If he couldn’t have one thing he wanted, he’d get rid of everything he loved.
I can barely remember how things were before illness was the silent third entity in our relationship.
There’s no such thing as an easy cure.
A woman has been convicted of killing her 5-year-old son with copious amounts of salt after blogging and using social media to publish her ‘findings’ on the dangers of sodium to children.
Lacey Spears was said to have revelled in the attention of her son, Garnett-Paul’s illness and her actions were described by the Assistant District Attorney, Patricia Murphy, as “nothing short of torture”.
“The motive is bizarre, the motive is scary, but it exists.”
Doctors testified at the trial that there was no known medical explanation for the high sodium levels found in the boy’s bloodstream that led to death.
Despite Spears’s defence stating there was no direct evidence of a crime, two feeding bags were found at the family home that were excessively tainted with salt. One had approximately equal to 69 teaspoons.
Spears was convicted of second-degree murder.
Images via AP and facebook
Ovarian Cancer is more deadly than Breast Cancer but the general public know much less about it. It has the lowest survival rate of all women’s’ cancers and around a quarter of all Australian’s know someone who has been affected. It’s not detected via pap smear as many women assume but it does have symptoms which can lead to early detection.
Now each February Ovarian Cancer Australia holds a national awareness month. They have a series of initiatives which include; Teal Ribbon Day, Afternoon Teal, #MANicure and #colourforacause to name just a few.
One of the easiest ways to support OCA is #colourforacause. Sponsored by Chemmart Pharmacies they are offering manicures throughout February for a gold coin donation. Plus OCA is encouraging everyone (yes guys you too!) to pain their nails teal. To achieve this Chemmart are selling the official colour for a cause nail polish for only $6.99. Every cent raised will go directly to OCA for support programs, education and research.
Now clearly Ovarian Cancer’s signature colour is teal, yeah? That’s pretty easy to remember but there’s way more information OCA wants all women to know.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
Basically it’s a disease where some cells in either one or both ovaries begin to grow abnormally. There are four main types.
- Epithelial Ovarian Cancer – This is the most common type but also the most deadly.
- Borderline Tumours – AKA – ‘low malignant potential’ or LMP tumours. It’s not as aggressive as Epithelial Ovarian Cancer and has better outcomes regardless of when it’s detected.
- Germ Cell Ovarian Cancer – Accounting for five percent of cases and generally found in women under 30.
- Sex-cord Stromal Cell Ovarian Cancer – Also accounts for about five percent of cases but can affect women of any age.
Germ cell and Sex-cord Stromal Cell Ovarian Cancers are often curable. Plus post treatment younger women may still be able to have children if only one ovary has been affected.
The problem with symptoms is that they are complaints which women regularly experience. Additionally these symptoms are often a sign of less serious and more common health problems. The four main ones are:
- Abdominal or pelvic pain.
- Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating.
- Needing to urinate frequently or urgently.
- Feeling full after eating small amounts.
Additional symptoms include:
- Change in bowel habits.
- Unexplained weight gain or loss.
- Bleeding in-between periods or post menopause.
- Back pain.
- Indigestion or nausea.
- Excessive fatigue.
- Pain during sexual intercourse or bleeding afterward.
Increased risk factors
As well as lifestyle choices such as smoking, eating fatty foods and being overweight there are several other risk factors.
- Genetics: It’s believed that inherited faulty genes account for at least 15 percent of all types of Ovarian Cancers.
- Family History: When two or more blood relatives have been affected by Ovarian or Ovarian and Breast Cancers.
- Cultural: Female descendants of the Ashkenazi Jewish populations are more likely to carry the faulty gene.
- Age: It’s believed that women over 50 who have experienced menopause have an increased risk. However younger women are not immune.
- Child bearing/contraceptives: It’s possible that if the ovaries do not receive a break from their regular routine such as during pregnancy or avoiding menstruation by using the pill the risk may increase.
- Hormonal factors: Experiencing early puberty (before 12) or late menopause (after 50).
- Endometriosis: When the tissue lining the inside of the uterus is also found on the outside of the womb.
If women are concerned that they are experiencing symptoms they should consult a GP as soon as possible. Initially the GP will likely ask their patient to track symptoms using a symptom diary. If the GP suspects Ovarian Cancer after reviewing the diary, further investigations will be made.
Diagnosis is made via several steps. It’s usually initiated with a blood test and transvaginal ultrasound although other tests may be performed. If these inquiries strongly suggest Ovarian Cancer is present, surgery will be recommended.
Currently, surgery is the only confirmation of Ovarian Cancer.
If you want further information or get involved in any of the fund or awareness raising initiatives please click here for the OCA website.
The great Aussie barbie is a national tradition, especially on Australia Day. You won’t have to venture too far to get a whiff of that awesome smell either. Communities come alive with events planned in most neighborhoods and if you carry on festivities after dark the fireworks will complete your day. All in all, it really is the one day of the year when the great Aussie spirit is celebrated, alive and well.
This year, Kidney Health Australia is asking us all to show that Aussie spirit by signing up for the Big Red BBQ. It doesn’t need to be held on Australia Day (in case you can’t organise it in time) but anytime during summer. Surely we can manage that, yeah?
I suppose the folks at Kidney Health Australia figured while we’re celebrating Australia Day with all those BBQ’s we may as well roll up our Aussie sleeves and raise some much needed awareness and possibly a few bucks for our Aussie mates. Very little gets spoken about this disease despite how lethal it is so to get a glimpse of how it is effecting us Aussies, I’ve included some pretty startling facts.
Risk: 1 in 3 Aussies at risk
Estimated effected Aussies: 1.7 million
Fatalities: 56 a day
Hospitalisation: 15 per cent of all hospital admissions
Dialysis patients: 11, 446
Dialysis: 3 days a week, 5 hours a day
Awaiting transplants: 1087 – average wait 3.5 years (7 years not uncommon)
Up to 90% of kidney function can be lost without individuals experiencing any symptoms
Pretty shocking stuff hey? So, do you recon you could raise some awareness and a few bucks for Kidney Health Australia? Registration is free, plus, you’ll receive a free event pack in the mail containing an official Big Red BBQ apron.
Additionally, they have a 5 ingredient cooking challenge going on, prizes for the highest fundraising efforts and are now being sponsored by some big companies and talented individuals like Barbeques Galore, IKEA, Lombard the paper people and Aussie home cooking hero, Lyndey Milan.
So come on everyone, lets enjoy our great Aussie tradition and help out some mates at Kidney Health Australia at the same time. If you want more information on registration or ways to get involved Australia Day and beyond, head to https://bigredbbq2015.gofundraise.com.au/cms/home
Image via kidney.org.au
Nine per cent of American adults suffer from depression. Most of us will – or already do – know someone with depression, but despite the prevalence of this problem, we often don’t know how to handle it, or show support for a depressed friend, relative or acquaintance. Here are a few things you should steer clear of when talking to someone with depression:
Depression is an illness and it should be remembered that those who suffer cannot simply, “cheer up.” In fact, telling them to do so is likely to make them feel worse when they are unable to, only furthering their depressive cycle. Phrases like “suck it up” or “cheer up” only minimize the issue.
“It’s all in your head”
This also happens to be something depressives already know. But this notion that it’s all in your head can make you feel more weird and isolated than you already felt. To a person with depression, this only furthers thoughts and feelings of being “not right” and out of control.
“There are others worse off than you”
It is very difficult for a person with depression to put things in perspective. This kind of advice can feel like you are being dismissive, as opposed to supportive. Remember, offering comfort is more important than finding a “solution”.
When you’ have a loved one with depression the best thing you can do is reassure them that they are not alone, and that you are there for them if they need to talk (or, sometimes, just hug). It is important to keep in mind that things will change, but you shouldn’t expert a quick fix. Patience, comfort and support are your most valuable offerings.
Need help? In the US, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Man flu has often been described as an illness which causes the male of the species to be helpless and sicker than any other family member. In females; a cold. While women struck down by the flu simply remedy it by popping a Codral and then carry on, men who develop flu-like symptoms suddenly turn into helpless toddlers in need of some serious babying. Honestly, it’s as if man flu is life-threatening! Do men just really need to harden the f*** up?
Should you ever be accused of dastardly man-flu neglect, Shesaid.com went in search of answers to these age-old questions and quandaries: Is man flu real or imagined? Why do men fall to pieces over a few sniffles? Do men deserve more sympathy when sick? Man flu does in fact exist, says Australian Medical Association Queensland president, Dr Shaun Rudd.
“Man flu is a term that describes when men develop flu-like symptoms – men are not as tough as women,” Dr Rudd says. “Men are very different to women – men seem to go down quicker [with the flu]. Women just seem to battle on when they’re sick.
“I must be the exception to the norm because I can battle on – all men don’t suffer the man flu the same. But I’m not as tough as my wife, for instance. Men should always do as they’re told! When we doctors are prescribing man flu, we like to tell people to go to Bunnings, and we tell them to take a spoonful…”
Meanwhile, low and behold, a recent UK study suggests men may actually suffer more when sick. The study, by Stanford University School of Medicine, revealed that this is because when men are struck down with flu their high levels of testosterone can weaken their immune response.
The study examined the reactions of men and women to flu vaccinations. It found women generally had a stronger antibody response to the jab than men, giving them better protection against the virus. Hmm, my jury’s still out.
What do you think? Is man flu real or imagined?
Images via blog.coverall.com
It’s official: According to women, the common cold turns the average Aussie bloke into a snivelling child when sick. Nearly three quarters of women believe their partner displays childlike behaviour when under the weather and more than half of females claim that Man Flu only exists because men are so pathetic at coping with illness.
The survey – commissioned by Vicks VapoRub – reveals that nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of women believe a cold can transform a strong, strapping man into a big kid, with a need to be waited on hand and foot (47 per cent) or reassured that he really is sick (46 per cent). It’s also not uncommon for men to like being tucked into bed when they are struck with a cold or flu (15 per cent).
When the tables are turned, the majority of women (79 per cent) are confident they are better at handling a cold or flu than their partner. Nearly all women (98 per cent) say that their other half at times demands more sympathy than her when sick, and one of their more common ways to respond is to ‘whinge about how ill they are as if it’s the worst cold or flu ever’.
One thing that both males and females have in common however is the belief that Man Flu exists. 59 per cent of women say this is the case, and nearly one in two (44 per cent) of our male population believe they have suffered a cough or cold which could be described as Man Flu.
However, it’s not all about the men. While child-like behaviour is most commonly observed in our Aussie men suffering from colds, women can throw their toys out the pram too with more than half (57%) of men saying their other half resorts to acting like a kid when sick. And blokes: watch out for tell-tale female cold and flu signs such as your other half not moving from bed (27%) or becoming needy (21%). And while women say their men complain, nearly half of men (43%) acknowledge that women typically carry on with a cold and go to work, rarely taking a sick day.
TV presenter, writer, broadcaster and regular Man Flu sufferer Jonathan Coleman feels the pain of our male population. He says:
“A severe cold can hit at any time and reduces even the manliest of men (including myself) to a Man Child. My wife can tell I’m acting like a Man Child when my eyes turn watery, I’m buried in tissues or when my bottom lip starts to quiver when I’m not getting my own way.
“For all of those fellow Man Flu sufferers out there, my top tips are to get cosy on the sofa with your favourite TV show, keep your cupboards fully stocked with treats at all times and ensure you have your trusty Vicks VapoRub with you at all times.”
For help in choosing a range of cold and flu remedies you can use the Vicks Product Selector, found here: http://vicks.com.au/product-families.
If coldsores are a recurring nightmare for you, you are not alone. Up to 80 per cent of the adult population are infected with the cold sore virus with approximately 30 per cent having apparent reoccurring outbreaks. Health and beauty expert Fiona Tuck, MD of Skinstitut Australia and author of the myth minx, investigates what cold sores are and can they really be banished for good?
Cold sores are characterised by painful, burning or itching clusters of small blisters usually found on the lips and oral mucous membranes. Cold sores (namely herpes labalis) are due to a virus called HSV-1 or herpes simplex virus which, once transmitted, can remain latent in the nerve root ganglion of infected individuals. After the initial infection this dormant virus seemly disappears only to be reactivated under stress. Reoccurring breakouts have been found to be more common in individuals with high stress levels such as personal trauma, emotional stress and work levels such as personal trauma, emotional stress and work-related pressures.
Additional stressors that may attribute to reactivation of the virus include:
Physical and emotional trauma
Compromised immune system
Diet can also play an aggravating part and high sugar, refined carbohydrates and high arginine consumption has been found to further aggravate this condition.
When the herpes virus invades a cell it alters cell metabolism causing it to synthesise virus specific proteins high in the amino acid arginine and low in the amino acid lysine. A diet high in lysine and low in arginine may well assist with the inhibition of the virus.
Minimise arginine-rich foods such as:
Nuts and seeds
Grains (eg. wheat, oats, rice, corn)
Berries grapes, garlic, orange juice
Eat more lysine-rich foods such as:
Beef, lamb, chicken and turkey
Dairy (eg. milk, cheese, yoghurt)
Fruits and vegetables particularly avocado, beetroot, apples, mango, pears
Supplemental lysine can be taken prior to an expected outbreak such as prior to a stressful event, surgery or an intensive skin treatment such as a chemical peel or laser treatment.
Over the counter medications are also available for topical application to a lesion and prescription medication may also be taken to prevent an expected outbreak. Colloidal silver (available from health foods stores) is a wonderful natural treatment to heal and clear breakouts. The liquid can be applied topically to the lesion and reapplied regularly to speed healing time. Application prior to the lesion at the dreaded tingle ‘I can feel an outbreak coming’ stage can also be beneficial in preventing a blister from actually appearing.
So whilst we cannot ever get rid of the virus we can certainly help prevent cold sore flare ups by looking at stress busting techniques such as yoga and meditation and controlling dietary intake of lysine and arginine rich foods.