What’s Up With Your Health?

I’m Jo Waters and I’ve been writing about health, medicine and wellbeing in the UK national media for more than 25 years.

This blog is aimed at health and medicine news junkies like myself who love to read about all the latest developments in the medical world but also like to hear about how illnesses and diseases impact on human beings too. I regularly interview top doctors and scientists – but value the input of patients who can describe what their medical condition is like to live with just as much.

If you’re interested in reading my published articles you can find some online  at jowaters.contently.com.

Other articles are available to read on the Daily Mail site here.

You can buy my latest  book’ What’s Up With Your Gut?‘ (Hammersmith Books) co-written with gastroenterologist Professor Julian Walters from Imperial Healthcare  in London,  from Amazon, The Book Depository or Waterstones.

In June 2017 I was awarded the Journalist of the Year Award by the Health Food Manufacturers’ Association and am a former chair of the Guild of Health Writers (2011 to 2013).

In 2018 I won Case Study Writer of the Year in the Medical Journalists’ Association annual writing awards.

Contact me at jo_waters15@hotmail.com or 0208 289 1777 re commissions and media strategy and consultancy work.

1 Comment

  1. Dear Jo,

    I am writing to you on behalf of the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) to share with you our awareness release for GERD Awareness Week, November 19-25, 2017.

    Studies show that GERD affects more than 9% or more people in Europe and has a profound impact on communities, healthcare systems, and individuals both in terms of direct costs of long-term management as well as indirect costs associated with lost productivity and reduced quality of life of those affected. It begs to be written about by everyone from healthcare and medical writers to business reporters to feature and lifestyle writers. You have demonstrated an interest in helping to educate those affected by GERD and the general public with your article 10 Things You Didn’t Know Could Upset Your Gut for The Daily Mail in August.

    We hope that you will find our release interesting as well as helpful and that you will choose to address this important topic in recognition of GERD Awareness Week this month. Please let us know if we can answer any questions or help in any way.

    Best wishes,

    Tegan Gaetano
    Program Director

    Holiday Heartburn or Something More?
    IFFGD offers 5 tips for GERD Awareness Week to help keep symptoms under control

    For Immediate Release

    The holiday meal has been consumed, the plates cleared away, and then you feel it – that all-too-familiar burning sensation of heartburn. While just about everyone experiences episodes of heartburn or “indigestion” from time to time, heartburn that occurs more than once a week, becomes more severe, or occurs at night and wakes you from sleep may indicate something more. An underlying condition such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) could be the cause.

    GERD is a long-term condition that occurs when stomach contents repeatedly flow backward (or reflux) into the esophagus (food tube). Over time this can irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing uncomfortable symptoms. While most people with GERD have mild symptoms, left untreated, repeated reflux and irritation of the tissue of the esophagus can lead to complications such as tissue damage or difficulty swallowing.

    “It is important to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis when you have signs and symptoms of GERD,” said Ceciel T. Rooker, Executive Director of the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD). “Your healthcare provider can then work with you to develop a treatment plan to help best manage your symptoms.”

    To help you avoid heartburn from making an unwanted appearance this holiday season, IFFGD offers the following five tips:
    Schedule an earlier meal. Digestion increases the amount of gastric acid naturally present in the stomach. And, a reclined position can allow stomach contents to reflux up the esophagus more easily. Occurring together, these are a recipe for reflux. While timing can vary from person to person, it is best not to eat within three or four hours of bedtime.
    Steer clear of known “problem foods.” Coming up with a list of foods to avoid involves experimenting to discover your triggers, as problem foods may differ from person to person. However, many people find that fats, onions, tomatoes and tomato products, chocolate, peppermint, and caffeine-containing foods and beverages to be particularly troublesome.
    User smaller plates. Eating large meals can trigger symptoms, so try smaller meals spread throughout the day.
    Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Both alcohol and tobacco are known irritants and can trigger reflux symptoms. Cut back on consumption or avoid completely to reduce reflux.
    Keep good posture during and after the meal. Sitting up while eating and avoiding lying flat for a minimum of two hours after a meal may help prevent symptoms. Additionally, standing up and walking around after eating a meal helps encourage gastric juices to flow in the right direction.
    “Persistent or repeated heartburn can signal that it’s time to talk to your doctor,” said Rooker. “GERD is more than simple heartburn. If you suspect that you may have GERD, schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional.”

    GERD Awareness Week is November 19 – 25, 2017 and takes place each year during the week of Thanksgiving. Learn more about GERD on IFFGD’s dedicated website: http://www.aboutGERD.org.

    About IFFGD
    The International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) is a nonprofit education and research organization dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by a functional gastrointestinal or motility disorder. Founded in 1991, IFFGD helps improve care by enhancing awareness, improving education, and supporting and encouraging research into treatments and cures for chronic digestive conditions. Learn more at http://www.iffgd.org.

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