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Coronavirus Covid-19 and people with conditions affecting the gastro-intestinal system

You can only leave your home:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

DO:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

DON’T:

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

PATIENTS AT HIGH RISK OF SEVERE ILLNESS WITH COVID-19:

Further information can be found on the government website.

This includes advice for “shielding” for those deemed extremely vulnerable.

People falling into this extremely vulnerable group include:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients.
  2. People with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
  4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

For these individuals the main implications of shielding, in addition to the “Stay at Home” policy that affects all, are that people in this category should not leave their homes even for shopping and that this is currently expected to continue for 12 weeks.

FOR OTHER CHRONIC CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE INTESTINE, PANCREAS OR LIVER AND NOT SPECIFICALLY COVERED ABOVE:

Regarding other chronic conditions, not listed above and affecting the intestine, pancreas or liver there is little evidence that the conditions themselves affect risk for severe Covid-19 illness unless the affected individual has some other medical problem such as diabetes or hypertension. It is possible though that immunosuppressive treatments for these conditions, including those for Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or auto-immune hepatitis, might in some cases increase the risk of complications if infected. The relevant specialist societies (including British Society of Gastroenterology and British Association for Study of the Liver) have identified categories of risk according to the nature of the immunosuppressive therapy.

People in the highest risk categories are advised to “shield”.  Some people may also be receiving texts from the Department of Health advising shielding if they are on the annual “flu” vaccine call-up list.

OTHER ADVICE FOR PATIENTS RECEIVING IMMUNOSUPPRESSION:

If you are taking such medications (oral corticosteroids/prednisolone, azathioprine, mercaptopurine, methotrexate, new injected biologics such as infliximab, adalimumab, golimumab, ustekinumab, vedolizumab, tofacitinib) and think you may be infected you should seek medical advice with your specialist team by telephone. The risks of stopping or altering medication will vary considerably from patient to patient and you should not change your therapy without consulting a doctor. There is some “expert-based opinion” available and you might wish to look at the IOIBD website, which is completely independent of Guts UK.

ADVICE FOR PATIENTS WITH OTHER CHRONIC CONDITIONS AFFECTING THE INTESTINE, LIVER OR PANCREAS:

The main risks for serious Covid-19 illness are age >70, hypertension, and diabetes. Unless you are receiving immunosuppressive drugs or corticosteroids (prednisolone) for inflammatory bowel disease or auto-immune liver disease (see above) other chronic gastroenterology conditions such as reflux oesophagitis, achalasia, irritable bowel syndrome, and diverticulitis would not be expected to carry any increased risk for severe Covid-19. Chronic pancreatitis may be complicated by diabetes which is a risk for more severe Covid-19 but we are aware of no evidence to date that chronic pancreatitis uncomplicated by diabetes carries increased risk.

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Coronavirus: What Happens When You Get Infected?

There are many types of coronaviruses. Some give you the common cold. The new coronavirus behind the 2019-2020 pandemic causes an illness called COVID-19.

How Does Coronavirus Attack Your Body?

virus infects your body by entering healthy cells. There, the invader makes copies of itself and multiplies throughout your body.

The new coronavirus latches its spiky surface proteins to receptors on healthy cells, especially those in your lungs.

Specifically, the viral proteins bust into cells through ACE2 receptors. Once inside, the coronavirus hijacks healthy cells and takes command. Eventually, it kills some of the healthy cells.

How Does Coronavirus Move Through Your Body?

COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, starts with droplets from an infected person’s cough, sneeze, or breath. They could be in the air or on a surface that you touch before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. That gives the virus a passage to the mucous membranes in your throat. Within 2 to 14 days, your immune system may respond with symptoms including:CONTINUE READING BELOW

  • Fever
  • A cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Chills, sometimes with shaking
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • A sore throat
  • Loss of taste
  • Loss of smell
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

The virus moves down your respiratory tract. That’s the airway that includes your mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. Your lower airways have more ACE2 receptors than the rest of your respiratory tract. So COVID-19 is more likely to go deeper than viruses like the common cold.

Your lungs might become inflamed, making it tough for you to breathe. This can lead to pneumonia, an infection of the tiny air sacs (called alveoli) inside your lungs where your blood exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide.

If your doctor does a CT scan of your chest, they’ll probably see shadows or patchy areas called “ground-glass opacity.”

For most people, the symptoms end with a cough and a fever. More than 8 in 10 cases are mild. But for some, the infection gets more severe. About 5 to 8 days after symptoms begin, they have shortness of breath (known as dyspnea). Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) begins a few days later.

ARDS can cause rapid breathing, a fast heart rate, dizziness, and sweating. It damages the tissues and blood vessels in your alveoli, causing debris to collect inside them. This makes it harder or even impossible for you to breathe.

Many people who get ARDS need help breathing from a machine called a ventilator.

As fluid collects in your lungs, they carry less oxygen to your blood. That means your blood may not supply your organs with enough oxygen to survive. This can cause your kidneys, lungs, and liver to shut down and stop working.

Not everyone who has COVID-19 has these serious complications. And not everyone needs medical care. But if your symptoms include trouble breathing, get help right away.NEWSLETTERStay Up-to-Date on COVID-19

What Else Does COVID-19 Do to Your Body?

Some people also have symptoms including:

  • Pinkeye
  • Rashes
  • Liver problems or damage
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney damage
  • Dangerous blood clots, including in their legs, lungs, and arteries. Some clots may cause a stroke.

Researchers are also looking into a few reports of skin rashes, including some reddish-purple spots on fingers or toes.

A few children and teens have been admitted to the hospital with an inflammatory syndrome that may be linked to the new coronavirus. Symptoms include a fever, rash, belly pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and heart problems. The syndrome, now being referred to as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, or MIS-C is similar to toxic shock or to Kawasaki disease, a condition in children that causes inflammation in blood vessels. We’re still learning about these cases.

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Suvex Soothe® Intensive Cream – 100ml

Suvex Soothe is clinically proven kind to skin and naturally steroid free. It is a revolutionary new natural source emoilliient cream suitable for dry, itchy and eczema prone skin. Its replenishing properties help to relieve dry, red and itchy skin  Suvex has been developed to both hydrate and soothe whilst helping to protect the skin from further irritation. From the rainforests of Brazil to the high mountains of Chile, from the plains of Africa to the sun kissed soil of the Mediterranean, our experts have chosen the finest ingredients that care for you, your skin and your environment, whilst delivering fast, visible results. Suvex enhances skin renewal and increases skin firmness.

> Soothing –  Natural plant compounds actively calm redness and itchiness associated with dry skin

> Moisturising – A unique combination of naturally occurring essential fatty acids, polyphenols and polysaccharides combine to retain water within the skin

> Protecting- Gentle plant dervived compounds form a natural protective coating on the skin to defend against everyday irritants.

Suvex Soothe is dermatalogically tested and helps soothe sensitive, dry, itchy and eczema prone skin. We have not added any perfume or perfume oils which can irritate eczema. Suvex Soothe has not been naturalised like many other creams,  so it smells completely natural, like natural creams should.

Naturally soothing:

Ethically sourced Shea butter, Cupuacu butter, Rose hip oil, Rice bran oil and Aloe Vera are all combined with a proprietary blend of plant oils and a unique seaweed extract to create a cooling, replenishing, luxuriously textured cream that helps soothe dry, red and itchy skin.

100% Plant Sourced Ingredients include:

> Shea butter: A wonderfully nourishing extract used extensively around the globe

> Capuacu butter:  A creamy emollient from the seeds of this native Brazilian tree

> Rose hip oil:  Rich in essential fatty acids that help form a protective barrier in your skin to lock in moisture

> Rice bran oil:  Naturally rich in Vitamin E, Rice Bran Oil enhances skin quality

> Aloe Vera:  Renowned for its soothing properties, Aloe Vera is rich in many vitamins and amino acids

> Brown Kelp: Nourishing and moisturising, Brown Kelp helps maintain pH balance in the skin

> Olive extract:  Softens and conditions the skin

> Homeo-Soothe™:  Reduces inflammatory responses and protects the skin against environmental irritants.  

Recommended use:

For best results simply apply a small amount of Suvex Soothe on the target area 2 to 3 times daily. Do not apply to bleeding or broken skin. Always ensure your hands are clean before applying the cream.

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Coronavirus: Adults should take vitamin D, researchers say

The Government should immediately change recommendations for vitamin D supplements as a matter of urgency by urging all adults to take them during the coronavirus pandemic, according to scientists at Trinity College Dublin.

This follows evidence highlighting the association between vitamin D levels and mortality from Covid-19 produced by Dr Eamon Laird and Prof Rose Anne Kenny, who lead the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing.

They analysed European adult population studies completed since 1999 which measured vitamin D, and compared vitamin D and death rates from Covid-19.

The pivotal role of vitamin D in fighting viral infections is known but it can also “support the immune system through a number of immune pathways” involved in fighting Covid-19, they conclude in a study published in the Irish Medical Journal.

The correlation is so strong taking vitamin D should be advised immediately, Prof Kenny said. This was because vitamin D deficiency was common among those at risk of Covid-19 (particularly older people); there was no toxic risk from taking it at the recommended dosage level, and growing evidence of benefits.

Last week, scientists at Northwestern University in the US found those with severe vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to experience Covid-19 complications.

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