Health Check: why do we crave comfort food in winter?

Megan Lee, Southern Cross University and Jacqui Yoxall, Southern Cross University It’s winter and many of us find ourselves drawn to bowls of cheesy pasta, oozing puddings, warming soups, and hot chocolate with marshmallows. These and other comfort foods can make us feel good. But why? And why do we crave them in winter and […]

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Health check: What is Anemia?

Anemia can be described as a reduction in the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. This is usually caused by a decrease in the levels of red blood cells. This causes a reduction in the ratio of the volume of RBC and a general decrease in hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is a protein that is responsible for transporting […]

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Health Check: do joint and muscle aches get worse in the cold?

Andrew Lavender, Curtin University The winter chill is often associated with an increase in aches and pains for many older people, particularly in the joints, but also in the muscles. Some recent studies have shown an increase in general aches and pain in older men and women, and in particular a correlation between joint pain […]

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WHAT MAKES COCAINE SO ADDICTIVE AND DANGEROUS?

Cocaine is a psychoactive alkaloid of the coca plant; it was originally used for local surgeries as an anaesthetic but has now become a recreational drug. Unlike amphetamines, which resemble the structural formula of dopamine and noradrenaline, cocaine has a similar structure to other synthetic sedatives. Cocaine is well absorbed when administered via the mucous membranes, the GI tract and IV route. Peak concentration happens within five minutes after intravenous injection, while the peak levels from smoking are usually reached within 60 minutes. Some cocaine is excreted in urine unchanged, the majority is metabolised into benzoylecgonine, ecgonine methyl ester, norcocaine and other metabolites. Although cocaine has a short half-life, the elimination half-life of the metabolites lasts longer. Studies also show that the half-life of cocaine may increase the longer it is used.

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An overview of the inflammatory response

Inflammation is a pathological response that engages hundreds of mediators and different cells and tissue types. It can be initiated by any stimulus causing cell injury. Often the inflammation is a response to some sort of infection. In some cases, chemical or physical injury can also induce an inflammatory reaction. The goal of the inflammatory response is to remove the causative agent with minimal destruction to the body, and to repair the damage caused by the toxin. The duration of the inflammatory response is dependent on whether the causative agent has been eliminated. Acute inflammation is a relatively short process, lasting from minutes to a few day

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Structure of the Male Reproductive System

The male reproductive system includes the gonads, duct system, accessory glands, and the penis. The gonads are the testes, this is the site for sperm formation (spermatogenesis). The testis is located outside the body in the scrotum. Embryologically, the testes develop within the abdomen and usually descend about seven months during foetal development. If testes […]

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THE IMPORTANCE OF END-OF-LIFE PLANNING

Palliative care can be defined as an approach to health that involves improving the quality of life of patients and their families that are facing issues related to chronic, incurable and life-threatening illnesses (Wallerstedt et al., 2019). It is vital to note that, palliative care is not just limited to the elderly, but can be anyone with an incurable illness and the goal is to improve quality of life. The stages of palliative care include; stable, unstable, deteriorating, terminal and bereavement (McClelland et al., 2020).

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Vitamin A and Vision

Vitamins are a diverse group of organic substances that are essential in the proper functioning of the metabolic processes in the body. Many vitamins, especially those found in the B group, work as coenzymes. Vitamin A is a name given to a group of fat-soluble retinoids, including retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters. Vitamin A is […]

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The Menstrual Cycle

The female reproductive system is made up of the gonads, duct system and accessory glands. It produces gametes and transports them for fertilisation. The process of birth and nurturing also happens in the female reproductive system. When the oocyte is matured, it is expelled from the ovaries and then travels down the fallopian tube, it passes […]

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Pharmacology basics| Drug Metabolism and Absorption.

The rate and degree of blood and absorption into the blood is dependent on the route of administration. Effective absorption from the oral route depends on both the chemical properties of the drug and the functional efficacy of the GI tract. Parenteral absorption is dependent on the extent of blood supply. The bioavailability of a drug is the most critical part of pharmacokinetics.

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