March 16, 2016
Doctors and other health professionals from 14 prestigious medical colleges in Australia and New Zealand have reviewed the evidence 61 of the most commonly sought medical treatments, tests and procedures and found them lacking.
As a result there will be sweeping changes to recommendations that were previously considered the norm.
This is a positive step for the health industry. By identifying unnecessary, wasteful and expensive treatment, our health and the health budget will become more efficacious and efficient.
February 23, 2016
It’s red, itchy and can be incredibly painful – and if you’re one of the 97% of Australians who had chickenpox as a child, consider yourself at risk.
Herpes zoster, better known as shingles, will affect one in five Australians during their lifetime, with more than 220,000 adults aged over 50 diagnosed every year.
It is also one of the most commonly searched health terms on Google, so while it may be painfully prevalent, what’s clear is that we don’t know what it is, what it looks like or how to get rid of it.
February 12, 2016
Do you know someone who has more than four types of medication in the bathroom cabinet?
Rather than improving health outcomes, it’s a major cause for alarm – polypharmacy (the use of four or more medications by a patient) leads to an increased risk of frailty or death in our elderly as shown by research conducted by an Australian cohort.
Half of Australians over 65 years of age take at least five different types of medicine (prescription and non-prescription). Among over 75-year-olds, the numbers are even higher.
As health practitioners we need to provide better alternatives and perhaps think about reducing or stopping many medications altogether to minimise drug related problems.
December 9, 2015
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes progressive pain, inflammation and eventual destruction of the joints.
The hallmark feature of this condition is long term inflammation of joints that is mirrored on the opposite joint. It affects the hands, wrists and feet, though any joint lined by a synovial membrane may be involved.
Early diagnosis is key and by implementing supplementation, changes in lifestyle and the environment, RA’s impact can be lessened.
August 25, 2015
A child with a fever is every parents nightmare and is usually the first indication that a child is ill. Watching the thermometer steadily increasing, feeling the heat radiating from the child and the listlessness is a simply horrible experience for everyone.
What to do?
A common practice is to reach for the Ibuprofen and dose the child up as quickly and as often as possible. But how efficacious and safe is this practice?
November 12, 2014
It’s a common medicine found in most Australian households but paracetamol poisoning (both deliberate and accidental) is alarmingly on the rise.
A study released by Professor Andis Graudins of Monash University in June 2014 showed that 150 Australians are hospitalised weekly due to paracetamol poisoning. This equates to nearly 8,000 Australians yearly!
September 9, 2014
In the foreseeable future, prescription painkillers such as oxycodone will overtake heroin as Australias number one opioid drug killer.
In the wake of Overdose Awareness Day (31st August) the National Coronial Information System (NCIS) has released a report (August 2014) that provides a snapshot on opioid related deaths in Australia.
August 12, 2014
The medicinal use of cannabis was made illegal in Australia 50 years ago. In 2014 the argument has found new momentum but concerns still exist due to cannabis’ reputation as being a hazardous drug rather then concentrating on its medicinal benefits.
Australians with painful and dire symptoms from serious conditions are unable to legally alleviate their symptoms with medicinal cannabis. The conventional medicines for these conditions often work but they are sometimes ineffective or produce unacceptable side effects.
Medicinal cannabis provides a viable alternative to orthodox drugs yet it is still in a legal minefield. It’s time for the Australian government to provide a civilised, progressive and compassionate delivery of medicinal cannabis to those in need.