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- 08/08/18--22:24: _Man sets up agency ...
- 08/08/18--23:46: _We keep going for p...
- 08/09/18--00:54: _Trolls are tormenti...
- 08/09/18--01:23: _‘The Strong Black W...
- 08/09/18--01:24: _Most single men bla...
- 08/09/18--01:25: _Fishing is the late...
- 08/09/18--01:41: _Mental health probl...
- 08/09/18--01:57: _Meet Rolf, the Warw...
- 08/09/18--02:15: _Woman denied a mani...
- 08/09/18--02:25: _Swap your briefs fo...
- 08/09/18--02:38: _People are dumping ...
- 08/09/18--02:57: _London in pictures:...
- 08/09/18--02:57: _Gap’s back to schoo...
- 08/09/18--03:33: _How working out hel...
- 08/09/18--04:51: _Meet the Michelin-t...
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- 08/09/18--06:37: _McDonald’s official...
- 08/09/18--07:17: _What’s the differen...
- 08/09/18--07:20: _Superdrug becomes t...
- 08/09/18--08:23: _How to improve gut ...
- 08/08/18--22:24: Man sets up agency to catch out catfishes on dating apps
- 08/08/18--23:46: We keep going for people who are out of our league on dating apps
- 08/09/18--01:24: Most single men blame their relationship status on ‘poor looks’
- 08/09/18--01:25: Fishing is the latest dating trend to make you lose all hope in love
- 08/09/18--01:41: Mental health problems are being exacerbated by the world we live in
- 08/09/18--02:25: Swap your briefs for boxers to have better quality sperm
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Jack Russell
- German Shepherd
- English Setter
- ‘The dog did not apologise for fighting with another in the house’
- ‘I want laminate flooring and the dog will damage it’
- ‘It urinated on the grass and not the paving slabs as instructed’
- ‘We are going on holiday and boarding kennels are too expensive’
- ‘I just don’t like the dog’
- 08/09/18--02:57: London in pictures: Your best Instagram images of the month
- 08/09/18--03:33: How working out helped me in the middle of a mental health crisis
- 08/09/18--06:37: McDonald’s officially adds bacon double cheeseburgers to its menus
- 08/09/18--07:17: What’s the difference between a colostomy and an ileostomy?
- 08/09/18--08:23: How to improve gut bacteria
- Protect us from infections
- Support all mental functions – gut bacteria have been linked to the production of chemicals in the brain, including serotonin which acts as the body’s natural antidepressant.
- Regulate blood sugar
- Impact body composition
- Improve heart health by reducing cholesterol
- Strengthen our immune system
- 86% of British adults suffered from a gastrointestinal problem from 2016-2017
- 1 in 16 people have diabetes
- 1 in 4 people experience mental-health related symptoms
- An estimated 7 million people in the UK live with cardiovascular disease
A man has created his own private investigation agency to catch out fake profiles – also known as catfishes – on dating websites.
Andy Bartram set up Vet Your Date earlier this month to stop singletons from being catfished by fake profiles or scammers.
The former police worker charges £20 to search details of any Tinder or Bumble match and put together a report for his customer.
Yes, apparently people are becoming so suspicious of the people they’re chatting to online that they now have to hire a private investigator to find out who they’ve really been talking to.
Andy, 46, from Kent, has a background in criminal intelligence, which makes him the perfect catfish hunter.
He said: ‘I have done those kinds of searches as an intelligence analyst and while I was watching Catfish on MTV I thought it could potentially be a good idea to do something similar.
‘Anybody could do it, but in the same way, if you need your boiler fixed, you would get a professional in because of safety.
‘I have spent a number of years as a criminal intelligence analyst and I have had police training.
‘That gives me the power to interrogate web pages to get results back.’
The father-of-one is confident he could uncover more information about a person’s potential date than the average online dater due to his background and is keen to use the skills he learned with the police to hook a catfish.
He added: ‘I have got lots of friends who use it quite a lot and there are numerous different apps people use.
‘It is all swipe right and swipe left.
‘Online dating is such a massive industry these days.
‘Although I set it up as a vetting thing for dating it could also be used for other purposes.’
Apparently, to save people money, Andy is going to be introducing a monthly subscription for those who are constantly talking to new people online.
However, if the original Catfish – aka with Nev and Max – has taught us anything, it’s that there are a few steps you can take to unveiling whether a person is who they say they are or not.
This includes taking their number and pasting it into the Facebook search bar to see if a profile comes up, reverse searching their images and phone number, and checking to see whether they have any other forms of social media, and how legit they look.
But if all of this fails, Andy is your go-to.
Twenty quid really isn’t that bad to see whether the person in the pictures is real or not – he might even help you finally meet your true love.
SEI_24473326-d50cSEI_24473326-d50chattiegladwellmetroAndy Bartram, of Peacock Mews, Maidstone, has started "Vet my Date", an investigation service to research potential dates to help people avoid catfishing-type deceptions. See National story NNCATFISH; A lovelorn dad has launched his own private investigation agency to catch out fake profiles on dating websites. Andy Bartram set up Vet Your Date earlier this month to stop singletons from being catfished by fake profiles or scammers. The former police worker charges ??20 to search details of any Tinder or Bumble match and put together a report for his customer - in a bid to weed out any traps. The 46-year-old, who has a background in criminal intelligence, scours the web to dig up information on the potential candidate. Andy, from Maidstone, Kent, said: "I have done those kinds of searches as an intelligence analyst and while I was watching Catfish on MTV I thought it could potentially be a good idea to do something similar.Andy Bartram, of Peacock Mews, Maidstone, has started "Vet my Date", an investigation service to research potential dates to help people avoid catfishing-type deceptions. See National story NNCATFISH; A lovelorn dad has launched his own private investigation agency to catch out fake profiles on dating websites. Andy Bartram set up Vet Your Date earlier this month to stop singletons from being catfished by fake profiles or scammers. The former police worker charges ??20 to search details of any Tinder or Bumble match and put together a report for his customer - in a bid to weed out any traps. The 46-year-old, who has a background in criminal intelligence, scours the web to dig up information on the potential candidate. Andy, from Maidstone, Kent, said: "I have done those kinds of searches as an intelligence analyst and while I was watching Catfish on MTV I thought it could potentially be a good idea to do something similar.
When you’re presented with a seemingly limitless carousel of dating options, it makes sense that your standards would be higher than usual.
You might as well go for the hottest potential dates available, right?
A new study backs up that idea, finding that men and women tend to show interest in potential partners who are rated more desirable than themselves.
In basic terms, when it comes to online dating, we feel free to go for people who are out of our league. It’s up to you whether that’s a good or a bad thing.
Researchers from the University of Michigan looked at data from nearly 200,000 users of a dating site during January 2014.
Each user’s desirability was rated based on how many people made the first move and contacted them, and how popular the people who contacted them were.
So we’re talking about their considered value on the dating site based on the amount of contact they receive, rather than the person’s subjective attractiveness.
Researchers found that women, on average, sent messages to men 23% more desirable than themselves, while men went for women 26% more desirable than themselves.
As you might expect, reply rates fell if the potential date’s desirability was more than the person who sent the message. Less desirable people were much more likely to respond.
That means that if you’re constantly sending messages to hotties and receiving no response, you’re not alone. That’s pretty standard – we’re all guilty of reaching high and then being ignored.
The researchers also found that when people message someone more desirable than themselves, they tend to send fewer, longer messages – probably because they’ve spent ages planning their opening line. Interesting.
So, what can we learn from this? If you want to be certain of a response, aim low.
But if you’re tempted to escape the rigidity of your ‘league’ and go for someone wildly attractive, you go ahead and shoot your shot.
You’re not the only one doing it, and you might even get a response.
If you're trying online dating, the first decision is how much to shareIf you're trying online dating, the first decision is how much to shareellencscott
There’s nothing more stressful in this day and age than failing to find a plug socket when your phone is about to die.
And that’s especially the case in airports.
You don’t want to end up on a plane, potentially surrounded by crying babies, with a flat battery and no music or in-flight entertainment.
There just aren’t enough energy sockets around. So imagine the distress and trauma of finding a load of sockets…only to find that they’re stickers planted on walls by diabolical trolls.
Well, someone is going around doing just that.
And yes, everyone is deeply triggered.
You have to admit, it’s a pretty epic move
By people who want to watch the world burn
And who have absolutely no sh*ts to give about the wellbeing of their fellow travellers
And are willing to spend their time and money trolling
In the name of #banter
Proof that you can’t trust anyone these days.
These days I’ve begun to question my identity as a black woman.
I’ve grown to examine the fundamental characteristics that define my place in society.
For so long, the identity of the black woman has been defined by stereotypes: uneducated, loud, feisty, hyper-sexed, aggressive and somewhat unbreakable, earning us the title of ‘The Strong Black Woman’.
For so long we have worn these traits as ‘cloaks of honour’, and we have used these personas to define ourselves. But things are slowly changing.
Brilliant black women around the world are shattering these stereotypes, giving black women everywhere the strength and the courage to be themselves, unapologetically and deservedly.
We’re talking about our hair, our bodies, our economic power and our physical health. But there is one last part that remains to be challenged and discussed, and perhaps this is the most important: our mental health.
Growing up as the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, the narrative of ‘work hard’ is in my blood.
Women are taught be dutiful wives and daughters and not to complain. Stories of old tell of women whose greatness was founded in how much they could endure; abusive or unfulfilled marriages, economic management of the home in extreme poverty and the oppression of misogynistic, paternal societies.
This was their lot. My mother left Ghana at a young age so that she could have a better life. A progressive woman at heart, she knew she wanted to be a different type of woman, one free to express her feelings and her emotions without shame or judgement.
With the complex pressures of intersectionality it is no wonder that black women in the UK face an increased risk of self harm and depression. Our culture of silence is deafening.
But she could not escape her culture or her upbringing, and the UK brought a different set of challenges for her.
Black women in the UK are victims of oppression on many fronts.
The intersectionality of class, gender, race and socioeconomic status work negatively against us, and yet we are taught that survival is in our blood, and this mentality is what many of us have inherited.
We are also taught to keep our perceived ‘failings’ to ourselves. We are taught to work twice as hard as white people, and men.
We are taught to serve our husbands without question. We are told that there is no room for weakness. Selflessness is our greatest asset. With the complex pressures of intersectionality it is no wonder that black women in the UK face an increased risk of self harm and depression. Our culture of silence is deafening.
Unfortunately, mental health issues are often invisible, and because of this, we don’t even acknowledge them and we dismiss them.
We tell ourselves lies: mental illness is for weak people, mental illness is for white people… these lies and the stigma that follows is killing us.
I understand this all too well. I remember my first experience of what I now know to be anxiety.
I was afraid to talk to anyone about how I felt because I felt silly and weak. I felt I was complaining about minor things when I should have been grateful for what I had – after all, there are people back home who had nothing at all.
Why should I complain about a nervousness that would destroy friendships, ruin job opportunities and shatter my self-esteem?
I had a roof over my head and food. I should have been grateful. Guilt plagued me. Luckily, I had friends around me that had a more enlightened approach and I was fortunate.
Through therapy, I have been able to get help. Therapy literally saved my life. I’ve come out stronger and more equipped to deal with my problems and openly share them without shame or fear.
However, the more I talk about my own struggles with mental health, the more I realise I am an exception and not the norm. Far too many women are suffering in silence.
The Mental Health Foundation concludes that due to the ‘lack of adequate and sufficient data’ on black and ethnic minority (BME) groups, we are most likely to be misdiagnosed, under-diagnosed, and we receive and have access to fewer treatments.
Black women in particular, have lower treatment rates, despite the fact that we are one of the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups in the UK.
We are also less likely to have our problems detected by our GP, and in the UK this often means no access to mental health services at all, as the GP is the gateway to all other services.
Not only are we being failed by our very own communities but we are being failed by our government and the NHS. Who will speak up for us if not ourselves?
We need to change our mentality towards mental health. We need to rally together to create safe spaces in our communities where we can talk about our worries and mental health without judgement and prejudice.
We need to eradicate the misinformation and misconceptions regarding mental health.
Mental illnesses are not the preserve of white people, they happen to us too.
Ultimately we must accept that we are not invincible creatures, we are human. And as humans we deserve all the support, love and care as any other group of people.
We owe ourselves that much.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling, Samaritans are here to help.
They’re available 24 hours a day and offer a safe place to talk, about anything that is getting to you. Call 116 123.
Instagram story cropsInstagram story cropsrmve86
‘Poor looks’ and low self-esteem are to blame for men not being in relationships, a new study claims.
Menelaos Apostolou, assistant professor for the School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Law at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus, has been looking into why dudes on Reddit are single.
In answer to the question, ‘Guys, why are you single?’, Menelaos received over 20,000 replies.
Researchers then analysed 13,429 of the primary responses, before classifying them into 43 categories in a study published in the journal, Evolutionary Psychological Science.
The most frequent reason for being single, Reddit users said, was ‘poor looks’ – being short or bald, closely followed by lack of confidence and lack of interest in relationships.
A lack of flirting skills and being too shy were also popular reasons.
Interestingly, being bad at approaching women might actually be quite natural.
Menelaos says that there are evolutionary reasons why some men are unable to successfully approach women; the ‘mismatch’ argument is the theory that some dudes have social skills that don’t align with the qualities needed today to make a good impression.
Centuries ago, marriages were arranged and male-to-male competition was strong; men had little choice over who was to be their wives but it also meant that their looks weren’t that important and they didn’t really need to have good game to attract the opposite sex. Unattractive and socially inept men still managed to find wives because it was sorted out for them.
Today, that’s not the case in many cultures.
‘Single modern men often lack flirting skills because in an ancestral pre-industrial context, the selection pressures on mechanisms which regulated mating effort and choosiness were weak,’ Menelaos explains.
‘Such skills are needed today, because in post-industrial societies mate choice is not regulated or forced, but people have to instead find mates on their own.’
I got Catfished by scammers pretending to fancy meI got Catfished by scammers pretending to fancy memkyl
Isn’t it fun having every ideal of romance we once held dear shattered into tiny pieces?
Just when you think you might have one tiny shred of hope left, along comes another catchy trend to remind you of all the ways dating can be sh*t.
Or, more accurately, prepare yourself for the horrible realisation that you’ve likely been fished.
According to EliteDaily, fishing is the catchy new term for when someone will send out messages to a bunch of people to see who’d be interested in hooking up, wait to see who responds, then take their pick of who they want to get with.
It’s called fishing because the fisher loads up on bait, waits for one fish to bite, then ignores all the others.
Now, fishing isn’t that harmful a dating trend. It’s not as offensive as stashing or ghosting, for example.
We all know in the back of our minds that unless we’re exclusive with someone, they may be flirting it up with other people.
But that’s a bit of information we’d like to remain blissfully aware of. The realisation that the flirty message we’ve just received has been copy/pasted to a bunch of other potential dates is brutal.
Even worse is being ignored when you respond, knowing that your date has gone ahead and picked a different fish, throwing you back into the lake.
It’s a reminder that dating is very often a numbers game, and that you might not be the most important person to the person you’re interested in. If you’re on the receiving end of a generic ‘what are you doing tonight?’ message every Saturday, it makes sense that your date is just pasting that message to every attractive contact in his phone.
If you respond regularly and the fisher keeps choosing you, maybe things will progress without you ever knowing the fishing happened. If you keep being ignored, the flirtationship will likely fizzle out.
As we said, fishing isn’t inherently evil, but it can cause damage. It’s not nice to receive a message asking whether you’re around only to get ignored when you reply… until next Saturday when the cycle repeats.
If you’re a fisher, it’s crucial that you’re not fishing with people who have serious feelings for you. A casual fish with minimal emotional investment on either side is standard, but fishing someone you know is basically in love with you is cruel.
And for those who suspect they are simply fish in someone’s pond, watch out for the following signs.
Generic texts that could be sent to anyone? That’s a warning sign.
The same goes for only receiving messages at certain times – if they only want to know what your plans are on a Thursday night, they clearly aren’t so excited about you they can’t wait until lunchtime to chat to you.
If conversations are slow – long response times, days between messages, no continuous chatting but questions that get answered hours or days later – that could be a sign that they’re fishing. Or, again, that they just aren’t that excited to talk to you.
If you’re being fished and you’re not happy about it, you have a few options.
You can call the fisher out, but be prepared that they may just ghost and move on to other fish.
You can reply each time they fish and try to be the first fish they catch, but there’s no guarantee that this will make things progress.
Or you can ignore each fishing attempt, reclaim the power, and speak to the fisher when they’re ready to have an actual conversation. Don’t take the bait.
Fishing dating trendFishing dating trendellencscott
Mental illness doesn’t discriminate, as we know from stories about troubled celebrities who seem to ‘have it all’.
One in four people will experience mental health issues every single year in the UK, and one in six may be going through a mental health issue on any given week.
So we can hardly say that those from a more privileged background are exempt from depression, anxiety, or other problems.
But when we look at the world around us, it’s difficult not to see some correlation between what goes on externally and internally.
Poverty levels are on the rise, with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation finding that 22.1% of the population are considered to be in poverty, and 1.25 million of those people in full-time employment.
Wages aren’t growing at the same rate as inflation, meaning people are worse off than in previous years, particularly when you consider rising housing costs.
The political landscape looks relatively bleak no matter your viewpoint, with a possibility of a no-deal Brexit looming, and global warming showing its destructive power on the sweaty brows of commuters across the country.
It’s not the first time there’s been doom and gloom, and it certainly won’t be the last, but reports have shown that there is a clear link between poverty and mental illness. People are finding it harder to deal with the stressors they face daily, and rates of self harm and suicide are going up as a result.
Almost half of those in receipt of ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) have attempted suicide, and one in eight screened positive for bipolar disorder.
It’s been shown that in communities with lower incomes, there is such a thing as ‘stress contagion’. To reduce stress, most people turn to social support, but if your support network is also stressed, this leaves little respite on either side and the strain continues.
There is no light at the tunnel free from worry, because life doesn’t work out how we want. It’s not a wild leap of the imagination to suggest that lack of hope can breed depression and anxious feelings.
It can then be harder for people in dire straits financially to find the right help for addiction and mental illness. Those on low incomes are less likely to receive the treatment they request for severe mental health issues.
Medication is the most common treatment for mental health, and there were nearly 70 million prescriptions for antidepressants last year (as well as over 9 million for benzodiazepines, which is another epidemic in itself). This doesn’t help with any of the social aspects of mental illness, and only addresses the chemical imbalance in the brain, meaning vulnerable people can still be left isolated and without a workable solution to their problems.
It’s easy to dismiss the idea that a bleak world makes for a bleak outlook. But it’s not the first time in history that’s seen mental illness spiking during times of economic unrest – simply look at the miners’ strikes and deindustrialisation of various parts of Britain and the 80s and you can see the lasting effect on people’s wellbeing.
Would you be so quick to call them snowflakes or say they’d brought substance abuse problems on themselves?
We’re in a unique time when we’re seeing trillionaires running companies where workers aren’t allowed toilet breaks. We watch the news daily and see the apparent end of the world. We wish for stability without the tangible possibility of achieving it – at least that’s the reality for swathes of the population.
Danny Kushlick, founder of Tranform Drug Policy thinktank, has seen firsthand through his work how people are affected by hard times in society.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘Societies that prioritise economic growth and criminal justice-driven social control over the health and wellbeing of ordinary people will drive a conveyor belt of people into lives of misery and isolation.
‘A significant proportion of those whose drug use is problematic will have been abused, been in care and come from families with inter-generational substance misuse issues. For those using illegal drugs, they are not only discriminated against, they are automatically criminalised by the existence of drug prohibition.
‘They are often damaged people whom society has collectively decided to punish, rather than protect…’
‘The broad societal pressures that drive people into being labeled as mentally ill or ‘addicts’ are complex and intractable.’
Transform’s recommendation in terms of drug policy is decriminalisation and regulation to stop people being pushed onto the fringes of society.
When it comes to mental health overall, the answer is always more funding for treatment, specifically focusing on those who are already vulnerable.
The evidence is clear that it’s not just a health problem but a societal one, too. It would be nice to see a kinder world, where people wanting to harm themselves or feeling hopeless is not treated in isolation from their daily reality.
If the day to day issues people faced were addressed as well as their mental illnesses, there’s no doubt that people would be happier for longer.
Give people hope for their future, and you’d be tackling root causes instead of simply throwing pills at a much wider problem.
Need support? Contact the Samaritans
Metro Illustrations: Uncomfortably numb: The nightmare of living with depersonalisationMetro Illustrations: Uncomfortably numb: The nightmare of living with depersonalisationjessicacvlUncomfortably numb: The nightmare of living with depersonalisationWhy imposter syndrome makes me feel like I'm faking my mental illness Mental health depression sad cry woman mask fake pills illness sick Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk
This is snoozy puss is Rolf.
Like most students, Rolf has to snooze whenever he can. Unlike most students, however, he’s actually pretty active the rst of the time.
Rolf is a perminetn fixture at the University of Warwick, to which he makes a half-mile commute every day.
His family have tried everything to keep him at home but Rolf just loves life on campus too much.
His human, Helen, says that Rolf started disappearing for four or five days at a time, and at first, his family didn’t know if he was ‘alive or dead’.
‘He had a collar with his name on and we kept getting calls from the University of Warwick,’ she tells Coventry Live.
‘Since then we have had calls from 25 to 30 different departments. His antics are incredible and he basically invades all sorts of places on the campus.
‘At the end of last year they did a big evening launch for an art exhibition at Warwick Arts Centre and he invaded that.
‘He invades classes regularly and on one occasion invaded a class about the role of animals in Shakespeare, miaowing loudly. He is friends with the security team at the university and they bring him home all the time. We have learned a lot about cats who roam and he is unusual.’
Rolf can travel up to 3km a day which is unusual because most domestic cats rarely wander beyond 200m. And Rolf is an expert at breaking into buildings.
Helen explains: ‘He knows how to get into the Oculus building through a revolving door and goes up seven stories in the lift.
‘Students know him well. If they live on the ground floor and leave their bedroom windows open they will sometimes go in and find him asleep on their bed.
‘We worry he is a nuisance but people just love him.’
HIs favourite campus hangouts?
‘His favourite departments are economics – he sits on the lap of the economics professor – sociology and the Warwick Business School Teaching Centre.
‘He has recently started going up to the Medical School on Gibbet Hill.
‘He likes cafes, particularly the Library Cafe and Life Sciences Cafe.’
Rolf is so popular that not only does the ‘campusscat’ have a burgeoning following on Twitter, but there have been calls for Rolf to receive an honorary degree from the university.
And let’s face it, few deserve one quite as much.
SEI_24631716-0806SEI_24631716-0806mkylA cat is such a frequent visitor to a university campus there have been calls to give him an honorary degree. Rolf is known as ?the campus cat? as he is an almost permanent fixture on the University of Warwick campus - he has his own Twitter account with almost 2,000 followers and there have even been calls for him to receive an honorary degree. Caption: Rolf, the University of Warwick campus catA cat is such a frequent visitor to a university campus there have been calls to give him an honorary degree. Rolf is known as ?the campus cat? as he is an almost permanent fixture on the University of Warwick campus - he has his own Twitter account with almost 2,000 followers and there have even been calls for him to receive an honorary degree. Caption: Rolf, the University of Warwick campus catA cat is such a frequent visitor to a university campus there have been calls to give him an honorary degree. Rolf is known as ?the campus cat? as he is an almost permanent fixture on the University of Warwick campus - he has his own Twitter account with almost 2,000 followers and there have even been calls for him to receive an honorary degree. Caption: Rolf, the University of Warwick campus cat
When Tasia Smith visited her local Walmart in Burton, Michigan, it’s unlikely she knew she’d witness such a sweet act of kindness.
At the store, Tasia noticed a young woman being turned away from the nail parlour located inside, but instead of her day being ruined, something amazing happened.
It transpired that the woman – Angela Peters – was turned away for a manicure due to her cerebral palsy tremors. The staff at Da Vi Nails had told her that ‘she moves too much’ and refused her.
In a Facebook post, Tasia said how an employee of the supermarket stepped in and made sure Angela’s day wasn’t ruined, doing her nails there and then in the in-store Subway restaurant.
The cashier, Ebony Harris, skipped her break to help Angela, and bought nail varnish to get the job done, saying ‘I just wanted to make her day special. I didn’t really want her day to be ruined. That’s why I did it. And plus she’s a sweetie.’
Tasia’s Facebook post has now been shared over 4,000 times, and has more than 800 comments, most of which are praising Ebony’s kindness.
The nail salon’s Yelp page has also garnered some pretty unfavourable reviews due to the incident, including from people who had never actually visited.
One person said, ‘These jerks refuse service to handicapped people. Go anywhere else but here.’ while another commented ‘You should be ashamed to call yourselves human!! Ban this place!!!’
It’s even caused Yelp to put a cleanup notice on the page, and begin deleting reviews that aren’t from customers.
A Walmart spokesperson said ‘service to customers defines the spirit of Walmart’ and that the store ‘couldn’t be more proud of’ Ebony for helping out.
Angela, who works as a poet, has since appeared on Good Morning America to talk about the incident.
She told Insider, ‘I forgive the nail salon and hope that they are now more educated about servicing people who have barriers… I hope my story inspires others to be kind and take time to help people who need it. We are all different and all have different needs.’
We tried to reach out to Da Vi Nails for comment, but it appears they’ve deleted their social media accounts and contact information.
Woman denied a manicure due to cerebral palsy tremors gets her nWoman denied a manicure due to cerebral palsy tremors gets her njessicacvlWoman denied a manicure due to cerebral palsy tremors gets her nails done by a kind stranger in Wal-Mart METRO GRAB taken with permission from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2154325941480226&set=a.1402009636711864.1073741836.100007085227719&type=3&theater Credit: Tasia Smith/Facebook
Oi, you, in the tight pants.
If you’re bothered about the quality of your sperm (as so many of us are), it might be worth swapping your briefs for boxers or going commando, according to a new study published in the journal Human Reproduction.
Previous research has linked increased scrotal temperatures (yes, that does mean ‘hot balls’) to declining testicular function and lower quality sperm, so researchers wanted to see if the style of underwear a man wears might have an effect.
The team looked at data on 656 men who were seeking treatment at a fertility centre in American between 2000 and 2017, assessing the quality of their semen and asking the men to fill in questionnaires about their lifestyle, which included a question on whether they most frequently wore boxers, bikinis, briefs, or jockeys.
Those who reported wearing boxers had a 25% higher sperm concentration and a 17% higher total sperm count than those who wore other styles of underwear.
Those who wore boxer shorts also had lower levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which stimulates sperm production. Researchers believe this is because FSH increases when the testicles are damaged (by high temperatures, for example) and need to overcompensate.
While the sample size of the study is too small to apply the findings to the general population, the research indicates that your choice of underwear may have an impact on the quality of your sperm – and wearing boxers is best as your testicles aren’t cramped and overheated.
You can also avoid damage to your balls – and your sperm as a result – by avoiding high temperatures such as in hot baths and hot tubs.
Lead researcher, Dr Lidia Minguez-Alarcon, a research scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, said: ‘Since men can modify the type of underwear they choose to wear, these results may be useful to improve men’s testicular function.’
But before you panic about your choice of pants for the last year, it’s worth noting that while sperm counts were higher in those that wore boxers, the research didn’t find evidence that wearing other styles of underwear would drastically drop your sperm’s quality or count.
Commenting on the research, Sheena Lewis, emeritus professor of reproductive medicine at Queen’s University Belfast, said: ‘The most important take home message from this study is that neither boxer shorts, jockeys nor bikinis led to a drop in sperm counts below the normal range.
‘There are also a number of confounding factors in the study because the group wearing boxer shorts were more likely to be younger, slimmer men but they also subjected their testes to higher temperatures by enjoying hot baths or Jacuzzis and wearing skinny jeans on top of their loose underwear.
‘I would also question the use of underwear type as a scientific way of measuring scrotal heat.
‘We aren’t told what “frequently” means in terms of their underwear use – how many hours a day, how many days a week – but actually it doesn’t really matter since none of the underwear types being investigated caused a problem.’
Our advice: Wear the underwear that makes you comfortable. If your testicles feel hot and squashed, it might be time to swap to boxers or get some jeans in a larger size. If you’re worried about your sperm, talk to your GP or a fertility specialist. They’ll be able to allay your concerns.
Swap to boxers or go commandoSwap to boxers or go commandoellencscott
‘Unfashionable’ dogs are being abandoned at rescue shelters in favour of celebrity-endorsed breeds, new research suggests.
In a survey by dogsblog.com, more than half of dog shelters say they believe that social media and celebs are driving sales of certain breeds – and leading to the rejection of others.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Akitas and Greyhounds top the list of the most common breeds to squander in animal rescue, while pugs and French Bulldogs are the most popular.
Most common dog breeds in rescue shelters
Pugs are the most requested breed on waiting lists, with Insta-celebs like Doug the Pug and famous owners like Jessica Alba being blamed for the increase in interest.
But that isn’t to say that fashionable dogs aren’t being abandoned in shelters too, although their stays tend to be much shorter than less desirable breeds.
95% of shelters blame owners being inspired by fashion trends to impulsively buy a dog without understanding the responsibilities of owning one, as the most common reason for their abandonment.
‘Not every person who buys or adopts a popular breed or cross-breed will do so having been inspired by celebrities or the Instagram culture that makes some breeds more fashionable than others,’ says Ryan O’Meara, co-founder of dogsblog.com.
‘However, it is evident that changes in the popularity of certain breeds coincide with celebrity and influencer ownership, which often dictates which breeds we are most commonly seeing abandoned to shelters.
‘Sadly, dogs that have fallen in numbers, such as Boxers or German Shepherds, are also some of the most common breeds in animal rescue shelters, as owners are more likely to pick “fashionable” breeds when adopting.
‘For those dogs abandoned by their owners, our research showed that the average age of a dog left in a rescue shelter is just two years and two months old5, which supports our research showing a correlation between the fast pace of ever-changing social popularity and pet abandonment.’
Most shocking reasons for abandoning dogs
While the most common reasons for giving up dogs include relationship splits or owners not understanding the responsibilities of pet ownership, some of the more shocking reasons for giving up dogs include:
Here are just some of the beautiful dogs who have been abandoned in shelters:
Benny, Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Reason for being homeless: Unpopular breed
Reason for being abandoned: Nervous after living in so many different homes
Odin, German Shepherd-cross-Husky
Location: Milton Keynes
Reason for being homeless: Nervous around new people
Reason for being homeless: Families aren’t interested
Jude, Beagle-Wire-haired Dachund cross
Reason for being homeless: Too naughty
Kika, Bull Terrier Cross
Reason for being homeless: Nervous of Strangers
Location: Kidwelly, Camarthenshire
Reason for being homeless: Too territorial
Bluebell, Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Reason for being homeless: Colour and taking a while to settle into new homes
Reason for being homeless: Having corns
For more info on all of these dogs, visit dogsblog.com
Dogs deemed 'too ugly' for Instagram are being dumped at shelters by owners who want photogenic breeds favoured by celebsDogs deemed 'too ugly' for Instagram are being dumped at shelters by owners who want photogenic breeds favoured by celebsmkylFlo - Saluki Cross - Scottish Greyhound Rescue (1).jpgBenny - Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Animal Rescue Charity Hertfordshire (1).jpgPepe - Beagle - Freshfields Animal Rescue Liverpool.jpgOdin - German Shepherd cross Husky - HULA Animal Rescue.jpgJimmy - Greyhound - Hounds First.jpgJude - Beagle cross Wire haired Dachshund - All Animal Rescue and Rehom....jpgKika - Bull Terrier Cross - Terrier SOS (2).jpegScrappy - Terrier - Lizzies Barn.jpgBluebell - Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Freshfields Animal Rescue Liverp....1.jpgFlash - Greyhound - Northern Greyhound Rescue.jpg
Sweltering heat, endless sunshine and sweaty commutes. It’s been a little hot, hasn’t it?
While the record-breaking temperatures may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, it’s made for some absolute stunning photo opportunities.
Our Instagram feed @Metro.co.uk champions amateur photography from London and across the UK and shares your images on a daily basis to our thousands of followers.
Here’s some of our best photos from July.
This lovely picture of Camden was taken by @ahmad_yat1m.
A fantastic floral shot taken by London-based @ritafarhinoirot.
One of London’s most beautiful views, taken by @nickduke.
There were some wonderful moon rises in July – this is one of the best, courtesy of @jhinlondon.
Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake is home to the fleeting and extraordinarily beautiful Mastaba sculpture, captured by @taranewton1.
Tower Bridge looks incredible from every angle, as @engr.nelson.ph shows.
Really, from every angle – @sarahlaurenphotos can testify.
The Postal Museum
We’re not limited to above ground photos , by any means! A unique shot by @chrisjdalton.
Pride was just fabulous, wasn’t it?
Those warm, clear skies provided for some glorious sunsets, with @mattgh83 documenting it beautifully.
Remember to use the hashtag #MetroLDN to have your images feature on our Instagram feed and website!
Pride In London 2018Pride In London 2018zanderwilkins19
We love a good diverse advertising campaign. It’s only right that the images we’re constantly bombarded with reflect the kind of people we are and see in society, whether that’s disabled people, or those with scars and stretchmarks.
Gap Kids just released their back to school advert which shows a bunch of youngsters running around, wearing jeans, and generally having a great time.
One of the models is wearing a hijab.
It’s not often we see Muslim adults in adverts, less so Muslim kids, so naturally, the images got a lot of love on social media.
Model Hamdia Ahmed, who became the first Miss Maine pageant contestant to wear a hijab, was the first to commend the fashion retailer.
‘This makes me so happy, oh my God,’ she wrote.
It caught the attention of American activist Blair Imani who said: ‘Finally. A diverse campaign that doesn’t centre whiteness’.
The Gap ad scored extra points for showing a model wearing a slip-on scarf like the ones many Muslim women wore when they were younger.
Not everyone was happy with the ad.
Activist Sky tweeted: ‘Why didn’t you make her a nice denim or a pretty high quality printed scarf? They literally let her wear the sparkly cheap scarf from the market.’
Another Twitter user put it all down to capitalism. ‘It’s all just a marketing plan, they’ll do whatever gets them more publicity, the thing about capitalism is people will never do something that won’t generate them more money or business.’
The majority of people, though, were just happy to see an advert that came through with genuine diversity.
Gap s back to school ad goes down well on social mediaGap s back to school ad goes down well on social mediafaimabakar1Gap s back to school ad goes down well on social mediaGap s back to school ad goes down well on social media
I started going to the gym when I was under the crisis team – an emergency mental health service for people who are in need of urgent help for their mental health.
I’d had a breakdown and didn’t see any point in living.
I was isolating myself, not going out, not seeing friends, taking time off work, and binge-eating.
I was doing anything that made me feel worse.
I started going to the gym, not only to see how it improved my body but to see how it improved my mental health. At this point, anything was worth a shot.
I’d never been in the gym before. I’d always been too afraid that I wouldn’t know what I was doing or that people would stare or laugh at me. Pretty much everyone who’s never been in the gym’s fear.
But joining Core Results, a gym in West Sussex, has changed a lot.
I feel lighter in my body and in my mind. I feel less stressed. I feel more body confident.
All of these things have been so beneficial for my mental health.
Feeling more body confident has allowed me to look in the mirror and be happy with what I’m seeing.
When I go to the gym, I come out with any built up tension having been totally released. My mind feels at ease, my muscles less tight. I can go in feeling overwhelmed, but come out feeling like a new person.
Going to the gym has prompted me to start living a healthier lifestyle.
Before, I was eating badly, sleeping a lot and smoking.
Going to the gym has given me motivation to look after myself. I (mostly) follow a good diet and I no longer smoke (which my dentist is very happy about).
From following a healthier lifestyle, I find myself sleeping better, too – especially after a workout. I get home super tired, which has helped my sleeping pattern. This makes me feel so much happier in the morning.
When it comes to the gym, we often overlook the mental benefits because we’re so focused on the physical transformations.
If you look on Instagram, gym and workout themed hashtags bring up photos of people showing off their muscles, their abs and their toned bums.
It’s harder to show off how working out can help the mind.
There’s also the tricky balance of encouraging exercise for the sake of mental health without joining the ‘just go for a run’ crowd, who shout about exercise’s benefits without understanding the reality of mental illness.
Yes, a run will help – but sorting out a mental illness isn’t as simple as going on a 15 minute jog.
Since starting the gym, I haven’t had a single Crisis intervention.
Of course, there are other factors that have helped, such as medication, but getting into the gym, eating better and attempting to lessen bad habits has made a huge difference.
Going to the gym hasn’t cured my mental illness. As someone who has bipolar disorder, it’s a lifelong journey.
But when I go I feel like I’m doing something good.
I leave feeling proud of myself. Even if I’ve had a bad day, at least I can go to bed knowing I found the motivation to go and exercise.
Which makes me proud – given that when I was at the point of a breakdown I found it hard to leave my bed.
A few things to make going to the gym easier if you're attending for your mental health:
Train with a personal trainer – this is less overwhelming. You feel as though fewer eyes are on you, and you have someone to help you step by step, which I have found is handy when anxiety makes the gym feel scary.
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you find you couldn’t go for a couple of weeks, don’t beat yourself up about it. Go when you can. Feeling guilty will only put you off going at all. Focus on the positives – which means moving forward.
Take rest days. It’s tempting to go hard every day, but those days for recovery are just as important as the workouts themselves.
Be honest with your trainer about your mental health issues. That way they can understand and help cater to your needs.
How running helps my general anxiety disorder (Lousie via The Mix, on email)How running helps my general anxiety disorder (Lousie via The Mix, on email)hattiegladwellmetroTrying out period pantsmetro illustrations
Never has it been so easy to dine out as a vegan.
There are vegan pop-ups and fast food outlets in most major cities these days; festivals are overrun by plant-based stalls; supermarkets are growing their vegan sections at an incredible rate.
But vegan fine-dining is far less common.
And flesh-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free tasting menus from world-class chefs are pretty much non-existent.
That is, until plant-based chef Kirk Haworth opened Plates – the plant-based food studio and restaurant – in Hoxton, east London.
Having been trained by his father, the Michelin-starred chef Nigel Haworth, Kirk has worked in some of the world’s finest restaurants.
And now he’s transforming the plant-based scene in London; he converted to plant-based dining after being diagnosed with Lyme disease 18 months ago.
We went to visit Plates (go – the food is sensational, particularly the bread!) and spoke to Kirk about how going plant-based has helped him recover, the rise of vegan junk food and what the future of UK veganism holds.
When and why did you turn vegan?
It was about 18 months ago now that I dramatically changed my diet.
When I was first diagnosed with Lyme disease I began to read a lot about diet and the foods that can cause inflammation. As I suffer from chronic pain this made a lot of sense. Bit by bit I started to take away certain foods from my diet and then record if there were changes in the way I felt.
The main things I noticed was when I didn’t consume red meat, gluten, refined sugar and dairy I started to see slight changes in the intensity of my pain so then I started to apply this to more ingredients.
This then naturally affected the way I ate and cooked for myself, and the way Plates food ethos developed. Plates now follows my personal journey, a chef’s journey into 100% plant-based eating and cooking.
What kind of food did you use to cook and eat?
Coming from a traditional chef / Michelin background, I learnt to cook on all sections of the kitchen, working my way up to head chef. I wanted to have a full repertoire, including bakery, and pastry, as I love all areas of cooking. I used to enjoy cooking seafood, I’ve worked at the French Laundry in California where they cook incredible Maine Lobster so beautifully.
Growing up in a very food obsessed family I always ate everything. The normal sort of food eating out a lot in restaurants and never really thinking about my own diet at all.
What’s been the main challenge for you in turning your kitchen plant-based?
The main challenge for me is for my food to appeal to everybody and for non-vegans / vegetarians not to miss meat, fish etc when they eat with us.
Also, to keep creating and innovating new delicious dishes for our guests. The development of each dish is quite extensive as my personal bench mark in what I’m trying to achieve is so high! We need to create richness without dairy, intense depth of flavour in sauces without meat stocks, incredible desserts without sugar – so this takes a lot of time and work to get right.
It’s fantastic now though as we have been open nearly six months and are starting to see a lot of customers return to the restaurant, and tell all their friends and family, so we know we’re on the right path. We are so focussed to keep bettering every aspect of what we do, on both the restaurant and events side of the business, so will continue to keep evolving and exciting our guests with new creations!
A lot of people seem to believe that it’s impossible to make vegan food high end simply because the raw ingredients aren’t that rich…do you think that’s true?
No that’s not true for us – but of course, it is not easy. The challenge to achieve this is one of the most exciting parts of having a plant-based restaurant, and one of my biggest personal successes in creating my own style in plant-based that does, in fact, achieve this.
Many vegetables and fruits have very different textures, flavour profiles and richness. I’ve found through development, researching and deeper understanding of what each vegetable can help me achieve. Development time and growing focussed knowledge in this area aids me massively in creating special dishes that are what we know as ‘high end’ or refined in their technique and flavours.
Do you believe in using meat substitutes?
Personally, I don’t, but I think it is a useful alternative for people on plant-based diets who don’t eat meat to not make them feel left out and they’re perfect for the mid-market style food. The more diverse the plant-based food offerings are the better!
Does Plates get many non-vegans dining?
Yes, we have lots, and it’s continuing to grow which is great. We want to show meat eaters that they can have a full plant-based meal and be satisfied and not miss meat or fish at all. They are very open-minded and a lot of the time surprised that we can create such deep, intense, delicious flavours with only plants, and leave feeling full and satisfied.
Plates is also gluten-free – why is that?
I am gluten-free because with my illness – I am told to avoid it for inflammation issues.
What’s your favourite dish to whip up?
My favourite dish to whip up at home is veggie fried rice – I love it.
Which dish seems to go down the best with punters?
The dish that seems to go down the best at the moment is my newest creation; textures and layers of organic cacao with sour cherry and fresh almond. It’s a dish that has taken a lot of work and is free of refined sugars so extremely natural but also so indulgent.
What do you think of the rapid rise of vegan junk food? Do you think it’s stopping people from accessing all that plant-based food has to offer?
So, I don’t think it stops people at this stage, as long as the non-fast food sector continues to grow.
What we’re delivering at Plates and what the fast food options are offering to vegans and vegetarians, are the same choices that are out there for omnivores.
I’m all for more diversity, and hopefully this will give more options which can be balanced by informed customer choices depending on the occasion.
What’s the main thing you want people to take away from a night at Plates?
I want people to have an amazing all-round dining experience, and for them to really enjoy the food, welcoming service and buzz of the space – to ultimately go home very happy!
I’m on a very unique journey trying to showcase my food in a new light, creatively driven plant-based cooking with a high-end feel. I’m using my skills and experience gained from working in the top Michelin restaurants around the world into creating innovative plant-based cooking. I want my food to make all our diners realise it is possible for plants and fruits to be as delicious and as satisfying as any other way of eating or cooking.
Any idea or hopes for the future of fine dining and plant-based eating?
To continue to break down more barriers, and for more exciting innovations and restaurants.
I think plant based will continue to rise in popularity. More and more we are working on lots of incredible events with forward-thinking brands creating plant-based concepts at our new food studio that my sister Keeley manages and directs. We execute brand activation events, marketing campaigns, creative and visual content – creating brand experiences through the power of food.
I think the future of plant-based dining is very bright!
A few weeks back we all learned an important lesson about choosing the right model to advertise foundation.
Stylenanda was accused of photoshopping a white model’s hand into a darker shade to flog nail polish. They were caught because the model’s palm wasn’t lighter than the res of her hand.
Becca Cosmetics clearly didn’t pay attention to the backlash, as they have now been accused of doing the same thing.
Twitter user Farah noticed that the beauty company may have photoshopped or painted on a non-black model’s hand to advertise their foundation.
‘So did Becca Cosmetics really refuse to hire black women for these swatches?’ she wrote. ‘They just edited a white hand darker? Look at the two darker hand’s palms.’
‘Sometimes I wonder if these people have actually met a black or brown person in their lives.’
In the images, the models’ palms are the exact same tone as the rest of the hand.
Most people’s palms are lighter, regardless of race, due to science – palms and soles have five layers of skin as opposed to the four on the rest of the body, due to their regular contact with objects.
One Twitter use theorised that it was actually one model advertising all the swatches.
‘It’s literally the same arm, all four of them are the same arm so they even edited the medium girl,’ she said.
‘You can tell by looking at all their nails and how on three of the arms they’ve clearly edited out the natural lines on her wrist etc, it’s lazy and it’s racist.
‘Let’s be honest, having shades for black people will give them attention (they don’t actually give a sh*t obviously) so clearly, they had no time to get black models.’
Marcelo, a programmer, disagreed, saying: ‘The cosmetic industry is super racist and all, I don’t doubt that they would darken a picture instead of hiring a dark-skinned model. But these aren’t the same hands, those are four different human hands, by shape.’
One user said such companies need to be neglected. ‘We really have to stop supporting problematic brands,’ she said. ‘I’m sure after they get called out for their sh*t they’ll do some damage control and just go back to being fake inclusive.’
We’ve contacted Becca Cosmetics for comment but haven’t heard back yet. We’ll update this article when we receive a response.
SEI_24707003-164aSEI_24707003-164afaimabakar1Blackface on hands strikes again Becca cosmetics https://twitter.com/xfarahalyx/status/1027151791606120448
Attention, burger fans: McDonald’s is following in Burger King’s footsteps by finally adding bacon double cheeseburgers to its menus.
Well, 64 of them.
From today, 64 of McDonald’s 1,270 UK restaurants will sell the burger, and if it’s a success, they’ll roll it out across all of them.
The double cheeseburger is a firm favourite when it comes to McDonald’s, getting two works perfectly for a main meal, one is a great addition to a Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
This is the first time that the bacon double cheeseburger, which costs £1.99 and has 495 calories, will officially feature on a McDonald’s menu in the UK.
It comes with two patties, two cheese, two rashers of bacon and onions, pickles, mustard, ketchup and a bun.
It’s not totally new. It was possible to create the burger before, you just had to ask to add bacon to your standard double cheeseburger at the till.
But now you no longer have to go through the annoying customisation process on those touch screen menus, as the burger is officially part of the menu.
We’re super excited to try out the new burger – we just hope McDonald’s really does follow fully in Burger King’s footsteps and turn it into an XXL.
McDonald?s Has Added Bacon Double Cheeseburgers To Its MenuMcDonald?s Has Added Bacon Double Cheeseburgers To Its MenuhattiegladwellmetroMcDonald?s Has Added Bacon Double Cheeseburgers To Its Menu
It’s important to know the difference between a colostomy bag and an ileostomy bag.
Both of these are types of stomas, but while they sound similar, they’re very different.
The clue is in the name.
If you have a colostomy bag, it means you still have your colon – col-ostomy.
But there is also an ileostomy – which means you still have your ileum – your small bowel.
A stoma is where the end of the bowel is brought to the outer surface of the abdomen to release waste into a stoma bag.
This can happen for many reasons – often because of diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two forms of inflammatory bowel disease, but also for conditions such as bowel cancer.
When you have an ileostomy, the end of the small bowel is brought out of the abdomen and the colon is removed.
It might not seem like such a big deal to get the two mixed up – a stoma bag is a stoma bag, right?
But getting this terminology wrong can be dangerous – especially for people with conditions that may one day result in a stoma bag.
So many of us rely on the internet to educate us. It’s crucial to know the difference so you know you’re learning about the correct condition.
A colostomy and an ileostomy are totally different and require different treatment. For instance, with a colostomy, you can have fully formed stools. With an ileostomy, you have liquid stools, meaning you have to empty the bag all throughout the day.
There’s another big difference – an ileostomy is on the right side, while a colostomy is on the left.
Oh, and one more important thing: They’re to do with two different organs.
The lack of information and conversation around ileostomies – and the confusion that so often happens between colostomies and ileostomies – means that many young people who are undergoing surgery can feel scared and alone, struggling to find the information that applies to them.
Learning the difference between a colostomy and an ileostomy is a little thing that has a big impact. It makes those with stoma bags feel respected and understood, and ensures there’s no confusion around treatment.
So, what's the difference between a colostomy and an ileostomy?
An ileostomy is an ostomy made with a part of the small intenstine (or ileum). It’s used when the entire colon has been removed or needs to heal before being reconnected.
An ileostomy sits on the right side of the stomach, faeces are in liquid form, and the individual has to empty their ostomy bag multiple times a day.
A colostomy is an ostomy formed with a part of the large intestine (or colon). It’s used when only part of the colon is removed or only part needs to rest.
A colostomy sits on the left side of the stomach, faeces are more solid, and the individual may have some control over ostomy activity.
There are different types of colostomies, referring to where the colostomy is positioned.
An ascending colostomy sits in the right side of the abdomen, a transverse sits in the upper abdomen, a descending is in the lower left of the somach, and a sigmoid colostomy is located within the sigmoid colon; the S-shaped part of the large intestine.
Illustration request: Why are stoma bags only available in white 'nude' tonesIllustration request: Why are stoma bags only available in white 'nude' toneshattiegladwellmetroSex with a stoma picture: Phebe Lou Morson
Superdrug has become the first high street store to sell HIV self-testing kits.
The at-home tests are set to be stocked by 200 Superdrug outlets, and are said to give results in just 15 minutes.
The self-testing kit isn’t new. It’s developed by BioSURE, who have been selling them online for ages, but you’ve never been able to buy them in shops before.
The BioSURE HIV Self Test, which will cost £33.99 in Superdrug, became the first legally approved self-testing kit in 2015, with an accuracy rate of 99.7%.
It uses a small amount of blood from a finger prick sample to detect the presence of HIV antibodies.
According to Superdrug, making the kit available on the shelves will help ease the anxiety waiting for professional tests causes – while also helping to increase early diagnosis rates.
The kit may also help diagnose people with HIV that had been previously living with it without knowing, as the Terrence Higgins Trust estimates there are 10,400 people in the UK who do not know that they are living with the condition.
Dr Pixie McKenna, a GP and Superdrug’s health expert, said: ‘Superdrug’s move to encourage and empower patients to self-test for HIV is one further step forward in our fight against this disease.
‘While there is no cure, early diagnosis is key in terms of management.
‘Patients successfully managed on HIV treatments have normal life expectancy, but to know you need treatment you need to know your diagnosis.’
HIV Test KitHIV Test KithattiegladwellmetroMandatory Credit: Photo by Geoff Moore/REX/Shutterstock (5682070r) Superdrug High Street store logos, Britain - May 2016
In recent months, the wellness community seems to have gone wild for all things gut health.
And with good reason; our guts affect so much of our general mental and physical wellbeing.
Our guts are ruled by ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. The good stuff provides our bodies with vital nutrients and protects us from infections, while the bad bacteria can damage our digestive systems, skin and mood.
Poor gut health leads to digestive issues like constipation, inflammatory bowel disease and diarrhoea, as well as acne, mood changes and low energy levels.
Improve your gut health and you could find seemingly unrelated issues get better.
According to Push Doctor’s Will Hawkins, a registered sports and exercise nutritionist, ‘doctors, neurologists and psychiatrists are all looking at gut-focused treatments for a range of conditions that were previously thought not to be related.
‘Even critical-care specialists, who work in intensive care, are getting involved in how we can implement strategies around gut health for some of the sickest patients,’ he says.
Well-balanced gut microbiome is thought to:
And you only need to look into the stats around some of the UK’s biggest health problems to realise the impact these benefits could have on the nation:
So, how can you improve your gut health?
Food for thought – what to eat for good gut health
Even though we see TV ads for digestive health yogurts daily, I see the popularity of these foods and nutrients as more than just a fad. I see them as a return to the traditional, natural ways of eating that our ancestors developed. There’s evidence that countries incorporate this kind of thinking into their diets all over the world.
For example, pickled ginger with sushi and miso broths are popular traditional Japanese dishes. In India, fermented foods like a yogurt-based drink called Lassi are often dietary staples. Kimchi is big in Korea, as is kefir in the Middle East. Are you seeing a trend here?
These are all gut-friendly additions to diets all over the world – and it’s no coincidence that they’re good for us. By returning to our nutritional roots, we can all add some bacteria-heavy foods into our diets and start working towards a healthy gut.
Whilst most of us have heard about probiotics, prebiotics are specialised types of fibre that are indigestible by the human intestine, but our microbes are able to break them down.
Prebiotics fibres feed our microbes and keep them healthy! And luckily, there are loads of fibre-rich foods your gut bugs and taste buds will love.
The beneficial bacteria feeding off these prebiotic-rich foods have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects on our digestive system and improve our immune system, making these ingredients a must-have on your next shopping list.
Prebiotics-rich foods include:
Despite the popularity of probiotic supplements and powders, it’s important to note not all these products are created equal, and they should only be used to supplement a healthy well-balanced diet, not replace it.
A lot of fermented foods have high levels of good bacteria, as they are grown during the fermentation process. This means foods like yogurts and sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) help your digestive health, whilst also being linked to weight loss and a healthy heart.
Probiotics-rich food includes:
Foods that are a good source of probiotics include:
• Greek yoghurt
• Dark chocolate
• Miso soup
Some studies have shown probiotic foods have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, helping with urinary tract disorders and irritable bowel syndrome.
I’d encourage experimenting with different ingredients such as probiotic yoghurts or kimchi that are full of different strains of beneficial bacteria. All are usually found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket, and easy to get hold of.
Polyphenols are chemicals we find in plants – of which there are literally thousands! Consuming a healthy amount of polyphenol-rich foods has been linked with improved gut lining as well as encouraging the growth of microbes.
The good news is that a diet full of the foods below (and even a small glass of red wine, every so often) can also reduce your risk of heart disease.
Foods high in polyphenols include:
• Cocoa powder
• Dark, leafy vegetables
• Green tea
Spices can have an unbelievable effect on our body.
Spices good for your gut bacteria include:
These popular spices have all been found to have a proven effect on reducing inflammation in the gut.
Reducing inflammation allows for a greater cultivation of bacteria, leading to a healthy gut.
A varied diet equals a healthy digestive tract
Your gut bugs favour diversity. They thrive on new, interesting foods which may encourage you to try new foods as much as possible.
Studies suggest that there appears to be an improvement in the range of gut bacteria populations when a variety of foods are consumed.
Exercising caution with refined carbohydrates, sugars and sweeteners.
Refined carbohydrates, sugars and sweeteners – all things that we most likely regularly consume, and all which can have a negative effect on our gut microbiome.
‘Diet’ versions of popular drinks and foods with synthetic sweeteners aren’t bad in moderation, but excessive amounts have been shown to have a detrimental effect on your overall health and your microbiome.
Can what you eat affect your mental health? (Fiona Thomas)Can what you eat affect your mental health? (Fiona Thomas)mkyl