         Change your contraception. ‘Taking the Pill cuts your chances of developing ovarian cancer by nearly half because it stops you ovulating’, explains Marilyn.


Your risk: Fertility issues

Researches recently looked at the blood groups of women undergoing IVF and found that those with blood type O (44% of Brits) had the highest levels of the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which is an indicator that the number of eggs in your ovarian reserve is diminishing.

Women with blood group O have double the risk of infertility

Women with blood group O have double the risk of infertility

Fight back:

‘Higher FSH levels means a woman may produce fewer eggs, so the key is to ensure that the eggs she does produce are better quality’, says Zita West, fertility expert, midwife and author of Zita West’s Guide to Fertility and Assisted Conception (Vermillion, $24). ‘The best way to do that is to prepare your body for at least three months before trying for a baby or starting IVF. Both you and your partner should take a good multivitamin to limit free radical damage and produce healthy eggs and sperm.’ (Try Fertility Support For Women, $44.5 for 60 tablets, natural healthypractice.com.) ‘Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for cell health, too, as is vitamin D. Also, exclude obvious toxins like alcohol and tobacco and cut down on caffeine and excessive exercise.’

3.    Where you live

Where you live doesn’t just have an impact on your accent, job opportunities and restaurant options it’s a major influence on your health, too.


Your risk is: Depression

Recent German research found that city brains are over-stimulated, particularly the areas responsible for sending danger and controlling emotion, causing a 39% higher risk of mental health problems like depression, and 21% greater chance of suffering with anxiety.

Where you live doesn’t just have an impact on your accent, job opportunities and restaurant options it’s a major influence on your health, too

Where you live doesn’t just have an impact on your accent, job opportunities and restaurant options it’s a major influence on your health, too

Fight back:

·         Cut caffeine. ‘Although a daily latte may feel like a useful stimulant, it doesn’t help you balance energy and moods,’ says Marilyn. ‘You’re just making the fact that you’re exhausted. Try to eat little and often, as missing meals causes your body to release more stress hormones. Avoid sacrificing sleep too.’

·         Take stress beating supps. ‘B vitamins are known for their ability to combat stress, while magnesium is nature’s tranquiliser, so great for times when stress avoidance is nigh-on impossible. But you should also check your vitamin D levels’, says Marilyn. ‘Pollution and smog could inhibit sunlight meaning you get less exposure to vitamin D, which has been linked to depression.’


Your risk is: Dementia

According to recent research, being born and bred in the country can more than double your chances of developing Alzheimer’s in later life. ‘We don’t know exactly why there’s a link,’ says Jess Smith, neuroscientist and researcher for the Alzheimer’s Society. ‘But it could be isolation; which we know in old age makes you more predisposed to dementia.’

Fight back:

‘Anything that helps blood flow to the brain reduces your risk of dementia because it means cells are provided with what they need’, says Jess. And the latest research suggests that your lifestyle in mid-life (40-plus) has the biggest impact, so making tweaks now means avoiding the need to make major chances later on.

·         Eat Mediterrancan. ‘The Med diet is high in nuts, oily fish and antioxidant-packed fruit and vegetables, low in saturated fats, and provides the nutrients that protect your overall health and improve blood flow to the brain’, says Jess.

·         Challenge your grey matter. A study found that varying your brain activity can reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s. that doesn’t mean doing Sudoku puzzle 24/7, it could be as simple as changing your route to work, so you’re not always operating on autopilot mode.

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