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“He is conscious”: Turning point in Michael Schumacher's sad plight

<p>Formula One star Michael Schumacher is said to be “conscious” after undergoing stem-cell treatment in Paris, France, a French newspaper has reported. </p> <p>The <em>Le Parisien </em>revealed earlier this week the seven-time world champion had been admitted to Georges-Pompidou hospital for a complex treatment involving the transfusions of inflammation-reducing stem cells. </p> <p>The cardiac surgeon who carried out the complex operation, Professor Philippe Menasche is also the same doctor who performed the world’s first embryonic cell transplant on a patient with heart failure in just 2014. </p> <p>“He is in my area. And I can assure you that he is conscious,” a source told the French newspaper. </p> <p>The 50-year-old German was left with severe brain damage in 2013 after suffering an accident while skiing. </p> <p>The Formula One legend has since been recovering at his family home in Lausanne and while his family has kept his condition as private as possible, new details have come to light about the trip to Paris. </p> <p>An Italian newspaper <em>La Repubblica </em>quoted biology professor Angelo Vescovi who claimed to have been “contacted by a person who knew Schumacher’s family”. </p> <p>“They asked if something could be done (for Schumacher). At that time, we had made an attempt to inject the same cells we use for multiple sclerosis into the brain of a boy in a coma with quite good results,” he said. </p> <p>“At the moment, we can only make assumptions about what they are doing in Paris.”</p> <p>The <em>Le Parisien</em> reports the Ferrari and Mercedes driver has an estimate of 10 security guards watching over him at the hospital. </p> <p>The family said on the star’s 50th birthday that they were “doing everything humanly possible" and “that he is in the very best of hands”. </p> <p>The manager of Schumacher, Nick Fry, spoke about his accident in his new book<em> Survive. Drive. Win</em>. where he wrote: “Corinna (Schumacher’s wife) and the family have kept a very tight control on information about his condition and his treatment which, I think, is a pity.</p> <p>“There are millions of people out there who have a genuine affection for Michael, and that’s not just his fans in Germany or fans of Mercedes Benz.</p> <p>“He has sustained an injury while skiing, which unfortunately happens to ordinary people every year. Families of those in recovery generally react better if they know other people are in the same boat.</p> <p>“I am sure that techniques and therapies have been developed and tried (with Schumacher) over the last few years that may well help others.</p> <p>“It would be helpful for his family to share how they have dealt with this challenge.”</p> <p> </p>

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7 innocent mistakes that put your kidneys in trouble

<p>If your kidneys aren’t working properly, you could raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Here are seven things you may be doing that could jeopardise the health of your kidneys.</p> <p><strong>1. You’re a fan of packaged food</strong></p> <p>Most processed food is chock-full of sodium, which isn’t just bad for your heart, it can lead to kidney problems. When you’re showing signs that you eat too much salt, your body needs to flush the sodium out when you wee, and it takes calcium with it. In turn, having too much calcium in your urine increases your risk for kidney stones, says nephrologist Dr James Simon.</p> <p>In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council has set an ‘Adequate Intake’ of sodium at 460–920 mg per day (equivalent to about 1.15-2.3 g of salt), however because on average we consume about 10,000 mg of sodium, the suggested dietary target is 1600 mg (equivalent to about 4 g of salt). One teaspoon of salt equals 2300 mg of sodium – 700 mg higher than the dietary target.</p> <p>Check the nutritional label on processed food, you’ll be surprised just how quickly sodium can add up. In fact, processed and fast food is where more than 75 per cent of the sodium we consume comes from. “People look at carbs and fat and kilojoules, but they don’t pay attention to sodium,” says Dr Simon.</p> <p><strong>2. Your blood pressure is out of control</strong></p> <p>High blood pressure is hard on your whole body, including your kidneys. “Kidneys are basically one big set of blood vessels with urine drains,” says Dr Simon. “If you have high blood pressure in your big blood vessels, you have high blood pressure in your smaller blood vessels.” Letting high blood pressure go unchecked could damage the blood vessels leading to your kidneys, plus scar the organs themselves.</p> <p><strong>3. You haven’t kicked your smoking habit</strong></p> <p>If you thought lung cancer was the only reason to put down the cigarettes, think again. A 2012 study found that quitting smoking for 16 or more years cut the risk of renal cell carcinoma (the most common form of kidney cancer in adults) by 40 per cent. Plus, smoking can damage the blood vessels and increase your risk of high blood pressure. “It’s another reason smoking is just bad on the body,” says Dr Simon.</p> <p><strong>4. You never drink when you’re thirsty</strong></p> <p>Contrary to popular belief, you don’t necessarily need to down a full eight glasses of water to keep your kidneys working well. Even with just four to six glasses of water a day, your kidneys are probably fine, says Dr Simon. But sticking with just a cup or two a day could challenge the organ. Not only will you not have enough water flushing out your system to keep your sodium levels in check, but a dehydrated body will have a harder time keeping blood pressure steady. “The kidney is very sensitive to blood flow,” says Dr Simon. “It won’t like it if you are so dehydrated that your blood pressure drops and the blood flow to your kidneys drops.”</p> <p>You probably won’t need to worry about that level of dehydration every day, but make sure you drink enough water if you’re exercising a lot or outside on a hot day, he says.</p> <p><strong>5. You pop painkillers constantly</strong></p> <p>Watch out if you take over-the-counter medication for chronic pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs, which include ibuprofen and aspirin, reduce blood flow to the kidneys, and cause scarring because they’re directly toxic to the organ, says Dr Simon. Nobody’s saying you need to suffer through a throbbing headache, but popping anti-inflammatory pills too often can increase your risk of kidney problems. “The people at risk are taking them on a daily basis for long periods of time,” says Dr Simon. But if you already have kidney damage, he recommends avoiding these drugs altogether.</p> <p><strong>6. You assume supplements are safe</strong></p> <p>Just because a product is marketed as ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it’s good for you. “There are plenty of herbal medicines out there that are harmful,” says Dr Simon. Case in point: a plant-based ingredient called aristolochic acid can be found in ‘traditional medicines’, but it can cause scarring in the kidneys. Consumers are warned to stay away from products listing Aristolochia, Asarum or Bragantia on the label, because they probably contain the harmful ingredient. Unless you’re taking a regular multivitamin, always check with your doctor before starting any kind of supplement, advises Dr Simon.</p> <p><strong>7. Your weight is pushed to the side</strong></p> <p>No surprises here: extra kilos are hard on your body. Being overweight puts you at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which in turn can increase your chances of developing kidney disease. Insulin issues from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes cause inflammation and scarring in the kidneys, says Dr Simon. “Anybody with diabetes should be getting their kidney function and urine checked on a fairly regular basis,” he says.</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Marissa Laliberte</span>. This article first appeared in </em><span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/7-innocent-mistakes-that-put-your-kidneys-in-trouble" target="_blank"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Pete Evans shares his incredible 10-year weight loss transformation

<div> <div class="replay"> <div class="reply_body body linkify"> <div class="reply_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Pete Evans has shared photos showcasing his weight transformation over the past decade.</p> <p>The <em>My Kitchen Rules</em> judge and celebrity chef took to Instagram on Tuesday to post two pictures of himself from ten years ago and today.</p> <p>“I often share images and stories of others success stories. Well here is a little snapshot of mine,” Evans told his 220,000 followers.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Pete's dramatic transformation.</p> <p>Evans credited the change in his appearance to Paleo diet, which excludes legumes, refined sugar, dairy, and processed foods.</p> <p>“I do way less exercise now, (play a lot more now) and just follow paleo principles 99 per cent of the time,” Evans wrote.</p> <p>According to the <a rel="noopener" href="https://daa.asn.au/smart-eating-for-you/smart-eating-fast-facts/healthy-eating/the-low-down-on-paleo-welcome-to-our-three-part-series-on-the-palaeolithic-diet/" target="_blank">Dietitians Association of Australia</a>, the Paleo diet or “a high protein, high fat, low carbohydrate diet with no dairy products or grains is not supported by the extensive body of research that is currently available”.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwa8Kz9nHct/?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="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bwa8Kz9nHct/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Manu Feildel (@manufeildelofficial)</a> on Apr 18, 2019 at 7:49pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Fellow <em>MKR </em>judge Manu Feildel has also recently shared his weight loss journey, having dropped 12kg in four months by visiting the gym five days a week and cutting out carbohydrates and alcohol from his diet.</p> <p> “I have more energy and I am so much happier,” Feildel said in an <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/agt-judge-manu-feildel-reveals-the-diet-secret-behind-his-incredible-12kg-weight-loss" target="_blank">interview in July</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div>

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The excessive sweating condition that could ruin your life

<p>Most people sweat when they exercise or the weather is hot. But some people sweat far more than this. Hyperhidrosis – excessive sweating – can be a devastating condition that has a huge impact on quality of life, and even prevent those who have it from carrying out everyday tasks. For some it has affected their relationships. Others are so embarrassed by their sweating that they feel unable to leave their house.</p> <p>Sweating is a normal physiological process that helps the body to regulate its temperature. When we get too hot or exercise, sweat evaporates from the skin and has a cooling effect. People often also notice they sweat when they are anxious or are in a situation that makes them nervous. But for the roughly 3 per cent of people who have <a href="http://www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=93&amp;itemtype=document">hyperhidrosis</a>, sweating can be almost constant.</p> <p>The most common areas of the body affected by hyperhidrosis are hands, feet, underarms, face, and head, although other areas can be affected too. Some people with hyperhidrosis sweat all over, rather than in just some parts of the body. People with hyperhidrosis often sweat in situations where other people don’t, for example, when the weather is cold.</p> <p>It is not known what causes hyperhidrosis, although it is thought that the nerves that usually make us sweat become over-active. Hyperhidrosis often starts in childhood or adolescence, but can start at any time during life. There is probably a genetic element as well, as there is often a family history in people who have excessive sweating of the hands.</p> <p><strong>Few answers</strong></p> <p>Without a clear understanding of what causes hyperhidrosis, it is more challenging to find effective treatments. That is why colleagues and I have been <a href="https://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/news/2018/january/dmu-begins-research-into-debilitating-condition-that-causes-excessive-sweating.aspx">researching the condition</a>. We asked people with hyperhidrosis and healthcare professionals who treat them what questions they would like research to answer. We had 268 people come forward to suggest nearly 600 research questions.</p> <p>We found that hyperhidrosis has a wide range of severity. At the mild end of the spectrum, the effects may be minimal – a small inconvenience or minor embarrassment. But as severity increases, the impact on quality of life becomes much more substantial. And the condition can have a huge impact on quality of life, affecting people’s career choices and leading to social isolation. For example, some people have such sweaty hands that it makes it difficult to hold a pen or use a keyboard.</p> <p>People with hyperhidrosis often have anxiety in work situations such as job interviews or meetings where they might be expected to shake hands. Their social life can also be affected, with many people feeling embarrassed by their sweating, and some people have avoided forming intimate relationships due to this. Some people have to change their clothes several times.</p> <p>Many people with hyperhidrosis don’t seek medical help due to the stigma of the condition. They may not even know it is a medical condition at all. Those that do often report difficulties in being taken seriously, lack of access to specialists, and treatment being considered a <a href="https://www.cambridgeshireandpeterboroughccg.nhs.uk/EasySiteWeb/GatewayLink.aspx?alId=9620">low priority</a>.</p> <p><strong>Available treatment</strong></p> <p>There are a <a href="https://hyperhidrosisuk.org/treatment-options/">number of treatments</a> available for hyperhidrosis, which depend upon the area of the body affected. Temporary treatments include:</p> <ul> <li>Strong anti-perspirants containing aluminium chloride</li> <li>Iontophoresis, where the affected areas are placed in water and a low voltage electrical current passed through it</li> <li>Botox, which works by blocking a chemical at the nerve endings, so it can’t activate the sweat glands</li> <li>Oral medications, called anti-cholinergics, which also work by blocking the nerve endings, throughout the body</li> </ul> <p>But these are all temporary, and do not work for everyone. The anti-perspirants can cause skin irritation, and oral medication blocks nerve endings throughout the body, so can cause side effects such as a dry mouth and problems urinating. Botox and iontophoresis, meanwhile, need to be repeated regularly and can be expensive.</p> <p>There are also some more permanent solutions available. Some sufferers have had surgery to remove or destroy sweat glands in a localised area (such as the armpits) or endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS), where the nerves that control sweating are cut. ETS is effective in reducing the sweating of the areas intended, but can lead to very serious side effects such as damage to nerves or organs. Most patients end up with some level of sweating in other areas (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15276490">compensatory sweating</a>) and this can be worse than the original problem, so this surgery is generally only used as a last resort. A newer <a href="https://hyperhidrosisuk.org/treatment-options/miradry/">permanent treatment</a> uses electromagnetic energy to destroy sweat glands.</p> <p>Despite being a common skin condition, hyperhidrosis is not widely known about, and research is very poorly funded. Raising awareness is key if people are to feel comfortable enough to come forward to ask for help and advice.<!-- 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/113945/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>Louise Dunford, Director of the Institute of Allied Health Sciences Research, De Montfort University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/hyperhidrosis-the-excessive-sweating-condition-that-could-ruin-your-life-113945" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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“I was quite shocked”: Edwina Bartholomew’s pregnancy plea

<p>In June, Edwina Bartholomew surprised viewers as she announced that she is expecting her first child.</p> <p>Now, as she entered her 26th week of pregnancy, the <em>Sunrise</em> newsreader has a message to fellow expectants.</p> <p>The 36-year-old has partnered with DrinkWise to urge women to avoid alcohol while pregnant.</p> <p>“I was quite shocked that 28 per cent of Australians don’t realise the effect drinking can have on your baby,” she told<a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/edwina-bartholomews-message-on-dangers-of-drinking-while-pregnant/news-story/cffc8182c5354bca53516effaca4e7d8" target="_blank"> <em>The Daily Telegraph</em>.</a></p> <p>“These are incurable conditions … Things like developmental issues and low weight and intellectual issues later on. And it can have a real detrimental effect on the health of your unborn child. I thought everyone knew it was a no go.”</p> <p>She said the message was not to shame women for craving a drink, but to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder and make sure that they are making informed decisions throughout their pregnancy.</p> <p>“Everyone needs to seek their own advice and let me tell you, advice will come thick and fast,” she told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.perthnow.com.au/entertainment/confidential/sunrise-star-edwina-bartholomews-baby-booze-pledge-ng-b881316897z" target="_blank"><em>The Weekend West</em></a>.</p> <p>“No one wants to be shaming mums or forcing them to do something, but it’s just one of those simple messages you can get out there.”</p> <p>The TV personality revealed that she started abstaining from alcohol when she was trying to conceive with her husband Neil Varcoe.</p> <p>“For me, I’m 36 now – so when we were trying to conceive, there were going to be health issues,” she told <a rel="noopener" href="https://7news.com.au/the-morning-show/edwina-bartholomew-is-raising-awareness-for-fetal-alcohol-spectrum-disorder-c-437317" target="_blank"><em>7News</em></a>.</p> <p>“I had left it a little bit later in the scheme of things, so I actually gave up drinking in the lead up as well and just continued that throughout pregnancy.”</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Edwina's pregnancy style. </p>

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Do men really sweat more than women?

<p>Men are generally taller than women, but we do not define gender on the basis of stature. Similarly, our <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/EP086112/full">research</a> shows we cannot define men and women according to their propensity to sweat (although some parents and partners might suggest otherwise).</p> <p>When we studied men and women during exercise in warm, dry conditions, gender differences in heat loss responses (skin blood flow and sweating) could be explained almost entirely by individual variations in body size and shape.</p> <p>The results refute the common saying “men sweat, while women glow”.</p> <p><strong>How objects - and bodies - lose heat</strong></p> <p>Heat loss from any object is dictated by the ratio of its surface area to its mass, described by the term “specific surface area”. Hot objects with a larger specific surface area cool more quickly than those with a smaller specific surface area. Doubling the radius (size) of a sphere increases its surface area four-fold but its mass eight-fold: this is known as “isometric growth”. Isometrically larger objects don’t lose heat as easily.</p> <p>Shape (morphology) also has a powerful influence on heat loss, so a thin rectangular prism loses heat much faster than a sphere of the same composition and mass. In a <a href="https://theconversation.com/mondays-medical-myth-you-lose-most-heat-through-your-head-10834">previous article</a>, we explained you’re no more likely to lose heat from your head than other parts of your body.</p> <p>Unlike geometric objects, animals do not grow isometrically; we retain a recognisable shape, but our proportions change (this is known as “allometric growth”). This is most evident in children, who have proportionally larger heads and shorter limbs than adults.</p> <p>However, if you double your weight through building muscle and putting on fat (without changing height), this does not result in a doubling of your skin surface area. Such a weight change increases your surface area <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2520314">only by about 30%</a>, which translates into reduced specific surface area, and lower heat loss by these physical mechanisms. The larger a person is, the lower is their specific surface area and the less effective these mechanisms become. This is where the physiological mechanisms of heat loss, particularly sweating, come into play in preventing undesirable heat gains.</p> <p><strong>Sweating and evaporative cooling</strong></p> <p>Since humans evolved <a href="http://genome.cshlp.org/content/15/8/1161.full">in the heat of Africa</a>, we acquired an ability to transport heat from deep within our bodies to the skin surface for dissipation via skin blood flow. Similarly, we acquired an evaporative cooling mechanism that can function when the air is hotter than the skin: sweating. These physiological responses enable us to manage body heat, and they are activated when physical heat loss becomes insufficient.</p> <p>To examine the influence of body shape and gender on these two physiological responses to manage body heat, <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/EP086112/full">we studied</a> men and women (60 university students) of widely variable but overlapping body sizes. Subjects had very similar exercise habits, endurance fitness and amounts of body fat.</p> <p>For each participant, we calculated a target exercise intensity related directly to their skin surface area. This resulted in comparable increases in body temperature across all participants, and equivalent heat-loss requirements. To the best of our knowledge, this was the first investigation to achieve those outcomes across a morphologically diverse sample of men and women. Previous researchers seem not to have fully appreciated these important experimental design criteria, leading to experiments that perpetuated the myth that all men sweat more than women.</p> <p>Our analyses have shown that variations in skin blood flow and sweating between men and women are dependent not on gender, but on body morphology.</p> <p>In answering our questions, we demonstrated that the lyrics of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_Under_(song)">“Down under” (Men at Work)</a> require modification.</p> <blockquote> <p>Do you come from a land down under?</p> <p>Where women glow and men plunder?</p> </blockquote> <p>While we do come from a land down under, and while some men may unfortunately still plunder, women do not glow. They sweat just like men, and for the same reason: to lower body temperature.</p> <p><strong>Three different types of sweat</strong></p> <p>To consider the question of how sweat relates to body odour, we need to go a bit broader.</p> <p>The ubiquitous sweat glands humans possess for evaporative cooling are known as “eccrine” glands. However, we all have two other types of glands in our skin: <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3812728">“apocrine” and “apoeccrine” glands</a>.</p> <p>While eccrine glands are found distributed throughout the body, apocrine and apoeccrine glands have a limited distribution, predominantly located in regions where adults grow longer - sometimes curlier - hair (regardless of whether we remove that hair).</p> <p>The apocrine glands are found beside hair follicles, where they secrete a milky, oily fluid. The apoeccrine glands, which appear to develop after puberty, seem to be the dominant gland within the armpits. They secrete a watery fluid like the eccrine glands.</p> <p>The odour we sometimes detect around sweaty people, or their clothes, comes mostly from secretions of the apocrine and apoeccrine glands. Those secretions are initially odourless, but bacterial action on that fluid leads to smelly men, and smelly women.<!-- 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/73903/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>Sean Notley, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Ottawa and Nigel Taylor, Associate Professor of Thermal Physiology, University of Wollongong</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-do-men-really-sweat-more-than-women-73903" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Why you feel so bad when you have the flu

<p>“You never forget the flu”. This is the title of the Victorian health department’s <a href="https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/news/you-never-forget-flu">current campaign</a>, which highlights people’s recollections of having the flu.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/279259/original/file-20190612-32361-6j36og.JPG?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=237&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /> <span class="caption">‘The flu knocked me out for weeks’, part of the Victorian health department’s winter flu campaign.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Vic Dept Health &amp; Human Services</span></span></p> <p>Phrases include “I’ll never forget the pain of the fever”, “the flu flattened me”, “the flu knocked me out for weeks”.</p> <p>This gives the impression that when you have the flu, you know you have it. What makes the flu so memorable is the severe symptoms. These include fever, aches and pains, a sore throat, runny nose, cough, and feeling weak and lethargic.</p> <p>But what causes the flu? And why are the symptoms so severe?</p> <p><strong>What causes the flu?</strong></p> <p>Influenza is caused by a <a href="https://microbiologyonline.org/about-microbiology/introducing-microbes/viruses">virus</a>, a small microbe that needs to enter our cells to replicate and produce more viruses. The influenza virus infects cells that line our airways and so is <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm">easily transmitted</a> via the spread of droplets released when we sneeze or cough.</p> <p>Coughs, sneezes and the other symptoms we feel after getting the flu, are largely due to our bodies fighting the infection.</p> <p><strong>The immune response is a double-edge sword</strong></p> <p>When you are infected with the flu virus, your <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4346783/">innate immune system</a> kicks in. Special receptors recognise unique parts of the virus, triggering an alarm system to alert our bodies that an infection is under way.</p> <p>This produces a rapid but non-specific response — inflammation.</p> <p>Inflammation results from the action of small proteins called cytokines. A primary role of cytokines is to act locally in the lung to help limit the initial infection taking hold.</p> <p>They can also make their way into the circulation, becoming systemic (widespread in the body) and act as a “call to arms” by alerting the rest of the immune system there is an infection.</p> <p>Unfortunately, your body’s inflammatory response, while trying to fight your infection, results in the flu symptoms we experience.</p> <p>Inflammation can trigger increased mucus production. Mucus (or phlegm) is a sticky substance that helps capture virus in the lungs and upper airways. The increased amount of mucus in the airways can trigger coughing and/or sneezing, and can lead to a runny nose. This helps expel the virus from our body before it can infect other airway cells.</p> <p>Inflammation also results in an increase in body temperature or fever, which creates an inhospitable environment for the flu virus to replicate.</p> <p>While an increased body temperature helps fight the infection, it also results in you feeling colder than usual. That’s because you feel a greater temperature difference between your body and the outside environment.</p> <p>This can induce rapid muscle contractions in an effort to heat you up. This is why you can feel like you can’t stop shivering while at the same time burning up.</p> <p>Finally, some of these inflammatory molecules act directly on infected cells to stop the virus replicating. They can do this by either interfering with the replication process directly, or alternatively, by actually killing the infected cell.</p> <p>One of these factors is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16817757">tumour necrosis factor alpha</a> (TNF-alpha). While its actions limit where the flu virus can replicate, its side effects include fever, loss of appetite and aching joints and muscles.</p> <p><strong>Calling in the big guns</strong></p> <p>Inflammation induced by the innate response also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4346783/">helps alert</a> the adaptive immune system that there is an infection.</p> <p>While innate immunity provides an immediate, albeit non-specific, response to viral infection, it is the adaptive immune response that can efficiently clear the infection.</p> <p>The adaptive immune system consists of specialised white blood cells called T and B cells that when activated provide a highly specific response to infection.</p> <p>Activation of flu-specific T and B cells in tissues called lymph nodes results in the generation of hundreds of thousands of clones, all specific for the flu virus. These can migrate into the lungs and specifically target the virus and its ability to replicate.</p> <p>This enormous expansion of T and B cell numbers in response to infection results in swelling of the lymph nodes, which you can feel under your armpits or chin, and which can become sore.</p> <p>Flu-specific T cells are also a source of the inflammatory molecule TNF-alpha and help fight influenza infection by killing off virus-infected cells. Both actions can contribute to the flu symptoms.</p> <p><strong>Why can flu become a serious problem?</strong></p> <p>Our ability to see off a flu infection requires a coordinated response from both our innate and adaptive immune responses.</p> <p>If our immune system function is diminished for some reason, then it can prolong infection, lead to more extensive damage to the lung and extended symptoms. This can then result in secondary bacterial infections, leading to pneumonia, hospitalisation and eventually death.</p> <p>Then there are people whose immune system doesn’t work work so efficiently who are particularly susceptible to the flu and its complications. These include:</p> <ul> <li>the very young, whose immune system is still yet to mature</li> <li>the elderly, whose immune system function wanes with age</li> <li>people with other conditions where immune function might be compromised, or be taking medication that might suppress the immune system.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Preventing the flu</strong></p> <p>Washing your hands and covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing are simple things we can all do to reduce the chance of catching the flu in the first place.</p> <p>And getting the flu vaccine activates your adaptive immune response to induce the sort of immunity efficient at protecting us from infection.</p> <p>With the flu season well under way, prevention is our best bet that you won’t be saying “Remember the time I got the flu”.</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Stephen Turner, Professor, viral immunology, Monash University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/sick-with-the-flu-heres-why-you-feel-so-bad-118395" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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“What I have is not curable”: Barry Du Bois on how he wants his children to remember him

<p>He’s been open about living with terminal cancer since he was first diagnosed in 2010, and now Barry Du Bois has shared his thoughts regarding his children.</p> <p>The host of<span> </span><em>The Living Room<span> </span></em>said that he doesn’t want his illness to be how his children remember him after he passes away.</p> <p>The 59-year-old spoke to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.menshealth.com.au/" target="_blank">Australian Men’s Health</a><span> </span></em>and revealed that his memories of his own father are overwhelmingly positive, and he hopes his kids experience the same.</p> <p>“I have these incredible memories of the strength of my father, and I was very worried that my own children would remember me as a weak person who was a burden on their mother,” he said.</p> <p>And while he goes through life with an optimistic attitude, he admits that he’s concerned about his kids having a negative impression of him as they grow older.</p> <p>After undergoing treatment for cancer last year, Barry is now on the path of rebuilding his strength, but he still understands that he has limits.</p> <p>He’s tried to build muscle in the past, but he has now realised that a person’s strength isn’t just about how they look externally.</p> <p>Now, he’s shifted his perspective, and focuses more on mental health while slowly building his physical strength.</p> <p>“What I have is not curable. But I’m in a great place. I’m as good as someone can be who has multiple myeloma,” he said.</p> <p>He credits his recovery to good nutrition, plenty of fluids, regular exercise, sunshine and a positive outlook on life.</p> <p>Barry will celebrate his 60th birthday next year, and he strongly believes that if he looks after himself, his children won’t look back on his final years with sadness and pity.</p> <p>“What I want is for my children to be able to tell their children one day that their dad was a powerful man,” he said.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Barry Du Bois with his children.</p>

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6 silent symptoms of bowel cancer you might be missing

<p>Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women in Australia and is more common in people over the age of 50. Rectal bleeding is the most obvious symptom of bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, but other signs may be far more subtle. If you notice any of the following signs, talk to your doctor.</p> <p><strong>You learn you’re anaemic</strong></p> <p>A diagnosis of anaemia may be the first sign that you’re bleeding internally, even if you haven’t seen any other bowel cancer symptoms. “If a woman is menstruating, anaemia is less likely to be followed up with additional tests to see if it could be something else, like bowel cancer,” says cancer specialist Dr Randall Holcombe. “If a man is anaemic, you assume he’s bleeding from somewhere.” It’s not uncommon for people to bleed internally for up to six months before anything shows up in the stool, says Dr Patricia Raymond, a university fellow in Gastroenterology. If you experience any signs of anaemia, such as fatigue, skin pallor or dizziness, see a doctor, as they can also be bowel cancer symptoms.</p> <p><strong>You can’t catch your breath</strong></p> <p>Another side effect of a slow internal bleed is shortness of breath. If you aren’t bleeding aggressively or vomiting blood, your body puts more plasma in the blood without making more iron or red blood cells, says Dr Raymond. This prevents you from losing blood in large volumes but reduces your blood’s ability to carry oxygen, which is why you might be short of breath – one of the overlooked bowel cancer symptoms.</p> <p><strong>You feel bloated or crampy</strong></p> <p>“If things are starting to get blocked and backed up in the colon, you may experience bloating,” says Dr Holcombe. If you’re feeling a little puffy or crampy, there are many other factors that may be to blame, but if stomach symptoms persist, it could be a symptom of bowel cancer. If you start to notice a constant pain in the right side of your abdomen, that may mean the disease is in the later stages and has spread to the liver, he says.</p> <p><strong>You have severe constipation</strong></p> <p>A bout of constipation here and there is probably nothing to worry about, but if it becomes severe and persistent, it could be one of the symptoms of bowel cancer. “This is suggestive of some sort of obstruction, and if it seems to be there all the time, you should get it checked out,” says Dr Holcombe.</p> <p><strong>You pass skinny stools</strong></p> <p>Pay attention to what’s in the toilet, even if you don’t see blood – it can reveal lesser-known bowel cancer symptoms. If your stool consistently takes on a very narrow or skinny shape when it was previously chunky, that could point to a restriction in the colon caused by polyps, says Dr Raymond. Persistent diarrhoea may also be one of the symptoms of bowel cancer.</p> <p><strong>Your stool is a strange colour</strong></p> <p>Bleeding from the rectum may not always come in the form of bright red blood, says Dr Holcombe. Dark, tarry stools are a sign there’s probably some blood in there, and while it could be caused by something less serious, like an ulcer, this can also be one of the symptoms of bowel cancer, he says.</p> <p><em>Written by Alyssa Jung. This article first appeared in </em><span><a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/cancer/6-silent-symptoms-of-bowel-cancer-you-might-be-missing"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.com.au/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRA93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer.</em></a></span></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Is there really a single ideal body shape for women?

<p>Many scholars of Renaissance art <a href="http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/famous-paintings/birth-of-venus.htm">tell us</a> that Botticelli’s Birth of Venus captures the tension between the celestial perfection of divine beauty and its flawed earthly manifestation. As classical ideas blossomed anew in 15th-century Florence, Botticelli could not have missed the popular <a href="http://www.iep.utm.edu/neoplato/#H5">Neoplatonic notion</a> that contemplating earthly beauty teaches us about the divine.</p> <p>Evolutionary biologists aren’t all that Neoplatonic. Like most scientists, we’ve long stopped contemplating the celestial, having – to appropriate <a href="http://www.quantumdiaries.org/2011/09/16/there-is-no-need-for-god-as-a-hypothesis/">Laplace’s immortal words to Napoleon</a> – “no need of that hypothesis”. It is the messy imperfection of the real world that interests us on its own terms.</p> <p>My <a href="https://theconversation.com/columns/rob-brooks-1343">own speciality concerns</a> the messy conflicts that inhere to love, sex and beauty. Attempts to cultivate a simple understanding of beauty – one that can fill a 200-word magazine ad promoting age-reversing snake oil, for example – tend to consistently come up short.</p> <p><strong>Waist to hip</strong></p> <p>Nowhere does the barren distinction between biology and culture grow more physically obvious than in the discussion of women’s body shapes and attractiveness. The biological study of body shape has, for two decades, been preoccupied with the ratio of waist to hip circumference.</p> <p>With clever experimental manipulations of line drawings, Devendra Singh <a href="http://www.femininebeauty.info/i/singh.pdf">famously demonstrated</a> that images of women with waists 70% as big as their hips tend to be most attractive. This 0.7:1 waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), it turns out, also reflects a distribution of abdominal fat associated with good <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3874840">health</a> and <a href="https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?view_op=view_citation&amp;hl=en&amp;user=w2qTGfoAAAAJ&amp;citation_for_view=w2qTGfoAAAAJ:TQgYirikUcIC">fertility</a>.</p> <p>Singh also showed that Miss America pageant winners and Playboy playmates tended to have a WHR of 0.7 despite changes in the general slenderness of these two samples of women thought to embody American beauty ideals.</p> <p>Singh’s experiments were repeated in a variety of countries and societies that differ in both average body shape and apparent ideals. The results weren’t unanimous, but a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 came up as most attractive more often than not. The idea of an optimal ratio is so appealing in its simplicity that it became a staple factoid for magazines such as <a href="http://www.cosmopolitan.com.au/health-lifestyle/healthy-eating/2010/8/female-attractiveness-relates-to-waist-size/#_">Cosmo</a>.</p> <p>There’s plenty to argue about with waist-hip ratio research. Some researchers have found that other indices, like <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691155/">Body Mass Index</a> (BMI) explain body attractiveness more effectively.</p> <p>But others reject the reductionism of measures like WHR and BMI altogether. This rejection reaches its extremes in the notion that ideas of body attractiveness are entirely <a href="http://www.socwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/fact_04-2008-wom-size.pdf">culturally constructed and arbitrary</a>. Or, more sinisterly, designed by our capitalist overlords in the diet industry to be inherently unattainable.</p> <p>The evidence? The observation that women’s bodies differ, on average, between places or times. That’s the idea animating the following video, long on production values, short on scholarship and truly astronomic on the number of hits (21 million-plus at the time of writing):</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Xrp0zJZu0a4"></iframe></div> <p><span class="caption">This rather questionable video, called ‘Women’s Ideal Body Types Throughout History’, is getting a lot of airplay on YouTube.</span></p> <p>I note that Botticelli’s Venus looks more at home in the 20th Century than among the more full-figured Renaissance “ideals”. So do the Goddesses and Graces in <a href="http://www.uffizi.org/artworks/la-primavera-allegory-of-spring-by-sandro-botticelli/">La Primavera</a>. Perhaps there was room for more than one kind of attractive body in the Florentine Renaissance? Or is the relationship between attractiveness and body shape less changeable and more variegated than videos like the one above would have us believe?</p> <p>Not that I’m down on body shape diversity. Despite the fact that there seems to be only one way to make a supermodel, real women differ dramatically and quite different body types can be equally attractive. The science of attractiveness must grapple with variation, both within societies and among cultures.</p> <p><strong>Enter the BodyLab</strong></p> <p>For some years our <a href="http://www.robbrooks.net/">research group</a> has wrestled with exactly these issues, and with the fact that bodies vary in <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20840313">so many more dimensions</a> than just their waists and their hips. To that end, we established the <a href="http://www.bodylab.biz">BodyLab</a> project, a “digital ecosystem” in which people from all over the internet rate the attractiveness of curious-looking bodies like the male example below.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/73884/original/image-20150305-1931-14hs705.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/73884/original/image-20150305-1931-14hs705.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">Example image from the BodyLab ‘digital ecosystem’. The VW Beetle is provided as the universal symbol of something-slightly-shorter-than-an-adult-human. Faces pixellated to preserve any grey people’s anonymity.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Rob Brooks/BodyLab.biz</span></span></p> <p>We call it a “digital ecosystem” not to maximise pretentiousness, but because this experiment involved multiple generations of selection and evolution. We started with measurements of 20 American women, a sample representing a wide variety of body shapes.</p> <p>We then “mutated” those measures, adding or subtracting small amounts of random variation to each of 24 traits. Taking these newly mutated measures we built digital bodies, giving them an attractive middle-grey skin tone in an attempt to keep variation in skin colour, texture etc out of the already complex story.</p> <blockquote> <p>If you want to help out with our second study, on male bodies, visit <a href="http://www.bodylab.biz/Experiments.aspx">BodyLab</a> and click through to <em>Body Shape Study</em> and then <em>Rate Males (Generation 6)</em>.</p> </blockquote> <p>This all involved considerable technologic innovation, resulting in an experiment unlike any other. We had a population of bodies (120 per generation) that we could select after a few thousand people had rated them for attractiveness. We then “bred” from the most attractive half of all models and released the new generation into the digital ecosystem.</p> <p>What did we find? In a paper just published at <a href="http://bit.ly/1EOQcOl">Evolution &amp; Human Behavior</a>, the most dramatic result was that the average model became more slender with each generation. Almost every measure of girth decreased dramatically, whereas legs and arms evolved to be longer.</p> <p><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/73901/original/image-20150305-1942-103dem4.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/73901/original/image-20150305-1942-103dem4.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" alt="" /></a> <span class="caption">In eight generations, the average body became more slender. Waist, seat, collar, bust, underbust, forearm, bicep, calf and thigh girth all decreased by more than one standard deviation. At the same time, leg length (inseam) rose by 1.4 standard deviations.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Rob Brooks</span></span></p> <p>That may not seem surprising, particularly because the families “bred” from the most overweight individuals at the start of the experiment were eliminated in the first few generations.</p> <p>But, after that, more families remained in the digital ecosystem, surviving generation after generation of selection, than we would have expected if there was a single most attractive body type. The Darwinian process we imposed on our bodies had started acting on the mutations we added during the breeding process.</p> <p><strong>More meaningful than the mean</strong></p> <p>Those “mutations” that we introduced allowed bodies to evolve free from all the developmental constraints that apply to real-world bodies. For example, leg lengths could evolve independently of arm lengths. Waists could get smaller even as thighs got bigger.</p> <p>When we examined those five families that lasted longest as our digital ecosystem evolved, we observed a couple of interesting nuances.</p> <p>First, selection targeted waist size itself, rather than waist-hip ratio. No statistical model involving hip size (either on its own or in waist-hip ratio) could come close to explaining attractiveness as well as waist size alone. Our subjects liked the look of slender models with especially slender waists. There was nothing magical about a 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio.</p> <p>Second, within attractive families, which were the more slender families to begin with, evolution bucked the population-wide trend. These bodies began evolving to be more shapely, with bigger busts and more substantial curves.</p> <p>It turns out there’s more than one way to make an attractive body, and those different body types evolve to be well-integrated. That’s a liberating message for most of us: evolutionary biology has more to offer our understanding of diversity than the idea that only one “most attractive” body (or face, or personality) always wins out.</p> <p>What about the cultural constructionists? Are body ideals arbitrary, or tools of the patriarchal-commercial complex?</p> <p>Our results suggest that the similarities between places, and even between male and female raters, are pretty strong: the 60,000 or so people who viewed and rated our images held broadly similar ideas of what was hot and what was not. But their tastes weren’t uniform. We think most individuals could see beauty in variety, if not in the full scope of diversity on offer.</p> <p>What’s cool about our evolving bodies, however, is that we can run the experiment again and again. We can do so with different groups of subjects, or even using the same subjects before and after they’ve experienced some kind of intervention (perhaps body-image consciousness-raising?). I’m hoping we can use them to look, in unprecedented depth, at the intricate ways in which experience, culture and biology interact.<!-- 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/38432/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>Rob Brooks, Scientia Professor of Evolutionary Ecology; Director, Evolution &amp; Ecology Research Centre, UNSW</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/is-there-really-a-single-ideal-body-shape-for-women-38432" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Why is urine yellow?

<blockquote> <p><strong>Why is urine yellow? – Ronan, aged 9, Greenslopes, Brisbane.</strong></p> </blockquote> <hr /> <p>Our bodies use nutrients from the food we eat. But the processes involved in digestion also create what we call “byproducts”. That’s where a new chemical is created along the way.</p> <p>Some of these byproducts in the body are waste and our bodies have clever waste processing systems to get rid of them.</p> <p>Some of the waste goes out in your poo. And waste that can be dissolved in water goes out in your wee. We call this “water-soluble” waste. Water-soluble means it can be dissolved in water.</p> <p>And the parts of your body in charge of “making” the wee are called the kidneys. They’re shaped like kidney beans.</p> <p><strong>A delicate balance</strong></p> <p>The kidneys work around the clock to make sure the body has the right balance of water, salt and chemicals and not too much water-soluble waste in it.</p> <p>Kidneys have special filters in them that help sort out the useful bits from the waste. They also are in charge of transporting the water-soluble waste from your kidneys, down two special pipes called “ureters” and into your bladder (which is down near the genitals).</p> <p>When the bladder gets full, it sends a message along your nerves to your brain that makes you feel like you need to wee.</p> <p><strong>So…. why is it yellow?</strong></p> <p>One of the water-soluble waste products that your kidneys put into your urine is a chemical called urobilin, and it is yellow.</p> <p>The colour of your urine depends on how much urobilin is in it and how much water is in it.</p> <p>If your urine is light yellow, it means you have been drinking a lot of water and there’s a lot of water in your urine. We call this being “hydrated”.</p> <p>If your urine is dark yellow, that means there’s less water, and a relatively high amount of urobilin. It probably means you haven’t been drinking enough water and could be dehydrated.</p> <p><strong>Too much water versus not enough</strong></p> <p>When you haven’t been drinking enough water, the kidneys get a message from your brain to try to keep more water in your body (and out of your bladder). You will also start to feel thirsty.</p> <p>If people can’t drink water (because they have a vomiting illness, for example), they might need water put directly into their blood. This usually happens in a hospital using a drip (which is where a bag of salt water is put into your blood via a needle in your arm).</p> <p>If you have been drinking more water than your body needs, the body tells the kidney filters to get rid of the spare water. That’s when your urine will look paler.<!-- 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>Jaquelyne Hughes, Research Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-why-is-urine-yellow-117747" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Australia’s very own royal is back! Princess Mary steals the show in reused frock

<p>Denmark’s Crown Princess Mary was a picture of elegance, beauty and class for her first royal engagement since returning from her summer holiday with her family. </p> <p>The royal member has come back to a long list of special engagement and carried out two in Copenhagen. </p> <p>The 47-year-old debuted for a charity event under her name,<span> </span>The Mary Organisation,<span> </span>which focussed on the social exclusion. </p> <p>Princess Mary has long championed against the dire need to include members of society at risk of isolation. </p> <p>The Tasmanian-born royal spoke about the risk that vulnerable people who are lonely are under. </p> <p>She also noted the same people who are at risk of isolation show signs of wanting to enjoy a meaningful life, but are facing the challenge of finding employment due to the recent labor market shortages. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1oh1lxHzzE/" 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="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B1oh1lxHzzE/" target="_blank">A post shared by Fanpage of CPMary (@crownprincess_mary_ofdenmark)</a> on Aug 26, 2019 at 9:06am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>While there, the royal was snapped wearing a recycled H&amp;M dress from the<span> </span>Conscious Collection, which uses all recycled and organic materials to make their garments. </p> <p>The frock is made of organic silk and was last available for purchase for the cost of $99. </p> <p>Princess Mary first wore the dress in May. </p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the Princess Mary’s outfit.</p>

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How often should I get my teeth cleaned?

<p>If you went to your dentist for a check-up and dental clean in the last year, give yourself a pat on the back. Not everyone loves the dentist, but <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/dental-oral-health/dental-attendance-patterns-oral-health-status/contents/table-of-contents">research</a> shows people who visit at least once a year for preventative care are happier with their smile.</p> <p>Regular dental visitors are also <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022034509356779">less likely</a> to need a filling or have a tooth removed.</p> <p>So how often do we need to go to the dentist? Most of us can get away with an annual trip, but some people at higher risk of dental problems should <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29984691">visit more often</a>.</p> <p><strong>Why do I need to get my teeth cleaned?</strong></p> <p>While we all do the best we can on our own, professional teeth cleaning removes plaque, the soft yellowish build-up, and calculus (hardened plaque) we can’t get to. This soft build-up is made up of billions of different types of bacteria that live and reproduce in our mouth by feeding on the food we eat.</p> <p>Most bacteria live in our bodies without causing too much trouble. But certain bacteria in dental plaque, when they grow in numbers, can lead to cavities (holes in the teeth) or gum disease.</p> <p>A dental clean will reduce your chance of getting cavities or gum disease by <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1600-051X.2004.00563.x">significantly reducing</a> the amount of plaque and calculus in your mouth.</p> <p><strong>So how often?</strong></p> <p>As a dentist, my patients often ask me how regularly they should get their teeth cleaned. My response is usually: “That depends”.</p> <p>Most private health insurance schemes cover a dental check-up and clean once every six months. But there’s no hard and fast evidence, particularly if you’re a healthy person who is less likely to get a cavity or gum disease.</p> <p>However, some people are at higher risk of getting dental cavities or gum disease – and this group should get their teeth cleaned more often.</p> <p><strong>Hole in one</strong></p> <p>We know certain <a href="https://bmcoralhealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12903-018-0585-4">health and lifestyle factors</a> can affect a person’s risk of developing cavities. Here are some yes/no questions you can ask yourself to understand whether you’re at a higher risk:</p> <ul> <li>is your drinking water or toothpaste fluoride-free?</li> <li>do you snack a lot, including on sweets?</li> <li>do you avoid flossing?</li> <li>do you brush your teeth less than twice a day?</li> <li>do you visit your dentist for toothaches rather than check-ups?</li> <li>do you need new fillings every time you visit the dentist?</li> <li>is your dentist “watching” a lot of early cavities?</li> <li>do you have to wear an appliance in your mouth such as a denture or braces?</li> <li>do you suffer from a chronic long-term health condition such as diabetes?</li> <li>do you suffer from a dry mouth?</li> </ul> <p>If you answered “yes” to most of these questions, you’re likely to need to see your dentist or hygienist at least every six months, if not more often.</p> <p>As well as removing the bug-loaded plaque and calculus, people prone to cavities <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002817714615269">benefit</a>from the fluoride treatment after scaling.</p> <p>Evidence shows professional fluoride treatment every six months can lead to a <a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD002280.pub2/full">30% reduced risk</a> of developing cavities, needing fillings or having teeth removed.</p> <p><strong>Dental health is related to our overall health</strong></p> <p>Some people with <a href="https://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?pid=S0042-96862005000900004&amp;script=sci_arttext&amp;tlng=es">chronic health issues</a> such as heart conditions or diabetes will need to see their dentists more frequently. This is because they are <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1586/erc.10.109">more prone to gum disease</a>.</p> <p>People taking blood thinners and other medications, such as pills and infusions for <a href="https://asbmr.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jbmr.3191">osteoporosis</a>, may need to visit the dentist more regularly too. These medications can complicate the process of an extraction or other dental work, so regular checks and cleans are best to help detect problems before they become serious.</p> <p>People with bleeding gums should also see their dental practitioners more often. This is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26698003">especially important</a> if you have been diagnosed with advanced gum disease, known as periodontal disease.</p> <p><strong>What about the budget?</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.choice.com.au/health-and-body/dentists-and-dental-care/dental-treatment/articles/dental-fees">average cost</a> of a check-up, dental clean and fluoride treatment is A$231, but the cost can vary from A$150 to A$305. You can contact your local dentist to find out what they charge. Your dentist may offer you a payment plan.</p> <p>If you can’t afford this, you may qualify for <a href="https://www.ada.org.au/Your-Dental-Health/Home">free or discounted treatment</a> if you hold a concession card. Children from families that receive a Family Tax Benefit A may be eligible for free dental treatment through the <a href="https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/child-dental-benefits-schedule">Child Dental Benefits Schedule</a>.</p> <p>People with private health insurance with extras or ancillary cover will also have some or all of their dental treatment covered.</p> <p><strong>Protecting your smile</strong></p> <p>So you don’t really get cavities or have gum disease, but would prefer to see your dentist every six months? Great. <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/sj.bdj.2010.796">Some people</a> prefer to go twice a year to reduce the chance of a nasty toothache.</p> <p>Parents often wish to set a good example for their children by making regular check and clean appointments for the whole family.</p> <p>There are many benefits to regular checks and cleans. Visiting your dentist regularly helps reduce the chance of needing more complex and expensive dental treatment later on.</p> <p>And touching base with your oral health practitioner provides that nudge we all need now and again to eat healthily, brush better and floss more often.</p> <p><em>Written by Arosha Weerakoon. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-often-should-i-get-my-teeth-cleaned-121310">The Conversation</a>. </em></p>

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“I screwed up”: Morning show host hit with backlash after mocking Prince George for taking ballet

<p>After mocking Prince George’s school curriculum,<span> </span><em>Good Morning America<span> </span></em>anchor Lara Spencer has issued an apology after nationwide backlash ensued.</p> <p>During a segment on the show, it was revealed that the eldest son of Prince William takes ballet classes, with his dad mentioning that “Prince George absolutely loves ballet.”</p> <p>To which Spencer responded: “I have news for you Prince William, we’ll see how long that lasts.”</p> <p>But the quip didn’t go down well, as shortly after she was forced to apologise for the incident on her Instagram due to significant criticism: “My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday. From ballet to anything one wants to explore in life, I say GO FOR IT. I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain – and love every minute of it.”</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/B1gzsy_D7-L/" 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/B1gzsy_D7-L/" target="_blank">My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday. From ballet to anything one wants to explore in life, I say GO FOR IT. I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain-and love every minute of it.</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/lara.spencer/" target="_blank"> Lara Spencer</a> (@lara.spencer) on Aug 23, 2019 at 9:07am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>She also made a statement on air Monday morning: “I screwed up. I did,” she said. “It was stupid, and I am deeply sorry. I’ve spoken with several members of the dance community over the past few days.</p> <p>“For me the lesson is that words hurt, and it was not my intention, but it was insensitive and I thank you all for giving me the opportunity to apologise personally to you and for you guys coming in here to talk to me and to educate me, again, I’m really sorry.”</p> <p>Her response came shortly after members of the dance community rallied around the young prince and other male dancers with the hashtag #boysdancetoo.</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/B1gjmZTBCxW/" 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/B1gjmZTBCxW/" target="_blank">DEAR @lara.spencer of GOOD MORNING AMERICA. I have a message for you. Wake up. It’s 2019. Get with the program. Please share and repost this so a boy who needs to see this feels supported if he dances or wants to! #boysdancetoo #ballet #goodmorningamerica #traviswall #laraspencer #bully</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/traviswall/" target="_blank"> Travis Wall</a> (@traviswall) on Aug 23, 2019 at 6:49am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <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/B1hWQ-lhxCU/" 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/B1hWQ-lhxCU/" target="_blank">Ballet promotes strength; it cultivates discipline and focus. Ballet provides us with a sense of community, an outlet for creativity, and an avenue for understanding others. Ballet creates a space and a world in which reductive gender stereotypes don’t belong. Ballet is as much masculine as it is feminine, and we’re tremendously proud of and inspired by all our male dancers. #boysdancetoo • Pictured are many of the men in our Company and NB2 currently rehearsing for our season opener Romeo and Juliet!</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/nashvilleballet/" target="_blank"> Nashville Ballet</a> (@nashvilleballet) on Aug 23, 2019 at 2:09pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>There were over 1000 people who took part, as they aimed to raise awareness about the profession.</p>

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“Not OK”: Ben Fordham criticised for posing inappropriate question to NSW Premier

<p>Federal Minister for Women Marise Payne has slammed a Sydney radio host after he asked a question to New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian or whether she would have an abortion.</p> <p>Sitting down with 2GB host, Ben Fordham, Berejiklian was grilled about the bill to decriminalise abortion that is before the state’s parliament.</p> <p>The Premier has been heavily criticised as accusations have been made against her saying she tried to rush the bill through Parliament, with members of her own government furious as to how she handled the situation.</p> <p>During the interview, Fordham asked Berejiklian whether she would ever consider having an abortion.</p> <p>“I can’t speak for what circumstances I’d be faced with,” she said.</p> <p>“I don’t want to make people feel guilty who have had to go down that path.</p> <p>“I’m not someone who’d be comfortable going through that process, but that’s just me, I can’t speak for other women.”</p> <p>Senator Payne was angered by the interview, saying it was inappropriate to ask such an invasive question.</p> <p>“I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask anyone publicly, male or female, about sensitive health questions like that and it’s not OK,” she told the ABC’s<span> </span><em>Insider</em><span> </span>program on Sunday.</p> <p>The exchange between Fordham and Berejiklian went as follows:</p> <p><strong>Fordham:</strong><span> </span>Under no circumstances?</p> <p><strong>Berejiklian:<span> </span></strong>I can't speak for, I can't speak…</p> <p><strong>Fordham:<span> </span></strong>But within, Gladys, Gladys from Willoughby or wherever you live…</p> <p><strong>Berejiklian:</strong><span> </span>But I can't, but heaven forbid, I've not been in a situation where I've had to contemplate that, and nor would I. But I can't make a vote according to me and my beliefs, I cast my vote because I know other people don't have the life experiences I've had, don't have my beliefs.</p> <p><strong>Fordham:</strong><span> </span>You didn't want your faith or your personal beliefs to flow over into everyone else's views.</p> <p><strong>Berejiklian:</strong><span> </span>That's right.</p> <p><strong>Fordham:</strong><span> </span>But for the record, your own personal view. Not your parliamentary view, or your Premier view.</p> <p><strong>Berejiklian:</strong><span> </span>My personal view is I'm a very conservative person who would not feel comfortable in having that process, but that is just me, and it's not fair for me … and Ben, you've been naughty in pushing me to say that, because I don't want anyone to feel guilty about decisions they've made, because I'm not in their shoes.</p> <p>Senator Payne, who is currently the most senior woman in the federal Liberal Party due to also being Foreign Minister, said that the bill should be left up to New South Wales politicians to decide.</p> <p>“But I do think it’s appropriate for that matter to be decriminalised in New South Wales, yes.”</p>

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Pete Evans slams vegan parents after tragic case of malnourished baby girl: “This is so sad”

<p>Celebrity chef Pete Evans has criticised those who force their children to follow a strict vegan diet, after a couple from Sydney were convicted over the malnourishment of their baby girl.</p> <p>The parents were sentenced to 18 months prison yesterday, but still managed to escape time behind bars. Although, after police discovered their 20-month-old girl severely malnourished and suffering from rickets, their remaining children were taken away.</p> <p>Her diet consisted of just oats, bread and a few mouthfuls of vegetables a day for months after the mother became “increasingly fixated” on veganism.</p> <p>The young girl looked like a three-month old, weighing only 4.89kg. She was unable to crawl or sit up with help, had zero bone development and suffered from swollen legs due to fluid build-up.</p> <p>But after switching up her diet in April 2018 and provided extra support, she began to grow and her teeth emerged.</p> <p>The<span> </span><em>My Kitchen Rules</em><span> </span>judge had a few things to say about the incident, saying it was wrong for depriving a young child of meat.</p> <p>“This is so, so sad,” said the paleo chef in a Facebook post.</p> <p>“I will repeat it again and again. Humans are omnivores and we are designed to eat meat in our diet. Children should not be on a vegan plant-only diet.”</p> <p>The 46-year-old pleaded with parents to “please use common sense”, especially when it came to their kids’ diets.</p> <p>“If you choose to eat a plant-based diet as an adult then that is your choice and go for it … but please, please be wise with choices of what you feed your children.”</p> <p>But not everyone was happy with the chef’s choice of words, saying it had nothing to do with veganism, and was simply due to neglect.</p> <p>“The fact the diet was ‘vegan’ really has nothing to do with it. It was simply inadequate,” wrote one user.</p> <p>“There are vegan diets of crap pizza, pasta and chips … and vegan diets of wholesome organic vegetables and produce. There is a HUGE difference,” said another.</p>

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Being left-handed doesn’t mean you are right-brained — so what does it mean?

<p>There have been plenty of claims about what being left-handed means, and whether it changes the type of person someone is – but the truth is something of an enigma. Myths about handedness appear year after year, but researchers have yet to uncover all of what it means to be left-handed.</p> <p>So why are people left-handed? The truth is we don’t fully know that either. What we do know is that only <a href="https://www.livescience.com/19968-study-reveals-lefties-rare.html">around 10% of people</a> across the world are left-handed – but this isn’t split equally between the sexes. About 12% of men are left-handed but <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2008-11487-004?doi=1">only about 8% of women</a>. Some people get very excited about the 90:10 split and wonder why we aren’t all right-handed.</p> <p>But the interesting question is, why isn’t our handedness based on chance? Why isn’t it a 50:50 split? It is not due to handwriting direction, as left-handedness would be dominant in countries where their languages are written right to left, which it is not the case. Even the genetics are odd – only about <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-childrens-brains-develop-to-make-them-right-or-left-handed-55272">25% of children</a> who have <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1993-98645-005">two left-handed parents</a> will also be left-handed.</p> <p>Being left-handed has been linked with all sorts of bad things. Poor health and early death are often associated, for example – but neither are exactly true. The latter is explained by many people in older generations being <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/002839329390156T">forced to switch</a> and use their right hands. This makes it look like there are less left-handers at older ages. The former, despite being an appealing headline, <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2398212818820513">is just wrong</a>.</p> <p>Positive myths are also abound. People say that left-handers are more creative, as most of them use their “right brain”. This is perhaps one of the more persistent myths about handedness and the brain. But no matter how appealing (and perhaps to the disappointment of those lefties still waiting to wake up one day with the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278262604000612">talents of Leonardo da Vinci</a>), the general idea that any of us use a “dominant brain side” that defines our personality and decision making <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0071275">is also wrong</a>.</p> <p><strong>Brain lateralisation and handedness</strong></p> <p>It is true, however, that the brain’s <a href="https://courses.lumenlearning.com/waymaker-psychology/chapter/the-brain-and-spinal-cord/">right hemisphere controls the left side of the body</a>, and the left hemisphere the right side – and that the hemispheres do actually have specialities. For example, language is usually processed a little bit more within the left hemisphere, and recognition of faces a little bit more within the right hemisphere. This idea that each hemisphere is specialised for some skills is known as brain lateralisation. However, the halves do not work in isolation, as a thick band of nerve fibres – called the corpus callosum – connects the two sides.</p> <p>Interestingly, there are some known differences in these specialities between right-handers and left-handers. For example, it is often cited that around 95% of right-handers are “left hemisphere dominant”. This is not the same as the “left brain” claim above, it actually refers to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09647049609525672">the early finding</a> that most right-handers depend more on the left hemisphere for speech and language. It was assumed that the opposite would be true for lefties. But this is not the case. In fact, <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01128/full">70% of left-handers</a> also process language more in the left hemisphere. Why this number is lower, rather than reversed, is as yet unknown.</p> <p>Researchers have found many other brain specialities, or “asymmetries” in addition to language. Many of these are specialised in the right hemisphere – in most right-handers at least – and include things such as face processing, spatial skills and perception of emotions. But these are understudied, perhaps because scientists have incorrectly assumed that they all depend on being in the hemisphere that isn’t dominant for language in each person.</p> <p>In fact, this assumption, plus the recognition that a small number of left-handers have unusual right hemisphere brain dominance for language, means left-handers are either ignored – or worse, actively avoided – <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nrn3679">in many studies of the brain</a>, because researchers assume that, as with language, all other asymmetries will be reduced.</p> <p>How some of these functions are lateralised (specialised) in the brain can actually influence how we perceive things and so can be studied using simple perception tests. For example, in my research group’s <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/1357650X.2019.1652308">recent study</a>, we presented pictures of faces that were constructed so that one half of the face shows one emotion, while the other half shows a different emotion, to a large number of right-handers and left-handers.</p> <p>Usually, people see the emotion shown on the left side of the face, and this is believed to reflect specialisation in the right hemisphere. This is linked to the fact that visual fields are processed in such a way there is a bias to the left side of space. This is thought to represent right hemisphere processing while a bias to the right side of space is thought to represent left hemisphere processing. We also presented different types of pictures and sounds, to examine several other specialisations.</p> <p>Our findings suggest that some types of specialisations, including processing of faces, do seem to follow the interesting pattern seen for language (that is, more of the left-handers seemed to have a preference for the emotion shown on the right side of the face). But in another task that looked at biases in what we pay attention to, we found no differences in the brain-processing patterns for right-handers and left-handers. This result suggests that while there are relationships between handedness and some of the brain’s specialisations, there aren’t for others.</p> <p>Left-handers are absolutely central to new experiments like this, but not just because they can help us understand what makes this minority different. Learning what makes left-handers different could also help us finally solve many of the long-standing neuropsychological mysteries of the brain.</p> <p><em>Written by Emma Karlsson. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/being-left-handed-doesnt-mean-you-are-right-brained-so-what-does-it-mean-121711"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Why full-fat milk is now OK if you’re healthy

<p>The Heart Foundation now recommends full-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt or reduced-fat options as part of its <a href="https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/news/new-advice-from-the-heart-foundation-on-meat-dairy-and-eggs">updated dietary advice</a> released yesterday.</p> <p>This moves away from earlier advice that recommended only reduced-fat dairy when it comes to heart health.</p> <p>So, what’s behind the latest change? And what does this mean for people with high blood pressure or existing heart disease?</p> <p><strong>What’s new if you’re healthy?</strong></p> <p>For healthy Australians, the Heart Foundation now recommends unflavoured full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese, as well as the reduced-fat options previously recommended.</p> <p>The change comes after <a href="https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/images/uploads/publications/Nutrition_Evidence_papers_-_Summary_DAIRY_FINAL.pdf">reviewing research</a> from systematic reviews and meta-analyses published since 2009. These pooled results come from mostly long-term observational studies.</p> <p>This is where researchers assess people’s dietary patterns and follow them for many years to look at health differences between people who eat and drink a lot of dairy products and those who consume small amounts.</p> <p>Researchers run these studies because it is not practical or ethical to put people on experimental diets for 20 or more years and wait to see who gets heart disease.</p> <p>So when results of the recent studies were grouped together, the Heart Foundation reported no consistent relationship between full-fat or reduced-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt consumption and the risk of heart disease. The risk was neither increased nor decreased.</p> <p>Put simply, for people who do not have any risk factors for heart disease, including those in the healthy weight range, choosing reduced-fat or low-fat options for milk, yoghurt and cheese does not confer extra health benefits or risks compared to choosing the higher fat options, as part of a varied healthy eating pattern.</p> <p>Before you think about having a dairy binge, the review noted the studies on full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese can’t be extrapolated to butter, cream, ice cream and dairy-based desserts.</p> <p>This is why the Heart Foundation still doesn’t recommend those other full-fat dairy options, even if you’re currently healthy.</p> <p><strong>What about people with heart disease?</strong></p> <p>However, for people with heart disease, high blood pressure or some other conditions, the advice is different.</p> <p>The review found dairy fat in butter seems to raise LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels more than full-fat milk, cheese and yogurt. And for people with raised LDL cholesterol there is a bigger increase in LDL after consuming fat from dairy products.</p> <p>So, for people with high blood cholesterol or existing heart disease, the Heart Foundation recommends unflavoured reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese to help lower their total risk of heart disease, which is consistent with previous recommendations.</p> <p>Unflavoured, reduced-fat versions are lower in total kilojoules than the full-fat options. So, this will also help lower total energy intakes, a key strategy for managing weight.</p> <p><strong>How does this compare with other advice?</strong></p> <p>The 2013 National Health and Medical Research Council’s <a href="https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/publications/australian-dietary-guidelines#block-views-block-file-attachments-content-block-1">Dietary Guidelines for Australians</a> recommends a variety of healthy foods from the <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating">key healthy food groups</a> to achieve a range of measures of good health and well-being, not just heart health.</p> <p>Based on evidence until 2009, the guidelines generally recommend people aged over two years mostly consume reduced-fat versions of milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, recognising most Australians are overweight or obese.</p> <p>This advice still holds for people with heart disease. However, the new Heart Foundation advice for healthy people means less emphasis is now on using reduced-fat versions, in light of more recent evidence.</p> <p>The Australian Dietary Guidelines have a further recommendation to limit eating and drinking foods containing saturated fat. The guidelines recommend replacing high-fat foods which contain mainly saturated fats such as butter and cream, with foods which contain mainly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, avocado, nut butters and nut pastes.</p> <p>This advice is still consistent with the Heart Foundation recommendations.</p> <p><strong>Australians eat a lot of ‘junk’ food</strong></p> <p>The most recent (2011-12) National Nutrition Survey of Australians found <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4364.0.55.007main+features12011-12">over one-third (35%)</a> of what we eat comes from energy-dense, nutrient-poor, discretionary foods, or, junk foods.</p> <p>Poor dietary patterns are <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/health-conditions-disability-deaths/burden-of-disease/overview">the third largest contributor</a> to Australia’s current burden of disease. Being overweight or obese is the second largest contributor, after smoking.</p> <p>If Australians followed current dietary guidelines, whether using full- or reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese, the national <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/burden-disease-study-illness-death-2015/contents/table-of-contents">burden of disease due to heart disease would drop</a> by 62%, stroke by 34% and type 2 diabetes by 41%.</p> <p><strong>What’s the take home message?</strong></p> <p>See your GP for a heart health check. If you do not have heart disease and prefer full-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt then choose them, or a mix of full and reduced-fat versions.</p> <p>If you have heart disease or are trying to manage your weight then choose mostly reduced-fat versions.</p> <p>Focus on making healthy choices across all food groups. If you need personalised advice, ask your GP to refer you to an <a href="https://daa.asn.au/find-an-apd/">accredited practising dietitian</a>.</p> <p><em>Written by Clare Collins. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/why-full-fat-milk-is-now-ok-if-youre-healthy-but-reduced-fat-dairy-is-still-best-if-youre-not-122184"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Woman rejected for bowel cancer test after discovering she was pregnant

<p>A Melbourne woman has spoken out about being refused a test for bowel cancer because she was pregnant.</p> <p>32-year-old Rachel Hustler told <a rel="noopener" href="https://10daily.com.au/news/australia/a190820zaluk/woman-refused-bowel-cancer-test-after-discovering-she-was-pregnant-20190820" target="_blank"><em>The Project</em></a> she began noticing blood when she went to toilet in November last year. While her initial blood tests for colorectal cancer came out negative, her doctor ordered her to have an extended checkup.</p> <p>Hustler then booked in for a colonoscopy, a procedure that examines the entire inner lining of the bowel for polyps and tumours. However, the endoscopy clinic cancelled the treatment upon finding out that she was four weeks pregnant by the time her scheduled appointment came around.</p> <p>“They just said that they can’t do a colonoscopy on a pregnant lady,” she said.</p> <p>According to Professor Graham Newstead of Bowel Cancer Australia, colonoscopy can be performed in the first trimester of pregnancy without triggering a miscarriage if done carefully.</p> <p>Hustler asked her GP to refer her to another clinic, but was told she might just have haemorrhoids. “I got in and they said, ‘Oh you probably just have hemorrhoids, which are common when you’re pregnant’,” she told <em><a href="https://www.whimn.com.au/strength/health/rachel-was-elated-at-being-pregnant-then-she-was-diagnosed-with-bowel-cancer/news-story/eac34a373a893e8c28c05441175c7280">Whimn</a></em>. ”This was despite me telling them I’d been experiencing this issue for a few months prior to my pregnancy.”</p> <p>Finally, when pregnancy reached the 12<sup>th</sup> week, a friend’s family member who is also a gastroenterologist booked her in for a less invasive procedure called sigmoidoscopy. The short test showed nothing, and she was told she would have to wait until after her pregnancy to undergo a colonoscopy.</p> <p>But her symptoms exacerbated. In July she went through a second sigmoidoscopy, which revealed a tumour. She was then diagnosed with stage-three bowel cancer. Despite its conception as “an old person’s disease”, one in 11 Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer are aged under 50.</p> <p>It is the second most deadly cancer in Australia after lung cancer, claiming 5,375 lives every year.</p> <p>“It was so frustrating to see her try to get answers and not be able to get them,” Hustler’s husband Jared told <em>The Project</em>. “She knows her body and that much blood, that much pain just wasn’t normal.”</p> <p>“All the doctors kept telling me I was too young,” Hustler said.</p> <p>Last week, a month after receiving her diagnosis, Hustler gave birth to her daughter Alya 10 weeks early via caesarean section.  </p> <p>Hustler advised people to pursue their own treatment even after refusals. “I just want people to take from my story that if you do feel something is wrong with you, keep persisting, keep going to the doctors, don’t give up,” she said.</p>

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