Australian Medical News Brief February 2016

Welcome to Medshop Australia’s monthly series, News Brief, where we talk about what you may have missed. These are mostly articles we’ve posted in our social media news feeds. We consider them the most newsworthy events in Australian health and medicine from the last month. You will find links to the posts on Facebook as well as links to the original articles. Let's look back and review the top stories from February.
 
Australian Medical News Brief Feb
 
Health authorities have launched an investigation into a chain of "hydration" clinics after a woman was hospitalised
 
As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, A string of hydration clinics have been popping up around the country in recent times. Offering party goers and burned out workers the opportunity to receive hydrating fluids via I.V infusions to help people ease their hangovers and fatigue.
 
A formal investigation has been launched into the I.V Me chain of hydration clinics and the Sydney clinic has been closed down, after one of their customers was admitted to hospital requiring emergency treatment following a hydration session at the clinic. This incident has raised concerns about the fad of hydration clinics and the associated risks.
 
Western Australian man Required Emergency Liver Transplant After Taking a Popular Weight Loss Supplement.png
   
As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Matthew Whitby from Geraldton Western Australia needed to undergo emergency liver transplant surgery to save his life as a result of taking popular weight loss supplements including green tea extract and garcinia cambogia.
 
Though this is one of the first major news stories to shed light on the dangers of such supplements in recent times, liver specialist Professor Gary Jeffery says that Western Australian specialists are seeing one to two patients a year in liver failure from ingesting herbal supplements.
 
There has been a major call to action for regulatory bodies to tighten and enforce controls around supplement labelling. Such adverse reactions are the last thing many people consider when trying to take steps towards weight loss and improving their health.
 
Standing Desks can be Harmful if not Used Correctly Warns Study.png
   
As reported by the ABC News, the booming popularity and apparent health benefits of the standing desk are taking offices around the world by storm. There may, however, be a dark side to the standing desk saga as a study from the University of Sydney reveals.
 
Those who spend extended periods of time standing but not moving around much can be prone to lower back pain and varicose veins. It also causes problems for people who go from sitting to standing without giving the body time to adjust to the changes.
The need for appropriate and supportive footwear plays a role as well. The verdict is that standing desks have many benefits but you want to have the option to change it up and sit down for periods of time, especially during the early stages of transition from seated to standing desk.
 
Australia Passes law for Legal Use of Medicinal Cannabis
   
As reported by Counsel Heal, Following a long struggle of advocacy, negotiations and debate Australia has made a historical step forward by legalising the cultivation of cannabis for medical treatment and research purposes.
 
Cannabis will be grown and distributed under controlled conditions much like the way poppies are currently grown and distributed for medical opiate production in Australia.
 
This is excellent news for those suffering from terminal illnesses and drug-resistant forms of epilepsy, who have found great relief from the effective anti-spasmodic and anti-nausea properties of medicinal cannabis.
 
Myopia - This Health Condition may Afflict Half the World by 2050.png
   
As reported by Huffington Post, a new study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology Journal, predicts that half the world's population will suffer from myopia (nearsightedness) by 2050.
 
Causes for this epidemic are seen to be mainly environmental, with large amounts of time spent staring at screens and less time being spent outdoors and in nature. Family history does play a role too but the study suggests that for many people, spending more time outdoors looking at the horizon and less time indoors staring at screens, could be the best remedy.
 
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