Diabetes and pregnancy can be a tricky (but achievable) mix: 6 things to think about if you want a baby and 1 if you don’t

A successful pregnancy if you have diabetes comes down to planning and making sure you have the right health-care team behind you. from www.shutterstock.com Freya MacMillan, Western Sydney University; David Simmons, Western Sydney University, and Tinashe Dune, Western Sydney University The number of people with diabetes is expected to increase from 463 million in 2019 to 700 million by 2045 globally. So more women with diabetes will be having babies in the future. If you have diabetes, here’s how to have the best chance of a safe and successful pregnancy, and to give your baby the best start in life. Alternatively, if you have diabetes and want to avoid pregnancy, here’s what to think about when it comes to contraception.   Read more: Explainer: what is diabetes? Why are women with diabetes and their babies at greater risk? Women with diabetes have an increased risk of pregnancy complications, particularly if they’re among the more than 60% whose pregnancies …
Read more
  • 0

Everything you need to know about coeliac disease (and whether you really have it)

Thinking of jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon? Better think again. GlutenFreeChops/Flickr Jason Tye-Din, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute The Neolithic Revolution introduced a whole range of new foods and proteins into the human digestive tract. But this phenomenal change created the perfect conditions for the rise of coeliac disease. While most proteins were readily consumed, some people’s immune systems struggled to tolerate others. Wheat was the first cereal to be widely domesticated, and in the case of the gluten protein from wheat, the result of this struggle was coeliac disease. When people with coeliac disease consume gluten, an abnormal immune reaction occurs causing inflammation and damage to the small bowel lining. This impairs absorption of nutrients and can lead to a wide range of symptoms and medical complications. Ancient condition, 20th century treatment The second century Greek physician Arateus is credited with coining the term coeliac disease, or “koilia…
Read more
  • 0

Enhancing the involvement of people with disabilities in disability research

Very few people with disabilities have access to tertiary education. Pusat Studi dan Layanan Disabilitas, Universitas Brawijaya, Author provided Dina Afrianty, La Trobe University and Slamet Tohari, Universitas Brawijaya To remove the barriers that discriminate against people with disabilities, the Indonesian government should create policies based on high-quality research. People with lived experiences of disability should be at the centre of the research process. This approach is essential because relevant and accurate data can help overcome the social and cultural prejudices that prevent real action for people with disabilities. And it is critical that research reflects their needs because they understand what is needed. The majority of research still deals with people with disabilities as objects of research by restricting them to the role of informants. It is time to start including persons with disabilities as part of the research team. They can then be involved in i…
Read more
  • 0

Individual support plans can ensure better working life for people with disabilities

shutterstock.   Maria Berghs, De Montfort University and Simon Dyson, De Montfort University In the United Kingdom, over 11 million people are living with a life-limiting condition, impairment or chronic illness. All of them are more likely than others to live in poverty, and face difficulties accessing education, employment and services. In particular, disabled people experience a disability gap in employment, with only around 53% of British disabled people employed. To combat this, in 2017, the UK government set an ambitious target of getting a million disabled people into employment. An important part of this plan was the “Disability Confident Scheme” which would involve employers committing to reasonable adjustments in the workplace, to ensure that a disabled person does not face any disadvantages. (The 2010 Equality Act says these adjustments are also important for diversity and equality.) But not many employers are familiar with disability – much less chronic …
Read more
  • 0

Fat-shaming pregnant women isn’t just mean, it’s harmful

Criticizing pregnant women about their weight can be bad for them and their babies. kzenan/Shutterstock.com Angela Incollingo Rodriguez, Worcester Polytechnic Institute December is considered the most fertile month, a time when there’s the greatest likelihood that children will be conceived. Some experts even pinpoint Dec. 11 as the most fertile day. But in the lead up to giving birth and in the time after bringing home their new additions, many women may experience an unwelcome surprise. Family, friends and even bystanders are all too quick to comment on – and often criticize – an expectant or new mother’s weight. This shaming can include judging a mother-to-be for her weight before becoming pregnant; the weight she gains over pregnancy; and the weight she doesn’t lose after having the baby. Weight stigma like this is potentially a very real threat to maternal health. Outside the realm of pregnancy, research shows that experiencing weight stigma is stressful and harmful. …
Read more
  • 0

Diabetes and pregnancy can be a tricky (but achievable) mix: 6 things to think about if you want a baby and 1 if you don’t

A successful pregnancy if you have diabetes comes down to planning and making sure you have the right health-care team behind you. from www.shutterstock.com Freya MacMillan, Western Sydney University; David Simmons, Western Sydney University, and Tinashe Dune, Western Sydney University The number of people with diabetes is expected to increase from 463 million in 2019 to 700 million by 2045 globally. So more women with diabetes will be having babies in the future. If you have diabetes, here’s how to have the best chance of a safe and successful pregnancy, and to give your baby the best start in life. Alternatively, if you have diabetes and want to avoid pregnancy, here’s what to think about when it comes to contraception.   Read more: Explainer: what is diabetes? Why are women with diabetes and their babies at greater risk? Women with diabetes have an increased risk of pregnancy complications, particularly if they’re among the more than 60% whose pregnancies …
Read more
  • 0

Gluten free diets aren’t easy, but if you slip up a dietary supplement could help

Even after many years on a gluten-free diet, many Australians with coeliac disease continue suffering persistent symptoms. from shutterstock.com Finlay Alistair Macrae, Melbourne Health When people with coeliac disease eat foods containing gluten, they have an abnormal immune reaction. This results in inflammation and damage to their small bowel lining. But the trouble doesn’t always go away for those coeliac sufferers who stay away from gluten. Studies show even after years on a gluten-free diet, many Australians with coeliac disease fail to heal their bowel, or continue suffering persistent symptoms. It’s hard to adhere to a lifelong gluten-free diet. It is expensive and can be be socially isolating. But even those who remain vigilant can find complete avoidance of gluten a challenge due to hidden sources of gluten. Gluten is mainly found in wheat, rye and barley – some research also suggests it can be present in certain oat varieties. Common hidden sources of gluten are …
Read more
  • 0

If you don’t have coeliac disease, avoiding gluten isn’t healthy

Of the many food fads, “gluten free” is one that can be unhealthy. from www.shutterstock.com Suzanne Mahady, Monash University Coeliac disease, an allergy to gluten that causes damage to the intestine, affects 1% of Australians. But more than ten times this number, or around 11% of the population, follows a gluten-free diet by choice, and up to 30% of people in the United States try to reduce their gluten intake. Gluten-free foods are frequently perceived as a healthier alternative, because of a alignment with a “wellness lifestyle”. But is there scientific evidence to support this? Are gluten-free diets healthier? Recent large studies have not found health benefits for a gluten-free diet, and in fact the opposite may be true.   Read more: Health Check: should I choose a gluten-free diet? Researchers followed a group of more than 100,000 people in the US for nearly 30 years and found a gluten-free diet was not associated with a healthier heart. It’s not clear …
Read more
  • 0

Students with disabilities need inclusive buildings. We can learn from what’s already working

Designing schools to accommodate students with disabilities is a complicated task and needs a lot more research than what is out there. from shutterstock.com Scott Alterator, University of Melbourne; Benjamin Cleveland, University of Melbourne, and Jocelyn Boys, UCL Australia has scheduled up to A$11 billion on new schools and facility upgrades between 2016 and 2026. We need as many as 750 new schools to accommodate an additional 650,000 students. Part of this spend must go towards improving school facilities, especially for students with a disability. In 2017, around 18.8% of school students in Australia were provided with adjustments at school – to participate on the same basis as other students – because of disability. The majority of these attend mainstream public schools. This means every school (not just those for students with special education needs) should be designed with students of varying abilities in mind. We need to find ways to make all schools inclusive so …
Read more
  • 0