To Vit D or Not To Vit D – There is No Question

Vit D or not Vit D, there is no question

There has only been one thing on everyone’s mind this year, Coronavirus! The first major pandemic in many years.  I’m sure you are all fed up hearing about it on the news, in daily life and want normality to return.  Boris keeps telling us the government is “following the science.” Well, there is actually a lot of ongoing research into the effects of vitamin D on Covid infections and this blog highlights some of the science and why we should all be supplementing vitamin D. 

Vitamin D is well known to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy, but did you know it also helps with the immune system? Several large scale reviews have shown that it can protect against acute respiratory infections, and individuals with sufficient levels of vitamin D were most protected (1,2). This therefore became an area of study interest in the fight against Covid 19.

 

As of 08.10.2020 there were over 20,000 publications on Google scholar looking at Vitamin D in both the prevention and treatment of Covid infections. There are also several trials in the UK currently under way looking at this (3).

Many studies have already shown that having a vitamin D deficiency increases the chances of having more severe Covid infections and therefore a higher chance of dying from Covid (4). One study reporting people were 32 times more likely to have critical Covid if vitamin D deficient (5). Some have even shown that having sufficient levels of vitamin D in the body actually reduces the chances of testing positive for the virus, indicating this may prevent people getting it in the first place (6).

One study quoting that in 192,000 American citizens sampled, they were 47% less likely to test positive if their vitamin D levels were > 55ng/ml (sufficient) compared to 20ng/ml (deficient) (7,8).

Others looked at the average vitamin D levels for various countries, comparing these to their respective Covid rates. They found countries which have lower average vitamin D levels tended to have more cases of Covid, and also higher mortalities (9).

Countries closer to the equator generally have higher levels of vitamin D in their population and this is another factor possibly affecting Covid rates. 

We also know that people from BAME communities are more likely to test positive and are also at a higher risk of dying from Covid than white individuals as released in the government document “Understanding the impact of Covid -19 in BAME groups.” (10) This may be attributed to low levels of vitamin D, as people from BAME communities tend to have lower levels of this in their blood.

So why is this so important? Well, this is just snap-shot of some of the publications of research ongoing throughout this critical time.

We are all still learning about Covid-19 but the evidence is mounting that a simple dietary supplement can help prevent and treat this condition. It is important to say that this is not the only factor in transmission rates and mortality, but evidence based medicine is key, and to quote Boris, we should all “follow the science”.

So supplement with vitamin D! It is safe and the potential benefits could not only help you, but also help us all return to normality. 

At Get a Drip we offer Vitamin D booster shots which can be purchased and taken in two different ways:

  1. Book your monthly booster shot of 30,000 units without having your vitamin D tested. This is in keeping with current NICE guidance (all adults living in the UK should supplement vitamin D throughout the year) and is comparable to buying a vitamin D tablet over the counter, but saves the hassle of remembering this every day.  
  2. Book a vitamin D blood test (recommended) to discover whether you are deficient or not. Our staff can then tailor a treatment plan to replenish your vitamin D levels. Please read our blog post “Vitamin D testing is here”

This article was written by Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Matthew Calcasola.

COVID Testing Now Available!

COVID testing is now available at Get A Drip

 

Get A Drip have partnered with an ISO:15189:2012 accredited UK laboratory to make available a COVID-19 RT-PCR (Antigen) test that you can do in the safety and comfort of your own home.

The process is simple:

  1.  Order the test online via our website 
  2. The test is delivered to you within 48 hours of your online order being placed
  3. You take your nasal and oral swabs at home and send it off using the pre-paid postage bag included in the test kit
  4. You will have your reliable test results back within 24 to 48 hours 
 

How does an at home sample work?

Your kit will include a simple sample collection device with comprehensive instructions on how to complete your test in just a few minutes. Once you have  taken your sample, simply follow the instructions and return the sample to our lab using the pre-paid postage bag included in the test kit.

How do I return my test properly?

Royal Mail are providing a special set of arrangements for the transportation of test samples. You can read more about it here and find your closest Royal Mail Priority Postbox. Samples returned via Royal Mail Priority Post Boxes should reach the lab in the following 24 hours. Once a sample is delivered to the lab, the lab usually take up to 24 hours to process the test, though it can sometimes take longer.
Please note that the postal service is not suitable for those with a Saturday or Sunday ‘test’ date as your test will not be processed until the Monday.

How do I get my results and how long will it take?

In general, once your test arrives at our lab facility you should have a result emailed to you within 24 hours. In particular please take weekends into account as there is a drastically reduced service available at weekends.

What do I do if my Covid-19 PCR swab test is positive?

If your covid-19 PCR test is positive, please follow the national guidelines. You and your household will need to isolate.
For more information go to the NHS covid-19 website. Do not visit a health centre such as a hospital, Clinic, GP surgery or Pharmacy unless instructed.

What do I do If My Covid-19 PCR swab test is negative?

A negative PCR test means that you were not infected with Covid-19 when you took the test. If you have no symptoms, you can continue as normal (unless you have been told to self isolate until a certain date).

 

 

 

Why Your Hormones Are Stopping You Losing Weight

We have a big one for you today on the Get A Drip Podcast. I spoke to nutritionist Pippa Campbell all about hormones and weight loss and, sorry gentlemen, this one is mainly for the ladies. We talk about why us females are more likely to have a harder time with our hormones, what hormone imbalances look like and how hormones can affect our weight.

So Pippa, you’re a nutritionist but you specialise in hormones and weight loss is that correct?

That’s my area! Although weight loss has never been an issue for me personally, helping women lose weight is something that I find so rewarding.  I specialise in a hormone balancing weight loss. I’ve been doing that for many years.

The reason why I got into it so many years ago was because I used to suffer horrifically with PMT from the age of about 19. I got my period at an early age, I was 12 and getting my period every 2 weeks so there was obviously a hormonal imbalance. 

Now in those days, you didn’t go to the gynaecologist if you had ongoing problems like this. I went to the GP and he just put me on the pill so then I didn’t get my period. I really didn’t want anything artificial in my body anymore so I came off [contraception] at about age 18. 

My PMC was horrific, two months out of every month. I felt exhausted, I didn’t really get period pains, no sort of chronic pain. But I felt dizzy, I felt shaky, I felt really emotional. 

Diet definitely helped and supplements were the icing on the cake. When I did the DNA testing, I’m a certified nutrigenomics practitioner for LifeCodeGX. I was then able to finally understand what was going on. 

Would you say that hormone imbalances affect women more than men?

Absolutely. Men can also have hormone imbalances of course. But when I’m talking about hormones, I suppose I’m specifically talking oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone and the like. Thyroid hormones also definitely come into play as well.

I suppose it’s like an orchestra as they all work together so we always have to look at everything in balance. 

You mentioned before that there are people that sometimes experience anxiety as one of their symptoms of a hormone imbalance. I’m sure there’s so many ways that a hormone imbalance can manifest itself. What are some of the most common signs that you see of a hormone imbalance?

We’ve got so many different hormones but if let’s focus on the female sex hormones- oestrogen and progesterone. So while they’re getting their periods, they might experience the symptoms that I was talking about such as extremely heavy periods. It could be anxiety. Some people can’t sleep, they feel very anxious. Sometimes people can feel very sad and very down and that they don’t feel quite right. A lot of women say they don’t feel right; they feel like they’re having an out of body experience. 

How can our diet help hormone imbalances?

The first thing we want to do is to get rid of the rubbish because it’s inflammatory. Throw away the crips! I would recommend going lower carbohydrate, I’m not saying keto, I’m not saying people have to go high fat but I definitely think that finding the amount of carbohydrates is key. I would eat three meals a day and  no snacking because every time we eat, we would release incidents and no snacking. 

Want to hear the rest? Listen to the rest of the Get A Drip Podcast here

How to Prevent Burnout

Are you at risk of burnout?

Have you been so stressed out by work that every small task feels impossible to complete? Do you struggle to switch off? Is the word ‘rest’ even a part of your vocabulary? 

Rosie Millen, also known as Miss Nutritionist over on Instagram, is a Nutritional Therapist based in London and has had to learn about burnout the hard way. Since experiencing burnout, Rosie has turned her life around, and has since released her debut book, entitled Burnout’s a B*tch, that details her experience of burnout as well as providing readers with a six week lifestyle plan. We talked about all things work stress, her darkest days and how to say no. 

Rosie, a few years ago you experienced burnout and you’ve since written a book called Burnout’s a B*tch. Tell us about your experience with burnout?

Yeah so six years ago on March 6 2014, I was walking in the park on a beautiful sunny day when all of a sudden I felt really really dizzy and I collapsed to the ground. I freaked out because nothing like that had ever happened to me before so I basically climbed into a taxi, went home to bed and stayed there for three years straight. I was completely paralysed and exhausted and I couldn’t move couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t socialise, I couldn’t exercise, I couldn’t work. 

My whole life was just totally put on hold. At my worst, I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow. I just found everything really, really debilitating soI kind of did what anybody would do in that situation, I took myself off to the doctors, got some tests done. When the results came back there was nothing wrong with me! I was totally normal so the doctor just prescribed me antidepressants and I burst into tears because I was like, ‘I’m not depressed, I’m exhausted.’

I realised that I have to get to the bottom of it myself. I knew that something was going on. I did a tonne of reading loads of research, I ran loads of tests on myself. Eventually I found it was all pointing to the same thing; I severely burned out. 

That’s crazy! So for three years you couldn’t get out of bed?!

I mean, on a successful day I made it from the bed to sofa. It was just so hard, it was the most lonely, darkest, frustrating, saddest place I’ve ever been. I didn’t want to be alive anymore and I did consider taking my life because I would just wake up exhausted again and again. I just couldn’t bear it. When a week goes by and you’re tired, it’s one thing but when a month goes by and then a year and then another year.

I think the number one thing that really made a difference was identifying my stressors and eliminating them. When I see my clients I always say, ‘it doesn’t matter if you have the perfect diet you’re taking the perfect supplements, if the fuel to the fire is still there, you’re not going to recover. You’ve got to eliminate the stressors, you’ve got to get rid of them. You’ve really got to change your life.

What did your life look like prior to burning out? What was a regular week in your life?

It was a whirlwind!  I was working like a freight train.  I was actually running two businesses at the time so I’d actually just launched my second business, which killed me. I would get up, have meetings, do emails, marketing calls, coaching calls, you know you name it, do anything and everything all day, every day. 

It was a completely different life and I said yes to everything. Now my life is completely different. I’m a different person and I’m very good at saying no without explaining myself. 

Do you think people are much more aware of burnout now then they were when you were experiencing it?

Yeah, 100%! Now we’re burning out left, right and centre. A lot of the doctors didn’t really understand burnout because they hadn’t seen it and there wasn’t as much information out there about it.  

In 2016, 12.5 million workdays were lost due to stress related conditions. So it is a byproduct of the way that we live and before it wasn’t and I think doctors and the medical profession are waking up to that now. 

Leading up to this interview, I did a poll on our Instagram stories and one of the questions I asked was, do you think people with type A personalities are more likely to experience burnout and around 96% of  people said yes!

Oh 100%! You settle for nothing, you keep going, you don’t say no, you say yes to everything. If you’re a perfectionist, you find that work is your priority and sleep takes a backseat. 

Sleep is the number one thing that starts to become compromised. And, oh my god, sleep is absolutely paramount to the recovery of the adrenal glands. So, if you’re not sleeping, you’re not going to recover.

Listen to the rest of the episode! 

 

Find Rosie below! 

Website: https://missnutritionist.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/missnutritionist/

Order Rosie’s book! https://www.amazon.co.uk/Burnouts-B-tch-Rosie-Millen/dp/1784726672/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=burnout+is+a+bitch+rosie+millen&qid=1575975063&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Implantable technology and keeping your health data INSIDE you!

Anna Louisa, you are the CEO of Impli. Tell us a little bit about what you guys do because it is extremely interesting and quite different!

Absolutely. So Impli is an implantable company and we want to make people’s lives safer and more convenient with implants. We launched our first product in the beginning of 2019, and it’s calling to Implicaspian and it allows you to hold your medical information with you at all times through a small rice, sized implant that sits right underneath the skin and can be interfaced with any smartphone that has NFC capability.

We’re a London based company, but we are working on products that go into the sensing mechanisms and so that can sense your glucose levels or temperature or pulse and but also payment applications. Those are all interesting factors of the implantable space which is a small market, small and growing market. 

What are the kind of reactions that you get from people when you tell them what you guys do?

So, I think we get the complete enthusiasts that want to try it right now; those that are very technologically advanced and understand and likes technology. And we have the complete opposite which is very much scepticism or ‘is this really necessary?’ or ‘what are the benefits?’ or doesn’t doesn’t really like it at all. So, and that’s kind of the scenario that we’re facing. COVID has somewhat changed the perception of people into a more kind of technologically advanced mind. 

Why do you think people post-COVID have a different reaction to it and kind of coming around to the idea?

I think COVID has made a lot of people more aware of their health and the value of their health. I also think that it’s made people aware that their data is really important, so Implicaspian obviously keeps your most valuable data. When you’re stuck somewhere else and you get COVID, what are you going to do? You don’t have your documents with you. Implantable devices can have a huge impact on remote healthcare. And they can have a huge impact on digital diagnostics. 

What kinds of people seem to be the most receptive to it? Who are your earliest adopters? 

Early adopters are particularly people who love technology, who know the technology and want to use the technology for their own purposes. One of our customers, Alex, has used his implant to link all of his lighting system at home. We also see a big trend in early adopters with people who have underlying health care conditions. So another customer, Magdalena for example, who got her implant, has type one diabetes. There are many people that we know that have had bicycle accidents that would like those implants. So I think there’ll be a mix between early adopters from the technological space and early adopters from the health space who want to have that data with them at all times. 

Does it hurt?!

We get that question quite a bit quite a lot actually. Implantables sit underneath the skin which means they never actually go into your muscle tissue, which means that you don’t hit as many nerves.

 

It’s kind of like a bee sting or the scratch of a cat! It takes about two minutes to get the procedure done, it takes two days to heal over and then you’re ready to use it. The benefits definitely outweigh any pain. 

What does the future hold for Impli?

In terms of the near future, we’re working with Get A Drip, which is really amazing, on delivering our devices and on building a very secure distribution so that we know that our devices are safely administered and held. 

At the same time, we’re definitely going down the route of sensors, we’re working on visibility studies and temperature sensors and pulse sensors, and then biosensors, so we can measure more and do more things and add more value to our customers.

We are launching very soon. So we’re really excited to jump into our first products to the masses and to also understand what the market does with this and also understand how people will start using this technology. 

Wanna listen to the full episode? Listen here.

Korean Skincare, Crazes and Innovation | Get A Drip Podcast

Korean skincare, crazes and innovation on the Get A Drip Podcast

This week on the Get A Drip podcast, we chatted with the lovely Maree, founder and CEO of Beauty & Seoul, THE online retailer for all things Korean beauty and skincare.

Adopted from a South Korean orphanage and raised in Australia and the UK, Maree has such an interesting story that you’re going to love. 

Maree, I love your story so much I’d love it if you told us about how Beauty & Seoul came to be.

So I’m actually adopted from South Korea, I was an orphan there when I was a baby and then I was adopted by my British parents who were living in Australia.  I wasn’t really interested in anything to do with my heritage, my adoption, or Korea and it wasn’t until I was in my mid 20s that I began to get really interested about finding out more about where I came from. 

So I quit my job in London, flew over to Seoul for six months, and tried to find my birth parents there. But, a month into that six month trip, I found my birth mother, and she didn’t want to meet me, so I was there in Korea, thinking okay I’ve quit my job for this. I don’t know what the hell I’m meant to do. I don’t speak Korean, even though I look Korean and as a distraction I just started blogging about everything that I was discovering there from the food to all the beautiful places but particularly, because it’s a topic of interest to me, the trending Korean skincare and beauty scene. 

The blog took off, I started Instagram, and then I decided to use the time to reach out to the brands that I really liked in Korea. I started writing a business plan, thinking about how I could introduce these products back to the UK. 

It was really difficult if you were in the UK and wanted to try Korean skincare; you had to buy directly from Korea, which meant, obviously, long shipping times, high costs, etc. So, I came back to London and set up Beauty & Seoul, which was almost four years ago now, which seems pretty crazy. And here we are!

Tell us about the beauty scene in South Korea

It was really eye opening the first time I went. If you compare it to the West, certainly back in the early 2000s, there was more of a focus on makeup over skincare so I think the average person would spend more money on makeup products than skincare. That was flipped on its head when I went to South Korea. You literally walked out of High Street, and it’s all just skincare stores, it’s pretty crazy to get your head around until you go there and actually see it. 

The ethos is that if you look after your skin, then you actually don’t need much makeup to hide it. And at first I was like, well, that totally makes sense and the more I was kind of speaking to friends that I made over there they said, ‘well you know, the skin is your largest organ, why wouldn’t you take care of it the way that we try to look after our insides as well?’

You’ve mentioned to me once before that there was a huge craze about plastic surgery, as well. So tell us a bit about what you discovered when you were there. 

I read an interesting stat that one in three women in Seoul has probably undergone some sort of surgery, which I just couldn’t get my head around, and just from speaking to people, it is very common. 

The most common surgery to get is double eyelid surgery. And I’m not here to want to say what’s right or wrong; I think that if you’re severely insecure about something and there’s a means in which you can rectify that for your own self confidence, hundred percent, I’m all for that. But I think where potentially they may have gone too far in Korea is that when there’s that societal pressure to look one’s best. That’s when I just see a darker side of it it’s that pressure to look a certain way. 

In Korea, you will literally see advertisements saying ‘go from witch face to pretty.’ It’s really in your face and, you know, having lived there and not having experienced that in the West, it wore me down in terms of confidence. I felt the pressure so I can’t even imagine how younger girls are feeling there. I wrote a blog about it previously, which was entitled ‘feeling fat and ugly in South Korea’, and showing all the advertisements I was seeing, it’s a dark side of what we talked about that kind of cultural thing to look your best.

How did your skincare routine change from when you’re in the UK to when you live in South Korea?

I cringe at some of the products I used to use on my skin!

I now double cleanse, using an oil based cleanser and then a water based cleanser which will effectively remove impurities, dust, bacteria, SPF and makeup, without drying your skin so you don’t want to use products they’re going to disrupt your skin’s natural barrier. 

When I think about the products I used to use, you know those toners that used to make your face feel so tight. At the time I thought, that’s great! It’s reducing my pores and I won’t have blackheads but all it was doing is just drying out your skin, and you don’t want that, even if you have oily skin you still need hydration because what you don’t want is your skin to crack and then make it more open to bacteria which then causes breakouts. So I would definitely say stringent toners so those like ones that always burn and dry out your skin and NO face wipes, I used to use face wipes a lot!

Also, I now always use an SPF on my face! 

Any Korean skincare trends you forecast coming over to the UK?

Industry experts suggest that the formulations in Korean skincare brands are about 10 to 12 years ahead of French and American brands. The reason being that these brands are investing so much into research and development, because the demand is there in Korea because they’re spending a hell of a lot of money on skincare. Two trends that really excite me is that there’s been a big shift in vegan skincare formulations and also sustainable packaging, which is something really great to see, they are actually leading the way in terms of sustainability packaging in the beauty industry.

Another thing another brand is doing is using data analysis to create your own bespoke skincare, believing that everyone’s skin is different. Everyone has different skin types, skin concerns, and environmental factors, and basically on a monthly subscription basis they are analysing your skin, your lifestyle and then delivering formulated personalised skincare.

I feel like I’ve seen a lot about vitamin C at the moment. Would you agree with that?

Absolutely. It’s one of our most asked questions like, ‘which vitamin C serum like would you recommend?’ Vitamin C is just a really great all round product for brightening skin, evening out complexion. And it’s a really good ingredient for those trying to remove acne scarring as well.

How else do you take care of your skin from the inside out? Do you do anything to intentionally your skin?

I would say, intentionally I drink a lot of water. Two years ago, I was working full time and running Beauty and Seoul and I was extremely busy. I think I was averaging three to four hours of sleep, living off coffee, skipping breakfast. My skin was at its worst. It was really, really bad, and it was a result of poor diet, no exercising and just being worn out. 

I then started to take time to actually cleanse my skin before going to work. I started hydrating, sleeping eight hours a night, making sure I was exercising four times a week. My skin then went from at its worst, to at its best. at its best. 

If you could give one piece of skincare advice to everyone listening, what would that be?

Please use SPF every day and reapply it! Don’t just put it on once in the morning, reapply it and make sure it is at least, at LEAST factor 30.

 

Franchise with Get A Drip!

Vitamin Drip Franchise with Get A Drip!

After two hugely successful years in London, Get A Drip are now Franchising our Vitamin Drips & Booster Shots around the world!

Get A Drip is the UK’s number one Vitamin Drip provider. To date we have administered over 20,000 IV Vitamin Drips and Booster Shots from our premium central London locations and now have demand from all over the UK, and globally.

An award winning company with press coverage in The Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Sun, GQ and Grazia to name but a few, we’re known for disrupting the wellness industry and alongside our extensive menu we offer DNA tests to enable our customers to give their bodies the exact nutrition it requires based on their unique genetic makeup.

We are offering you the opportunity to benefit from the Get A Drip brand and become a Get A Drip Booster Shot Technician with our franchise opportunities. 

Now we’re sure you have lots of questions for us, so we thought who better to answer them than our Franchise Manager, Mikey? 

Mikey, why should people franchise with Get A Drip?

Because we’re the best! Get A Drip is an established brand with a team of world class Doctors, Nurses Nutritionists and Pharmacists. By franchising with us, you can benefit from our experience, reputation, brand and promotion by offering Get A Drip Booster Shots to your own clients.

What types of franchises are on offer?

We are offering a franchise where we will train you to administer our Booster Shot injections and Vitamin Drips. You can choose to offer the service from an existing clinic, spa or salon, or offer home and office visits to your customers, so you can begin trading with very little financial outlay.

Who can become a Get A Drip Vitamin Drip & Booster Shot franchisee?

You must be a Nurse, Doctor, Phlebotomist or Technician/EMT to undertake our two day training course. We will then offer you all the marketing and operational support that you need to be a Get A Drip Technician.


What countries can I franchise in?

We are currently taking franchise applications from around the UK and globally. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from potential franchisees in The Hague in The Netherlands and Barcelona in Spain. Wherever you are based, if you think that Vitamin Drips will be in demand then get in touch!

 

What will franchisees receive when they enrol?

Great question! When you enrol in the Get A Drip Franchise, we will give you all the resources you need to help you become a successful Technician, including:

  • Use of the Get A Drip brand 
  • A two day intensive CPD Accredited training course with theory and practical training
  • 24/7 exclusive access to the Get A Drip portal for stock ordering, marketing downloads, community support and prescriptions 
  • Get A Drip Booster Shot starter kit
  • A bundle pack with all the equipment you’ll need to get started

As well as introductory support, we’ll continue to offer you ongoing guidance, including:

  • Get A Drip website location listing
  • Large corporate and client referral scheme 
  • Continued product research and development 
  • Bespoke paperless CRM, prescriptions and booking system 
  • Exclusive Point of Sale and card machine benefits 
  • Marketing and PR materials with continued support and guidance
  • Digital advertising support
  • Automated stock management system
  • Engagement of celebrity and brand ambassadors   

So it’s safe to say, you get a lot of support from us!

How much will it cost to get started?

To ensure that franchising with Get A Drip Franchise is as accessible as possible, we have low start-up costs. Access to finance options may also be available, subject to personal credit scores, so that capital expenditure needn’t be a barrier to entry. Please speak to us if you’d like to discuss how we can assist you to get started. 

Are you as excited as we are?

Get in touch with Mikey today by filling out this contact form to find out how you can get involved and start administering Vitamin Drips and Booster Shots!

What a food addiction REALLY looks like

What a food addiction really looks like with Nutritionist Rhaya Jordan 

 

This week on the Get A Drip Podcast (in case you missed it, yes we have a Podcast now!), we talked to Nutritionist, Naturopath and food addiction specialist, Rhaya Jordan all about food addiction. We talked about what a food addiction actually is, how a food addiction can manifest itself and what the path to recovery looks like. It was fascinating and extremely eye-opening to say the least! 

Thank you so much for joining us today! So Rhaya, you are a nutritionist and a naturopath, and one of your specialties is food addiction. So what is food addiction?

There are a number of different definitions and the definition I quite like comes out of Kelly Brunel and his team at Yale (he’s moved on now). And they talk about a pattern of eating, that is compulsive and makes you unhappy that essentially that there’s a deep internal feeling of dis-ease about your relationship with food and I really like that definition. I really like the fact that it puts it into your own body and your own experience of eating, but there are more formal definitions as well, because the critique of that definition is that it’s too broad. Lots of people can be unhappy with their eating and not necessarily addicted. 

But the more formal definition is an addiction, whether it be food or anything else is a behaviour that’s compulsive, and you continue regardless of the consequences. So a lot of people picture addiction is, I’m doing the thing that makes me happy and people who are eating compulsively eating will say it makes them happy, but very often they’re eating and crying at the same time, this is not something that makes people happy, but it is often something that they feel really compelled to do, regardless of the fact that they don’t want to do it. 

So it’s a much bigger issue and experience than ‘I can’t stop eating, I love food so much.’

It’s interesting because you just said that it’s something that you do when you’re crying and you’re eating and that this reminds me of when you watch the movies and someone’s eating a bucket of ice cream and they’re crying. It’s like an emotional response, an emotional crutch. And so is that what it is, is that something that we do when we’re trying to alleviate emotional discomfort?

Absolutely, absolutely. It’s all an attempt at mood modification, you know, so you’re trying to medicate yourself and make yourself feel better and that’s one of the deep hooks. They talked about hope, happy, angry, lonely, tired, you know, all of these things can be triggers to eat food that you don’t want, and your body doesn’t want.

It can affect your life people can spend a fortune on food, and can feel deeply, deeply ashamed about it and very often. What techniques that they bring to try and deal with food addiction is just petrol on the fire, so if you had a heroin addiction for example, one of the key things you need to do is move away from people taking heroin in places you could really easily, which isn’t an overwhelming task in this culture. But if you are really compulsive around sugar, you really lose it when you begin to eat it, and you get a bit wild eyed, where are you going to go? It’s absolutely everywhere. We know that sugar has this compulsive element, it’s not just sugar, it seems to be a combination of sugar, salt and fat, which is very unusual in the wild or what’s left of the wild. 

Humans haven’t been in the wild for a long time but all of these things are really primal signals to us that this is a really good food, and you should go for it with this food because it’s really high in calories. And there’s a famine coming, or it’s really salty there’s a lot of sodium in the wild so quickly, eat it because it’s salty. If it’s crisp, that signals freshness to us and there are a lot of really deep primeval wiring that the food industry plugs into when they’re designing a product, so they will specifically design a product to be ideally irresistible. 

There is something called the bliss point, which is this point where salt and sugar and fat crossover to make this food just fantastic. For me, that will be Haagen Dazs pecan and caramel ice-cream. If I have it in the house, I finish it. Some people have a more creamy, savoury palate. Some people have a sweeter palate. People’s bliss points are different and triggered by different foods. 

So there’s a lot of individuality, when you’re talking about compulsion and that food. There is a billion dollar industry trying to get you to eat as compulsively as possible because it relates to mass sales, so you don’t have an easy escape, you don’t have an easy time of it. And there’s a lot of baggage around addictive behaviour there’s still this huge myth, no matter what your compulsion is that really it’s just a character flaw, and that you just need to buckle up, rather than a really really complex marriage about the stresses in your own life your genetics and the environment you find yourself in. 

It’s really interesting what you were saying how we have this primal instinct, because we think we’re modern humans living in cities, and as far from the caveman as we’ve ever been, in most societies anyway. We still have this innate instinct that when we see some sugar, our caveman brain just says ‘we’re not going to say this for a long time. I need to eat that now and I need to eat as much of it as possible because I might not get it again for X amount of days or weeks or however long.’ It is fascinating that we still no matter how advanced we are or how advanced we think we are, we still have these drives and it can manifest itself in different people in different ways.  You did mention that though sugar and salt and fatty addictions, but is there a spectrum of food addiction?

Absolutely. It’s probably more useful to think of it as a spectrum of behaviour. So, earlier you talked about you know sitting in a sad movie eating popcorn and crying is not necessarily anything to do with food addiction or just being mindless eating. So, I think that there’s a time when nearly every single person in the developed world has engaged in comfort eating. And that’s not necessarily food addiction and the mechanisms might be the same, but it’s not shredding your life and it’s not pulling your health to pieces and it’s not a constant grinding obsession, but it might be similar behaviour and. And we see that behaviour, really promoted a lot in schools and small children and babies, you know, give them a dummy or give them a sweet treat so we can hook food and emotion in very very quickly and for some people that never really moves much past, I’m having a sad day, I’ve had a break up I’m going to go and buy some ice cream and then when they feel better. 

They’re eating is just less problematic for them- it’s not an issue, but for some people that can’t get out of that, like they wake up and their first thought is right, I’m going to diet today. And then, as the day goes on, they usually crack at about four o’clock and start eating foods that they’ve forbidden themselves from eating. And the minute that you forbid yourself from eating something, guess what happens to that food? It just becomes the only food you want, like, ‘Don’t think of a pink elephant.’

It’s actually crazy to hear all of this because but it sounds like food addiction is very, very closely tied to capitalism and brands making money and getting into your head psychologically. We’re constantly flooded with images all day every day, you go for a drive and you’ll see about five different billboards or advertisements of some form. ‘Go to McDonald’s get this, that and the other.’ You’ve literally got burgers in your face! If you have a food addiction, it must be extremely difficult to try and heal that addiction when you’re bombarded constantly all day every day. 
How does someone know they have a full blown food addiction or just perhaps problematic eating habits that they may need to address?

So, the only validated questionnaire that I know about was developed at Yale; the food addiction scale, which you can find on the internet. It’s a professional tool so what if you’re worried that you may be eating in a way that’s really catastrophic for your, your finances and your peace of mind and your health.

I would say as a nutritionist, you just need to be sufficiently unhappy and unwell, not necessarily to say that you’ve got an addiction. The word addiction is a double edged sword and there’s lots of jokes about food externality, and it plays into a kind of level of helplessness which you can feel when your behaviour is really compulsive and you’re constantly being triggered to eat and triggered to eat. 

We know that being constantly exposed to food makes everybody equal. We know that when we add more salt and MSG to food, we’ve learned since the 20s, MSG will increase the amount of food that you eat at one sitting by about 30%. We know that when you eat without paying attention, you’re not sitting down with a plate in front of you, you’re actually enjoying the meal in front of you that if you don’t remember you’ve eaten it, you don’t feel satisfied, and you’re more likely to eat more. So, eating in front of the television is probably one of the key behaviours and it’s going to drive the amount of calories you eat right up because you’re never really going to be satisfied by that food and cause hunger hasn’t been the trigger to start eating, there’s no absence of hunger to trigger you to stop eating. It gets very complicated quite quickly. And so, if you’re concerned, you can look at the Yale food addiction scale, if you want to.

If you are really worried about your health, and you’re worried about eating sugar and sweet treats and keep trying but then keep going back to problematic eating habits. Don’t diet. Don’t diet!

So it’s a continuum of a behaviour that everybody recognises, and that behaviour might be more acute at some times in your life, and less acute in others but for people who would, I would recommend to go and see an addiction specialist. It’s an everyday reality and it’s sucking the life out of their ability to be happy.

Recovery is really possible. You can be free from obsessing and, and that’s probably the most important message to get out that you can absolutely be free, and it’s not easy. It’s a lot of work and it might even take a couple of years but it’s possible.

It’s like if someone had a problem with alcohol or if they’re addicted to drugs. You can’t just say, ‘don’t do them anymore’. And at the time they might say ,’actually yeah I’m done, I don’t need you anymore.’ But you’ll almost always find that, unless they get professional help or they really do the deep, deep work, they’re going to keep going back to that to the alcohol or to the drug so it sounds very similar in that sense.

I’m one of one of the things to talk about, you know, even though alcohol is also everywhere. If you’ve got somebody who feels really compulsive around food. It’s like an alcoholic who lives inside a pub, giving up alcohol. So that’s the extra burden. 

Yeah, that’s it we don’t need alcohol to survive. We do need food. So they’ve got to completely rewire their brain and change their habits. 
Rhaya, if you could only get one piece of health advice, what would it be?

Be kind to yourself.

It’s the point at which all change is possible when you start being kind to yourself. You can never hate yourself well. So, if you’re not well or you want to improve your health, you have to start from a place of kindness, which is a point of real strength and resilience. It’s a really really powerful thing.

Want to get in touch with the lovely Rhaya? Request a consultation with her or watch the full interview here.

Food addiction resources:
Yale Food addiction scale: https://www.midss.org/content/yale-food-addiction-scale-yfas

Vitamin D Testing Is Here!

After a much anticipated wait, Vitamin D Testing is available at Get A Drip!

Get A Drip has been offering Vitamin D Booster Shots for as long as we’ve been open and, finally, we are able to test your Vitamin D levels and give you a personalised Vitamin D recommendation!

 

Why test your Vitamin D levels?

Research shows that Vitamin D is important for general health and wellness. Vitamin D is produced in the skin via exposure to the sun, but in the UK more than 50% of the population don’t make enough Vitamin D, and in the winter the Government advises that we should all supplement with Vitamin D because most of us are deficient, when sunlight levels are so weak that we cannot produce Vitamin D even when outside. Even in the summer, Vitamin D deficiency is common due to the use of sunscreen and spending a lot of time indoors. 

According to the NHS, Vitamin D is needed to regulate calcium and phosphate in the body which is imperative for bone, teeth and muscle health. Not getting enough Vitamin D may result in you being more susceptible to getting ill and if left untreated, can lead to a slew of health problems.

Signs you may have a Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiencies are very common in the UK due to the mild climate and lack of exposure to the sun. If you have any of the below symptoms, you may be suffering from a Vitamin D deficiency. 

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Getting ill often
  • Poor immune system
  • Bone and back pain
  • Muscle pain 
  • Hair loss

Certain people are also more likely to be Vitamin D deficient, for example: 

  • Elderly people
  • People with dark skin
  • People who are overweight and obese

How does Vitamin D testing work? 

The process is super simple. Our medical staff will conduct the Vitamin D test with an easy finger prick test. You will have your results within 15 minutes and they will give you a personalised Vitamin D recommendation based upon your reading. If you’re in need of Vitamin D, we can administer a Vitamin D Booster Shot so your Vitamin D needs are taken care of for a whole month- no need for your daily tablet!

How much is a Vitamin D test?

At Get A Drip, we pride ourselves on making optimum nutrition accessible to everyone. Vitamin D tests are £35

How do I book my Vitamin D test?

You can book your Vitamin D test here! We highly recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment. 

Can’t wait to see you in our clinics! Remember to take a photo or video of your experience and we’ll share it on our Instagram

The Power of Antioxidants

berries-antioxidants

The Power of Antioxidants

If you’re into health and wellness, chances are that you will have probably heard of antioxidants. There’s a lot of information floating around about antioxidants and how they can benefit our health but what are antioxidants exactly and can we ensure we get enough of them? 

what-are-antioxidants

What are antioxidants?

Antioxidants are substances that help protect your cells against free radicals by neutralising them. Free radicals are complex but in simple terms they are unstable atoms that can lead to cell damage. So it’s safe to say, we want to reap all the amazing benefits of antioxidants, but how? 

How can I consumer more antioxidants?

You can get antioxidants from a number of different sources. The first place you should start is your diet. We all know a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is important but there are certain foods you can consume that are rich in antioxidants such as:

  • Foods rich in Vitamin C such as peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, leafy vegetables, broccoli and potatoes.
  • Foods rich in Vitamin E such as almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, sweet potatoes and avocado
  • Foods rich in Selenium such as brazil nuts, fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, grain products, wheat bran, beans, oat bran and eggs

Want to know more about how you can improve your diet? Request a consultation with Get A Drip ambassadors and nutritionists, Rhaya Jordan and Pippa Campbell. 

What antioxidant-rich supplements can I take? 

 

Glutathione

Often referred to as the Master Antioxidant, Glutathione is a very small protein that boosts the utilization of other antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E, CoQ10 and Alpha Lipoic Acid (which we’ll talk about soon). Glutathione is responsible for a host of functions that improve communication between cells, reduce oxidative stress and fight free radical damage, amongst other things! 

Vitamin C

We’ve all heard of Vitamin C but did you know that it’s also a powerful antioxidant and that can strengthen your body’s natural defences? Vitamin C supports the immune system and is vital for many other areas of the body such as collagen formation for healthy skin, muscles and bones. It is essential for the nervous system and it increases the absorption of iron which helps with energy levels. 

CoQ10

Although we produce Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) naturally, our levels of CoQ10 begins to decrease as we age. Cells use CoQ10 for growth and maintenance so it can be a good idea to supplement with CoQ10.

Alpha Lipoic Acid

New to the Get A Drip menu, Alpha-Lipoic Acid is involved in energy metabolism and can be consumed in meat however is minimally present in some fruits and vegetables so a supplement can often be a good idea. Alpha Lipoic Acid works with the other antioxidants to support our health and keep us at our optimum best.  

Our new Alpha Lipoic Acid Drip is available in our Westfield clinic from Monday 15 June and available in our Boxpark clinic from Wednesday 1 July.