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Wellness watch

Catch up with what's new on the health and wellbeing front. By Louisa Wilkins.

Image Credit: Supplied

Q: I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and have heard that it can be linked to food intolerances. Is this true?

A: Dr M. Jay Al Khatib is laboratory director at Medsol ( He says, "Arthritis is one of many health conditions which can be linked to food intolerance. A simple blood test will indicate certain problem foods and the degree of intolerance, while eliminating certain foods from your diet can also help identify intolerances and manage symptoms.

"General recommendations for arthritis sufferers include boosting magnesium and calcium intake and avoiding soda drinks, red meat, fish, fatty and oily food, caffeine, sugar and anti-acid medication."

Arthritis affects three times as many women as men and there are more than 100 different types of the disease. For more information, visit the Emirates Arthritis Foundation website ( or pop down to one of their events held this month in honour of World Arthritis Day on October 12.

Thinking pink

Breast cancer awareness month is here again. If you can't find your little pink ribbon from last year, raise a flag of support by keeping up to date with breast cancer research and spreading the word.

>> Alcohol link: According to a study by the Women's Health Initiative, one alcoholic drink per day doubles a woman's risk of developing hormone-receptor-positive invasive breast cancer.

>> Menopause spray: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a warning against topical HRT applications which are applied to the skin, advising women to make sure children and pets do not come into contact with the area of application.

Keep updated on breast cancer research at

A perfect seven

Forget the traditional ‘eight hours of sleep' rule - a study from the West Virginia University says that getting any more or less than seven hours a night increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This is particularly true if you regularly sleep less than five or more than nine hours a night. The study included more than 30,000 people across all ages, sexes, ethnicities and lifestyles.

Similarly, a study from the University of Warwick found that getting less than six hours of sleep a night means you are three times as likely to develop incident-impaired fasting glycaemia, a precursor of diabetes and heart disease.

Did you know?

Permanent make-up, also known as micropigmentation, has uses beyond eternal eyeliner. Not only can it disguise scars and burns, and fill in patches of hairloss, it can also be used to recreate the look ofa nipple and areola for women who have had breast surgery. Book an appointment with Candice Watson at American British Surgical Centre (, 04-2975544).

Three things to treat high blood pressure

Check out these alternative and natural ways to lower hypertension.

1. Hypertrol A combination of herbal extracts to reduce blood pressure. Dh190 for 60 tablets by Nature's Plus, available from Life Pharmacy (04-3441122).

2. Chilli peppers A study published in Cell Metabolism found that long-term intake of hot and spicy chilli peppers can help blood vessels relax, reducing hypertension.

3. Garlic stimulates the body to make certain chemicals, which reduce blood