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Heartburn Awareness Week returns to Kerry for second year

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Dr Ciara Kelly.

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WITH one in three Irish people suffering from heartburn once a week or more, Dr Ciara Kelly is once again encouraging people to consult their local pharmacist on how best to manage symptoms, reminding the nation that heartburn is something that can be effectively treated.

The pharmacist should be the first choice for advice, as many heartburn cases can be solved without a visit to the GP. We are in the middle of National Heartburn Awareness Week which highlights a condition that affects over half of the population.

After a successful inaugural Heartburn Awareness Week in 2015, this October the nation is being advised to be mindful of the condition and its lifestyle effects, and to seek more information from their pharmacist if suffering regularly from heartburn symptoms.

New research conducted in 2016 as part of Heartburn Awareness Week has shown that a significant 78% of heartburn sufferers find it has a negative impact on their lifestyle. When looking at the impact it can have on daily life, 49% find it disturbs sleep, 39% admit it limits their food choices while a quarter admit that heartburn disrupts their day, highlighting how much it affects sufferers’ daily lives. Almost one third (29%) feel physical pain as a result of the condition, with one in 10 stating it negatively impacts their social lives or relationships, yet many are still unaware of the variety of treatments available in pharmacies.

Heartburn occurs when gastric acid flows back from the stomach into the oesophagus when the lower oesophageal sphincter does not close tightly. Unlike the stomach, the oesophagus does not have a protective lining and is sensitive to the acid which burns its walls, causing that painful burning feeling.

Dr Ciara Kelly, MD, explains, “Heartburn is a relatively common condition that is not always a cause for concern. However, frequent heartburn is something that can have a serious impact on day-to-day life and should be dealt with in an effective manner. If you are suffering from heartburn more than once a week, my recommendation is to discuss your symptoms with your local pharmacist to ensure you are benefitting from the appropriate treatment.”

Research has shown that a quarter of sufferers feel they have to remember to bring antacids with them at all times. Antacids are still the most popular OTC medicine for heartburn, however for frequent heartburn proton pumps inhibitors (PPIs) such as esomeprazole (only available in pharmacy) or H2 blockers may be more suitable. H2 blockers and proton-pump inhibitors reduce the production of acid in the stomach rather than simply neutralising existing acid.

Dr Kelly continues, “Heartburn can be quite a debilitating ailment and can worsen if not treated properly. While there are a number of ‘trigger foods’ that can make it worse, it is not something always caused by dietary choices, however they can help alleviate it. It is however something that can affect our lifestyles, cause embarrassment, limit the foods we can enjoy and even affect our relationships or social life. In addition, over time, the backflow of acid can cause damage to the lining of the oesophagus and can cause serious medical conditions. For this reason, during Heartburn Awareness Week we are encouraging people to consider their symptoms and to seek more information from their pharmacist.”

In addition to speaking with pharmacists, Dr Kelly advises those suffering with heartburn symptoms to:

· Keep a food diary and listen to your body. Pay heed to what causes your heartburn to flare up, monitor and avoid these foods
· Don't eat late at night before you're about to go to bed, having a full stomach before you lie down will increase acid backflow and put pressure on digestion
· Avoid spicy foods that affect your stomach balance, especially anything with lots of chilli
· Consciously add acid-neutralising foods to the diet, such as almond milk, bananas, ginger, porridge
· Keep your alcohol intake within recommended limits (17 units for a man, 11 units for a woman per week, or less!)
· Reduce your tea and coffee intake, again especially before you go to bed
 


 
Above: Dr Ciara Kelly.

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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Soccer coach licensed to one of the highest levels in Ireland

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week. Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.The UEFA B Licence is a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week.

Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.
The UEFA B Licence is a coaching licence mandated by UEFA, the official governing body of European football. The licence is one level below the UEFA A Licence and allows holders to be head coaches of amateur clubs, youths up to age 16, and assistant coaches for professional clubs.

Ramona started her training in November 2019 and continued, when restrictions allowed, on several block weekends taking place in FAI Headquarters Dublin, Foto Island in Cork, and final assessments in NUIG in Galway.

“Ramona played a significant role in the course group, supporting the younger coaches and challenging those more experienced, ensuring that the group was dynamic, engaging, interactive and a real positive learning environment,” said the FAI’s Head of Coach Education FAI Niall O’Regan.

“Ramona has been a significant role model for not only female coaches but also males coaches in the Kerry region and has done phenomenal work in her previous club Killarney Celtic and more recently with Mastergeeha. It is so important to have such role models and the motivation Ramona has shown is infectious and many coaches will continue in the same vein.”

For Ramona, this week’s award was the culmination of months of hard work, seminars and study.

“It was really tough at the time, final assessments had been submitted, everything had then switched to Zoom and we were so eager to get it finished. Luckily enough I got to finish off a lot of the course content online and then had individual assessments with my tutor Richie Holland current Cork City Men’s Assistant Manager,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “Then when we returned to outdoor sports in July we got our practical assessments finished with Galway Utd in NUIG.”

ASSESSMENT

The final assessment took place at Mastergeeha FC pitch – the first time ever that a UEFA coaching assessment took place in Kerry.

“I was coaching in Mastergeeha FC in Killarney pre covid and based on logistics and other coaches’ locations in Munster on my UEFA B I was delighted to coordinate a UEFA B assessment with the FAI to be held in the Mastergeeha with the help of the committee,” she added.

“Tom O’Connor FAI Coach Educator and former Interim Republic of Ireland’s Head Coach was really impressed with the setup, the standard of really good footballers and the fantastic committee that ran it so smoothly.”

It was the first time UEFA B assessments were ever held in Kerry and the facilities, committee and the Mastergeeha U16 Boys team were outstanding that day.

She received mentoring and support from some of the biggest names in Irish soccer.

“I was delighted and honoured to receive my UEFA B Diploma Licence,” she said. “Throughout the diploma I’ve had some great tutors, mentors and some great guest speakers from Robbie Keane, Vera Pauw, Stephen Rice and Ruud Dokter FAI High Performance.

“There was a great core group of us on the course from Irish Senior International Players like Katie McCabe, Megan Campbell, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahy and I’ve made some amazing friendships with all the ladies on the course. From the start it was a group of huge experience, drive and determination was something we all had in common and it’s great to see us all complete it together.”

LOCAL HELP

She could not have done it without the help of her home club.

“On a personal note, I just want to thank Mastergeeha FC for all their help and support, with special mention to all the management committee, teams and coaches. Must give a mention to Allan Moynihan, Brendan Buckley, Paul Lenihan and Ulick O’Sullivan also. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Academy training in the next two weeks,” she added.

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