Saturday, 12 January 2019

What to do when you have swallowed something you should not have

When to see a doctor

Choking occurs when “the foreign object passes down the back of the throat into the airway instead of the oesophagus,” said Dr Fung. “If it is large enough to block the airway, the person will be unable to breathe or speak.”

When this happens, no oxygen can enter the lungs. The brain is the first organ to be affected and begins to die within four to six minutes. Irreversible brain death can occur in as little as 10 minutes.

Urgent cases also include those with signs such as vomiting blood, chest pain, abdominal pain or distension, and blood in the stools, said Dr Fung. "Medical attention should definitely be sought if the swallowed object was sharp and pointy as it could tear a hole in the digestive tract,” he said.

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Blow to low carb diet as landmark study finds high fibre cuts heart disease risk

Eating more fibre, found in wholegrain cereals, pasta and bread as well as nuts and pulses, will cut people’s chances of heart disease and early death, according to a landmark review commissioned by the World Health Organization.

The research is led by Prof Jim Mann’s team at the University of Otago in New Zealand, who also carried out the major review that informed WHO guidance on curbing sugar in the diet, leading to sugar taxes around the world.

Sugar is a “bad” carbohydrate, but fibre is found in “good” carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread and oat-based muesli. However, the overwhelming backlash against sugar has led to popular diets that reject carbohydrates, including the fibrous sort that can, say the scientists, save lives.

Mann told the Guardian that the research “does contribute to the debate considerably. Here we have got very strong evidence that a high-fibre diet, which for the majority of people is at least high-ish in carbohydrates, has an enormous protective effect – a wide range of diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer benefit from a high-carbohydrate diet.”


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