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Interesting Medical Blog Articles

Lentils Reduce Blood Glucose Levels

Replacing potatoes or rice with pulses can lower blood glucose levels by more than 20%, according to a small trial that further supports the idea these low GI foods are important for the management of type 2 diabetes.  The authors say that swapping out half a portion of these starchy foods for lentils can significantly improve the body’s response to the carbohydrates.  Their results show that replacing half a serving of rice with lentils caused blood glucose to drop by up to 20%, while replacing potatoes with lentils led to a 35% drop. Using a crossover design, two groups of 24 healthy adults randomly consumed 50g available carbohydrate from control white rice alone, instant potato alone, or the same starch source in a 50:50 available carbohydrate combination with each of three types of commercially available lentils (large green, small green, split red).  Fasting and post-prandial blood samples were analysed for glucose and insulin.

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Energy drinks can be dangerous for teens with heart issues

Energy drinks can be dangerous for young people with heart issues High amounts of sugar and caffeine can aggravate underlying heart issues, causing fatal arrhythmias To many adolescents and young adults, energy drinks have become essential for getting through the day. But they carry a serious risk of sudden death, a new study finds. An international research team, led by Dr. Fabian Sanchis-Gomar of Madrid, Spain, has concluded that energy drinks are the cause of many sudden cardiac deaths in young, healthy individuals. The main concern is that these beverages can easily aggravate underlying heart issues. Because of their high amounts of caffeine and sugar, dangerous arrhythmias can easily develop in the hearts of young people who drink them. Many people already balk at the high amounts of labeled caffeine on these drinks. The problem is that there are many additional sources of caffeine that are “masked” by the labeling.

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Drinking Coffee When Pregnant Linked to Child Weight Gain

Babies exposed to moderate to high levels of caffeine while in the womb are more likely to gain excess weight in early childhood, research shows. A Norwegian study of 51,000 mothers and children concludes children exposed to more than 200 mg of caffeine per day – two coffees or four teas – are more likely to be overweight by the age of three. The findings published in journal BMJ Open challenge current recommendations to only limit caffeine intake while pregnant. While they can’t prove cause and effect, the researchers suggest pregnant women should cut out caffeine altogether. “Maternal caffeine intake may modify the overall weight growth trajectory of the child from birth to eight years,” the authors write. “The results add supporting evidence for the current advice to reduce caffeine intake during pregnancy and indicate that complete avoidance might actually be advisable.” Caffeine passes rapidly through tissues, including the placenta, and takes the body

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Nut Co Allergies Fewer Than Indicated by Positive Tests

A new study shows that virtually all test subjects allergic to peanut were in fact not clinically allergic to other nuts, despite positive skin or blood test results for those other nuts. An oral food challenge, administered by an allergist, was found to be the most accurate way to determine nut co-allergies. Specifically, the researchers found that almond might be introduced into the diet of patients with peanut allergy without the need to perform skin prick tests, sIgE or oral food challenges because 100% of subjects in their study actually passed the almond nut oral challenge. A summary of the study is included below… Nut allergy tests ‘inaccurate’ 29 March 2017 6Minutes.com.au Skin and blood testing is an inaccurate way of identifying nut co-allergies, experts warn. That’s because people can show a positive reading, without being truly allergic. An oral food challenge gives a much clearer, objective result, they say.

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Doctors Liz and Tibby Form 2016 Oxfam Trailwalker Team

Dr Tibby (GP at our Bundilla Clinic) and Dr liz (GP at our Brightwater Medical Centre) will be participating on 17th June in the Brisbane Oxfam Trailwalker. This is a 100km non-stop walk around D’Aguilar National Park (west of Brisbane) which will see teams walking through the night (up to 48 hours) to raise money for Oxfam). Liz and Tibby’s intrepid team has modestly called itself … Blisters On Buderim. Oxfam Australia works with local communities to help them create their own sustainable solutions to poverty. Together, we are promoting education, ensuring access to clean water, teaching skills to grow food and advocating for their basic rights. By supporting Oxfam Trailwalker, you are making a significant difference to people living in poverty around the world. Oxfam also offers disaster relief and ongoing projects ranging all the way from support for orphans and people affected by HIV in Africa to sustainable

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Brisbane Flu Strain Hits Hard

Queensland is in the midst of its worst flu season on record, hit hard by a strain not included in the free vaccination program. Around 15,000 cases of influenza have been reported in the state so far this year, roughly 5000 more than in the same period of 2014. More than 10,000 cases involved the so-called Brisbane strain of Influenza B. The government-funded flu vaccine provides protection against Influenza A California, Influenza A Switzerland and Influenza B Phuket, but not the Influenza B Brisbane strain. Source: 6Minutes September 2015

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Four Allergy Myths Worth Busting

Allergies are on the rise across the developed world and hay fever and eczema have trebled in the last 30 years. Yet allergies are an area of much confusion and concern. Although 40% of people report having a food allergy, in fact only 1-5% do, and allergists commonly report spending most of their consultations refuting firmly held beliefs that have no scientific foundation. Theories about allergy – some from medical research and some from lifestyle “gurus” – have led to conflicting information, making it hard to know what to believe. Because of this,Sense About Science worked with me and a number of allergists, immunologists, respiratory scientists and pharmacists to produce Making Sense of Allergies, a guide tackling the many myths and misconceptions about allergies. One common myth – something that I work on – is the link between allergies and exposure to microbes. So here is a hygiene and allergy

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Paracetamol Not Suitable for Long-term Use

Long-term use of paracetamol poses a small increased risk of gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure and stroke, according to a review of eight studies. This means doctors should consider advising their patients on alternatives for long-term treatment, says researcher Professor Philip Conaghan of the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine. His team analysed several studies relating to the use of paracetamol and published their results in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Two studies found a correlation between an increased relative rate of mortality from 0.95 to 1.63 and increasing doses of paracetamol. Four showed a link between paracetamol use and an increased risk ratio of cardiovascular problems, while another found an increased rate of gastrointestinal issues in those taking large doses of the painkiller. Another four studies on renal adverse events also found a connection. “People should be careful when taking it long-term and doctors should consider

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What is the Paleo Diet?

Heralded for its long list of health benefits, the Paleo Diet has made its way into the mainstream over the past few years thanks to numerous best-selling books and TV celebrities such as My Kitchen Rules chef Pete Evans spreading the word about Paleo. Pete’s book Family Food has enjoyed much success, and Paleo based food blogs and programs are springing up all over the internet. Converts are raving about the diet in their social circles and gyms, leaving many of us wondering what exactly is this Paleo diet we keep hearing all about? Also referred to as the “Primal”, “Caveman” or “Stone Age” diet, the Paleo Diet is based on core principles from our hunter-gatherer, ancestral lifestyle. Although at first glance it may appear to be another new fad diet, Paleo is actually about returning to a simpler, healthier way of eating that supports health and well-being. Mark Sisson, author of

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Link Made Between Uncontrolled Asthma and Mental Health Disorder

Adolescents with poorly controlled asthma are putting their mental health on the line, report Australian researchers. Their survey of 533 people aged 12-25 with asthma shows just over half have K10 scores which suggest they are likely to have a mental health disorder. This is double the rate in the wider adolescent population. A survey report released by Asthma Australia calls for GPs to better educate young patients on the management of their condition. It also highlights the need for additional training and support for GPs. The data shows few adolescents take their daily preventive medications, with many relying heavily on reliever medications such as Ventolin. “These young people’s reasons for not taking medications regularly included feeling well (and therefore feeling that the medications are not warranted), and their perception that the doctor did not tell them to take it every day,” the researchers report. However, despite poorly controlled asthma, the vast

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Hungry and Overweight

When we think about people suffering from malnutrition, those struggling with obesity don’t usually come to mind. We often relate malnutrition and hunger with people living in poverty or in developing countries where access to food is limited.  It is possible, however, to be overweight and malnourished. For some, it doesn’t seem to matter how much they eat, they’re still hungry. Why? Because they’re eating the wrong foods. While many preach that “a calorie is a calorie” and that the sources of calories don’t matter, this simply isn’t true. From a nutritional standpoint, 100 calories of lollies is not equivalent to 100 calories of broccoli. The body requires micronutrients – vitamins and minerals – to function properly, and when these aren’t received the body becomes malnourished. This can lead to a hunger that simply can’t be satisfied with “junk” food. People believe that the more they eat, regardless of what

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No Bull, Energy Drinks are a Mother of a Problem

Energy drinks should be regarded as a public health risk, says the World Health Organisation, which wants doctors to be vigilant for signs of caffeine intoxication, withdrawal and dependence. The organisation wants tighter controls for the drinks, which are becoming increasingly popular with children and adolescents around the world. The labelling, distribution and sale of the drinks should be better regulated, say WHO researchers. The most popular brands in Australia are Red Bull, V and Mother. The researchers conducted a literature review that shows concerns in the scientific community about the potential adverse health effects of the popular products are “broadly valid”. “The risks of heavy consumption of energy drinks among young people have largely gone unaddressed and are poised to become a significant public health problem in the future,” they write in the journal Frontiers in Public Health. They say there is a case to seriously consider sales restrictions

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Curve Lurve – Are You Showing Your Breasts the Lurve They Need?

Breast Awareness- What does it really mean? Breast awareness means getting to know your breasts so you know what’s normal for you and actively taking care of your pair. Once you’re familiar with how your breasts look and feel, you’ll be able to pick up any changes, and generally feel more confident that your pair is in perfect shape. To be breast aware, follow this simple process and remember to repeat each month: Look – at the shape and appearance of your breasts and nipples in the mirror with your hands by your sides. Raise your arms above your head and have another look. 

Lurve – your pair. Feel all of your breasts and nipples looking for anything that isn’t normal for you. Feel from your collarbone to below the bra-line and under your armpit too. 

Learn – what is normal for you! Breasts come in all different shapes and sizes, so get to

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Lifestyle Tips for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Seven new dietary and lifestyle ‘guidelines’ could help doctors better communicate with patients about how to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. “Individuals at risk of Alzheimer’s disease make decisions about diet and lifestyle on a daily basis and need to act on the best evidence available to them,” says the paper published in the journal Neurobiology of Ageing. One guideline recommends limiting intake of saturated and trans-fats, based on well-controlled studies that show high intake increase the rate of decline in cognitive abilities with age. Another says vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains should replace meat as primary staples of the diet. At least three recommendations focus on the role of multiple vitamins that reduce Alzheimer’s risk, such as Vitamin E, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12, while avoiding vitamins that contain iron. Food sources of Vitamin E include: Tofu Spinach (Cooked) Almonds, Hazelnuts, Pine Nuts & Peanuts Sunflower Seeds (Roasted) Avocados Shellfish

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Studies Claim an Aspirin a Day Keeps Cancer at Bay

If everyone aged between 50 and 65 started taking aspirin daily for at least 10 years, there would be a significant reduction in the number of cancers, strokes and heart attacks, leading preventive health experts say. In assessing the prophylactic use of aspirin, researchers from Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for Cancer Prevention conclude the benefits of the drug outweigh the harms. Their analysis of recent systematic reviews shows an aspirin a day can significantly reduce the risk of developing – and dying from – the major cancers of the digestive tract including bowel, stomach and oesophageal cancer. The findings published in Annals of Oncology could be a game-changer in preventive health, says lead author Professor Jack Cuzick. “Whilst there are some serious side effects that can’t be ignored, taking aspirin daily looks to be the most important thing we can do to reduce cancer after stopping smoking and reducing obesity,

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Protein Powder is a Waste of Time and Money – Unless You’re an Elite Athlete

In a society that’s becoming obsessed with high protein diets, the advent of mass produced protein powders couldn’t come soon enough. Yet, the lowdown from nutritionists is that protein powders, which are usually taken post workout, won’t do the average consumer much good unless they happen to be an elite athlete. According to leading nutritionist, Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM, most Australians are consuming more than enough protein in their diet already. While Stanton concedes muscle recovery after prolonged exercise is better with protein (and carbohydrate), she says there is no need for anything other than a glass of skim milk after a workout. “Those just playing some sport or even an ordinary visit to the gym will be fine with milk or a normal meal afterwards,” she says. “The popularity of protein powders and shakes is due to marketing, not any health requirement.” And clever marketing it has been too.

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Driving With Hangover Can Be Just As Bad As Being At .05

Something to consider the morning after Christmas/New Year parties… Driving with a hangover is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol, according to new research. If suffering from a hangover isn’t awful enough, now international studies show that the effects of intoxication last longer than measurable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) which means even after sobering up driving performance is likely to be impaired. International research presented today at the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) 2013 Conference suggests that driving in a hung- over state should be avoided. In a Dutch study, healthy volunteers drove on a simulated highway the night after a drinking session averaging about 10 alcoholic drinks. Compared to the same tests after a night of not drinking, the results showed a hangover could significantly increase the number of lapses in attention and driving course deviations or weaving. The tests were

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Coffee May Reduce Risk of Skin Cancer Returning

Drinking four cups of coffee a day could help prevent further development of Basel Cell Carcinoma (BCC) in patients with a history of the disease, a study suggests. The research examined caffeine consumption in 1325 Australians with histologically confirmed BCC and SCC over an 11-year period. Findings showed that those who drank the largest quantity of coffee had a 25% lower risk of BCC compared with those who drank the least, amounting to between none and one cup per day. However no link was seen between coffee consumption and the subsequent risk of SCC.

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