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Incredible but true: Terminally ill scientist extends life for decades by becoming "world's first full cyborg"

<p>A British scientist who is terminally ill said he has transformed into “the world’s first full cyborg”.</p> <p>61-year-old Peter Scott Morgan, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2017, said he decided to extend his life using technology.</p> <p>This week, the roboticist emerged after 24 days in intensive care to reveal that “Peter 2.0 is now online”.</p> <p>“All medical procedures now complete and a huge success,” Scott-Morgan wrote on a Twitter post. “Long research road ahead but in great spirits.”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">Just home from 24 days in Intensive Care. All medical procedures now complete and a huge success. My mini-ventilator keeping me breathing is a LOT quieter than Darth Vader’s. All speech is synthetic but at last sounds like me again. Long research road ahead but in great spirits. <a href="https://t.co/JPjwjagDLT">pic.twitter.com/JPjwjagDLT</a></p> — Dr Peter B Scott-Morgan (@DrScottMorgan) <a href="https://twitter.com/DrScottMorgan/status/1193923007045132289?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 11, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The processes Scott-Morgan underwent during his intensive care included a laryngectomy to avoid the danger of saliva potentially entering his lungs – which he described as trading his natural voice for “potentially decades of life”.</p> <p>He also had a laser eye surgery and developed a life-like avatar of his face, which was designed to respond using artificially intelligent body language.</p> <p>The scientist, who was told by experts he might only have until the end of this year to live, said last month: “I’m not dying, I’m transforming. Oh, how I love science.”</p> <p>Scott-Morgan said the transition, which turned him into “the most advanced human cybernetic organism ever created in 13.8 billion years”, would not be his last.</p> <p>“It won’t stop there; I’ve got more upgrades in progress than Microsoft,” he wrote on his website. “Mine isn’t just a version change. It’s a metamorphosis.”</p> <p>Scott-Morgan said MND, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, should be seen as an opportunity to “upgrade” rather than a death sentence.</p> <p>“Over time, more and more with MND, with extreme disability, with old age, with a passion simply to break free from their physical straightjacket, will choose to stand beside me,” he wrote.</p> <p>He is now lobbying British MPs for support for his Right to Thrive campaign, which calls for increased access for people with MND to life-sustaining technologies, including tracheostomy and cough-assist machine.</p>

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How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?

<p>New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives.</p> <p>But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many kilometres from the fire. The smoke haze blanketing parts of NSW and Queensland has seen air quality indicators exceed national standards over recent days.</p> <p>Studies have shown <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673613621583?via%3Dihub">there is no safe level of air pollution</a>, and as pollution levels increase, so too do the health risks. Air pollution caused <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)32345-0/fulltext?code=lancet-site">nine million premature deaths globally</a> in 2015. In many ways, airborne pollution is like cigarette smoking – causing respiratory disease, heart disease and stroke, lung infections, and even lung cancer.</p> <p>However, these are long-term studies looking at what happens over a person’s life with prolonged exposure to air pollution. With bushfire-related air pollution, air quality is reduced for relatively short periods.</p> <p>But it’s still worth exercising caution if you live in an affected area, particularly if you have an existing health condition that might put you at higher risk.</p> <h2>Air quality standards</h2> <p>The exposure levels will vary widely from the site of the fire to 10 or 50 kilometres away from the source.</p> <p>The national standard for clean air in Australia is less than 8 micrograms/m³ of ultrafine particles. This is among the lowest in the world, meaning the Australian government wants us to remain one of the least polluted countries there is.</p> <p>8 micrograms/m³ refers to the weight of the particles in micrograms contained in one cubic meter of air. A typical grain of sand weighs 50 micrograms. When people talk about ultrafine particles the term PM, referring to particulate matter, is often used. The size of PM <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3925716/pdf/viru-4-847.pdf">we worry the most about</a> are the small particles of less than 2.5 micrometres which can penetrate deep into the lungs, called PM2.5.</p> <p>To put this in perspective, Randwick, a coastal suburb in Sydney which was more than 25km from any of the fires yesterday, had PM2.5 readings of around 40 micrograms/m³. Some suburbs which sit more inland had readings of around 50 micrograms/m³. Today, these levels have already reduced to around <a href="https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/aqms/hourlydata.htm">20 micrograms/m³ across Sydney</a>.</p> <p>We’re seeing a similar effect in Queensland. Today’s PM2.5 readings at Cannon Hill, a suburb close to central Brisbane, are 21.5 micrograms/m³, compared with 4.7 micrograms/m³ one month ago.</p> <p>A number of <a href="https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-events/health-alerts/bushfire-smoke-health-alert">health alerts</a> were issued for areas across NSW and Queensland earlier this week.</p> <p>While these numbers may seem alarming compared to the 8 microgram/m³ threshold, the recent air pollution in India’s New Delhi caused by crop burning <a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/new-delhi-pollution-reaches-unbearable-levels-as-public-health-emergency-declared">reached levels of 900 micrograms/m³</a>. So what we’re experiencing here pales in comparison.</p> <h2>Bushfire smoke and our health</h2> <p>However, this doesn’t mean the levels in NSW and Queensland are without danger. Historically, when there are bushfires, <a href="https://europepmc.org/abstract/pmc/pmc4271508">emergency department presentations</a> for respiratory and heart conditions increase, showing people with these conditions are most at risk of experiencing adverse health effects.</p> <p>Preliminary analysis of emergency department data shows hospitals in the mid-north coast of NSW, where fires were at their worst, have had <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/news/Pages/20191113_00.aspx">68 presentations to emergency departments</a> for asthma or breathing problems over the last week. This is almost double the usual number.</p> <p>One study looked at the association between exposure to smoke events in Sydney and premature deaths, and found there was a 5% increase in mortality during bushfires <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21601845">from 1994 to 2007</a>.</p> <p>But it’s important to understand these deaths would have occurred in the people most vulnerable to the effects of smoke, such as people with pre-exsisiting lung and heart conditions, who tend to be older people.</p> <p>For people who are otherwise healthy, the health risks are much lower.</p> <p>But as the frequency of bushfires increases, many scientists in the field speculate these health effects may become more of a concern across the population.</p> <h2>How to protect yourself</h2> <p>If you’re in an affected area, it’s best to <a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/bushfire-smoke.aspx">avoid smoke exposure</a> where possible by staying indoors with the windows and doors closed and the air conditioner turned on.</p> <p>If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, or just do not feel well, you should speak to your health care professional and in an emergency, go to hospital.</p> <p> </p> <p>Once the fires have been put out, depending upon the region, local weather conditions and the size of the fire, air quality can return to healthy levels within a few days.</p> <p>In extreme situations, it might take weeks or months to return to normal. But we are fortunate to be living in a country with good air quality most of the time.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/126835/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Brian Oliver, Research Leader in Respiratory cellular and molecular biology at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and Senior Lecturer, School of Medical &amp; Molecular Biosciences, University of Technology Sydney</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/how-does-poor-air-quality-from-bushfire-smoke-affect-our-health-126835" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Do hormone diets actually work?

<p>When it comes to losing weight and getting healthy, there is never a shortage of diet and fitness crazes claiming to hold the secret to easy, sustainable weight loss. Some of the most recent popular diet crazes include the <a href="https://theconversation.com/keto-diet-a-dietitian-on-what-you-need-to-know-99867">ketogenic diet</a> (low carbohydrate, high fat), the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/carnivore-diet">carnivore diet</a> (only eating meat and other animal products), and <a href="https://theconversation.com/intermittent-fasting-whats-the-best-method-118212">intermittent fasting</a> (eating only within a strict timeframe or on certain days).</p> <p>But another diet plan that’s come into the spotlight recently is <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/what-are-hormone-diets--and-can-they-really-help-you-lose-weight-quickly/2019/08/02/19ce5ab4-9f51-11e9-b27f-ed2942f73d70_story.html">the hormone diet</a>, which claims that the reason people struggle to lose weight is because their hormones aren’t working properly.</p> <p>Many books have been written on this topic, with advocates of the hormone diet claiming people can quickly lose a significant amount of weight by using diet and exercise to manipulate or “reset” their hormones. There are a few variations of the diet, but the main idea with each is that the key to losing weight is by correcting perceived hormonal imbalances in the body.</p> <p>Hormones play an important role in our body’s everyday processes, from digesting food to helping bones grow. They’re transported around the body through the bloodstream and act as “chemical messengers” that instruct cells to perform specific jobs.</p> <p>For example, <a href="https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/type-1-diabetes/what-insulin">insulin</a> is essential for regulating metabolic processes and allows the body to store the carbohydrates from food as energy in our muscle cells. When we eat, it causes blood sugar levels to rise, which results in the pancreas releasing insulin into the bloodstream. The insulin then attaches itself to cells and signals them to absorb sugar from the bloodstream and store it for later use.</p> <p>Insulin was once thought to play a key role in weight gain, but recent research shows that <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28765272">total calorie intake</a> is the primary factor in gaining or losing weight. Fat loss can only be achieved by creating a calorie deficit, which simply means that you must burn more calories than you consume. Similarly, this is why many people have success with intermittent fasting, as it typically results in people eating less food and therefore fewer calories.</p> <p>One <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hormone-Diet-Program-Strength-Younger/dp/1609611411">popular book promoting the hormone diet</a> uses a three-step programme that claims it will help people lose weight, gain strength, and feel younger. Steps one and two of the diet focus on changing nutritional habits. Step three concentrates on exercise.</p> <p>According to the author, readers must “detox” their body. In step one, readers remove foods such as alcohol, caffeine, sugar, red meat, cow’s milk and milk byproducts (such as cheese or yoghurts) from their diet, while simultaneously eating more fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products from sheep and goats, and plant milks. In step two, readers must then cut out processed foods, artificial sweeteners and refined grains. Step three involves an increase in cardiovascular and strength exercises.</p> <p>The dietary recommendations provided in steps one and two require a decrease in food products that are typically high in calories and low in nutritional value, such as alcohol, high-sugar foods and processed foods. The diet also promotes foods such as vegetables, fish and fruit, which increase fibre intake (important for the digestive system) and provides the body with a variety of vitamins and minerals that perform many bodily functions needed for overall health and well-being. These foods are also generally lower in calories than alcohol, high-sugar foods and processed foods. And paired with the recommended exercises in step three, this “hormone diet” will probably increase calorie “burning” along with other health benefits.</p> <h2>Does the ‘hormone diet’ work?</h2> <p>Generally, the hormone diet recommended in this book is not bad nutritional advice. But the key here is that any potential weight loss will probably be from the change in calorie intake, rather than an effect (if any) on your hormones.</p> <p>Weight loss (or body fat loss) is achieved by creating a calorie deficit, not by “resetting your hormone balance”. Despite what advocates of the hormone diet might claim, hormonal imbalances are usually the result of a more serious underlying health condition, such as diabetes (impaired insulin function) or <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/overactive-thyroid-hyperthyroidism/">hyperthyroidism</a> (where the thyroid produces too many thyroid hormones), which couldn’t simply be fixed through diet alone, and would require medical treatment.</p> <p>Currently, there is no viable theory to demonstrate that a person can “reset” their hormones to influence fat loss. There is also no peer-reviewed research in a major journal that has specifically studied the hormone diet and its effects. But there might be a simple explanation for why people think the hormone diet works: it helps to create a calorie deficit through improved nutritional habits and exercise, which will probably result in weight loss.</p> <p>Ultimately, anyone that wants to lose weight or body fat should focus on creating a calorie deficit. How a person creates this calorie deficit may vary from person to person, and might even include following popular diet plans like keto or intermittent fasting. However, the best approach is whichever someone finds the most compatible with their lifestyle.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/122744/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Robert Naughton, Senior Lecturer, University of Huddersfield</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/hormone-diets-are-all-the-rage-but-do-they-actually-work-122744" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Pregnant firefighter defends decision to continue battling NSW blazes

<p><span>A NSW firefighter has defended her decision to continue battling wildfires that have swept across the state while 13 weeks pregnant.</span></p> <p><span>23-year-old Katherine Robinson-Williams said she plans to keep working to help contain the bushfires until she is physically unable.</span></p> <p><span>“Yes I am pregnant. Yes I am going to the fires. And yes I’ll be alright. No I won’t just stay behind,” she wrote on an Instagram post. </span></p> <p><span>“I’ll always make the way. </span></p> <p><span>“As long as I am physically able to help I’ll always work my best as I’m a firefighter, just like all the rest!!”</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/B4q70DzhzE2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4q70DzhzE2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">For all the females on the ground inNSW right now. We stand together we stand proud !! Yes I am a Firefighter No I’m not a man Yes I am a female Yes I am pregnant Yes I am going to the fires And yes I’ll be alright No I won’t just stay behind No I don’t care if you don’t like it THIS IS MY STATE IN FLAMES! I love my country I love my mates And if that means I’m needed on the ground Then I’ll always make the way As long as I am physically able to help I’ll always work my best As I’m a firefighter, Just like all the rest!! #firefighters #nswfires #femalefirefighters #nswrfs</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/katrobinsonwilliams96/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kat RW</a> (@katrobinsonwilliams96) on Nov 9, 2019 at 8:05pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>She told the <em><a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50400238">BBC</a> </em>she had posted the picture after several friends expressed their concern over her coming out on the field.</span></p> <p><span>“I wanted to tell them I’m okay and that I’m not just going to stop,” she said. “I’ll stop when my body tells me to stop.”</span></p> <p><span>She said her doctor had given her the all-clear “as long as I wear the right equipment”.</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/B4rZIhchpWp/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4rZIhchpWp/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">13 weeks pregnant and still going strong. Still going to fires. Little firefighter in the making!! First fire for Bub is tomorrow mornings strike team to mid coast. Safe to say ‘fighting fires before you were born’🔥🔥👩🏻‍🚒👨🏻‍🚒 #asiamafirefighterjustlikealltherest #nswrfs #nswfires #fireemergancy #rfsstriketeams</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/katrobinsonwilliams96/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Kat RW</a> (@katrobinsonwilliams96) on Nov 10, 2019 at 12:21am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span>Robinson-Williams, who has served as a volunteer firefighter for 10 years, comes from a family of firefighters in the Hunter Valley.</span></p> <p><span>She said her mother was pregnant with her while battling blazes in 1995.</span></p> <p><span>“I grew up being a firefighter. My grandmother when I was really little [gave me] very, very small yellow, toddler-sized firefighter clothing for me to run around in,” she told <em><a href="https://10daily.com.au/news/australia/a191112rwhiz/pregnant-firefighter-hero-explains-why-shell-continue-battling-nsw-blazes-20191112">10 daily</a></em>.</span></p> <p><span>“My whole family are firies. My in-laws are firies, my husband is a firefighter and my grandmother is a firefighter.</span></p> <p><span>“I’ve loved it and I’ve never stopped and I don’t think I ever will.”</span></p>

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Top hearing aids of 2019: Best features, invisibility and more

<p>Getting older comes with great wisdom, and sometimes (unfortunately) a whole host of new health ailments. The good news is, many of them can be effectively treated or managed, including hearing loss.</p> <p>If you’re tired of saying “pardon?”, distracting yourself from the buzzing in your ear, or having to ask your family members to turn up the TV volume, know that you don’t have to suffer in silence any longer.</p> <p>Poor hearing is not your new normal. It can be fixed with the help of a quality hearing aid. And don’t worry—hearing aids aren’t the clunky devices they used to be. Many of today’s modern versions sit just inside the ear, making them practically invisible.</p> <p>If the cost of fixing your hearing is an issue, Sydney-based service <span><a href="https://hearingaidcomparison.com.au/edm/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hac-november&amp;utm_content=top-hearing-aids">Hearing Aid Comparison</a></span> can book you in for a free hearing screening with an audiologist near you. They’ll test your hearing and show you a range of devices based on your unique needs and budget. Better yet—you can try before you buy, to ensure your hearing aid is a good fit for you and your lifestyle.</p> <p><strong>Get your free hearing test today</strong></p> <p>Step 1: Select your state below.</p> <p>Step 2: After answering a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare hearing aids in your area and could be eligible for significant savings.</p> <p><a href="https://hearingaidcomparison.com.au/edm/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hac-november&amp;utm_content=top-hearing-aids"><img style="width: 500px; height: 158.984375px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7832127/o60_hac_selectyourstate_1280-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/e3995c525c144f589fde27598536d7b1" /></a></p> <p>Noticing that your hearing has started to slip can be jarring. But you don’t have to live a life of shouting and asking people to repeat themselves. You simply need to find the hearing aid that best fits your needs, and if cost is an issue, your budget. But where to start? The following list of hearing aids are from some of the top providers in Australia and can help you get started on your search for a quality hearing aid.</p> <p><strong>Best Features: Widex Evoke</strong></p> <p>The Widex Evoke is the world’s first smart hearing aid, and the only hearing aid on the market that can truly evolve through frequent use.</p> <p>The Evoke lets you customise your settings—like most modern hearing aids do—but allows you more freedom and relaxation than some others on the market.</p> <p>Your hearing aids are learning as you use them. They make automatic adjustments to fit your surroundings based on the other environments you’ve visited in the past. On top of that, they’re some of the most comfortable hearing aids on the market.</p> <p><strong>Best Invisible: Starkey CIC with Muse iQ</strong></p> <p>Starkey is another top name in the hearing aid industry, and make one of the better invisible hearing aids out there.</p> <p>These hearing aids won’t be best for everyone, but those who have mild to moderate hearing loss can keep their hearing aids hidden without losing features.</p> <p>The Muse iQ delivers high-quality speech recognition in even the busiest of environments, as well as the ability to stream calls, TV, and music directly to the hearing aids.</p> <p><strong>ReSound LiNX 3D</strong></p> <p>The LiNX 3D is one of the newer hearing aid options from ReSound. It delivers some of the best directional sound features on the market, which is sometimes difficult to find in hearing aids.</p> <p>This hearing aid does everything well. It’s comfortable, discreet, and powerful enough to service the needs of those with severe hearing loss.</p> <p>As the name suggests, the real selling point of these hearing aids is the directional sound. It makes incoming sounds a lot more natural than some of the other devices we’ve seen.</p> <p><strong>Eargo Neo</strong></p> <p>The Eargo Neo presents as one of the better values for hearing aids. The invisible hearing aid sits comfortably in your ear and delivers reliable sound profiles that make the hearing aids feel more natural.</p> <p>These hearing aids aren’t the most powerful on the market, but they’re excellent value for those who want invisible hearing aids with reliable sound.</p> <p><strong>Starkey Livio Ai</strong></p> <p>The Livio AI is more than just a hearing aid. The device also tracks the health of your brain and body. The sensors can even detect if you’ve fallen and in need of assistance.</p> <p>Of course, the Livio is also a top-notch hearing aid that interfaces with your phone. It can perform well in noisy environments and is barely noticeable sitting on your ear.</p> <p><strong>Widex Beyond</strong></p> <p>iPhone lovers will enjoy the Widex Beyond. Although the hearing aid is compatible with Android, it’s designed to work in tandem with Apple devices.</p> <p>These behind-the-ear hearing aids are affordable and comfortable. They make setting adjustments easy through the intuitive app, and let you stream music, TV, and phone calls.</p> <p>Unfortunately, the streaming features aren’t available for Android just yet, but iPhone users will be more than happy with this pick.</p> <p><strong>Oticon Opn S</strong></p> <p>The Oticon Opn S is a discreet hearing aid that doesn’t compromise on sound quality. It provides 360-degree sound to make listening feel more natural. A lot of other invisible hearing aids need to compromise on directional sound, but the Opn S does not.</p> <p>Another great feature of these hearing aids is the ability to detect and eliminate the whistling sound that is common in other small devices. All of this for an affordable price as well.</p> <p>With all these different brands, styles, and features, finding a suitable hearing aid comes down to what you’re looking for. Need a hand?</p> <p><strong>Connect with an audiologist near you</strong></p> <p>Step 1: Select your state below.</p> <p>Step 2: Answer a few questions to book in a free hearing test in your area and compare hearing aids.</p> <p><a href="https://hearingaidcomparison.com.au/edm/?utm_medium=sponsoredarticle&amp;utm_source=over60&amp;utm_campaign=hac-november&amp;utm_content=top-hearing-aids"><img style="width: 493.82716049382714px; height: 500px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7832126/o60_hac_map_1280.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/7919353ebc0f4774beac9cd41c0ef154" /></a></p> <p><em>This article is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.</em></p>

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How to stay fit into your 60s and beyond

<p>Ageing is inevitable and is influenced by many things – but keeping active can <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1365-2">slow ageing and increase life expectancy</a>. Evidence <a href="https://www.ukactive.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Reimagining_Ageing.pdf">shows</a> that ageing alone is not a cause of major problems until you are in your mid-90s. And strength, power and muscle mass <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24030238">can be increased</a>, even at this advanced age.</p> <p>So here are my top exercise tips for people in their 60s and older, at different levels of fitness.</p> <h2>For lifetime fitness fanatics</h2> <p>If you fall into this group, you are in the minority. You are <a href="https://academic.oup.com/ageing/article/43/1/10/24207">robust</a>, likely to be a “super-ager” and you are doing wonderfully. You are certainly <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3299702">optimising your chance of living longer and ageing successfully</a>.</p> <p>Generally, this is when you reap your reward from a lifetime of keeping active. With your <a href="https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/53/14/856">healthier metabolic, skeletal, cardiovascular and immune systems</a> you can <a href="https://www.who.int/ageing/healthy-ageing/en/">probably outperform people decades younger</a>.</p> <p>Keep up the kettlebells, spin classes, rowing, triathlons or manual work such as gardening – whatever you like to do. You can keep challenging yourself physically. Mix your routine up – a combination of aerobic and resistance work as well as an activity to challenge your balance is ideal.</p> <p>Maximise health benefits by swimming outdoors and as part of a community. You might want to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31610442">try sea swimming</a> – although it’s not for everybody.</p> <p>But watch out for chronic overloading, that is, diversify your exercise programme by incorporating cross-training. For example, if you are a runner, incorporate cycling or swimming to avoid overloading any part of your body.</p> <p>Recovery after strenuous exercise is <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01075989">slower as you age</a> and <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00839156">can take up to five days</a>. So exercise smart.</p> <h2>For the averagely fit</h2> <p>You are doing well, so keep going. Long-term consistency is the key for benefits. You don’t necessarily have to join a gym, just keep building meaningful physical activity into your day. For example, walk briskly to the shops to get your groceries, keep up gardening and be active around your house. Even repeating simple stair climbing is a great exercise.</p> <p>If you are suffering from hip or knee pain, walking may be painful, so try cycling or water-based exercise instead.</p> <p>Coupling <a href="https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-017-0584-3">physical activity with social engagement</a> can optimise its benefits, so try yoga or a dance class. Incorporate some <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/ggi.12895">outdoor exercise</a> for an <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21291246">added mental health boost</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p>The main thing is to avoid long periods of sitting. Also, ideally, continue to do the exercise you enjoy. Try to steadily build up your level of aerobic exercise at a level where you <a href="https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf">build up a sweat and feel slightly out of breath</a>.</p> <p>Often strengthening and flexibility exercises are neglected, so try to include these type of exercises where possible.</p> <h2>For the unfit or unwell</h2> <p>You may be managing complex chronic conditions, which make it more difficult to exercise. Or it may be that exercise is not a habit for you. If you have several chronic conditions, you may need clearance from a doctor to exercise and specialised exercise advice from a physiotherapist or other exercise professional.</p> <p>If you are experiencing three or more of the following: unplanned weight loss, exhaustion, slowness, weakness of grip and physical inactivity you may be considered <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/204046">frail</a>, which will leave you vulnerable to even minor health stresses. But it is never too late to build more physical activity into your daily life.</p> <p> </p> <p>Even reducing time spent sitting and doing a little exercise will have major health benefits, doing any type of activity at all is <a href="https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf">better than none</a>. Even chair-based exercises or practising sit-to-stand can be a great start.</p> <p>Feeling a bit out of breath with exercise is normal and some initial aches and joint pain are fine. But if you ever feel chest pain or severe discomfort, you need to see a doctor straight away.</p> <p>If you have a set-back such as a chest infection or fall which results in a hospital admission, get up and moving as soon as is safely possible. Even a few days of bed rest can result in <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=19548502">major decreases in strength and fitness</a>.</p> <p>If you have surgery scheduled, being as active as possible before being admitted to hospital and start moving as soon as possible afterwards will help your recovery. It may also <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/anae.14508">prevent complications</a> that could prolong your hospital stay.</p> <p>If you are diagnosed with cancer, keep active, even <a href="https://insights.ovid.com/crossref?an=00005768-201911000-00023">during treatment</a>, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00520-013-2064-4">during recovery</a>. If you have other common chronic conditions, such as heart or lung disease, <a href="https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf">keep as active as your condition allows</a>.</p> <p>Just remember, whatever your state of health, it’s never too late to reap the benefits of being more physically active.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/110214/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Julie Broderick, Assistant Professor, Physiotherapy, Trinity College Dublin</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-stay-fit-into-your-60s-and-beyond-110214" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Doctors uncover disgusting find in man’s unbearably blocked nose

<p>Zhang Binsheng, 30, went to the doctors after struggling to breathe for the last three months. His symptoms were so severe that he could not sleep properly at night and reported smelling “decay” out of one nostril.</p> <p>The doctors advised him to undergo an X-ray, where a shadow of ‘high density’ material was uncovered at the back of his nasal cavity.</p> <p>Zhang was left stunned when medics explained that it was his own tooth.</p> <p>“(It) looked a lot like a tooth,” Dr Bai Zhibang, a deputy director at the hospital’s ear, nose and throat department, told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.pearvideo.com/video_1620810" target="_blank" title="www.pearvideo.com">Pear Video</a></em>.</p> <p>The tooth had been knocked out of Zhang’s mouth when he fell from the fourth floor of a mall at the age of ten and had managed to root and grow in his nasal cavity.</p> <p>This means that the tooth had been growing in Zhang’s nose for the last twenty years.</p> <p>Doctor Guo Longmei explained that the reason that the body hadn’t rejected the tooth was because it was Zhangs and not a ‘foreign object’.</p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7832417/tooth-body.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/05204a0162064ff59685b602d25dcaea" /></p> <p>The tooth measured at 1cm and was removed from <span>Zhang’s nose in a 30-minute surgery. He is said to be recovering well.</span></p> <p>According to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://metro.co.uk/2019/11/11/mans-blocked-nose-caused-tooth-growing-nostril-11080867/" target="_blank">Metro</a>,<span> </span></em>having a tooth growing inside your nose is considered to be rare, with less than 0.1 per cent of the population likely to be affected.</p>

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What is rheumatoid arthritis?

<p>Arthritis is a broad term to describe inflammation of the joints which become swollen and painful. There are many <a href="https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/what-is-arthritis/types-of-arthritis/">different kinds</a>. <a href="https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/types-of-arthritis/osteoarthritis/">Osteoarthritis</a>, the most common, is caused by wear and tear.</p> <p>This is <a href="https://painhealth.csse.uwa.edu.au/pain-module/rheumatoid-arthritis/">followed by</a> rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune condition where the person’s immune system mistakenly attacks and damages its own joints and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1568997211001923">other organs</a>.</p> <p>Rheumatoid arthritis is relatively common, affecting around <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673616301738">one in 100 people</a>, including young people and even children.</p> <p>Twenty-nine-year-old Danish tennis player Caroline Wozniacki <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-26/caroline-wozniacki-diagnosed-with-rheumatoid-arthritis/10432300">told fans last year she was diagnosed with this condition</a>. Earlier in 2018, she had won the Australian Open, then struggled with unexplained symptoms.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr">"I got diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and it was something I'd been battling with, I wasn't really sure what was going on" - <a href="https://twitter.com/CaroWozniacki?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@carowozniacki</a> <a href="https://t.co/frqBS9GFBw">pic.twitter.com/frqBS9GFBw</a></p> — #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) <a href="https://twitter.com/AustralianOpen/status/1083496377559076864?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 10, 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Researchers do not fully know what causes rheumatoid arthritis, but suspect certain genes may trigger it when combined with environmental and lifestyle <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673616301738">factors</a> such as smoking or infections.</p> <p><strong>How does it feel?</strong></p> <p>People commonly experience joint pain, but it is particularly bad in the mornings and when they rest. Joints in the hands, feet, wrists, elbows, knees and ankles may be stiff for hours at a time. But unlike osteoarthritis, the pain can actually get better with movement.</p> <p>If the inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis is not controlled, people experience joint pain, stiffness, fatigue and can almost feel like they have the flu.</p> <p>The inflammation can lead to damage to the bones and cartilage (cushion) in joints causing deformity and disability. This can affect work, and social and family life.</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1568997211001923">18% to 41% of patients</a>, the condition can cause inflammation in other parts of the body, such as the lungs (this may cause a condition called interstitial lung disease) and the blood vessels (leading to a condition called vasculitis).</p> <p>People with severe rheumatoid arthritis also have an <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hon.2525">increased risk of developing lymphoma</a>, a type of cancer of the lymphatic system, which helps rid the body of toxic waste.</p> <p><strong>How is it diagnosed?</strong></p> <p>When a GP suspects someone has rheumatoid arthritis, the patient is referred to a rheumatologist for a detailed physical examination focusing on joint pain, tenderness, swelling and stiffness.</p> <p>The patient will have some routine blood tests to look for signs of inflammation and “autoimmunity” – <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6287017/">antibodies directed against the patient’s own tissues</a>.</p> <p>The person may also have an x-ray of the affected joints (if the symptoms have been present for more than three months) to look for signs of cartilage thinning and bone erosion (small bites out of the bone).</p> <p>Ultrasound and MRI are less useful for <a href="https://advancesinrheumatology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42358-018-0023-y">diagnosis</a>, but can sometimes be used to monitor the condition.</p> <p><strong>How is it treated?</strong></p> <p>While there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, medicines can effectively control the condition and stop visible signs of damage.</p> <p>With good treatment, it’s now very rare to see deformed joints or people in wheel chairs.</p> <p>Treatments should start as early as possible and will vary according to how active and severe the condition is. Some people need only a small amount of medicine whereas others will try many different medicines, sometimes in combination.</p> <p>Because the immune system is overactive and mistaken in its target, the treatment approach is to dampen the immune response.</p> <p>Initial treatment may include a low dose of steroids called prednisolone, as well as an immune-suppressing drug such as <a href="https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/medication/drug-types/disease-modifying-drugs/methotrexate-side-effects.php">methotrexate</a> or <a href="https://rheumatology.org.au/patients/documents/Leflunomide_2016_Oct2016_000.pdf">leflunomide</a>, to control the inflammation.</p> <p>If the condition is not controlled by these drugs, then other medicines, mostly injections, called “<a href="https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/things-to-consider-when-taking-a-biologic/">biological</a>” drugs, can be added. These mimic substances naturally produced by the body and block specific substances in the immune system. Very recently, some newer tablets have been approved for rheumatoid arthritis.</p> <p>Pain management may also be needed with medicines like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.</p> <p>Inflamed, swollen joints can also periodically be treated by local joint injection of steroids.</p> <p>People with rheumatoid arthritis will also greatly benefit from physiotherapy and occupational therapy. They will learn exercises to maintain joint flexibility, as well as alternative ways to perform daily tasks that may be difficult or painful.</p> <p>But the fatigue is very difficult to treat. Gentle graduated exercise programs, a good healthy diet, understanding of the condition and its treatment, as well as psychological support, can help with fatigue.</p> <p>Most people with rheumatoid arthritis can no longer be distinguished from people without the condition and live full and active lives. However, for a small percentage of unlucky patients who have aggressive disease or cannot tolerate any of the medicines, the course can be more difficult.</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Fabien B. Vincent, Research Fellow; Rheumatology Research Group, Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, Monash University and Michelle Leech, Rheumatologist, Professor/Director Monash Medical Course/ Deputy Dean Health Faculty, Monash University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-rheumatoid-arthritis-the-condition-tennis-champion-caroline-wozniacki-lives-with-119537" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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How running may help you live longer

<p>It’s free, requires no equipment and the scenery can be stunning – it’s no wonder running is among the world’s most popular sports.</p> <p>The number of recreational runners in Australia has doubled from <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/subscriber.nsf/log?openagent&amp;41770_2005-06.pdf&amp;4177.0&amp;Publication&amp;A36EC2C4EAD3937BCA257281001ADA51&amp;0&amp;2005-06&amp;14.02.2007&amp;Latest">2006</a> to <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/subscriber.nsf/log?openagent&amp;41770do001_201314.xls&amp;4177.0&amp;Data%20Cubes&amp;C7DF0B6E60E19B6FCA257DEF001141C2&amp;0&amp;2013-14&amp;18.02.2015&amp;Latest">2014</a>. Now more than 1.35 million <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/subscriber.nsf/log?openagent&amp;41770do001_201314.xls&amp;4177.0&amp;Data%20Cubes&amp;C7DF0B6E60E19B6FCA257DEF001141C2&amp;0&amp;2013-14&amp;18.02.2015&amp;Latest">Australians</a> (7.4%) run for fun and exercise.</p> <p>Our study, published today in the <a href="http://bjsm.bmj.com/lookup/doi/10.1136/bjsports-2018-100493">British Journal of Sports Medicine</a>, suggests running can significantly improve your health and reduce the risk of death at a given point in time.</p> <p>And you don’t have to run fast or far to reap the benefits.</p> <p><strong>Our study</strong></p> <p>Past research has found running <a href="https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(15)00621-7/fulltext">reduces the risk</a> of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, disability, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.</p> <p>It also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25568330">improves</a> aerobic endurance, heart function, balance and metabolism.</p> <p>These are important components of your overall health status. So, it would be reasonable to assume participation in running increases longevity. But the previous scientific evidence on this has been inconsistent.</p> <p>Our review summarised the results of 14 individual studies on the association between running or jogging and the risk of death from all causes, heart disease and cancer.</p> <p>Our pooled sample included more than 230,000 participants, 10% of whom were runners. The studies tracked participants’ health for between 5.5 and 35 years. During this time, 25,951 of the participants died.</p> <p>When we pooled the data from the studies, we found runners had a 27% lower risk of dying during the study period from any cause compared with non-runners.</p> <p>Specifically, running was associated with a 30% lower risk of death from heart disease and a 23% lower risk of death from cancer.</p> <p><strong>More isn’t necessarily better</strong></p> <p>We found running just once a week, or for 50 minutes a week, reduces the risk of death at a given point in time. The benefits don’t seem to increase or decrease with higher amounts of running.</p> <p>This is good news for those who don’t have much time on their hands for exercise. But it shouldn’t discourage those who enjoy running longer and more often. We found even “hardcore” running (for example, every day or four hours a week) is beneficial for health.</p> <p>Nor do the benefits necessarily increase by running at high speeds. We found similar benefits for running at any speed between 8 and 13 km/h. It might be that running at your own “most comfortable pace” is the best for your health.</p> <p><strong>But keep in mind there are risks as well</strong></p> <p>Running may lead to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15126720">overuse injuries</a>. These occur as a consequence of repeated mechanical stress on the tissue without sufficient time for recovery.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24809248">history of injury</a> and a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11479190">longer duration of activity</a> increase the risk of overuse injuries.</p> <p>You can <a href="http://sma.org.au/resources-advice/injury-fact-sheets/">minimise the risk</a> by avoiding uneven or hard surfaces, wearing appropriate footwear, and trying not to suddenly increase the pace or duration of running.</p> <p>There is always the risk of <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21788587">sudden death during exercise</a>, but this occurs very rarely.</p> <p>Importantly, we found the overall benefit of running far outweighs the associated risks. Shorter duration and lower pace of running will further reduce the risks.</p> <p><strong>Tips for beginners</strong></p> <p>Start slow and gradually increase the pace, duration and weekly frequency. Set your aim at 50 minutes a week or more, and run at a comfortable speed. Be persistent, but don’t let yourself run out of steam.</p> <p>The benefits will be similar, regardless of whether you do it in one go or in multiple sessions spread across the week.</p> <p>If you don’t like running alone, consider joining a running group or an organised event such as <a href="https://www.parkrun.com/">parkrun</a>. Running in a group can increase your motivation and provide a fun social experience.</p> <p>It can be hard to start running, but it shouldn’t be too hard. If you don’t like running, don’t force it; there are more than 800 other <a href="https://www.topendsports.com/sport/list/index.htm">interesting sports</a> to choose from. The benefits of <a href="https://theconversation.com/which-sports-are-best-for-health-and-long-life-67636">many other sports</a> (such as swimming, tennis, cycling and aerobics) are comparable to the ones we found for running.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/120578/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Željko Pedišić, Associate Professor, Victoria University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/running-may-help-you-live-longer-but-more-isnt-necessarily-better-120578" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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“Does this look like a murderer”: The photo that shows the end of a 60-year love story

<p>It’s the end of a 60-year-old love story that involves a couple making a pact to end their lives together.</p> <p>Mavis and her husband Dennis Eccleston made a pact after Dennis was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer and asked for help ending his own life.</p> <p>Neither one wanted to live in this world without the other and Mavis wrote a 14-page note before both husband and wife drank a cocktail of prescription drugs.</p> <p>Shortly after ingesting the drugs, the couple were rushed to hospital after being found unconscious by their daughter and granddaughter.</p> <p>Dennis had a ‘do not resuscitate’ order on his record and died soon after arriving at the hospital.</p> <p>He passed away holding hands with his wife in adjoining hospital beds.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">Does this look like a murderer? Our mom got charged with murder for trying to commit suicide with our cancer riddled dad, so he would be out of pain. This was the end of a 60 year love story, NOT MURDER!!! <a href="https://twitter.com/dignityindying?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@dignityindying</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/BBCNews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BBCNews</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/ITV?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ITV</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/davidgold?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@davidgold</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MeacherMolly?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MeacherMolly</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/kevinwwfc666?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kevinwwfc666</a> <a href="https://t.co/oZb3FwmXqY">pic.twitter.com/oZb3FwmXqY</a></p> — Joy Munns (@JoyMunns) <a href="https://twitter.com/JoyMunns/status/1191398735114383361?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">4 November 2019</a></blockquote> <p>Mavis, however, was saved.</p> <p>The following day, she was arrested and held in a cell for 30 hours. According to Mavis’ family, Mavis left the hospital in tears after a nurse callously told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/09/22/family-80-year-old-cleared-murdering-husband-mercy-killing-claim/" target="_blank">her</a>:</p> <p>“We have got to wait for the police because you have murdered your husband and you are going to prison for a long, long time.”</p> <p>Mavis and Dennis’ daughter Joy told<span> </span><em>BBC Breakfast<span> </span></em>about the horrific ordeal.</p> <p>“I was holding onto her and I didn’t want them to take her,” she said.</p> <p>“You could see that [the police] didn’t want to take her but they had to because it was their job.”</p> <p>In April 2019, Mavis was told she was to be charged with the murder of her husband.</p> <p>“When you hear that someone’s been murdered, you think of something horrific,” Joy explained.</p> <p>“This was my mum and dad we’re talking about.”</p> <p>However, after a three-week trial in September, Mavis was found not guilty by a jury.</p> <p>Mavis spoke to the media after her trial, saying that she was “annoyed” when she woke up in hospital.</p> <p>“I wanted to be with my husband. You wouldn’t let an animal suffer the way Dennis was suffering,” she said.</p> <p>“I don’t regret what I did and wouldn’t change what happened. I live with a very contented family and I am happy for them – but I would still rather be with Dennis.”</p>

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How difficulty in identifying emotions could be affecting your weight

<p>Most of us have turned to food to make ourselves feel better at some point. Whether it is snuggling up with a pot of ice cream following a break up (channelling an <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfEC5zA-q1U">inner Bridget Jones</a> perhaps) or turning to chocolate and biscuits to keep us going through a difficult day at work. This is known as <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-some-people-overeat-when-theyre-upset-105872">emotional eating</a>, consuming food in response to emotions. But while it may make us feel better initially, in the long run, it can have a negative impact on our health.</p> <p>We are all aware that obesity is a major societal issue with <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32129-3">rates still increasing</a>. Overeating in response to emotions is just one of <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obesity/causes/">the many factors</a> thought to drive weight gain and increase body mass index (BMI). However, while other factors do come into play, it is important to understand how emotions may influence weight gain to help aid weight loss and management.</p> <p>So, why do we turn to food when we’re feeling emotional? <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2012.05.006">Some researchers</a> argue that emotional eating is a strategy used when we are unable to effectively regulate our emotions. This “emotional dysregulation” can be broken down into three aspects – understanding emotions, regulating emotions, and behaviours (what we do in response to a given situation).</p> <p>Understanding our emotions involves being able to identify them and describe them to others. Being unable to do this is part of a personality trait called alexithymia, which literally means having “no words for emotions”. Varying degrees of alexithymia occur from person to person. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3999(98)00053-1">Around 13%</a> of the population could be classed as alexithymic, with the rest of us falling somewhere along a continuum.</p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/emotions-how-humans-regulate-them-and-why-some-people-cant-104713">Emotional regulation</a>, meanwhile, encompasses the strategies we use to reduce (negative emotions) and manage our emotions generally. It can include exercising, breathing or meditation, as well as eating.</p> <p>A number of things influence how we regulate emotions. This includes personality factors such as negative affect (general levels of depression and anxiety) and negative urgency (acting rashly in response to negative emotions). When experiencing upsetting emotions, impulsive people may act without thinking. For example when feeling upset during an argument with a loved one, you may say something in the spur of the moment which you later regret. If a person cannot appropriately regulate their emotions, it can lead to the use of ineffective strategies, such as emotional eating.</p> <p><strong>Effects on BMI</strong></p> <p>To date, the links between emotional dysregulation, emotional eating and BMI/weight gain have not really been understood. But in <a href="https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1Y8jGiVKTPRiv">our latest research</a>, we propose a new model of emotional eating, and in turn, BMI.</p> <p>For the study we used difficulty understanding emotions (alexithymia) as a way of characterising emotional dysregulation. As can be seen in the figure below, we propose that alexithymia, negative affect (general levels of depression and anxiety), negative urgency (acting rashly in response to negative emotions), and emotional eating may all play a role in increasing BMI.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/252891/original/file-20190108-32151-wnlrwd.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption">Emotional dysregulation model of BMI.</span></p> <p>We tested this model in a student sample (aged 18 to 36) as well as a more representative sample (18-64). Within the student sample, we found a direct link (where one factor, “X”, directly influences another, “Y”) between difficulty identifying emotions and increased BMI. Independent of other factors, individuals who were unable to identify their own emotions generally had a higher BMI.</p> <p>We also found that difficulty identifying emotions indirectly (X influences Y but via one or more additional factors) predicted BMI via depression, negative urgency (rash emotional responses) and emotional eating in the student sample. And that difficulty describing emotions indirectly predicted BMI via anxiety alone, as well as via anxiety, negative urgency and emotional eating. In other words, being unable to identify and describe emotions increases vulnerability to depression and anxiety respectively. In turn, this depression and anxiety increases the likelihood of a person reacting without thinking. This means they are more likely to turn to food to alleviate their negative feelings, experiencing increased weight and BMI as a result.</p> <p>In the more representative sample only indirect links between difficulty identifying emotions and increased BMI were found. But here depression and negative urgency play a stronger role. Specifically, difficulty identifying emotions was indirectly linked to BMI via an increased tendency to experience depression alone. Meanwhile, difficulty describing emotions via an increased tendency to act rashly in response to negative emotions was linked to BMI when anxiety was included in the model.</p> <p>While the precise mechanism by which emotions drive emotional eating and its impact on BMI remains unclear, our study is the first step in developing a model of BMI which is inclusive of multiple factors. Because emotional eating is a coping strategy for emotions, it’s important to consider how emotional regulation relates to weight loss and management programmes. For example, improving the ability to identify and describe emotions may reduce a person’s tendency to turn to food, which can lead to positive effects on their health.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/105917/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Aimee Pink, Research Officer, Swansea University; Claire Williams, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Swansea University; Menna Price, Lecturer in Psychology, Swansea University, and Michelle Lee, Professor of Psychology, Swansea University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/how-difficulty-in-identifying-emotions-could-be-affecting-your-weight-105917" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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What time of day should I take my medicine?

<p>Whether you need to take a drug at a specific time of day depends on the medication and the condition you are treating. For some medicines, it doesn’t matter what time you take it. And for others, the pharmacist may recommend you take it at the same time each day.</p> <p>But we estimate that for around 30% of all medicines, the time of day you take it <em>does</em> matter. And a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/advance-article/doi/10.1093/eurheartj/ehz754/5602478">recent study</a> shows blood pressure medications are more effective if you take them at night.</p> <p>So, how do you know if the timing of your medication is critical?</p> <p><strong>When timing doesn’t matter</strong></p> <p>In most cases, it’s not important when you take your medicine. For instance, you can take non-drowsy antihistamines for hay fever, or analgesics for pain when you need them. It doesn’t matter if it is morning, noon or night.</p> <p>What is more important is the time interval between each dose. For instance, paracetamol needs to be taken at least four hours apart, any closer and you run the risk of taking a toxic dose.</p> <p>Even when a medication <em>doesn’t need</em> to be taken at a particular time, the pharmacist may still recommend you take it at the same time every day anyway.</p> <p>This daily pattern helps remind you to take it. An example is taking the oral contraceptive at the same time each day, simply out of habit.</p> <p>For the <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medicine-finder/microlut-tablets">mini pill</a>, taking it at the same time is actually necessary. But the actual time of day can be whatever works best for you.</p> <p><strong>When does it matter?</strong></p> <p>It may seem fairly obvious to take some medicines at particular times. For example, it makes sense to taking sleeping medications, such as <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/temazepam">temazepam</a>, at night before you go to bed.</p> <p>Some antidepressants, such as <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medicine-finder/endep-tablets">amitryptyline</a> or <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medicine-finder/avanza-tablets">mirtazapine</a>, have drowsy side effects. So it also makes sense to take them at night.</p> <p>For other medicines, taking them in the morning is more logical. This is true for diuretics, such as <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medicine-finder/lasix-tablets">furosemide</a>, which helps you get rid of excess fluid via your urine; you don’t want to be getting up in the night for this.</p> <p>For other medications, it’s not obvious why they have to be taken at a particular time of day. To understand why, we have to understand our circadian rhythm, our own internal body clock. Some systems in our body work at different times of day within that rhythm.</p> <p>For instance, the enzymes controlling cholesterol production in your liver are most active at night. So there may be some benefit to taking lipid (cholesterol) lowering drugs, such as <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medicine-finder/zocor-tablets">simvastatin</a>, at night.</p> <p>Finally, sometimes it’s important to take medications only on particular days. <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medicine-finder/dbl-methotrexate-tablets">Methotrexate</a> is a medicine used for rheumatoid arthritis and severe psoriasis, and the timing of this medication is critical.</p> <p>You should only take it on the same day once a week, and when taken this way it is quite safe. But if you mistakenly take it daily, as happened recently with <a href="https://www.meridianlawyers.com.au/insights/medication-misadventure-methotrexate-reminder-pharmacists-exercise-independent-judgment-safety-prescribed-medicine/">a patient in Victoria</a>, then it can cause serious illness or even <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/healthcare/worrying-rise-in-accidental-overdose-of-prescription-drug-methotrexate-20160606-gpcaz3.html">death</a>.</p> <p><strong>What about blood pressure medicines?</strong></p> <p>One of the ways the body regulates blood pressure is through a pathway of hormones known as the <a href="http://pharma.bayer.com/en/innovation-partnering/research-and-development-areas/cardiovascular/the-raas-system/#targetText=The%20renin%2Dangiotensin%2Daldosterone%20system%20(RAAS)%20is%20a,release%20an%20enzyme%20called%20renin">renin, angiotensin and aldosterone system</a>.</p> <p>This system responds to various signals, like low blood pressure or stressful events, and controls blood volume and the constriction of blood vessels to regulate your blood pressure.</p> <p>Importantly, this system is more active while you’re asleep at night. And a <a href="https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/advance-article/doi/10.1093/eurheartj/ehz754/5602478">recent study</a>, which found blood pressure medication is more effective at night, may change the way we use medicines to treat high blood pressure.</p> <p>Two types of drugs typically prescribed to lower blood pressure are <a href="http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/BloodPressureandyou/Medicines/Medicinetypes/ACEInhibitors">angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors</a>, such as <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medicine-finder/apo-perindopril-arginine-tablets">perindopril</a>, and <a href="http://www.bloodpressureuk.org/BloodPressureandyou/Medicines/Medicinetypes/ARBs">angiotensin receptor blockers</a> (known as ARBs), such as <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medicine-finder/irbesartan-an-tablets">irbesartan</a>. These drugs dilate blood vessels (make them wider) to reduce your blood pressure.</p> <p>Until now, doctors and pharmacists have often advised patients to take these medications in the morning, assuming it’s good to have a hit of the drugs when you’re up and about.</p> <p>But this study found taking blood pressure medications at night produced a significant reduction (45%) in heart disease, including fewer strokes, heart attacks and heart failure compared to taking them in the morning.</p> <p>Taking them at night also meant people’s blood pressure was better controlled and their kidneys were healthier.</p> <p>So if you take one of these drugs to control your blood pressure and aren’t sure what you should do, talk to your pharmacist or doctor. While evidence is building to support taking them at night, this might not be appropriate for you.</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Nial Wheate, Associate Professor | Program Director, Undergraduate Pharmacy, University of Sydney and Andrew Bartlett, Associate Lecturer Pharmacy Practice, University of Sydney</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/what-time-of-day-should-i-take-my-medicine-125809" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Do we have to clean out our pores?

<p>Many of us would have seen, if not tried, various products claiming to clean the dirt out of our pores. From scrubs to cleansers to plasters that stick to our faces, there are many tools at our disposal.</p> <p>But do we actually need to clean out our pores? Or are the little black stems on the other side of the sticky plaster or mask fine where they are?</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/tTXHoN3jkM8?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> </p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">There are many products on the market to clean out pores.</span></p> <p>The pores on our face, just like our ear canals, are designed to clean themselves. So for most people, leaving them to their own devices is fine, and just cleansing the face is enough. But there are a variety of reasons why pores can become blocked, causing blackheads to form under the skin. These blackheads are made up mostly of dead skin, and some dirt.</p> <p>Hormones, bacteria or sometimes too much cleansing (because this can irritate the skin, causing it to thicken) can cause pores to block. This is a common cause of acne. This is because when the pore blocks there is back pressure in the oil gland which can then rupture, releasing very irritating oils. It’s these that cause the red lesions known as acne.</p> <p>It’s important to never squeeze a blackhead too much because you might cause the oil glands to rupture back into the skin, causing an even worse reaction. You can buy a special blackhead removing tool from the chemist and this avoids breaking a blackhead under the skin. There are also medical prescription gels that can clear pores. Vitamin A products stop the skin lining the pores from thickening, so they don’t block the oil glands, leading to acne.</p> <p>Some people have genetically bigger and more noticeable pores, and pores get bigger as we age. This doesn’t mean they’re more likely to fill up with dirt. The only issue is some people don’t like the way this looks and can feel self-conscious about their bigger pores.</p> <p><strong>What are you trying to achieve?</strong></p> <p>There are a few different ways to think about your pores. Some people have normal skin and just want to clean their face. In some people pores are blocked with a condition such as acne. And some have normal skin and just want their pores to appear smaller.</p> <p>If your skin is normal (no acne and the pores are not prominent) and you just want to clean your face, just wash your face gently to avoid irritating your skin, which can cause your pores to appear bigger. Using hot water can inflame your face and dry it out, so stick with lukewarm or cool water. Use a gentle cleanser, but if your skin is on the dry side, you don’t need to use a cleanser.</p> <p>If you want to use one, make sure it’s non-abrasive and doesn’t contain chemicals that will dry out your face. Pat your face dry with a soft towel and don’t rub it or scrub it. This can irritate the pores and cause them to swell and block.</p> <p>If you have acne, using a chemical exfoliant such as alpha hydroxy and or beta hydroxy acid will exfoliate your skin without having to scrub it. This means there is no damage to the pore. The longer you leave the cleanser on the more it works.</p> <p>If you overdo it, the skin will dry and start to flake and scale. Importantly, a break from the cleanser is better than just putting on moisturiser, which could add to the pore blockage.</p> <p>If your aim is cosmetic and you want to make your pores appear smaller, many opt for micro-dermabrasion. This is a process that many dermal technicians perform with an abrasive device and suction to wear away the very top layer of the skin (the epidermis). The process is usually performed with the aid of a strong cleanser.</p> <p>This treatment is not something to try yourself. The suction can help unblock the pores, but too much friction can irritate them. So you have to ensure you’re not getting worse after these treatments. This treatment should be used no more than once a month, since it can damage your skin if it’s done too often.</p> <p><strong>What can be harmful?</strong></p> <p><strong>Steaming</strong>: heating the face can make the blood vessels stand out and cause rosacea (a red rash) in those who are prone to it. The oils are dissolved more readily and stripped from the face, which means, unless you really have very oily skin, it will dry out. <a href="https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-3-540-89656-2_42">We now know heat ages the skin</a> so it makes sense to avoid this type of treatment for most people.</p> <p><strong>Facial brush</strong>: while a facial brush will exfoliate your skin, the risk is that the pore will swell due to the irritation, causing more blockage.</p> <p><strong>Facial scrub</strong>: gels, creams, cleansers and scrubs containing tiny particles that exfoliate your face can also cause swelling and block the pores.</p> <p><strong>Pore strips</strong>: clay masks and pore-strips pull out the substances that accumulate in pores. They do remove the pore contents faster than nature intended, but they are relatively gentle on the pore compared to the scrubs. They can, however, leave the skin more sensitive to anything applied shorty after.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/75288/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Michael Freeman, Dermatologist, Associate Professor, Bond University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-do-we-have-to-clean-out-our-pores-75288" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Child hospitalised after ingesting unexpected object while trick or treating

<p>A pre-school age child has been rushed to hospital in Victoria after she ate a drug that was mixed in with lollies while out trick or treating.</p> <p>The child was enjoying Halloween festivities in Bacchus Marsh when the incident occurred.</p> <p>Victoria Police spoke to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.news.com.au/national/victoria/news/bacchus-marsh-child-hospitalised-after-ingesting-unexpected-object-while-out-trick-or-treating/news-story/f30013300a87cb5ec46641d2fb6dee5c" target="_blank">news.com.au</a></em><span> </span>about the incident.</p> <p>“Investigators have been told that the child may have ingested a prescription medication and are currently making inquiries as to how this happened,” police said in a statement.</p> <p>The child became ill while trick or treating just after 8 pm yesterday and the child’s mother noticed that she was not well. The mother quickly called an ambulance and the child was taken to hospital for observation.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">A little girl has been rushed to hospital after falling ill while trick or treating in Bacchus Marsh. Police say the child appears to have swallowed prescription medication which may have been mixed in with her lollies while out door knocking. <a href="https://t.co/fiL2O99hCo">https://t.co/fiL2O99hCo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/7NEWS?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#7NEWS</a> <a href="https://t.co/aKcnA3ilFU">pic.twitter.com/aKcnA3ilFU</a></p> — 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) <a href="https://twitter.com/7NewsMelbourne/status/1189996166504538112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">31 October 2019</a></blockquote> <p>The drug ingested has reportedly been used to treat psychosis and may have become mixed up with other sweet that were collected by the girl.</p> <p>Police are investigating but currently do not have reports of similar incidents.</p> <p>The girl’s parents told<em> <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/halloween-fright-as-preschool-aged-girl-is-rushed-to-hospital-while-trick-or-treating-c-534560" target="_blank">Channel 7</a></em><span> </span>that they’re using the incident as a warning to other parents who went trick or treating in the same area.</p>

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“Felt like acid”: ALDI forced to defend sunscreen after customer’s horror stories

<p>ALDI has been forced to defend a heavily criticised sunscreen range known as Ombra SPF 50+ as there have been several accusations from unhappy customers who were left with horrific sunburn.</p> <p>Shoppers who bought the product have said that they were left with burns and skin irritations, but ALDI said that the sunscreen has passed industry testing and is safe to use.</p> <p>Complaints have emerged, with many customers giving the product a one-star rating.</p> <p>“Used this once and would never use it or recommend ever. Face felt like I had acid on it. My face was red and burned for hours after. Very, very itchy.”</p> <p>“The Ombra 50+ spray is horrendous,” one woman said.</p> <p>“I reapplied twice and was in the sun for a few hours at most (I am very pale), and I got absolutely roasted. It’s criminal to sell this product with the intensity of the Australian sun.”</p> <p>A father from Queensland was also left with a nasty surprise after using the sunscreen.</p> <p><br /><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" class="post_image_group" src="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/47446003/big-ALDI-sunscreen-ombra.jpg" alt="" data-asset_id="47446003" data-url-thumb="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/47446003/thumb-ALDI-sunscreen-ombra.jpg" data-url-thumb-small="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/47446003/thumb_small-ALDI-sunscreen-ombra.jpg" data-url-thumb-big-scaled="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/47446003/thumb_big_scaled-ALDI-sunscreen-ombra.jpg" data-url-large="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/47446003/large-ALDI-sunscreen-ombra.jpg" data-url-big="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/47446003/big-ALDI-sunscreen-ombra.jpg" data-url-original="https://over60.monday.com/protected_static/657795/resources/47446003/ALDI-sunscreen-ombra.jpg" data-filename="ALDI-sunscreen-ombra.jpg" data-is-gif="false" data-post-id="501854464&quot;" /><span> </span><span> </span><br /><br /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Photo credit: <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.canstarblue.com.au/health-beauty/brands/aldi-sunscreen/" target="_blank">Canstar Review</a></em></p> <p><span>"We went for a swim 15 to 30 minutes after applying, dried and immediately applied again," Tate told </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/weather/aldi-ombra-sunscreen-slammed-as-acid-after-queensland-family-burns-c-526973" target="_blank">7NEWS.com.au</a></em><span>.</span></p> <p>"People refer to it as acid. You may as well cover yourself in vegetable oil," he said.</p> <p>However, some customers have said that the horrific reactions are just different types of skin reacting to the active ingredients in the sunscreen.</p> <p>“It’s not the actual sunscreen it’s how different individuals react to the active ingredients in it,” a woman said.</p> <p>“It’s the same with every type of sunscreen. It’s why you should always patch test...”</p> <p>An ALDI spokesperson told<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://au.news.yahoo.com/felt-like-acid-customers-reveal-aldi-sunscreen-horror-stories-050459767.html" target="_blank">Yahoo News Australia</a><span> </span></em>that the sunscreen meets industry standards, but they will investigate complaints.</p> <p>“We are always concerned to hear if a customer has experienced issues with our products and we will thoroughly investigate any complaints,” ALDI said.</p> <p>“We can confirm ALDI Ombra sunscreens are extensively tested to ensure they meet best practice, safety and industry standards before they become available to customers.</p> <p>“They are regulated by the TGA (Therapeutic Good Administration Australia) and ALDI adheres to all their requirements.</p> <p>“As outlined on the product labels, ALDI Australia recommends customers carefully follow application instructions to achieve optimum protection including reapplying often enough and using the adequate thickness.”</p>

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How being part of a social group improves your health

<p>It’s well established that people who feel socially isolated, or as though they don’t belong, have worse mental health than those who feel socially connected. But in a study recently published in the <a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0004867417723990">Australian &amp; New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry</a>, we’ve shown that increasing your level of social connection can protect your future mental health.</p> <p>Previous research has found “social connectedness” is at least as <a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316">good for your health</a> as quitting smoking or exercise. It aids recovery from physical and mental illness, and provides resilience for stressful life events and transitions. So what is social connectedness, and how can we get more of it?</p> <h2>What is social connectedness?</h2> <p>Social connectedness isn’t about being popular, or having a lot of friends. Although it can come from the personal relationships you have with other individuals, <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953614005632">research finds</a> it’s belonging to groups that’s most important for your health.</p> <p>When we feel we truly belong to a group – like being part of “the Marsh family” or “us Stanley Street residents” – we benefit from both the bonds we share with other group members, and how belonging to that group tells us something about who we are.</p> <p>Social connectedness is crucial to physical and mental health. A 2010 <a href="http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316">review of 148 studies</a> found that people who felt less socially connected had more risk of early death than those who smoked, drank or were obese.</p> <p>Therapeutic programs that focus on <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00127-017-1372-2">building social connectedness</a> are effective in treating depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. But improving someone’s social connectedness can also support and protect the health of people in their everyday lives.</p> <p>For example, people who make new social group connections are <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953613005194">less likely to develop</a> depression. And people who maintain and build their social group connections have greater well-being during the transition to <a href="http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/2/e010164.short">retirement</a> or <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1348/014466608X397628/full">university</a>.</p> <p>Social connectedness has also been positively associated with mental health in large, population-based studies of <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953615000301">Australian</a>, <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953615300563">British</a> and <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953612000275">American</a> adults.</p> <h2>What our study means</h2> <p>Our <a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0004867417723990">latest study</a> investigated the link between social connectedness and mental health in 25,000 New Zealand adults over four years using the longitudinal <a href="https://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/our-research/research-groups/new-zealand-attitudes-and-values-study.html">New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (NZAVS)</a>. We asked people about their personal feelings of belonging with others in their community and found when a person’s level of social connection goes down, they experience worse mental health a year later.</p> <p>The relationship also went the other way: people with good mental health were more socially connected a year later. But, importantly, the influence of social connectedness on mental health over time was about three times stronger than the other way around.</p> <p>Despite all this knowledge, there’s been little change in health care, public policy, or individual behaviour. Government <a href="http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/healthyliving/Pages/improving_your_health.aspx">health departments</a> specifically <a href="https://www.qld.gov.au/health/staying-healthy">recommend healthy eating</a>, exercise and quitting smoking to improve health, yet tend to omit any mention of social connection. One reason might be that it’s unclear how social connection works to promote health, compared to other factors like smoking.</p> <p>The best way to understand this measure is to see it as a psychological resource. Just like money in the bank means you can absorb financial shocks, a broad network of social group memberships means you can better navigate the physical and mental stresses of life.</p> <p>Social connectedness can act as a resource by providing a sense of <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.2169/abstract">shared meaning</a> and purpose. Weeding a community garden each Saturday is about more than earning your share of zucchinis, for instance. It’s also about recognising the garden cannot flourish without the efforts of many people, and taking part in something larger than yourself.</p> <p>Having an important role to play in the garden’s success means that the group’s purpose becomes your purpose. Another way being socially connected is like a resource is it provides access to <a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0898264315589578">material and emotional support</a> which helps during stressful events and difficult life transitions. If one member of a church group is in grief, others may step in to provide food, or help the grieving member speak about their feelings.</p> <p>Such expression of other group members’ commitment reinforces the feelings of belonging and security that the grieving person finds in their church group.</p> <h2>How to improve your social connectedness</h2> <p>How can we harness the power of social connection to improve our health and the health of our communities? Remember that social connectedness is more than mere contact with other people, or even merely being a member of social groups. It is about feeling that you belong to that group; that you trust others and they trust you in a shared purpose, and that group members can rely on each other.</p> <p>At a personal level, you could take stock of your existing relationships and group memberships, and make a change if these relationships are not trusting, mutually supportive, or have a shared meaning and purpose.</p> <p>At a community level, you could join or lead initiatives that will build trust and psychological bonds between community members. Local fetes and festivals are popular, but one-off events are not by <a href="http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953609007345">themselves sufficient</a> to promote social connectedness. But these events could be a starting point for community members to discover and join ongoing, supportive social groups with their own shared purposes.</p> <p>This might include finding a shared purpose for existing social groups, such as the <a href="http://mensshed.org/what-is-a-mens-shed/">“men’s sheds” movement</a>, which sets up places for men to come together and work on meaningful projects in the company of other men. Or it could include joining new groups like the <a href="http://www.parkrun.com.au/">popular parkrun</a> held weekly in public parks across Australia, which brings together the dual benefits of social connection and exercise.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/81996/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Alexander Saeri, Postdoctoral Fellow, UNSW; Chris G. Sibley, Professor, University of Auckland; Fiona Kate Barlow, Senior Research Fellow, The University of Queensland; Sam Stronge, PhD Candidate, University of Auckland, and Tegan Cruwys, Australian Research Council Fellow: Discovery Early Career Research Award, The University of Queensland</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/are-you-part-of-a-social-group-making-sure-you-are-will-improve-your-health-81996" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Why do we get dark circles under our eyes?

<p><strong>I’ve always wondered why we get dark circles under our eyes, and whether anything can be done about them - Fran, 34, Melbourne</strong></p> <p>Many people have an appearance of dark circles on the lower eyelids, and they have many different causes.</p> <p>Dark rings under the eyes are worsened by general fatigue, especially lack of sleep. The daily fluctuation is due to swelling of the skin, leading to a change in light diffusion, which looks like increased darkness of the skin.</p> <p>For some people, all we can say is that their parents had dark circles under their eyes and therefore they do too. This trait can <a href="http://www.pigmentinternational.com/article.asp?issn=2349-5847;year=2018;volume=5;issue=1;spage=1;epage=3;aulast=Daroach">run in families</a>, and is more pronounced in certain ethnic groups.</p> <p>Sun exposure can also create dark circles under the eyes, by increasing the melanin content. The skin in this region can pigment more than the surrounding skin because it’s more sensitive.</p> <p>Because the skin is thinnest under the eyes, the blood vessels here will be closer to the surface, meaning they look darker. As we age, our skin gets thinner and we lose collagen (the main structural protein in skin) and elastin (a highly elastic protein in connective tissue), which is why we get wrinkles. This often makes the blood vessels (which are dark in colour) under our eyes stand out more.</p> <p>The tear trough (the depression below the eye) also deepens with age because of movement of fat under the eye forwards, creating shadowing below it.</p> <p>The dark circles could also be a mere shadow from tired, puffy eyelids, or just from the anatomical shape of someone’s eye sockets: some are hollowed more than others.</p> <p>People with this appearance could be suffering from a skin condition of the eyelid skin such as eczema or allergic contact dermatitis. Inflammation from dry and sore skin, and also rubbing, cause melanin production.</p> <p>Some people may not always have dark circles, but may have been rubbing their eyes from fatigue or itchiness caused by hayfever. In these cases, the dark rings will simply go away after a while.</p> <p><strong>Can dark circles under the eyes be treated?</strong></p> <p>Darker skin under the eyes is a perfectly normal and natural appearance. But if it bothers you, there are a few options. Treatment will depend on what causes the dark circles, and these causes need to be addressed. In some cases, only an improvement may be possible.</p> <p>Removing the cause of inflammation of the eyelids will stop the melanin factory from overproducing. Then a fading cream can be used to reduce the colour. Be careful to use a cream without hydroquinone, which is a bleach that can harm our skin if used for too long, as it will be necessary to treat for a very long time.</p> <p>Ideally a fading cream would contain <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3663177/">licorice root extract</a>, as there is some evidence this inhibits the melanin factory in the cells without causing toxicity to the cells. Uva-Ursi plant leaf extract and a type of nanopeptide (Nanopeptide-1) are also commonly used. But while we know they are safe to use their effectiveness hasn’t been tested.<!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Michael Freeman, Dermatologist, Associate Professor, Bond University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/ive-always-wondered-why-do-we-get-dark-circles-under-our-eyes-90172" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Adele shows off incredible weight loss transformation

<p>Adele showed off her incredible weight loss as she attended celebrity friend Drake’s birthday party, shortly after her recent marriage split.</p> <p>The 31-year-old partied at the do in Goya studios, Hollywood looking sensational in chic off-the-shoulder dress and her hair tied back in a slick ponytail.</p> <p>The star was accompanied by several other celebrities, including Diddy, Chris Brown, and Future.</p> <p>Although, her new beau Skepta, who she reportedly began dating last month, was nowhere to be seen.</p> <p>The singer separated from 45-year-old Simon Konecki in April after eight years together, with the pair sharing a seven-year-old son Angelo together.</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/B4AnJMaAkhk/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <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="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B4AnJMaAkhk/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">ADELE LOOKING GORGEOUS at Drake’s Birthday Party | this is giving me the kylie jenner vibes skdbskdks [#adele #officialadelefanpage | #adeleph #adelephilippines]</a></p> <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 post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/officialadelefanpage/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Adele</a> (@officialadelefanpage) on Oct 24, 2019 at 10:36am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Following her split, Adele has been slowly losing weight, crediting her new figure to Reformer pilates with friend Ayda Field.</p> <p>A source close to star told<span> </span><em>The Sun</em><span> </span>at the time: “Adele has been out enjoying herself and she sees that as her priority at the moment, along with being a mum to Angelo.</p> <p>“She has been loving her new workout regimen and it really works for her.</p> <p>“It’s a bonus that she has shifted some weight.</p> <p>“Her mates are glad she’s letting loose and there’s nothing but good feelings towards her. She’s got a new lease of life.”</p>

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Why do I have stretch marks and what can I do about them?

<p>Most women get them. Some men get them. Few people welcome them. Stretch marks, or <em>stria distensae</em> as they are known medically, are scars that appear when the skin is stretched beyond its <a href="http://physicsnet.co.uk/a-level-physics-as-a2/materials/hookes-law/">elastic limit</a>.</p> <p>Physicists define the elastic limit as the maximum force that can be applied to solid material before the onset of permanent deformation. In dermatology, when stresses up to the elastic limit are removed, the skin resumes its original size and shape. When forces beyond the elastic limit are removed, the skin remains permanently stretch-marked.</p> <p>The younger you are, the firmer your skin. The firmer your skin, the lower your elastic limit and the more likely you are to develop stretch marks. Stretch marks occur most frequently during adolescent or pregnancy growth.</p> <p>The primary cause is <a href="http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/41348/1/striae.pdf">mechanical</a> stretching of the skin due to underlying tissue expansion. Parallel inflammatory streaks appear and align perpendicular to the direction of skin tension. Microscopically, the skin is initially swollen, inflamed and elastin bundles in the inner layer of skin (the dermis) are disrupted.</p> <p>Over time, the inflammation eventually fades and is replaced by scar tissue. This produces a thinned outer layer of skin (the epidermis), loss of dermal elastin, and a replacement of the dermis by abnormally dense collagen fibres.</p> <p><strong>Risk factors</strong></p> <p>Adolescent stretch marks may appear on the lower abdomen, lower part of the back, buttocks, thighs and female breasts. They are most common on the thighs of girls and on the knees of boys.</p> <p>Hormonal and genetic factors are also involved in the development of pregnancy stretch marks. Girls who develop adolescent stretch marks on their breasts are more likely to develop abdominal stretch marks during pregnancy. Younger women, women who gain more weight during pregnancy, women with twins or large babies and women who go post-term are all <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1913631/">more likely</a> to get stretch marks.</p> <p>Weightlifters are more susceptible to stretch marks, especially those who use anabolic <a href="http://example.com/http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Steroids">steroids</a>. Stretch marks can also occur in <a href="http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Cushing's_syndrome">Cushing’s syndrome</a> or following the administration of oral and topical <a href="http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Hormones_-_cortisol_and_corticosteroids">corticosteroids</a>.</p> <p><strong>Prevention and treatment</strong></p> <p>Creams and lotions can’t prevent stretch marks. While not all preventative treatments have been evaluated, and some treatments have shown promise in individual studies, a <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000066.pub2/abstract#leftBorder">Cochrane review</a> in 2012 concluded there is:</p> <blockquote> <p>no high-quality evidence to support the use of any of the topical preparations in the prevention of stretch marks during pregnancy.</p> </blockquote> <p>People with stretch marks have four options:</p> <p><strong>1) Learn to love them</strong>: Embrace stretch marks. Show them off. Post them on <a href="http://example.com/http://news.yahoo.com/viral-social-media-campaign-promotes-stretch-mark-acceptance-160825898.html">social media</a>. Wear them as a badge of honour.</p> <p><strong>2) Wait for them to fade</strong>: Most stretch marks begin red (stria rubra) and become white (stria alba) and less conspicuous over the course of a year or two. For people concerned by their stretch marks, reassurance is usually all that’s required.</p> <p><strong>3) Use creams to fade them</strong>: While creams won’t prevent stretch marks, they may help fade them, according to a recent comprehensive <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bjd.12681/abstract?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&amp;userIsAuthenticated=false">review</a>.</p> <p>Topical retinoid creams such as <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/tretinoin-topical-route/description/drg-20066521">tretinoin</a> are thought to work through induction of collagen synthesis and should be applied once daily for six months. Tretinoin works better on early red stretch marks, while white stretch marks respond poorly.</p> <p>Skin irritation is a common side effect of tretinoin, so it may not be suitable for people with sensitive skin. Cocoa butter is less irritating, but also less effective. Newer silicone gels seem to be more effective.</p> <p><strong>4) Laser</strong>: While pulsed dye vascular lasers or <a href="http://www.scfa.edu.au/skin-conditions/laser-treatments/intense-pulsed-light-ipl">intense pulse light</a> (IPL) treatments can fade red stretch marks, this is unnecessary, as most will fade naturally within six to 12 months.</p> <p>After a number of false starts, lasers have finally come of age for white stretch marks. The <a href="http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf11/k110907.pdf">fractionated laser</a> works by burning tiny pin-prick-sized holes in the skin. The wounds are not visible to the naked eye, but microscopic wound healing to repair these tiny holes promotes new collagen formation and improves the skin thickness and appearance of the stretch marks.</p> <p>Responses vary but most people require four treatments, spaced four to six weeks apart, to achieve on average a 50 per cent improvement. Inflammation is common after treatment and generally lasts 24 to 48 hours.</p> <p>But for the vast majority of stretch marks, active treatment is not necessary. Most stretch marks naturally fade and become less conspicuous over time.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/36779/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Rodney Sinclair, Professor Dermatology, Honorary, Epworth Hospital, University of Melbourne</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-why-do-i-have-stretch-marks-and-what-can-i-do-about-them-36779" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

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