Health A-Z

Health A-Z

For information on a particular condition or topic try our Health A-Z with links to this and other Jean Hailes websites or use the website search function.

Health Tips

Challenging the myths around dieting and weight from our Health for Women website

A few simple lifestyle changes can prevent kilo creep, without dieting. Learn more...

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Spotlight on...Julie's story

older womanI used to look forward to Mother's Day – spending some girly time with my mum and sister, spoiling our darling mum rotten!

Her face would glow as she would look from one daughter to the other, happy to do anything we planned, pleased just to be the centre of our attention.

I am dreading Mother's Day this year. I feel so guilty because I know I am lucky to still have my mum, but she's in a nursing home and has advanced dementia.

Does she know who I am? I doubt it. I doubt Mother's Day has any meaning for her these days.

The nursing home staff have been very helpful in the lead up to Mother's Day. They have talked to me about just being there and providing her with simple comfort like patting her hand or brushing her hair or just talking, reading or singing softly to her.

I know it will be really hard for me but time is all I have left to give my dear mum.

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Spotlight on… cholesterol

spotlightWhat is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fat essential for our bodies. We need cholesterol to manufacture certain hormones, build and repair cell membranes, and for metabolic processes including production of vitamin D and bile acids. However, too much cholesterol is harmful and can increase your risk of heart disease.

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Spotlight on…social connections

We often worry about the physical factors that affect our health, but sometimes forget about the role of emotional or psychological factors. Social connections, friendships and our relationships with other people help shape who we are and how we behave, but they also impact on our health.

Research shows that loneliness and social isolation are associated with a worse prognosis in patients with heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, liver disease, breast cancer and stroke. Also, people who are divorced, widowed or single are often found to be more depressed than those who are in supportive relationships.

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Spotlight on…fibroids

Fibroids (also known as myomas) are non-cancerous lumps in the muscle of the uterus (womb). They can vary in size from 1mm to more than 20cm in width but most women who have them do not experience any symptoms. Fibroids are one of the most common gynaecological conditions with up to 70 per cent of women having fibroids by the age of 50.
 
According to Jean Hailes gynaecologist, Dr Elizabeth Farrell, their cause is not known however it is thought that the female hormones (oestrogen and progesterone) may play a role. “Fibroids generally only occur in women of reproductive age. In fact, after menopause, fibroids may start to shrink or even disappear. This is because our female hormones levels drop after menopause.”    

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Spotlight on…dieting

It’s that time of year; warmer weather is just around the corner and you’ve decided to shift those extra kilos that somehow crept on over Winter. Some women make radical plans to lose weight rapidly, often relying on quick fixes or fad diets. Unfortunately, diets are notoriously unsuccessful – 95% of people who lose weight by dieting will regain that weight (and then some) within two years.

While having a healthy weight is very important, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health wants to shift the focus of Australian women from restrictive dieting to a more realistic lifestyle approach. This involves a ‘small steps‘ approach to changing your eating and physical activity habits over the long term, rather than restrictive diets in the short term. 

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