Progress, Stepping and Birthday Challenge

Its 10pm on the 19th April and I thought it was about time I gave you a progress report.

Weigh in at Slimming World is on a Thursday so last week the 14th April I weighed in and had lost another 2.5lb which means since signing up for Race for Life i have lost half a stone but even more excitingly I have lost an inch from each of the following areas; bust (yes this is a good thing, they need to be smaller), waist, bum and thighs! I am so pleased about this and it has spurred me on to work even harder.

April is a tough month in our house if you are trying to loose weight as there is a significant birthday almost every week; Hubby and Dad in week 1, my youngest in week 2, then me in week 3 (today), there are also several other birthdays we celebrate in April particularly children so lots of kids parties to attend which as you can imagine means there is plenty of cake and eating out so for me to have lost weight and inches throughout April utterly amazes me. I know I have worked hard at the walking and when not celebrating I have stuck to the Slimming World plan but I’ve never had this much success with the weight loss before. I think it has to be largely due to all the walking firstly and then being mostly sensible with my food.

I have walked more than ever before. Today I decided that I would aim to do 38,000 steps in honor of turning 38. I did it by 10pm no last minute panic, I did it comfortably and have time for a few more once this is written. 38,000 steps is roughly the equivilant to doing the 5k race for life 5 times, no I did not do all of that in one go, I did it in big chunks throughout the day but I’m fairly sure I did at least one full continuous 5K today.  I’m doing a team stepping challenge with lots of other Fitbit users this week and cannot let my team down which means I have to “step up” and do much much more moving than i normally do. 2 weeks ago my average step count was just over 14,000 now that average is just over 20,000 that’s a massive jump.

Walking is amazing and when you do it for fitness it really works! I encourage anyone to try it. If you are watching TV every time the adverts are on stand up and march at a nice steady pace. If your watching an hour long program with four 3 minute ad breaks that’s 12 minutes of exercise you would otherwise have not done. Depending on how quickly your able to walk that’s about a mile. Think how much more you could do if you where watching a film! You do that for a week and you will start to feel the benefit and you will want to do more, eventually you’ll find yourself walking during the program. Its addictive especially if you have some kind of fitness tracker so you can see how much you’ve done, you keep saying another 100 which turns into 200 and then before you know it, it’s 1000 then 2000.

Anyway I’m rambling now, time to step some more. Will update again next time i measure myself in a couple of weeks. Thanks for taking to time to read this long winded update! Good night x2016-04-19 21.43.53

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Pancreatic Cancer – Signs and Symptoms

Pancreatic cancer doesn’t usually give rise to any symptoms or signs in the early stages. This is the main reason why it can be so difficult to detect and diagnose. As the cancer grows the symptoms it causes will depend on the type of pancreatic cancer and where it is in the pancreas.

Any symptoms people do have can be quite vague and may come and go at first. An example is abdominal pain, which may start off as occasional discomfort before becoming more painful and more frequent. The symptoms can also be a sign of other more common illnesses such as pancreatitis, gastritis, gallstones or hepatitis. This means that people may end up seeing their GP several times or being sent for a number of different tests before pancreatic cancer is even considered.

It is important to remember that any of the symptoms described here are common for lots of illnesses and may not be a sign of pancreatic cancer. But if you have persistent  unexplained symptoms it’s important for your GP to refer you for tests to explore what is causing them. It can help to note down the frequency of your symptoms and mention anything unusual you are experiencing, even if it seems unrelated. If your symptoms get worse or you develop any new symptoms suddenly you should always get in touch with your GP.

Approximately 95% of pancreatic cancers are Exocrine Tumours. Their symptoms can be very vague and depend on whether the tumour is in the head, body or tail of the pancreas.

Less than 5% of all pancreatic cancers are Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumours, which develop in the hormone producing cells of the pancreas. They are divided into functioning and non-functioning tumours, depending on whether or not they overproduce hormones and peptides that cause a clinical syndrome.

Most pancreatic Neuroendocrine tumours do not produce a clinical syndrome (non-functioning) so they do not cause specific symptoms. The list of symptoms below for the most common symptoms of Pancreatic cancer are also applicable to non functioning Neuroendocrine tumours.

 

Most Common Symptoms

– Abdominal Pain

– Jaundice

– Weight Loss

– Bowel Problems

– Nausea and Vomiting

– Heartburn/Indigestion

– Fever and Shivering

– Diabetes

– Back pain

– Extreme tiredness/fatigue

– Feeling unusually full after food

– Venous thromboembolism (VTE) (blood clots that form in a vein)

– Unexplained acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

 

 

Abdominal pain
Pain is a symptom in about 70% of pancreatic cancer cases. It often starts as general discomfort or pain in the abdomen (tummy) which can spread to the back. It can be worse after eating or when you are lying down. Sitting forward can sometimes relieve the pain. At first the pain may come and go, but over time it may become more constant. If any of the organs (pancreas, liver or gall bladder) in your abdomen are inflamed or enlarged the area may also be tender to touch.

Pain is caused by the cancer affecting nerves or organs near the pancreas. It can also be a result of a tumour causing a blockage in the stomach or duodenum (top part of the small intestines).

Jaundice
Jaundice occurs in about 50% of pancreatic cancer cases. The most common signs
of jaundice are that the skin and the whites of the eyes turn yellow. Other signs include dark urine, pale stools (poo) and itchy skin.

Jaundice develops when there is a build-up in the blood of a substance called bilirubin. The substance is a by-product of red blood cells breaking down and is always present in the blood. It usually gets removed from the body in the bile fluid produced by the liver which empties into the small intestines through the bile duct. Cancer growing in the pancreas can block the bile duct so that bile and bilirubin keep building up in the body. This is known as obstructive jaundice.

Jaundice can be caused by other non-cancerous conditions, such as a gallstone blocking the bile duct, so it’s important for all the obvious causes to be explored.

Itching

You might have itching if you have bad jaundice. The increased bile salts in the bloodstream cause itching in the skin.

 

Weight loss
Losing a lot of weight for no particular reason can be a sign that something is wrong. People may also notice a loss of appetite or changes in what they feel like eating.

Pancreatic cancer can affect the ability of the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes that help to digest food, especially high fat food. This means that the body can’t digest food properly or get the nutrients it needs, leading to weight loss.

Other common symptoms of pancreatic cancer

These symptoms are also common, though not everyone will have every symptom. People may have these symptoms before a diagnosis, develop them later on, or perhaps not get them at all.

Bowel problems
A condition called steatorrhoea (stools that are large, pale, oily, floating and smelly) is a common symptom of diseases of the pancreas. It happens because the cancer affects the production of the enzymes needed to digest food, particularly high fat food. Undigested food passing quickly through the body can also cause diarrhoea and subsequent weight loss.

Nausea and vomiting
Nausea (feeling sick) and sickness can occur for several different reasons. A tumour can  block the bile duct or press on the duodenum, which obstructs digestion. It may also cause inflammation around it in the pancreas, or jaundice. Both of these can lead to a chemical imbalance in the body which can make people feel sick.

Indigestion/heartburn
New, unexplained and persistent dyspepsia (indigestion/heartburn) can be a symptom of pancreatic cancer, particularly in older people.

Fever and shivering
If the pancreas is inflamed or the ducts are blocked because of the tumour, this can cause a high temperature and shivering.

Diabetes
Diabetes can develop if a tumour interferes with the pancreas working properly. This is because the pancreas produces the hormone insulin which the body needs to regulate the amount of sugar in the blood. People with diabetes often feel extremely thirsty, pass more urine than normal, lose weight and feel weak and lacking in energy.

Diabetes is particularly associated with pancreatic cancer in older people. If someone over 50 has developed type 2 diabetes within the past two years, with no other explanation, their GP should consider the possibility of pancreatic cancer.

Back pain
Pain in the upper back (not the lower lumbar region) can occur if the cancer spreads to the nerves around the pancreas.

Other symptoms can include

  • Extreme tiredness/fatigue
  • Feeling unusually full after food
  • Venous thromboembolism (VTE) (blood clots that form in a vein)
  • Unexplained acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).

 

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