December Edition, click HERE

Featured article from the December edition:

Children at the beach

The summer holiday is the perfect opportunity to get children away from electronic devices and into the outdoors. While we want children to play safely and avoid injury, we need to recognise that a grazed knee is not a major drama.

Compared to previous generations, most public playgrounds are remarkably safe. The modern synthetic surfaces cushion falls and equipment is designed with safety in mind. However, there is no substitute for watching your children.

Older children can be left more to play independently but younger children need a watchful eye. There is much to be said for parents and carers playing with them, which gives the adults some exercise too.

Trampolines are fun but children need instruction on how to use them safely. Once more, design is far better than in the past. Bicycles are a popular Christmas present and learning to ride a bike is still a childhood joy. While falling off when starting is impossible to avoid, careful assistance and support can minimise major damage.

Running and ball games are fun in summer. It is important for children to wear appropriate footwear and, where applicable, safety equipment.

Injury risk can be minimised but not eliminated. Fortunately, most play-related injuries will be minor. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have.

 

 


 

October Edition, click HERE

Feature Article – October Edition

Hair-Raising Symptoms

Nearly all men and 10% of women will suffer some head-hair loss. The commonest form is male pattern hair loss, which can start as young as 20 and sees the hairline gradually recede from the front. The main risk factors are being male and a family history. There are other causes of hair loss (alopecia), including an under-active thyroid, trauma to hair follicles, some auto-immune conditions and side effects of some medications.

By the age of 50, 50% of men will have some degree of hair loss. The follicle growth cycle begins to weaken making the hairs thinner and eventually the follicle stops producing new hairs. This is influenced by the male hormone, testosterone. The condition isn’t harmful and doesn’t affect hair elsewhere on the body or face.

No tests are needed unless there is concern about other causes of hair loss. There are many different and well-advertised treatments available. The most commonly used treatment is a tablet which blocks the effects of testosterone and is prescribed by your doctor. It does not work in everyone and only works while taken. A lotion rubbed into the scalp can also be used.

Hair transplant is a definitive treatment but can be expensive. Laser treatment is controversial.

While upsetting for some, there is nothing abnormal with going bald. Treating hair loss is big business and treatments vary in their degree of success, so be wary of advertising claims.


 

August Edition, click HERE HN_August_2017-1
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Feature Article – August Edition

Reflux in Infants

Stomach-acid rising into the oesophagus causes reflux. The typical symptom in adults is a burning sensation in the lower chest – ‘heartburn’ but r Reflux can occur at any age.

In infants the symptoms can include vomiting or regurgitation, difficulty with feeding, sleep disturbances, crying (especially during or after feeds) and irritability. None of these are absolutely specific. They may be regular or intermittent. It ranges from mild to severe. Reflux can occur in both breast and bottle-fed babies.

Diagnosis is not always straightforward and is largely based on history. It is rare for any tests to be done.

There are many simple things that you can do to alleviate reflux. Feed your baby while upright keeping the body straight and head higher than the stomach. Avoid placing baby on their back immediately after feeding. Avoid overfeeding. Changing nappy before a feed can help by reducing pressure on the abdomen as does avoiding tight clothes. Gently ‘burp’ baby after feeds. Give smaller feeds more frequently. For bottle fed babies a change in formula can help.

Baby-over-father's-shoulderIn a small percentage of cases simple measures are not enough and medication (generally a proton pump inhibitor) may be prescribed. The medication blocks acid production. This will improve symptoms but, by blocking acid, the absorption of some minerals including iron can be reduced. The tablets are dissolved in water or can be made up as a liquid by the chemist.

In most cases the situation will improve by itself or without medication. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have with your baby’s feeding.

http://www.reflux.org.au/category/articles/general_management_tips/


 

 

 

June Edition, click HEREHealthNews_June_2017_Web-1
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Feature Article – June Edition

Croup is a viral infection of the throat and windpipe (trachea) and typically affects children under five years though children up to eight years can contract it. The hallmark symptom is a harsh, dry, barky cough, mostly at night.
Croup generally starts with a ‘cold-like’ runny nose, cough and perhaps a low-grade fever. The symptoms that distinguish croup from a cold are noisy breathing (stridor), the harsh barking cough, and a hoarse voice. In severe cases, if there is difficulty breathing, seek urgent medical attention.
Most cases of croup are mild and need only symptom relief. Croup is viral so antibiotics do not help. Simply comfort your child (it can be scary for small children) and make sure they take adequate fluids. You can use paracetamol or ibuprofen for sore throat or fever as needed (according to weight and directions on the bottle). Traditionally, a vaporiser to humidify the surrounding air was advised but perhaps not these days.
If there is no improvement, or if you have any concerns, see your GP. In more severe cases, a short course of steroid can be effective. There is no specific way to prevent croup apart from general hygiene measures.
Source: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/croup

 


 

 

April Edition, click HEREApril 2017-1
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Feature Article – April Edition

Influenza Vaccination: Key Points

Annual vaccination prevents influenza and its complications and is recommended for any person >6 months of age who wishes to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza. Quadrivalent influenza vaccines (QIV) only are available in 2017. They protect against one completely new virus strain. Vaccines are free on the National Immunisation Program in 2017 for:
• Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children aged 6 months to <5 years and persons aged ≥15 years
• Everyone aged ≥65 years
• All persons aged ≥6 months at risk of influenza complications; e.g. severe asthma, lung or heart disease, low immunity or diabetes.
• Pregnant women (any stage of pregnancy).

Influenza vaccination is also strongly recommended, but not funded, for other groups who are at increased risk of influenza and its complications. People with egg allergy can be safely vaccinated, with precautions taken in some cases.

Content from the April EDITION

  • Teething Babies
  • Influenza Vaccination: Key Points
  • Helping with Learning Difficulties
  • Thyroid Tests Serve a Function
  • Profile: Sports Drinks
  • Body Facts…
  • Sudoku
  • Easter Colouring Fun – for the kiddies
  • Recipe: ANZAC Biscuits

 

February Edition, click HERE HealthNews_February_2017-1
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Feature Article – February Edition

Legionnaires’ disease – gardeners take care!

A severe form of pneumonia is caused by the Legionella bacteria – a few 100 cases are identified to authorities each year ­­– and it usually requires hospital admission and can be fatal.

You get Legionnaires by breathing in water droplets that hold the bacteria. Typically warm water sources are the culprit such as air conditioning systems (cooling towers or evaporative systems), spa pools or water fountains. It can also be contracted from potting mixes, mulch and compost.

Simple gardening tips reduce the chances of infection. Always wear gloves. Keep any soil mix damp while you are using it, avoid inhaling any garden mix and wash your hands after use. women works with animal manure

Other risk factors for Legionnaires are smoking, being over 50 and having a chronic disease.

Typical symptoms are a fever, muscle soreness, headache, tiredness, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms can worsen rapidly, so if you think you may have this disease seek medical advice urgently. Diagnosis is by blood and sputum testing as the symptoms and signs are not specific.

Treatment is with antibiotics, generally in hospital. Most people improve within five days but some take two weeks.

After recovery from Legionnaires, the development of antibodies makes a second infection unlikely, although how long this natural protection lasts is unknown.

Further information: http://healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/J_M/Legionnaires-disease

Content from the February EDITION

  • Legionnaires’ disease – gardeners take care!
  • Travelling With Peace of Mind
  • Toddlers’ Picky Eating
  • Vertigo – Finding the Balance
  • Exercise Reduces Dementia Risk
  • Swat Pesky Ross River
  • Quiz for that person at home
  • Recipe: French Lentil Salad
  • Word Search

 

December/Christmas Edition, click HEREhealthnews_december_2016_enewsletter-1
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Feature Article – December Edition

Back-to-School Nutrition

Holidays are over and thoughts will turn to getting children back to school and what to put in that dreaded lunchbox. While lunch boxes can be a difficult problem for parents, they needn’t be.

Before considering lunch, ensure your child eats breakfast every day. This can be an egg, or some fruit with yoghurt or toast. Many breakfast cereals are high in sugar and food colouring, so read the labels carefully. The best drink for your child at
breakfast is water. The sandwich remains a popular lunch. Choose wholegrain or multigrain bread in preference to white. Fillings can be cold meats, vegetables or cheese or whatever your child likes. Wraps are another option. Pack some carrot or celery sticks, a hardboiled egg and fruit – and you have a nutritious and inexpensive lunch! If allergies are not a concern a small pot of mixed seeds, nuts and dried fruit is a healthy recess snack. Just as at breakfast, the best drink during the day is water. Fruit juices are high in sugar so it is better children eat a piece of fruit and drink a glass of water than have fruit juice.

Content from the December EDITION

  • Fun in the Sun
  • Back-to-School Nutrition
  • Swimmer’s Ear
  • ‘I Don’t Want to go to School’
  • Alcohol and the Festive Season
  • Recipe: Seasoned Rolled Pork served with Spiced Apricots
  • Christmas Colouring Fun – for the kiddies

October Edition, click HERE
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Feature Article – October Editionhn_oct_2016

Falls prevention

Falls seem to be a part of getting older – one in three Australians aged 65 or more each year, sometimes causing injury severe enough to require hospital admission. Women make up 70% of these admissions.

Bruising, head injuries, and bone fractures can all result from falls – 12 times more likely than a motor vehicle accident in the elderly. Hip fractures are a particular concern.

The good news is that much can be done personally to prevent falls: regular exercise keeps the muscles and bones stronger and improves balance; tai chi is excellent; properly fitting shoes with slip resistant soles; avoiding alcohol and medications that cause sedation; getting a doctor or pharmacist to review all your regular medications; an annual eye test; and a podiatrist opinion on any foot problems.

Around the home some simple measures can help prevent falls: adequate lighting; handrails in bathrooms and at stairs; clutter removed from corridors; ensure mats or rugs wont slide when stepped on; fix uneven walking surfaces; and wipe up any spills immediately.

Have an adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium, with supplements sometimes. Some people may need medication to improve bone density. Talk to your doctor about a test for osteoporosis.

www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/falls-prevention-for-older-people

Content from the October EDITION

  • Childhood Discipline
  • Falls prevention
  • Male Hormone Deficiency
  • Drug-induced liver injury
  • Hot flushes in menopause
  • Recipe: Minute Steaks with Romesco-Dressed Salad
  • Crossword
  • Laughter – the best medicine!

 

Feature Article – August Aug 2016_WEB-1Edition

Men Reaching Out

Men who find themselves without a partner, friends or parents in middle-age often lack the social support to help them cope. This means the impact on their physical and mental health can be big.

BeyondBlue research has linked social isolation and loneliness to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and depression – the risk to life can be up to five times higher from these things.

We know that social networks are vital to protect against depression – so men with lower social supports are more vulnerable to psychological distress.

BeyondBlue’s Dr Stephen Carbone said while socially isolated men can get by, they do better in the long run with some friends in their life because humans are social creatures and they do better together.

However, men can be their own worst enemies. They might crave greater openness with friends to talk about

personal problems but many admit they lack the skills to start these conversations, or don’t know how to respond when a friend opens up to them.Middle Aged Man Relaxing In Countryside

Some believe men should be silent, resilient, unemotional and self-reliant. If they follow this lead, it makes it harder for them to engage with others, especially other men. For whatever reason, they may stop making the effort, when in truth, social networks need to be nurtured and kept active.

Content from the August EDITION

  • Hay Fever
  • Questions for the other person
  • Men reaching out
  • Fibroids of the uterus
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Nocturnal Enuresis
  • Recipe: zucchini pizza base
  • Sudoku
  • Kid’s colour fun – with crayons

 

Feature Article – June EditionHN_June 2016_WEB-1

Is it Tonsillitis?

The tonsils sit just behind the back teeth and are part of the body’s immune system. If they are infected you will typically get a sore throat, fever, headache and often, bad breath. However, the vast majority of sore throats are not tonsillitis but rather pharyngitis, which is an infection of the back of the throat and is almost always viral (and therefore not helped by antibiotics).

True tonsillitis may be due to a virus or bacteria and is more common in children. The throat is more acutely painful than in pharyngitis. Your doctor nearly always takes a look at the health of the tonsils when assessing a ‘sore throat’ and will be wary of group A Streptococcus infection (about 1 in 5 cases) which can cause complications like difficulty breathing, drooling, stiff neck, and neck swelling below the lower jaw. The same bacteria can cause acute rheumatic fever, particularly in children of Aboriginal, Maori, or Pacific Islander background.

When in doubt, your doctor may organise a Young girl with sore throatthroat swab to help sort it out.

The viral form of tonsillitis is treated with rest, fluids and pain relief. It will be painful to eat so don’t force it for children or adults. The less common bacterial form will need antibiotics – typically penicillin (unless there is allergy to this drug).

Complications, which are rare now, can include ear or sinus infection or an abscess (called Quinsy). Occasionally, an acute sore throat can be the beginning of a longer bout of glandular fever (Infectious Mononucleosis) or the more risky acute epiglottitis.

In previous generations, removing tonsils was common. Today they are only removed on good grounds including chronic or recurrent (more than four per year) infections or if the enlarged tonsils impact on breathing and contribute to things like sleep apnoea in the toddler.

There is generally no need to see your doctor with a mild sore throat. If it does not settle or you have a fever, or other concerns then always get it checked. Remember that most times antibiotics are not required and tonsils usually do not need to be removed.

Further info: www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/tonsillitis

Content from the June EDITION

  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Stroke – know when to call 000
  • STI testing is easy
  • Is it Tonsillitis?
  • Psoriasis
  • Recipe: chicken & vegetable soup
  • Sudoku
  • Laughter: the best medicine

 


 

Previous Editions, click HERE*
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PREVIOUS CONTENT
Here’s some articles from the last two years…

About Lumpy Breasts
Shingles: What Is It?
I Have GORD: What Next?
Asbestos – the 3rd Wave of Exposure
Shin Splints
Atrial Fibrillation
Puberty – Normal or Not?
Hepatitis C Facts
Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa)
Domestic Abuse
Managing Sun Damaged Skin
Kids Activity
Correct Contraception for You
Febrile Convulsions in Children
Beating Christmas Stress
Childhood Vaccinations Help
Middle Ear Infections
Menopause and Me
Your Heart Needs Exercise
‘Boys Don’t Cry’: Men & Suicide
Coping with Chickenpox
Can Antibiotics Cause Thrush?
Grief – the Do’s and Don’ts
Age-related Macular Degeneration
Recipes and more
Health crosswords
Laughter – the Best Medicine