What is Osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and affects millions of people all over the world. It’s a condition that causes stiff and painful joints, from mild discomfort to debilitating pain that can impact everyday life.

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage that cushions your joints degrades and wears out over time. In a healthy joint, the cartilage forms a hard, smooth surface for the bones to move freely in multiple directions (depending on the type of joint). As osteoarthritis advances, it causes this barrier to become thinner until bone is rubbing on bone.

This can lead to inflammation of the joints and connective tissues, causing the area to become red and swollen, as well as causing pain and reduced mobility.

It can occur in almost any joint in the body.

Osteoarthritis symptoms

The symptoms of osteoarthritis usually develop slowly over a long time, getting worse and more noticeable as the condition advances. The severity of symptoms can be very different between different people, with some people only experiencing relatively mild pain or joint trouble, while it may be more intense for others.

Pain – the joint or joints where the arthritis is present will become painful when you move

Stiffness – joints will become difficult to move

Grating noise – when you move the joint you can hear a grinding or crackling sound

Redness and swelling – the soft tissues of the affected joints can become inflamed

If you experience any of these symptoms and they don’t go away, you should make an appointment to see your doctor so they can determine if its osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis causes

There’s no exact cause known for osteoarthritis, but age is the biggest factor in its development. Your joints are exposed to movement and wear and tear every day, but any damage Is repaired by your body. This ability to repair the damage seems to diminish as we age.

While we don’t know of the exact cause, there are risk factors that can increase the chances of developing osteoarthritis

Risk factors

Injuries – if you’ve previously injured a joint and not given it the time to heal

Family history – this can increase your risk, but it’s not known why

Other arthritis – if a joint is already affected by existing conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or gout Obesity – excessive weight can put more strain on joints such as knees and hips

Osteoarthritis treatment

While there’s no direct treatment for osteoarthritis, there are things you can do to manage the condition, and even improve it with milder cases. In many cases, it’s possible to stop the condition from progressing and getting worse. Painkillers can also help with decreasing discomfort when doing everyday activities, or even adding supplements to your diet such as fish oil.

If you only have a mild case of osteoarthritis, lifestyle changes could help to manage or improve symptoms, such as:

  • losing weight
  • increasing exercise
  • wearing certain supportive clothes or shoes
  • physical or occupational therapy

In more severe cases, surgery can sometimes be an option to repair or strengthen a joint, such as replacing it with an artificial one, or temporarily relieve severe pain with an injection such as cortisone.

Common examples of this would be a hip replacement or a knee replacement, which can repair or replace the arthritic joints to reduce pain and improve mobility.

If you’re experiencing problems with arthritis and joint pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us  to make an appointment to speak to your doctor for advice on your options.

Skin Cancer Screening

What is Skin Cancer Screening?

Skin cancer is by far one of  the most common forms of cancer. Compared to other types of cancer, skin cancer is diagnosed unusually early. This is because it is mostly in visible places on your skin. It means that there is no national screening programme. Therefore, you should be aware of the symptoms of skin cancer to try and spot it early if necessary.

Dermatologists now offer a mole mapping skin cancer screening service that uses the latest technology to map out all moles on all of your body’s skin. It also produces and records high-res images of individual moles and assesses each mole to give it a cancer risk analysis score. Having mole mapping either each year or if any worrying visible changes to your skin are observed, allows your mole images to be compared. The computer can highlight those moles that are the same, which are new, and which are changing.

If skin cancer is suspected, a skin biopsy can accurately confirm a skin cancer diagnosis.

What is skin cancer?

Skin cancer is when abnormal skin cells grow out of control. Sun damage is the cause of most skin cancers. There are two main types of skin cancer. It is important to know the type of cancer you have so that you understand what to expect and your treatment options.

  • Melanoma – is the less common skin cancer but it is more dangerous. It is more likely to grow and spread than other skin cancers. Melanoma skin cancer starts in melanocyte skin cells that are found in the deeper layers of your epidermis (outer skin). Melanocytes produce melanin when your skin is exposed to the sun. Melanin is a brown pigment that makes your skin look darker. By using skin cancer prevention techniques, you can reduce your chance of getting melanoma skin cancer.
  • Non-melanoma – are the more frequently occurring skin cancers but rarely spread and are usually treatable. Non-melanoma skin cancer is a group of cancers that slowly develop in the upper layers of your skin. They are most likely to develop in skin parts that are exposed to the sun such as your head and neck. The main types of non-melanoma skin cancer are basal cell cancer (BSC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). There are some other rare types.

Symptoms of skin cancer

Symptoms for all types of skin cancer include a sore or area of skin that:

  • doesn’t heal within four weeks
  • looks unusual
  • hurts, itches, bleeds, crusts or scabs for more than four weeks

Melanoma symptoms

A new mole appearing or a gradual change in an existing mole such as shape, size or colour are the most common signs of melanoma. These moles can be anywhere on your body but are uncommon in areas protected from the sun, such as your scalp and buttocks. They are most frequently found on a man’s back or a woman’s legs.

Most often, melanomas are irregular in shape and have more than one colour. A melanoma mole may be bigger than benign moles, itchy or bleed.

Non-melanoma symptoms

Typically, the first sign of non-melanoma is a red and firm lump that may turn into ulcers or a discoloured, flat and scaly patch on your skin. These persist over a few weeks and progress slowly over months or sometimes years. Non-melanoma cancer often develops on sun-exposed skin, including your face, ears, hands, shoulders, upper chest and back.

You should visit your GP if you notice any possible skin cancer symptoms.

What is skin cancer screening and how long does it take?

There is no national screening programme for skin cancer. This is because skin cancer often develops in skin areas that are visible and exposed to the sun and are usually spotted by the patient.

It is therefore important to be aware of skin cancer symptoms. You should see your GP if you have any skin cancer symptoms or you are worried about a new or existing mole, lump, ulcer or patch of skin. They will refer you to a skin specialist if they’re unsure or suspect you have skin cancer.

A skin biopsy is a more accurate way to confirm the presence or absence of skin cancer. Performed under local anaesthetic a skin biopsy removes a small sample of your skin or part or all of the suspect mole. The sample is sent to a laboratory to check if it is cancerous.

The skin biopsy takes about 15 minutes to perform and results are usually back within two to three weeks. The biopsy results should tell your doctor what type of skin cancer you have and whether there is any chance of it spreading to other parts of your body.

If melanoma skin cancer is confirmed, you’ll usually have a wider area of skin removed to make absolutely sure that there are no cancerous cells are left behind in your skin.

If your doctor is concerned that your cancer has spread into other organs including your lymph nodes, bones or your blood, you will have further tests.

When is a skin cancer screen required and how often?

As there is no national skin cancer screening programme, it is important for you to see your GP or a skin specialist if you have any symptoms.

Checking your moles can be difficult if you have lots or if they are in hard to see areas such as your back and shoulders. Mole mapping can reliably check all of your moles for peace of mind.

It is advised that you have mole mapping each year or if you notice any changes to your skin. These new images can then be compared to the previous images and any changes identified

You can see a skin cancer doctor and request a skin cancer screening test at any age if you have cancer concerns.


If you’ve ever suffered from chronic back or neck pain, you’d understand the importance of physiotherapists in our society.

Living with constant pain can be debilitating. But physiotherapists don’t only specialise in injury treatment. They also help those with disability and illness to live a more mobile and comfortable life.

So, what is physiotherapy treatment and what does it entail? Find out more in this blog.

When Is A Good Time To See A Physiotherapist?

If you are suffering from an injury or chronic pain that affects your mood, function, and concentration, it’s a good time to see a physiotherapist.

If you’ve had major surgery like a hip replacement, knee replacement, or suffered a stroke, you will be referred to a physiotherapist.

Remember that every physiotherapy session is unique to each patient. This means each session will be tailored to your needs and recovery progress.

Often physiotherapy recovery from an injury or illness is slow. Patience, commitment, and patient participation in recovery are key.

What Is Physiotherapy Treatment And What Do Physios Do?

Physiotherapy is a professional treatment. It encourages and facilitates recovery from injury, illness, or disability. The treatment enables millions of people across the world to remain at work.

It also allows them to be physically independent for as long as possible.

Physiotherapy is science-based but also takes a ”’whole person”, or holistic approach to health. This means that physio treatment is paired alongside living a healthy lifestyle. Essentially, the two go hand-in-hand.

At the core of physiotherapy is the patient’s own involvement in their care and recovery. Physiotherapy is inclusive of education, creating awareness, and participation in treatment.

Almost anyone, at any age, can benefit from physiotherapy, no matter what stage of life they’re in. For example, a senior with debilitating back pain can benefit from physiotherapy. Just as a sportsman with a sudden injury or a woman preparing for childbirth.

Common Treatment Areas

Physiotherapists focus on both prevention and rehabilitation. Some of the most common treatment areas include:

  • Back and neck pain caused by muscular or skeletal issues
  • Issues in the bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles of the body, caused by illness or injury
  • The after-effects of limb or extremity amputation
  • Issues with the lungs, often caused by asthma
  • Pelvic issues, including bowel, bladder, and pelvic floor problems
  • Loss of mobility caused by disease, trauma, or injury
  • Loss of mobility or disability caused by heart disease
  • Sports injury rehabilitation

Physiotherapists also deal with fatigue, stiffness, swelling, and muscle atrophy in the elderly. As well as cancer patients and those in palliative care.

Different Types Of Physiotherapy


Physiotherapists study and practice manual physiotherapy techniques for many years. The practice of physiotherapy covers these key areas:

  • Joint manipulation
  • Joint mobilisation
  • Physiotherapy Instrument Mobilisation (PIM)
  • Physiotherapy massage
  • Soft tissue techniques
  • Minimal Energy Techniques (METs)

Physiotherapist skills also overlap into other fields of practice. Some of these include remedial massage therapy, osteopathic, kinesiology, and occupational therapy.

There are some of the most common types of treatments you can expect, depending on your condition:

  1. Physiotherapy Taping

Your physiotherapist will use strapping and taping techniques to offer pain relief and support from an injury. They use specific physiotherapy tape that also helps to prevent further injury.

This technique is broken into two main categories: supportive strapping and kinesiology taping.

  1. Dry Needling Or Acupuncture

Many physiotherapists choose to train a little further and acquire a qualification in the technique of dry needling or acupuncture.

These two practices offer relief from muscle pain and tension and support muscle recovery.

  1. Manual Physiotherapy Exercises

Physios are trained in manual therapy to strengthen and improve muscle function.

These physical exercises use evidence-based protocols. They are designed to deliver effective results in solving or preventing pain and injury. In short, your physio is well-versed in prescribing the best types of exercises in the right dose, depending on your condition.

Some of these physical therapy exercises include:

  • Manual muscle stretching
  • Core strengthening exercises for back pain
  • Neuro-dynamics
  • Balance exercises
  • Real-Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
  • Swiss Ball exercises
  • Proprioception exercises

Your physio may also recommend other practices including Pilates, yoga, and exercise physiology. This is so that you can find the best results in your recovery.

  1. Biomechanical Analysis

All trained and certified physiotherapists are highly-skilled health professionals. They have the knowledge to assess and diagnose certain conditions, and deficits that need correcting.

Your physio will do a thorough assessment of your condition to detect and avoid musculoskeletal injuries. They are also well-versed in postural issues and the best treatment to avoid repeat injuries due to poor posture.

Your biomechanical analysis usually involves gait analysis, movement analysis, and more.

  1. Workplace Physiotherapy

This is related to workplace ergonomics and respective strain injuries in the workplace. A physiotherapist can advise on the best workstation posture and setup for your body and any pre-existing conditions.

This includes advice on lifting techniques, postural techniques, education programs, and more.

Looking For A Results-Driven Physiotherapist?

If you’ve found yourself wondering ”what is physiotherapy treatment?” and how can it benefit you, we hope this blog gives you a better idea of what to expect.

Looking for an experienced, results-driven physiotherapist in Portugal? Be sure to get in touch with Berry Vrijaldenhoven at The International Health Centre.

Peanut allergy treatment hope

A promising new study has offered hope of a treatment for people with peanut allergy.

Early results of the study suggest that treatment that slowly builds up tolerance could protect people from having a severe reaction.

Prevalence rising

The prevalence of peanut allergy among children in western countries is on the rise, with the number of children diagnosed in the UK doubling over the past two decades. It is estimated that one in 50 children have peanut allergy.

People who have peanut allergy are at risk of unpredictable and occasionally life-threatening allergic reactions. Symptoms usually occur within minutes of contact with peanuts, and include swelling of the lips, eyes or tongue, vomiting, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.

Accidental exposure

There are currently no treatment options or cure for people with peanut allergy, and so avoiding any foods that may have traces of peanuts in is the only way for people with the allergy to avoid allergic reactions. Peanuts are a common ingredient in many types of food.

If people with peanut allergy are accidentally exposed to peanuts, immediate use of adrenaline medication is needed to treat the symptoms.

Peanut protein powder

This new study held in the US and the UK involved over 500 people with peanut allergy, mostly aged between four and 17. One third were given a placebo (a ‘dummy’ powder) and two thirds were given peanut protein powder in increasing amounts.

After nine to 12 months of treatment, two thirds of the children who had taken the peanut protein powder were able to tolerate as much as two peanuts a day, and half the children could tolerate the equivalent of four peanuts a day.

Milder symptoms

Co-author of the study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Stephen Tilles, said: “On average, the participants were able to tolerate a 100-fold higher dose of peanut at the end of the study than they did at the beginning. In addition, the symptoms caused by the 100-fold higher dose at the end of study were milder than the symptoms on the lower dose at the beginning of the study.”

Lifelong protection

The scientists involved in the study think that children would have to continue taking small amounts of peanut protein to remain safe from allergic reactions.

The treatment is now awaiting approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, which licences drugs in the US.

As with all allergies, you should never try any home remedies without seeking medical advice first, and you should never treat children yourself for a food allergy unless you have discussed this with your doctor first.


Derived from ancient Greek ‘osteo’ meaning ‘bone’ and ‘path’ meaning ‘disease of’

In reality most Osteopaths treat musculoskeletal issues including; back pain, neck pain, and joint problems. Osteopaths are healthcare professionals that utilise manual and physical therapy to help with painful complaints or to help improve the function of your body. The training to become an Osteopath usually takes a minimum of 4 years. This assures that patients are in very safe and skilful hands.

What Is Osteopathy?

Osteopathic is a a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together/

Simply put, this means that your body is capable of self-healing (in many cases) and that optimal healing takes place in the optimal environment. Osteopaths  look at how you adapt to your complaint or how it arose in the first place and work with you and your body to facilitate optimal healing and get you on the road to a swift recovery. This principle is adopted in many therapies including modern medicine – a fracture is set in a cast to provide you with the stability needed to allow bone repair and antibiotics are prescribed to fight off bacterial infection so that you can recover. Osteopaths help facilitate healing by improving motion and allowing your body to compensate during recovery.

What Can Osteopathy Help With?

Osteopaths work to facilitate the body’s own ability to heal, working with the body’s structure and function to provide your body with the optimal healing environment. With this principle in mind, they could potentially treat many conditions. However, the efficacy of this may be questionable, and it’s important to know their limitations in practice. This is done by reviewing scientific research relevant to its practice and based treatments on best research and practice. This is referred to as evidence based or evidence informed medicine, and is relevant to all fields of medicine.

There is supporting evidence that Osteopaths can provide effective treatment for:

  • generalised aches and pains
  • joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis as an adjunct to core osteoarthritis treatments and exercise
  • arthritic pain
  • general, acute & chronic backache, back pain (not arising from injury or accident)
  • uncomplicated mechanical neck pain (as opposed to neck pain following injury i.e., whiplash)
  • headache arising from the neck (cervicogenic) / migraine prevention
  • frozen shoulder/ shoulder and elbow pain/ tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis) arising from associated musculoskeletal conditions of the back and neck, but not isolated occurrences
  • circulatory problems
  • cramp
  • digestion problems
  • joint pains
  • sciatica
  • muscle spasms
  • neuralgia
  • fibromyalgia
  • inability to relax
  • rheumatic pain
  • minor sports injuries and tensions


How to know if your child has a food allergy

An estimated 8 percent of children have a food allergy. Living with a food allergy can be scary and stressful for children and their families. Food allergies can cause serious allergic reactions that require emergency care. However, with attentive care, children with food allergies can live healthy, happy lives.

Getting the right treatment for a food allergy starts with knowing how to recognise the signs and symptoms of the condition. Below is more information about how to spot a food allergy, the most common food allergens (foods that cause allergic reactions) in children and how doctors treat food allergies in children.

Signs and symptoms of food allergy in children

The signs and symptoms of food allergy in children are caused by an abnormal immune system response. Normally, our immune systems guard us from germs that make us sick. In children with food allergies, the immune system mistakenly sees a food as harmful and produces an allergic reaction in response.

An allergic reaction to a food can result in a range of signs and symptoms. The symptoms may be mild or severe. The most common signs and symptoms of a food allergy are:

  •  Hives (welts on the skin)
    •    Itchy, red skin
    •    Itchy throat
    •    Stomach ache (with or without diarrhoea or vomiting)
    •    Swollen lips, tongue or throat
    •    Trouble breathing or wheezing

An allergic reaction to a food will typically occur within a few minutes to an hour of a child eating the food.

Even if your child seems to only have a mild reaction to a food, tell doctor about their symptoms. Seemingly mild food allergies can still eventually cause a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is the most severe food allergy reaction

Anaphylaxis is when the symptoms of food allergy are so severe, they can become life-threatening. Anaphylaxis can cause:

  •  Airway obstruction that prevents breathing
    •    Fainting
    •    Irregular pulse
    •    Low blood pressure
    •    Severe diarrhoea or vomiting

The only treatment for anaphylaxis is fast administration of an epinephrine injection (commonly known by the brand name EpiPen). Epinephrine is available by prescription from your GP.  It does not have a long shelf life so discuss this with your doctor.

The most common food allergens in children

Doctors and researchers have reported allergic reactions from over 150 different foods. But the majority of children with food allergies are allergic to one or more of the following foods:

  •  Eggs
    •    Fish
    •    Milk
    •    Peanuts
    •    Sesame
    •    Shellfish
    •    Soy
    •    Tree nuts
    •    Wheat

Eggs, milk and peanuts are the most common food allergens in children.

If your child shows signs or symptoms of food allergy after eating one or more of these foods, they could have a food allergy. Stop giving your child the food you think caused the reaction, and talk to your doctor as soon as possible to protect them from a potentially severe allergic reaction.

How doctors treat food allergy in children

Paediatric allergy specialists are the doctors who typically treat food allergy in children. A paediatric allergy specialist can help you care for your child’s food allergy by:

  •  Performing tests that pinpoint the exact food or foods your child is allergic to
    •    Recommending ways to avoid the food or foods your child is allergic to
    •    Making suggestions for how your child can still get all the nutrients they need without the food allergen in their diet
    •    Prescribing epinephrine when necessary
    •    Determining if your child is a good candidate for oral immunotherapy (a therapy that can help the body build up resistance to a food allergen)

There are currently no cures for food allergies. The main goal of treatment is to find out which food or foods your child is allergic to, so they can avoid allergic reactions to them.

More points to know about food allergies in children

  •  A food allergy is different from a food intolerance. Although both can cause gastrointestinal symptoms, a food intolerance (such as lactose intolerance) doesn’t involve the immune system.
  •  Babies or toddlers who are allergic to milk or soy usually cry often and may have blood in their stool. Changing your child’s formula can help. Your child’s doctor or paediatrician can help you find the right formula for your child’s needs.
  •  Food allergens can be passed to a child through breast milk.
  •  Some children with severe food allergies don’t even need to eat a food to have a reaction — just touching the food can cause an allergic reaction.
  •  Your child will not have an allergic reaction to a food allergen the first time they’re exposed it. Their first allergic reaction will happen the second time they’re exposed to the food allergen.

Talk to your child’s doctor or paediatrician about any suspected food allergies

If you think your child might have a food allergy, make an appointment with your doctor or paediatrician to discuss testing. They can refer you to a paediatric allergist — a doctor who is specially trained to care for children with food allergies. Prompt treatment for food allergy is important to avoid potentially severe allergic reactions.

Call 112 in Portugal immediately  if your child has lost consciousness, is having trouble breathing, has blue lips, has pale, clammy skin, is dizzy, or has severe diarrhoea or vomiting. These are signs and symptoms of anaphylactic shock.

How to Get Enough Vitamin D During Winter

Vitamin D is an interesting nutrient. It is fat soluble and present only in a few foods, including dairy products, oily fish and red meat. However, unlike many other nutrients, we can also make our own Vitamin D, through direct sunlight on our skin. Most people can meet their Vitamin D requirements through eating a healthy diet and spending time outdoors in spring and summer. If we are not vigilant, it is possible to suffer from Vitamin D deficiency.

Consequences of Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is vital for healthy bones, muscles and teeth and it regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in our bodies. It is also thought to help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. It is known to be necessary for healthy cell growth and a robust immune system. With Vitamin D deficiency there is a risk of developing bone conditions such as rickets and osteomalacia, which manifest as bone deformation. Osteoporosis is another bone condition that can develop due to Vitamin D deficiency.

There are other health problems that have been attributed to Vitamin D deficiency including:

  • Tiredness
  • Low mood
  • Impaired wound healing
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Cognitive impairment

So how can you avoid Vitamin D Deficiency in Winter?

You can build up your stocks of Vitamin D during the summer by getting outdoors and letting the sun do its magic. Please however take the usual precautions when out in the sun during the summer months in Portugal.  If, for whatever reason you are not able to do this, you will need to look at your diet to avoid developing Vitamin D deficiency. Recommended daily intakes for Vitamin D vary from person to person, depending on age and the presence of other health conditions. Toxicity from too much Vitamin D is rare.

Include foods high in Vitamin D in your diet

  • Oily fish for example mackerel and salmon
  • Fish liver oils
  • Liver (although it is an acquired taste!)
  • Red meat
  • Dairy products such as milk, egg, cheese
  • Cereals and other foods that are fortified with Vitamin D

Consider taking Vitamin D Supplements

There are groups of people who may benefit from taking Vitamin D supplements: these include people who are housebound or remain covered up when outside. People with dark skin may not get enough Vitamin D from sunlight alone. Other people who risk Vitamin D deficiency include pregnant and breast-feeding women and young children. Strict vegans or people with milk allergies may also be at risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency. Some people are unable to absorb vitamin D from their food: those at risk include people suffering from intestinal disorders such as Chron’s disease. Vitamin D supplements are widely available and may be purchased at supermarkets and pharmacies.

How do you know if you are Vitamin D Deficient?

A simple blood test will show how much Vitamin D is if your body. If you are concerned that you are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency, a trip to your doctor should help set your mind at ease.

Health Benefits of Dry January

Dry January has become a tradition for millions of people, who for their New Year’s resolution pledge to give up drinking alcohol for the entire month. Dry January, which is supported by many charities, is just a recognition that alcohol drinking does have effects on us and gives us a chance to discover what those effects are – ironically by cutting alcohol out of our diet! But is Dry January beneficial for our health and if so, how?

Dry January Health Benefits

  • Alcohol is a known cause of many health problems, including various cancers and liver disease in particular. As it can take your liver up to six weeks to recover from a heavy session of alcohol, if you have indulged over the Festive Period, the Dry January will give your liver time to heal.
  • Alcohol is packed with so called ‘empty calories’ which provide energy without offering any other nutritional benefits. For some people alcohol can account for up to 10% of their total calorie intake, with each unit containing around 50 calories, not to mention the other potential ingredients such as fruit juice, cream and so on. A standard glass of wine contains 150 calories while a pint of beer has 220. On top of this, alcohol stimulates your appetite which can lead to over eating during meals and snacking outside of mealtimes. So, if you lay off the booze during Dry January, you may find that you drop a few pounds. Furthermore, with a reduction in alcohol your diet may improve, so that you begin to look healthier, with brighter skin and eyes. In addition, eating healthy meals may help abate any craving you may have for alcohol, so it is a win-win.
  • Alcohol is known to depress mood and affect sleep. So, a Dry January may leave you feeling well rested with more energy and in better form.
  • Many people take part in Dry January in order to recalibrate their relationship with alcohol. The Dry January may help break a pattern of regular alcohol drinking and make drinkers more mindful of their alcohol consumption, especially if they feel better following abstinence for a month.

A Warning

Ultimately Dry January could kick start a healthy new you. However, a warning: If you regularly drink more than 14 units of alcohol each week, you may be alcohol dependent. This means that you should not suddenly stop drinking as you may experience withdrawal symptoms. If this is the case for you, you should seek medical advice before embarking on any reduction programme.

If you have any concerns about your drinking habits, please come and speak to your doctor.