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'How I learned to reduce my blood pressure'

Caroline Lashley, 55, from London, didn't know she had high blood pressure until it was discovered at a routine health check. She talks about the importance, and the challenges, of lowering her blood pressure through healthy living changes. "When the nurse told me I had high blood pressure…

'How I quit smoking'

Justine Speller, a gardener from London, quit cigarettes with the help of an NHS Stop Smoking group. She kept a week-by-week record of how she achieved it. My smoking diary: week one "I didn't smoke during the day or at home, but after a glass…

'I beat middle-age spread'

Julie Thompson started putting on weight during the menopause. But with a healthier diet and more exercise, she slimmed down from a size 18 to a size 10. When Julie Thompson started the menopause at the age of 42, she was happy with her size and…

'I beat testicular cancer'

Thanks to early diagnosis and successful treatment, footballer Neil Harris beat testicular cancer and was back playing for Millwall FC within months. The striker, known as Bomber Harris, was Millwall's top scorer with 138 goals. In 2011 he signed for Southend and retired in June…

'I blew myself up at festival campsite'

Georgina Chalmers' festival weekend nearly ended in tragedy when a camping gas canister blew up in front of her, leaving her scarred for life. She was attempting to attach a pierceable gas canister to her camping stove, but the two devices failed to connect properly…

'I did 10 diets in 50 days and found one that really worked'

Andy Leeks set out to lose weight by doing 10 diets in 50 days, and found the only one that really worked was the NHS weight loss plan. The father of two came up with the pick-and-mix diet idea to see if it would help…

'I exercise to stay mobile and supple'

Maggie Nicholls, 62, from Exeter, says that for her, exercising is about much more than being physically fit. What's your weekly exercise routine? On a typical week, I'll go to my keep-fit class on a Monday evening after work. On a couple of mornings before…

'I got cirrhosis at 34'

After years of drinking at what he thought were normal levels, Andy Ball was diagnosed with the liver disease cirrhosis. "I don't have a history of alcoholism in my family and I had a normal relationship with alcohol. It was never taboo. As I got…

'I got DVT from flying'

Journalist Mark Pownall developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on a long-haul flight from New Orleans to London. He had been in the US for a medical conference in March 2004, reporting on topics including deep vein thrombosis. The night before his journey home, Mark had a few drinks. The flight was long, with…

'I had breast cancer and then cervical cancer'

Juanita Higgs, 69, explains the impact of cancer on her life, and how her charity work helps others and brings her so much happiness. "I'd always had problems with lumps in my breasts, particularly on the left side, so I was always quite breast aware.…