10 secret health hacks doctors tell their friends about

10 medical experts have shared their top tips on how you can stay in shape and put your health first, as reported by The Mirror.

1. Blood Pressure

According to Professor Gareth Beevers of Blood Pressure UK ( bloodpressureuk.org ), if you are required to have your blood pressure measured you should always request Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring (ABPM). This is where the blood pressure is measured across intervals over a 24 hour period at home first.

This system is reported to provide far more accurate readings than a lone reading at a GP surgery.

Alternatively, you can buy your own monitor (from £15-20) to record your blood pressure levels at home, again staggered in regular intervals before writing down your results to show your GP.

Ensure that any machine you buy is endorsed by British and Irish Hypertension Society and do not hesitate to ask your practice nurse or pharmacist for guidance on using it correctly.

2. Feet

Often the most neglected part of the body, you should treat your feet with the same level of care and attention you subject your face to – that's the advice of podiatrist Heena Patel (heenapatelpodiatry.com).

A foot moisturiser should be commonplace in everyone's health cupboard, cracked heels can often cause great pain as well as making you more susceptible to infections, especially if you have diabetes.

One tip unknown to many is that drinking water helps maintain the elasticity of the skin on the feet much like it does to your face.

3. Teeth

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Sally Rayment, restorative dentist at the Implant Centre Hove (Theimplantcentre.com) has warned you should never attempt to replace amalgam fillings, regardless of whether you like the look of them, as tampering with them could cause nerve damage.

4. Psychotherapy

Dr Mike Dow, psychotherapist and author of The Brain Fog Fix: Reclaim Your Focus, Memory And Joy In Just 3 Weeks (Hay House, £12.99), warns to refrain from taking unnecessary medication.

Though plenty of over-the-counter drugs are present in our homes, such as aspirin, antibiotics and ibuprofen – we don't always need them. In fact, taking them too much can actually spark vitamin deficiencies as well as increasing inflammation in the brain, causing it to age more rapidly and think less clearly.

5. Varicose Veins

Around 30% have issues with varicose veins in their legs, with only half of them actually being able to see the veins on the surface of the skin.

Professor Mark Whiteley, Consultant Surgeon and Clinical Director of the Whiteley Clinic (hewhiteleyclinic.co.uk) has issued a stark warning – "Don’t ignore aching legs".

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Unfortunately, many of the people who suffer from varicose veins, particularly in their legs, can't see the veins and as a result aren't aware until they get aching legs, swollen ankles, phlebitis, eczema, red or brown stains on the ankles, or leg ulcers.

"Hidden" varicose veins can only be identified via a duplex ultrasound scan.

6. Gastroenterology

With over 60% of Brits admitting to consuming the same food every day, Dr Anton Emmanuel, Consultant Gastroenterologist at University College Hospital and Medical Director for Guts UK (gutscharity.org.uk) has urged everyone to try new foods.

Even if those eating the same food every day are eating healthy foods, the digestive system requires a variety of food to absorb the wide variety of nutrients and minerals we need.

7. Tablets

A financial tip as much as a health one, Sunil K. Kochhar, Consultant Pharmacist for dearpharmacist.info has said how you should not be paying 10 times more for a pack of brand-name painkillers.

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Though the implication is that branded tablets are better for you, there is no evidence to suggest as such – in fact, all products, regardless of branding, have to be manufactured by law to the same minimum standard.

8. Sepsis

Sepsis is often rarely something many people think of, though Dr Ron Daniels BEM, intensive care consultant and Chief Executive of the UK Sepsis Trust (sepsistrust.org) has urged everyone to consider sepsis as an option when feeling particularly ill.

If you feel you may be displaying symptoms of a septic infection, it is vital to ask your GP or a hospital doctor if it could be sepsis.

A sepsis infection can deteriorate rapidly, treatment is often urgently required.

9. Bones

Garry Trainer's (garrytrainer.com) advice may be the most surprising, but he has urged us not to run. According to Trainer, the body is designed to walk and by running you place an unnecessary compressive force on the lower spine.

To boost your heart rate, instead complete intervals building up from a fast walk to a light jog then a slow run and back again.

10. Nutrition

Health Coach, Olly Leicester (ollyleicester.co.uk) has claimed you must always ignore any claim on the front of the packet.

He said: ‘If your food is wrong, medicine is of no use. If your food is right, medicine is of no need.’

Though food products are quick to claim what is not in the item, the ingredients list on the back of the item is where the most important nutritional information is kept.

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