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A Bitter Pill for Arthritis

There is some question over the benefits of some anti-arthritic medications.  While there is much subjective evidence to the effectiveness of many medications, there are many questions about their long term benefits and if they really do work?

A recent study into the effectiveness of paracetamol in treating arthritis suggests that it is of only limited value. The main treatment prescribed is non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). NSAIDs in the long term, show greater mortality (death rate) than patients not taking them. They cause fluid retention, increase blood pressure and increased kidney damage. So what are the alternatives?

Read more: Arthritis


National Nutrition Week

Did you know that 95% of all Australians do not eat enough fruit and vegetables!

Eat bright and feel bright!

It is the bright and colourful fruit and vegetables that deliver the right nutrition. If there isn't colour on your plate then you aren't getting proper nutrition.

Do the rainbow! RedGreen,Orange and Yellow fruit for the correct spectrum of nutrition.

Read more: Nutrition

Trade Deal


Robb, Don't "Cave in" to the US or no more drugs for the needy?

We could end up paying hundreds of millions more for drugs if United States trade negotiators get their way. United States negotiators want 12 years of exclusivity and extended protection for cancer therapy drugs in order to encourage innovation.  The issue has pitted the United States, which has argued for longer protection, against Australia and other delegations who say such measures would strain national healthcare budgets and keep life-saving medicines from patients who cannot afford them.

Read more: Trade Deal


Tetanus is a common infectious disease caused by clostridium bacteria. The organism enters the body through any open wounds, the bacterium then produces an extremely powerful toxin that paralyses muscles.
The tetanus bacteria live naturally in the soil and animal faeces but can survive many years dormant in the soil. Tetanus commonly occurs in those who are never or are improperly vaccinated; the first signs are a jaw stiffness, “lockjaw”. As the condition worstens there may be stiffness in the neck, difficulty swallowing, headache, fever, chills, muscle spasms and general deteriation. There may be an inability to urinate and prosuse sweating - hospitalisation is urgent.
Tetanus can be contacted prior to birth if the mother is infected. The current schedule for tetanus is part of a DTP or a combined dPT,polio and hepatitis vaccine; it is due at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, dTP with polio at 4 years and a dTP at around 12-15 years.  Regular vaccination is essential for all persons over the age of 50 years that have not had one in the last 10 years. You are advised to have one every 10 years or 5 years if travelling overseas.
Check with your local GP or Health centre if you are unsure.

Whooping Cough


Whooping Cough, also known as pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs and airways. people of all ages can contract the disease, but it is most severe in infants under the age of 5 years who have not been vaccinated. Babies are especially at high risk of developing long term brain damage from whooping cough, because they are often unable to breathe properly during the coughing spasms. Whooping cough, although only rarely fatal, can often cause serious disability.


The highly contagious whooping cough is spread by direct contact or by inhaling infected particles of the pertussis bacteria. Sneezing and coughing release vast quantities of these infectious droplets. There is a very high risk of catching whooping cough from someone in the same household if they have not been vaccinated recently. The incubation time is usually just over a week or more, so symptoms can be delayed.


The early diagnosis of whooping cough is difficult as it may present symptoms similar to influenza or bronchitis with its cold like effects. The disease progresses from a short dry cough into a more severe cough or coughing fits with the characteristic “whooping” noise (onomatopoeia) as the sufferer makes as they try to suck in air. Older children and adults may not develop the whooping sound, even so they should exclude all contact with babies and infants until they are cough free.


Immediately after a coughing fit the infant may be pale even bluish from lack of oxygen or may even vomit. Hospitalisation may be necessary. Unfortunately some of the complications from whooping cough can be pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage and long term lung damage.


Recovery from whooping cough can often be slow; it may even take up to fully develop and it might take you up to 3 months to fully recover. An after effect of whooping cough can be an increased susceptibility to colds for the next 12 months. Hence all adults with whooping cough should be excluded from contact with infants.


Hospitalisation is often necessary for infants. Infants with whooping cough need ongoing supervision. Blood tests and mucus tests may be necessary for diagnosis. Even with antibiotic treatment whooping cough patients may still be contagious for 5 days after the start of the course.


Prevention of whooping cough can be done through immunisation with the dTP vaccination and generally lasts 5 years. Sometimes mild reactions to the vaccination can occur, including mild fever, but the risk of contracting and spreading pertussis with its life threatening complications is far worse than a risk of mild side effects. Immunisation is available at your GP , health clinic or vaccination station (subject to seasonal availability).