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In Depth Articles

The case of the PPI and missing magnesium

April 26, 2017

Unsteadiness when walking and light-headedness are perhaps not uncommon symptoms in an 81 year old.
But in a case study, published in the latest issue of Australian Prescriber these were the first signs of a very serious medication side effect.
Doctors from the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane, outlined the case of …

Obesity – what really works

Obesity needs to be thought of as a chronic disease for which we should have a structured approach to managing much like diabetes, says Dr Georgia Rigas, A Sydney GP with a special interest in obesity.
Speaking at the recent National Obesity Forum in Sydney, Dr Rigas said that developing chronic …

Seeking Herbal Help For Hot Flushes

April 19, 2017

If you see a female friend or colleague sitting in front of a desk fan in winter while everyone else is shivering in sweaters, chances are she is having a hot flush, courtesy of the menopause.
Hot flushes and night sweats are the most common symptoms of the female reproductive milestone. …

Not Lyme Disease. Then What?

There’s no doubt that tick bites can cause illness in humans. But exactly what illnesses and in what areas here in Australia has been the subject of much debate in recent years.
A recent review published in the MJA, provides a neat summary of the current state of play with regard …

Your child is obese..

April 12, 2017

Raising the issue of obesity with overweight children and their parents is a challenge for most GPs. Especially when balancing this, with concerns about creating body image issues and potentially triggering eating disorders.
The practical aspects of meeting this challenge were the most common subject of questions to obesity experts at …

Kids’ Quick-Wee success

April 11, 2017

Australian paediatricians have now validated their quick and easy method of collecting urine samples from babies and infants in a study involving more 350 children.
The randomised study published in the BMJ, the Victorian doctors proved that simply applying gauze soaked in cold fluid to the suprapubic area of a baby …

Cytomegalovirus – the biggest infectious threat to pregnant women

April 04, 2017

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus transmitted from person to person via body fluids like urine or saliva. For people with a healthy immune system, CMV is likely to cause no more than a temporary fever or headache. But when a pregnant woman is infected, the results can be far more …


Systemic lupus erythematosus is a tricky disease. Yes we know it is an autoimmune condition that can affect a range of different systems in the body from the skin and joints to the kidneys and the nervous system.
And yes we know that, if left untreated the disease can lead to potentially …

Knee replacement: last resort only

March 28, 2017

Contemplating joint replacement surgery for that dodgy knee? You might want to think twice, according to US researchers after their study showed the procedure didn’t necessarily do much to improve quality of life.
The study, published in the BMJ (1) analysed data from the Osteoarthritis Initiative which involved almost 4500 people …

Measles – would you recognise it?

It has been in the news everywhere. Two children and an adult in NSW have recently been diagnosed with measles.
Having presented at a number of health facilities prior to receiving their diagnosis, it would seem hundreds of fellow patients may now be at risk. The alarmist headlines follow similar cases …

Bottled Sunshine Protects Against Colds

March 21, 2017

Vitamin D supplements protect against acute respiratory infections, according to a UK study published in the BMJ. (1)
The meta-analysis of 25 randomised controlled trials involving almost 11000 participants, aged 0 to 95 years, found a significant overall protective effect of vitamin D supplementation against acute respiratory infections, with the number …

A Quick Reminder: Review Drugs Before Pregnancy.

March 15, 2017

General practitioners will be well aware of the need to review the use of drugs in pregnant women. Some drugs can potentially harm the developing baby and cause abnormalities of structure (congenital malformations) or function (disturbances of growth and development). Common drugs which can potentially cause serious fetal problems include …