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Illness

Please Don’t Compliment My Weight Loss

What It’s Like To Grow Up Terrorized By A Brother With Schizophrenia

If he couldn’t have one thing he wanted, he’d get rid of everything he loved.

I’m Diabetic, And Sometimes I Don’t Care

There are both grand and trite lessons one learns with a chronic illness.

These Unexpected Foods Can Make You Sick

Dangerous bacteria can lurk in unexpected places. Cantaloupe, anyone?

The Harsh Reality Of Having A Partner With A Chronic Illness

I can barely remember how things were before illness was the silent third entity in our relationship.

Why Is It So Hard To Go Easy On Myself?

I do things alone, even when I clearly need to ask for help.

BBQ For Kidney Health This Australia Day

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.

RELATED: What You Need To Know About Organ Donation

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?

BBQ, Kidney disease, Kidneys, Kidney Health Australia, Fundraising, Health Awareness
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)

Symptoms: None.

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.

BBQ, Kidney disease, Kidneys, Kidney Health Australia, Fundraising, Health Awareness
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.

BBQ, Kidney disease, Kidneys, Kidney Health Australia, Fundraising, Health Awareness
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

Man Flu: Is It Real Or Imagined?

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

Man Flu Turns Men Into Sick Kids

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.

How To Take The Sore Out Of Coldsores

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:

Fever

Illness

Physical and emotional trauma

Compromised immune system

UV light

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)

Legumes

Chocolate

Gelatin

Caffeine

Berries grapes, garlic, orange juice

Eat more lysine-rich foods such as:

Fish

Beef, lamb, chicken and turkey

Brewer’s yeast

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.