Kidney Health

Kidney Health

Health & Wellness

13-01-2017

Did you know it is possible for a person to lose up to 90% of their kidney function before experiencing any symptoms of kidney disease?

1489_BBQ_for_kidney_healthChronic kidney disease (CKD) is a growing public health problem. Approximately 1 in 10 Australians aged 18 and over have evidence of CKD. In CKD, the kidneys slowly stop working over a period of months or years. The kidneys have many important functions in the body, including filtering the blood and adding excess water to other wastes to produce urine. The kidneys also produce and regulate several hormones that are important for heart, blood and bone health. People with CKD are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death, as well as anaemia and bone disease. Read More >

Facts and Fallacies about Generic Medicines

Facts and Fallacies about Generic Medicines

Health & Wellness

10-01-2017

Generic medicines have been available in Australia for 40 years, and widely supplied through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for over 20 years, delivering the same health benefits as the original brands at a lower cost to government and the community. Through monitoring generic medicine use over this time, their role as safe & effective treatment options has been confirmed.

The following statements about generic medicines are TRUE

  • A generic medicine is simply another brand, which contains the same active ingredient as the original brand, and which is accepted to work in the same way. Therefore generic medicine is the same quality as the original brand, and meets the TGA standards of safety and performance equivalence to the original brand.
  • A generic medicine is subject to much greater government scrutiny compared to other “generic” or home brand consumer products that you buy at the supermarket. All medicines sold in Australia, whether a generic medicine or original brand, must meet the same tough quality standards set by a government agency called the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The role of the TGA is to evaluate and verify that all prescription medicines provide an appropriate safety and performance profile. Read More >

Red and Dry Eye

Red and Dry Eye

Health & Wellness

27-12-2016

 It’s often said that eyes are the windows to a person’s soul but they are also our window onto the world. Except if you’re one of the many Australians who lose part or all of their vision every 65 minutes. Maintaining good eye health should be a priority for all.

1464_Red_and_dry_eyesOne of the most common eye problems are red and dry eyes. Redness and dryness are symptoms of many eye conditions. Some of these conditions are not serious, but others are serious and may affect eyesight.

A red eye can be a sign of eye inflammation. The most common cause of red eye(s) is conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can be caused by allergy, irritation or infection. The treatment of eye redness depends on its cause and can include: Read More >

Heartburn

Heartburn

Health & Wellness

09-12-2016

Most of us at some time in our lives will experience heartburn – after a big meal, undertaking strenuous activity too soon after eating, or drinking too much alcohol or coffee.

Heartburn (gastro-oesophageal reflux or indigestion) is really very common.

Heartburn is caused by the contents of the stomach coming back up into the oesophagus where it can cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat.

Persistent reflux that occurs more than twice a week is considered to be gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems. People of all ages can have GORD.

Occasional heartburn on the other hand can be caused by eating too much, from anxiety, and advanced pregnancy – to name but a few of the causes.

Read More >

Pelvic Floor First

Pelvic Floor First

Health & Wellness

07-12-2016

Pelvic Floor First is an initiative of the Continence Foundation of Australia and aims to reduce the number of men and women who experience pelvic floor dysfunction as a result of inappropriate exercise regimes.

Visit the Pelvic Floor First website.

The aim is supported by the following objectives:

    • strengthen the relationship between the continence and fitness industry
    • increase awareness of the link between certain types of exercise and pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, and
    • promote pelvic floor safe exercises.

This will support people to remain active without the fear and anxiety related to incontinence.

The primary target audience of the Pelvic Floor First campaign are women and men at increased risk of pelvic floor problems who exercise, play sport or participate in some form of physical activity. These people include:

    • pregnant women
    • women who have recently, or ever, had a baby
    • women who are going through, or have gone through, menopause
    • women who have undergone gynaecological surgery, and
    • men who have undergone surgery for prostate cancer.

The secondary target audience of the Pelvic Floor First campaign include:

    • fitness professionals, and
    • health professionals (including continence professionals and other health professionals such as midwives, practice nurses, maternal and child health nurses and GPs).

These professionals are ideally placed to raise awareness of this issue, refer clients for help and support, and promote pelvic floor safe exercise.

Thunderstorm Asthma

Thunderstorm Asthma

Health & Wellness

06-12-2016

Thunderstorms have been linked to epidemics of asthma, especially during the grass flowering season. An asthma attack can be life threatening. Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call 000. People experiencing asthma like symptoms for the first time should visit their GP for advice and if appropriate develop an asthma management plan. More information and advice from the Chief Health Officer can be found on Asthma – emergency first aid page. This information is provided by the Better Health Channel

Shingles

Shingles

Health & Wellness

30-11-2016

Shingles is a viral infection caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox (varicella-zoster virus). Shingles can only develop in a person who has already had chickenpox (varicella). After an episode of chickenpox, the virus does not completely clear, and some particles lie dormant in nerve roots near the spinal cord. They cause no harm, or signs and symptoms, but can re-activate later to cause shingles (herpes zoster).

1535_ShinglesThe majority of the Australian population is at risk of developing shingles, as over 97% of Australian adults over 30 years of age are exposed to the chickenpox virus. Approximately 150,000 new cases of shingles occur every year in the general population in Australia. It is estimated that by the age of 85 years, about half of people will develop shingles. Read More >

International Day of People With a Disability

International Day of People With a Disability

Health & Wellness

23-11-2016

Disability covers many areas and often the term is misunderstood. ‘Disability’ is an umbrella term covering impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions. A person may also be seen to be ‘with disability’ if he or she has had impairment in the past, or based on a personal or group standard or norm. One in five, or more than 4 million, Australians have some form of disability. One in three Australians either have a disability or are close to someone who has a disability.

Disabilities range from relatively minor to severe. The likelihood of living with disability increases with age – 31% of 55-64 year olds are living with disability, while 88% of people aged 90 and over have a disability. One in six Australians are affected by hearing loss, while Vision Australia (a leading national provider of blindness and low vision services in Australia) estimates there are currently 357,000 people in Australia who are blind or have low vision. Read More >

Living long and well

Living long and well

Health & Wellness

17-11-2016

Most of us don’t want to just live long. We want to live long well.

It turns out the secret of healthy longevity is not really a secret at all. When you look at communities that experience exceptionally healthy, long lives, they share 4 things in common:

  1. Daily moderate physical activity.The good news here is that you don’t have to be a marathon runner or elite athlete. In fact, the people that live long well don’t go to spin class or train for the Iron Man Triathlon. They are simply naturally physically active because that’s what their life demands. They are farmers and fishermen. They live in communities where you have to walk up and down a couple of hills to go see your neighbour.

The lesson? Add movement to your day whenever you can. And if your job is sedentary, make sure you do go to spin class or yoga or just a long walk – every day. Read More >