Did you know that as many as 1 in 5 adults and 1 in 5 children in the UK have low vitamin D levels?
Why is vitamin D deficiency so common in the UK?
We gain some vitamin D from food, but most from sunlight.
What are the food sources of vitamin D?
- Oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel and sardines), cod liver oil and other fish oils
- fortified foods – such as most fat spreads and some breakfast cereals
Why is vitamin D important for our health?
- For our bone and muscle health
- Deficiency is associated with Diabetes, Heart disease, Breast cancer, Bowel cancer, Alzheimer’s disease
Who is at risk of Vitamin D deficiency?
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Under 5 year olds
- Over 65 year olds
- People who have little or no exposure to the sun eg those who cover-up for cultural reasons, people who are housebound or who stay indoors for long periods of time.
- People with darker skin (these groups are not able to make as much vitamin D as those with paler skin).
How does vitamin D deficiency present itself?
- Many have no symptoms or only vague symptoms of tiredness or body aches
- Proximal muscle weakness
- Rib, hip, pelvis, thigh and foot pain are typical
- Extreme cases can cause rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults
How can you find out if you have vitamin D deficiency?
- A simple blood test done by Dr Sumi Soori at Roseneath Medical Practice, with same day results.
- This may be combined with further blood tests to look for changes linked to low vitamin D and possible referral for wrist x-ray in a child to check on bone development.
September 2017 – Patients’ feedback
Valuable feedback about our doctor & GP practice
‘Dr Sumi Soori is patient, extremely knowledgeable and refreshingly personable. I would highly recommend her.’
‘The best experience I’ve had with a GP in the UK. I highly recommend Dr Soori, she is sensitive to individual needs, caring and will go above and beyond to ensure that her patients receive the best care, as well as aftercare, highly recommend.’
‘I was in the UK for few weeks on vacation. And I had been here several time with sick kids and for general consultation. The staff was great and very friendly… and was able to to schedule an appointment on the same day. Their weekend hours are also very convenient.. and the wait was short… Dr. Sumi is very knowledgeable and experienced. She answered all my questioned and was very helpful… I consider her as my family doctor whenever I am in the UK.’
A number of illnesses can be prevented by
Learn about illness prevention, by our Doctors in Richmond
Which vaccines should you have for Autumn?
– Flu – did you know that even if you had the flu vaccine last year, you will need another one this year? People are always at risk of getting flu because the strains are always changing. The vaccine can be administered in the form of injection for adults or nasal spray for young or high risk children.
– Meningococcal B and ACWY vaccine – Meningitis remains a serious threat to children, teenagers and young adults, especially in the winter months. It is fatal in one in 10 cases.
– Measles – Did you know that this is the third most common vaccine-preventable cause of death among children throughout the world? It is one of the most infectious diseases in humans.
– Whooping cough – This is a highly infectious bacterial infection, which can be very serious for babies under one year. It is important to have this vaccine in the third trimester of every pregnancy.
– Chickenpox – This vaccine is not part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule in UK. The vaccine prevents the likelihood of serious chickenpox and lessens the chance of scarring.
And the good news?
The benefits of all the vaccines mentioned far outweigh the risk of side effects, which all tend to be mild.
At Roseneath Medical Practice we have stock of all the vaccines. We want you to stay well and healthy over autumn, and offer appointments seven days a week.
Roseneath Medical Practice at St Margarets Fair – 8th July 2017
Dr Soori and the Roseneath Medical team were at St Margarets Fair on Saturday 8th July, introducing themselves to some of the local community and enquiring about patients’ hopes and expectations from a quality medical service. Thank you for having us!
A Guide to Meningitis by Dr Sumi Soori
Meningitis is the inflammation of the meninges, the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Most cases are caused by infection in children, from babies to young adults. It can be a potentially serious illness which can be life threatening. However, if dealt with quickly, it can be treated.
Types of Meningitis
Meningitis is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Viral meningitis is the most common but least serious type; bacterial meningitis is rare but can be life threatening.
Possible bacteria and viruses that may cause meningitis:
- Meningococcal bacteria – types A, B,C,W,X,Y,Z
- Pneumococcal bacteria
- Haemophilus influenza B bacteria
- Mumps virus
- Herpes simplex virus (usually cause cold sores or genital herpes)
- Enteroviruses (usually cause mild stomach infections
Signs and symptoms
High fever (not always in babies under three months)
- Reduced feeds or nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue, drowsiness or floppiness
- Irritability, confusion, agitation
- Bulging fontanelle (soft spot on head) in babies
- High pitched cry
- Rapid breathing
- Pale mottled skin, with cold hands and feet
- Limb/joint pains or stiffness, neck stiffness
- Dislike of bright light
The rash associated with meningitis usually starts with small pinpricks, which then spread throughout the body, turning into red/ purple blotches.
Glass test: A rash that does not fade under pressure (when a glass is rolled over it) is a sign of life-threatening blood poisoning (septicaemia). However, a rash does not appear in a number of cases of meningitis. Remember that the rash may be harder to see on dark skin. Checking for spots on paler parts of the body (eg palms of hands and soles of feet) maybe helpful in these cases.
Complications are rare after viral meningitis. They are more common after bacterial meningitis, and in approximately 1% of cases it is fatal.
- Hearing and vision loss
- Cognitive problems (memory issues, learning difficulties)
- Difficulties with co-ordination
- Bone and joint problems or limb loss (due to rapid spread of infection)
- Kidney problems
- Psychological upset
Vaccines that can help reduce the chances of your child getting meningitis:
There are a number of meningitis vaccinations available that provide protection against some of the infections that can cause meningitis.
- Meningitis B vaccine (a new vaccine provided on the NHS for infants, available privately for other children)
- 5-in-1 vaccine (includes protection against Haemophilus influenzae B, a bacteria that can cause meningitis)
- Pneumococcal vaccine
- Men C vaccine (protects against Meningococcal C bacteria)
- MMR vaccine (Meningitis can occur as a complication of measles, mumps or rubella)
- Meningitis ACWY vaccine (protects against four bacteria types that can cause meningitis)
Important points to consider:
- Not all children get all the typical symptoms
- Don’t wait for the rash as it doesn’t always appear
- Vaccination is key in helping prevent cases of meningitis
- Trust your parental instincts. Act fast, get medical help immediately if you are worried your child may have meningitis.
Dr Sumi Soori is a Private GP at Roseneath medical practice who has a strong interest in Paediatrics and Women’s health. The practice is open to new patients and offers appointments seven days a week. For more information, visit http://www.roseneath.co.uk