Binge-eating disorder is more common than many realise, yet it’s rarely discussed – here’s what you need to know

Binge-eating disorder is more common than many realise, yet it’s rarely discussed – here’s what you need to know Television personality, author and hair stylist Jonathan Van Ness recently shared on social media his struggles with his eating and weight after “years of feeling out of control with food”. He described suffering from binge-eating disorder – an eating disorder characterised by consuming large amounts of food with a sense of feeling out of control. You can listen to more articles from The Conversation, narrated by Noa, here. Binge-eating disorder is perhaps the most common eating disorder out there, affecting between…

Hailey Bieber has revealed she has an ovarian cyst – here’s why they happen

Hailey Bieber has revealed she has an ovarian cyst – here’s why they happen Ovarian cysts often go away on their own. Andrea Raffin/ Shutterstock Model Hailey Bieber recently revealed that she’s been suffering with an ovarian cyst the size of an apple. While we don’t know exactly how many women suffer with ovarian cysts, they are thought to be relatively common – with estimates suggesting around 7% of women will suffer from an ovarian cyst at some point in their life. But these numbers could be even higher, as not all cysts present symptoms. For example, based on data…

Experimental Alzheimer’s drug shows promise – but there are many hurdles still to overcome

Experimental Alzheimer’s drug shows promise – but there are many hurdles still to overcome Lightspring/Shutterstock The first drug that can slow the rate of decline in Alzheimer’s patients has been found. The experimental drug, called lecanemab, is an antibody that targets the toxic clumps of amyloid protein associated with the mind-robbing disease. While these results are cause for celebration, there are still significant questions about its safety and rollout. The full results of the phase 3 lecanemab drug trial (the final stage of testing in humans) have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The trial showed that…

COVID vaccines: should people under 50 in the UK be offered a fourth dose?

COVID vaccines: should people under 50 in the UK be offered a fourth dose? Studio Romantic/Shutterstock It’s been nearly two years since Margaret Keenan became the first person in the world to receive an approved COVID vaccine at a clinic in Coventry on December 8, 2020. Since then, almost 13 billion doses of various COVID vaccines have been administered globally. And they are estimated to have prevented millions of deaths. The UK government reports that nearly 54 million British people have received their first dose, almost 51 million a second dose, and more than 40 million a third dose or…

Overweight women may be at highest risk of long COVID – new research

Overweight women may be at highest risk of long COVID – new research Rostislav_Sedlacek/Shutterstock While hundreds of thousands of people are still getting COVID every day across the globe, reassuringly, the number of people dying as a result of the infection has dropped significantly thanks to effective vaccines and treatments. Yet for many people, the consequences of COVID continue well beyond the initial infection, in the form of long COVID. We wanted to understand what factors might make people more or less susceptible to ongoing symptoms. In a new study we found that women who are overweight are at highest…

Nurses’ strike is about more than pay – it’s about ensuring good care

Nurses’ strike is about more than pay – it’s about ensuring good care BradleyStearn/Shutterstock For the first time its 106-year history, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the UK’s largest nursing union, has voted to take strike action. Nurses in the UK have been on strike before and achieved change, but the scale of this strike is extraordinary. This dispute, like many forms of industrial action, centres on pay. The salaries of registered nurses and nursing support workers have fallen in real terms by almost 20% in the past ten years. But this dispute is about more than just pay.…

Four tips to avoid your office Christmas party turning into a superspreader event

Four tips to avoid your office Christmas party turning into a superspreader event Undrey/Shutterstock With Christmas just a month away, the good news is that COVID cases in the UK have been falling, and are now at the lowest we’ve seen them for some time. Meanwhile, the number of new flu infections remains stable. And people in their 20s and 30s have some of the lowest case numbers of both viruses – great if you’re planning your work Christmas party or just fancy getting together with your friends this festive season. However, while flu rates are relatively stable, they are…

Six common COVID myths busted by a virologist and a public health expert

Six common COVID myths busted by a virologist and a public health expert r.classen/Shutterstock Almost three years into the pandemic, myths and misinformation remain widespread. Here we, a virologist and a public health researcher, debunk some common misconceptions about COVID. Myth 1: The virus is becoming milder There’s a prevailing myth in the omicron era that SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) is becoming “milder”. It’s true that earlier omicron variants (BA.1 and BA.2) were less likely than delta to cause severe illness, partly because they were more likely to infect the upper airway than the lower airway. This means…

Cannabis is no better than a placebo for treating pain – new research

Cannabis is no better than a placebo for treating pain – new research Many people use cannabis to manage pain. photolona/ Shutterstock Cannabis is one of the most widely used drugs in the world. While there are only a few countries where cannabis is legal for recreational use, many more countries have legalised the use of cannabis for medical reasons. Reducing pain is one of the most common reasons people report using medical cannabis. According to a US national survey, 17% of respondents who had reported using cannabis in the past year had been prescribed medical cannabis. When it comes…

Superbugs in the environment rarely transfer to humans – new study

Superbugs in the environment rarely transfer to humans – new study Igor Stramyk/Shutterstock The rapid spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) around the globe represents a crisis on many fronts. Infections that are difficult, or impossible, to treat cause considerable public health and economic burdens, but also pose a serious threat to food security. Undoubtedly, the imprudent administration of antibiotics has increased the evolutionary pressure for resistant strains of bacteria to emerge, but the problem goes much further than the irresponsible use of these drugs for human medicine. Around one-third of all antibiotic usage in the UK is in farming –…

World Cup concussion rules may be putting players’ lives at risk

World Cup concussion rules may be putting players’ lives at risk In the eighth minute of their Fifa men’s World Cup match against England, Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand collided face-first with a teammate. The clash left the keeper bloodied, unsteady on his feet, and apparently disoriented – in no state to play. But after lengthy treatment he played on. Within minutes he had fallen to the floor and was carried off on a stretcher. He was later taken to hospital. Former England player, Jermaine Jenas, who was commentating on the match, said the situation was “ridiculous” and “out of order”.…

We were told to ‘stay home’ to stop COVID. Then our homes became disease hotspots

We were told to ‘stay home’ to stop COVID. Then our homes became disease hotspots Lucigerma/Shutterstock The rapid rise in COVID cases and deaths in March 2020 led Boris Johnson, then prime minister, to tell the British people: “You must stay at home.” These comments marked the beginning of the first nationwide COVID lockdown, and aligned with similar pronouncements and policies being introduced around the world. Indeed, until vaccines became available, the main policy used to control COVID was for billions of people to stay home. Even when lockdowns were lifted, home remained a place for infectious people to isolate,…

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