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In Depth Articles

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

April 27, 2016

“The term ‘Vitamin B12’ is usually restricted to cyanocobalamin, which is the most chemically stable and unnatural form of cobalamin, but Vitamin B12 refers to all potentially biologically active cobalamins.”1

Vitamin B12 and folate are cofactors in metabolic processes to do with DNA synthesis in the human body.2  Recommended daily requirements are …

Vaccination Objection Rates Aren’t Skyrocketing

April 19, 2016

There has always been a group of people who reject vaccination. They were seen 200 years ago when Edward Jenner developed the smallpox vaccine and they persist today.
But, in recent years, commentators have lamented the apparent growth of this phenomenon. Australians have been warned about a sixfold rise in vaccine …

Pregnancy, Domestic Violence and Reproductive Coercion

The correlation between domestic violence and unplanned and unwanted pregnancy is well established with unintended pregnancies being two to almost four times more likely to be associated with intimate partner violence than planned pregnancies.[i], [ii],[iii]  Women are also at greater risk of violence from intimate partners during pregnancy, or after …

Fighting Over Fatigue

April 14, 2016

How can you do medical research on chronic fatigue syndrome when divisions between patients, doctors and researchers are almost as chronic and painful as the disease itself? Virginia Gewin reports on new hopes of reconciliation.
In the summer of 1989, Leonard Jason fell ill with the worst sore throat of his …

End of Life Care: Proactive Clinical Management of Older Australians in the Community

March 23, 2016

In Australia today most people live longer with more comorbidities and die an expected death from chronic progressive conditions such as dementia, cancer and frailty syndromes.1 General practitioners (GPs) have an essential role in caring for these patients and proactively planning their end of life care. A framework utilising a …

Vulvas, Periods and Leaks: Women Need the Right Words to Seek Help for Conditions ‘Down There’

March 22, 2016

I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities, and interests are different for physiological reasons.
So said Tony Abbott when he was a university student, reflecting the historical view that …

DHEA Supplementation: What are the Benefits?


Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) is a steroid. Approximately 20% of DHEA-S is produced by the ovaries and 80% by the adrenal glands. Serum levels peak around the third decade and then decline with age. DHEA supplementation has been proposed to improve memory, improve quality of life, improve immunity, prevent osteoporosis, increase …

What Happens to your Body When you Use Ice?

The drug “ice” is a type of methamphetamine, a stimulant, and is also known as “crystal meth”, “shabu”, “glass” and “P”. It is commonly smoked or injected (onset within several seconds) but may be ingested orally (onset within thirty minutes) or snorted (onset within five minutes).
In Australia, good quality crystalline …

What Does Concussion Do to the Brain?

March 10, 2016

News that actor Will Smith will boycott the Oscars has overshadowed promotional coverage of his latest film, Concussion, which examines the effects of repeated head injury.

In the film, Smith plays the real-life neuropathologist Bennet Omalu, who first discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of professional American football players. …

How is the Mediterranean Diet Beneficial?

The Mediterranean diet that is now advocated by health professionals and dietitians for good health has been adapted from eating patterns once common in Southern Greece and Southern Italy in the early 1960s.1  At this time, diet-related diseases such as atherosclerosis and certain cancers and chronic diseases that were affected …

Why Women See Their GP More Than Men

March 01, 2016

Women go to the doctor more often than men, particularly in their reproductive years, between the ages of 15 and 44. This difference is partly due to management of gynaecological and reproductive issues.
Because of the frequency of visits, and the sensitive nature of many of these, it’s important a woman …

Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms is required for patients who are known to have an existing aneurysm.  However, Australian guidelines are not so clear regarding screening of high risk, asymptomatic individuals who have normal clinical examinations. In particular, overseas guidelines (but not Australian ones) are specific about the indications for …