2017 saw the launch of Grace Belgravia’s #GraceTalks – a series of conversations with leading experts, doctors, academics and authors on important health matters. Curated and moderated by journalist and speaker, Suzanne Duckett, Grace Belgravia invited panellists including TV presenter Mariella Frostrup, journalist and author Christa d’Souza, The club’s Medical Director, Dr Tim Evans, Consultant Gynaecologist and Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Dr Michael Dooley, Consultant Breast Surgeon, Miss Tena Walters among many others. We saw interesting debates, discussions and advice on the following topics:
Stealth Health; The Top Ten Health Non-Negotiables
Dr Tim Evans was accompanied by Grace Practitioner and expert in environmental and nutritional medicine, Dr Shideh Pouriah and Dental Therapist, Dr Kathrin Huzelmann to discuss the top ten things we all should be doing to keep healthy. The panel unanimously agreed on ten non-negotiables for better health:
- Awareness – Be responsible for your own health and don’t fall into the trap of culture and convenience. Listen to your body in a more mindful way to become a truly conscious steward of our lives, communities and planet.
- Food – Avoid sugar and processed refined foods, increase nutrient density by eating organic, free-range grass-fed eggs, dairy, poultry, meat, wild fish and seafood. Avoid grains and replace with fresh, organic vegetables, salads and herbs. Eat quality oils and fats, locally produced, seasonal food and maintain variety and balance in your diet.
- Dental – Floss. The mouth is so important. It is the fortress to the immune system and the beginning of the digestive system. Not flossing every day is like having a shower and not washing your armpits.
- Environment – Environmental pollutants can increase the toxicity of your gut microbiome (your gastrointestinal bacteria) which can affect metabolism, digestion, allergies and even brain health. Eat fresh, local, organic, free-range and unrefined where-ever possible.
- Detox –Stay healthy by supporting your intrinsic detoxification pathways. Reduce the in-going toxic burden by drinking pure water, breathing pure air and eating pure food. Try active fasting, exercise, saunas and regular natural cleanses to help support your body’s detoxification processes. You wouldn’t clean your house just twice a year…
- Light – Sunlight is the source of all life and all food. Don’t block out the sun but embrace it through safe sun-bathing. Some morning and/or late afternoon exposure to sunshine is essential to maintain good health.
- Digital – Be mindful of electro-smog and its potentially harmful effects, especially during sleep. Leave your laptop and mobile phone outside the bedroom when you sleep.
- Pills/medication – The average adult in the UK takes four pills per day and addictions to prescription drugs is on the rise. Understand your doctor’s prescriptions and be conscious of buying too many ‘over the counter’ remedies. Research, ask questions and take responsibility for your personal health.
- Movement – Strength and cardiovascular endurance are of paramount importance to any exercise regime. Leg strength is the number one factor for living a longer life.
- Sleep – We need a minimum of seven hours good quality sleep per night. Rising depression and chronic health disorders are associated with sleep deprivation.
The Truth About The Menopause
Guest panellists included Mariella Frostrup and Christa d’Souza alongside Dr Michael Dooley who discussed the facts, symptoms, management and reality of menopause.
Contrary to common belief, the menopause is not just one day in your life when your period stops. In fact, it is a gradual experience as you run out of eggs. Many of the symptoms can be confused with other things – osteoporosis, sleeplessness, hot flushes, frequent urination – and there are numerous ways to manage, prevent and treat each one.
Management should start before the age of 30 – by living a healthy lifestyle, doing weight bearing exercise, consuming enough calcium and vitamin D and not smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
Bioidentical Hormones, HRT and natural solutions are all treatments that can help with management of the side effects, the benefits of which were discussed in a follow up talk on HRT vs Natural Solutions.
The Science and Psychology Behind a Great Night’s Sleep
Grace Neuropsychiatrist and expert in sleep medicine, Dr Ivana Rosenzweig discussed the intricacies of so many people’s prevalent health issues – sleep – alongside author Professor Jason Ellis and President of the British Sleep Society, Professor Mary Morrell.
Snoring can be a symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea which interrupts regular breathing during sleep and can lead to restless nights for you (and anyone you share your bed with!). Getting older and putting on weight increases our risk of developing Sleep Apnoea.
Insomnia is a problem getting to sleep and waking frequently at least three times a week for a period of three months or more, causing day to day distress. Take early action: record your sleep to recognise irregularities and introduce good bedtime hygiene; set a routine, take a hot bath, listen to classical music and make a list before bed to give closure to the day just passed.
At its worst, lack of sleep can lead to depression, anxiety and severe health problems such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and dementia. Short term medication is no comparison to quality, deep, natural sleep. Seek expert advice for long term solutions and good health.
In November, Dr Rosenzweig will return to delve deeper into our dreams.
HRT vs Natural Solutions
In answer to a popular question from The Truth About The Menopause talk, Grace Belgravia invited GP and hormone specialist, Dr Amalia Annaradnam and Miss Tena Walters to discuss the pros and cons to hormone replacement therapy and other natural solutions.
The experts all agreed that the most important factor is whatever treatment you opt for, it should be bespoke to you so they recommend seeking professional advice to weigh up all the options.
The link between HRT and breast cancer is small.
For those who suffer badly from menopausal symptoms HRT is a welcome treatment. Studies show the effect of the oestrogen receptor window – the bigger the gap between your first period and your last increases the risk of breast cancer and this should be a factor taken into account when you consider treatment options.
Other factors should be the symptoms you are facing and the reason behind them – lack of sleep and hot sweats are due to oestrogen levels, bone density is affected by Vitamin D and calcium.
A natural alternative is the Ladycare device, a magnetic device attached to clothing that levels out protons and works on the nervous system.
Anxiety and Depression in Young People
A topic at the forefront of the media this year. The panel of experts included Dr Adriana Giotta – clinical Psychologist, renowned Vedic meditation teacher, Jillian Lavender and Lady Clare Milford-Haven, Founder of the James Wentworth-Stanley Memorial Trust.
The main takeaway was that anxiety is a condition that can affect anyone, of any age and which manifests itself in different ways from social anxiety and shyness to exam stress, worry and panic attacks.
For young people it can often be difficult to discuss their feeling over fear of being seen as different or not being understood at all and with such varying symptoms the individual themselves might not even know that they are suffering.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with young people suffering from or showing signs of anxiety is to never to be afraid of asking questions in fear of it causing more stress for the person. Talking about their feelings and being open is far better than bottling them up.
The most common symptoms include being withdrawn, anti-social, reserved and not acting like themselves.
There are ways in which adults can support young people during stressful times. Try encouraging a healthy diet and a good night’s sleep, keeping lines of conversations open, teaching meditation methods to instil calmness and most importantly encouraging awareness of their feelings and changes to feelings.
There is a direct correlation between stressed parents and stressed children so it is just as important for adults to overcome their anxiety as it is to support young people.
The 2017 #GraceTalks series continues this autumn with the following conversations:
- 4 October – Heart Health – Launching Women Protecting Women’s Hearts – a new campaign from the British Heart Foundation and Grace Belgravia. The evening will include a welcome from special guest ambassadors from the BHF followed by a panel conversation between Consultant Cardiologist Dr Laura Corr and other female expert researchers from the BHF.
- 1 November – Demystifying Dreams with Dr Ivana Rosenzweig
- 8 November – Lifestyle and Cancer – Fact vs Fiction – Panelists will include Dr Fiona McCarthy and Dr Melissa Phillips
- 29 November – Are Your Hormones Making You Fat? with Dr Amalia Annaradnam and Nutritionist, Jackie McCusker
The #Gracetalks commence with welcome drinks at 6.30pm, followed by the talk at 6.45pm. Tickets for Grace members are £25 and for guests, £35.