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In Depth Articles

What is leptospirosis?

July 24, 2019

Recently reported cases of the often fatal bacterial infection leptospirosis in dogs in Sydney have raised the issue of animal diseases that also affect humans.
This zoonotic disease is spread by rats and other rodents. However, this latest cluster in dogs has not been accompanied by human cases in the Sydney …

Non-insulin injectables: What GPs need to know

Incretins are hormones released by the intestine that regulate many metabolic pathways, including glucose control. Incretin hormones were discovered over one hundred years ago.
GLP-1 receptor agonists augment the incretin effect to improve glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes.
The average HbA1c drop due to these medications is over 1%, …

NOACs – surgery and everything else

If you work in a truly general general practice you will no doubt be familiar with this scenario. The patient on a NOAC who is going for a dental procedure, cataract operation or arthroscopy.
Do they need to stop their NOAC? And if so, when and for how long?
Often there are more …

WHO can take what contraceptive

July 17, 2019

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed an app that is sure to prove valuable to health professionals who manage sexual and reproductive health as part of their clinical practice.
The ‘Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use’ app will help clinicians recommend safe, effective and acceptable contraception methods for women with …

The human microbiome is a treasure trove waiting to be unlocked

Bacteria are at the centre of all life forms on planet earth and are the essential building blocks that make living organisms the way they are.
Both the mitochondrion — found in most organisms, which generates energy in the cell — and the chloroplast — the solar energy-harvester located in plants …

Physician burnout: Why legal and regulatory systems may need to step in

July 10, 2019

A career as a physician has traditionally been considered to be among the best vocations that talented students can pursue. That may no longer be the case. All too many doctors report that they are unhappy, frustrated and even prepared to leave the profession. That should worry all of us. …

Pharmacogenomics in general practice

Despite potential savings of more than $1 billion annually, awareness of pharmacogenomic tests among Australian prescribers is low and national guidelines for their use have not been developed. This void contributes directly to the continued prescribing of ineffective medications, unacceptably high rates of adverse drug reactions and associated personal and …

The effect of sugar substitutes on diabetes and weight loss

July 03, 2019

Wandering through the grocery store, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the numerous brands and health claims on the dozens of sugar substitutes. It can be particularly confusing for those with diabetes or pre-diabetes who must keep their blood sugar in check and control their weight.
With the growing diabetes …

Listeria protection

These days the first question most GPs get asked, after confirming a wanted first pregnancy is what does the woman need to take or eat, and, importantly what should she avoid.
It gets tricky doesn’t it? If you avoided  everything that is said to potentially cause harm (according to the world …

Alcohol – the ignored breast cancer risk factor

Drinking alcohol has been proven to increase the risk of developing breast cancer in over 100 studies, but both the general public and health professionals continue to ignore the issue.
According to UK researchers, alcohol use is now estimated to be a major causative factor in between 5% to 11% of …

Maternity Matters

June 26, 2019

This is one of those resources you will wish you would have discovered earlier.
Maternity Matters (https://maternity-matters.com.au/) is a website developed and largely authored by well-known Brisbane GP Dr Wendy Burton.
As the name suggests it is reservoir of information related to pregnancy and is aimed chiefly at the general public but …

An uncommon fungal infection from farm animals

Trichophyton verrucosum is a cosmopolitan zoophilic dermatophyte. The normal host for this organism is cattle and occasionally horses. Human infection is acquired through direct contact with these animals or contaminated fomites, usually following minor trauma to the skin.

Figure 1. Case 4 developed lesion after contact with beef cattle
To review cases …