Devastating effects of Covid-19

Medical Matters It’s now nearly seven months since the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Ireland and the start of an unprecedented journey of restrictions and lockdowns that has radically changed the way we live. While we avoided a surge that could have swamped our health service, the death toll stands at over 1700, many…

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It’s all in the gut

Medical Matters Hippocrates is credited with the ancient quote that ‘all disease begins in the gut’. While modern medicine casts a different light on factors underlying most diseases, recent research has highighted the complex and interesting role our gut may play when it comes to general health. But how exactly might the gut influence this?…

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Growing evidence vitamin D defends against Covid-19

Medical Matters The search for therapies for Covid-19 has led scientists to explore an array of drugs ranging from expensive anti-virals and anti-inflammatories to anti-malarials (hydroxychloroquine) and even anti-helminthics (use to treat parasitic worms). Despite this, the potential role of something much more simple – ‘vitamin D’ in either helping to prevent infection or reduce…

Looking at the facts of coronavirus

Medical Matters The coronavirus has taken centre stage and dominated daily news headlines as the number of cases and countries affected continues to rise. To date, over 3000 deaths have occurred globally but this is small compared to the fatality due to seasonal influenza which can be as high as 500,000 annually. Fears and concerns…

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Avoid anxiety meds dependency

Medical Matters Last September the Medical Council issued warnings about the over-prescribing of medications for anxiety and insomnia. Belonging to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, they first took prominence in 1963 with the arrival of Valium, a safer and better alternative to hitherto existing hypnotics. Its use skyrocketed along with newer versions in…

Dangers of unchecked high blood pressure

Medical Matters Have you had your blood pressure checked recently? Well, measurement of blood pressure, as we all know, is a fundamental part of the routine clinical examination – and for good reason. This is because high blood pressure or hypertension is for the most part a silent condition which, over time, may have far-reaching…