The Health News Australia November 26 2017

  • The microbiome in your gut is the collection of trillions of tiny microorganisms thought to have a powerful effect on your health and wellbeing. But a similarly complex and important ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and viruses exists in the female reproductive tract? It’s known as the vaginal microbiome, and it plays a key role in keeping women healthy. Just like the gut, the vagina consists of trillions of microorganisms — mostly bacteria, plus some fungi and viruses.
  • The 2018  Western Australia Australian of the Year is psychologist Dr Tracy Westerman of Perth, a Njamal woman who founded Indigenous Psychological Services to address the high rates of mental illness among aboriginal people and cut the rate of suicide through intervention programs.
  • After a car accident left her with a traumatic brain injury, Larissa MacFarlane started to see the world differently. MacFarlane was only able to start making art after securing housing, which took about seven years, and her initial work was concerned with her new home in Melbourne’s west. While art is her main occupation, she considers managing her brain injury as another part-time job — as she deals with her fatigue and chronic pain through visits to the pool and other daily rituals.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 26th of November 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/health/2017-11-22/vaginal-microbiome-why-it-is-important-for-womens-health/9176782

The microbiome in your gut is the collection of trillions of tiny microorganisms thought to have a powerful effect on your health and wellbeing. But did you know that a similarly complex and important ecosystem of bacteria, fungi and viruses exists in the female reproductive tract?

It’s known as the vaginal microbiome, and it plays a key role in keeping women healthy.

Just like the gut, the vagina consists of trillions of microorganisms — mostly bacteria, plus some fungi and viruses. Together, these populations make up the vaginal microbiome.

The primary colonising bacteria of a healthy vagina is called lactobacillus. It helps to keep the environment acidic and discourage other bacteria, yeast, and viruses from thriving.

Associate Professor Willa Huston from the University of Technology Sydney says: “Particular types of lactobacilli have functions that keep the environment very acidic, that interact with our host cells and keep the right mucus production going.” But the relationship is complicated: not all types of lactobacilli are good, and there is at least one strain that puts women at a higher risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection. On the other hand, women who lack a dominant lactobacillus in their microbiome are also at a higher risk of acquiring STIs and other conditions including bacterial vaginosis.

Sexual activity, lubricants, and semen can all change the composition of the microbiome, as well as hormonal contraceptives, menstruation and antibiotics. Disruption of the microbiome can cause an imbalance of bacteria, which may lead to bacterial vaginosis. It can also trigger the overgrowth of the fungus, Candida.

There is an established link between a woman’s vaginal microbiome and her risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections and other conditions. There is also evidence to show that once a woman is pregnant, certain pathogens can cause a loss of pregnancy or adverse outcomes for the baby. Research into IVF has found the type of microorganisms present in the uterus at the time of embryo transfer interplay into the outcome of pregnancy.

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/soccer-superstar-samantha-kerr-named-for-west-australian-of-the-year-award-20171122-gzqybr.html

A leading psychologist, a fighter for women’s health rights, a dazzling soccer player and an advocate for helping drug addicts have been honoured at the annual Western Australia Australian of the Year Awards. At a ceremony on Wednesday night at Perth’s Government House, Western Australia Governor, Her Excellency The Honourable Kerry Sanderson AC, presented four awards to deserving members of WA’s community who she said inspired her with their “stories of courage, advocacy, leadership and determination.”

The two thousand eighteen Western Australia Australian of the Year is psychologist Dr Tracy Westerman of Perth, a Njamal woman who founded Indigenous Psychological Services to address the high rates of mental illness among aboriginal people and cut the rate of suicide through intervention programs. Doctor Westerman has trained more than twenty two thousand clinicians in culturally appropriate psychological approaches for the aboriginal community, and delivered suicide prevention programs into remote areas across Australia.

The Western Australia Award recipients will join State and Territory recipients from around the country at the national Awards on January twenty five, two thousand eighteen in Canberra, where the four Australians of the Year will be announced.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-24/how-a-brain-injury-birthed-a-handstand-loving-artist/9184288

After a car accident left her with a traumatic brain injury, Larissa MacFarlane started to see the world differently. Things like buildings, colours and flowers had taken on an unfamiliar shape. Her interests had shifted too. She had been an avid reader, but had to relearn how to read. She’d loved music, but suddenly found music difficult to comprehend. Instead, she discovered an interest in art.

MacFarlane was only able to start making art after securing housing, which took about seven years, and her initial work was concerned with her new home in Melbourne’s west.

While art is her main occupation, she considers managing her brain injury as another part-time job — as she deals with her fatigue and chronic pain through visits to the pool and other daily rituals. Since two thousand four, one of the most important rituals has been doing handstands.

Inspired by a footballer’s post-goal handstand, she decided to set herself the aim of doing a handstand. It became a beacon of joy to reach for.

MacFarlane lives with trauma, but by doing handstands she faces down terror every day.

“I’m just challenging the sort of fear I live with in my life on a daily basis. I get to challenge it and

MacFarlane wants to untangle the challenges facing artists with disabilities, including the widespread devaluation of their work, and the accessibility of educational institutions. While studying visual arts at TAFE, she was encouraged to remove any mention of her brain injury in her artist statement, and told that including her disability would make her work less valued.

Her artwork, most of which involves handstands, is now on display at the Footscray Community Arts Centre.

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