It's a condition that affects over 100,000 people in the UK. It's more prevalent in women than men and it causes serious complications in the brain and spine. We're talking about MS, or multiple sclerosis.
From causes to symptoms, types to treatments, Dr Ranj joins us with a fully comprehensive account of MS for anyone seeking advice or support.
I still remember that first morning thinking, this is so strange, what's going on here?
In the run up to her wedding in July 2013, Carla Callaghan had been feeling off-balance and dizzy. Her GP assured her it was just wedding stress. But when Carla mentioned her symptoms to the owner of a wedding dress shop, she was encouraged to seek private treatment.
Tragically, just six weeks before her big day, Carla was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. But she wasn't about to let the bad news ruin her plans for the wedding she always dreamed, of or stop her from walking down the aisle, and she's here to tell us about the big day.
Carla said, 'In the early days I was so tired but we were planning a wedding and buying a house.'
Carla was worried that she wouldn't be able to wear heels on her wedding day as her balance was off but some customised sparkly converse enabled her to walk down the aisle, like she'd always wished.
Carla said, 'You know your own body, you know when something's not right. MS is very volatile. I don't know where I'll be in five years... a little positivity goes a long way.'
Research from the Stroke Association shows that strokes have almost doubled in 40 and 50 year olds in less than 15 years. One in four victims are working age.
Dr Chris talks us through the symptoms and ways that we can ward off a stroke.
It's a subject which is uncomfortable to talk about. It's a word we shy away from using because of the taboo surrounding the issue. But it's something we have to keep talking about.
Suicide claims the lives of over 5,000 lives in the UK every year. It can affect anyone at anytime. And that's why it needs to be talked about. Because no one should ever feel helpless or alone - left by themselves to fend off a barrage of negative thoughts.
That's why we're doing our best to keep the conversation about suicide going. Because the more we talk about it the less chance it has to isolate those who need help.
NHS Choices – Suicide
Comprehensive help and information from NHS Choices with links to external websites
Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.
U can cope!
Open Minds Alliance CIC was formally established in 2010. Our belief is that emotional distress, and tragically, suicide, still affects and takes far too many lives. We felt that responsibility for people with suicidal thoughts was seen to lie with specialist mental health services and others were more nervous to get involved. However we knew that early intervention from a colleague, friend, compassionate health provider or care giver could make a real difference to saving lives.
Helpline: 0808 11 11
ChildLine is a counselling service for children and young people. You can contact ChildLine in these ways: You can phone on 0800 1111, send us an email, have a 1-2-1 chat with us, send a message to Ask Sam and you can post messages to the ChildLine message boards. You can contact ChildLine about anything - no problem is too big or too small. If you are feeling scared or out of control or just want to talk to someone you can contact ChildLine.
Papyrus HOPElineUK – 0800 068 41 41
Support for those dealing with suicide, depression or emotional distress – particularly teenagers and young adults.
Campaign Against Living Miserably
Helpline: 0800 58 58 58
Support for young men under 35 suffering from depression. We believe that if men felt able to ask for and find help when they need it then hundreds of male suicides could be prevented. We believe that there is a cultural barrier preventing men from seeking help as they are expected to be in control at all times, and failure to be seen as such equates to weakness and a loss of masculinity. We’re a campaign for all men, not just ‘service users’. All of us, at one time or another regardless of gender, will hit a crisis and so we could all do with specialist support when things go wrong. CALM is about, for and on behalf of men..
Tel: 020 7263 7070
At Maytree, we provide people in the midst of a suicidal crisis with the opportunity for rest and reflection, and give them the opportunity to stay in a calm, safe and relaxed environment. We can support four "guests" at a time. The service runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our warm and friendly volunteers and staff team spend up to 77 hours with each guest over their stay, giving them the opportunity to talk through their fears, thoughts and troubles. On leaving, each guest receives a goodbye letter. This is a personal record written by a member of Maytree's staff team which reflects their stay, validates their struggles and honours their achievements.
The Recovery Letters
The Recovery Letters are all written with the intention to try and alleviate some of the pain of depression, to make the loneliness slightly more bearable and above all to give hope that you can recover. We see recovery as self defined but can include living alongside symptoms or being symptom free, being stable on medication or medication free but most of all, living a life with some meaning. The letters are written from people recovering from depression, addressed to those currently suffering. At the moment the letter writers have experienced different types of depression including clinical/major depression, bi-polar and post partum depression.
As run-day Monday approaches, we're catching up with our three Run For Your Life viewers at their last training session before their big 5K on Monday morning.
When we met our six-month diet testers for the final weigh-in, we could see a positive transformation, even before they'd stepped on the scales. And that's because it's not just a change in diet that our volunteers have made, it's a lifestyle change, and an attitude change. We're inspired!
We've been watching our eight viewer volunteers all week, and we're eager to find out which of the diets we put to the test, works best.
Have any of our couples lost weight, and have they kept the weight off? Dr Dawn weighs our couples and offers advice on their new lifestyles.