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Sore jaw or damaged teeth? You might be suffering from bruxism

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If you’re feeling stressed, you might notice you’re snappier with people or having trouble getting enough sleep. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, one area of the body that is greatly affected but seldom talked about when it comes to stress can be found in your mouth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Teeth grinding - also known as bruxism - can occur in almost anyone and result in broken fillings and cracked teeth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before you get too worried about your oral health, you should know that everyone grinds their teeth at least a little bit.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Everybody grinds their teeth a little bit at night, it’s normal and we do it subconsciously - usually during dream sleep,” Dr Tami Yap, a lecturer in oral medicine at Melbourne University, told </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Age</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“If sleep is fragmented, you’re not getting solid sleep cycles, or you have a period of stress where you mood is impacted into the night-time, you will probably grind more.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The problems arise when grinding causes the teeth to become worn down or break, or if it causes the muscles in your face to ache.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Additional symptoms can vary, from temperature sensitivity or a sore jaw to tension headaches or pieces of your teeth breaking off in your mouth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Though there isn’t a simple way to “switch off” tooth grinding, Yap explained, there are some things you can do to manage it.</span></p> <p><strong>What makes us grind our teeth?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to Dr Elizabeth Milford, a dentist and scientific relations consultant for Oral-B, tooth grinding can be triggered by increased anxiety, not getting enough exercise, and poor sleep habits.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Other habits can also exacerbate night-time tooth grinding, such as smoking, drinking large amounts of alcohol, and taking recreational drugs. But these habits are more influential on how much we grind our teeth during the day.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Daytime tooth grinding is often triggered by our mood, habits, and stress levels.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“When we are worried or highly stressed, we are physiologically perceiving a low-grade threat,” Yap explained. “And when this happens, stress hormones run around the body and the sympathetic system is engaged because the body is prioritising you to fight or flight.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With this comes extra tension in your muscles, with people often holding their teeth together like you would clench your fist.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“And if you were clenching your fist, it would be very clear you shouldn’t be doing that. Similarly, if you’re touching your teeth together at times other than eating, you’re going to be loading your teeth more, and you’re going to get cracks, and possibly muscle pain.” </span></p> <p><strong>What can you do about it?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Minimising tooth grinding requires a holistic approach. Consciously choosing the position of your mouth and jaw and thinking about what our facial muscles are doing can help reduce it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Teeth should only be touching when you’re eating, maybe when you phonate certain words and sometimes when you swallow,” Dr Yap said. “That amounts to a few minutes a day, the rest of the time the teeth should actually be apart.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr Yap recommends focusing on breathing, since this helps you become “more aware of how your mood and your stress is impacting changes on your body”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Treatment can also include jaw exercises, relaxation techniques, and custom-made dental appliances that reduce pressure on teeth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dentists often recommend night guards, but becoming more aware of how we’re feeling and how our body is reacting will pay off in the long run.</span></p>

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Cooking with gas? It could be wreaking havoc with kids’ health

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Climate Council has released new research finding the use of gas is Australian households puts kids at a higher risk of asthma.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Additionally, the </span><a href="https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/gas-habit-how-gas-harming-health/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kicking the Gas Habit: How Gas is Harming Our Health</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> report also found that gas-powered cooking has more harmful impacts on Australia.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Using gas for cooking and heating harms our health, while the extraction process exposes communities to hazardous substances.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Far from the ‘clean and natural’ image that the gas industry markets, gas cooktops are known to produce contaminants that increase the risk of childhood asthma, in particular, nitrogen dioxide and certain forms of particulate matter, like PM2.5,” the report said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Climate Council also found that children and those in poorer households are at the highest risk from gas use in home and schools.</span></p> <p><strong>How does gas at home affect kids?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kate Charlesworth, Climate Council spokeswoman and report author, compared the risk of a child developing asthma from living in a home using gas to a child living with household cigarette smoke.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Cooking with gas is estimated to be responsible for up to 12 per cent of the childhood asthma burden in Australia,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Asthma Australia CEO Michele Goodman called on families to do everything they can “to improve health outcomes for our children”.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Australia has some of the highest rates of asthma in the world, and it is the leading cause of disease burden among school-aged children,” she said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Some people will be shocked to learn that cooking dinner on a gas stove could be contributing to their child’s asthma symptoms, we need education to improve awareness for indoor air pollution,” she continued.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To reduce the risk, Goodman says people should increase the ventilation at home by using “modern extraction fans over gas stoves, flues for gas heaters, and simple measures like opening windows.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, she said “this won’t eliminate the risk completely.”</span></p> <p><strong>Gas extraction also harms communities</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The report also found that people living near coal seam gas developments in Queensland’s Darling Downs “were more likely to be hospitalised for tumours, as well as blood and immune diseases.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It called on the government to shift away from gas and adopt cleaner energy alternatives like solar or wind power.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Gas is a polluting fossil fuel. Governments can prevent health issues, and reduce harm, by helping households and the country move away from gas,” the report said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gas extraction and processing was also found to “involve many hazardous substances, including those that cause cancer, interfere with childhood development, trigger asthma and contaminate the local environment through airborne pollution and wastewater.”</span></p> <p><strong>What is the Climate Council?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to </span><a href="https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">its website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, the Climate Council is the country’s leading climate change communications organisation that has been providing advice to the public on climate change and science-based solutions since its inception in 2013.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’re made up of some of the country’s leading climate scientists, health, renewable energy and policy experts, as well as a team of staff, and a huge community of volunteers and supporters who power our work.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“As an independent voice on climate change, we get climate stories into the media, produce hard-hitting reports, call out misinformation as we see it and promote climate solutions such as the transition to renewables.”</span></p>

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5 unexpected things that can happen to your body during pregnancy

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">If swelling ankles, fatigue, and weird cravings weren’t enough, apparently there are even more unusual things that no one tells you about pregnancy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While chapped lips, swollen fingers, skin tags, pigmentation and snoring are also on the cards, changes in your hormones during pregnancy can result in unusual side effects that you should really know about.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are seven unexpected things that can happen to your body while pregnant.</span></p> <p><strong>1 Bleeding gums</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As scary as this might sound, this symptom is surprisingly common. If you experience this, it will most likely be when you brush your teeth.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The culprit? Changing levels of the hormone progesterone, </span><a href="https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/oral-care-during-pregnancy/bleeding-gums-pregnancy-should-you-worry"><span style="font-weight: 400;">which can cause</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> a build-up of bacteria in your mouth that can leave your gums inflamed and showing signs of gingivitis.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t despair though, this usually reduces once you have given birth and your hormones return to normal levels. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the meantime, it’s important to keep up with your oral health to minimise the amount of plaque and food on your teeth.</span></p> <p><strong>2 Tooth wear and decay</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Speaking of teeth problems, tooth decay is another that can occur during pregnancy.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There is a higher risk of tooth wear and decay during pregnancy as a result of gastric acid from morning sickness, combined with cravings for sugar.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Again, brushing and flossing regularly can help you keep your teeth as healthy as they can be.</span></p> <p><strong>3 Excess saliva</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Feeling like you have extra saliva is another common one. Ptyalism, the condition describing excess saliva, can strike during pregnancy and commonly affects those who also suffer from extreme nausea and morning sickness.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the culprit isn’t clear, it is thought that hormones are the main reason behind this symptom.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sufferers from ptyalism deal with a large amount of saliva too, with </span><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30221872/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">research</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> finding that symptoms of ptyalism can include saliva volumes of up to two litres a day.</span></p> <p><strong>4 Incredibly realistic dreams</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The symptoms don’t just affect you while you’re awake. Experiencing vivid dreams and nightmares is common during pregnancy, even for those who don’t usually remember their dreams.</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.sleepfoundation.org/pregnancy/how-pregnancy-affects-dreams#:~:text=Many%20women%20also%20report%20greater,are%20currently%20on%20our%20mind."><span style="font-weight: 400;">Researchers</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> think that dreaming is how our subconscious works through issues. During pregnancy, a time of excitement and stress, the hormonal changes that make you more emotional during the day are still there while you sleep, making your dreams more vivid and often pregnancy-related.</span></p> <p><strong>5 Bigger feet</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As crazy as it sounds, some people find their feet grow during pregnancy.</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257151#1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some research</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> suggests this is due to the production of relaxin, a hormone that loosens your pelvic joints and the ligaments in your feet, which could allow them to stretch. Other research has found a permanent loss of arch height because of additional pressure on your foot arches.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to a study conducted by the </span><a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257151#1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">American Journal of Physical Medicine &amp; Rehabilitation</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, between 60 and 70 per cent of pregnant women found their feet became wider and longer.</span></p>

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What is body dysmorphia?

<p><strong>What is body dysmorphic disorder?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When bodybuilder and fitness coach Lindsey Marie Greeley was just 17 years old, she competed in her first bodybuilding show. She would stare in the mirror in the weeks leading up to competitions, “trapped in her head,” obsessed with having the perfect body. She would be devastated by a third-place ranking and by “constructive criticism” from the judges such as “You still aren’t small enough; you need to lose more weight.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before long, she’d developed body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), along with an eating disorder. It’s not just athletes and bodybuilders that are affected by the condition, Swinburne University of Technology estimates that up to 2 per cent of the general population live with BDD.</span></p> <p><strong>BDD diagnostic criteria</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some people don’t like part (or all) of their body, but BDD goes beyond dissatisfaction. According to the psychiatric manual </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">DSM-5</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition), this is the criteria used to indicate a patient has BDD:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Preoccupation with non-existent or slight defects and flaws in appearance</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Repetitive or compulsive behaviours, such as mirror checking or changing clothes many times</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Clinical significance, meaning the obsession must cause significant distress or must inhibit everyday functioning, such as a person’s social life</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Differentiation from an eating disorder, which ensures that the clinician shouldn’t actually be diagnosing the person with an eating disorder</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">There are two additional further distinctions to the diagnosis:</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Muscle dysmorphia: a person is particularly worried about their body build (muscles) being too small or insufficient. This specific type has been linked to higher suicide rates and poorer quality of life than other types.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Insight specifier: how accurate or inaccurate a patient’s perception of themselves is.</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Beth Rosenbaum is a clinical social worker and therapist with over 30 years working with eating disorders and BDD. She says that there can either be an infatuation with reaching a certain size or weight, or people can have a preoccupation with how a certain body part looks. She typically sees women obsessing over their breasts, stomachs, and thighs, trying to fit the “societal perfection expectations for women.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For men, often it’s the stomach, chest and muscles, abs, biceps, and a concern they aren’t meeting a standard as well. She’s also careful to differentiate between BDD and body dissatisfaction.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The emotional toll can be severe, with people thinking about the body part(s) they hate many times per hour, disrupting their daily lives and ability to concentrate.</span></p> <p><strong>What causes BDD?</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There isn’t one cause, but a variety of triggers in conjunction with past or current traumas in the patient’s life. Rosenbaum says it’s often a result of underlying emotional issues that need to be addressed. She also sees most people with eating disorders also suffering from BDD as well.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Societal standards, social media scrolling, and the inaccurate idea that our lives would be better if we were a smaller size, are all to blame, Rosenbaum explains. Mixed messages about society’s expectations don’t help either.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She describes women’s magazines which she says traditionally have told women in particular conflicting messages: “On one side of the cover, it’s the miracle diet next to how to bake the perfect cake. I did a research project on conflicting messages…what do we do with that?”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">BDD can also be associated with transgender patients who are transitioning.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“People who were born with a female gender [and now identify as male] may have a hard time with breast development and hips and stomach, and that too can lead to eating disordered behaviour,” Rosenbaum says. She also sees other major bodily transitions, such as pregnancy and postpartum life, being a trigger for BDD. “You could lose all the ‘baby’ weight but your body proportions have changed,” she says.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Alex Frost. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/what-is-body-dysmorphia-5-signs-you-have-body-dysmorphic-disorder">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></span></em></p>

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5 signs you have body dysmorphic disorder

<p><strong>Signs of BDD</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Your idea of a “flaw” isn’t realistic.</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Diagnostic Manual differentiates between people who are actually obese and are worried or struggling with that, and BDD. With BDD you are concentrating on minute imperfections that are normal aspects of being human, rather than actual body issues that are visible to others.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Samantha DeCaro, an assistant clinical director at an eating disorder clinic, says BDD is a fixation on “perceived” flaws.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These flaws are not detectable, or they are barely noticeable, to anyone else,” she says. “People with BDD commonly become obsessed with real or imagined imperfections on their face, their hair, or the size and shape of a particular body part.”</span></p> <p><strong>2. You avoid social situations</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ever cancelled an event because you can’t find something that makes you look skinny enough to go out? This is a concerning sign that can indicate BDD. Psychotherapist Haley Neidich, a social worker with an online private practice, says those with BDD may “isolate themselves and avoid social situations.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rosenbaum says the major distinction that helps her diagnose BDD is identifying “how much does this interfere with [a patient’s] life?” “How much of my thinking time does this take? Does my focus on my body keep me from doing things I enjoy, like going out with my friends?” All of these can indicate that you are moving from body dissatisfaction to a more concerning, obsessive disorder.</span></p> <p><strong>3. You spend a lot of time staring in the mirror</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">When bodybuilder Greeley finally reached her lowest point and reached out to a therapist, she was diagnosed with BDD, as well as bulimia. “When you are in that world staring in the mirror taking thousands of [progression] photos for coaches, I’d say ‘I can’t see my abs, Oh God,’” she says. Greeley would spend hours “stalking” other people’s Instagram accounts, comparing her body to theirs. “I felt not skinny enough. It became sick and obsessive,” she says.</span></p> <p><strong>4. You can’t stand your face</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rosenbaum says the pandemic has worsened BDD for many people who are sitting on Zoom calls for hours, staring at their own reflection. She jokes that even she has never “checked her hair” this much.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“People are staring at their distorted image all day. For most of us, we are bodies from the chest up. We don’t even have bodies,” Rosenbaum explains. This unreasonable amount of time we can now spend staring at our own features is exacerbating the problem. It’s being called the “Zoom Boom” as plastic surgeons see more patients considering plastic surgery in 2020.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">DeCaro says we are living in a society obsessed with “fatphobia and ageism,” which causes everyone to be critical of their bodies from time to time, but those with BDD can be constantly concerned with “real or imagined imperfections on their face” or other body parts.</span></p> <p><strong>5. You see your body as parts, not a whole healthy being</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Finding yourself hating a specific body part? This can be one of the difficulties of BDD, as piecing out the body causes us to hyper analyse the flaws of each part, rather than looking at the body as a whole being, Rosenbaum explains. One of the strategies she’s found helpful with patients is helping them to see their bodies as a whole being that serves a function, and to focus on what your body can do.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Appreciate what your body does for you. Every aspect of your body. Learn to appreciate what it does and how it serves you so well… so we need to feed our bodies with fuel to give us energy so our brains work. So we can walk and love and engage in everything our bodies do. Often [people with BDD] only focus on the surface,” Rosenbaum says. That deep dive into our perspective on our bodies, and focus on the importance of certain parts being perfect, is what BDD patients work on in therapy.</span></p> <p><strong>What to do if you think you have BDD</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">First, determine the severity of the symptoms. Often BDD happens in conjunction with an eating disorder, which can be more dangerous than BDD by itself.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Neidich says individuals with BDD are known to pursue or complete medical procedures in order to change their bodies in an effort to rid themselves of the obsession, which can be dangerous. “Given the high prevalence of disordered eating among individuals with BDD, it is important to point out that eating disorders are the most deadly mental health disorder,” she says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Behaviours Rosenbaum says can be more severe including binging and purging, restricting kilojoules, over-exercising, and other typical eating disorder symptoms. Seeking therapy is an important step towards overcoming BDD, and is a great place to start.</span></p> <p><strong>Next steps</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">People with co-morbid personality disorders may be referred to dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) treatment, a type of cognitive behaviour therapy that helps teach skills to handle negative emotions.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Those with co-morbid post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be referred to a trauma therapist.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anyone with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may be referred to a specialist for cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) combined with Exposure and Response Prevention, a type of therapy that exposes people to their fears.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Those with co-morbid substance use disorders will be encouraged to attend 12-step programs and focus on sobriety.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Individuals with eating disorders should have a multidisciplinary treatment team.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Just like other mental health conditions, it is possible for people to reach a place in their recovery where they are no longer symptomatic (or minimally so),” Neidich says. “However, individuals with a history of BDD are at a high risk for a recurrence of the symptoms or other mental health conditions in the future, particularly around a time of transition or intense stress in their lives,” she explains.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Greeley is finally able to manage, after years of therapy. She says you don’t just wake up and not have BDD anymore, and that sometimes she still has to check herself: “It’s OK to have one Oreo. You can have a cheeseburger and it won’t be the end of the world,” she says. She credits her care team’s support with helping her “learn to love herself all over again.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Alex Frost. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/what-is-body-dysmorphia-5-signs-you-have-body-dysmorphic-disorder">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></span></em></p>

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The best probiotics for weight loss

<p><strong>Probiotics 101</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Most of us have heard of probiotics; they help restore the balance of good versus bad bacteria in the digestive system. When gut balance is out of whack, you may feel bloated, be constipated, have diarrhoea, or experience many other digestive ills. Resetting your gut balance with probiotics may improve these – and many other aspects of health as well. A healthy gut microbiome might even add years to your life.</span></p> <p><strong>Probiotics for weight loss: evidence mounts</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Exactly how probiotics may encourage weight loss is not 100 per cent clear, but the evidence is building. “There are a lot of bits and pieces of preliminary evidence that our gut biome and by extension, manipulating it by way of probiotics, may have a positive effect on weight management,” says Dr Scott Kahan. In one interesting mouse study, animals underwent weight-loss surgery or a sham procedure, and as expected, the mice who had the real surgery lost weight. But then the researchers transplanted bacteria from the gut of the weight-loss surgery group into the guts of mice that didn’t – and then they lost weight too! “In a few years, we will know a lot more about the gut microbiome and how to manipulate it with probiotics for weight loss,” predicts Dr Kahan.</span></p> <p><strong>Two types of gut bacteria linked to your weight</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To understand the potential effects of probiotics on weight loss you need to start with an understanding of the key players. There are two first-families of bacteria in the gut: Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. “Lean individuals have a higher proportion of bacteria from the Bacteriodetes family, while obese individuals have more from the Firmicutes family,” says gastroenterologist, Dr Will Bulsiewicz. “The implication is that by modulating our gut flora to maximise Bacteroidetes and minimise Firmicutes, we can optimise healthy energy harvesting from our food and kick our obesity problem to the curb.” Put another way, “If we choose the right blend of bacteria, the scale can tip in our favour,” he says.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But which are the best probiotics for weight loss?</span></p> <p><strong>Lactobacillus rhamnosus</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This member of the Bacteroidetes family may be the single best probiotic for weight loss. When researchers out of Université Laval in Quebec, Canada placed 125 overweight men and women on a 12-week weight-loss diet, followed by a 12-week period aimed at maintaining body weight, the women who took two probiotics from the L. rhamnosus family daily lost twice as much weight, compared with their counterparts who did not take probiotics. (The probiotics did not affect weight loss in men.) Look for L. rhamnosus on the label of dairy products or supplements.</span></p> <p><strong>Lactobacillus gasseri</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another potential winner in the Lactobacillus family is L. gasseri, which has been associated with reductions in body weight and fat deep inside the abdomen. One recent randomised, placebo-controlled trial (albeit a small one) found that participants taking high doses of L. gasseri for 12 weeks lost more abdominal fat than those who took the placebo. The best probiotic will have diversity, says Dr Bulsiewicz. “The ideal probiotic would feature the Bacteroidetes family, specifically several types of Lactobacillus bacteria including L. gasseri,” Dr Bulsiewicz says. It includes ten types of Lactobacillus including L. gasseri. It also has five additional Bacteroidetes bacterial strains.”</span></p> <p><strong>Lactobacillus fermentum, Lactobacillus amylovorus</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Among the numerous probiotics for weight loss listed above, there are also L. fermentum and L. amylovorus – two more strains that can help you shed kilos. In one small study, participants who ate yoghurt that contained L.fermentum or L.amylovorus lost more body fat during a six-week period than dieters who didn’t. (PS: animal research suggests probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt may also help to improve mental health.)</span></p> <p><strong>Good for gut health: prebiotic foods</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Prebiotics are plant carbohydrates such as inulin and certain saccharides that feed good-for-you bacteria in your gut. Even the best probiotic for women could get a boost from having plenty of this precursor around. Foods high in prebiotic fibre include soy beans, whole-wheat, asparagus, artichokes, onions and leeks.</span></p> <p><strong>Bad for gut health: fake sweeteners</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The best probiotics and foods restore bacterial balance, but others things disrupt it. And one culprit may be artificial sweeteners, says Dr Kahan. One 2014 study in mice found that when mice ate certain zero-kilojoule sweeteners, the numbers and types of bacteria in their guts changed – and not for the better. Mice in the study who were fed real sugar did not experience these negative changes.</span></p> <p><strong>Common sense advice on probiotics for weight loss</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">One clue you may benefit from a probiotic: if you’ve recently taken antibiotics. Antibiotics destroy many strains of gut bacteria, including helpful ones; so next time you are prescribed antibiotics, ask your doctor if you should take probiotics at the same time. “It’s also smart to eat in ways that promote a healthy gut,” says Dr Kahan. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans tend to promote healthy gut microbiome, he says.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Denise Mann. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/the-best-probiotics-for-weight-loss">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></span></em></p>

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Man charged after "coughing" on co-workers and giving them COVID-19

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>A 40-year-old man from Majorca has been arrested on assault charges after allegedly infecting more than 22 people with coronavirus.</p> <p>The man refused to isolate himself at the requests of his colleagues and continued to work out at the gym while displaying COVID-19 symptoms.</p> <p>An investigation by police into the man's behaviour began at the end of January.</p> <p>"Days before the outbreak was revealed, the worker began to present symptoms compatible with the disease, so his colleagues began to worry as they observed that he was not well," a police statement said.</p> <p>Police allege that the man was "coughing loudly all over the place" and lowering his mask at work.</p> <p>"I'm going to give you all the coronavirus," the man allegedly said to his colleagues.</p> <p>The man was tested for coronavirus but decided to go to his gym and workplace instead of isolating, resulting in the infection of eight people.</p> <p>The people directly infected from the man, which were five at his workplace and three at the gym, then passed the disease onto their loved ones.</p> <p>This includes three babies being infected with COVID-19.</p> <p>"The worker was arrested as the alleged perpetrator of a crime of injuries and yesterday he was placed at the disposal of the Judicial Authority," the police said.</p> <p>None of the people infected by the man have been admitted to hospital.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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50 or over? Here are five fitness myths debunked

<h2>Myth: I’m inflexible, and I have to accept that</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many people say they're inflexible, but what they really mean is that their body is tight. Although our genes play a role in how well your body can bend and stretch, you can improve on what you've inherited by adding regular stretching or yoga to your routine. Need more convincing?</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/news-articles/could-you-hold-this-yoga-pose-if-your-life-depended-on-it"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Could you hold this yoga pose if your life depended on it? Read on to find out.</span></a></p> <h2>Myth: I’m injured – I should wait to start working out</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Doctors encourage people with hip or knee replacements to start moving as soon as possible; the reason is that keeping circulation strong and active can help speed healing. So if you have an injury, talk to your doctor or work with a trained professional to get back on your feet. “There is plenty of research that indicates a substantial pain benefit from starting a basic exercise program,” says McCann. “Improving strength and flexibility helps reduce joint irritability and improves joint lubrication.” He points to research demonstrating that exercise can reduce the psychological and emotional stress that can exacerbate pain.</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/news-articles/15-things-you-need-to-know-about-knee-replacement"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Here are some important things to know about knee replacements.</span></a></p> <h2>Myth: High-intensity interval training is dangerous</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Time and time again, research has demonstrated that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective ways to get in shape. If you’re uncertain about this technique, sign up with a fitness professional to ensure success, Jones says, but remember that it’s a form of training that can be effective for people of all ages. “HIIT has even shown to be helpful for people that have heart disease and diabetes.”</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/news-articles/the-at-home-hiit-workout-you-can-do-every-day"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Don’t miss this at-home HIIT workout you can do every day.</span></a></p> <h2>Myth: Squats will wreck my knees</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There’s a reason so many trainers say their favourite exercise is a squat. “Properly performed squats will not result in knee pain or injury – they’re one of the staples of a well-rounded exercise program that can help you get a stronger lower body,” says physiotherapist, Christina Prevett.</span></p> <h2>Myth: I can’t exercise, I have ‘bone on bone’ arthritis.</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We need to think of arthritis like grey hair – it’s a part of the aging process,” says Prevett. “That said, studies looking at people with no pain in their knees have found signs of ‘bone on bone’ arthritis. Many people with signs of arthritis on an X-ray report no pain in their knees. So you can exercise, even if you have arthritis. It will not accelerate the development of arthritis, especially if you exercise under the guidance of a well-trained healthcare provider or fitness professional.” It’s also worth mentioning that keeping your weight in check is one of the ways to ease arthritis symptoms.</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/news-articles/5-arthritis-myths-busted"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Read on for some surprising arthritis facts.</span></a></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by S</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">haron Feiereisen</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. This article first appeared in </span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/over-50-here-are-15-fitness-myths-you-shouldnt-believe?pages=1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p>

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Over 50 and want to get fit? Don't believe these 5 myths

<h2>Myth: Strength training will make me bulky and immobile</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is something women in particular worry about – but they shouldn’t, especially since strength training is key for health and weight loss. “It’s critical not to confuse strength training with bodybuilding,” says Dr Jonathan Sullivan. “Bodybuilding is a sport focused on producing an extreme hyper-muscular physique for competitive or aesthetic purposes. Strength training is directed at the cultivation of strength, fitness, and health.” For the vast majority of women, even heavy-lifting will only tone their bodies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">And they desperately need to lift, “Women lose muscle, bone, and strength faster than men, making weight training a critical part of any woman’s fitness program. Women can and should engage in training, including strength training, with the same exercises and programs that benefit men,” explains Dr Sullivan.</span></p> <h2>Myth: I can’t get stronger</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not only can you maintain strength at 50-plus, but you can also be stronger than your younger self. “Too many people change their workout routine with age to include low resistance exercise under the guise that they can’t improve anyway,” says McCann. “While it might take more time, your muscles will still adapt under strength work loading to improve in strength.” The key to this, along with a healthy diet, is regular exercise.</span></p> <h2>Myth: As I get older, I should avoid pain when exercising</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It may be true that there are certain types of pain you should avoid with exercise,” says personal trainer, Paul Gardner. Chest pain is an obvious one, for example. “However, to achieve gains in strength and endurance, your muscles must be overloaded,” he says. “A byproduct of overloading muscles at any age is muscle soreness and sometimes mild joint aches and discomfort.” And that’s a healthy type of pain.</span></p> <h2>Myth: I’m skipping exercise because I want to keep my mind fit</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Physical exercise has benefits that go far beyond your muscles, lungs, and heart. Plus, there’s a reason people say, healthy body, healthy mind. “Working out has significant positive effects on the brain, too,” says Bell. “There’s growing evidence that being physically active benefits brain health and can help slow the decline in brain function that comes with age.”</span></p> <h2>Myth: Exercise is too risky – I might fall</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">There’s always anxiety over trying something new but don’t let fear stop you. “A physical therapist can develop a balance-and-exercise program tailored to your individual goals and abilities, and gradually build your confidence, along with your balance, strength, and endurance,” says physiotherapist, Greg Hartley. “These improvements go a long way towards decreasing your falls risk.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by S</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">haron Feiereisen</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. This article first appeared in </span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/over-50-here-are-15-fitness-myths-you-shouldnt-believe?pages=1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p>

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Mum taken over by paralysis on drive home

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text redactor-styles redactor-in"> <p>Queensland mother of two Roisin Clark, 35, has been left heartbroken and in shock after an accident left her paralysed for life.</p> <p>She had just undergone her first surfing lesson in December 2019 where she felt some pain in her back.</p> <p>Brushing it off, her best friend made the five-minute drive home back to Roisin's house where she had lost all feeling from her ribs down.</p> <p>“I thought I was struggling to walk (to the car) because of the pain but in actual fact I was going paralysed,” Roisin (pronounced Roshine) told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/qld-mum-of-two-paralysed-from-ribs-down-in-freak-accident-during-first-surfing-lesson-c-2649456" target="_blank">7NEWS.com.au.</a></p> <p>She's replayed that day over and over again in her mind, but was surprised to remember that there were no big waves that she thought could have caused the injury.</p> <p>“About halfway through, I started to get lower back pain,” she said.</p> <p>“I mentioned it to the instructor. He said it was quite normal and asked if I wanted to continue.</p> <p>“I said yes, (because I) didn’t think it was serious.”</p> <p>Roisin continued to brush off the pain, despite not being able to get out of the car when she arrived home.</p> <p>“I went to get out of the car and I couldn’t get out. It was just crazy,” she said.</p> <p>“I lifted my legs to the side of the car and went to stand up and couldn’t.</p> <p>“I fell onto the driveway (and) lay on the driveway.’</p> <p>“I still at this point didn’t think it was serious.”</p> <p>It was only after she was rushed to the hospital and had doctors questioned her that she started to believe it was serious.</p> <p>“I kept getting asked ‘so there wasn’t a big wave?’” Roisin recalled. “Once they saw there was no broken bones, they got the neurologist because they knew it was a spinal cord issue," she explained.</p> <p>“The night after (being admitted to the ER), doctors told me there was nothing more they could do. With the spinal cord, it’s fairly instant. Once there’s damage to it, it’s difficult to recover.”</p> <p>Despite spending five months in hospital recovering, she's not out of the woods yet.</p> <p>“There is so much more to having a spinal cord injury than not being able to walk.</p> <p>“Being in a wheelchair for me, means not only being unable to move or feel touch in my legs but also from my ribs down. It means the loss of bladder and bowel function, body temperature regulation and secondary complications like pressure sores,” Roisin said.</p> <p>“One of the hardest parts is constant and debilitating nerve pain. I spent five months in spinal rehab learning a whole new way of life - the simplest things like rolling over in bed, sitting up, showering, toileting, dressing and transferring into a car.”</p> <p>The family are now appealing for help via<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/helproisindriveagain" target="_blank">GoFundMe</a><span> </span>to buy a new car so that it can be modified and Roisin can help out at home, with the Clark family hoping to raise $45,000.</p> <p>“I’m not sure what the future looks like but if I could have some independence back and get out of the house ...(it) will make such a difference to our lives,” she said.</p> <p><em>Photo credits: 7NEWS</em></p> </div> </div> </div>

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Over 50? Here are 5 myths you shouldn’t believe

<p><strong>Make exercise a priority in mid-life</strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Everyone should find a workout or active hobby they enjoy to reap the benefits of exercise.  This is especially true for people over 50 who might not be moving as much as they have in the past. Don’t let the following myths prevent you from staying active and healthy.</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/news-articles/this-is-the-least-amount-of-exercise-you-need-to-live-longer"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Find out how much exercise you need to live longer.</span></a></p> <h2>Myth: I haven’t exercised my whole life – it’s too late to start</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The one thing to remember is that you’re never too old to start exercising. “There is no expiration date on our body’s ability to benefit from physical activity,” says personal trainer and specialist in geriatric physiotherapy, Alice Bell. “Studies show that individuals who adopt an active lifestyle at any age can demonstrate improvements in strength, endurance, balance, and cognitive performance.”</span></p> <h2>Myth: I shouldn’t run anymore</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A sedentary person shouldn’t attempt a marathon overnight – or even a 5K. But regular runners don’t have to stop just because they’re getting older. Running is fantastic for cardiovascular health and mental clarity. “People say that running is too hard on your joints and should be avoided, particularly as you age, however, there are many people who run well into their older age and continue to see benefit without issues,” says physiotherapist,  Chad McCann. “While the choice to run should be individual, there is little indication that running leads to arthritis or joint damage. Some people can continue to run successfully as they age, although their distances and intensity may change to promote health.” Wearing the right shoes is key to preventing injury.</span></p> <h2>Myth: Walking is enough</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Walking is great, but your body needs more. “The greatest long-term benefits of exercise stem from working your body into overload, meaning pushing strength, flexibility, and cardio conditioning to force your body to adapt to more stressful requirements,” explains McCann. “While there is research connecting some walking to basic heart health, walking alone does not stress your heart enough to create true cardiovascular improvement.” Try building in some intervals – short bursts of fast walking or jogging – into your walks, and make time for strength training as well, he says.</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/news-articles/10-things-that-happen-to-your-body-when-you-start-walking-10000-steps-a-day"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Check out what happens to your body when you start walking 10,000 steps a day.</span></a></p> <h2>Myth: Lifting weights is bad for my joints</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">You don't need to stick to one-kilo weights just because you’re 50, 60, or even 70. It’s all about knowing your body and proper form. “Weight-lifting can be a very daunting form of exercise – some people are concerned that it will actually produce more harm than good. However, lifting with good form and appropriate weights has been proven to be safe and effective for strength development for all ages,” says McCann. “In addition, weight-lifting is critical for long-term bone health and general strength can be a good indicator of long-term independence. There is little evidence that weight-lifting leads to arthritis or other joint issues.”</span></p> <h2>Myth: You can’t fix poor balance</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Balance is just like all other forms of fitness – the more you work on it, the better it gets,” says McCann. More to the point, being steady on your feet will help you avoid falls and stay healthy, “It’s another solid predictor of lifelong independence and shouldn’t be ignored in any fitness regimen.”</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Sharon Feiereisen. This article first appeared in <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/over-50-here-are-15-fitness-myths-you-shouldnt-believe?pages=1">Reader’s Digest</a>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, <a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V">here’s our best subscription offer.</a></span></em></p> <p>​</p>

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Here’s what happens to your skin when you eat sugar

<h2>What happens to your body when you eat sugar?</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Like many things, the answer likely depends on how much sugar you are consuming. Sugar is a source of energy and is found in healthy foods like fruit and dairy (where it’s also packaged with healthy nutrients). However, the more researchers study the sweetener, the more they find just how detrimental excess sugar consumption can be.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In its added form, sugar has been linked to a variety of chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, according to a 2016 study published in the journal </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nutrients</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It can be difficult to visualise the effect of too much sugar until it starts to physically affect your health, particularly your skin. To understand the relationship between sugar and skin health, we spoke with dermatologists who reveal the surprising effects of sugar can have on your skin</span></p> <h2>Too much sugar may lead to saggy skin</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Collagen plays an important role in combating the effects of aging. Collagen is the supportive protein structure for your skin and the underlying cartilage.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, accounting for about 25 to 30 per cent of the body’s total protein, according to a 2020 article published in the journal </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Nutrients.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> As you age, your collagen production starts to decrease. And the way sugar interacts with collagen can accelerate skin ageing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dr Patricia Farris, explains that sugar damages the skin through a process called glycation, which involves ‘crosslinking’ collagen and elastin (the protein that acts as elastic connective tissue). The act of crosslinking makes the collagen molecules lose their important, mechanical properties. What you’re left with is what doctors call AGEs (advanced glycation end products), ultimately leaving skin wrinkled.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Dermatologists call this the ‘sugar sag,’” says Dr Farris. “Accumulation of AGEs starts in the early thirties and continues throughout life. AGEs in skin give it a yellowish discoloration that is a tell-tale sign of too much sugar consumption.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She notes that sun exposure and oxidative stress from the sun put the glycation process into overdrive, so avoiding excess sun is always a good idea.</span></p> <h2>Sugar can trigger skin inflammation</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Inflammation is the body’s response to anything it detects as an irritant, which can present itself in different ways throughout the body.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Sugar causes cortisol, the body’s stress hormone, to soar,” says Dr Deanne Mraz Robinson. “This triggers inflammation, which can spur a variety of inflammation-linked skin conditions to flare up from eczema to rosacea and psoriasis.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To combat this irritation, Dr Robinson suggests supplementing your diet with anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, turmeric, green tea, and blueberries. “If you’re eating sugar-filled carbs, pair them with a fat or protein, which will lessen the blood sugar spike and inflammatory reaction,” she advises.</span></p> <h2>Sugar may exacerbate acne</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Inflammation resulting from high sugar consumption also can exacerbate common issues like acne, points out dermatologist, Dr Nada Elbuluk adding that she doesn’t believe there’s a certain amount of sugar that seems to make an impact on your skin.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A 2018 study published in the </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Journal of Pediatrics</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> looked at the correlation between the consumption of sugar-laden soft drinks and acne. Researchers found that the chances of severe-to-moderate acne were significantly higher in adolescents who consumed these beverages daily, versus those who drank no sugary drinks. The acne risks were even higher when the participants had more than 100 grams of sugar each day.</span></p> <h2>A word about hidden sources of sugar</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">What foods contain a lot of added sugar? You likely know an ice cream sundae or chocolate chip cookie is loaded with sugar. But what about less obvious food items? Added sugar is commonly found in salad dressings and ketchup. A healthy salad can turn into a sugar-laden meal if topped with a heavy dressing.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The concerns with the effects of sugar on the skin have been with processed sugar from high glycaemic index foods that contain refined and processed sugars and starches,” says Dr Elbuluk. So, you don’t have to avoid all sugar. Foods with natural sugars, like apples, are okay to eat.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“In general I would say that maintaining a healthy balanced diet, getting sufficient sleep and hydration, minimising stress, and maintaining a healthy skin regimen all can contribute to having healthy appearing skin,” says Dr Elbuluk.</span></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Written by Kelly Bryant. This article first appeared in </span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/heres-what-happens-to-your-skin-when-you-eat-sugar"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Reader’s Digest</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </span><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><span style="font-weight: 400;">here’s our best subscription offer.</span></a></em></p>

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PM urges caution after NSW woman dies from blood clots

<p dir="ltr">Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged Australians to avoid jumping to conclusions following the death of a NSW woman who developed blood clots a day after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.</p> <p dir="ltr">The 48-year old woman received the AstraZeneca vaccine last Friday, developed major blood clots the following day, and was put on dialysis in intensive care until her death on Wednesday,<span> </span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9473583/NSW-woman-48-dies-week-getting-Covid-19-vaccine-developing-blood-clots.html" target="_blank"><em>The Daily Mail </em>reported</a></span>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>The Daily Mail</em><span> </span>also confirmed that the woman was diabetic but otherwise healthy, and that preliminary tests had not found a conclusive link between her death and the vaccination.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a statement confirming that Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is investigating a death in NSW, the TGA also said, ““It has not yet been established whether there is any link between the COVID-19 vaccine and the tragic death reported by NSW health officials.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“NSW Health has said there is no confirmed link but further investigations are underway.”</p> <p dir="ltr">On Thursday, Mr Morrison said the woman’s death will continue to be looked into by state and federal authorities.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There is a lot more to understand and learn about that issue and I would caution others in making conclusions about this at this point as well,” he told reporters at a press conference in Western’s Australia’s Pilbara region.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We’ve been very transparent, very transparent, when it comes to information on these issues and people can expect us to do that,” he continued.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s important, because of the fact that people can have concerns, that we follow that important process, to inform ourselves properly.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CMYeoGmr2KS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CMYeoGmr2KS/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Scott Morrison (@scottmorrisonmp)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">In a statement released on Thursday night, a NSW Health spokesperson said the department would not speculate on or discuss individual cases, but offered condolences to the family of the woman who died.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The death of anyone is always a tragedy and our condolences are with the family and loved ones of the person who has passed away,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is responsible for regulating and monitoring the use of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia.”</p> <p dir="ltr">NSW Health has also noted many “conditions” can arise during normal life, regardless of whether a vaccine has been administered, but that it was important for anyone concerned about any adverse effects they were experiencing after a vaccination to contact their doctor.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Monitoring involves detecting and responding to any emergency safety concerns related to COVID-19 vaccines, particularly any adverse events following immunisation,” the statement read.</p> <p dir="ltr">The TGA also said that the blood clotting disorders connected to the AstraZeneca vaccine “are very rare and differ from common blood clots or venous thromboembolism, which occur in around 50 Australians every day.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“The clotting disorder being investigated in connection with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is now referred to as ‘thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome’, has been confirmed in only two cases out of over 700,000 people who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CNbok4Mp-k0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CNbok4Mp-k0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Scott Morrison (@scottmorrisonmp)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">If a link between the woman contracting blood clots and receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is confirmed, it would be the third case to occur in Australia - including a woman in Western Australia and a man in Victoria who both received the AstraZeneca vaccine and were in their 40s.</p> <p dir="ltr">Australians under 50 have been warned against receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine after a link was established between the vaccine and rare blood clots. Pfizer became the recommended vaccine for anyone under 50<span> </span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-08/scott-morrison-announces-pfizer-preferred-for-younger-people/100057184" target="_blank">as of last week</a></span>, with use of the AstraZeneca vaccine becoming more limited.</p>

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Hugh Jackman's important plea to all Aussies

<p dir="ltr">Hugh Jackman has shared an important message for his fans.</p> <p dir="ltr">The<span> </span><em>Wolverine</em><span> </span>star posted a video on Wednesday, April 14, to his Instagram encouraging followers to see their doctors for regular skin checks.</p> <p dir="ltr">“OK guys, I recommend getting a skin check,” Jackman started the video saying. “Regularly.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“I know I’ve said it before, I know I may be boring you with this but it’s super easy to do and it’s really, really, important to be preemptive with these things.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Jackman said that Aussies are particularly at risk to sunspots and skin cancers, especially if they were not as vigilant about sun protection in their younger years.</p> <p dir="ltr">“So, if you’re like me and you didn’t really know any better when you were young, and you didn’t wear sunscreen, and you were in the Australian sun, then you need to get a check-up even more.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“But if not, doesn’t matter who you are. Next time you are with your doctor or with a specialist if you can, if you are with your doctor just say ‘can you please give me a skin check?’ At least once a year,” he continues.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CMwsR5mjFZ7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CMwsR5mjFZ7/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">Jackman then showed his ear to the camera, which he explained had been taped up with a medical bandage following his most recent check-up.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I just had mine done, I just had a little biopsy, it’s pre-cancerous, it’s not much, but I’m really really glad I went,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">The actor has used social media to document his treatment for skin cancer, which he has had more than six times but has never had any major scares.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CNH2BvIjGpB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CNH2BvIjGpB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Hugh Jackman (@thehughjackman)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p dir="ltr">The Aussie star updated fans on his battle with skin cancer on<span> </span><em>Live! With Kelly</em><span> </span>in 2017, with assurances that he’s fine.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It is skin cancer but the least dangerous form of it,” he said at the time. “So it’s just something I have to get out after being an Aussie with English parents, growing up in Australia, it’s sort of the new normal for me.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He also spoke on the risks of prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun, saying, “So here’s the thing: One sunburn, you’re susceptible to cancer.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“One. And all of this is 25, 30 years after the doctor told me. Our rule, as kids growing up, was you get burned and peel two or three times, then you’re set.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Jackman concluded his recent Instagram video by pleading with fans to “wear sunscreen”.</p> <p> </p>

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Curing the incurable: A new breakthrough in childhood cancer

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scientists are on the cusp of a medical breakthrough that could help in the treatment of an aggressive brain cancer.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG, is the most aggressive childhood cancer with a </span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.ccia.org.au/blog/dipg-shining-a-light-on-the-deadliest-childhood-cancer"><span style="font-weight: 400;">current survival rate of 0%</span></a></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">. DIPG primarily occurs in children aged four to eleven years old and grows in the brainstem, meaning that it cannot be removed via surgery. On average, 20 Australian children are diagnosed with DIPG each year and have an average survival time of nine to twelve months after diagnosis.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But now a new drug offers hope to patients diagnosed with the disease.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scientists at Children’s Cancer Institute have developed a new anti-cancer drug from antimalarial drug quinacrine. When tested on animals that were growing DIPG tumours, they found that the drug stopped tumour growth and, when combined with a second drug, panobinostat, increased survival time.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CNn7JQHAOCy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="13"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CNn7JQHAOCy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Children's Cancer Institute (@childrenscancerinstitute)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Associate Professor David Ziegler from </span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://www.ccia.org.au/blog/australian-researchers-find-new-way-to-target-deadly-childhood-cancer"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Children’s Cancer Institute</span></a></span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> said, “Over the years, many different types of treatments have been tried for DIPG, but none so far have proven effective in clinical trials of children with the disease.”</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Speaking to Sunrise, he said the development was “a fantastic and exciting breakthrough.”</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is one of the worst cancers to affect either children or adults and until now we’ve had no effective treatments,” he continued.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’re at the point where we’ve found a drug that looks really effective and is actually finally promising some hope.”</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ziegler will lead human trials of the drug in top children’s hospitals in the United States and Australia “by the end of this year”.</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"></span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We’re working as quickly as possible to bring this to kids who desperately need it,” Ziegler said.</span></p>

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How to banish painful leg cramps

<div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div class="Maincontent"> <p>Everyone experiences leg cramps at some point in their lives, to a greater or lesser degree. If you’re lucky it can be as minor as a short series of spasms or cramps in the leg muscles that don’t relax for several seconds. Often these can be caused by overuse or dehydration, or even just standing and walking for longer than usual.</p> <p>Routine muscle cramps generally last just a few seconds or minutes and ease with warmth, rest and stretching. But you need to be able to tell the difference between that and more sinister conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT), peripheral artery disease, or even a clogging of the arteries which can reduce circulation to the limbs.</p> <p>The most common leg cramps – also known as restless leg or night leg cramps – can appear as if from nowhere, and as the name suggests, occur mostly at night.</p> <p>Characterised by a sudden movement in the leg muscles, causing painful, involuntary contractions to occur, they can last from a few seconds up to a few minutes.</p> <p>While low levels of certain minerals such as electrolytes and some medications have been cited as causes of leg cramps, unfortunately there is currently no definitive cure. However, sufferers can take Crampeze long term to help combat these cramps.</p> <p>Let’s take a closer look to help see if the leg pains you are experiencing may be simpler than you think to help identify – and hopefully ease.</p> <p><strong>What are the symptoms of common leg cramps or night cramps?</strong></p> <p>The symptoms of a muscle cramp include:</p> <ul> <li>Sudden uncontrollable and painful spasms in the muscle</li> <li>Muscle twitching</li> <li>Excruciating deep muscle pain in the calf</li> <li>Tightness of the calf and hardening of the muscle</li> </ul> <p>A cramp can reoccur several times before it goes away. Cramps are common at night and generally occur in the calf muscles and feet.</p> <p><strong>What can be the underlying cause of such cramps?</strong></p> <p>The exact cause of muscle cramps is largely unknown, but there are some risk factors that include:</p> <ul> <li>Muscle injury</li> <li>Muscle fatigue</li> <li>Poor diet and lifestyle</li> <li>Low Magnesium levels or Magnesium deficiency</li> <li>Dehydration</li> <li>Physical overexertion</li> <li>Physical exertion of cold muscles</li> <li>Some medications</li> <li>Excessive perspiration</li> </ul> <p><strong>How can you stop leg cramps?</strong></p> <p>Many people turn to magnesium supplements to try relieve leg cramps. Magnesium is involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and around 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It assists with energy production and is necessary for proper muscle and nerve function, while helping to maintain normal healthy functioning of the nervous system and may help relieve muscular cramps and spasms. However, magnesium alone is not a complete cramp solution to stop leg cramps.</p> <p><strong>Why choose Crampeze instead of a magnesium supplement?</strong></p> <p>Crampeze offers a wide range of muscular cramp relief products that fit in with your lifestyle and preferences. Crampeze products provide Magnesium supplementation and contain Viburnum Opulus (Cramp bark), which is traditionally used in western herbal medicine to help relieve muscle cramps and mild muscle spasms and twitches. Crampeze can be taken every day and easily fits into your routine to help you live your life cramp free from today.</p> <p><strong>Key Crampeze ingredients and how they work to stop leg cramps:</strong></p> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://crampeze.com.au/products/crampeze-night-cramps/" target="_blank"><strong>Crampeze Night Cramps</strong></a> contains:</p> <ul> <li>Viburnum Opulus (Cramp Bark) traditionally used in western herbal medicine to help relieve muscle cramps and mild muscle spasms and twitches.</li> <li>Viburnum Opulus (Cramp Bark) traditionally used in western herbal medicine as an antispasmodic and to maintain general health and wellbeing.</li> <li>Magnesium to support energy production and maintain muscle function.</li> <li>Ginkgo Biloba that acts as an antioxidant, reducing free radicals formed in the body.</li> <li>Ginkgo Biloba to support blood circulation to the peripheral areas of the body (legs, hands and feet).</li> </ul> <p><a rel="noopener" href="https://crampeze.com.au/products/crampeze-night-cramps-forte/" target="_blank"><strong>Crampeze Night Cramps Forte</strong></a> contains:</p> <ul> <li>Viburnum Opulus (Cramp Bark) traditionally used in western herbal medicine to help relieve muscle cramps and mild muscles twitches and as an antispasmodic.</li> <li>Magnesium to maintain healthy immune system functions and support healthy neuromuscular system.</li> <li>Magnesium to maintain muscle function and support nervous system function.</li> <li>Nicotinamide, feverfew extract and vitamin B5.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Additional lifestyle tips to help reduce cramps</strong></p> <p>There are many things you can do to help alleviate night time leg cramps that can be incorporated into your daily routine, such as drink plenty of water during the day, daily calf stretches, trying not to sit with your legs crossed, taking a warm bath before going to bed, indulge in regular massages, and modifying your diet to include more potassium and magnesium-based foods.</p> <p><strong>Some extra cramp facts</strong></p> <ul> <li>Leg cramps are reported in up to 60% of adults and 7% of children. Up to 20% of people have symptoms every day.<em><sup>1</sup></em></li> <li>About 1 in 3 people over the age of 60, and about half of people over the age of 80, experience regular leg cramps.<sup>2</sup></li> <li>Approximately 50% of those over 55 suffer nocturnal leg cramping, with significantly more people experiencing nocturnal leg pain.<sup>3</sup></li> <li>40% of people who suffer from leg cramps have cramps at least three times per week.<sup>4</sup></li> </ul> <p><strong><em>This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with </em></strong><a rel="noopener" href="https://crampeze.com.au/" target="_blank"><strong><em>Crampeze</em></strong></a><strong><em>.</em></strong></p> <p><em>References:</em></p> <ol> <li><em>Allen RE, Kirby KA. Nocturnal leg cramps. Am Fam Physician 2012;86:350–5. [PubMed] http://www.patient.co.uk/health/cramps-in-the-leg</em></li> <li><em>http://www.backinmotion.com.au/news/article/how-to-combat-night-pains-and-cramps Adrian Quinn – Physiotherapist and Director, Back In Motion</em></li> <li><em>Camberwell How to combat night pains and cramps Published: 19 March 2014</em></li> <li><em>http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/180160.php by Christian Nordqvist</em></li> </ol> </div> </div>

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Devastating diagnosis for three-year-old girl who thought she had tonsillitis

<p>Three-year-old Arlee O'Mahoney from Queensland has been "pretty unwell" for the last few months, according to her mum Kelli O'Mahoney.</p> <p>Arlee developed an ear infection and tonsillitis which she "just couldn't shake".</p> <p>When Arlee’s tonsils became so “swollen she was having trouble breathing” and she looked a “little pale”, doctors took a blood test.</p> <p>This was when the family was told devastating news: Arlee had leukemia, which was affecting her body's ability to fight off other infections.</p> <p>“Because her white and red blood counts were so low, they couldn’t fight the common things she was picking up, probably just from kindy,” O’Mahoney told <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/gold-coast-girls-tonsillitis-symptoms-found-to-be-precursor-to-leukemia-c-2552648" target="_blank">7NEWS.com.au.</a></p> <p>Things got worse for the family after it was revealed that little Arlee had acute myeloid leukemia, which is a rare form of the disease that has a 60 to 80 per cent treatability rate.</p> <p>“It’s not one of the better ones to have,” O’Mahoney said.</p> <p>Arlee is eight days into chemotherapy and is set to have four rounds of treatment, which isn't something her mother is looking forward to.</p> <p>“She knows she’s sick,” O’Mahoney said.</p> <p>“Other than that, she’s pretty well right now.</p> <p>“She’s handling it really well. She’s really strong and brave.</p> <p>“She’s still her bubbly self.”</p> <p>The family has turned to<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/arlees-courage-fight-against-lukemia?member=9807462&amp;sharetype=teams&amp;utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&amp;utm_medium=copy_link&amp;utm_source=customer" target="_blank">GoFundMe</a><span> </span>to raise money for the family as Kelli and her husband have to miss work as Arlee will be spending months in Queensland Children's Hospital, with more than $19,000 being donated.</p> <p>“You just don’t realise until you’re in that environment - in Arlee’s ward alone - how many kids need blood,” O’Mahoney said.</p> <p>“It opens your eyes up to how important it is, if you can, to donate blood.”</p>

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Young mum given three years to live after beautiful gesture

<p><span>Megy Gough received the shock of her life when she was told she’d have just three years left to live.</span><br /><br /><span>Following a wonderful gesture where she rallied 30 vendors to gift a $50,000 wedding to a couple who survived bowel cancer, she found out in November 2019 that she had the same horrible disease.</span><br /><br /><span>The disease had already spread to her liver and lymph nodes, and doctors declared her cancer “inoperable”.</span><br /><br /><span>However the mother-of-one is determined to watch her four-year-old daughter, Harper, grow up.</span><br /><br /><span>“My heart breaks at the thought of not being able to watch her grow up to be the woman that we're raising her to be. But, for her I know I have to fight this disease,” Mrs Gough told the <em>Gold Coast Bulletin.</em></span><br /><br /><span>The 31-year-old skin with her husband are fighting hard, despite losing their jobs at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.</span><br /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7840595/daily-story-a-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/02fc17707b644c5087829c927129f58e" /><br /><span>The pair are trying to fund integrative oncology, which is not covered by Medicare and will cost her more than $50,000.</span><br /><br /><span>While it won’t cure her disease, doctors say, it will buy her time.</span><br /><br /><span>It was only four years ago that Mrs Gough gave back to the community by helping a cancer-stricken couple.</span><br /><br /><span>She roused dozens of vendors to donate their services for a $50,000 wedding as a present for Rebecca Limb and Matt McLean.</span><br /><br /><span>“After the wedding I was providing her with assistance around growth shampoos, to help with her hair regrowth after her chemotherapy. Now the tables have turned. I could never have imagined that I would be walking down the same tough road though just a couple of years later,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>Mrs Gough said she missed key signs that her health was deteriorating, and put her symptoms down to exhaustion as she had started her own company within the same year.</span><br /><br /><span>She admitted her health had become a “last priority”.</span><br /><br /><span>After delaying a doctor’s visit for six months, she says it is a decision that became the “biggest regret of her life”.</span><br /><br /><span>Mrs Gough underwent 17 major rounds of chemotherapy after she could not find any doctors in Queensland willing to give her surgery.</span><br /><br /><span>She eventually found a Sydney doctor to take on her case.</span><br /><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7840597/daily-story-a.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/c7ae29be7be14378b6d7b9000de35ba6" /><br /><span>They gave her a peritonectomy in August to remove half of her bowel and 75 per cent of her liver, gallbladder, appendix and stomach lining.</span><br /><br /><span>Sadly, the family received another devastating blow when it was discovered there were two nodules in a scan that had become active.</span><br /><br /><span>Doctors also found cysts on her ovaries tha were determined to possibly be cancer.</span><br /><br /><span>She went on to undergo surgery to remove spots on her lungs, but ended up in an induced coma for five days, with liver failure and a collapsed lung.</span><br /><br /><span>The harsh reality has not deterred Mrs Gough’s hope, as she remains determined to have more time with her family.</span><br /><br /><span>The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help the couple through their hardship.</span><br /><br /><span>“I’ve always struggled and hated asking for help. I would prefer to help,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>“But I realised you either ask for help or you could potentially never see your daughter grow up.”</span></p>

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Leigh Sales slams slow vaccine roll out: “Amateur hour”

<p><span>Australia’s vaccine rollout has been slow and on Tuesday, Leigh Sales grilled Professor Brendan Murphy while the government struggles to keep up with distribution.</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Murphy said he “rejected” the idea Australia was failing in its COVID-19 vaccination program.</span><br /><br /><span>His comments followed just hours after Scott Morrison failed to disclose how many vaccines doses were produced and being delivered each week.</span><br /><br /><span>The federal government has ordered more than 53 million doses of the jab.</span><br /><br /><span>50 million of the vaccines are currently being manufactured onshore.</span><br /><br /><span>It was predicted that four million Aussies would be vaccinated by the end of March.</span><br /><br /><span>Drug manufacturer CSL said it expected to “hit a run rate of well over” a million doses per week by the end of the month.</span><br /><br /><span>However around 830 local doses were delivered in the first week of the program.</span><br /><br /><span>Since then, it has not been made clear how many have been released.</span><br /><br /><span>Just 854,983 Australians have been vaccinated against coronavirus — 280,943 through GP and GP respiratory clinics and the other federal agencies.</span><br /><br /><span>People vaccinated through age and disability facilities sits 112,830.</span><br /><br /><span>Dr Murphy said “the vast majority of GPs are incredibly happy with the rollout,” when grilled on why only two per cent of Australians have been vaccinated.</span><br /><br /><span>He went on to “completely” reject Sales’ accusation that the nation sees the rollout as “anything other than amateur hour”.</span><br /><br /><span>He said Australia didn’t need to use emergency protocols “unlike other countries” to get access to vaccines earlier.</span><br /><br /><span>“We are still on track to hit our target of every adult getting their first dose by the end of October,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>Dr Murphy said that the increased domestic vaccine supply was a “strategy” to help push the process along, but failed to predict when at least 75 per cent of the nation would be vaccinated.</span><br /><br /><span>“Like other countries we have been constrained by international supply, which is why the wonderful starting up of the local production of CSL is what is now accelerating our program,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>On Tuesday afternoon, the Prime Minister said there was “no holdup” on Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout.</span><br /><br /><span>He went on to say Australia was doing better than other countries including Germany, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan, during this stage of the rollout.</span><br /><br /><span>The Prime Minister did not reveal how many domestically produced COVID-19 doses are being produced and delivered every week.</span><br /><br /><span>“Well, it varies from week to week,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“We are still in the early phases so it would be misleading, I think, to give you an average at this point.</span><br /><br /><span>“We know what we are hoping to achieve. But at this point, we are hoping to achieve the figures that have already been realised to some extent and that is around the 800,000 mark.</span><br /><br /><span>“That is achievable and we want to be able to try and keep achieving that, and if we can do better than that, then we will.”</span><br /><br /><span>Dr Murphy told ABC’s <em>7.30</em> that production had “quadrupled” over the last few weeks and “is ramping up significantly at the moment”.</span><br /><br /><span>“We have not been in a position where we’ve had to do things in a hurry,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Morrison went on to say on Tuesday that experts were taking their time to make sure the domestically produced vaccine support were safe.</span><br /><br /><span>“There is no holdup. The release of vaccines has always been based on them completing those processes, so the fact that they actually have to get approved by the relevant authorities and do the batch testing is not a holdup,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“It is a necessary part of the process to guarantee Australian safety, so to describe it as a holdup would be incorrect.”</span></p>

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Heartbreaking reason for two-year-old's constipation

<p>A two-year-old boy in the UK has been diagnosed with stomach cancer after suffering from constipation for over a week.</p> <p>Kodie-Joe was rushed to hospital on February 15th in the UK after suffering from constipation for eight days.</p> <p>Multiple tests were conducted as well as a biopsy which revealed that the little boy had a "high grade" neuroblastoma in his stomach.</p> <p>Cancer had spread quickly into his bone marrow and the two-year-old Kodie-Joe not begins an intensive round of treatment which includes radiotherapy, immunotherapy, chemotherapy and stem cell therapy.</p> <p>He is also undergoing surgery as well as multiple blood transfusions.</p> <p>His aunt, Shae Robson, has shared the story on a<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.gofundme.com/f/kodiejoes-cancer-journey" target="_blank">GoFundMe page</a><span> </span>for the family as they struggle to cover the costs of his treatment as well as plan to go on a holiday this year.</p> <p>The diagnosis is a "worst nightmare" scenario for the family as it only gives Kodie-Joe a 50-50 chance of survival.</p> <p>“We’ve been told he has a 50 per cent chance of survival and if he survives then there’s a 50 per cent chance it’ll come back,” Ms Robson wrote.</p> <p>“We are absolutely devastated.”</p> <p>“I’d like to raise as much money as possible, half of the total to help out with the costs of travelling to and from the hospital every day, the costs of staying in hospital for multiple weeks as well as caring for their baby at home to take as much financial stress away from us as a family at this already awful time,” Ms Robson wrote.</p> <p>“The other half of the total raised will go towards paying off their caravan holiday they have booked for September so that they have something to look forward to without the worry of paying it off and to give us all a well-deserved break.”</p> <p>The GoFundMe page has currently hit its goal.</p>

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