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Author: Mark Cook

15 posts

What factors contribute to diabetes?

Did you know that over 4 million people in the UK are currently living with diabetes? According to Diabetes UK, this translates to 6% of the UK population.

There is no common cause of diabetes as it can vary depending on the individual and the type of diabetes.

The causes of Type 1 diabetes can vary considerably and can be triggered by a person’s genes or environmental factors. Type 1 Diabetes occurs when a person’s immune system, the body’s system for fighting infection, attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas.

There are a variety of risk factors for type 2 diabetes, any or all of which increase the chances of developing the condition. These include genetics, obesity, living a sedentary lifestyle, increasing age and bad diets.

How can I test my clients for diabetes?

The Lorisian Diabetes Test* can identify if your client is at risk of diabetes. A simple finger prick blood test, it can identify if your client needs to visit their GP for further support and make suitable lifestyle changes.  

Once they have taken the test and their blood sample is analysed, you will receive a colour coded score. Depending on where the results sit within our recommended range, you will receive advice on what to do next and how to best advise your client.

The blood sample will be tested for glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c). Haemoglobin molecules contain iron and carry oxygen around the body, delivering it to all cells in the body. HbA1c is haemoglobin with ‘sugar’ molecules attached to it. The more sugar in the bloodstream, the more it attaches to the haemoglobin.

By encouraging your client to make necessary lifestyle changes, the client can go a long way towards decreasing their chance of developing diabetes.

What lifestyle changes can be made?

  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage stress levels

Do you have a question about our diabetes test? Are you interested in offering the test to your clients?

To find out more about Lorisian and our testing, please contact our friendly team online or call 01904 428 550.

*Diabetes Test (HbA1c) results are provided for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use Diabetes Test results for diagnosing or treating medical or health condition. If your client feels unwell or suspects that they have a medical problem, promptly contact a GP.

Can a food intolerance cause migraines?

It is estimated that 1 in every 7 people around the globe suffer from migraines†, making it the third most common disease in the world.

Research has also revealed that migraines affect twice as many women as men and they affect adults and children of all ages.

The World Health Organisation classifies headache as a major health disorder and has rated migraine amongst the top 20 most disabling lifetime conditions. A migraine attack can last for between 4 and 72 hours and sufferers experience an average of 13 attacks each year.†

So what is the link between migraine and food intolerance and how could this link lead to answers and a resolution for your clients?

Known causes of a migraine include disturbed sleep patterns, stress, and reactions to certain foods and it is the latter that is regarded as one of the easiest to control.

There are many foods which may act as a trigger and could cause migraines.

The case for a food intolerance causing migraines

A survey of a 1,000 people suffering with migraine by the charity Migraine Action revealed that over two thirds of Migraine Action members affected by frequent migraine attacks believe that certain foods could be the cause.

The gold standard method for confirming food reactions is the elimination diet and challenge. This involves eating a restricted diet over a period of time. If there is no improvement in the frequency or severity of your migraines during this time, it is assumed that the food type that has been restricted is not contributing to the symptoms (migraines), and the process is repeated with another food type.

This method can be very time consuming, and it is very difficult to test all the different combinations of food types that may be contributing to the problem. A food intolerance* test can highlight a person’s trigger foods without the need for eliminating individual foods one by one and can form the basis of a fast-track elimination diet. The potential that food intolerance* testing offers migraine sufferers has been demonstrated in several studies (see references below).

The most recent of these, published in the Headache Journal, concluded that the number and severity of migraine attacks was significantly reduced when the subject followed an IgG guided elimination diet.4

The Migraine Action survey 2011 meanwhile found that 85 percent of people affected by debilitating migraines had their symptoms reduced, and quality of life improved, once their food triggers were discovered and avoided.

Additional research from the University of York, the largest clinical trial of its kind in migraine-like headaches, published in the Nutrition Journal, has further supported the Migraine Action findings. It uncovered that the frequency of migraine attacks was slashed by almost a quarter (23%) over 4 weeks when the Lorisian food-specific antibodies test was carried out to identify a sufferer’s food triggers. For additional references please see below.

How can I test my clients for food intolerances*?

Do you have a question about food intolerance? Are you interested in offering tests to your clients? To find out more about Lorisian and our food intolerance* testing, please contact our friendly team.

References

1. Further analysis of data published originally as Hardman G and Hart G (2007) Dietary advice based on food-specific IgG results. Nutrition and Food Science 37: 16-23.

2. Mitchell N et al (2011) Randomised controlled trial of food elimination diet based on IgG antibodies for the prevention of migraine like headaches. Nutrition Journal 10: 85.

3. Alpay K et al (2010) Diet restriction in migraine, based on IgG against foods: a clinical double-blind, randomised, cross-over trial. Cephalagia 30:829-37. Link.

4. Aydinlar E et al (2013) IgG-based elimination diet in migraine plus IBS. Headache 53:514-25. Link.

5. Rees T et al (2005) A prospective audit of food intolerance among migraine consumers in primary care clinical practice. Headache Care 2, 11-14. Link.

*Lorisian define food intolerance as a food-specific IgG antibody reaction. Our information is intended to provide nutritional advice for dietary optimisation. Lorisian do not claim to treat or cure your client’s symptoms and recommend that they discuss any medical concerns they may have with a GP before taking one of our tests.
The Migraine Trust

Can your diet and nutrition affect psoriasis?

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin complaint that can cause a red rash, mainly around the elbows, knees, hands, the lower back and the scalp. It can be very difficult to treat clients with the condition as the cause can be complex.

As with any autoimmune condition, the body’s normal defence mechanism gets confused and this leads to immune cells beginning to behave differently. With psoriasis, this causes inflammation, which then alters skin cell reproduction and differentiation. Thicker patches of skin then form where new cells build up faster than old skin cells are shed. In some cases, psoriasis can be so severe that these itchy patches cover a large percentage of the skin.

What to do next

If your client suffers from psoriasis, they may ask you whether dairy causes inflammation, or if eliminating gluten from their diet would help them manage psoriasis symptoms.

The truth is that diet appears to have a substantial role in causing the inflammation that triggers psoriasis, and food intolerances may play a part. However, it’s important to remember that each person is unique, so there may be many other foods that are causing your client’s food sensitivity; for example, wheat, eggs or nuts.

A simple IgG food intolerance test may help to determine whether a food intolerance* is the root cause of your client’s psoriasis.

Psoriasis and gut health

If your client has a food intolerance, then eating certain foods may be aggravating their gut. This could cause inflammation and encourage psoriasis.

Identifying food intolerances and then allowing the gut time to heal can be very relevant for those with an autoimmune condition. What a person chooses to eat is very important. As individuals, our reactions to foods and drinks that we consume varies a great deal. An ingredient which may cause problems for one person could be completely acceptable for another.

For clients with persistently itchy skin, discovering and understanding their food and drink intolerances* and the effects they have on their health and wellbeing can be a very important step. Once individual food triggers are identified, informed choices can be made to optimise diet and quality of life.

Contact the Lorisian team today to learn more about food intolerance* and find out about our IgG testing services.

*Lorisian define food intolerance as a food-specific IgG antibody reaction.  Our information is intended to provide nutritional advice for dietary optimisation. Lorisian do not claim to treat or cure symptoms and recommend that your client discusses any medical concerns they have with a GP before undertaking one of our programmes.

7 tips for growing your business: Partners

One of the fastest ways to grow your business is to partner with other practitioners. Not only can it introduce you to their customers (and vice versa), but your partnership could deliver more value to your joint clients, helping you improve their satisfaction and increase your revenue.

Partner with expert, relevant practitioners

Grab a drink, find a quiet place and have a think about what supporting services would strengthen your offering. Talk it through with your colleagues and especially your clients! You can also give us a call, we’d be happy to help shape your business model.

A great example of two complementary practitioners is a personal trainer (PT) and physio therapist. As a PT you could build in regular physio to help your client recover from your sessions. And as a physio you could refer your clients to a PT for strength and rehab work. Win win.

How to find a partner

Referrals are a great place to start and are always reassuring, so ask around to see where that takes you.

Not every partner needs to be local, online coaching and consultations are becoming very common place. Use Google and social media to identify partners and get in touch via their website or tools like LinkedIn.

We work with hundreds of qualified practitioners, so you can also speak to us about finding suitable partners in your area. Talk to us on LiveChat or get in touch here.

Watch our short video and download our free e-book

To learn more, watch this short video from our Commercial Director, James Callery, and download our e-book – 7 dynamite tips for growing your client base.

7 tips for growing your business: Networking

As the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know! Arguably one of the fastest ways to grow your business in both the short and long term is to build your network of people and businesses. Good people know good people, so it’s not just about your direct network, it’s about the reach you have at the 2nd and 3rd level!

Build face to face time with your network

We would recommend that you regularly attend local networking events, seminars and exhibitions. Ask your friends and colleagues or get on google and social media to find these.

Although it can take courage to walk into a room and just start talking with people, face to face is where the strongest relationships are built. It’s worth plucking up the courage to introduce yourself. A good tip is to have a bank of basic questions to fall back on if conversation is hard to come by – take 10 minutes to write them down before you reach the venue.

Strengthen relationships online

Online tools such as LinkedIn are a great way to extend your network as well as staying in touch with your existing contacts. Find relevant people through Sales Navigator (one of LinkedIn’s premium tools), use the basic search function or simply look at your existing network’s connections. Send a short note with your request that explains why you want to connect. The key is to clearly position the mutual value your relationship can bring – try and be specific.

Although coffee meetings and lunches are fun, staying in touch by sharing helpful content, commenting on their posts, sending over a quick how are you and introducing them to more relevant people is a great way to keep your relationship alive.

Think quality, not quantity

It’s all well and good having thousands of LinkedIn contacts and a suitcase full of business cards, but in the end a strong network is based on the mutual value you can bring each other. Start small and be specific with the areas you want to grow, for example personal trainers and gym networks, journalists in the health sector or supplement suppliers. You can then choose your networking activity accordingly.

To learn more, watch this short video from our Commercial Director, James Callery, and download our e-book – 7 dynamite tips for growing your client base.

Can diet impact mental health and wellbeing in the workplace?

Mental health and wellbeing at work is rightly a hot topic at present as more and more employees are encouraged to speak out about any struggles they might be having.

Daily pressures in a frantic world can quickly get on top of us and it’s easy to automatically attribute any stress primarily to heavy workloads when things get a bit too much.

One of the most commonly overlooked factors, however, is diet. The nutrition we get before, during and after work plays a significant role in our overall performance, whether the signs of it are physical or not.

A 2017 study by Pulsin found that over a third of us in the UK are guilty of skipping their lunchbreaks in favour of working longer and harder hours at their desks. This can be a harmful lifestyle to be leading at work – it not only has the potential to affect performance at work, but it can also affect mental health and wellbeing at home in the long run if care is not taken.

 Download our e-book – How to support good mental health in your workplace. It includes 10 free tips for HR professionals.

How important is the workplace diet?

Providing the body with the recommended levels of nutrients and vitamins on a daily basis is vital for giving longevity to its health and wellbeing – they are “recommended” levels because they help maintain the necessary balance for the body and mind to operate at their optimum capacity.

When overworked employees go through long periods of opting for snacking at vending machines and quashing hunger as quickly as possible because of urgent deadlines, they run the genuine risk of affecting their health and overall susceptibility to mental health problems.

The mental health charity, Mind, found in its research that one in five employees in Britain had called in sick to avoid work when the conversation about stress levels arose. Stress can be caused by a number of different contributory factors and diet is one of them.

Access to a better diet won’t magically remove all stress triggers for employees in a workplace, but it can at least encourage them to make a change for the better. An improved level of overall health in your employees can lead to greater happiness at work in general and this can manifest itself in the likes of increased productivity, improved collaboration and enhanced communication throughout the business.

Could food intolerance be affecting the workforce?

Another key factor that your business should consider is the impact that food intolerances may be having on your workforce.

Thought to affect up to 45% of the population, food intolerances could be the root cause of a large number of disruptive symptoms. These range from IBS, migraines and low energy to psychological problems such as depression and anxiety.

Food intolerance can have a significant impact on the health of your gut, which in turn affects our mood and behaviour. This is because the immune system provides key communication pathways between the gut and the brain.

The measurement of food-specific IgG antibodies is used as a strategy for identifying foods to which your employees may be sensitive. This approach is then used as a starting point for an elimination diet.

Lorisian’s team not only offer IgG testing to up to 208 foods and drinks but can also provide nutritional support to help your workforce adapt to their new diet and get on their way to better health and wellbeing at work.

What food and drink should be encouraged at work?

One of the most common messages we get from our GPs is to drink more water – and this particularly applies to the kinds of workplaces that demand active brains and bodies on a daily basis.

Concentration levels are positively affected by the intake of more water, so it’s crucial that access to it is easy, whether it’s from taps, in bottles or in fruit-form. Fruit baskets are growing in popularity, too, and the likes of apples, oranges and bananas are great ways of taking in the daily mix of water, nutrients and vitamins that’s necessary for keeping your mind and body hydrated and healthy.

When the sweet tooth kicks in and snacks are on the mind, a small amount of dark chocolate is one choice that ticks both boxes: it’s rich in antioxidants and indulgent at the same time.

What can employers do for mental health and wellbeing at work?

If you haven’t introduced this already, simple fixes like installing water coolers and ordering weekly fruit baskets at the office can help to improve mental health and wellbeing in your employees. Not only will they have access to food and drink that’s better for them than those from a vending machine, but they’ll also feel more empowered by the fact that their employer genuinely cares about their mental health and wellbeing.

Certain employees may be reacting to something in their diet and this could be having a significant impact on their performance at work. It’s for this reason that more and more employers are making food intolerance testing* available to their employees so they can identify their trigger foods and help them to optimise their diet.

It rings true in any working environment that employers that look after their employees will have employees that are more inclined to look after them, so it helps to give them options.

Download our e-book – How to support good mental health in your workplace. It includes 10 free tips for HR professionals.

Mental health can be seen as a very personal and private matter that may not be easy to talk about, so workplaces can and do often feel like closed-door environments for those who are struggling. Employers can actively encourage communication by breaking down the barriers to having someone to talk to – and sometimes it can even be as simple as leaving office doors open more often than they are closed.

Coupling this with access to healthier choices for food and drink and the option to take a food intolerance test* if they so wish can also have hugely positive impacts on any kind of working environment.

*Lorisian define food intolerance as a food-specific IgG reaction. Our information is intended to provide nutritional advice for dietary optimisation. Lorisian do not claim to treat or cure symptoms and recommend that your employees discuss any medical concerns they may have with a GP before undertaking one of our programmes.

7 tips for growing your business: Know your customers

All great businesses put their customers at the heart of what they do. They listen and take action to make sure their offering delivers an experience that’s worth sharing! Here are a few ways you can get to know your customers and make sure you’re close to their needs.

Getting to know your customer starts before you make a sale!

Pre-qualify your leads against a consistent qualification framework that helps you understand their needs and challenges, this will:

a) Make sure they match your sweet spot customer profile.

b) Help you identify any opportunities for expanding your products and services to offer an even better experience.

Think about running a survey

Once you have a good customer base, running an annual survey is a great way to understand if your products and services are meeting their expectations, enabling you to make changes accordingly.

If done well, your survey can also help shape your future offering before you make any upfront investment. For example, you can ask them if they’d be interested in some of the new products and services you’re thinking of bringing to market.

There are a number of free and cheap online survey tools that you can use, such as Survey Monkey and Zoho.

Stay in touch with your customers

Regular customer calls or meetings will allow you to stay close to market trends and changing expectations. They will also allow you to identify those who would be prepared to do a case study for you, allowing you to build your reputation and brand!

Tip: Get a broader set of market intelligence about which products to launch by:

Asking your friends and family; Doing an online Twitter poll (you could extend its reach through paid advertising); Asking a question to your social media network; Running consumer focus group using a 3rd party provider

To learn more, watch this short video from Josh, and download our e-book – 7 dynamite tips for growing your client base.

7 tips for growing your business: Digital Channels

Digital marketing can seem like a dark art and feel particularly daunting for small business owners, but it doesn’t have to. Start by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers, and if you can, ask them directly how they like to consume information (e.g. blogs, videos, e-books), which channels they prefer to use (e.g. email, social, SMS) and how they find things online (e.g. search engines, social media or direct to known websites). Taking this step will help make sure you shape a digital strategy that will give you the best return for your effort and spend.

As you will most likely be driving people to your website, it’s important to have clear call to actions to convert your traffic into leads/opportunities. For example, have your phone number, email address and ‘contact us’ form nice and visible. You can then ‘weave’ other call to actions (e.g. e-book/white paper downloads, webinar registrations and newsletter sign ups) into your inner pages and content.

If you don’t have a big following on social, rank well in search engines, have a large opted-in database, or high volume of website traffic you’re going to need to turn to paid channels in the short term. Paid search is a good place to start because you can tap into high intent search terms, but paid social can be a great way to start building and educating your target audience over the medium term too. Start small and build up as you learn what search terms and content topics drive the best quality traffic and engagement. 

Once you have this base in place, you can then start looking at more advanced re-targeting and nurturing channels like Google Display Network, Outbrain and Taboola to strengthen your digital strategy.

A final point – the channels you use are only as effective as your message and product. Offer value added products and services like no other, then spell it out in a simple and clear way

To learn more, watch this short video from Alex, and download our e-book – 7 dynamite tips for growing your client base.

7 tips for growing your business: Social Media

Daily time spent on social media is rising, it now stands at around 2 hours and 15 minutes per day. This means 1 in every 3 minutes online is spent on social media! That presents a huge opportunity to both expand your brand’s awareness and generate opportunities. 

It’s tempting to jump in with both feet, but I recommend starting with the basics. Pick one or two channels and use them really well, then branch out. For example start with Facebook and Twitter, post your own unique content, re-share interesting articles from other brands and be responsive to comments. The number one priority is to make your channel interesting – try using opinion, an engaging tone of voice and a mix of images, videos and text.

Tip: Live video has quickly become an essential asset in the arsenal of social media tactics. Try posting live video updates of what you’re up to right now, recent news or just your opinion on a topic.

To learn more, watch this short video from Alex, and download our e-book – 7 dynamite tips for growing your client base.

7 tips for growing your business: Referrals

Having your customers promote your products and services is a great way to grow your business. They are not only the most effective, but often the cheapest form of marketing too! Referrals can be through word of mouth, via review platforms or as case studies and testimonials on your website.

Spreading a positive word all starts by delivering an outstanding product and service, get that right and you’re on your way. However, you can also encourage more referrals by introducing reward schemes or by simply asking your customers for a case study, review and if they’d be willing to tell their friends and family about your great products and services.

To learn more, watch this short video from Josh, and download our e-book – 7 dynamite tips for growing your client base.

How to encourage better employee health

For many businesses and organisations, their employees are their most important asset. As a business owner or HR manager, putting extra effort into ensuring employee wellbeing can yield better teamwork, increase productivity and decrease any time off taken as sickness.

As everyone knows, exercising more, eating properly, drinking more water, managing stress levels and having the support of your workplace makes a huge difference in how an individual performs at work.

Having healthy employees reduces time taken in leave, makes them happier and more motivated and also demonstrates that you care for your team and their wellbeing.

When it comes to combatting mental illnesses, now more than ever, HR managers have an opportunity to endorse a healthy, open and compassionate culture, accessible to every single individual.

Now is the time to be even more passionate about diversity and inclusion and reach out to those in your organisation who need it most.

Don’t know where to start, or need some ideas to jump start awareness in your business? Our e-book aims to help organisations to step up awareness towards mental well being. It does this by providing real-time, no-to-low and low-to-medium cost strategies to implement into your workplace, which could make a big difference to your staff.

Download our e-book – How to support good mental health in your workplace. It includes 10 free tips for HR professionals.

Due to the nature of mental illness, it would be impossible for HR professionals to affect every single influencer of mental health, such as genetic predisposition, or the relationships that people hold outside of work. However, when it comes to environmental, diet and stress factors, the HR department can play a critical role in helping employees.

Building a happier workforce can be achieved by employing simple methods, such as taking a closer look at the diet of your workforce.

The Mental Health Foundation state that now is the right time ‘for nutrition to become a mainstream everyday component of mental health care’. Exploring the connection between what a worker eats and how they feel can proactively feed the mind and help them towards better mental health.

Food intolerance is thought to affect approximately 45% of the UK population. Symptoms range from IBS, anxiety, depression and fatigue to skin issues, migraines and respiratory problems, which can all influence productivity and performance.

The UK’s leading provider in food intolerance* testing, YorkTest Laboratories, conducted a workplace pilot study involving 27 employees from IT service provider, Blue Logic.

After just a month into their programme, 88% of participating employees reported an improvement in their overall health score. Three out of four employees meanwhile, who stated that psychological symptoms were impacting their lives, also reported improvements.

These results marry up with a larger study of 5,285 individuals, which showed that 75% of participants felt the benefits within just three weeks of conducting a YorkTest guided elimination diet.

Food intolerance* testing can pinpoint which food and drink ingredients aren’t working for the body and provide support and guidance towards leading a healthier lifestyle.

We believe that the health and happiness of your employees matter. By implementing employee health and wellbeing schemes into your workplace, you can not only improve employee engagement and productivity but also save on costs. This could be a vital step in the progression of your business.

To find out more, please contact our team today by calling 0800 458 2527 or emailing corp@yorktest.com.

*Lorisian and YorkTest define food intolerance as a food-specific IgG reaction. Our information is intended to provide nutritional advice for dietary optimisation. We do not claim to treat or cure symptoms and recommend that you discuss any medical concerns you have with a GP before undertaking one of our programmes.

Lorisian going for gold with new Brand Ambassador

We’re proud to announce that legendary British track and field star Sally Gunnell OBE is our new Brand Ambassador.

Sally is one of Britain’s most popular sportswomen and remains the only female athlete ever to hold four major track titles concurrently – Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth.

She has teamed up with Lorisian to empower people to take control of their health and believe in their abilities.

Sally said: “My message to people is always how important fuelling your body correctly is and the effects it can have on both your body and mental state.

“I’ve been on a mission to promote health and wellbeing for everybody. That’s why I’m really pleased to be working with Lorisian, who share the same values as I do.

“They want to help people to take steps towards feeling their best, so they can do more of what makes them happy from spending time with their families, chasing their dream career to taking up a new hobby. This is something I fully support. I’m delighted to be the new Brand Ambassador for Lorisian.”

Sally is devoted to her family, married to Jon Bigg and mum to three boys; Finley, Luca and Marley, and is a successful businesswoman.

Since her retirement from international athletics, Sally developed a new career as a television presenter, keynote speaker and corporate wellbeing influencer.

She has been a key figure on the BBC Sport team and has appeared on several TV shows, including A Question of Sport.

Sally has sat on the board for a number of years at Sport England, as well as mentoring a number of up and coming key athletes. She also supports her husband Jon, a British athletics endurance coach, with his athletes.

Rachel Jansen, CEO at Lorisian, said: “We’re extremely excited about our new partnership with Sally.

“Sally is a shining example of how you can be healthy and successful in all aspects of your life. She’s a mum, a businesswoman and has had some amazing achievements in athletics that are still renowned today.

We know a one size fits all approach doesn’t work for everyone. We know it is about finding out what works for you as an individual and that when you feel healthy and happy in yourself this positively affects the rest of your life, and this is something Sally believes in too.

“We help people every day to get on the right track by taking control of their health and wellbeing, and we’re thrilled to be working with Sally. This exciting partnership will allow us to reach more people, so they can be their best and achieve everything they want to.”

If you’d like to find out more about our partnership with Sally Gunnell or our food intolerance testing services, please call our friendly team on 01904 428550 or email info@lorisian.com

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