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Poor sleep is really bad for your health. But we found exercise can offset some of these harms

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bo-huei-huang-1243280">Bo-Huei Huang</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emmanuel-stamatakis-161783">Emmanuel Stamatakis</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Despite the well-known links between poor sleep and poorer health, getting enough good quality sleep has become a luxury in modern society.</p> <p>Many of us struggle to improve our sleep, while amid the COVID pandemic and recurring lock-downs, <a href="https://theconversation.com/were-sleeping-more-in-lockdown-but-the-quality-is-worse-155797">our sleep has deteriorated</a>.</p> <p>But <a href="https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2021-104046">our new study</a>, published today in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, bears some encouraging news.</p> <p>We found doing enough physical activity (including exercise such as running or going to the gym) may counter some of the adverse health effects of unhealthy sleep patterns.</p> <p>Let us explain.</p> <h2>Does poor sleep really harm our health?</h2> <p>Unhealthy sleep patterns include:</p> <ul> <li> <p>not sleeping for long enough (less than seven hours per night for adults)</p> </li> <li> <p>sleeping for too long (more than nine hours per night for adults)</p> </li> <li> <p>snoring</p> </li> <li> <p>insomnia</p> </li> <li> <p>being a night owl, also known as “late chronotype”. This is people who naturally feel most awake and motivated in the evening, and are sluggish in the morning.</p> </li> </ul> <p>They are <a href="https://doi.org/10/ggjqrt">all associated</a> with poorer health.</p> <p>Recent research shows poor sleep may:</p> <ul> <li> <p>cause <a href="https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-019-0190-z">inflammation</a></p> </li> <li> <p>impair the metabolism of glucose (also known as blood sugar) and reduce the number of calories burned, thereby increasing the risk of <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-sleep-is-so-important-for-losing-weight-145058">obesity</a></p> </li> <li> <p>increase the risk of <a href="https://doi.org/10/gg6x87">heart disease</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10/ggnw5h">premature death</a>.</p> </li> </ul> <p>However, very few studies have examined how sleep and physical activity interact and impact our health.</p> <p>We set out to answer the question: if I have poor sleep but I do quite a lot of physical activity, can that offset some of the harms of my poor sleep in the long-term? Or would this not make any difference?</p> <h2>What did we do?</h2> <p>We analysed the information provided by 380,055 middle-aged adults in the UK Biobank study, recruited between 2006 and 2010. Participants reported their level of physical activity and five aspects of their sleep.</p> <p>We grouped people based on their sleep behaviour into healthy, intermediate or poor.</p> <p>We categorised people’s level of physical activity based on <a href="https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/54/24/1451">the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines</a>. People who met the upper bounds of the guidelines did 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week, or 150 minutes of vigorous exercise, or a combination of both. Those who met the lower bound did 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, or a combination.</p> <p>Moderate intensity physical activity usually makes you slightly out of breath if sustained for a few minutes and includes brisk walking or cycling at a leisurely pace.</p> <p>Vigorous exercise usually makes you breath hard and can include running, swimming, and playing sports like tennis, netball, soccer or footy.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408096/original/file-20210624-15-1qfe1ay.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/408096/original/file-20210624-15-1qfe1ay.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=409&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/408096/original/file-20210624-15-1qfe1ay.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=409&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/408096/original/file-20210624-15-1qfe1ay.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=409&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/408096/original/file-20210624-15-1qfe1ay.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=515&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/408096/original/file-20210624-15-1qfe1ay.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=515&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/408096/original/file-20210624-15-1qfe1ay.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=515&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /><figcaption><span class="caption">Doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, can offset some of the health harms of poor sleep.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/336656/9789240015128-eng.pdf?sequence=1&amp;isAllowed=y">World Health Organization, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO</a></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What did we find?</h2> <p>We followed up with the participants after 11 years. By May 2020, 15,503 participants had died, of which 4,095 died from heart disease and 9,064 died from cancer.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2021-104046">We found</a> that, compared to healthy sleepers, people with poor sleep had a 23% higher risk of premature death, a 39% higher risk of dying from heart disease, and a 13% higher risk of dying from cancer.</p> <p>We then compared the data of people who slept well with those who slept poorly, and how much they exercised. We found people who had the highest risk of dying from heart disease and cancer were those who had poor sleep and didn’t meet the WHO physical activity guidelines. On the other hand, those who had poor sleep but did enough physical activity to meet the WHO guidelines didn’t have as high a risk of dying from heart disease or cancer, compared to those who slept poorly and didn’t meet the physical activity guidelines.</p> <p>For example, let’s look at the risk of dying from cancer. Those who had poor sleep and did no physical activity had a 45% higher risk of dying from cancer compared to those who had healthy sleep and exercised a lot. But among those who met the physical activity guidelines, despite poor sleep, they didn’t really have a higher risk of dying from cancer any more.</p> <p>We found physical activity levels which met at least the bottom threshold of the WHO guidelines could reduce or eliminate some of the health harms of poor sleep. So people who did at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise per week were to some extent protected against the detrimental health effects of poor sleep.</p> <p>Those who had both poor sleep and did no moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity had the highest risks of premature death.</p> <p>Our study wasn’t designed to find out how and why physical activity may counteract some of the bad physiological impacts of poor sleep. But other research provides theories. For example, adequate physical activity may <a href="https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001179">reduce inflammation, help maintain a healthy glucose metabolism</a>, and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pcad.2018.07.014">increase the number of calories burned</a>.</p> <p>It’s important to note our study was what’s called an “observational study”. It shows an association between adequate physical activity and reduced harms from poor sleep, but we must be careful in interpreting causation. It can’t conclusively say adequate physical activity <em>causes</em> the reduction of harms from poor sleep, though there’s strong evidence for an association in the right direction.</p> <p>Our study offers a hopeful message, that even if you haven’t been able to improve your sleep, you can still offset some of the health harms by doing enough exercise. <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S009174352030339X">Our previous research</a> has also shown physical activity may help improve poor sleep patterns, which are a serious health problem across the world.</p> <p>In addition to combating some of the negative outcomes of poor sleep, physical activity can also provide many other health benefits and extend our lives. For example, a 2019 study found people who met WHO’s physical activity target above <a href="https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-019-1339-0">lived three years longer on average</a> than those who didn’t.</p> <p>During lockdowns, access to parks, gyms, and swimming pools might be limited in many places. But there are still many ways to <a href="https://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-emergencies/coronavirus-covid-19/publications-and-technical-guidance/noncommunicable-diseases/stay-physically-active-during-self-quarantine">to stay fit and active at home during the coronavirus</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/163270/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/bo-huei-huang-1243280">Bo-Huei Huang</a>, PhD candidate, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emmanuel-stamatakis-161783">Emmanuel Stamatakis</a>, Professor of Physical Activity, Lifestyle, and Population Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/poor-sleep-is-really-bad-for-your-health-but-we-found-exercise-can-offset-some-of-these-harms-163270">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

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7 health investments that are tax deductible

<p>When someone says “investment”, we tend to think of money and wealth creation: property, shares, superannuation, savings accounts and so on.</p> <p>However, an investment is the contribution of something you value towards the anticipation of growing that value. That contribution could be money or it could be in the form of time, skills, knowledge, or labour. Similarly, the anticipated growth in value could be in monetary terms or towards growth in business, education, research, or even health – both your own and others’.</p> <p>Just like money matters and tax affairs require a wholistic view, so too does health. Which is why when it comes to getting the most out of health investments, it’s crucial to consider physical, mental and financial health. Many, such as those listed below, happen to be tax deductible too:</p> <ol> <li><strong>Safety equipment and education</strong></li> </ol> <p>Workplace safety is perhaps the most crucial of all health investments. What form that takes can differ enormously between professions. Yet if it is important for doing your job safely, then generally it will be tax deductible.</p> <p>This may be protective clothing for tradespeople, medical workers, and industrial machinists, or advanced driving/road safety training courses for taxi drivers and couriers.</p> <p>Sun protection for jobs that take place largely or exclusively outdoors is also generally deductible – but use those sunglasses or sunscreen at home as well, and you’ll only be able to claim the work-related portion of the cost. </p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong>Insurances</strong></li> </ol> <p>Certain insurance premiums are typically tax deductible.</p> <p>Professional indemnity insurance is a legitimate (and often essential) business expense in many jobs, such as for doctors and journalists. Income protection insurance against severe illness or injury may also be deductible.</p> <p>Plus, having private health insurance also delivers a tax benefit when lodging your tax return.</p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong>Professional coaching</strong></li> </ol> <p>Professional coaching can be useful for mental health and clarity, both over existing work situations and career progression or transition planning.</p> <p>Provided this coaching is strictly professional and relates to your ability to earn an income, it may be tax deductible.</p> <ol start="4"> <li><strong>Accounting and financial advice </strong></li> </ol> <p>Good financial health goes hand in hand with good advice about money matters.</p> <p>Most Aussies know that the cost of managing their tax affairs is deductible. Less well known, though, is that financial advice expenses are also generally deductible. </p> <p>Busy accountants can forget to ask if you incurred these costs when going through your expenses at tax time, so be sure to flag it with them.</p> <ol start="5"> <li><strong>Industry-specific deductions</strong></li> </ol> <p>In some instances, health-related expenses may be tax deductible because they are required within a particular job. </p> <p>For instance, models, athletes and fitness instructors may be able to claim gym memberships and nutritionist visits; dieticians and chefs may be able to claim healthy eating books and subscriptions.</p> <p>Check the <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/income-deductions-offsets-and-records/deductions-you-can-claim/occupation-and-industry-specific-guides">ATO’s Occupation and industry-specific guides</a> to see relevant deductions in your line of work.</p> <ol start="6"> <li><strong>Medical checks</strong></li> </ol> <p>If you require compulsory medical assessments and check-ups as part of your job, these may be tax deductible. Examples include health screenings for pilots, miners, and emergency workers. </p> <p>COVID-19 tests to determine whether you can attend your workplace may also be deductible.</p> <p>Vaccinations, however, are deemed by the ATO to be private expenses.</p> <ol start="7"> <li><strong>Donations</strong></li> </ol> <p>Many health organisations are registered charities and not-for-profits, making donations to them deductible. Often, people donate to health charities because of personal experience, either as a patient/survivor themselves or having known someone who was.</p> <p>So not only are you investing in critical research and future patient support as a means of giving back, but you can also claim a tax deduction as a reward for donations over $2. </p> <p><strong>Proof of purchase is key</strong></p> <p>For any expense to be tax deductible, it must be necessary for work purposes and have come out of your own pocket, not been paid for or reimbursed by your employer.</p> <p>Don’t forget to claim depreciation of work-related equipment over subsequent years. These are extra dollars in your pocket to offset the cost of their eventual replacement.</p> <p>And be sure to keep copies of receipts for your purchases to prove your expenses – both now and in the future.</p> <p><em><strong>Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of On Your Own Two Feet: The Essential Guide to Financial Independence for all Women. Helen is among the 1% of financial planners who hold a master’s degree in the field. Proceeds from book sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women and children. Find out more at <a href="http://www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au/">www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au</a></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>Disclaimer: The information in this article is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal financial or product advice. Any opinions or views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent those of people, institutions or organisations the owner may be associated with in a professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated. Helen Baker is an authorised representative of BPW Partners Pty Ltd AFSL 548754.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Cheeky diet soft drink getting you through the work day? Here’s what that may mean for your health

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718">Lauren Ball</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-burch-438717">Emily Burch</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a></em></p> <p>Many people are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230225/">drinking less</a> sugary soft drink than in the past. This is a great win for public health, given the <a href="https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2749350">recognised risks</a> of diets high in sugar-sweetened drinks.</p> <p>But over time, intake of diet soft drinks has <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7230225/">grown</a>. In fact, it’s so high that these products are now regularly <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412020319188">detected in wastewater</a>.</p> <p>So what does the research say about how your health is affected in the long term if you drink them often?</p> <h2>What makes diet soft drinks sweet?</h2> <p>The World Health Organization (WHO) <a href="https://www.who.int/news/item/04-03-2015-who-calls-on-countries-to-reduce-sugars-intake-among-adults-and-children">advises</a> people “reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (six teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.”</p> <p>But most regular soft drinks contain <a href="https://www.actiononsugar.org/surveys/2014/sugar-sweetened-beverages/">a lot of sugar</a>. A regular 335 millilitre can of original Coca-Cola contains at least <a href="https://www.coca-cola.com/ng/en/about-us/faq/how-much-sugar-is-in-cocacola-original-taste">seven</a> teaspoons of added sugar.</p> <p>Diet soft drinks are designed to taste similar to regular soft drinks but without the sugar. Instead of sugar, diet soft drinks contain artificial or natural sweeteners. The artificial sweeteners include aspartame, saccharin and sucralose. The natural sweeteners include stevia and monk fruit extract, which come from plant sources.</p> <p>Many artificial sweeteners are much sweeter than sugar so less is needed to provide the same burst of sweetness.</p> <p>Diet soft drinks are marketed as healthier alternatives to regular soft drinks, particularly for people who want to reduce their sugar intake or manage their weight.</p> <p>But while surveys of Australian <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7551593/">adults</a> and <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/adolescents-knowledge-and-beliefs-regarding-health-risks-of-soda-and-diet-soda-consumption/32F3E0FD6727F18F04C63F0390595131">adolescents</a> show most people understand the benefits of reducing their sugar intake, they often aren’t as aware about how diet drinks may affect health more broadly.</p> <h2>What does the research say about aspartame?</h2> <p>The artificial sweeteners in soft drinks are considered safe for consumption by food authorities, including in the <a href="https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/aspartame-and-other-sweeteners-food">US</a> and <a href="https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/additives/aspartame">Australia</a>. However, some <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4899993/">researchers</a> have raised concern about the long-term risks of consumption.</p> <p>People who drink diet soft drinks regularly and often are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4446768/">more likely</a> to develop certain metabolic conditions (such as diabetes and heart disease) than those who don’t drink diet soft drinks.</p> <p>The link was found even after accounting for other dietary and lifestyle factors (such as physical activity).</p> <p>In 2023, the WHO announced reports had found aspartame – the main sweetener used in diet soft drinks – was “<a href="https://www.who.int/news/item/14-07-2023-aspartame-hazard-and-risk-assessment-results-released">possibly carcinogenic to humans</a>” (carcinogenic means cancer-causing).</p> <p>Importantly though, the report noted there is not enough current scientific evidence to be truly confident aspartame may increase the risk of cancer and emphasised it’s safe to consume occasionally.</p> <h2>Will diet soft drinks help manage weight?</h2> <p>Despite the word “diet” in the name, diet soft drinks are not strongly linked with weight management.</p> <p>In 2022, the WHO conducted a <a href="https://www.who.int/news/item/15-05-2023-who-advises-not-to-use-non-sugar-sweeteners-for-weight-control-in-newly-released-guideline">systematic review</a> (where researchers look at all available evidence on a topic) on whether the use of artificial sweeteners is beneficial for weight management.</p> <p>Overall, the randomised controlled trials they looked at suggested slightly more weight loss in people who used artificial sweeteners.</p> <p>But the observational studies (where no intervention occurs and participants are monitored over time) found people who consume high amounts of artificial sweeteners tended to have an increased risk of higher body mass index and a 76% increased likelihood of having obesity.</p> <p>In other words, artificial sweeteners may not directly help manage weight over the long term. This resulted in the WHO <a href="https://www.who.int/news/item/15-05-2023-who-advises-not-to-use-non-sugar-sweeteners-for-weight-control-in-newly-released-guideline">advising</a> artificial sweeteners should not be used to manage weight.</p> <p><a href="http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/fulltext/S1550-4131(16)30296-0">Studies</a> in animals have suggested consuming high levels of artificial sweeteners can signal to the brain it is being starved of fuel, which can lead to more eating. However, the evidence for this happening in humans is still unproven.</p> <h2>What about inflammation and dental issues?</h2> <p>There is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10817473/">some early evidence</a> artificial sweeteners may irritate the lining of the digestive system, causing inflammation and increasing the likelihood of diarrhoea, constipation, bloating and other symptoms often associated with irritable bowel syndrome. However, this study noted more research is needed.</p> <p>High amounts of diet soft drinks have <a href="https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-023-17223-0">also been</a> linked with liver disease, which is based on inflammation.</p> <p>The consumption of diet soft drinks is also <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40368-019-00458-0#:%7E:text=Diet%20soft%20drinks%20often%20have,2006">associated</a> with dental erosion.</p> <p>Many soft drinks contain phosphoric and citric acid, which can damage your tooth enamel and contribute to dental erosion.</p> <h2>Moderation is key</h2> <p>As with many aspects of nutrition, moderation is key with diet soft drinks.</p> <p>Drinking diet soft drinks occasionally is unlikely to harm your health, but frequent or excessive intake may increase health risks in the longer term.</p> <p>Plain water, infused water, sparkling water, herbal teas or milks remain the best options for hydration.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233438/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718">Lauren Ball</a>, Professor of Community Health and Wellbeing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-burch-438717">Emily Burch</a>, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/cheeky-diet-soft-drink-getting-you-through-the-work-day-heres-what-that-may-mean-for-your-health-233438">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Food & Wine

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Aussie Olympian amputates finger to compete at Paris Games

<p>Matthew Dawson has amputated part of his ring finger in order to compete in the Olympics. </p> <p>The 30-year-old is set to represent the Australian men's hockey team - the Kookaburras- at this year's Paris Olympics.</p> <p>His Olympic participation was cast into doubt after he broke his finger, but in an extreme show of dedication, he opted to amputate it instead of getting a cast. </p> <p>“I made an informed decision with the plastic surgeon at the time not only for the opportunity to play in Paris but for life after as well,” Dawson told <em>7NEWS</em>.</p> <p>“The best option was for me to take the top of my finger off. It’s a bit of a change at the moment and an exciting challenge, I guess.”</p> <p>He reportedly didn't have much time to make the decision, but reassured that he was well informed before making the big move. </p> <p>“I had made the decision and then I called my wife, and she said, ‘I don’t want you to make a rash decision’, but I had all the information I needed to make the decision not for Paris but for life after,” he said.</p> <p>“Hopefully, I can not take too long to get back to form.”</p> <p>He added: “There are plenty of other issues and other people going on with other stuff in their lives that are bigger than losing a finger, so I’m very fortunate that it’s just a little bit of my finger.” </p> <p>Kookaburras Coach Colin Batch praised Dawson for making the big decision. </p> <p>“Dawson is back in training now. He’s certainly set the bar high for anyone getting a broken finger in the future, but full marks to Matt; he’s made that decision and obviously really committed to playing in Paris,” he said.</p> <p>The coach also told <em>7NEWS</em> that the decision was made entirely by Dawson, and that a coach can't decide for a player. </p> <p>“I’m not sure I would have done it, but he’s done it, so great,” he said.</p> <p>The Aussie hockey team will compete against Argentina on July 27 in their first match for the Paris Olympics.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine</em></p>

Body

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Want the health benefits of strength training but not keen on the gym? Try ‘exercise snacking’

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justin-keogh-129041">Justin Keogh</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jackson-fyfe-134774">Jackson Fyfe</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p>The science is clear: <a href="https://cdnsciencepub.com/doi/full/10.1139/apnm-2020-0245">resistance training</a> is crucial to ageing well. Lifting weights (or doing bodyweight exercises like lunges, squats or push-ups) can help you live independently for longer, make your bones stronger, reduce your risk of diseases such as diabetes, and may even improve your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28919335/">sleep and mental health</a>.</p> <p>But not everyone loves the gym. Perhaps you feel you’re not a “gym person” and never will be, or you’re too old to start. Being a gym-goer can be expensive and time-consuming, and some people report feeling <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/StartingStrength/comments/j3hq32/unwelcome_feeling_at_the_gym/">unwelcome</a> or <a href="https://www.quora.com/I-feel-awkward-and-I-want-to-start-a-gym-but-could-not-What-should-I-do">awkward</a> at the gym.</p> <p>The good news is you don’t need the gym, or lots of free time, to get the health benefits resistance training can offer.</p> <p>You can try “exercise snacking” instead.</p> <h2>What is exercise snacking?</h2> <p>Exercise snacking involves doing multiple shorter bouts (as little as 20 seconds) of exercise throughout the day – often with minimal or no equipment. It’s OK to have <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-021-01605-8">several hours of rest</a> between.</p> <p>You could do simple bodyweight exercises such as:</p> <ul> <li> <p>chair sit-to-stand (squats)</p> </li> <li> <p>lunges</p> </li> <li> <p>box step-ups</p> </li> <li> <p>calf raises</p> </li> <li> <p>push-ups.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Exercise snacking like this can help improve muscle mass, strength and physical function.</p> <p>It’s OK to hold onto a nearby object for balance, if you need. And doing these exercises regularly will also improve your balance. That, in turn, reduces your risk of falls and fractures.</p> <h2>OK I have done all those, now what?</h2> <p>Great! You can also try using resistance bands or dumbbells to do the previously mentioned five exercises as well as some of the following exercises:</p> <ul> <li> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/IP4wM2JpDdQ?si=1B1GyV_FY5rcArW8&amp;t=6">seated rows</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/G6GIffCaJCQ?si=RxXZtzMqQ0DGxF3k&amp;t=48">chest</a> and <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUnnz5i4Mnw&amp;t=5s">shoulder presses</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://youtu.be/z0omicIkYu4?si=8WffT3ij12SNTqEs">bicep curls</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wXVnxBgLHo">knee extensions</a></p> </li> <li> <p><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtTcXXgeRYo">leg curls</a>.</p> </li> </ul> <p>When using resistance bands, make sure you hold them tightly and that they’re securely attached to an immovable object.</p> <p>Exercise snacking works well when you pair it with an activity you do often throughout the day. Perhaps you could:</p> <ul> <li> <p>do a few extra squats every time you get up from a bed or chair</p> </li> <li> <p>do some lunges during a TV ad break</p> </li> <li> <p>chuck in a few half squats while you’re waiting for your kettle to boil</p> </li> <li> <p>do a couple of elevated push-ups (where you support your body with your hands on a chair or a bench while doing the push-up) before tucking into lunch</p> </li> <li> <p>sneak in a couple of calf raises while you’re brushing your teeth.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>What does the evidence say about exercise snacking?</h2> <p>One <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31687210/">study</a> had older adults without a history of resistance training do exercise snacks at home twice per day for four weeks.</p> <p>Each session involved five simple bodyweight exercises (chair sit-to-stand, seated knee extension, standing knee bends, marching on the spot, and standing calf raises). The participants did each exercise continuously for one minute, with a one-minute break between exercises.</p> <p>These short and simple exercise sessions, which lasted just nine minutes, were enough to improve a person’s ability to stand up from a chair by 31% after four weeks (compared to a control group who didn’t exercise). Leg power and thigh muscle size improved, too.</p> <p>Research involving one of us (Jackson Fyfe) has also <a href="https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-022-03207-z">shown</a> older adults found “exercise snacking” feasible and enjoyable when done at home either once, twice, or three times per day for four weeks.</p> <p>Exercise snacking may be a more sustainable approach to improve muscle health in those who don’t want to – or can’t – lift heavier weights in a gym.</p> <h2>A little can yield a lot</h2> <p>We know from other research that the more you exercise, the more likely it is you will <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268119302586">keep exercising in future</a>.</p> <p>Very brief resistance training, albeit with heavier weights, may be more <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29975122/">enjoyable</a> than traditional approaches where people aim to do many, many sets.</p> <p>We also know brief-and-frequent exercise sessions can break up <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26378942/">periods</a> of sedentary behaviour (which usually means sitting too much). Too much sitting increases your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, whereas exercise snacking can help keep your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36921112/">blood sugar levels steady</a>.</p> <p>Of course, longer-term studies are needed. But the evidence we do have suggests exercise snacking really helps.</p> <h2>Why does any of this matter?</h2> <p>As you age, you lose strength and mass in the muscles you use to walk, or stand up. Everyday tasks can become a struggle.</p> <p>All this <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36907247/">contributes</a> to disability, hospitalisation, chronic disease, and reliance on community and residential aged care support.</p> <p>By preserving your muscle mass and strength, you can:</p> <ul> <li> <p>reduce joint pain</p> </li> <li> <p>get on with activities you enjoy</p> </li> <li> <p>live independently in your own home</p> </li> <li> <p>delay or even eliminate the need for expensive health care or residential aged care.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>What if I walk a lot – is that enough?</h2> <p>Walking may maintain some level of lower body muscle mass, but it won’t preserve your <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38190393/">upper body muscles</a>.</p> <p>If you find it difficult to get out of a chair, or can only walk short distances without getting out of breath, resistance training is the best way to regain some of the independence and function you’ve lost.</p> <p>It’s even more important for women, as muscle mass and strength are typically lower in older women than men. And if you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, which is more common in older women than men, resistance exercise snacking at home can improve your balance, strength, and bone mineral density. All of this reduces the risk of falls and fractures.</p> <p>You don’t need <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/37171517/">heavy weights</a> or fancy equipment to benefit from resistance training.</p> <p>So, will you start exercise snacking today?<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232374/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/justin-keogh-129041">Justin Keogh</a>, Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jackson-fyfe-134774">Jackson Fyfe</a>, Senior Lecturer, Strength and Conditioning Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/want-the-health-benefits-of-strength-training-but-not-keen-on-the-gym-try-exercise-snacking-232374">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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"It’s a lot to take in": Carly Findlay reveals cancer diagnosis

<p>Australian writer, speaker and disability advocate Carly Findlay has revealed she has cancer in an emotional post shared on Instagram. </p> <p>"I have cancer. I also had a hysterectomy, and I’ll have early menopause," she began her post. </p> <p>Findlay said she had been taken to hospital the day she returned from an overseas trip, with severe stomach pain and bloating. </p> <p>“Tests showed that I have a large ovarian cyst, also known as an ovarian mass,” she said in an earlier post.</p> <p>The 42-year-old, known for her work as an appearance advocate as she lives with ichthyosis, a genetic disorder that affects her skin and hair said she had been experiencing symptoms for six months before they discovered the cyst. </p> <p>She was required to have a full hysterectomy, which means that she had lost the choice to have children, and may also experience early menopause as a result. </p> <p>"The surgery went well. I seem to be recovering ok, but this is the first time I’ve had this type of surgery so I don’t know what’s normal," she continued in her post. </p> <p>"Unfortunately two types of cancer were detected during surgery." </p> <p>“I’ll find out more about the diagnosis and treatment soon.”</p> <p>She added that: "Everyone around me has been incredibly gentle and kind.</p> <p>"The surgeon who led the surgery held my hand as she told me the news. Nurses are angels and should be paid more." </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C88-o6kyZOH/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <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 style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C88-o6kyZOH/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Carly Findlay OAM (@carlyfindlay)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The appearance advocate also said that while she suspected it may have been cancer, it was difficult for her to take it all in. </p> <p>“Even though I knew cancer was a possibility, it’s a lot to take in, especially while recovering from major surgery.”</p> <p>Friends and fans have shared their well wishes. </p> <p>"Ah. Lovely Carly. Praise be for the intervention of medicine. Your heart and spirit and those who love you will carry you through this, and you will emerge, as always, with grace and courage. You are a gift. Much love and strength," wrote Kate Langbroek. </p> <p>"Sending you so much love, light and hugs. Thinking of you. You got this.🙏❤️" added Jelena Dokic</p> <p>"Sending you so much love 💕" added one fan. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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Taking too many medications can pose health risks. Here’s how to avoid them

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/caroline-sirois-1524891">Caroline Sirois</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/universite-laval-1407">Université Laval</a></em></p> <p>When we see an older family member handling a bulky box of medications sorted by day of the week, we might stop and wonder, is it too much? How do all those pills interact?</p> <p>The fact is, as we get older we are more likely to develop different chronic illnesses that require us to take several different medications. This is known as polypharmacy. The concept applies to people taking five or more medications, but there are all sorts of <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7030126">definitions with different thresholds</a> (for example, four, 10 or 15 medicines).</p> <p>I’m a pharmacist and pharmacoepidemiologist interested in polypharmacy and its impact on the population. The research I carry out with my team at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Laval focuses on the appropriate use of medication by older family members. We have published this <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afac244">study</a> on the perceptions of older adults, family carers and clinicians on the use of medication among persons over 65.</p> <h2>Polypharmacy among older adults</h2> <p>Polypharmacy is very common among older adults. In 2021, a quarter of persons over 65 in Canada were prescribed <a href="https://www.cihi.ca/en/drug-use-among-seniors-in-canada">more than ten different classes of medication</a>. In Québec, persons over 65 used an average of <a href="https://www.inspq.qc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/2679_portrait_polypharmacie_aines_quebecois.pdf">8.7 different drugs in 2016</a>, the latest year available for statistics.</p> <p>Is it a good idea to take so many drugs?</p> <p>According to <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/07334648211069553">our study</a>, the vast majority of seniors and family caregivers would be willing to stop taking one or more medications if the doctor said it was possible, even though most are satisfied with their treatments, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afac244">have confidence in their doctors</a> and feel that their doctors are taking care of them to the best of their ability.</p> <p>In the majority of cases, medicine prescribers are helping the person they are treating. Medications have a positive impact on health and are essential in many cases. But while the treatment of individual illnesses is often adequate, the whole package can sometimes become problematic.</p> <h2>The risks of polypharmacy: 5 points to consider</h2> <p>When we evaluate cases of polypharmacy, we find that the quality of treatment is often compromised when many medications are being taken.</p> <ol> <li> <p>Drug interactions: polypharmacy increases the risk of drugs interacting, which can lead to undesirable effects or reduce the effectiveness of treatments.</p> </li> <li> <p>A drug that has a positive effect on one illness may have a negative effect on another: what should you do if someone has both illnesses?</p> </li> <li> <p>The greater the number of drugs taken, the greater the risk of undesirable effects: for adults over 65, for example, there is an increased risk of confusion or falls, which have significant consequences.</p> </li> <li> <p>The more medications a person takes, the more likely they are to take a <a href="https://www.doi.org/10.1093/fampra/cmz060">potentially inappropriate medication</a>. For seniors, these drugs generally carry more risks than benefits. For example, benzodiazepines, medicine for anxiety or sleep, are the <a href="https://www.inspq.qc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/2575_utilisation_medicaments_potentiellement_inappropries_aines.pdf">most frequently used class</a> of medications. We want to reduce their use as much as possible <a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-use/controlled-illegal-drugs/benzodiazepines.html">to avoid negative impacts</a> such as confusion and increased risk of falls and car accidents, not to mention the risk of dependence and death.</p> </li> <li> <p>Finally, polypharmacy is associated with various adverse health effects, such as an <a href="https://www.doi.org/10.1007/s41999-021-00479-3">increase in frailty, hospital admissions and emergency room visits</a>. However, studies conducted to date have not always succeeded in isolating the effects specific to polypharmacy. As polypharmacy is more common among people with multiple illnesses, these illnesses may also contribute to the observed risks.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Polypharmacy is also a combination of medicines. There are almost as many as there are people. The risks of these different combinations can vary. For example, the risks associated with a combination of five potentially inappropriate drugs would certainly be different from those associated with blood pressure medication and vitamin supplements.</p> <p>Polypharmacy is therefore complex. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1186/s12911-021-01583-x">Our studies attempt to use artificial intelligence</a> to manage this complexity and identify combinations associated with negative impacts. There is still a lot to learn about polypharmacy and its impact on health.</p> <h2>3 tips to avoid the risks associated with polypharmacy</h2> <p>What can we do as a patient, or as a caregiver?</p> <ol> <li> <p>Ask questions: when you or someone close to you is prescribed a new treatment, be curious. What are the benefits of the medication? What are the possible side effects? Does this fit in with my treatment goals and values? How long should this treatment last? Are there any circumstances in which discontinuing it should be considered ?</p> </li> <li> <p>Keep your medicines up to date: make sure they are all still useful. Are there still any benefits to taking them? Are there any side effects? Are there any drug interactions? Would another treatment be better? Should the dose be reduced?</p> </li> <li> <p>Think about de-prescribing: this is an increasingly common clinical practice that involves stopping or reducing the dose of an inappropriate drug after consulting a health-care professional. It is a shared decision-making process that involves the patient, their family and health-care professionals. The <a href="https://www.deprescribingnetwork.ca">Canadian Medication Appropriateness and Deprescribing Network</a> is a world leader in this practice. It has compiled a number of tools for patients and clinicians. You can find them on their website and subscribe to the newsletter.</p> </li> </ol> <h2>Benefits should outweigh the risks</h2> <p>Medications are very useful for staying healthy. It’s not uncommon for us to have to take more medications as we age, but this shouldn’t be seen as a foregone conclusion.</p> <p>Every medication we take must have direct or future benefits that outweigh the risks associated with them. As with many other issues, when it comes to polypharmacy, the saying, “everything in moderation,” frequently applies.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230612/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/caroline-sirois-1524891">Caroline Sirois</a>, Professor in Pharmacy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/universite-laval-1407">Université Laval</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/taking-too-many-medications-can-pose-health-risks-heres-how-to-avoid-them-230612">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Revolutionary diabetes detection via smartphone: A game-changer in healthcare

<p>In a groundbreaking advancement, scientists from <a href="https://www.klick.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Klick Labs</a> have discovered a method that could revolutionise diabetes detection – using just a 10-second smartphone voice recording.</p> <p>No more travelling to clinics or waiting anxiously for blood test results. This new approach promises immediate, on-the-spot results, potentially transforming how we diagnose type 2 diabetes.</p> <p>The study, published in <a href="https://www.mcpdigitalhealth.org/article/S2949-7612(23)00073-1/fulltext" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Digital Health</a>, involved 267 participants, including 192 non-diabetic and 75 type 2 diabetic individuals. Each participant recorded a specific phrase on their smartphone multiple times a day over two weeks, resulting in 18,465 recordings.</p> <p>These recordings, lasting between six and 10 seconds each, were meticulously analysed for 14 acoustic features, such as pitch and intensity. Remarkably, these features exhibited consistent differences between diabetic and non-diabetic individuals, differences too subtle for the human ear but detectable by sophisticated signal processing software.</p> <p>Building on this discovery, the scientists developed an AI-based program to analyse the voice recordings alongside patient data like age, sex, height and weight. The results were impressive: the program accurately identified type 2 diabetes in women 89% of the time and in men 86% of the time.</p> <p>These figures are competitive with traditional methods, where fasting blood glucose tests show 85% accuracy and other methods, like glycated haemoglobin and oral glucose tolerance tests, range between 91% and 92%.</p> <p>"This technology has the potential to remove barriers entirely," said Jaycee Kaufman, a research scientist at Klick Labs and the study's lead author. Traditional diabetes detection methods can be time-consuming, costly and inconvenient, but voice technology could change all that, providing a faster, more accessible solution.</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Looking ahead, the team plans to conduct further tests on a larger, more diverse population to refine and validate this innovative approach. If successful, this could mark a significant leap forward in diabetes management and overall healthcare, making early detection simpler and more accessible than ever before.</span></p> <p>Stay tuned as this exciting development unfolds, potentially bringing us closer to a future where managing and detecting diabetes is as simple as speaking into your smartphone.</p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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Sam Armytage in hospital for major surgery

<p>Former <em>Sunrise </em>host Samantha Armytage has undergone major hip replacement surgery following a severe case of osteoarthritis. The 47-year-old TV personality shared her journey on Instagram on Tuesday, posting photos from St Vincent's Private Hospital in Sydney.</p> <p>Armytage revealed in a detailed caption that she had been struggling with osteoarthritis after tearing the cartilage in her right hip. This condition, a degenerative joint disease, causes the tissues in the joint to break down over time and is more prevalent among older individuals.</p> <p>Reflecting on her experience, the host of <em>The Farmer Wants a Wife</em> explained that the hip replacement was necessary to address the bone-on-bone friction and the severe osteoarthritis. Despite the challenges, she reassured her followers that her recovery is progressing well.</p> <p>"Hip, hip hooray. New hip, new me, no worries," she wrote. "A few weeks ago, I had a total hip replacement. After a very active, outdoorsy childhood (& a skiing accident 30 years ago), I'd torn all the cartilage out of my right hip. It was bone-on-bone & then became full of severe osteoarthritis. I'm so proud of how strong my body is & how well I've healed. I'm now truly bionic...& my nearest & dearest are pleased to not have to watch me limp around in pain anymore."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C85u8pqPlGS/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <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 style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C85u8pqPlGS/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Samantha Armytage (@sam_armytage)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Armytage extended her gratitude to the medical staff and her loved ones, adding a touch of humour by sharing a photo of herself with a bit of Endone, a pain relief medication. She also praised her surgeon, Dr Michael Solomon, highlighting that hip replacements are common in Australia, with approximately 54,000 performed each year.</p> <p>Her post quickly garnered support from friends and fans alike. Presenter Kylie Gillies suggested a celebratory purchase, writing, "I think this deserves a new pair of Jimmy Choos …just to kick up those old heels and new hip! Glad to hear it’s gone well x" Meanwhile, singer Ricki-Lee Coulter expressed her encouragement, saying, "You’ll be dancing in no time. Sending you love xxx"</p> <p>Fans also chimed in with well wishes and supportive messages. One commented, "Good luck with the recovery and welcome to the Hip New Hip Gals Club," while another noted, "Oh a bit young for that Sam. Good luck on your recovery."</p> <p>Recovery from hip replacement surgery can be a lengthy process, often requiring dedicated physiotherapy. However, with her positive outlook and the support of her community, Samantha Armytage is well on her way to a full recovery.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

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How often should you really weigh yourself?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-fuller-219993">Nick Fuller</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Few topics are more debated in health than the value of the humble bathroom scale. Some experts advocate daily self-weigh-ins to promote accountability for weight management, particularly when we’re following a diet and exercise program to lose weight.</p> <p>Others suggest ditching self-weigh-ins altogether, arguing they can trigger negative <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13679-015-0142-2">psychological responses and unhealthy behaviours</a> when we don’t like, or understand, the number we see on the scale.</p> <p>Many, like me, recommend using scales to weigh yourself weekly, even when we’re not trying to lose weight. Here’s why.</p> <h2>1. Weighing weekly helps you manage your weight</h2> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2588640/?tool=pmcentrez&amp;report=abstract">Research</a> confirms regular self-weighing is an effective weight loss and management strategy, primarily because it helps increase awareness of our current weight and any changes.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2588640/?tool=pmcentrez&amp;report=abstract">systematic review of 12 studies</a> found participants who weighed themselves weekly or daily over several months lost 1–3 BMI (body mass index) units more and regained less weight than participants who didn’t weight themselves frequently. The weight-loss benefit was evident with weekly weighing; there was no added benefit with daily weighing.</p> <p>Self-weigh-ins are an essential tool for weight management as we age. Adults <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23638485/">tend to gain weight</a> progressively <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8363190/">through middle age</a>. While the average weight gain is typically between <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938414001528">0.5–1kg per year</a>, this modest accumulation of weight can lead to obesity over time. Weekly weighing and keeping track of the results helps avoid unnecessary weight gain.</p> <p>Tracking our weight can also help identify medical issues early. Dramatic changes in weight can be an early sign of some conditions, including problems with our thyroid, digestion and diabetes.</p> <h2>2. Weekly weighing accounts for normal fluctuations</h2> <p>Our body weight can fluctuate within a single day and across the days of the week. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7192384/">Studies</a> show body weight fluctuates by 0.35% within the week and it’s typically higher after the weekend.</p> <p>Daily and day-to-day body weight fluctuations have several causes, many linked to our body’s water content. The more common causes include:</p> <p><strong>The type of food we’ve consumed</strong></p> <p>When we’ve eaten a dinner higher in carbohydrates, we’ll weigh more the next day. This change is a result of our bodies temporarily carrying more water. We <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25911631/">retain 3–4 grams of water</a> per gram of carbohydrate consumed to store the energy we take from carbs.</p> <p>Our water content also increases when we consume <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK50952/">foods higher in salt</a>. Our bodies try to maintain a balance of sodium and water. When the concentration of salt in our bloodstream increases, a mechanism is triggered to restore balance by retaining water to dilute the excess salt.</p> <p><strong>Our food intake</strong></p> <p>Whether it’s 30 grams of nuts or 65 grams of lean meat, everything we eat and drink has weight, which increases our body weight temporarily while we digest and metabolise what we’ve consumed.</p> <p>Our weight also tends to be lower first thing in the morning after our food intake has been restricted overnight and higher in the evening after our daily intake of food and drinks.</p> <p><strong>Exercise</strong></p> <p>If we weigh ourselves at the gym after a workout, there’s a good chance we’ll weigh less due to sweat-induced fluid loss. The amount of water lost varies depending on things like our workout intensity and duration, the temperature and humidity, along with our sweat rate and hydration level. On average, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4993146/">we lose 1 litre of sweat</a> during an hour of <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00421168">moderate-intensity exercise</a>.</p> <p><strong>Hormonal changes</strong></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/from-energy-levels-to-metabolism-understanding-your-menstrual-cycle-can-be-key-to-achieving-exercise-goals-131561">Fluctuations in hormones</a> within your menstrual cycle can also affect fluid balance. Women may experience <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3154522/">fluid retention</a> and temporarily gain 0.5–2kg of weight at this time. Specifically, the luteal phase, which represents the second half of a woman’s cycle, results in a shift of fluid from your blood plasma to your cells, and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3154522/">bloating</a>.</p> <p><strong>Bowel movements</strong></p> <p>Going to the bathroom can lead to small but immediate weight loss as waste is eliminated from the body. While the amount lost will vary, we generally eliminate <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1333426/">around 100 grams of weight</a> through our daily bowel movements.</p> <p>All of these fluctuations are normal, and they’re not indicative of significant changes in our body fat or muscle mass. However, seeing these fluctuations can lead to unnecessary stress and a fixation with our weight.</p> <h2>3. Weekly weighing avoids scale obsession and weight-loss sabotage</h2> <p>Weighing too frequently can create an obsession with the number on the scales and do more harm than good.</p> <p>Often, our reaction when we see this number not moving in the direction we want or expect is to further restrict our food intake or embark on fad dieting. Along with not being enjoyable or sustainable, fad diets also ultimately increase our weight gain rather than reversing it.</p> <p>This was confirmed in a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21829159/">long-term study</a> comparing intentional weight loss among more than 4,000 twins. The researchers found the likelihood of becoming overweight by the age of 25 was significantly greater for a twin who dieted to lose 5kg or more. This suggests frequent dieting makes us more susceptible to weight gain and prone to future weight gain.</p> <h2>So what should you do?</h2> <p>Weighing ourselves weekly gives a more accurate measure of our weight trends over time.</p> <p>Aim to weigh yourself on the same day, at the same time and in the same environment each week – for example, first thing every Friday morning when you’re getting ready to take a shower, after you’ve gone to the bathroom, but before you’ve drunk or eaten anything.</p> <p>Use the best quality scales you can afford. Change the batteries regularly and check their accuracy by using a “known” weight – for example, a 10kg weight plate. Place the “known” weight on the scale and check the measurement aligns with the “known” weight.</p> <p>Remember, the number on the scale is just one part of health and weight management. Focusing solely on it can overshadow other indicators, such as <a href="https://theconversation.com/can-you-be-overweight-and-healthy-182219">how your clothes fit</a>. It’s also essential to pay equal attention to how we’re feeling, physically and emotionally.</p> <p>Stop weighing yourself – at any time interval – if it’s triggering anxiety or stress, and get in touch with a health-care professional to discuss this.</p> <hr /> <p><em>At the Boden Group, Charles Perkins Centre, we are studying the science of obesity and running clinical trials for weight loss. You can <a href="https://redcap.sydney.edu.au/surveys/?s=RKTXPPPHKY">register here</a> to express your interest.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223864/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-fuller-219993">Nick Fuller</a>, Charles Perkins Centre Research Program Leader, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-often-should-you-really-weigh-yourself-223864">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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We finally know why some people got COVID while others didn’t

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marko-nikolic-1543289">Marko Nikolic</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kaylee-worlock-1543639">Kaylee Worlock</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a></em></p> <p>Throughout the pandemic, one of the key questions on everyone’s mind was why some people avoided getting COVID, while others caught the virus multiple times.</p> <p>Through a collaboration between University College London, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and Imperial College London in the UK, we set out to answer this question using the world’s first controlled <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-022-01780-9">“challenge trial” for COVID</a> – where volunteers were deliberately exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, so that it could be studied in great detail.</p> <p>Unvaccinated healthy volunteers with no prior history of COVID were exposed – via a nasal spray – to an extremely low dose of the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. The volunteers were then closely monitored in a quarantine unit, with regular tests and samples taken to study their response to the virus in a highly controlled and safe environment.</p> <p>For our <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-024-07575-x">recent study</a>, published in Nature, we collected samples from tissue located midway between the nose and the throat as well as blood samples from 16 volunteers. These samples were taken before the participants were exposed to the virus, to give us a baseline measurement, and afterwards at regular intervals.</p> <p>The samples were then processed and analysed using single-cell sequencing technology, which allowed us to extract and sequence the genetic material of individual cells. Using this cutting-edge technology, we could track the evolution of the disease in unprecedented detail, from pre-infection to recovery.</p> <p>To our surprise, we found that, despite all the volunteers being carefully exposed to the exact same dose of the virus in the same manner, not everyone ended up testing positive for COVID.</p> <p>In fact, we were able to divide the volunteers into three distinct infection groups (see illustration). Six out of the 16 volunteers developed typical mild COVID, testing positive for several days with cold-like symptoms. We referred to this group as the “sustained infection group”.</p> <p>Out of the ten volunteers who did not develop a sustained infection, suggesting that they were able to fight off the virus early on, three went on to develop an “intermediate” infection with intermittent single positive viral tests and limited symptoms. We called them the “transient infection group”.</p> <p>The final seven volunteers remained negative on testing and did not develop any symptoms. This was the “abortive infection group”. This is the first confirmation of abortive infections, which were previously <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-04186-8">unproven</a>. Despite differences in infection outcomes, participants in all groups shared some specific novel immune responses, including in those whose immune systems prevented the infection.</p> <p>When we compared the timings of the cellular response between the three infection groups, we saw distinct patterns. For example, in the transiently infected volunteers where the virus was only briefly detected, we saw a strong and immediate accumulation of immune cells in the nose one day after infection.</p> <p>This contrasted with the sustained infection group, where a more delayed response was seen, starting five days after infection and potentially enabling the virus to take hold in these volunteers.</p> <p>In these people, we were able to identify cells stimulated by a key antiviral defence response in both the nose and the blood. This response, called the “interferon” response, is one of the ways our bodies signal to our immune system to help fight off viruses and other infections. We were surprised to find that this response was detected in the blood before it was detected in the nose, suggesting that the immune response spreads from the nose very quickly.</p> <h2>Protective gene</h2> <p>Lastly, we identified a specific gene called HLA-DQA2, which was expressed (activated to produce a protein) at a much higher level in the volunteers who did not go on to develop a sustained infection and could hence be used as a marker of protection. Therefore, we might be able to use this information and identify those who are probably going to be protected from severe COVID.</p> <p>These findings help us fill in some gaps in our knowledge, painting a much more detailed picture regarding how our bodies react to a new virus, particularly in the first couple of days of an infection, which is crucial.</p> <p>We can use this information to compare our data to other data we are currently generating, specifically where we are “challenging” volunteers to other viruses and more recent strains of COVID. In contrast to our current study, these will mostly include volunteers who have been vaccinated or naturally infected – that is, people who already have immunity.</p> <p>Our study has significant implications for future treatments and vaccine development. By comparing our data to volunteers who have never been exposed to the virus with those who already have immunity, we may be able to identify new ways of inducing protection, while also helping the development of more effective vaccines for future pandemics. In essence, our research is a step towards better preparedness for the next pandemic.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233063/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marko-nikolic-1543289">Marko Nikolic</a>, Principal Research Fellow/Honorary consultant Respiratory Medicine, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kaylee-worlock-1543639">Kaylee Worlock</a>, Postdoc Research Fellow, Molecular and Cellular Biology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-finally-know-why-some-people-got-covid-while-others-didnt-233063">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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"Worst nightmare": Teen dies one day after flu diagnosis

<p>William Jones was complaining of a sore throat and cough last month and when his mum called the doctor, they were told that it was most likely the flu. </p> <p>However, the following morning when Rebecca Rollason went to check on her 16-year-old son, he was found unresponsive in his bed in their Wellington home. </p> <p>"We ask ourselves how what started as a sore throat, snotty nose and a cough on Tuesday to no longer with us three days later,"  the grieving mum told the <em>NZ Herald</em>. </p> <p>"No one understands, we don't know what happened... it feels like the worst nightmare that we cannot wake from."</p> <p>Rollason explained that her family have to "wait for results" in hopes of understanding what happened and how the teenager, who was barely sick, passed away so suddenly. </p> <p>"We just don’t understand how this can happen to a boy who was barely ever sick and was very healthy," she said.</p> <p> "It is an incredibly hard and devastating time for us."</p> <p>A family friend has helped set up a <a href="https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/rebecca-lost-her-son-william-last-friday" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fundraising page</a> to help relieve the financial pressure on her and William's two brothers while they grieve. </p> <p>"It is every parents worst nightmare and a shocking tragedy to lose a healthy child from a sudden and brief illness," a statement from the fundraising page read. </p> <p>"The money will help the family with funeral costs and ease Financial burden while they grieve and come to terms with Williams passing." </p> <p>On July 1 they shared an update on the fundraising page, saying: "Rebecca and family would like all to know that are incredibly grateful for all the support and kindness." </p> <p><em>Image: Givealittle </em></p> <p> </p>

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Hollywood star's heartbreaking health update

<p>Gena Rowlands's son has shared his mother's heartbreaking health battle, that is reminiscent of one of her most iconic movie character's similar health issue.</p> <p>The 94-year-old Golden Globe winner who portrayed an older version of Rachel McAdam’s character, Allie, in the 2004 film<em> The Notebook</em>, has been battling Alzheimer’s disease for the past five years.</p> <p>While discussing the film's 20 year anniversary, Nick Cassavetes, the director of the movie and Rowlands’ son, revealed his mother’s diagnosis. </p> <p>“I got my mum to play older Allie, and we spent a lot of time talking about Alzheimer’s and wanting to be authentic with it, and now, for the last five years, she’s had Alzheimer’s,” Cassavetes told <em><a href="https://ew.com/the-notebook-star-gena-rowlands-has-alzheimers-8668642">Entertainment Weekly</a></em> of Rowlands’ character, who also had dementia.</p> <p>“She’s in full dementia. And it’s so crazy — we lived it, she acted it, and now it’s on us.”</p> <p>Back in 2004, Rowlands — whose mother, actress Lady Rowlands, also suffered from the disease — explained why playing Allie was “particularly hard.”</p> <p>“This last one — The Notebook, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks — was particularly hard because I play a character who has Alzheimer’s,” she told <em><a href="https://www.oprah.com/spirit/gena-rowlands-aha-moment">O magazine</a></em>.</p> <p>“I went through that with my mother, and if Nick hadn’t directed the film, I don’t think I would have gone for it — it’s just too hard. It was a tough but wonderful movie.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: New Line Cinema/Demmie Todd/Warner Bros/Spring Creek/Kobal/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p>

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Is social media making you unhappy? The answer is not so simple

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melissa-humphries-584274">Melissa Humphries</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lewis-mitchell-266859">Lewis Mitchell</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a></em></p> <p>You may have seen headlines that link social media to sadness and depression. Social media use goes up, happiness goes down. But recent studies suggest those findings might not be so straightforward.</p> <p>Although it is true that people’s feelings of envy and depression are linked to high social media use, there is evidence to suggest social media use may not be <em>causing</em> that relationship. Instead, your mindset may be the biggest thing affecting how social media connects to your wellbeing.</p> <p>People who feel they are able to use social media, rather than social media “using them”, tend to gain more benefits from their online interactions.</p> <h2>Why do people use social media?</h2> <p>Social media covers a broad range of platforms: social networking, discussion forums, bookmarking and sharing content, disseminating news, exchanging media like photos and videos, and microblogging. These appeal to a wide range of users, from individuals of all ages through to massive businesses.</p> <p>For some, social media is a way to connect with people we may not otherwise see. In the United States, 39% of people say they <a href="https://www.americansurveycenter.org/research/the-state-of-american-friendship-change-challenges-and-loss">are friends with people they only interact with online</a>.</p> <p>For older people, this is especially important for increasing feelings of connectedness and wellbeing. Interestingly though, for older people, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563223004545">social media contact with family does not increase happiness</a>. Meanwhile, younger adults report <em>increased</em> happiness when they have more social media contact with family members.</p> <p>Teens, in particular, find social media most useful for <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2022/11/16/connection-creativity-and-drama-teen-life-on-social-media-in-2022/">deepening connections and building their social networks</a>.</p> <p>With social media clearly playing such an important role in society, many researchers have tried to figure out: does it make us happier or not?</p> <h2>Does social media make us happier?</h2> <p>Studies have taken a variety of approaches, including asking people directly through surveys or looking at the content people post and seeing how positive or negative it is.</p> <p>One survey study from 2023 showed that as individuals’ social media use increased, <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/372582895_The_Relationship_Between_Social_Media_Addiction_Happiness_and_Life_Satisfaction_in_Adults_Analysis_with_Machine_Learning_Approach">life satisfaction and happiness decreased</a>. Another found that <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0144929X.2023.2286529">less time on social media</a> was related to increases in work satisfaction, work engagement and positive mental health – so improved mental health and motivation at work.</p> <p>Comparing yourself to others on social media is connected to feelings of envy and depression. However, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9955439/">there is evidence</a> to suggest depression is the predictor, rather than the outcome, of both social comparison and envy.</p> <p>All this shows <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcmc/article/29/1/zmad048/7612379?login=false">the way you <em>feel</em> about social media matters</a>. People who see themselves using social media rather than “being used” by it, tend to gain benefits from social media and not experience the harms.</p> <p>Interviews with young people (15–24 years) using social media suggest that positive mental health among that age group was influenced by <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8933808/">three features</a>:</p> <ul> <li>connection with friends and their global community</li> <li>engagement with social media content</li> <li>the value of social media as an outlet for expression.</li> </ul> <p>There are also studies that look at the emotions expressed by more frequent social media users.</p> <p>The so-called “<a href="https://epjdatascience.springeropen.com/articles/10.1140/epjds/s13688-017-0100-1">happiness paradox</a>” shows that most people think their friends on social media appear happier than themselves. This is a <a href="https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3110025.3110027">seeming impossibility</a> that arises because of <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/srep04603">the mathematical properties</a> of how friendship networks work on social media.</p> <p>In one of our studies, Twitter content with recorded locations showed residents of cities in the United States that <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/figure?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0064417.g007">tweeted more tended to express less happiness</a>.</p> <p>On the other hand, in Instagram direct messages, happiness has been found to be <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20563051241229655">four times more prevalent than sadness</a>.</p> <h2>How does internet use in general affect our wellbeing?</h2> <p>Some of the factors associated with decreased mental health are not aligned with social media use alone.</p> <p><a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0963721419838244">One recent study</a> shows that the path to decreased wellbeing is, at least partially, connected to digital media use overall (rather than social media use specifically). This can be due to sleep disruption, reduced face-to-face social interaction or physical activity, social comparison, and cyberbullying. None of these exist for social media alone.</p> <p>However, social media platforms are known to be driven by recommendation algorithms that may send us down “rabbit holes” of the same type of (increasingly extreme) content. This can lead to a distorted view of the world and our place in it. The important point here is to maintain a diverse and balanced information diet online.</p> <p>Interestingly, interacting on social media is not the only thing affecting our mental state. <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0090315">Rainfall influnces</a> the emotional content of social media posts of both the user experiencing rain, and parts of their extended network (even if they don’t experience rain!).</p> <p>This suggests that how we feel is influenced by the emotions in the posts we see. The good news is that happy posts are the most influential, with each happy post encouraging close to two additional happy updates from a user’s friends.</p> <p>The secret to online happiness therefore may not be to “delete your account” entirely (which, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-018-0510-5">as we have found</a>, may not even be effective), but to be mindful about what you consume online. And if you feel like social media is starting to use you, it might be time to change it up a bit.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232490/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melissa-humphries-584274">Melissa Humphries</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lewis-mitchell-266859">Lewis Mitchell</a>, Professor of Data Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-adelaide-1119">University of Adelaide</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-social-media-making-you-unhappy-the-answer-is-not-so-simple-232490">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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Meet the 65-year-old bodybuilder committed to defying stereotypes

<div title="Page 1"> <div> <div> <div title="Page 1"> <div> <div> <div> <div title="Page 1"> <div> <div> <div title="Page 1"> <div> <div> <p>The adage that "age is just a number" could have been written for Jan Herdman, 65. </p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Jan has well and truly shattered the age stereotypes into smithereens by dominating the bodybuilding champions and winning 'Mrs Supranational Australia'. </p> <p>Jan Herdman is not your average 65-year-old. Jan is in fact: 65 years young, she's breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and proving that age is merely a number.</p> <p>In a remarkable display of strength, determination, and sheer grit, Jan has just received 1st place in the ICN Australia Bodybuilding Championship (awarded on May 4th 2024) in the over 60s category, along with securing 2nd place in the over 40s category and 3rd place in the ‘Novice Figures’ category.</p> <p>Jan’s triumphs don't end there; she also seized the prestigious title of ‘Mrs Supranational’ in the ‘Mrs of Australia Pageant’, held in Sydney in April 2024.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Jan's journey is not just about winning titles; it's about inspiring others to redefine their perceptions of aging. Embarking on her strength training journey to support others, and herself, in defeating age-related illnesses, Jan exemplifies the essence of ageing gracefully and living a fulfilling life at any age.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p>"I refuse to let age define me," says Jan Herdman. "Every day is an opportunity to challenge myself, push my limits, and inspire others to realise their full potential. Age should never be a barrier to pursuing your dreams."</p> <p>Jan's story is a testament to resilience, perseverance, and the power of the human spirit. Her relentless pursuit of excellence serves as a beacon of inspiration to women and men worldwide, encouraging them to embrace life's challenges with courage and tenacity.</p> <p>Jan actively leans into her credo; Having been through her own chronic health challenges and needing to restart life out on her own, Jan Herdman has become a powerhouse of inspiration and transformation to her fast-growing community.</p> <p>Jan watched her mother become frail and incapable of taking care of herself, and that set Jan off on a mission to change the trajectory of her own future and turn her health and life around. Jan’s story is one of total transformation in all aspects of her life.</p> <p>Jan is now a sought-after commentator on living a life with vitality at any age. Jan is an advocate for strength training as the starting point for a total life transformation to prevent age-related illnesses and mobility issues.</p> <p>Through popular demand Jan has created her own program coined The Ageless MethodTM which captures her proven model of transformation, for all levels at any age.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="page" title="Page 2"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The 12 Week ‘Transformer Program’ has just kicked off on 19th June 2024, and will recommence on 11 September 2024.</p> <p>The 6 Week ‘Kickstarter Program’ starts on 2 July 2024, then 10 September 2024, then 29 October 2024.</p> <p>Jan also offers on demand 1:1 coaching, as needed. More info here across all offerings here: <a href="https://www.ageless-transformations.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ageless-transformations.com</a></p> <p><em>Image credits: Supplied</em></p> <pre> </pre> </div> </div> </div>

Body

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Nat Barr shares scary cancer diagnosis

<p>Sunrise co-host Nat Barr has shared a recent personal health scare that underscores the importance of regular skin checks.</p> <p>Barr disclosed that doctors diagnosed her with skin cancer after a persistent “pimple” on her nose prompted her to seek medical advice.</p> <p>On Tuesday's <em>Sunrise </em>program, Barr detailed her experience, explaining how a seemingly innocuous blemish led to an unexpected and concerning diagnosis. “I’ve had this pimple on my nose, it’s been about three weeks. It keeps going up, down, up, down, won’t go away,” Barr shared. This irregularity convinced her to consult a dermatologist, who used advanced AI technology along with a Spectrascope to examine the lesion.</p> <p>The specialist diagnosed the 3mm lesion as cancerous, with Barr receiving a score of 7.4 on the test, where any score above seven is indicative of cancer. “That was so tiny, it was just a tiny little red thing,” Barr said, showing just how easily such a small detail could be overlooked.</p> <p>The dermatologist’s use of AI to analyse photos of Barr’s entire body further highlighted the cutting-edge methods now available in skin cancer detection. This technology can compare images over time to identify changes more accurately than the human eye, providing a powerful tool in early diagnosis and treatment.</p> <p>Following the diagnosis, Barr was prescribed an anti-cancer cream to treat the lesion and also underwent red light therapy, a treatment that selectively targets and kills cancer cells.</p> <p>Reflecting on her experience, Barr expressed how this health scare made her more aware of the importance of regular skin checks. “It’s just a good reminder for everyone," she urged, "remember to get your skin checked regularly."</p> <p>Despite the scare, Barr reassured her fans about her health. “The outlook for my health is fine,” she confirmed, noting that her next appointment is scheduled for Friday. In the meantime, she mentioned that the lesion is currently concealed with make-up. “I do the same process this Friday, and then it gets all crusty, and then it will be fine,” she added.</p> <p>Skin cancer, often underestimated, can start as something as small as a persistent pimple or a red spot. Early detection and treatment are vital, and advancements in technology now offer more precise and early diagnoses, potentially saving lives.</p> <p><em>Images: Sunrise</em></p>

Caring

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Aussies urged to claim their share of millions of unclaimed cash

<p>Aussies are being urged to claim their share of $577 million which is sitting unclaimed with Revenue NSW, with about $234 million of that designated as belonging to residents who have yet to claim it.</p> <p>During the last financial year, NSW Government returned more than $21.8 million in unclaimed funds to Aussies, setting a record in the process. </p> <p>The unclaimed funds are comprised of payments, refunds, unpresented cheques, dividends and other money that organisations cannot transfer to its rightful owners, sometimes due to something as simple as changed addresses or bank accounts.</p> <p>While $234 million is being held by the government for NSW residents who are known, the further $343 million is designated to those who live outside New South Wales or are currently unknown. </p> <p>For Sydney residents alone, approximately $85.4 million is currently waiting to be claimed by rightful owners. </p> <p>The average amount of unclaimed money owed on the register is $391, and more than $154 million has been claimed back from the government in the past decade.</p> <p>“Despite doing our best to give unclaimed money back to the people it’s owed to, we’re still seeing more money referred to us than people are claiming,” Chief Commissioner of State Revenue Scott Johnston said.</p> <p>“We want to make sure everyone knows about the unclaimed money register, so they can jump online, find out if any money is owed to them and undertake the process to get it back."</p> <p>“That way we can ensure more money is being returned to those it belongs to, rather than sitting with us for extended periods of time after enterprises and organisations pass it on.”</p> <p>You can find more information about the unclaimed funds, and search the register for your share on <a href="https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/unclaimed-money" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">Revenue NSW’s website</a>.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Why do I poo in the morning? A gut expert explains

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vincent-ho-141549">Vincent Ho</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p>No, you’re not imagining it. People really are more likely to poo in the morning, shortly after breakfast. Researchers have actually studied this.</p> <p>But why mornings? What if you tend to poo later in the day? And is it worth training yourself to be a morning pooper?</p> <p>To understand what makes us poo when we do, we need to consider a range of factors including our body clock, gut muscles and what we have for breakfast.</p> <p>Here’s what the science says.</p> <h2>So morning poos are real?</h2> <p>In a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1379343/">UK study</a> from the early 1990s, researchers asked nearly 2,000 men and women in Bristol about their bowel habits.</p> <p>The most common time to poo was in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1379343/pdf/gut00573-0122.pdf">early morning</a>. The peak time was 7-8am for men and about an hour later for women. The researchers speculated that the earlier time for men was because they woke up earlier for work.</p> <p>About a decade later, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16200717/">a Chinese study</a> found a similar pattern. Some 77% of the almost 2,500 participants said they did a poo in the morning.</p> <h2>But why the morning?</h2> <p>There are a few reasons. The first involves our <a href="https://theconversation.com/circadian-rhythm-nobel-what-they-discovered-and-why-it-matters-85072">circadian rhythm</a> – our 24-hour internal clock that helps regulate bodily processes, such as digestion.</p> <p>For healthy people, our internal clock means the muscular contractions in our colon follow <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19926812/">a distinct rhythm</a>.</p> <p>There’s minimal activity in the night. The deeper and more restful our sleep, the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4677652">fewer</a> of these muscle contractions we have. It’s one reason why we don’t tend to poo in our sleep.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/597362/original/file-20240530-21-v2gvrq.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/597362/original/file-20240530-21-v2gvrq.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/597362/original/file-20240530-21-v2gvrq.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=450&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/597362/original/file-20240530-21-v2gvrq.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=450&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/597362/original/file-20240530-21-v2gvrq.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=450&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/597362/original/file-20240530-21-v2gvrq.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=565&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/597362/original/file-20240530-21-v2gvrq.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=565&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/597362/original/file-20240530-21-v2gvrq.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=565&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="Diagram of digestive system including colon and rectum" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Your lower gut is a muscular tube that contracts more strongly at certain times of day.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="https://www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/illustration-healthcare-medical-education-drawing-chart-1984316789">Vectomart/Shutterstock</a></span></figcaption></figure> <p>But there’s increasing activity during the day. Contractions in our colon are most active in the morning after waking up and after any meal.</p> <p>One particular type of colon contraction partly controlled by our internal clock are known as “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1411356/">mass movements</a>”. These are powerful contractions that push poo down to the rectum to prepare for the poo to be expelled from the body, but don’t always result in a bowel movement. In healthy people, these contractions occur a few times a day. They are more frequent in the morning than in the evening, and after meals.</p> <p>Breakfast is also a trigger for us to poo. When we eat and drink our stomach stretches, which triggers the “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549888/">gastrocolic reflex</a>”. This reflex stimulates the colon to forcefully contract and can lead you to push existing poo in the colon out of the body. We know the gastrocolic reflex is strongest in the morning. So that explains why breakfast can be such a powerful trigger for a bowel motion.</p> <p>Then there’s our morning coffee. This is a very <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2338272/">powerful stimulant</a> of contractions in the sigmoid colon (the last part of the colon before the rectum) and of the rectum itself. This leads to a bowel motion.</p> <h2>How important are morning poos?</h2> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1846921/pdf/brmedj02601-0041.pdf">Large international</a> <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20205503/">surveys</a> show the vast majority of people will poo between three times a day and three times a week.</p> <p>This still leaves a lot of people who don’t have regular bowel habits, are regular but poo at different frequencies, or who don’t always poo in the morning.</p> <p>So if you’re healthy, it’s much more important that your bowel habits are comfortable and regular for you. Bowel motions <em>do not</em> have to occur once a day in the morning.</p> <p>Morning poos are also not a good thing for everyone. <a href="https://gut.bmj.com/content/61/Suppl_2/A318.1">Some people</a> with <a href="https://theconversation.com/explainer-what-is-irritable-bowel-syndrome-and-what-can-i-do-about-it-102579">irritable bowel syndrome</a> feel the urgent need to poo in the morning – often several times after getting up, during and after breakfast. This can be quite distressing. It appears this early-morning rush to poo is due to overstimulation of colon contractions in the morning.</p> <h2>Can you train yourself to be regular?</h2> <p>Yes, for example, to help treat constipation using the gastrocolic reflex. Children and elderly people with constipation can use the toilet immediately after eating breakfast <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK549888/">to relieve symptoms</a>. And for adults with constipation, drinking coffee regularly can help stimulate the gut, particularly in the morning.</p> <p>A disturbed circadian rhythm can also lead to irregular bowel motions and people more likely to poo in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7147411/">evenings</a>. So better sleep habits can not only help people get a better night’s sleep, it can help them get into a more regular bowel routine.</p> <p>Regular physical activity and avoiding <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2787735/">sitting down a lot</a> are also important in <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16028436/">stimulating bowel movements</a>, particularly in people with constipation.</p> <p>We know <a href="https://theconversation.com/nervous-tummy-why-you-might-get-the-runs-before-a-first-date-106925">stress</a> can contribute to irregular bowel habits. So minimising stress and focusing on relaxation <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5193306/">can help</a> bowel habits become more regular.</p> <p>Fibre from fruits and vegetables also <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/665565/">helps</a> make bowel motions more regular.</p> <p>Finally, ensuring <a href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-what-causes-constipation-114290">adequate hydration</a> helps minimise the chance of developing constipation, and helps make bowel motions more regular.</p> <h2>Monitoring your bowel habits</h2> <p>Most of us consider pooing in the morning to be regular. But there’s a wide variation in normal so don’t be concerned if your poos don’t follow this pattern. It’s more important your poos are comfortable and regular for you.</p> <p>If there’s a major change in the regularity of your bowel habits that’s concerning you, see your GP. The reason might be as simple as a change in diet or starting a new medication.</p> <p>But sometimes this can signify an important change in the health of your gut. So your GP may need to arrange further investigations, which could include blood tests or imaging.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/229624/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vincent-ho-141549">Vincent Ho</a>, Associate Professor and clinical academic gastroenterologist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/western-sydney-university-1092">Western Sydney University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-do-i-poo-in-the-morning-a-gut-expert-explains-229624">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Body

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"Lucky to be here": Gordon Ramsay reveals brutal injury after bike crash

<p>Gordon Ramsay has been left shaken after a bicycle crash left him in need of trauma surgery. </p> <p>The celebrity chef took to social media on Sunday to tell fans that he had been in an accident while biking in Connecticut US early last week.</p> <p>"This week I had a really bad accident while riding my bike in Connecticut. I'm doing ok and did not break any bones or suffer any major injuries but I am a bit bruised up looking like a purple potato," he wrote in the caption of the one minute-clip. </p> <p>In the video, he said that the accident "shook" him and added" Honestly, I'm lucky to be here.'</p> <p>Ramsay showed the horrific bruise covering his torso and stressed on the importance of wearing a helmet. </p> <p>"Those incredible trauma surgeons, doctors, nurses, who looked after me this week, they were amazing but honestly you've got to wear a helmet," he said.</p> <p>"I don't care how short the journey is, I don't care [about] the fact that these helmets cost money, but they're crucial. Even with the kids, or a short journey."</p> <p>He also shared a before and after photo of his cycling gear, with parts of his helmet broken and his clothing ripped. </p> <p>"Now, I'm lucky to be standing here. I'm in pain, it's been a brutal week, and I'm sort of getting through it," he said. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" 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);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C8PYfVNxxFC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <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> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <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 style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C8PYfVNxxFC/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Gordon Ramsay (@gordongram)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The comment section was flooded with messages of support and well-wishes from concerned fans. </p> <p>"I thought it might have been a small crash but my god that bruise says otherwise! Glad you’re doing okay," wrote one fan. </p> <p>"The way my heart sank when you lifted your shirt," added another.</p> <p>"The world needs you chef!! Beyond happy to hear you are going to be okay, and thank God for that helmet! Happy Father's Day and speedy recovery goat!!"</p> <p>"Glad you're ok and hope you heal up quick!" added another. </p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p> <p> </p>

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