Body

Placeholder Content Image

You can’t get influenza from a flu shot – here’s how it works

<p>Influenza is a moving target for vaccines. Each year, up to four different strains circulate, and they are constantly evolving to escape our immune system.</p> <p>So rather than childhood jabs giving long lasting immunity, we need annual flu shots to provide optimal protection against influenza.</p> <p>But while you might sometimes get sick after having a flu shot, it’s a myth that having a flu shot can give you the flu.</p> <p><strong>A quick history of the flu vaccine</strong></p> <p>Influenza vaccines were first developed in the 1930s and 1940s, starting with the isolation of the influenza virus.</p> <p>Back then, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2554195/pdf/bullwho00626-0133.pdf">we learned</a> there were many different influenza strains. To be effective, early research showed the vaccine needed to be matched to the circulating strains, and to be able to stimulate a response from the immune system.</p> <p>The process to produce modern influenza vaccines now occurs on a much more refined and industrial scale. Hundreds of thousands of influenza viruses are collected by hundreds of national influenza centres around the world.</p> <p>From these, four strains are <a href="https://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/en/">selected</a> for the annual flu vaccine, based on the viruses that are circulating at that time, how well the vaccines activate the immune system, how the strains are evolving, and the effectiveness of previous vaccines.</p> <p>Most modern vaccines are <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/how-fluvaccine-made.htm">manufactured</a> by growing large quantities of live virus – mostly in chicken eggs or less commonly animal cells – which are then purified, deactivated and split into smaller components. These vaccines are inactive and cannot replicate.</p> <p>There are also two new “enhanced” vaccines that are used in older people, who don’t tend to respond as strongly to vaccines: <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25119609">Fluzone High Dose</a> and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447603/">Fluad</a>, which is designed to better stimulate immunity and draw immune cells to the site of vaccination.</p> <p><strong>How the immune system fights the flu</strong></p> <p>The human immune system has several strategies to protect against infection. For viral infections such as influenza, the key strategy is known as adaptive immunity. This part of the immune system can “remember” previous exposure to pathogens.</p> <p>When you get an influenza infection, the virus enters and hijacks the machinery of the host cell to replicate itself, before releasing these copies to infect more cells.</p> <p><a href="https://www.immunology.org/public-information/bitesized-immunology/c%C3%A9lulas/cd8-t-cells">T lymphocyte cells</a> of the immune system can recognise this viral incursion. T cells protect against further spread of the virus by activating pathways that cause infected cells to trigger a “suicide” process.</p> <p>Another strategy the body uses is to produce antibodies, which are molecules produced by B cells that recognise components of the viral capsule. These <a href="https://www.immunology.org/public-information/bitesized-immunology/c%C3%A9lulas/b-cells">antibodies</a> work by sticking to the surface of the influenza virus to prevent it spreading and facilitating disposal.</p> <p><strong>Flu shots help mount a quicker defence</strong></p> <p>On a first exposure to a pathogen, our B cells take at least two weeks to ramp up production of antibodies. However, on subsequent challenges, antibody production occurs much more quickly.</p> <p>Influenza vaccines harness this arm of the immune system, known as “humoral” immunity. By “practising” on viral components, vaccines allow the immune system to react more quickly and effectively when faced with the real virus.</p> <p><strong>So why do you sometimes get sick after a flu shot?</strong></p> <p>There are several reasons why you might feel a bit off after getting your flu shot.</p> <p>First, your flu shot only protects you against influenza and not other respiratory illness which might causes similar cold or flu symptoms. This includes RSV (<a href="https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/respiratory-syncytial-virus.aspx">respiratory syncytial virus</a>), which is common in late autumn and early winter.</p> <p>Second, stimulating the immune system can result in <a href="https://beta.health.gov.au/services/flu-influenza-immunisation-service">symptoms</a> similar to that of influenza, although much milder and short-lived. These include local inflammation (redness, pain or swelling at the site of the vaccine) and more general symptoms (fever, aches and pains, tiredness).</p> <p>Third, vaccine-induced protection isn’t complete. In some years, the vaccine is not well <a href="https://www.who.int/influenza/vaccines/virus/recommendations/201502_qanda_vaccineeffectiveness.pdf">matched</a> to circulating strains. Usually this is due to mutations that may develop in circulating strains after the vaccine strains are selected.</p> <p>The flu vaccine also doesn’t “kick in” for two weeks after vaccine administration. In some people, particularly those who are older and those who have weakened immune systems, antibody production is not as strong, and the level of protection is lower.</p> <p>Despite this, studies have consistently shown that vaccinated people are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22032844">less likely to get influenza or complications from the flu</a> than those who aren’t vaccinated.</p> <p><strong>A better way to protect against the flu</strong></p> <p>A problem with current vaccines is the reliance on eggs, which results in a relatively slow and labour-intensive production process.</p> <p>Current <a href="https://cmr.asm.org/content/26/3/476">work</a> is aiming to speed up this process by using different technologies so that vaccine manufacturers can react more quickly to changes in circulating viruses.</p> <p>The “<a href="https://theconversation.com/a-universal-flu-vaccine-is-still-some-time-off-18525">holy grail</a>” for influenza vaccines is to stimulate an effective immune response to a component of influenza that doesn’t change each year, so annual vaccination is not required.</p> <p>These efforts have proved <a href="https://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/gsk-dumps-universal-flu-vaccine-after-interim-data-readout">elusive</a> so far.</p> <p>A better strategy might be to harness T cell immunity. Recent <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30778243">work</a> has shown that a type of T cell, known as “killer” T cells, can recognise other parts of the influenza virus, and therefore can provide broad protection against seasonal and pandemic strains.</p> <p>But while we wait for a better alternative, getting an annual flu shot is the best way to avoid the flu.</p> <p><em>Written by Allen Cheng. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/you-cant-get-influenza-from-a-flu-shot-heres-how-it-works-118916"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Curious kids: What does it mean to be double jointed?

<p><em>What does it mean to be double jointed? – Gen, aged 11, Melbourne, Australia.</em></p> <p>If you’re double jointed, it means you have a joint that can bend a lot more than in the average person. This has its upsides and downsides: apart from being a great party trick to show to friends, it might also mean you get injured more easily.</p> <p>To understand what it means to be double jointed, it’s helpful to know what a joint actually is and why we have joints. Let’s start with the basics: <a href="https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/guides/zq3sbk7/revision/3">a joint</a> is any place in your body where bones touch each other. As you have <a href="https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/guides/zpkq7ty/revision/1">more than 200 bones</a>, you have lots of joints too.</p> <p><strong>Being bendy</strong></p> <p>Since bones cannot bend, joints give us a way to move our body. Every joint is different, but most joints can only bend a certain amount. For example, your shoulder joint can swivel all the way around so you can move your arm in a circle, while the joints between the 26 bones in your foot only move a small amount.</p> <p>How much each joint can move depends on the shape of the two bones touching each other, and the way they are connected. To see how the shape of the bones makes a difference, you can try an experiment with two tennis balls.</p> <p>When you try to balance one ball on top of the other, the top ball will roll off easily. Now, try to balance one ball on the palm of your hand – the ball won’t roll off so easily now. And if you make your hand into a cup, and hold the ball in there, it probably won’t roll out at all.</p> <p>This shows that the shape of the bones matters, because it affects how much a joint can move. So joints with a cup-shaped bone will move a lot less than joints with two round bones. But it also shows that some joints are quite wobbly, and could be quite difficult to control.</p> <p><strong>Limited by ligaments</strong></p> <p>That’s where <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525790/">ligaments</a> give our joints extra support. A ligament is a bit like a string or a rubber band, that attaches to both of the bones in a joint, to keep them in the right place and stop you from bending the joint too much. That way, you don’t end up falling forward from your knees, or rolling sideways on your ankle.</p> <p>Working together, the bones and ligaments limit how much your joints can move. If you are double jointed, it might mean that the bones are round at the end, like two balls, or that the ligaments which help hold the bones in place are loose, or even absent.</p> <p>Being double jointed might mean you get injured more easily. For one thing, too much bending can <a href="https://bestpractice.bmj.com/topics/en-gb/583">dislocate a joint</a> – that means the bones in the joint don’t touch anymore, because the ligaments are too loose. Also, when a joint bends too much, the bones often get more wear and tear, which can cause pain.</p> <p>You might still be wondering why people call this being “double jointed” – after all, it’s not like the extra bendiness comes from having an extra joint. It actually just means that double jointed people are doubly bendy. That’s why it looks so odd: when you have a double jointed joint, you can bend it in directions and positions most other people can’t.</p> <p><em>Written by Marco Arkesteijn. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-what-does-it-mean-to-be-double-jointed-118703"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Why the Australasian Health Star Rating needs major changes to make it work

<p>Unhealthy diets cause multiple <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn201234">physical and mental health</a> problems. To help consumers make healthier choices, Australia and New Zealand introduced the voluntary Health Star Rating (<a href="http://healthstarrating.gov.au/internet/healthstarrating/publishing.nsf/content/about-health-stars">HSR</a>) system in 2014.</p> <p>The system is supposedly designed to provide consumers with an overall signal about a food’s healthiness. Presumably, this should nudge consumers to make more informed and healthier decisions.</p> <p>Five years on, the Australian and New Zealand governments are conducting a <a href="http://healthstarrating.gov.au/internet/healthstarrating/publishing.nsf/content/formal-review-of-the-system-after-five-years">system review</a>. <a href="https://ssrn.com/abstract=3352241">Our research</a> shows that, while the initiative is noble, the devil is in the details. There is a need, and hopefully an opportunity, to improve the system and reconsider some of its key aspects.</p> <p><strong>Loopholes and consumer misconception</strong></p> <p>Under the HSR system, products are labelled from 0.5 stars (the least healthy score) to 5 stars (the healthiest products). The rating is determined by evaluating the overall nutritional value of the product. It compares the content of “good” ingredients (i.e. fibre, protein, fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes) with the “bad” ones (i.e. saturated fat, energy, total sugar and sodium).</p> <p>But we believe most consumers are unaware that the HSR system is <a href="https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/health-star-ratings">compensatory</a>. This means one negative nutritional attribute can be cancelled out, or balanced, by a positive attribute. A manufacturer can receive a <a href="https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/03/australias-health-star-ratings-are-broken/">high HSR score for a product rich in sugar</a> by <a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/91971947/health-star-rating-system-may-mislead-shoppers">adding a healthy ingredient such as fibre</a>.</p> <p>It is also likely that most consumers are unaware that the HSR rating is calculated on an “as prepared” basis. This means a product can enjoy a high rating based on the nutritional value of preparatory ingredients.</p> <p><a href="https://www.consumer.org.nz/articles/health-star-rating-to-be-removed-from-milo-powder">Milo found itself embroiled in controversy</a> for displaying 4.5 stars on its chocolate powder, though the powder itself clearly does not merit this rating. The 4.5-star rating was based on consuming merely three teaspoons of powder combined with skim milk. But who actually consumes Milo this way?</p> <p>Furthermore, HSR scores are intended to allow comparison only among similar products. A four-star rating for a cereal cannot be compared to a four-star rating given to milk. While the two products display the same number of stars, their healthiness may differ significantly.</p> <p><strong>What holds the system back</strong></p> <p>There is scepticism about the HSR’s authenticity, reliability and effectiveness. This stems in part from the system being self-regulated.</p> <p>In addition, the system is non-mandatory, leaving manufacturers free to decide when and how to use it. For instance, only around <a href="https://www.mpi.govt.nz/dmsdocument/31635-the-health-star-rating-system-in-new-zealand-2014-2018">20% of packaged goods</a> available in New Zealand and Australian supermarkets have an HSR. To add to the distortion, a disproportionate number of these show high ratings. This indicates that manufacturers only use the HSR for their healthier products.</p> <p>A voluntary system does little to counter the inbuilt incentive that manufacturers have to use unhealthy components such as sugar, salt and saturated fats. These produce pleasure and create “<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41538-018-0020-x">craveable</a>” foods and <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S092846801730175X?via%3Dihub">food addiction</a>. Manufacturers likely do not use a HSR for these products. However, consumers do not interpret missing information as “the worst-case scenario”, <a href="https://hbr.org/2017/09/research-missing-product-information-doesnt-bother-consumers-as-much-as-it-should">but assume average quality</a>.</p> <p>Finally, the system does not effectively assist the vulnerable consumers who need it the most. While HSR does help some middle- to high-income consumers, it does a poor job with respect to <a href="https://www.hpa.org.nz/sites/default/files/Final%20Report-HSR%20monitoring%20and%20evaluation%202018.pdf">consumers of low socio-economic status</a>. This suggests that the label requires consumers to be educated about its meaning.</p> <p><strong>Time to move forward</strong></p> <p>Some improvements could carry the HSR forward a great distance.</p> <p>If the system were made mandatory, it would likely raise consumers’ awareness. There should also be more education initiatives about the HSR. This, in turn, would incentivise manufacturers to produce healthier foods and beverages.</p> <p>At the same time, we should strive to minimise the costs involved and consider backing the system with government funding. This would allow all businesses to participate in the program, including less profitable or smaller businesses. It would also prevent costs from being passed onto consumers.</p> <p>As a minimum, if the system is not made mandatory, a general “non-participation” label should be introduced. If a producer opts not to label its product, it should be required to use a conspicuous cautionary statement. Such a statement should declare, for instance, that “the manufacturer has chosen not to verify the health rating of this product” or “the healthiness of this product cannot be verified”.</p> <p><a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/nutrition-warnings-as-frontofpack-labels-influence-of-design-features-on-healthfulness-perception-and-attentional-capture/1D45359C83C891BA20F3565083CEA363">Studies show</a> the HSR rating would have a bigger impact if placed in the upper left corner of the packaging and used colours. It could use a traffic light system, with 0.5-2.5 stars on a red background, 3 to 4 stars on amber and 4.5-5 star products on green. The colour-coded system has proved to be more effective with marginalised groups of consumers.</p> <p>All easier said than done.</p> <p>Healthy diets are important for <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-17262-9">physical and psychological well-being</a> and for strengthening our communities and economies. However, any regulation of the food industry is likely to be resisted by its strong and well-organised lobbying power. To fight this battle, the consumers’ voice is crucial to ensure we can all make good and healthy foods choices.</p> <p><em>Written by Jessica C Lai, Alana Harrison, Hongzhi Gao and Samuel Bacher. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-the-australasian-health-star-rating-needs-major-changes-to-make-it-work-114581">The Conversation</a>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

How to talk about hearing loss with your loved ones

<p>When one suffers from hearing problems, it not only affects their day to day life, but also those around them. Simple things such as engaging in a conversation with friends and family can cause increasing amounts of frustration and embarrassment. In some cases, hearing loss can also prove to be dangerous as warning signals and other signs of danger may not garner a response right away. Hearing tests should be conducted as frequently as eye tests, but the first step is to recognise the problem.</p> <p>Bringing up the subject of hearing loss with someone you care about isn’t easy, and despite you being able to see the signs as clear as day, those going through it may not realise anything unusual due to the process being gradual.</p> <p>Therefore, it’s important to approach the matter in small steps. Showing compassion and understanding can take you a long way.</p> <p>Here are some tips on how to approach a loved one about hearing loss.</p> <p><strong>1. Baby steps</strong></p> <p>The first time you bring up the conversation about hearing loss, don’t be surprised if they don’t immediately take your concerns on board. Whether they’re in denial or think their issue doesn’t require immediate attention, those suffering from a hearing impairment may take time to accept their ailment.</p> <p>Which is why you need to start small. When approaching them for the first time, discuss symptoms and solutions so they become more comfortable with discussing their problems with you. Next, ask them what activities give them the most amount of frustration: Talking on the phone, watching television and how they respond to background noise are all areas of concern that should be discussed.</p> <p>Once they understand how hearing loss is impacting their everyday life, they’ll be more motivated to find a solution and do something about it.</p> <p><strong>2. Don’t sound condescending</strong></p> <p>Use the word “I”. Even though you may be a discussing a concern that relates to them, constantly referring to the issue as “your” problem may come across as chastising and will ultimately lead you nowhere. Instead, talk about how the issue is affecting you and the people they love, but in a way that doesn’t push them into becoming defensive.</p> <p><strong>3. Always remain optimistic</strong></p> <p>For the longest time hearing aids have come with negative connotations, so it’s understandable if it takes time for someone to warm up to the idea. So as the person starting the conversation, it’s important to remain positive and optimistic. The best way to do this is by giving examples of co-workers, friends or anyone you know who have had a good experience with hearing aids.</p> <p>It would be even better if that person could explain to your loved one how a hearing aid has made a positive impact in their life. Also discuss things that they will gain, such as a better outlook on life and a healthier wellbeing. Being able to hear properly has been proven to decrease dementia and brain atrophy and relieve symptoms of depression and loneliness.</p> <p><strong>4. Listen to their concerns and fears</strong></p> <p>A healthy discussion means two people having a conversation where they both have equal say. Which is why you need to take the time to listen to their concerns, as chances are, they’ll open up to you once they feel comfortable. Their apprehensions may have to do with hearing aids making them appear old, which in this day and age, is not the case due to how discreet the small piece of technology can be.</p> <p>Also avoid cutting them off when they’re talking, as they may feel invalidated and unheard. An example of a good conversation is below:</p> <p>Them: “Hearing aids are for the elderly and I’m not that old just yet.”</p> <p>You: “While I understand how you feel, as no one wants to experience being older than they are, hearing aids are quite inconspicuous. Which means no one would know about your hearing loss.”</p> <p><strong>5. Encourage them to be proactive</strong></p> <p>Now that you’ve tackled the first few steps, it’s time to discuss the ways in which they can live life to the fullest with the help of their hearing aid. Having an open conversation about hearing nutrition, new technologies and community-orientated engagement is a great way to help them realise that a hearing aid is simply a support system and will not stop them from experiencing new things.</p> <p>The more the topic of hearing aids is spoken about, the more comfortable they will be when seeing a professional for help.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/3DDRyAnUET0"></iframe></div> <p>It’s time to fight the stigma surrounding hearing loss. With many modern devices now being discreet, there is no need to feel self-conscious. The importance of getting your hearing checked as you age is one that cannot be stressed enough, as it’s always better to ask for help sooner rather than later.</p> <p>On average it takes six to 10 years for those suffering from the condition to reach out for professional help. But while it may take a while for the people you care about to seek treatment, don’t give up, as every small step is headed towards the right direction. And if the person in question is you, then always remember that you are not alone, and support is right around every corner.</p> <p>Lastly, always remember that discovering you potentially have a hearing impairment is not easy on anyone, so if the person you’re trying to reach out to is putting up barriers, then give it a rest and try again another time.</p> <p>For further information and guidance on getting the conversation started, visit <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bloomhearing.co.nz/en-nz/hearing-loss/friends-and-family?utm_source=ARTICLE60s&amp;utm_medium=Over60Website&amp;utm_campaign=OverSixtiesArticle&amp;utm_content=Over60s_Article_SO" target="_blank"><span>bloom™ hearing specialists</span></a>.</p> <p><em>This is sponsored content brought to you in conjunction with <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bloomhearing.co.nz/?utm_source=ARTICLE60s&amp;utm_medium=Over60Website&amp;utm_campaign=OverSixtiesArticle&amp;utm_content=Over60s_Article_Home" target="_blank">bloom™ hearing specialists</a>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

"Beyond anything you can imagine": The brutal truth of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster

<p>The launch of HBO miniseries <em>Chernobyl</em> has once again brought attention to the world’s worst nuclear disaster. Discussions have emerged as to whether the five-part show provided a realistic depiction of the catastrophe.</p> <p>While some details in the story have been contested, most experts and survivors agree that the portrayal of the radiation effects is true to life.</p> <p>Oleksiy Breus was an engineer at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the then-Soviet Union. Following the 1986 explosion at the fourth reactor, he took part in a dangerous operation to drain water from under the power station to prevent further explosion.</p> <p>The 59-year-old told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48580177" target="_blank"><em>BBC</em></a> that the physical impacts of acute radiation syndrome (ARS) were shown well in the series through the character of firefighter Vasily Ignatenko.</p> <p>Breus said he met with shift leader Oleksandr Akimov and operator Leonid Toptunov – both of whom were featured prominently on the show – hours after the incident.</p> <p>“They were not looking good, to put it mildly,” he said. “It was clear they felt sick. They were very pale. Toptunov had literally turned white.”</p> <p>Akimov and Toptunov died two weeks later from ARS. Breus said his other colleagues who worked at the ill-fated night died in hospital after their skin turned to “a bright red colour”.</p> <p>He said, “Radiation exposure, red skin, radiation burns and steam burns were what many people talked about but it was never shown like this. When I finished my shift, my skin was brown, as if I had a proper suntan all over my body. My body parts not covered by clothes – such as hands, face and neck – were red.”</p> <p>This was in line with the testimony from Lyudmilla Ignatenko, wife of the fallen firefighter. In the book <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2005/apr/25/energy.ukraine" target="_blank">Voices from Chernobyl</a> by Russian journalist Svetlana Alexievich, Lyudmilla said she witnessed her husband’s condition exacerbate as he began experiencing serious diarrhea, hair loss and skin cracking and discolouring.</p> <p>She recalled, “I tell the nurse: ‘He’s dying’. And she says to me: ‘What did you expect? He got 1,600 roentgen. Four hundred is a lethal dose. You're sitting next to a nuclear reactor’.”</p> <p>Archaeologist and Chernobyl expert Robert Maxwell also vouched for the show’s accuracy in showing how nuclear radiation affects the human body.</p> <p>“The skin of the tongue sloughs off; the skin of the body turns black and peels way upon touch... eyes blister. The colon is covered in third degree burns,” Maxwell told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mamamia.com.au/chernobyl-radiation-poisoning/?utm_source=Mamamia.com.au%20-%20All%20Newsletters&amp;utm_campaign=e78d678868-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_06_17_06_53&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_9dc62997a2-e78d678868-211561537&amp;mc_cid=e78d678868&amp;mc_eid=c10f87c072" target="_blank"><em>Mamamia</em></a>. “Their depiction of ARS and its treatment during the Soviet 1980s is highly accurate.”</p> <p>The show’s creator Craig Mazin said he and his team took great care to show “total respect” to Vasily and his family in the series.</p> <p>“We had to be really careful in episode three when we showed the final stage of Vasily Ignatenko's body,” Mazin told <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/chernobyl-finale-explained-creator-craig-mazin-interview-1215670" target="_blank">The Hollywood Reporter</a></em>. “It was the most extreme thing that we showed, and our makeup and prosthetic designer Daniel Parker did a brilliant job — so brilliant, in fact, that there was a concern that we lingered on it a bit.</p> <p>“We shortened that shot by quite a bit, because the last thing we wanted was to feel like we were trading on this man's sad fate for sensationalist points on a TV show. What we wanted was for people to see the truth of what happens…</p> <p>“Those were the things we were dealing with all the time, because that man was a real person, and his wife is still alive, and the last thing we want to do is show anything other than total respect.”</p> <p>134 people were <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18049222" target="_blank">diagnosed with ARS</a> in the aftermath of the explosion. 28 of them died within months.</p> <p>The number of people affected by the disaster remains disputed, with many suspecting that the radiation may be the reason behind other health problems such as cancer and birth defects.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Onions: The hidden health food

<p>The humble onion doesn’t tend to receive a lot of attention compared to some of its flashier vegetable brethren. It doesn’t quite have the fancy smash-ability of the avocado or the (largely unhealthy) appeal of the potato.</p> <p>However, if you’ve been cooking with onions for years like many of us, you’re in for a welcome surprise about the immense health benefits they can provide.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.secretserve.com.au/assets/Onions-Health-Report-2017-Spreads.pdf">Australian Onions Health Report</a> recently found that the vegetable supplies your body with a powerful bundle of vitamins that can help fight inflammation, protect against some cancers and even protect the body from the sun’s UVB damage.</p> <p>Nutritionist Kathleen Alleaume conducted the report, which also found that the onion’s high levels of vitamin C, phytochemicals, prebiotics and flavonoids were a powerful mixture for improving gut health and reducing the risk of heart disease.</p> <p>“Onions are a reliable, versatile and affordable staple that can help keep you and your kids healthy on the inside and out,” said Alleuame.</p> <p>The good news is that even if you’re slow cooking onions for a barbecue, this does not significantly alter their nutritional value. (It might be best to go easy on the sausages, though.)</p> <p>And if you’re cooking for fussy eaters, sneaking an onion into the dish is a lot easier than trying to hide a bright red tomato.</p> <p>These health benefits almost make the tears from cutting up an onion worthwhile, but if you’d prefer not to cry every time you cook them, a handy trick is to cut the bottom core first. This is the part of the onion that releases the tear-inducing gas.</p> <p>Another method to get rid of the onion sob-story is to refrigerate or freeze them before cutting, and to peel the onion under cold running water.</p> <p>The report found that less than seven per cent of Australians met the recommended daily intake for vegetables, and named the humble onion as a potential saviour of this miniscule number.</p> <p>In a nation with a growing obesity epidemic, a serve of onion also contains only 96 kilojoules along with its cocktail of vitamins – definitely not a bad deal.</p> <p>So next time you’re looking in the pantry for a healthy vegetable to add to your meal, don’t overlook the onion – beneath that skin are layers of health benefits!</p> <p><em>Written by Jamie Feggans. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://www.wyza.com.au/articles/health/nutrition/onions-the-hidden-health-food.aspx"><em>Wyza</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Top tips to keep fit and healthy as you age

<p>Dr Sally Phillips, TAL General Manager of Health Services, is focused on empowering people to look after themselves, and equipping Australians with the right advice to find ways to enjoy exercise to improve physical and mental wellbeing is a big part of this.</p> <p><strong>Here are her top tips to keep fit and healthy as you age</strong></p> <ul> <li>Find a new exercise or sport to enjoy with friends – by regularly exercising and elevating your heart rate, you can help keep your heart and circulatory system healthy to prevent cardiovascular disease, which impacts one in five Australians and is more prevalent in older adults. Choosing to exercise with friends can often be more fun and it can motivate you to commit to a routine as well as providing a great way to socialise and deepen your relationships, which can boost your mental wellbeing.</li> <li>Take the opportunity to stretch your legs in the sun – as we enter the winter months it’s important to take the opportunity to enjoy the sun when you can. Sunlight is great for your pineal gland, which is linked to improved mental health. Combined with exercise, sun exposure will help enhance your physical and mental health. Remember that sun safety shouldn’t become less important when the temperature drops. It’s just as important to protect your skin from the sun in the winter too, so remember to wear sunscreen and sunglasses when you’re out and about.</li> <li>Make exercise part of your daily routine – the best way to stay active is to choose activities that you find both interesting and manageable to fit into your daily life. For instance, deciding to walk to the shops, walking your dog, spending more time outdoors or in your garden, taking the stairs where possible or cycling rather than driving your car are all simple choices that can greatly boost your physical and mental health. Using wearable technology can enable you track your everyday activities, as well as heart rates, and these are often a helpful way to set daily exercise goals to exercise and track your progress over time.</li> <li>Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine – be guided by your doctor about how long and how frequently to exercise. Exercise can lower your risk of a range of health conditions and keep you in good health. However, it’s best to check how to fit a new program into your life and if there are any underlying issues to consider adapting into your regime so that it’s the best one for you.</li> </ul>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Age is just a number! Christie Brinkley flaunts incredible bikini body

<p>Christie Brinkley may be 65, but she’s proven once again that age really is just a number.</p> <p>The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model took to Instagram to flaunt her bikini body, as she shared photos from her beach getaway.</p> <p>The mother-of-two looked incredible as always, with her famous figure going virtually unchanged despite being in her 60s.</p> <p>The photos show Christie rocking a skimpy black string bikini as she lies in the sand to soak up some sun.</p> <p>“Early morning Swim … Fish were jumping Pelicans swooping by and warm Rays of Sunshine … just soaking it all in ! #luckyhousepc,” she captioned the photos.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxr_f1mn6WC/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxr_f1mn6WC/" target="_blank">Early Morning Swim...Fish were jumping Pelicans swooping by and warm Rays of Sunshine ...just soaking it all in ! #luckyhousepc</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/christiebrinkley/" target="_blank"> Christie Brinkley</a> (@christiebrinkley) on May 20, 2019 at 7:16am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Brinkley had made a promise to herself previously to never pose in a bikini again, but her latest snap has not only revealed the reason for her backtracking but have also had fans label the model as “inspiring”.</p> <p>“Goodness you are so inspirational! Your posts make me happy,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“Age really is just a number. Thank you for reminding us,” said another.</p> <p>One wrote: “Once a swimsuit model always a swimsuit model. Damn woman you are an inspiration.”</p> <p>It was only last month that the ‘70s supermodel revealed her secrets to her youthful appearance.</p> <p>“I hear actresses constantly talking about how you hit a certain age and offers don’t come in anymore,” Brinkley told <a href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/"><em>The Mirror</em></a>. “We’re changing that a lot, and that is because, frankly, we’re healthier today.”</p> <p>Brinkley also lives a clean lifestyle.</p> <p>“We’re a generation that has been exercising, has been eating right, and so we feel good,” she explained. “But so many women despite that still get influenced. There are so many things that influence us to feel we should be thinking about slipping away and winding things down. (Keeping young) is to be able to be out there active, doing things, learning new things.</p> <p>“Being curious about the world, taking on challenges, and constantly growing and learning, that’s the fountain of youth… Those things are the things that keep invigorated.”</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Body language expert's verdict on The Queen and Donald Trump: "She mirrored his behaviour"

<p>All eyes were on Donald Trump while he carries out his annual visit to the UK and visits the Queen.</p> <p>Queen Elizabeth held a state banquet last night to welcome the US President and his family. She also had spent the day escorting him and the First Lady Melania Trump to sites around the UK, which included Westminster Abbey.</p> <p>As the US President delivered his lengthy speech at the State Banquet, which was held in Buckingham Palace, a body language expert has weighed in on the body language displayed between Trump and the Queen.</p> <p>Judi James, body language expert, told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7100833/Trumps-thinking-election-state-banquet-says-body-language-expert.html" target="_blank"><em>The Daily Mail</em></a> that the pair seem to “genuinely be enjoying each other’s company”.</p> <p>“The Queen and Trump chatting at the banquet shows high signs of rapport. Trump continued what he'd done earlier – bending down to speak to her at her level and leaning forward,” James explained.</p> <p>“I haven't seen him smile like that before, it looked like genuine enjoyment and the Queen mirrored his behaviour. They looked as though they were chuckling about something together.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/ByQ5vjjnuuY/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/ByQ5vjjnuuY/" target="_blank">‘Tonight we celebrate an alliance that has helped to ensure the safety and prosperity of both our peoples for decades, and which I believe will endure for many years to come.’ This evening, a State Banquet was held in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace in honour of the State Visit of the President and Mrs Trump. In her speech at the banquet, The Queen spoke of the mutual aims and beliefs of both countries, saying, ‘Mr President, as we look to the future, I am confident that our common values and shared interests will continue to unite us.’ The Prince of Wales, The Duchess of Cornwall, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke of York and The Earl and Countess of Wessex also attended the banquet. 📸 Press Association</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/theroyalfamily/" target="_blank"> The Royal Family</a> (@theroyalfamily) on Jun 3, 2019 at 3:18pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>James also pointed out that we are seeing a different side to Trump.</p> <p>“We saw a different Trump when he stood to make his speech. He was aware of the worldwide audience and the impact it may have on his elections in the US.</p> <p>“The showboating Trump was gone, he normally has a very exaggerated speaking style but this time we got a soft voice, raised chin and raised eyebrows. He was very sombre with serious emphasis on his words. Clearly overall, he was going for a look of dignity.”</p> <p>There was even a moment when Trump made the Queen laugh.</p> <p>“He made the Queen laugh once but I think it was unintentional, when he spoke about the beautiful weather,” said James.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/ByP3zD9nfRT/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/ByP3zD9nfRT/" target="_blank">Today marks the start of the #USStateVisit. President Trump and Mrs. Melania Trump were met by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on the lawn before being welcomed by The Queen on the West Terrace of Buckingham Palace. Upon arrival a Royal Salute was fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Green Park (41 guns) and at the Tower of London by The Honourable Artillery Company (62 guns). The Guard of Honour, found by Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, gave a Royal Salute before the US National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner, was played by the Band of the Regiment. The President @realdonaldtrump accompanied by The Prince of Wales, inspected the Guard of Honour watched by The Queen, the First Lady and The Duchess of Cornwall.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/theroyalfamily/" target="_blank"> The Royal Family</a> (@theroyalfamily) on Jun 3, 2019 at 5:42am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>However, things quickly turned sour.</p> <p>“She [The Queen] looked less amused when he called her a great, great woman. She did the modest British thing of sitting poker face.”</p> <p>Trump’s speech addressed over 170 dignitaries and spoke about the bombing of Buckingham Palace. He also offered a toast to the “eternal friendship of our people”.</p> <p>“On behalf of all Americans, I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of Her Majesty, the Queen,” Trump toasted.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

How this rare sleep disorder forced a woman into debt

<p>A UK mum has spoken out about a rare medical condition that resulted in a huge online shopping bill – all while she was sound asleep.</p> <p>Kelly Knipes, from Essex in England first discovered that something was wrong seven years ago, a little while after her first child was born.</p> <p>Speaking to <a href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/"><em>The Mirror</em></a><em>,</em> the 37-year-old said that every morning after she would wake up, she would find receipts for items that she had no recollection of purchasing.</p> <p>Now, years later, she believes she has spent over $5,571 including hundreds of dollars on lollies, cookie jars costing $107 and also a “full-size plastic basketball court” that was delivered to her home in a truck.</p> <p>“I bought a full-size basketball court from eBay, and when it turned up at my house the next day, I just refused delivery,” she said.</p> <p>“I would never actually have to put any credit card details when I was buying things online because it was all saved on my phone.</p> <p>“It was all on my phone, and everything that is on my phone is accessible by touch. I was racking up debt everywhere.”</p> <p>According to Ms Knipes, the transactions were made through her phone, which had her credit card details already saved.</p> <p>She was later forced to return the items to avoid falling into debt.</p> <p>Her condition, otherwise known as parasomnia, is a disorder caused by sleep apnoea – a dangerous condition that causes the person affected to stop breathing while they’re sleeping.</p> <p>The symptoms are similar to sleepwalking, which Ms Knipes was known to do as a child.</p> <p>And while shopping seems to not be the worst thing in the world, Ms Knipes has also overdosed on diabetes medication during her pregnancy due to the disorder.</p> <p>“I was having a dream that I was speaking to the doctors, and I kept saying that I didn’t want to take the medicine anymore — but when I woke up, I had taken all the tablets,” she told <em>The Mirror</em>.</p> <p>“Luckily everything was OK — but I was so worried that social services would get involved.”</p> <p>Countless doctors’ appointments later, she finally found the solution by using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device during the night, which helps her breathe while she sleeps.</p> <p>“When I had the CPAP machine, I felt rested and re-energised for the first time in ages,” she said.</p> <p>“It really has given me my life back.</p> <p>“Since starting CPAP, I have not had any abnormal sleep behaviours, have not shopped online at night, my headaches have ceased, and I am not depressed.”</p> <p>Ms Knipes is now opening up about her journey to raise awareness and help those who are currently facing the same issue.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

“Sex is still great but no more kids!”: Sir Rod Stewart on life with third wife Penny Lancaster

<p>Sir Rod Stewart has led a varied and interesting life as a rock star. However, now that he’s 74, he has had time to reflect on his life a little and realised when things started to get “boring” in his sex life.</p> <p>The legendary singer told to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/9180298/rod-stewart-penny-lancaster-sex-kids-great/" target="_blank"><em>The Sun</em></a>: “Sex at one point was beginning to be boring, late '80s, early '90s, always flying in models left, right and centre. One would arrive, the other would leave.”</p> <p>Stewart also reflected on how lonely he was during that time.</p> <p>“It just became I was getting lonely. I thought, ‘You’ve got everything – women, great success, kids’, but there wasn’t a devotion, someone I could be devoted to, so I got bored of it.”</p> <p>That all changed when the crooner married model Penny Lancaster in 2007 and the pair now have two children together, Alastair, 13, and Aidan, 8, which means he now has eight children with five different women.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BDY-BMbsm78/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BDY-BMbsm78/" target="_blank">Fruit of my loins. 🍏🍇🍓🍒🍌</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/sirrodstewart/" target="_blank"> Sir Rod Stewart</a> (@sirrodstewart) on Mar 25, 2016 at 1:54pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Naturally, he’s ruled out any more kids.</p> <p>“My cue is back in the rack, the banana’s back in the fruit bowl,” he says with a laugh.</p> <p>As for his vibrant career, there are plans to step off the stage for good.</p> <p>“It’s closer than you think,” he says. “I think I’ll always sing but I can’t always do this. There’s got to come a time when I’m going to say, ‘Right, put away the tight trousers and all the funny clothes’.</p> <p>“It’s nearer than you think. But retirement? No. From doing rock ’n’ roll stuff? Yes.”</p> <p>Due to the success of Freddie Mercury’s biopic <em>Bohemian Rhapsody</em> , it’s had Stewart considering his own biopic.</p> <p>“Oh, are you kidding? My ego? I’d love it. Me and my two youngest sons went to see<span> </span><em>Bohemian Rhapsody</em>.</p> <p>“My boys were saying, ‘Dad, I can play you when you were eight’ and ‘I’ll play you when you were 13’.”</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

How a McDonald’s hot chocolate nearly killed a man

<p>A paramedic with a severe lactose allergy had to be rushed to hospital after a McDonald’s employee mistakenly gave him a hot chocolate.</p> <p>22-year-old George Brown originally ordered a black coffee because of his allergy to milk but was given the wrong beverage at the Manchester Piccadilly Gardens branch in the UK.</p> <p>Despite making sure to provide clear instructions in his self-service order for a black coffee, the risk was hardly minimised as Mr Brown was still the victim of human error.</p> <p>“I took one sip of the drink and spat it out,” said Mr Brown. “My tongue started swelling immediately. I was wheezing, dizzy and short of breath.”</p> <p>“The risk with an allergic reaction is that they are unpredictable. You can’t tell if they’re going to get worse.</p> <p>“A reaction like this can narrow your airways to the point where you can’t breathe – respiratory arrest – and then the heart stops – cardiac arrests – which means death.</p> <p>“That’s the severe level it could have gone to. I could have died.”</p> <p>Thankfully, he was on duty when the incident occurred, and his fellow paramedic colleague knew exactly what to do and had the right drugs on hand.</p> <p>Richard McManus immediately jumped to the rescue as he gave Mr Brown antihistamine to reduce the swelling and nebulised medication.</p> <p>He also radioed for a rapid response car, which took the young man to Manchester Royal Infirmary.</p> <p>McDonald’s has since apologised for the “most unfortunate error” and said it was “simply not good enough.”</p> <p>The fast food empire claims to provide training to their staff on how to deal with food allergies.</p> <p>Mr Brown was compensated with a replacement large coffee, free breakfast and meal vouches.</p> <p>McDonald’s said: “We absolutely recognise this mistake was unacceptable and sincerely apologise to the customer in question.</p> <p>“This was simply not good enough. We have a number of procedures in place to avoid inaccurate orders, but in this case, these were clearly not followed.</p> <p>“The incident was fully investigated, and the restaurant team have undergone specific additional training to ensure a mistake like this is not made again.”</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Sleep away your weight loss worries

<p>By now, you’ve probably already heard about the countless health perks of getting a good night’s sleep.<br /><br />Not only is sleep linked with lower stress, better productivity, and a stronger immune system, but studies link good sleep with a healthier weight.<br /><br />The only question is, how many hours should you clock in to reap those benefits?</p> <p>To find out how sleep time affects diet during the day, researchers gathered 42 adults who admitted they don’t sleep much every night.<br /><br />Half of the participants stuck with their normal sleep schedule, while half were trained in sleep hygiene with the goal of helping them sleep an extra 90 minutes every night.<br /><br />All the volunteers wore wrist monitors to track their sleep time, plus kept food diaries and tracked their physical activity and energy levels.</p> <p>After four weeks, the group trained in good sleep habits added an average of 47 minutes between the time they fell asleep and woke up (26 minutes of which included nighttime wakefulness) compared to the group that didn’t change its schedule, according to the <a href="https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ajcn/nqx030/4794751">results</a> in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Plus, 86 percent started spending more time in bed, adding an extra 55 minutes on average.<br /><br />That extra sleep showed some real-world benefits that could help explain why lack of sleep is associated with obesity.<br /><br />The sleep-trained group ate an average of 176 fewer calories a day; in comparison, the control group ate only seven fewer calories every day.<br /><br />Best of all, those calories were cut from less healthy sources.<br /><br />Those who slept more cut ten grams of sugar from their diets every day, while the others changed their sugar intake by less than a gram.<br /><br />The newly better sleepers also ate reduced their daily carbs by 22 grams, while the shorter sleepers actually ate 3 more grams.</p> <p>Even with better sleep and dietary habits, the participants didn’t show much weight change over the course of the study, but the results are consistent with past research linking sleep with a healthy weight, like one <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004211637.htm">study</a> that found people burn more fat when getting a full night’s rest. <br /><br />The researchers are optimistic that a little extra shut-eye could be the boost people need when trying to shed pounds.<br /><br />“Our results … suggest that increasing time in bed for an hour or so longer may lead to healthier food choices,” lead study author and nutrition science researcher Haya Al Khatib, PhD, <a href="https://www.kcl.ac.uk/newsevents/news/newsrecords/2018/01-January/Sleeping-for-longer-leads-to-a-healthier-diet.aspx">tells</a> King’s College London.</p> <p><em>Written by Marissa LaLiberte. This article first appeared in </em><a href="http://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/diet/sleep-away-your-weight-loss-worries"><em>Reader’s Digest</em>.</a><em> For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, </em><a href="http://readersdigest.innovations.co.nz/c/readersdigestemailsubscribe?utm_source=over60&amp;utm_medium=articles&amp;utm_campaign=RDSUB&amp;keycode=WRN93V"><em>here’s our best subscription offer</em></a><em>.</em></p> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

The odd detail you probably never noticed about Duchess Kate

<p>Although the Duchess of Cambridge is known for her sense of style, she can sometimes be seen sporting a less than appealing accessory with some of her outfits.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bp8sP56AtjO/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bp8sP56AtjO/" target="_blank">The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend the 6th Annual Tusk Conservation Awards 💙 8 November 2018</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/katemiddletonphotos/" target="_blank"> Kate Middleton</a> (@katemiddletonphotos) on Nov 8, 2018 at 9:44pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Can you see it?</p> <p>It’s a band-aid on her hand.</p> <p>It’s not the first time she’s been spotted in public with a plaster on her hand either.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BNJGeeQj70Q/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BNJGeeQj70Q/" target="_blank">Catherine, Duchess of Cambridges arrives at the National History Museum to join Oakington Manor school for a special tea party to say goodbye to Dippy, The Natural History Museum’s world famous Diplodocus before he embarks on a nationwide two-year tour on Nov 22,2016.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/katemiddletonphotos/" target="_blank"> Kate Middleton</a> (@katemiddletonphotos) on Nov 22, 2016 at 10:14pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Duchess Kate was spotted wearing one when she arrived at the National History Museum back in 2016.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bu6HOBYHEYM/" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Bu6HOBYHEYM/" target="_blank">The Duchess of Cambridge visits the Henry Fawcett Children’s Centre on March 12, 2019 in London,England.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/katemiddletonphotos/" target="_blank"> Kate Middleton</a> (@katemiddletonphotos) on Mar 12, 2019 at 5:19am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>However, it’s not all the time. This was just the other day on May 12, 2019.</p> <p>Buckingham Palace has refused to comment on the issue, especially when <em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/kate-wear-many-plasters-duchess-9521028" target="_blank">The Mirror</a> </em>reached out and inquired about the plasters.</p> <p>Buckingham Palace insisted: “We have no comment on the plaster.”</p> <p>For now, many tend to believe that the regular wounds that have appeared over the years is due to the Duchess of Cambridge’s well-established green-thumb. This has been highlighted with her Back to Nature Garden in the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London that begins this week.</p> <p>“I believe that spending time outdoors when we are young can play a role in laying the foundations for children to become happy, healthy adults,” she said in a statement.</p>

Body

Placeholder Content Image

Health check: Why do we get motion sickness and what’s the best way to treat it?

<p>Motion sickness can be mild, but in some people it’s debilitating, and takes the fun out of a holiday.</p> <p>We think it’s caused by <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/02/the-mysterious-science-of-motion-sickness/385469/">temporary dysfunction</a> of our brain’s balance centres.</p> <p>The perception of motion of any sort can bring on <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/motion-sickness">symptoms of travel sickness</a>. These include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, excessive saliva, rapid breathing and cold sweats.</p> <p>The good news is, there are strategies and medicines you can use to <a href="https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0701/p41.html">prevent motion sickness</a>, or to help you ride it out.</p> <p><strong>Ears and eyes disconnect</strong></p> <p>As we move through space, multiple sensors in our middle ear, limbs and eyes feed information to our balance centre in our brains to orientate us. It’s when these sources of information are in apparent conflict that we may experience motion sickness.</p> <p>For example, in those who are particularly susceptible, watching certain movies can induce motion sickness as our eyes indicate we are moving, although other sensors confirm we are stationary.</p> <p>A boat trip in rocky seas or a car trip on winding roads means our head and body will be moving in unusual ways, in two or more axes at once, while sensing accelerations, decelerations and rotations. Together these are strong stimuli to bring on an attack of motion sickness.</p> <p><strong>Motion sickness is common</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d7430.long">Around 25-30% of us</a> travelling in boats, buses or planes will suffer – from feeling a bit off all the way to completely wretched; pale, sweaty, staggering, and vomiting.</p> <p>Some people are extremely susceptible to motion sickness, and may feel unwell even with minor movements such as “head bobbing” while snorkelling, or even <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/02/the-mysterious-science-of-motion-sickness/385469/">riding a camel</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d7430">Susceptibility</a> seems to increase with age, while women are more prone to travel sickness than men. There is a <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/02/the-mysterious-science-of-motion-sickness/385469/">genetic influence</a> too, with the condition running in families. It often co-exists with a history of migraines.</p> <p><strong>Preventing motion sickness</strong></p> <p>Sufferers quickly work out <a href="https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0701/hi-res/afp20140701p41-t2.gif">what to avoid</a>. Sitting in the back seat of the car, reading in a car or bus (trains and planes are better), facing backwards in a bus or train or going below deck on a boat in rough conditions are all best avoided if you’re prone to travel sickness.</p> <p>Medicines that control vomiting (antiemetics) and nausea (anti-nauseants) are the <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d7430">mainstay of medicines</a> used for motion sickness and are effective. But as there are unwanted side effects such as drowsiness, it’s reasonable to try behavioural techniques first, or alongside medicines.</p> <p>More time “on deck”, keeping an eye on the horizon if there’s a significant swell, and focusing on other things (for example looking out for whales) are <a href="https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0701/p41.html">good examples</a>.</p> <p>Desensitisation or habituation also <a href="https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0701/p41.html">work for some</a>. For example, increasing experience on the water in relatively smooth conditions in preparation for longer and potentially rougher trips can help.</p> <p>There tends to be a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25077501">reduction in symptoms</a> after a couple of days at sea. Medicines can then be reduced and even stopped. Symptoms often return when back on dry land, usually for just a day or two.</p> <p>Chewing hard ginger has been <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=3277342">claimed to work</a> for naval cadets, but other studies have <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2062873">not confirmed</a> its effectiveness.</p> <p>Some people find wrist bands that provide acupressure to be effective, although when these have been studied in controlled trials, <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d7430">the proof is lacking</a>.</p> <p>Glasses with a built-in horizon to combat motion sickness were <a href="https://patents.google.com/patent/US20190079314A1/en">patented in 2018</a>, so watch this space.</p> <p><strong>How medications work</strong></p> <p>Travel sickness medications are more effective when taken pre-emptively, so before your journey begins.</p> <p>Antiemetics and anti-nauseants act on the brain and nervous system. Medicines used to prevent and treat travel sickness most commonly are either sedating antihistamines or anticholinergics. They block the effects of neurotransmitters (molecules that transmit information) such as histamine, acetylcholine and dopamine in our <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0165017394000049">balance control centres</a>.</p> <p>But these sorts of medicines are not very specific. That is, they block the effects of acetylcholine and histamine wherever these neurotransmitters act throughout the body. This explains <a href="https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/0701/p41.html">unwanted side effects</a> such as sedation, drowsiness, dry mouth, constipation and confusion (in older, vulnerable people).</p> <p>Drowsiness is more likely to reach dangerous levels if other central nervous system depressants are taken at the <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/consumers/understanding-drug-interactions">same time</a>. This includes opioids (morphine, oxycodone, codeine), alcohol, sleeping pills and some antidepressants.</p> <p><strong>So what’s the best option?</strong></p> <p>A <a href="https://www.cochrane.org/CD002851/ENT_scopolamine-for-preventing-and-treating-motion-sickness">comprehensive review</a> of clinical trials in 2011 compared the medicine scopolamine as a preventative with other medicines, placebos, behavioural and complementary therapies.</p> <p>Most of the 14 studies reviewed were in healthy men serving in the Navy with history of travel sickness. Women have rarely been subjects, and there are no studies in <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/preventing-motion-sickness-in-children">children</a>.</p> <p>Although scopolamine was found to be marginally more effective than the alternatives, there’s not much to go on to recommend one travel medicine over another.</p> <p>If you’re somebody who experiences motion sickness, speak to your doctor or pharmacist. Most medicines for motion sickness are <a href="https://ajp.com.au/news/travel-health-pharmacy/">available over the counter</a>. You may need to try a few different medicines to find the one that works best for you, but always follow dosage instructions and professional advice.</p> <p>Once motion sickness is established, the only option is to ride it out. Lying down where possible, getting fresh air and focusing on the horizon can all help alongside appropriate medications. Importantly, for prolonged episodes, try to keep your fluids up to avoid dehydration (especially if vomiting occurs).</p> <p>If you experience motion sickness for the first time, and if it’s associated with a migraine-like headache, you should seek the advice of a doctor to rule out other neurological conditions.</p> <p><em>Written by Ric Day and Andrew McLachlan. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-why-do-we-get-motion-sickness-and-whats-the-best-way-to-treat-it-112861"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Body