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Flowers of Remembrance
According to the Australian War Memorial website, the 25th of April was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916. Even then it was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services.

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Kicking goals for men’s health?
International Men’s Health Week (IMHW) is celebrated in June each year, with the aim of increasing community awareness of men’s health issues. Too often, it seems, the topic of men’s health is confined to discussion of conditions such as erectile dysfunction, prostate problems or male pattern baldness, while overlooking diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer.

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Winning the battle against haemorrhoids
No time is convenient to suffer with haemorrhoids; and how many emperors today are similarly discomforted is hard to say, but Napoleon had been all day in the saddle, and any horse rider would surely say having haemorrhoids is not much fun. The reality is, of course, having haemorrhoids is no fun for anyone – it’s a very sensitive issue in more ways than one.

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Falling body, failing brain
It’s commonly known that falls are a leading cause of injury resulting in hospitalisation, but as Nick Rushworth points out, it’s less well known that falls are also a major cause of what is called “traumatic brain injury” or TBI. The impact on both the individual with a brain injury and their family is enormous, and according to Brain Injury Australia, it’s an impact that is little understood by the community.

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The trouble with travel
Statistics show that the likelihood of experiencing a travel-related illness while overseas is almost 50%. Despite this, travel health is largely ignored. More than 240 years ago, Captain James Cook was sailing across the Tasman towards Botany Bay. He kept his crew healthy with plenty of fresh vegetables and lemon juice in the diet. And while scurvy shouldn\'t be a problem these days on a quick plane trip from Australia, Captain Cook could certainly give us some pointers on how to prepare for an extended time away from home.

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Keep happy, avoid headaches
A headache is something that almost all of us experience at some time. In fact, studies have shown that more than 30% of Australians have a headache at least once a month, and about 5% of our population gets a headache on a daily basis.

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Some good health gift ideas
The original gifts of Christmas were reported to be gold, frankincense and myrrh – perhaps indicative of health wealth and happiness, but not necessarily in that order. In any event these items are not likely to be on too many shopping lists today. Just about anyone will benefit from the gift of a Medic Alert bracelet or necklet; but it will be especially helpful for those people with food, drug, chemical or insect allergies; people with an implant such as a pacemaker; people with conditions such as diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s or Parkinson’s disease; or people with special needs or on special medication.

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Dealing with dementia
Dementia is a condition that directly affects more than 250,000 Australians – a number which is expected to climb to nearly a million within 40 years. As yet there is no cure for dementia; and indeed the way our brain and nervous system works is not yet fully understood. All the more remarkable then, that it was the German neurologist, Alois Alzheimer, born nearly 150 years ago who first identified and gave his name to a condition that has now become so common in the developed world.

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Flower power to combat cancer
The good news is that while cancer is on the increase, death rates are actually falling. More than half of all cancers can be successfully treated. Not surprisingly, early diagnosis and treatment is critical. (Check out the Cancer Council Australia website for a list of early warning signs). Excluding non-melanoma skin cancers, the most common cancers in Australia are prostate (actually the most common), colorectal (bowel), breast, melanoma and lung cancer.

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Heading off head lice
It’s about this time school-age children will be meeting old friends and making some new friends too. The good news is that if you or your children have head lice, there are simple, safe and effective strategies to send them on their way. Various shampoos, lotions, cream rinses and conditioners are available.

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Caring for carers – it’s critically important
Almost certainly, at some time in our lives, we’ll have to look after the needs – usually the health needs – of someone else. That person will probably be a friend or member of the family. Quite often that time for caring might be just a few days; perhaps even a few weeks. However, occasionally care is required for years; even a lifetime.

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Cycling and recycling drug free
Now, with greater awareness of environmental issues, recycling has once again become an important part of our more modern society. National Recycling Week was established by Planet Ark 15 years ago and now has a permanent place on the calendar of Australia-wide events during the second week of November each year. However, some things should never be recycled, nor should they end up on the rubbish dump. On top of the list of these non-recyclable products is medicines. Keeping old medicines can be a health risk, and disposing of unwanted medicines poses a risk to the environment.

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HIV/AIDS - getting to zero
One of the themes for World AIDS Day is “getting to zero”. The realisation of that aim seems a long way off, but the latest report from UNAids (the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS) indicated a significant decline in new infections worldwide amongst both adults and children and an increasing number of people on antiretrovirals (ARVs) – the medicines used to suppress the virus and prevent the progression of the disease.

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Good health gift ideas
For many people, Christmas has deep religious significance; for others, it’s simply a time to relax and enjoy a few days off work. But for almost everyone, this time of year has traditionally become one of celebration. Throughout many societies it is commonplace to exchange gifts or simply ‘season’s greetings’, and to express sentiments of peace and goodwill. Wishes of good health usually accompany greetings at this time of year; so, perhaps some healthy gift ideas could be worth a thought as well.

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Vaccination – give it your best shot in 2016
No parent would knowingly put their child’s life at risk; however, according to leading scientists and medical specialists, this is what is happening as a result of misleading and inaccurate claims by an anti-vaccine campaign group.

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Minimising medicine costs
Death and taxes aside, anticipating the future is an impossible task. Nevertheless, history will often give us a clue as to what is to come. And so, we’ve come to expect that each January there will be an increase in the cost of Government subsidised pharmaceutical benefit (PBS) prescriptions.

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Cold sores – not so cool
To most people cold sores might seem to be a comparatively trivial condition; but if you are one of the thousands of people who suffer with cold sores you no doubt find them annoying beyond belief.

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Bowel cancer is a deadly reality
Cartoons of the 18th and 19th centuries typically depicted the gout sufferer to be an obese man who had clearly consumed too much alcohol. The condition was also then known as \"the disease of kings\" or \"the rich man\'s disease\"; the implication being that gout was an unfortunate side effect of living rather too well, and not so wisely.

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Breastfeeding
The rate of breastfeeding is a worldwide issue. On 1 May 2012, UNICEF issued a statement of concern about the major declines in breastfeeding rates across East Asia in relation to deteriorating infant and child health. One of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) project goals is to reduce child mortality. It has been reported in 65% of the world’s infant population aged one year or less, only 35% are exclusively breastfed between birth and four months of age.

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Cancer is now our biggest killer
According to the Australian War Memorial website, the 25th of April was officially named ANZAC Day in 1916. Even then it was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services.

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Coping with the physical consequences of the festive season


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Medicines and Driving
During the silly season most people will consider their alcohol consumption and how it may affect their driving. However, many people don’t realise that medicines can also affect driving....

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Fabry disease
As the abnormal storage of this fatty compound increases with time, the channels of these vessels become narrowed, leading to decreased blood flow and decreased nourishment of the tissues normally supplied by these vessels. This abnormal process occurs in blood vessels throughout the body, particularly affecting vessels in the skin, kidneys, heart, brain and nervous system.

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Getting your teeth into good health
The once controversial issue of fluoridation of water now has broad national support. More than 70% of the Australian population has access to artificially fluoridated drinking water consistent with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. And, since the 1960s and 70s when this oral health strategy was introduced, the incidence of dental caries (tooth decay) in Australia has been significantly reduced.

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Hay fever can really get up your nose
Rhinitis and especially nasal congestion can also be caused by certain medicines. It’s not really an allergic reaction, as in hay fever, but the symptoms can be similarly annoying. Amongst possible suspects are hormone products (such as oral contraceptives), blood pressure lowering medicines and eye drops designed to lower the pressure of glaucoma.

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Healthy travelling
Thanks to a fairly strong Australian dollar and our well known sense of adventure, more and more Australians are travelling overseas, often to exotic and remote locations. As the number of Australians travelling overseas increases, so do the number of travellers who become ill, sometimes fatally.

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International Day of People with Disability
Disabilities range from relatively minor to severe. Approximately 3.4 million Australians have a physical disability, while more than 700,000 Australians have an intellectual impairment. One in six Australians is affected by hearing loss while Vision Australia estimates there are currently 330,000 people in Australia who are blind or have low vision.

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Keeping your medicines safe and secure
The gentle temperate weather conditions that usually prevail around Australia during spring are just a dim distant memory. The summer extremes this year have provided both widespread fires and floods, often with disastrous results.

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Man Maintenance
It’s fair to say that women appear to have biological advantages over men; women seem to have a stronger immune system; and the hormone oestrogen protects against heart disease and stroke – at least until after the menopause.

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Men\'s health in the spotlight
This is not only seen anecdotally, but official data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) highlights that men are more likely than women to engage in risky behaviours, and they have a higher incidence than women of many health conditions. Men are also more likely to die from those conditions.

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Mental health awareness
Mental Health Week also encourages people to seek help, or for family and friends to encourage people to seek help, when necessary. There are many highly trained professionals who specialise in mental health. General practitioners (GPs) are able to treat and refer patients as appropriate.

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Need more sleep? You must be dreaming
James Cook was widely acknowledged as the greatest explorer of the 18th century; but this reputation was not only due to his navigational skills; he was also well recognised for his ability to keep his crew fit and healthy for the duration of long voyages - no mean feat at the time. Cook carried good provisions including citrus fruits, and it is likely his decision to do so was, at least in part, encouraged by another James - Dr James Lind.

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Persisting with pain management
It doesn’t seem all that long ago that if you saw the word shingles you’d most likely think of thin pieces of wood or slate that overlap to cover a roof. But, as a roofing material, shingles are now seldom used; more often we recognise shingles as the common term to describe a very painful and irritating rash of small blisters, usually occurring on just one side of the body.

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Taking the heat out of healthcare costs
There is usually a lot of heat in discussions about the cost and availability of health services. Already this year there has been lively debate following the suggestion that government (and therefore taxpayer) expenditure could be reduced if there was to be a surcharge on GP visits, or even attendance at hospital outpatient departments.

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Taking the stigma out of Parkinson\'s
The popularity of the Michael J Fox television series, in which he openly addresses the effects of living and working with Parkinson’s, has increased awareness of this disease and how it affects sufferers and those around them. To further raise public knowledge about the disease, World Parkinson’s Day will be held on 11 April with the aim of raising awareness of Parkinson\'s disease and how it affects individuals, families and the wider spectrum of the community.

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Teenagers and alcohol - an unhealthy combination
Along with the beginning of every new school year, we can almost guarantee we’ll get a new wave of head lice infestations. Sucking blood from a human scalp is the most popular pastime of Pediculus humanus capitis (that’s the official name for a head louse). In fact, sucking blood is about the only thing the little louse really does.

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The modern pharmacist
Walk into a modern pharmacy and the picture is likely to be very different. In some cases the smiling face of your friendly local pharmacist may in fact be the first to greet you. This week we celebrate World Pharmacists Day on 25 September 2015 and what better opportunity to reflect on the important role of the 21st century pharmacist: ‘your partner in health’.

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War stories
The spectacular international success of the stage show War Horse, based on the 1982 children\'s novel by Michael Morpurgo, has raised awareness of the extent of the role of horses in World War I. Records indicate that more than a million horses were sent to the battlefields from the Britain; of this number just 65,000 returned.

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Making sure we’re wise about medicines
Medication misadventure is estimated to be responsible for up to a third of all unplanned hospital admissions among older Australians. According to NPS Medicinewise CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes, half of these problems with medicines could be prevented. These emergency admissions are related to the incorrect use of medicines – too much, too little, interactions or side effects.

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WARREN

PHARMACIST / MANAGER

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