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"Reduced me to tears": King Charles' candid admission

<p>King Charles has made a candid admission as he returned to his public engagement in over two months as he faces ongoing treatment.  </p> <p>The royal joined a meeting of the Privy Council at Buckingham Palace followed by an audience with the British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.</p> <p>Palace sources have said that the two events were a sign of “State business, as usual” <span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">since his</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> </span><a style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/palace-reveals-king-charles-serious-health-diagnosis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shock cancer diagnosis</a><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> over two weeks ago, according to</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> </span><em style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The Sun</em><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">. </span></p> <p>The monarch, donning a navy pinstripe suit, appeared in good spirits as he shook hands with the UK prime minister and sat down for his first private audience with him since December. </p> <p>“Good evening Your Majesty, very nice to see you," Sunak told the King. </p> <p>“Bit of a gap,” Charles responded.</p> <p>Sunak replied: “A bit, but wonderful to see you looking so well.”</p> <p>The King also showed his playful side as he joked about the check-up process: “well, it’s all done by mirrors," he said and they both laughed. </p> <p>“Well, we are all behind you, the country is behind you," Sunak replied. </p> <p>“I’ve had so many wonderful messages and cards. Reduced me to tears most of the time,” Charles told him.</p> <p>“I can imagine, as I said, everyone is behind you, and it’s been nice to see the spotlight that it’s shone on the work the charities do in this area,” Sunak responded.</p> <p>“I hear there been a lot more interest on those main wonderful cancer charities many of which I’ve been patron for years," Charles added. </p> <p>“They’ve done incredible work up and down the country, nice to be recognised," Sunak replied. </p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">The King's</span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;"> </span><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">last public engagement was a trip to the Royal Courts of Justice on December 14th.</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">His </span>last in-person engagement was an investiture at Windsor Castle on December 19.</p> <p>On Wednesday he held a Privy Council meeting and swore in new member Michael Tomlinson, Minister of State for Illegal Migration.</p> <p>This week, he’s been in London and Windsor Castle, but he is expected to continue getting cancer treatment at Windsor and Highgrove in the coming weeks. </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p> <p> </p>

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Jackie O reveals the "worst diagnosis of my life"

<p>Jackie O Henderson has shared the "worst diagnosis of my life", announcing that she found a lump on her breast. </p> <p>The radio host was joined live on air by the show's resident medical expert Dr Sam Hay, explaining her situation and asking for advice. </p> <p>“There is a small lump there but it doesn’t look like cancer. I think it’s a seborrheic keratosis,” Hay told her after examining the area.</p> <p>“What do I do with it?” she asked him.</p> <p>“That one you can leave and if it’s continuing to get bigger, doctors will freeze it with liquid nitrogen,” he said.</p> <p>While discussing their medical concerns, Jackie O's co-host Kyle Sandilands shared a worry of his own with Dr Hay, asking for advice on a lump that had arisen on his cheek that was “the size of a pea”.</p> <p>“I have a feeling it’s exactly the same thing. It could be a viral wart,” the doctor told Sandilands.</p> <p>“I didn’t want to say that to Jackie but they’re called geriatric warts,” Kyle said.</p> <p>Henderson appeared horrified at this comment, asking, “Do I have a wart?”</p> <p>“This is the worst diagnosis of my life. I’m going to get it frozen off as soon as possible,” she said.</p> <p>It's not the first time Jackie O has discussed a health scare live on air, as in November last year, she was <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/they-checked-the-lungs-jackie-o-rushed-to-hospital-mid-show" target="_blank" rel="noopener">rushed to hospital</a> during an episode of the <em>Kyle and Jackie O Show</em>.</p> <p>Returning to the radio studio in the days after, she shared that while her symptoms were similar to that of a heart attack, she was suffering from an infection that she was treated for at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital. </p> <p><em>Image credits: KIISFM</em></p>

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Play School star's heartbreaking health update

<p>Trisha Goddard, who was the host of <em>Play School</em> in the 1990s, has shared a devastating health update. </p> <p>The 66-year-old revealed that her breast cancer - which she was first diagnosed with in 2008 - has returned, and this time it's terminal. </p> <p>“It’s not going to go away,” Goddard revealed to <em>HELLO!</em> magazine.</p> <p>“And with that knowledge comes grief, and fear.</p> <p>“But I must keep enjoying what I have always enjoyed.”</p> <p>The English TV presenter shared that she found out that she had stage four cancer 19 months ago, but only just decided to make the news public. </p> <p>“I won’t hide it anymore,” she said, after sharing that her illness had become more apparent. </p> <p>“I can’t lie. I can’t keep making up stories.</p> <p>“It gets to a stage, after a year and a half, when keeping a secret becomes more of a burden than anything else.”</p> <p>Following the interview, Goddard took to <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3f_eJmvZbk/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Instagram</a> to share an updated photo of her with a cropped blonde hairstyle. </p> <p>"Doing this is tough. .." she began in the caption.</p> <p>"I’ve been keeping a difficult secret for 19 months now, but like my new hairstyle – I can’t hide it anymore." </p> <p>Fans took to the comments to share their support for the TV personality. </p> <p>“You look beautiful Trisha. Only wish this image was accompanying brighter news,” one fan wrote. </p> <p>“Sending you strength, ease and all you need to get through this again 🖤.”</p> <p>“I saw your pic and thought how amazing you look ... which tells me all your good energy is going to get you through this,” another added. </p> <p>“You’re an inspiration, Trisha you’ve got this.”</p> <p>Goddard hosted<em> Play School </em>between 1987 and 1998 alongside Colin Buchanan. </p> <p><em>Images: 7NEWS</em></p>

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"I thought I was gone": Doctors reveal how close Jimmy Barnes came to dying

<p>Jimmy Barnes has shared how he fought to stay alive after being forced to undergo major surgery, admitting he didn't think we would survive. </p> <p>The rock legend underwent emergency heart surgery in December 2023, after being struck down with a dangerous infection that threatened his life. </p> <p>Speaking candidly to <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/60-minutes/jimmy-barnes-cold-chisel-illness-how-rock-icon-fought-to-stay-alive/3717a0d8-25ff-4400-bab3-f556e0b417c2" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>60 Minutes</em></a>, the 67-year-old said he didn't have much hope in his survival. </p> <p>"I just said to Jane, 'I don't think I'm gonna make it'. I just had this horrible morbid feeling because I've never felt this sick before. I thought I was gone," he said. </p> <p>Barnes was first admitted to hospital the day after pushing through excruciating pain in November to perform at a tribute concert for his late friend Michael Gudinski. </p> <p>After being admitted to St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney with pneumonia, a team of specialists including cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Paul Jansz, soon discovered a much more sinister health issue was at play, as an infection quickly led to endocarditis: a life-threatening inflammation of the heart.</p> <p>"[The infection] was just eating at his heart. You see an abscess cavity forming around the valve, and that would've just grown and grown and grown," Jansz said.</p> <p>"It's fatal. If he didn't die of the infection, he would've died from heart failure, from the whole valve falling apart."</p> <p>By the time he was wheeled into theatre, his doctors say he had hours to live.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3e_KPSPsC-/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/C3e_KPSPsC-/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by 60 Minutes Australia (@60minutes9)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>"When I contemplated dying before surgery, I just thought, 'you have to savour those moments; have I told my children that I love 'em enough? Have I told Jane? The people you love, make sure you tell 'em'," Barnes said.</p> <p>Surgeons managed to fix Barnes' heart in a marathon seven-hour surgery, as the musician then faced a lengthy recovery process. </p> <p>"It's like you've been ripped in half," he said.</p> <p>"Your best friend is a pillow. If you cough, it's just agony. If you breathe too deep, it's agony. And sneezing would be the end of you."</p> <p>"But I think it's made me stronger. I want to be better than I was. I've got all this new life from this and I want to make the best of it. I want every minute to count."</p> <p>Now two months into his recovery, Jimmy is getting stronger everyday, and has nothing but thanks for his loved ones that stayed by his side during the difficult journey. </p> <p>"Without a doubt, the fact that my family were there and Jane was there, I wasn't going anywhere. I wanted to spend every breath I could spend with Jane. And if that meant fighting to live longer, I was going to do it."</p> <p>When asked about his highly-anticipated <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/entertainment/music/huge-news-for-jimmy-barnes-fans" target="_blank" rel="noopener">return to the stage</a> in April, he joked it would be his version of resurrection. </p> <p>He said, "I miss being on stage, I have to do it, I don't have a choice. I need to get out there and scream, it just clears the emotions out of you."</p> <p><em>Image credits: 60 Minutes </em></p>

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Sad update after young Taylor Swift fan dies on way to concert

<p>The tragic incident involving the Pokarier family, en route from Queensland to attend Taylor Swift's Eras Tour concert in Melbourne, has garnered widespread attention and elicited an outpouring of sympathy from communities far and wide.</p> <p>The devastating collision between their SUV and a semi-trailer near Dubbo, NSW, resulted in the tragic loss of 16-year-old Mieka Pokarier's life, while her 10-year-old sister Freya remains in critical condition in a Sydney hospital.</p> <p>The girls' godmother, Karleigh Fox, has provided updates on Freya's condition, the severity of her injuries and the uncertain road ahead. Freya's delicate state, including brain injuries and other trauma, necessitates her being kept in an induced coma, a measure aimed at reducing further complications and providing her body with an opportunity to heal.</p> <p>Fox, who organised a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/swifties-killed-critical-on-road-trip-to-concert" target="_blank" rel="noopener">GoFundMe</a> appeal for the devastated family, which has already raised over $60,000, says Freya is “not out of the woods yet”. </p> <p>“We had some thorough chats with the incredible doctors about the potential prognosis and we are not out of the woods yet with risks of swelling in the brain and infection still evident. This could still be life threatening.</p> <p>“We are keeping our girl in an induced coma for a few more days in order to give her body a chance to stay still and hopefully recover as much as possible.”</p> <p>Mieka, remembered fondly as a bright and creative individual, had long harboured a passion for Taylor Swift's music and was eagerly anticipating her first live concert experience. Her untimely passing has left a profound void in the lives of those who knew her, with friends and family expressing their grief and sharing memories of her warmth, humour and kindness. The hashtag #forever16 has become a poignant tribute to her memory, encapsulating the sense of loss felt by those who knew her.</p> <p>In the wake of Mieka's tragic death, her friends have found solace in commemorating her life through Taylor Swift-themed friendship bracelets. </p> <p>As the Pokarier family navigates this unimaginable tragedy, they have been enveloped in a wave of support from their community, who stand united in offering comfort and assistance during this difficult time. </p> <p><em>Images: GoFundMe / Instagram</em></p>

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"I was not alone": Another royal diagnosed with cancer

<p>Not long after King Charles announced his <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/palace-reveals-king-charles-serious-health-diagnosis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cancer diagnosis</a>, Crown Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia felt inspired by his "dear cousin and friend" and decided to go public with his own prostate cancer diagnosis. </p> <p>In a statement, Prince Alexander shared that he was moved by Charles’ courage in sharing his diagnosis with the public, as royal health matters are usually kept private. </p> <p>The 78-year-old royal then shared details of his own medical intervention. </p> <p>"The love of all of us who know him, and of his people, we deeply care for him, will support His Majesty in persevering and winning this most important battle. The news that it is early stage gives high hope," he said.</p> <p>"The unfortunate news about cancer is not something you wish to hear.</p> <p>"And I can say it personally, as I very well know how you feel once you hear it. How frightening and terrifying it is also for the family, how all the feelings get mixed up, and how you cannot think about anything else." </p> <p>He then revealed: "I can say it now because I only recently defeated cancer.</p> <p>"I had avoided speaking about it, as it is a personal matter concerning only me and my family, but King Charles' openness moved me and encouraged me to also speak up," he added. </p> <p>"I am sharing this now, because this kind of tragic news can encourage people to react and take care of their health."</p> <p>He added that news of King Charles' cancer diagnosis and his honesty about getting a check-up had resulted in a rise in online searches and appointments for medical check-ups in the UK.</p> <p>“That is why people should hear my story, to see it is something that can happen to all of us,” he said.</p> <p>“But when we are responsible, the outcome can be good.”</p> <p>He shared details of his own treatment, which began two years ago, after results from an MRI found a cancerous growth. </p> <p>"At that moment, I was terrified. But I was not alone.</p> <p>"I am not speaking about family and friends who knew this and shared their support, which meant so much and cannot be described in words, but also all the other people who are fighting this disease."</p> <p>He then underwent pre-intervention tests, surgery, and mandatory checkups, and has since received “the most joyous words from my doctor — ‘All is clear now’.”</p> <p>He then urged the public to be more vigilant about their health, and to not put of their doctors appointment any further. </p> <p>“Be responsible with yourself, listen to the doctor’s advice, and monitor your health,” he said.</p> <p>“Preserve it and nurture it as the greatest wealth and gift you will ever receive.”</p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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Your unique smell can provide clues about how healthy you are

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/aoife-morrin-1478132">Aoife Morrin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/dublin-city-university-1528">Dublin City University</a></em></p> <p>Hundreds of chemicals stream from our bodies into the air every second. These chemicals release into the air easily as they have high vapour pressures, meaning they boil and turn into gases at room temperature. They give clues about who we are, and how healthy we are.</p> <p>Since ancient Greek times, we’ve known that we smell differently when we are unwell. While we rely on blood analysis today, ancient Greek physicians used smell to diagnose maladies. If they took a whiff of your breath and described it as <em>fetor hepaticus</em> (meaning bad liver), it meant you could be headed for liver failure.</p> <p>If a person’s whiff was sweet or fruity, physicians thought this meant that sugars in the digestive system were not being broken down, and that person had probably diabetes. Science has since shown the ancient Greeks were right – liver failure and <a href="https://tisserandinstitute.org/human-volatilome/">diabetes</a> and many <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00216-023-04986-z">other diseases</a> including infectious diseases give your breath a distinctive smell.</p> <p>In 1971, <a href="https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/peace/1962/pauling/facts/">Nobel Laureate chemist Linus Pauling</a> <a href="https://edu.rsc.org/feature/breath-analysis/2020106.article#:%7E:text=The%20'modern%20era'%20of%20breath,in%20an%20average%20breath%20sample.">counted 250 different</a> gaseous chemicals in breath. These gaseous chemicals are called volatile organic compounds or VOCs.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RzozmYPfCmM?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Since Pauling’s discovery, other scientists have <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40291-023-00640-7">discovered hundreds more VOCs</a> in our breath. We have learned that many of these VOCs have distinctive odours, but some have no odour that our noses can perceive.</p> <p>Scientists believe that whether a VOC <a href="https://tisserandinstitute.org/human-volatilome/">has an odour</a> that our noses can detect or not, they can reveal information about how healthy someone is.</p> <p>A Scottish man’s Parkinson’s disease onset was <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-47627179">identified by his wife</a>, retired nurse Joy Milner, after she was convinced the way he smelled had changed, years before he was diagnosed in 2005. This discovery has <a href="https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/smell-of-skin-could-lead-to-early-diagnosis-for-parkinsons/">led to research programmes</a> involving Joy Milner to identify <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-supersmeller-can-detect-the-scent-of-parkinsons-leading-to-an-experimental-test-for-the-illness/">the precise smell</a> of this disease.</p> <p>Dogs can <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-01629-8">sniff out more diseases</a> than humans because of their more <a href="https://www.understandinganimalresearch.org.uk/news/the-science-of-sniffs-disease-smelling-dogs%20-%20I%20think%20the%20previous%20nature%20link%20has%20more%20credibility%20for%20here%20also">sophisticated olfactory talents</a>. But technological techniques, like <a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/mass-spectrometry">analytical tool mass spectrometry</a>, picks up even more subtle changes in VOC profiles that are being linked to <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/ebiom/article/PIIS2352-3964(20)30100-6/fulltext">gut</a>, <a href="https://www-sciencedirect-com.dcu.idm.oclc.org/science/article/pii/S0165993618305168">skin</a> and <a href="https://err.ersjournals.com/content/28/152/190011">respiratory</a> diseases as well as neurological diseases like Parkinson’s. Researchers believe that one day some diseases will be diagnosed simply by breathing into a device.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Xjo2M-XMYfs?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Where do VOCs come from?</h2> <p>Breath is not the only source of VOCs in the body. They are also emitted from skin, urine and faeces.</p> <p>VOCs from skin are the result of millions of skin glands removing metabolic waste from the body, as well as waste generated by bacteria and other microbes that live on our skin. Sweating produces extra nutrients for these bacteria to metabolise which can result in particularly odorous VOCs. Odour from sweat only makes up a fraction of the scents from VOCs though.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nrmicro.2017.157">Our skin</a> and also our gut microbiomes are made up from a delicate balance of these microbes. Scientists think <a href="https://journals.lww.com/co-gastroenterology/abstract/2015/01000/the_gut_microbiome_in_health_and_in_disease.12.aspx">they influence our health</a>, but we don’t yet understand a lot about how this relationship works.</p> <p>Unlike the gut, the skin is relatively easy to study – you can collect skin samples from living humans without having to go deep into the body. <a href="https://www-sciencedirect-com.dcu.idm.oclc.org/science/article/pii/S1471492221002087">Scientists think</a> skin VOCs can offer insights into how the microbiome’s bacteria and the human body work together to maintain our health and protect us from disease.</p> <p>In my team’s laboratory, <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1752-7163/abf20a">we are investigating</a> whether the skin VOC signature can reveal different attributes of the person it belongs to. These signals in skin VOC signatures are probably how dogs distinguish between people by smell.</p> <p>We are at a relatively early stage in this research area but we have shown that you can tell males from females based on how acidic the VOCs from skin are. We use mass spectrometry to see this as the average human nose is not sophisticated enough to detect these VOCs.</p> <p>We can also predict a person’s age with reasonable accuracy to within a few years from their skin VOC profile. This is not surprising considering that oxidative stress in our bodies increases as we age.</p> <p><a href="https://www.metabolismjournal.com/article/S0026-0495(00)80077-3/pdf">Oxidative stress</a> happens when your antioxidant levels are low and causes irreversible damage to our cells and organs. <a href="https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jasms.3c00315">Our recent research</a> found by-products of this oxidative damage in skin VOC profiles.</p> <p>Not only are these VOCs responsible for personal scent – they are used by plants, insects and animals as a communication channel. Plants are in a <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-10975-x">constant VOC dialogue</a> with other organisms including pollinators, herbivores, other plants and their natural enemies such as harmful bacteria and insects. VOCs used for this back and forth dialogue are known as pheromones.</p> <h2>What has science shown about love pheromones?</h2> <p>In the animal kingdom, there is good evidence VOCs can act as aphrodisiacs. Mice for example have microbes which contribute to a particularly <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982212012687">smelly compound called trimethylamine</a>, which allows mice to verify the species of a potential mate. <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0093691X21003083">Pigs</a> and <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/4381097a">elephants</a> have sex pheromones too.</p> <p>It is possible that humans also produce VOCs for attracting the perfect mate. Scientists have yet to fully decode skin – or other VOCs that are released from our bodies. But evidence for human love pheromones so far is <a href="https://www.science.org/content/article/do-human-pheromones-actually-exist">controversial at best</a>. <a href="https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn3835-colour-vision-ended-human-pheromone-use/">One theory suggests</a> that they were lost about 23 million years ago when primates developed full colour vision and started relying on their enhanced vision to choose a mate.</p> <p>However, we believe that whether human pheromones exist or not, skin VOCs can reveal who and how we are, in terms of things like ageing, nutrition and fitness, fertility and even stress levels. This signature probably contains markers we can use to monitor our health and diagnose disease.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/215311/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/aoife-morrin-1478132"><em>Aoife Morrin</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/dublin-city-university-1528">Dublin City University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: </em><em>Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/your-unique-smell-can-provide-clues-about-how-healthy-you-are-215311">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Socceroos great hospitalised following chest pains

<p>Mark Bosnich had a health scare this week that landed him in hospital. </p> <p>The former Socceroos and Manchester United goalkeeper was exercising at work when he began to experience chest pains. </p> <p>Not wanting to risk it, the  52-year-old made the quick decision to get himself checked out at a hospital in Sydney. </p> <p>The Aussie football great took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to update fans on his condition, straight from his hospital bed on Wednesday night. </p> <p>“Will not be able to see you all tomorrow morning,” he wrote, along with the schedule of matches for the Champions League airing on the streaming platform Stan. </p> <p>“But will be fine by Friday … but join us here in Oz from 6.35am (aedt).”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Will not be able to see you all tomorrow morning,but will be fine by Friday…but join us here in Oz from 6.35am(aedt) <a href="https://twitter.com/ChampionsLeague?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ChampionsLeague</a> Rd 16 <a href="https://twitter.com/PSG_English?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PSG_English</a> VS <a href="https://twitter.com/RealSociedadEN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RealSociedadEN</a> & <a href="https://twitter.com/OfficialSSLazio?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OfficialSSLazio</a> vs <a href="https://twitter.com/FCBayernEN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FCBayernEN</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/StanSportAU?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StanSportAU</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/UEFA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@UEFA</a> .xmb <a href="https://t.co/LRL5D9YtOu">pic.twitter.com/LRL5D9YtOu</a></p> <p>— Mark Bosnich (@TheRealBozza) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRealBozza/status/1757715714583191600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 14, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>Bosnich was missing from Stan Sport’s Champions League coverage on Thursday and his on-air colleagues, Max Rushden and Craig Foster, explained what had happened. </p> <p>“For those of you who don’t know, he (Bosnich) had chest pains, he’s had a stent put in,” Rushden said during coverage of one of the matches. </p> <p>He was making a lot of noise … and he said ‘I’m going to get it checked out’.</p> <p>“He did, he’s OK. He’s back tomorrow but we are sending you our love Boz, it is very quiet without you.”</p> <p>Fellow Socceroo Foster added: “We miss you buddy. I hope you’re well and feeling OK.”</p> <p>Bosnich's hospital admission didn't stop him from keeping up with the matches as he shared a photo of himself tuning in to Champions League on a tablet, and thanked everyone for their well-wishes. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Thank you all for your wonderful messages….will be back 2morrow on <a href="https://twitter.com/StanSportAU?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@StanSportAU</a> for <a href="https://twitter.com/EuropaLeague?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EuropaLeague</a> Knockout <a href="https://twitter.com/acmilan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@acmilan</a> vs <a href="https://twitter.com/staderennais_en?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@staderennais_en</a> on air from 6.35am(aedt)…xmb <a href="https://t.co/bVxj93CCWv">pic.twitter.com/bVxj93CCWv</a></p> <p>— Mark Bosnich (@TheRealBozza) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRealBozza/status/1757893486920302943?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 14, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>During Thursday's game, Rushden was keen for anyone watching to heed the warning from Bosnich.</p> <p>“If you’re not sure about anything, health-wise, get checked,” Rushden said.</p> <p>“Men are useless at talking about it and doing anything about it.</p> <p>“The sooner you find anything is wrong, the better it is. That is our message and that is Bozza’s message too.”</p> <p><em>Images: X</em></p>

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"I'm lowkey dying": Brave young woman with terminal illness shares her final wish

<p>Samantha Bulloch was given three years to live after she was diagnosed with gut-wrenching stage four bowel cancer at the young age of 28. </p> <p>A year later, Bulloch has shared a heartfelt plea on social media in hopes of meeting her idol- pop star Taylor Swift. </p> <p>The Swiftie has scored a ticket to Taylor's final show in Sydney on the 26th of February, but she’s calling on “anyone to hook a sister up” so she can meet-and-greet the singer backstage. </p> <p>“I’m low key dying and honestly this would just make my year,” she said in a video shared to TikTok. </p> <p>“I’m going out on a limb here so I’m just shooting my shot and we’re going to see what happens.</p> <p>“If anyone has any connections... I would love you forever.”</p> <p>Bulloch has been a fan of the megastar since she was 15 years old. </p> <p>“Taylor means so much to me, and I’d love the opportunity to tell her just how much of an impact she’s made on my life,” she told <em>7Life</em>. </p> <p>“I’ve loved her since I was 15, and her music has seen me through so many chapters in my life — including this one.</p> <p>“I love that her music transcends all kinds of walks of life, and so many of us connect with it so personally, despite the differences in our situations.</p> <p>“She has a real talent for making you feel less alone.I recently got a new tattoo of the lyric, ‘For the hope of it all’, from her song called August.</p> <p>“I adopted that lyric during my experience with cancer. I’m choosing to live for the hope of it all.”</p> <p>As she faces terminal cancer, Bulloch said that she is determined to live the rest of her life to the fullest. </p> <p>"I’m hoping and praying for many more years than what I’ve been given. But if not, I intend to try and maximise these few I’ve got left to the best of my ability," she said. </p> <p>“Thankfully I’ve always been quite a positive and hopeful person, and that hasn’t left me during this experience.”</p> <p>Bulloch was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2023, after experiencing low iron levels, fatigue and blood in her stool. </p> <p>She is currently on a chemotherapy regime and an immunotherapy drug and added that she also hopes to tick off many of her bucket list destinations this year, including visiting UK, Paris, New York and Tasmania. </p> <p>“My doctor has said I can, providing the treatment I’m on now works," the hopeful 29-year-old said. </p> <p>“Thankfully treatment has been working so hopefully in a few months I’ll be able to do that."</p> <p><em>Images: Samantha Bulloch </em></p>

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Young boy beats rare brain cancer in world first

<p>A 13-year-old boy from Belgium has become the first person in the world to be cured from a deadly brain cancer. </p> <p>Lucas Jemeljanova was only six-years-old when he was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare and aggressive brain cancer which kills 98 per cent of sufferers within five years. </p> <p>He was randomly assigned to receive everolimus, a type of chemotherapy drug during a clinical trial. The drug is commonly used to treat kidney, pancreas, breast and brain cancer, but up to this point has not been successfully used to treat DIPG. </p> <p>Seven years later, Lucas has responded well to the treatment and has no trace of cancer, and has officially been in remission for five years.</p> <p>His doctor, Jacques Grill said that Lucas "beat the odds" and his case "offers real hope". </p> <p>Lucas was one of the first few people enrolled in the BIOMEDE trial in France, which was testing potential new drugs for DIPG. </p> <p>The drug works by preventing the cancer cells from reproducing and decreasing blood supply to the cancer cells, and it is an FDA approved prescription drug for cancer.</p> <p>Doctors were initially hesitant to stop the treatment until a year ago and a half ago. </p> <p>"I didn’t know when to stop, or how, because there was no reference in the world," Dr Grill told the <em>AFP</em>. </p> <p>"Over a series of MRI scans, I watched as the tumour completely disappeared," he added. </p> <p>Seven other children who were also in the trial have been considered "long responders", as they haven't had any relapses for three years after their diagnosis, but only Lucas was cured. </p> <p>The reason behind his complete recovery is still unknown, but it could be because of "biological particularities" in his tumour. </p> <p>"Lucas' tumour had an extremely rare mutation which we believe made its cells far more sensitive to the drug," Dr Grill added. </p> <p>DIPG is typically found in children between ages five and nine. </p> <p>The cause of the tumour is unknown but some of the first symptoms include problems with eye movement and balance, facial weakness, difficulty walking and strange limb movements.</p> <p>Researchers are currently trying to reproduce the difference seen in Lucas' cells. </p> <p>"Lucas is believed to have had a particular form of the disease," Dr Grill said. </p> <p>"We must understand what and why to succeed in medically reproducing in other patients what happened naturally with him." </p> <p>However Dr Grill said that this process won't be quick. </p> <p>"On average, it takes 10-15 years from the first lead to become a drug – it's a long and drawn-out process."</p> <p><em>Images: Facebook</em></p> <p> </p>

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Why it’s a bad idea to mix alcohol with some medications

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nial-wheate-96839">Nial Wheate</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jasmine-lee-1507733">Jasmine Lee</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kellie-charles-1309061">Kellie Charles</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tina-hinton-329706">Tina Hinton</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Anyone who has drunk alcohol will be familiar with how easily it can lower your social inhibitions and let you do things you wouldn’t normally do.</p> <p>But you may not be aware that mixing certain medicines with alcohol can increase the effects and put you at risk.</p> <p>When you mix alcohol with medicines, whether prescription or over-the-counter, the medicines can increase the effects of the alcohol or the alcohol can increase the side-effects of the drug. Sometimes it can also result in all new side-effects.</p> <h2>How alcohol and medicines interact</h2> <p>The chemicals in your brain maintain a delicate balance between excitation and inhibition. Too much excitation can lead to <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324330">convulsions</a>. Too much inhibition and you will experience effects like sedation and depression.</p> <p><iframe id="JCh01" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/JCh01/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Alcohol works by increasing the amount of inhibition in the brain. You might recognise this as a sense of relaxation and a lowering of social inhibitions when you’ve had a couple of alcoholic drinks.</p> <p>With even more alcohol, you will notice you can’t coordinate your muscles as well, you might slur your speech, become dizzy, forget things that have happened, and even fall asleep.</p> <p>Medications can interact with alcohol to <a href="https://awspntest.apa.org/record/2022-33281-033">produce different or increased effects</a>. Alcohol can interfere with the way a medicine works in the body, or it can interfere with the way a medicine is absorbed from the stomach. If your medicine has similar side-effects as being drunk, those <a href="https://www.drugs.com/article/medications-and-alcohol.html#:%7E:text=Additive%20effects%20of%20alcohol%20and,of%20drug%20in%20the%20bloodstream.">effects can be compounded</a>.</p> <p>Not all the side-effects need to be alcohol-like. Mixing alcohol with the ADHD medicine ritalin, for example, can <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/ritalin-and-alcohol#side-effects">increase the drug’s effect on the heart</a>, increasing your heart rate and the risk of a heart attack.</p> <p>Combining alcohol with ibuprofen can lead to a higher risk of stomach upsets and stomach bleeds.</p> <p>Alcohol can increase the break-down of certain medicines, such as <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0149763421005121?via%3Dihub">opioids, cannabis, seizures, and even ritalin</a>. This can make the medicine less effective. Alcohol can also alter the pathway of how a medicine is broken down, potentially creating toxic chemicals that can cause serious liver complications. This is a particular problem with <a href="https://australianprescriber.tg.org.au/articles/alcohol-and-paracetamol.html">paracetamol</a>.</p> <p>At its worst, the consequences of mixing alcohol and medicines can be fatal. Combining a medicine that acts on the brain with alcohol may make driving a car or operating heavy machinery difficult and lead to a serious accident.</p> <h2>Who is at most risk?</h2> <p>The effects of mixing alcohol and medicine are not the same for everyone. Those most at risk of an interaction are older people, women and people with a smaller body size.</p> <p>Older people do not break down medicines as quickly as younger people, and are often on <a href="https://www.safetyandquality.gov.au/our-work/healthcare-variation/fourth-atlas-2021/medicines-use-older-people/61-polypharmacy-75-years-and-over#:%7E:text=is%20this%20important%3F-,Polypharmacy%20is%20when%20people%20are%20using%20five%20or%20more%20medicines,take%20five%20or%20more%20medicines.">more than one medication</a>.</p> <p>Older people also are more sensitive to the effects of medications acting on the brain and will experience more side-effects, such as dizziness and falls.</p> <p>Women and people with smaller body size tend to have a higher blood alcohol concentration when they consume the same amount of alcohol as someone larger. This is because there is less water in their bodies that can mix with the alcohol.</p> <h2>What drugs can’t you mix with alcohol?</h2> <p>You’ll know if you can’t take alcohol because there will be a prominent warning on the box. Your pharmacist should also counsel you on your medicine when you pick up your script.</p> <p>The most common <a href="https://adf.org.au/insights/prescription-meds-alcohol/">alcohol-interacting prescription medicines</a> are benzodiazepines (for anxiety, insomnia, or seizures), opioids for pain, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and some antibiotics, like metronidazole and tinidazole.</p> <p>It’s not just prescription medicines that shouldn’t be mixed with alcohol. Some over-the-counter medicines that you shouldn’t combine with alcohol include medicines for sleeping, travel sickness, cold and flu, allergy, and pain.</p> <p>Next time you pick up a medicine from your pharmacist or buy one from the local supermarket, check the packaging and ask for advice about whether you can consume alcohol while taking it.</p> <p>If you do want to drink alcohol while being on medication, discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist first.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223293/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nial-wheate-96839"><em>Nial Wheate</em></a><em>, Associate Professor of the School of Pharmacy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jasmine-lee-1507733">Jasmine Lee</a>, Pharmacist and PhD Candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kellie-charles-1309061">Kellie Charles</a>, Associate Professor in Pharmacology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tina-hinton-329706">Tina Hinton</a>, Associate Professor of Pharmacology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-its-a-bad-idea-to-mix-alcohol-with-some-medications-223293">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Sir Richard Branson in serious bike crash

<p>Richard Branson, the adventurous billionaire and founder of Virgin Group, is no stranger to pushing the limits. However, his latest escapade – a biking mishap on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands – left him with shocking injuries, adding to a long list of near-death experiences throughout his life.</p> <p>In a recent Instagram post, Branson shared the aftermath of his bike crash, recounting how he flew off his bike after hitting a pothole on the picturesque island.</p> <p>The accident resulted in severe cuts on his elbow and a haematoma on his hip. Remarkably, despite the intensity of the crash, Branson escaped without any broken bones, though the same could not be said for his biking companion, Alex Wilson, who also took a spill but thankfully emerged relatively unscathed.</p> <p>"Took quite a big tumble while cycling in Virgin Gorda a little while ago!" Branson wrote. "I hit a pothole and crashed hard, resulting in another hematoma on my hip and a nasty cut elbow, but amazingly nothing broken.</p> <p>"We were cycling with Alex Wilson, who fell after me, but thankfully he was ok as well. I’m counting myself very lucky, and thankful for keeping myself active and healthy."</p> <p> </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3OP6hBMP7B/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </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;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C3OP6hBMP7B/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Richard Branson (@richardbranson)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>This incident is just the latest in a series of biking accidents for Branson. In 2018, during an endurance charity race, he feared he had broken his back after another biking mishap. Similarly, in 2016, while cycling with his children in the British Virgin Islands, he had a terrifying headfirst collision with the road, leaving him fearing for his life.</p> <p>Branson's penchant for adventure has led him into numerous dangerous situations over the years. From surviving a sinking fishing boat during his honeymoon to crash-landing a microlight aircraft he didn't know how to fly, his life reads like a catalogue of adrenalin-fuelled escapades. Even the inaugural test flight of Virgin Atlantic in 1984 wasn't without drama, as an engine exploded mid-air.</p> <p>Skydiving accidents, near misses with hot air balloons, and daring stunts like wing-walking on a Virgin Atlantic plane or jumping off the Palms Casino in Las Vegas further illustrate Branson's willingness to embrace risk in pursuit of thrills.</p> <p>Despite the multitude of close calls, Branson maintains a resilient spirit, viewing each brush with danger as an opportunity for growth and appreciation for life. His Instagram post following the bike crash in Virgin Gorda captures this sentiment, as he reflects on his luck and gratitude for staying active and healthy.</p> <p>For Branson, it appears that the thrill of the unknown far outweighs the comfort of caution. As he aptly puts it, "After all, the brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all."</p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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Catriona Rowntree’s touching health update

<p>Catriona Rowntree has shared a positive health update following her sister Lucinda's <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/catriona-rowntree-s-devastating-family-news" target="_blank" rel="noopener">stage four cancer diagnosis</a>. </p> <p>The <em>Getaway</em> host revealed that her sister was responding well to treatments after undergoing a  US trial which has shrunk her tumours and is finishing another round of chemotherapy, according to the <em>Herald Sun</em>. </p> <p>"Lucinda is doing well. Very tired as she nears the end of her chemo, but the doctors are happy and results will be in this week," Catriona told the publication. </p> <p>Catriona also revealed that her family have celebrated a number of other milestones, which have kept their spirits high. </p> <p>“In happy news, her daughter Katie, also a teacher like her mum, just got engaged and her other daughter Georgia, my goddaughter, has been asked by Blue Illusion to be in a shoot with my mum celebrating three generations of women," she said. </p> <p>"Lots to look forward to … and live for.”</p> <p>Catriona also said that her sister and their family have raised money and awareness for the charity called <em>Dreams to Live 4</em>, which grants the wishes of adults with Stage 4 cancer </p> <p>Lucinda's friends have also organised a <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/lucinda-wunderlich" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fundraiser</a>, which has so far raised over $50,000 for the Sydney teacher and mother of four, who couldn't continue working. </p> <p>In April 2023, Catriona marked her sister's birthday and opened up about her own heartache over Lucinda's "apparently incurable" cancer. </p> <p>Despite the devastating diagnosis, Catriona has <a href="https://oversixty.com.au/health/caring/bringing-bucket-list-wishes-to-life-catriona-rowntree-s-joyous-update" target="_blank" rel="noopener">shared that her sister remains positive</a> and has been determined to bring "Bucket List wishes to life," as they spend more time together.</p> <p>“I’m trying so hard to choose my words carefully here, other than to say a lot of tears have been shed, BUT Lucinda is fighting and positive. We all are," she said at the time. </p> <p>"She has started chemo (sheer hell) and immunotherapy (our bright light) at #royalnorthshorehospital Lucinda is now unable to work as she commits to the fight of her life." </p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Caring

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David Morrow steps down from 2GB

<p>David Morrow will step down from his role on 2GB's <em>Continuous Call Team</em>, following a brain cancer diagnosis.</p> <p>Morrow's colleague, Ray Hadley, announced the sports broadcaster's departure and cancer diagnosis on 2GB today.</p> <p>Hadley revealed that Morrow was stepping back from all commentary duties to focus on his treatment and to spend time with his loved ones.</p> <p>Morrow has been working at 2GB since 2015, with a career that has spanned 52 years, including over four decades of covering first-grade rugby league, eight Olympic Games, and six Commonwealth Games.</p> <p>His colleagues have shared their support for the sports broadcaster.</p> <p>Luke Davis, 2GB's Head of Content, said it had been an "honour" to have Morrow as part of the <em>Continuous Call Team</em> and the broader Nine Radio family.</p> <p>"For more than five decades, David Morrow's voice has been the soundtrack of some of the greatest sporting moments Australia and the world has seen," Davis said.</p> <p>"His knowledge and passion for sport has burst through Australian radios each and every weekend – a familiar and iconic sound.</p> <p>"'Thirsty' has called countless epic individual performances and sporting battles in his time. He now faces his own battle, but does so with the backing of many mates in his corner."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">David Morrow is the most versatile sports commentator in Australia.</p> <p>To work alongside, learn and marvel at the ability of this incredible man is something I’ll cherish forever.</p> <p>Please spare a thought for Davey as confronts his current health battle.</p> <p>We all love ya Thirsty!!! <a href="https://t.co/DF1R8AitZr">pic.twitter.com/DF1R8AitZr</a></p> <p>— Mark Levy (@marklevy2gb) <a href="https://twitter.com/marklevy2gb/status/1755725233959645402?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 8, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>Mark Levy, who is replacing Morrow and will take on the lead commentator roll for the Continuous Call Team's 2024 season, also shared his support.</p> <p>"David Morrow is the most versatile sports commentator in Australia," Mark Levy wrote.</p> <p>"To work alongside, learn and marvel at the ability of this incredible man is something I’ll cherish forever.</p> <p>"Please spare a thought for Davey as confronts his current health battle," he continued.</p> <p>"We all love ya Thirsty!!!"</p> <p>Mark Levy will be joined by Mathew Thompson and Chris Warren for the 2024 season.</p> <p><em>Image: X</em></p>

Caring

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Sarah Ferguson makes first public appearance since skin cancer diagnosis

<p>Sarah Ferguson has made her first public appearance since her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/fergie-reveals-second-cancer-diagnosis" target="_blank" rel="noopener">skin cancer diagnosis</a> was announced almost two weeks ago. </p> <p>The Duchess of York made an unexpected appearance at the <em>Haute Living Celebrates The Haute 100</em> event in Miami, Florida on Monday. </p> <p>Fergie rocked a military-style black and white blazer over a black dress for the cocktail event, and appeared happier than ever as she posed for the cameras. </p> <p>The 64-year-old was pictured cuddling up to and interacting with fellow guests at the event. </p> <p>This comes just two weeks after the Duchess <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/fergie-breaks-silence-amid-second-cancer-battle" target="_blank" rel="noopener">opened up</a> on her second cancer diagnosis in a year. </p> <p>"I have been taking some time to myself as I have been diagnosed with malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer, my second cancer diagnosis within a year," she said in the Instagram post at the time.</p> <p>She also recently opened up on her recovery from breast cancer, following her mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.</p> <p>The Duchess expressed her gratitude to her two daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, for their constant support. </p> <p>"My two wonderful daughters are my wholehearted cheerleaders, my devoted champions and my soulmates, and they have been as supportive as can be, as they always are," she told <em>People magazine </em>at the time.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty </em></p> <p> </p>

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Why are so many Australians taking antidepressants?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jon-jureidini-1609">Jon Jureidini</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a></em></p> <p>Around <a href="https://australia.cochrane.org/news/new-cochrane-review-explores-latest-evidence-approaches-stopping-long-term-antidepressants">one in seven Australians</a> take antidepressants; more than <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/mental-health/topic-areas/mental-health-prescriptions">3.5 million</a> of us had them dispensed in 2021–22. This is <a href="https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2016/204/9/unfulfilled-promise-antidepressant-medications#:%7E:text=Summary,is%20lower%20than%20previously%20thought.">one of the highest</a> antidepressant prescribing rates in the world.</p> <p>Guidelines mostly recommend antidepressants for <a href="https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng222">more severe depression</a> and <a href="https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg113/resources/generalised-anxiety-disorder-and-panic-disorder-in-adults-management-pdf-35109387756997">anxiety</a> but not as first-line treatment for less severe depression. Less commonly, antidepressants may be <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538182/">prescribed for</a> conditions such as chronic pain and migraine.</p> <p>Yet prescription rates continue to increase. Between 2013 and 2021, the antidepressant prescription rate in Australia <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/PY/pdf/PY23168">steadily increased</a> by 4.5% per year. So why are so many Australians taking antidepressants and why are prescriptions rising?</p> <p>The evidence suggests they’re over-prescribed. So how did we get here?</p> <h2>Enter the antidepressant ‘blockbusters’</h2> <p>In the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/d41573-022-00213-z">heavily promoted</a> new selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants, including Prozac (fluoxetine), Zoloft (sertraline) and Lexapro (escitalopram).</p> <p>These drugs were thought to be less dangerous in overdoses and seemed to have <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181155/">fewer side effects</a> than the tricyclic antidepressants they replaced.</p> <p>Pharmaceutical companies marketed SSRIs energetically and often exaggerated their benefits, including by paying “key opinion leaders” – <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/336/7658/1402">high-status clinicians</a> to promote them. This prompted <a href="https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2004/181/7/making-new-choices-about-antidepressants-australia-long-view-1975-2002">substantial growth</a> in the market.</p> <p>SSRIs earned billions of dollars for their manufacturers when on patent. While now relatively cheap, they still prove <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/antidepressant-drugs-market-to-reach-15-98-bn-by-2023-globally-at-2-1-cagr-says-allied-market-research-873540700.html">lucrative</a> because of high prescribing levels.</p> <h2>Why are antidepressants prescribed?</h2> <p>The majority (85%) of antidepressants are prescribed in <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/mental-health/topic-areas/mental-health-prescriptions">general practice</a>. Some are prescribed for more severe depression and anxiety. But contrary to clinical guidelines, GPs also <a href="https://www1.racgp.org.au/ajgp/2021/december/antidepressant-prescribing-in-general-practice">prescribe</a> them as a first-line treatment for less severe depression.</p> <p>GPs also prescribe antidepressants to patients experiencing distress but who don’t have a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4504011/#:%7E:text=Among%20antidepressant%20users%2C%2069%25%20never,current%20physical%20problems%20(e.g.%2C%20loss">psychiatric diagnosis</a>. A friend dealing with her husband’s terminal illness, for example, was encouraged to take antidepressants by her long-term GP, even though her caring capacity wasn’t impaired. Another, who cried when informed she had breast cancer, was immediately offered a prescription for antidepressants.</p> <p>There are several reasons why someone may take antidepressants when they’re not needed. A busy GP might be looking for a convenient solution to a complex and sometimes intractable problem. Other times, patients request a prescription. They may be encouraged by an <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/seratonin-theory-of-depression-under-attack-amid-to-push-to-deprescribe-antidepressants/news-story/f74ca1a6018110e3d680b8d5ce01bc2c">acquaintance’s good experience</a> or looking for other ways to <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/321259/listening-to-prozac-by-peter-d-kramer/">improve their mental health</a>.</p> <p>Most patients believe antidepressants restore a chemical imbalance that underpins depression. This is <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41380-022-01661-0">not true</a>. Antidepressants are emotional (and sexual) <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC181155/">numbing agents</a> – sometimes sedating, sometimes energising. Those effects suit some people, for example, if their emotions are too raw or they lack energy.</p> <p>For others, they come with <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/antidepressants">troubling side effects</a> such as insomnia, restlessness, nausea, weight gain. Around half of users have <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6007725/">impaired sexual function</a> and for some, this <a href="https://annals-general-psychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12991-023-00447-0">sexual dysfunction persists</a> after stopping antidepressants.</p> <h2>How long do people take antidepressants?</h2> <p>Most experts and <a href="https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng222">guidelines</a> recommend specific prescribing regimes of antidepressants, varying from months to two years.</p> <p>However, most antidepressants are consumed by two categories of people. Around half of patients who start antidepressants don’t like them and <a href="https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-9-38#:%7E:text=Medication%20possession%20rates&amp;text=Although%20the%20mean%20MPR%20of,group%20difference%20(Table%203).">stop within weeks</a>. Of those who do take them for months, many continue to use them indefinitely, often for many years. <a href="https://www1.racgp.org.au/ajgp/2021/december/antidepressant-prescribing-in-general-practice">Long-term use</a> (beyond 12 months) is driving much of the increase in antidepressant prescribing.</p> <p>Some people try to stop taking antidepressants but are prevented from doing so by <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S221503661930032X">withdrawal symptoms</a>. Withdrawal symptoms – including “<a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35144325/">brain zaps</a>”, dizziness, restlessness, vertigo and vomiting – can cause significant distress, impaired work function and relationship breakdown.</p> <p>Across 14 studies that examined antidepressant withdrawal, around 50% of users <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S221503661930032X">experienced withdrawal symptoms</a> when coming off antidepressants, which can be mistaken for recurrence of the initial problem. We are conducting a <a href="https://adelaideuniwide.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3QqWrY5TBNUP1YO">survey</a> to better understand the experience in Australia of withdrawing from antidepressants.</p> <p>Antidepressants should not be stopped abruptly but gradually tapered off, with smaller and smaller doses. The recent release in Australia of the <a href="https://www.wiley.com/en-ca/The+Maudsley+Deprescribing+Guidelines%3A+Antidepressants%2C+Benzodiazepines%2C+Gabapentinoids+and+Z+drugs-p-9781119823025">Maudsley Deprescribing Guidelines</a> provides guidance for the complex regimes required for the tapering of antidepressants.</p> <h2>We need to adjust how we view mental distress</h2> <p>Overprescribing antidepressants is a symptom of our lack of attention to the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wps.21160">social determinants of mental health</a>. It’s depressing to be poor (especially when your neighbours seem rich), unemployed or in an awful workplace, inadequately housed or fearful of family violence. It’s wrong to locate the problem in the individual when it belongs to society.</p> <p>Overprescribing is also symptomatic of medicalisation of distress. Most diagnoses of depression and anxiety are <a href="https://karger.com/psp/article-pdf/37/6/259/3489408/000081981.pdf">descriptions masquerading as explanations</a>. For each distressed person who fits the pattern of anxiety or depression, the meaning of their presentation is different. There may be a medical explanation, but most often meaning may be found in the person’s struggle with difficult feelings, their relationships and other life circumstances such as terrible disappointments or grief.</p> <p>GPs’ overprescribing reflects the pressures they experience from workload, unrealistic expectations of their capacity and misinformation from pharmaceutical companies and key opinion leaders. They need better support, resources and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4822978/">evidence</a> about the limited <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/article/S0140-6736(17)32802-7/fulltext">benefits</a> of antidepressants.</p> <p>GPs also need to ensure they discuss with their patients the potential adverse effects of antidepressants, and when and how to safely stop them.</p> <p>But the fundamental problem is social and can only be properly addressed by meaningfully addressing inequality and changing community attitudes to distress.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221857/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jon-jureidini-1609"><em>Jon Jureidini</em></a><em>, Research Leader, Critical and Ethical Mental Health research group, Robinson Research Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-are-so-many-australians-taking-antidepressants-221857">original article</a>.</em></p>

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What happens if King Charles can no longer perform his duties?

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anne-twomey-6072">Anne Twomey</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>King Charles III’s <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-06/king-charles-cancer-diagnosis-revealed-by-buckingham-palace/103430320">cancer diagnosis</a> will turn minds to the question of what happens if he becomes unable to fulfil his constitutional duties. Buckingham Palace has announced he will continue performing his official paperwork and his weekly meetings with the prime minister throughout his treatment.<br />But what happens if he becomes seriously ill?</p> <p>There are three options: counsellors of state, regency and abdication.</p> <h2>Counsellors of state</h2> <p>First, King Charles can delegate some or most of his royal functions to <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Edw8and1Geo6/1/16/section/6">counsellors of state</a>, as happens most commonly when he is travelling overseas. Two counsellors of state act jointly in exercising royal powers such as assenting to laws, receiving ambassadors and holding <a href="https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-7460/">Privy Council</a> meetings.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.royal.uk/counsellors-of-state">counsellors of state</a> are the spouse of the sovereign and the next four adults in line of succession to the throne – being Queen Camilla, Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice.</p> <p>However, Prince Harry is excluded while he is outside the United Kingdom, and in practice Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice are not called on to act as they are not “working royals”.</p> <p>As this left only Queen Camilla and Prince William to perform the role, a <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2022/47/2022-12-07/data.html#:%7E:text=An%20Act%20to%20add%20His,delegated%20as%20Counsellors%20of%20State.">law</a> was passed in the UK in 2022 to <a href="https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/creating-more-counsellors-of-state/">add Princess Anne and Prince Edward</a> to the list.</p> <p>Counsellors of state may carry out most of the sovereign’s functions while he is ill, but they cannot dissolve parliament, except on his instruction, and they cannot create peers. Whether they can appoint a prime minister remains a matter of debate. Most significantly, they cannot exercise powers with respect to the King’s other realms, such as Australia.</p> <h2>Regency</h2> <p>The second option is a regency. This occurs if the King “is by reason of infirmity of mind or body <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Edw8and1Geo6/1/16/section/2">incapable</a> for the time being of performing the royal functions”. The sovereign does not control when or for how long a regency occurs. Instead, it is initiated by a declaration of three or more of: the sovereign’s spouse, the lord chancellor, the speaker of the House of Commons, the lord chief justice of England and the <a href="https://www.judiciary.uk/about-the-judiciary/who-are-the-judiciary/judges/profile-mor/">master of the rolls</a>.</p> <p>The UK’s Regency Act <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Edw8and1Geo6/1/16/section/3">requires</a> Prince William to be regent, as he is the next adult in line of succession to the crown. The regent has the powers of the King with respect to the United Kingdom, but cannot change the order of succession to the crown.</p> <p>The Regency Act does not give the regent powers in relation to realms such as Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand resolved the problem by inserting a <a href="https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1986/0114/latest/DLM94216.html">section</a> into its Constitution Act which provides that whoever is made regent under the law of the UK may perform the royal functions of the sovereign with respect to New Zealand. Australia, however, has done nothing in this regard, so a British regent would have no powers with respect to Australia.</p> <h2>Abdication</h2> <p>The final option for an incapacitated monarch is abdication. This leads to difficult questions about how an abdication would operate in relation to each of the realms.</p> <p>When King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, it was achieved by both a signed <a href="https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/resources/significant-events/abdication-of-edward-viii-1936/">instrument of abdication</a> and the enactment of <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Edw8and1Geo6/1/3/enacted#:%7E:text=(1)Immediately%20upon%20the%20Royal,and%20there%20shall%20be%20a">legislation</a> to which the various realms, including Australia, assented. This is not possible today, as the UK can <a href="https://www6.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/num_act/aa1986114/s1.html">no longer legislate</a> with respect to Australia.</p> <p>Abdication would therefore raise difficult questions about whether there needed to be a separate abdication of the King of Australia, to trigger the application of the rules of succession that are now part of Australian law, or whether <a href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/s2.html">covering clause 2</a> of the Constitution, which defines the sovereign by reference to Queen Victoria’s “heirs and successors in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom”, would apply.</p> <p>Because of the potential constitutional messiness of dealing with the King’s role in his 14 realms beyond the United Kingdom, it is likely abdication would be avoided.</p> <h2>Consequences for Australia</h2> <p>If King Charles were incapacitated and counsellors of state or a regent were appointed, would this cause any real problem in Australia?</p> <p>The King’s only remaining substantial powers with respect to Australia are the appointment and removal of the governor-general and the state governors. The governor-general’s term is expected to expire in the middle of the year. If King Charles were then seriously ill and unable to appoint a new governor-general, no one could do so, as neither counsellors of state nor a regent could do so.</p> <p>Instead, the current governor-general, David Hurley, could choose to continue in office, as there is no formal termination of his office until he is replaced.</p> <p>Alternatively, he could resign and his office could be filled on a temporary basis by a state governor as <a href="http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/cth/consol_act/coaca430/xx4.html">administrator</a>, as is the usual practice when there is a vacancy in the office. If the office of a state governor becomes vacant, the <a href="https://www.governor.nsw.gov.au/governor/lieutenant-governor/role-of-the-lieutenant-governor/">lieutenant-governor</a>, who is often the chief justice of the state, can exercise the governor’s functions.</p> <p>However, if a regency were to continue for a long time – perhaps years – this could become unsustainable.</p> <p>The other consideration is that if there is a regency, there is no power to <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/in-race-to-palace-governor-general-has-inside-running/news-story/d3918f42af1d081f203daa65f5b53e0f">dismiss a governor-general</a>. So if a constitutional crisis arose, such as that in 1975 with the dismissal of the Whitlam government, the governor-general would know that he or she could act without the prospect of dismissal on the advice of the prime minister. This unbalances the constitutional pressures that are deliberately built into the system, giving a stronger hand to the governor-general and weakening the position of the prime minister.</p> <p>The <a href="https://michaelwest.com.au/king-charles-illness-affects-australia/">problem</a> could be addressed in the same way as the rules of succession to the throne were changed <a href="https://www.legislation.gov.au/C2015A00023/asmade/text">in 2015</a> to remove gender discrimination. It would involve each state enacting a law requesting the Commonwealth to enact a law that recognised the authority of a regent to exercise the sovereign’s powers with respect to Australia.</p> <p>While it is not essential to fix this problem, it would still be wise, as a matter of orderly constitutional housekeeping, to address it before any real difficulties arise.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/222870/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anne-twomey-6072"><em>Anne Twomey</em></a><em>, Professor emerita, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-happens-if-king-charles-can-no-longer-perform-his-duties-222870">original article</a>.</em></p>

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The royals have historically been tight-lipped about their health – but that never stopped the gossip

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lisa-j-hackett-458612">Lisa J. Hackett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/huw-nolan-1309470">Huw Nolan</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jo-coghlan-1585">Jo Coghlan</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a></em></p> <p>King Charles III has been diagnosed with cancer. This is an unexpected announcement: it is unusual for the royal family to release details of medical conditions to the public.</p> <p>“<a href="https://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/view/2986">Don’t let the daylight in</a>” was how British essayist Walter Bagehot advised the British monarchy to deal with the public in 1867. “[A]bove all things our royalty is to be reverenced […] its mystery is its life,” he wrote.</p> <p>For Queen Elizabeth II this attitude framed her response to public information about the royals, quipping “<a href="https://www.news24.com/you/royals/news/royal-author-explains-queens-never-complain-never-explain-mantra-20220620">never complain, never explain</a>”. Maybe this explains why Princess Kate’s <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2024/feb/05/king-charles-diagnosed-with-cancer-buckingham-palace-announces">recent abdominal surgery</a> has not been disclosed to the public, with media reports saying she is “determined to keep her medical details private”.</p> <p>In revealing the fragility of the royal body much of the mystique about them as anointed by God fades away. But the royals’ health has, occasionally, been the subject of official news, and, more commonly, the subject of gossip.</p> <h2>Henry VIII’s ‘soore legge’</h2> <p>Henry VIII’s (1491–1547) health was well-documented and discussed in state-papers and diplomatic dispatches of the day.</p> <p>In his early years, he was known for his robust health. In his later years, he would be described as “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2789029/">cursed</a>” by his deteriorating health.</p> <p>As Henry aged, his access to fine food led to an increase of weight. Doctors today might diagnose him with obesity, and it has been <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2789029/">speculated by contemporary medical historians</a> he suffered from hypertension and Type II diabetes.</p> <p>This disease, which can lead to diabetic neuropathy and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/healthy-feet.html">serious foot complications</a>, could account for the persistent and odorous ulcers on his “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2789029/#:%7E:text=In%20the%20same%20year%20Henry,annual%20salary%20of%2020%20shillings.">sorre legge</a>”, as described by his contemporaries.</p> <p>Knowledge about Henry’s health was not widespread. The king had sequestered himself in his private apartments. Even his attending <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2388216/pdf/annrcse00840-0011.pdf">physicians did not keep notes</a>, perhaps concerned about being accused of treason in the volatile politics of the time. Most of our knowledge today is gleaned from diplomatic reports sent by diplomats to their own leaders.</p> <h2>Queen Anne’s lupus</h2> <p>Queen Anne (1665-1714) had 17 pregnancies, 11 of which resulted in miscarriages or stillbirths, with the remainder all dying in childhood. Despite the regularity of her failed pregnancies, her physician, John Radcliffe, repeatedly declared she was in good health and her miscarriages were due to “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1540-6563.1986.tb00702.x">the vapours</a>”, a vague diagnosis often attributed to aristocratic women.</p> <p>It is <a href="https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA12456274&amp;sid=googleScholar&amp;v=2.1&amp;it=r&amp;linkaccess=abs&amp;issn=17592151&amp;p=AONE&amp;sw=w&amp;userGroupName=anon%7Ee39109f7&amp;aty=open-web-entry">now believed Anne</a> may have been afflicted with the autoimmune condition lupus.</p> <p>For Anne’s contemporaries, the name of the illness perhaps mattered less than the real political issue it presented: who would become monarch after her? With no heirs, there was real political fear her Catholic half-brother <a href="https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/manuscriptsandspecialcollections/learning/biographies/jamesfrancisedwardstuart(1688-1766).aspx">James Francis Edward Stuart</a> (“The Old Pretender”) would claim the throne.</p> <p>But the law <a href="https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/evolutionofparliament/parliamentaryauthority/revolution/collections1/parliamentary-collections/act-of-settlement/">excluded Catholics</a> from the taking the crown, and ensured Anne would be succeed by her second cousin, George I of Hanover and Britain.</p> <h2>George III and mental illness</h2> <p>George III (1738–1820) famously suffered from bouts of mental illness, more recently been speculated to be caused by <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/porphyria">Porphyria</a>, a hereditary blood disorder.</p> <p>Throughout his illness <a href="https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/speccoll/2023/11/01/bulletin-on-the-state-of-king-george-iiis-health-october-2011-2/">bulletins were issued</a> by his doctors informing the public of his condition.</p> <p>These were kept <a href="https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/speccoll/2023/11/01/bulletin-on-the-state-of-king-george-iiis-health-october-2011-2/">deliberately vague</a>, with the aim to reassure the public rather than divulge details. His repeated bouts of illness mean his health was <a href="https://oro.open.ac.uk/92656/3/92656.pdf">a constant in the media of the time</a>, with frequent, at times twice-daily, updates during episodes.</p> <p>His illness called into <a href="https://oro.open.ac.uk/92656/3/92656.pdf">question his ability to be monarch</a>, a situation eventually resolved by the installing of his son, later George IV, as Prince Regent.</p> <h2>A family of haemophilia</h2> <p>Queen Victoria has been called the “<a href="https://hekint.org/2020/02/10/royal-blood-queen-victoria-and-the-legacy-of-hemophilia-in-european-royalty/?highlight=%E2%A3%82%E2%A3%9A%20Buy%20Viagra%20from%20%240.31%20per%20pill%20%3A%20%F0%9F%8F%A5%20www.LloydsPharmacy.xyz%20%F0%9F%8F%A5%20-%20Pharma%20without%20prescription%20%E2%A3%9A%E2%A3%82Viagra%20Cialis%20Levitra%20Staxyn%20Online%20Viagra%20Online%20Information">Grandmother of Europe</a>” due to her many descendants. This also came with a deadly legacy, haemophilia, given the moniker “the royal disease”.</p> <p><a href="https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/facts.html">Haemophilia</a> is an inherited disorder which mostly affects males, where the blood does not clot properly. This can lead to severe or spontaneous bleeding which can be dangerous if not treated properly. While the illness can be managed well today, in Victoria’s time little was known about it.</p> <p>It is believed Victoria passed on the trait to <a href="https://www.hemophilia.org/bleeding-disorders-a-z/overview/history">three of her nine children</a>, at a time when life expectancy for those who had the disease was just 13 years old. Two of her daughters were asymptomatic carriers, however her fourth son Prince Leopold (1853-1884) was afflicted with the disease.</p> <p>While the royal family were careful to <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21764831/">manage what information was publicly released</a> about his illness, his status meant it garnered public attention. It was covered in medical journals of the time, and later in newspapers.</p> <p>As knowledge of the illness grew, both the public and members of the royal family were able to use it to guide decisions on marriages to limit its spread.</p> <h2>A new approach</h2> <p>In the days leading up to Elizabeth’s death on 2022, the media reported her as resting “<a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/siladityaray/2022/09/08/queen-under-medical-supervision-as-doctors-are-concerned-for-her-health/?sh=42c483e9140e">comfortably</a>” and provided no information on the nature of her illness. Even her <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/News/queen-elizabeth-iis-death-revealed-death-certificate/story?id=90696648">death certificate</a> failed to reveal her cause of death, other than as old age.</p> <p>Charles has signalled he wants to do monarchy differently than his mother. After his recent prostate surgery, his office stated he wanted to inspire men to look after their prostates. Anecdotal evidence suggests more men have sought medical tests in response which is being called the “<a href="https://www.ausdoc.com.au/news/king-charles-effect-spurs-aussie-men-to-consult-their-gp-for-prostate-symptoms/">King Charles effect</a>”.</p> <p>Now, the announcement of Charles’s cancer diagnosis signals a new approach by the royals. <!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/222873/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lisa-j-hackett-458612"><em>Lisa J. Hackett</em></a><em>, Lecturer, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/huw-nolan-1309470">Huw Nolan</a>, Animal Welfare scientist and pop culture researcher, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jo-coghlan-1585">Jo Coghlan</a>, Associate Professor Humanities Arts and Social Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-royals-have-historically-been-tight-lipped-about-their-health-but-that-never-stopped-the-gossip-222873">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Should you be worried about the amount of coffee or tea you drink?

<p>Before you reach for that cup of coffee or tea, have you ever thought about whether that caffeinated beverage is <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/body-and-mind/debunks-vices-coffee-caffeine/">good or bad for you</a>?</p> <p><iframe title="Vices: Is coffee good or bad for you?" src="https://omny.fm/shows/debunks/vices-is-coffee-good-or-bad-for-you/embed?style=Cover" width="100%" height="180" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Most of us will drink coffee or tea each day.</p> <p>It helps keep us alert, especially in a world of the nine-to-five grind. Some workers rely on caffeine to get them through shift work and night shifts.</p> <p>Many, like me, would just collapse in a heap if it weren’t for that liquid black gold to keep us peppy in the morning.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">What is caffeine?</h2> <p>To get a better picture of how coffee or tea affects us, let’s examine the active ingredient: <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/podcast/huh-science-explained-stirring-the-science-of-caffeine/">caffeine</a>.</p> <p>Caffeine is a <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/caffeine" target="_blank" rel="noopener">drug</a>. It’s a white, odourless substance known to chemists as 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine and is made up of 8 carbon, 10 hydrogen, 4 nitrogen and 2 oxygen atoms.</p> <p>Caffeine occurs naturally in coffee beans, cocoa beans, kola nuts, and tea leaves.</p> <p>It is an adenosine antagonist, blocking the A1, A2A, and A2B receptors in the brain and body to promote wakefulness. Normally, adenosine (a chemical compound with a similar 3D structure to caffeine) binds to its receptors, slowing neural activity and making you sleepy.</p> <p>When caffeine, instead, binds to the receptors, adenosine is blocked and brain activity speeds up, making you feel more alert.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">History lesson</h2> <p>Tea and coffee are the most common way for humans to get their caffeine fix.</p> <p>Drinks made using coffee beans date back more than a thousand years to the coffee forests of the horn of Africa.</p> <p>Legend says that, around 800 CE, an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi noticed his goats were energetic and didn’t sleep when they ate the coffee beans. Coffee then spread eastward to the Arabian Peninsula, reaching Yemen in the 15th century, and Egypt, Syria, Persia and Turkey in the 1500s. From their it made it to Europe and eventually the whole world.</p> <p>But caffeine is also present in other beverages like tea, cola and even some foods like chocolate.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Is it bad for you?</h2> <p>Given how prevalent the drug is, are there negative side effects we should be worried about?</p> <p>For one thing, it is an addictive substance. And the more you drink, the more you need.</p> <p>“Our body tends to adjust to a new level of consumption,” Kitty Pham, a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia and expert in nutritional and genetic epidemiology, tells <em>Cosmos</em>. “Your body does develop a tolerance to the caffeine. So, you start to need to drink more and more to feel the same effect as before.”</p> <p>Caffeine can also act as an anxiogenic – a substance that can trigger heightened levels of anxiety.</p> <p>Pham notes some risks associated with too much caffeine consumption over a long period of time.</p> <p>“Greater than 6 cups per day, we did see an increase in dementia risk,” she notes. “There’s also some research on how it might increase your cholesterol. There’s a substance in coffee called cafestol that can regulate your blood cholesterol. If you’re drinking too much coffee, it might be increasing your cholesterol. So, there are risks, but often they are at really high consumption.”</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">What’s the limit?</h2> <p>So, how much caffeine is too much according to science?</p> <p>“That’s, the million-dollar question, isn’t it?” Pham laughs. “There’s a lot of varying research on it. It’s hard to tell a definite limit. But generally, most studies really agree that one to two cups of coffee, or an equivalent of 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine is safe and okay.”</p> <p>The average cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine. On average, instant coffee with one teaspoon of powder contains about 70 mg of caffeine, while a coffee pod has 60–90 mg.</p> <p>Other drinks containing might have even more caffeine, making it important to monitor your consumption more carefully.</p> <p>A 355 mL can of Red Bull energy drink has more than 110 mg of caffeine. Meanwhile, an average bar of dark chocolate has about 70 mg of caffeine.</p> <p>Many people are moving away from coffee to drinks like tea and matcha which may have <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/flavonoids-black-tea/">additional</a> <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/tea-drinkers-may-well-live-longer/">health</a> <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/black-tea-mortality-risk/">benefits</a>. A 100-gram cup of black tea has only about 20 mg of caffeine, while matcha can have 140–170 mg of caffeine!</p> <p>“Looking at the US, they usually recommend less than 400 milligrams. So overall, moderation and keeping your consumption to one to two cups – that’s what I’d recommend.”</p> <p>Now that I’ve written about caffeine, I think I need another cuppa. It’s only my second of the day, I swear. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <div> <h3><em><a href="https://link.cosmosmagazine.com/JQ4R"><noscript data-spai="1"><img decoding="async" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-198773" src="https://cdn.shortpixel.ai/spai/ret_img/cosmosmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Apple-Podcasts.svg" data-spai-egr="1" alt="Subscribe to our podcasts" width="300" height="54" title="should you be worried about the amount of coffee or tea you drink? 2"></noscript></a><a href="https://link.cosmosmagazine.com/JQ4U"><noscript data-spai="1"><img decoding="async" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-198773" src="https://cdn.shortpixel.ai/spai/ret_img/cosmosmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Spotify.svg" data-spai-egr="1" alt="Subscribe to our podcasts" width="300" height="54" title="should you be worried about the amount of coffee or tea you drink? 3"></noscript></a></em></h3> </div> <p><em><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/body-and-mind/coffee-tea-caffeine-debunks/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/evrim-yazgin/">Evrim Yazgin</a>.</em></p>

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Your skin is a mirror of your health – here’s what yours might be saying

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dan-baumgardt-1451396">Dan Baumgardt</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12095893/">Skin accounts for around 15% of our body mass</a>. It is the largest and most visible organ in the human body.</p> <p>Yet many of the skin’s functions are often overlooked. It’s a sunscreen, a shield from germs, a reservoir of <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28994020/">vitamin D</a> and a means of tightly regulating our body temperature.</p> <p>Being the most visible of our organs, the skin also offers us a view into the body tissues that it protects. So don’t think of your skin merely aesthetically – think of it as a reflection of your health. Disorders of the gut, blood, hormones and even the heart might first be seen on the skin in the form of a rash.</p> <p>Here are a few to look out for.</p> <h2>Bullseye</h2> <p>Ticks are pesky creatures that no one will want to return home from a country walk with.</p> <p>But while the vast majority of tick bites <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36116831/">won’t make you ill</a>, there is one rash that should prompt a visit to your doctor if you spot it.</p> <p>Erythema migrans, a rash named for its ability to rapidly expand across the skin, is a hallmark of <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1041.long">Lyme disease</a>, a potentially severe bacterial illness. This rash forms a classic target pattern, like a bullseye on a dartboard.</p> <p>Be vigilant for a few weeks after being bitten to check this rash doesn’t make an appearance – especially if you noticed a red lump that wasn’t there before or if you had to remove a tick from your skin. You should also keep an eye out for other associated symptoms of Lyme disease – such as swinging temperatures, muscle and joint pains and headache.</p> <p>The condition is treated with antibiotics, which can prevent long-term complications, including chronic fatigue symptoms.</p> <h2>Purpura</h2> <p>Some rashes are given a <a href="https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1538-7836(22)01880-3">colourful namesake</a> – purpura is one such example. This rash’s name is derived from a mollusc which was used to make purple dye.</p> <p>Purpura refers to a rash of small purple or red dots. The cause is pooling of blood into a deeper layer of the skin (dermis). When pressed with a finger – or even better, the side of a glass – it refuses to blanch away.</p> <p>Purpura signals an issue with either the walls of the tiny blood vessels that feed the skin or the blood within them. This might be from a deficiency in platelets, the tiny cell fragments that allow blood to clot – perhaps from bone marrow failure, or an autoimmune condition where the body turns on itself and attacks its own cells.</p> <p>At worst, purpura may signal the life-threatening condition <a href="https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/full/10.12968/hmed.2017.78.8.468">septicaemia</a>, where an infection has spread into the bloodstream – perhaps from the lungs, kidneys or even from the skin itself.</p> <h2>Skin spiders</h2> <p>Skin rashes can also take on <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32513406/">recognisable shapes</a>.</p> <p>Spider naevi represent an issue within skin arterioles (small arteries which supply the skin with blood). Arterioles open and close to control the loss of heat from the body’s surface. But sometimes they can get stuck open – and a spider-like pattern will appear.</p> <p>The open arteriole is the spider’s body, and the even tinier capillaries fanning out in all directions are the thready legs. Crush the body under a fingertip and the whole thing disappears, as your touch temporarily stops the blood flow.</p> <p>Often, these are benign and not associated with any specific condition – especially if you only have one or two. However, more than three suggest higher circulating levels of the <a href="https://dermnetnz.org/topics/spider-telangiectasis">hormone oestrogen</a>, often due to liver disease or from the hormonal changes seen in pregnancy. Treat the underlying cause, and the spiders often vanish with time – though they may persist or reappear later.</p> <h2>Black velvet</h2> <p>Changes to the folds of your skin (usually around the armpits or neck) – especially if it becomes thickened and velveteen to the touch – may suggest a condition known as <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.13544">acanthosis nigricans</a>. This “black velvet” skin appearance is more commonly seen in darker skins.</p> <p>Usually, the condition is associated with <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29241752/">disorders of the metabolism</a> – namely type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome. If either of these conditions are successfully treated, the rash may fade. In rare cases, it can also be a sign of <a href="https://www.hkmj.org/abstracts/v29n4/355.htm">stomach cancer</a>, which should be considered in patients with few or none of the key signs of metabolic disease (obesity and high blood pressure).</p> <h2>Butterfly rashes</h2> <p>Even disorders of the heart can be visible on the skin.</p> <p>Cardiac valves have the important role of correctly directing the journey of blood through the heart and preventing backflow. The valve between the chambers on the left side of the heart (the mitral valve – so called because of its resemblance to a bishop’s hat, or mitre) can sometimes become narrowed, causing the heart’s function to deteriorate. The body’s natural response is to preserve core blood volume, shutting off flow towards the skin.</p> <p>The net effect can produce a purple-red rash, high across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose, like the outstretched wings of a butterfly. We call this <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2050313X231200965?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&amp;rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&amp;rfr_dat=cr_pub%20%200pubmed">mitral facies</a> which, depending on the extent of damage to the heart and great vessels, may persist despite treatment.</p> <p>It’s important to pay heed to your skin. It’s constantly talking to you, and any changes in its texture, colour or if new marks or patterns appear, may indicate something is going on beneath the surface.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221937/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dan-baumgardt-1451396">Dan Baumgardt</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/your-skin-is-a-mirror-of-your-health-heres-what-yours-might-be-saying-221937">original article</a>.</em></p>

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