www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 3
From paddock to plate The rise and rise of farmers’ markets A social, cultural, economic and health oriented revolution.
Many of us are guilty of thinking AIDS is no longer an issue. Well, nothing could be further from the truth.
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Cell phone towers may be ultimate cause of honeybee population collapse
06 Healthy food ticks What actually constitutes a Healthy Food Tick, and does it lend us to make the right decisions?
ADMINISTRATION Kylie Moore Kelly Clarke Rebecca McQueen Kimberley Wells
06 Brain food
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08 Inflamed situations
Understanding psoriatic arthritis
Where the wine speaks for itself
14 Nature’s best
Blackenbrook Vineyard’s sustainable success
A spice for life, the nut of the month and an awesome antioxidant
Breaking destructive addictions
Working with nature, rather than against it, is one of the key principles of this thriving family-run operation, where grapes are nurtured from the soil right through to the bottle.
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The benefits of natural insulation
Gastric reflux and your children
The preventative approach to asthma
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The face of hearing impairment
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Going gluten free
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It is estimated that one in seven Kiwis 45 and over has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – that’s about 200,000 adults.
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By Mike Adams
Cell phone towers may be ultimate cause of honeybee population collapse It’s one of the signs of the approaching food collapse our world will soon be facing: honeybees are disappearing at a truly alarming rate all around the world. Up to 30 percent of the honeybee population is collapsing in North America every year, and there’s no end in sight to “the silence of the bees.” Honeybees, of course, pollinate about a third of all the food consumed by first-world nations. Without them, the global food supply crashes and food prices skyrocket. The human population, not surprisingly, would plummet. Honeybees are absolutely crucial to the chain of life on planet earth, and they are dying in record numbers. Efforts to understand the cause of the honeybee population collapse (sometimes called “Colony Collapse Disorder”) have so far pointed to pesticides, air pollution and even GMOs. All of those are no doubt important factors, but new research carried out at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology may have unveiled the real key: cell phone signals.
How cell towers cause honeybee hives to collapse Researcher Daniel Favre and his colleagues performed 83 experiments recording the reaction of honeybees to cell phones in their off state, standby state or active talking state. It turns out that when cell phones are in their “active” state (sending or receiving signals), honeybees are strongly disoriented and suffer from widespread miscommunication that causes them to stop seeking out food and begin swarming. Specifically, their “worker piping” activity increases by 1,000 percent (10 times). This was determined with a detailed scientific approach that’s outlined in his paper at www.kokopelli.asso.fr. As Favre explains in his paper, entitled Mobile phone-induced honeybee worker piping: “Worker piping in a bee colony is not frequent, and when it occurs in a colony, that is not in a swarming process, no more than two bees are simultaneously active. The induction of honeybee worker piping by the electromagnetic fields of mobile phones might have dramatic consequences in terms of colony losses due to unexpected swarming.” Favre went on to tell Fast Company (www.fastcompany.com) that “Among other factors such as the varroa mite and pesticides, signals from mobile phones and masts could be contributing to the decline of honeybees around the world. I am calling the international scientific community for more research in this field.” Of course, by the time additional studies are done, it may simply be too late. If the honeybee population collapse continues for just a few more years, pollination of the
global food supply may become nearly impossible. That will lead to the great die-off of human beings.
Only Mother Nature can keep us alive, not science and not technology. And in the end, when the history of our modern world is fully written, it will show how the scientists nearly wiped out the human race through their arrogance, their mass poisoning of the world, and their complete disregard for the value of life.
Funny how that works, isn’t it? Imagine the narrative of future historians: Humans multiplied and expanded their cell phone towers to the point where the pollinators all died. Then human civilization collapsed and the cell towers went silent. Within a decade, the All these things have been carried out under honeybees were once again prolific the name of science: Genetically modified and healthy... crops, terminator seeds that self destruct, chemical pesticides, cell towers, water Honeybees don’t need humans, you see. fluoridation, mercury fillings, psychiatric drugs But we need them. and much more.
The arrogance of science and technology In Rome, the scientists manufactured the municipal water delivery canals and pipes out of lead, thereby causing the widespread lead poisoning of the population without even knowing it. Science and technology has always come with a heavy dose of arrogance and willful ignorance. Today, the pesticide chemical companies keep producing toxics that poison our planet, and they keep doing it in the name of “scientific agriculture”.
Each one of these, in its own way, threatens the sustainability of life on our planet. And that’s why “science” as practised today has become the pathway to our own self destruction.
About the author: Mike Adams is a natural health researcher, author and award-winning journalist with a mission to teach personal and planetary health to the public He has authored and published thousands of articles, interviews, consumers guides, and books on topics like health and the environment, reaching millions of readers with information that is improving personal health around the world. In 2010, Adams created NaturalNews.TV, a natural living video sharing site featuring thousands of user videos on foods, fitness, green living and more.
Article kindly provided courtesy of NaturalNews.com
The disappearing honeybees are merely a symptom of what’s wrong. The real cancer in our civilization is the arrogance and widespread destruction of the scientists who play God with our world while having absolutely no clue about the consequences of their actions.
Whether it’s pesticides, cell towers, GMOs or some other technology, scientists always insist their technologies are harmless to the natural world, even while the sixth great extinction is now under way on planet Earth. But no one can deny that the collapse of the honeybees is indeed taking place, and the beauty of Mother Nature is that when so-called “scientific advancements” get completely out of balance with the natural world and actually become a threat to life on earth, the world has a way of keeping the expansion of the human race in check. It’s called population collapse. And it’s coming soon. If we could turn off the cell towers, halt the GMOs, stop the spraying of pesticides and end the mass pharmaceutical contamination of our planet, then our honeybees (and other important animal species) might have a chance. But human beings are too shortsighted to understand their role in causing almost anything that impacts the delicate web of life on earth. So humans will deny any responsibility for their actions, cover up the truth about what’s really going on, and even accelerate their own global population collapse.
Science cannot turn a seed into a living food plant It will all be led by “science” and “technology,” of course. And yet all the science in the world can’t create one scrap of real food that will keep you alive. Only Mother Nature can grow a plant from a seed, pollinate it, produce a flower and then a vegetable or fruit. www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 5
There seems to be a constant bombardment of messages encouraging us to eat this as opposed to that, informing us what is, or more to the point what isn’t, good for our health.
feature the Heart Foundation Tick. Standards for fibre and calcium have also been added to relevant items. For example, a “sweet biscuit” must abide by the following criteria: 600 kJ per serve or less, two grams of saturated fat or less, a maximum of 0.2 grams per 100 grams of partially hydrogenated or trans fat, 250 mg of sodium per 100 grams or less, and at least one gram of fibre per serve.
There are currently around 1000 foods across more than 50 supermarket categories that have successfully met the criteria. This ranges from fresh and frozen produce, canned Going to the supermarket has turned and dried foods, meat, seafood, and into a somewhat complicated process convenience meals. Even varieties of of trying to cater to such messages, the humble fish finger and mince pie and lingering over confusing are sporting the Tick. nutritional information. The trans-Tasman standards are set Initiatives such as the Heart in line with public health priorities, Foundation Tick have been introduced Government strategies and National in a bid to simplify this process, Heart Foundation nutrition policies. streamlining it so consumers can Food companies who apply are easily recognise the familiar red obliged to pay a licence fee which and white symbol as a signpost for covers aspects such as ongoing healthy eating. research, random testing, and But what actually constitutes a administrative costs. The programme Healthy Food Tick, and does it lend us is voluntary, so therefore not all to make the right decisions? products will feature the label even though some may qualify. The strength of the Tick, according to the Foundation, is in setting Manufacturers have to meet specified benchmarks for improvement and standards in regards to saturated fat, encouraging food companies to trans fat, salt and energy in order to meet them.
“The main principles behind the criteria are that they must reflect the nutritional objectives for the category, and be challenging, yet achievable. If they are not realistic, then the food industry will not be encouraged to reformulate and our efforts to improve the food supply will be ineffective.”
What does it mean?
not make regular consumption of meat pies carrying the Tick a healthy choice.”
Limitations Some organisations and nutrition advocates go so far as to claim the Tick is working to mislead consumers, and driving up the price of some products.
“By tweaking products, where A large majority of household shoppers – 89 percent – have bought necessary, and paying for the Tick, food with the Tick on it at some point, companies gain credibility by linking their brand to the positive emotions according to recent data from the attached to the Heart Foundation. Heart Foundation. This may be well The extra cost is passed on to and good, but does the common the shopper,” says nutritionist consumer actually understand what Dr Rosemary Stanton, quoted in it means? a report published online for the One can accurately assume that Medical Journal of Australia. foods bearing the symbol have met Stanton refers to a brand of rolled the Foundation’s comprehensive oats with the Tick that she says is nutritional criteria, and represent a healthier choice when compared with nearly five times the price of housebrand oats without the labelling. other foods in the same category. “Processed foods that bear the Tick This is because the product may be lower in certain components such as almost invariably have a higher price, while cheaper products in many food saturated fat and sodium, or higher categories may have a nutritional in fibre. profile at least as good as those with The important point to remember the Tick – sometimes better.” however is it may not be a healthy item per se. As the Fight the Obesity Auckland University nutrition Epidemic organisation states: “A meat professor Elaine Rush says while the Tick is certainly well recognised, pie with the Tick is healthier than some other meat pies, but this does one of the concerns is that it is only
applicable to the manufacturers – and consumers – that can afford it. “There is a certain bias to the bigger companies, and while rich people can afford it [Tick products], those on lower incomes are really just looking for taste and price. Also, not everyone understands that it is awarded for criteria in a given class of food, rather than overall.” Since its conception in 1996 the Tick programme has significantly improved the food supply available to New Zealanders. Simply using Tick approved margarine instead of butter on your toast each morning will remove almost three kilograms of saturated fat from your diet in one year. What constitutes healthy eating in our modern world is forever changing, and the old adage still rings true – moderation is the key. A simple point to remember says Rush, is that the supermarket trolley should act as a control point. “Our plates should be half vegetables, a quarter carbohydrate and a quarter protein. The trolley should look like that too.”
By Bridget Gourlay
We all know how important exercise is to keep your body fit and healthy. But how often do we think about giving our brains a work out? Studies have overwhelmingly shown that using your brain throughout your life is the key to staving off dementia. Dementia is a group of diseases which cause brain cells to gradually die, resulting in changes to memory, thinking, behaviour and emotion. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It has no known cure and limited treatment options. 6 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
Alzheimers New Zealand says the number of people with the disease is doubling every 20 years. Each year over 12,000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with the disease and some of these people are as young as 40. So keeping your brain active isn’t just something the middle aged need to think about – people of all ages need to have a healthy mind. Alzheimers New Zealand says there are four key things you can do to prevent dementia. Firstly, challenge yourself to something a bit tricky! Do crosswords, Sudoku, brain teasers, learn a new language and play card games. Secondly, be social. Studies show socially active people are less likely to get dementia. Alzheimers New Zealand recommends making a coffee date with a friend, jumping on Facebook to connect with friends or getting involved in a new hobby group. It also recommends joining its Facebook page if you are looking for
a way to connect with others. Thirdly, get fit. Dementia is yet another nasty disease regular exercise wards off. It has been proven to better both your cognitive function and your mental health.
of things that can be done to keep the brain in tip top condition,” explains Care Chemist CEO, Nicolette McDonald. That advice will be provided both in-store and through its monthly healthcare brochure. Otherwise check out the Alzheimer’s New Zealand website http://www.alzheimers.org.nz for more information.
Lastly, another simple one - eat well. Snacking on ‘brain foods’ such as omegas 3 and 6 (fish, nuts, vegetables, olive oil and garlic) are another dementia preventer. And go easy on the alcohol - research in UK journal Alcohol and Alcoholism claims heavy drinking could be responsible Keep your brain healthy by: for as many as one in four cases of • playing scrabble or cards dementia in the United Kingdom. • doing a jigsaw or a Care Chemist, a community crossword puzzle pharmacy group, last year launched • learning a language or a nationwide campaign to raise a new skill/hobby awareness of dementia and memory loss and to provide information on • staying social how to slow down the process. • exercising regularly “Memory loss is an increasing problem with an ageing population • eating well – a diet high in but fortunately, there are a number omega 3 and 6.
Whilst their city lay in ruins, many Christchurch residents still traipsed through the broken streets and piles of rubble to shop at the Canterbury Farmers’ Market – just one week after February’s devastating 6.3 magnitude earthquake. A similar situation occurred in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, whereby the local produce market was one of the first businesses to re-emerge after the disaster. Such examples are testament to the resilience and growing importance of the humble farmers’ market, a concept that is now a cornerstone in many New Zealand towns and cities.
By Katie McKone FMNZ was established in 2005, with the goal to “spread passion for fresh, local, authentic food by educating consumers and engaging with local, regional and national organisations.” According to FMNZ, the three basic rules of a farmers’ market are that it sells edible goods produced within a defined region, is an edible-only market (arts and crafts are not allowed), and the goods must be sold by the producer or somebody involved in production. An authenticity programme was developed by the Association in 2009, in a bid to ensure consistency of standards throughout the country. Some 60 percent of existing farmers’ markets have signed up to the initiative.
Social and economic benefits The continuation of the Canterbury Farmers’ Market just days after the earthquake highlights an important social function, by way of bringing together and revitalising communities in the face of adversity.
The vibrant Lyttelton Farmers’ Market has also now reopened, with local producers servicing an area currently dealing with the challenge of Our local food systems have been transformed, limited access to supermarkets or food outlets. as discerning customers seek producer Fortune says, “Perhaps the most authenticity and value. There is something to underestimated benefit is the social aspect that be said about buying a carton of free-range comes from attending a farmers’ market – it is eggs gathered from the hen house that very a meeting place as well as a market place. morning, or freshly picked vegetables still wearing their cloak of dirt. “You have that personal aspect that comes Such an experience can not be had in the mainstream supermarkets or convenience stores, where the increasingly important notions of transparency and sustainability are somewhat harder to find.
Origins The first farmers’ market to stake its claim in New Zealand was Hawke’s Bay in 2000. Marlborough quickly followed in 2001, followed by Otago in 2003. Numbers have since boomed, with 51 currently operating throughout the country. In basic terms, the concept can be defined as a venue for food producers to sell at, covering a broad spectrum of goods ranging from local produce to value-added. Farmers’ Markets New Zealand (FMNZ) chairman Chris Fortune says the driving force behind its growth can be attributed to the fact that people are increasingly looking for a sense of what is “real” in our modern society. “Especially with all the recent food scares, and as the world becomes smaller it is being beamed into our daily lives through televisions, cellphones and laptops. I think people begin to feel overwhelmed by it all and with what is going on, so they are looking for something to keep them grounded.” The fundamental principles of a farmers’ market, says Fortune, are transparency, authenticity and sustainability. “It is about supporting local communities, and empowering them with the venues and the networks to be self-sustaining.”
from buying goods directly from the farmer, which cannot be achieved at the supermarket or more conventional shopping venues.” Transparency in the product is also a major draw card says Fortune, in the fact that the consumer knows exactly what they are purchasing and, more importantly, where it is coming from. From a business sense, the farmers’ market fosters New Zealand’s entrepreneurial spirit. Lower overheads, no middleman, minimal travel costs and better returns are all significant benefits for vendors. “It is a viable way for small and medium-sized producers to sell, and is regarded as a stepping stone for many food businesses without huge overheads or compliance costs,” Fortune says. A 2006 Otago and Massey University study into the revolution of New Zealand’s farmers’ markets revealed 72 percent of Hawke’s Bay stallholders attended because of product promotion. Whereas in Whangarei, 30 percent considered their output too small to sell to supermarkets, and 21 percent chose to sell direct to consumers to avoid the middle-men. The revitalisation of communities is also occurring in line with the emergence of farmers’ markets. Locals and tourists alike are converging on such venues and subsequently supporting the rural economy – creating a direct link between town and country. It is therefore apparent that in our increasingly frenetic modern world, the humble farmers’ market has become a welcome respite. www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 7
Many of us are not even familiar with the name psoriatic arthritis let alone how it affects thousands of people who walk among us. A painful and sometimes debilitating condition whereby a person is suffering from both psoriasis and arthritis, psoriatic arthritis generally presents in people aged 35 to 55 years, although it can develop in people of almost any age. With ailments including stiffness in the joints – particularly the hands and feet, as well as psoriatic plaques; psoriatic arthritis is a condition that needs educated management.
Understanding psoriatic arthritis So what is psoritiatic arthritis and how is it diagnosed? Honorary secretary of the NZ Rheumatology Association Dr Daniel Ching provides the definition. “It is an auto-immune disease or auto-immune inflammatory condition, which means the immune system has got its wires crossed and is attacking the joints and skin – it’s like a civil war going on in the body. This is a disease that affects men and women equally and about 6 people per 100,000 each year.” Psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed on the basis of signs and symptoms and laboratory analysis. As the symptoms are similar to other forms of arthritis, a general practitioner may conduct tests and refer the patient to a consultant rheumatologist. Diagnostic tests may include:
• Blood tests to rule out other conditions • Tests to rule out other types of arthritis diseases similar to psoriatic arthritis • Joint fluid tests to eliminate gout • X-rays to identify changes in bones and joints.
Dr Ching says psoriatic arthritis can present acutely or insidiously over a longer period of time. “It is possible to get psoriatic arthritis
before the psoriasis appears. Some people also have psoriasis without knowing it as they think they have dandruff.” On average, psoriatic arthritis will appear approximately 10 years after the first signs of arthritis.
There are five primary patterns of psoriatic arthritis Asymmetric oligoarthritis: This does not affect people on both sides of their body and usually affects less than five joints. Symmetric polyarthritis: This type of psoriatic arthritis affects joints on both sides of the body simultaneously. It is similar to rheumatoid arthritis. Spondyloarthritis: Characterised by stiffness and pain in the neck or spine, which is worse in the mornings and at rest. Arthritis mutilans: This is characterised by deforming and destructive arthritis leading to shortened digits. It is also known as chronic absorptive arthritis. Distal interphalangeal arthritis: This condition is characterised by inflammation and stiffness in the joints near the ends of the fingers and toes. Treatment Anti-inflammatories such as Nurofen, Voltaren and Naproxen also known as antiinflammatory agents and painkillers (analgesics such as Paracetamol) are generally prescribed as the first line medication for psoriatic arthritis.
provide assistance and advice on daily living. Even if the disease is mild, the patient should be referred to as a rheumatologist to prevent it from progressing to a more severe stage. There have been tremendous advances during the past 12 years in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis. The use of new strategies in combining disease-modifying anti-rheumatic agents such as methotrexate, sulphasalazine and leflunomide can stop the disease from progressing in some patients. The advent of the biologic era such as tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF) inhibitors has improved the control of this disease, even in patients with severe disease. At present there are two TNF inhibitors funded in New Zealand for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis.
is much better,” Dr Ching says. “Early and aggressive treatment will increase the chances of achieving remission.” For more information on psoriatic arthritis visit your general practitioner, a rheumatologist, or go to www.arthritis.org.nz Dr Daniel Ching biography Position: Consultant Rheumatologist based in Timaru, in both public and private practice. Qualifications: MB, ChB, FRCP, FRACP. I run a large Rheumatology Clinical Trials Centre in Timaru where we trial new anti-rheumatic therapies such as the biologics and more recently, the small molecules, intracellular medications. I am also the Honorary Secretary of the New Zealand Rheumatology Association.
These are Adalimumab (Humira) which is given by subcutaneous injections every fortnight and Etanercept (Enbrel) which is given by subcutaneous injections weekly. These TNF inhibitors have been show to prevent progression of the disease and remission is now possible. “The thing about psoriatic arthritis that people need to know is that if they get it treated early they can often stop it in its tracks and the outlook
These medications only provide symptomatic relief and do not stop the disease from progression although they are directed at controlling and reducing inflammation. For milder conditions that are limited to a few joints, the joint disease is managed with NSAIDs, analgesics, sometimes physiotherapy and in some instances, corticosteroid injections. Advice can also be sought from a general practitioner or support groups who can
Positive Speakers’ Bureau Our stories, our experiences, our voices The aim of the Positive Speakers Bureau is to improve attitudes, reduce stigma and decrease discrimination throughout communities and workplaces by people living with HIV telling their stories. The speakers are people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences, all living with HIV. Their stories are real and thought provoking. Presented in a professional manner, speakers provide information and share personal stories about their lives. Positive Speakers was created to give people living with HIV a voice with the aim of reducing HIV and AIDs related stigma and discrimination in the community through telling their stories. The Positive Speaker Bureau helps to • Facilitate communication and encourage thought • Increase understanding of living with HIV and clarify misconceptions • Provide an interactive face to HIV • Provide opportunities for questions to be answered • Speakers are adaptable – whether it be in the corporate, healthcare, education, science and technology, or hospitality setting This is a free service ……to book a speaker please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 769 848 or 09 309 1858
8 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
For many of us, the word AIDS conjures up images of thousands of gay men dying in the 80s and 90s. We may occasionally pass an HIV-related safe sex advertisement at a bus stop, but many of us are guilty of thinking that today in New Zealand, HIV and AIDS are no longer an issue. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. While being diagnosed with HIV isn’t the death sentence it used to be, the Ministry of Health estimates nearly 2000 New Zealanders have it. Along with international trends, there has been a steady increase in the number of HIV diagnoses – there are more today than in the 1980s. These people aren’t just drug addicts, sex workers or gay men, but people from all walks of life.
By Bridget Gourlay “Muscle weakness has meant I can’t swim as much, a pastime and hobby I used to love and I can’t get out into the garden as much because I get so breathless. The biggest change and upset was giving up the job I loved.” Fortunately, Jan hasn’t faced any stigma because of her illness, but she’s all too aware it’s out there. “I was never discriminated against, and sadly that’s probably because of the way I was infected. I wasn’t a sex worker or a drug addict or a member of the gay community. People would say things like ‘you didn’t deserve this’ – my response is and always will be that no one deserves this!
to help breakdown the current stereotypes. Because of the secrecy around HIV, she says many New Zealanders will know someone with it even if they think they don’t. Each year, Positive Women runs an annual retreat. Jan says it always makes her sad knowing so many of those women, who love sharing their stories and being open during the retreat, go back to a life of secrecy when it’s over.
Silence for her was never an option. Jan immediately told all her family and friends about her HIV status. Although illness meant she had to leave her job, she still volunteers with the local St John Ambulance and “I’ve come across a lot of people who have works tirelessly with suffered greatly from stigma and discrimination Positive Women. and I’ve become passionate about erasing it. Until we get rid of the stigma that is still “I’m quite a stubborn attached to HIV and AIDS people will keep person,” she reflects on That’s a message Jan Waddell wants to on dying. her nine years of being put out there. In 2002 she was working HIV positive. “I refuse as a phlebotomist, taking blood from an “They are too afraid to come in and get tested, to let this virus take HIV positive patient. While disposing of the but when they do finally decide to come in and control of my life. My needle, she accidently pricked the web of skin get tested the chances are they will already be whole attitude is that between her forefinger and thumb. sick, and for many it will be too late.” I have HIV, there is no Initially, she didn’t think much of it. She cure, so I’ll damn This passion has led to her involvement in followed the procedures in place, took the Positive Women, an organisation that provides well live with it.” preventive medication and her six week blood support to women and families living with and tests came back negative. Jan wasn’t worried. What is HIV? affected by HIV or AIDS and raises awareness A few weeks later she was struck down by about it. Jan is worried that people don’t realise Human Immunodeficiency Virus, what she thought was a bad flu. It got worse or HIV, is an illness which slowly how serious HIV still is. and worse until she got to the stage where she destroys your immune system. “Today some people think, if I’m HIV positive couldn’t lift her head off the pillow. HIV is not AIDS. Some people all I have to do is take a few pills and I’ll be have HIV for years before it “I was rushed to hospital,” she remembers. “I fine – it’s not the death sentence a diagnosis becomes AIDS and feel had a battery of tests done and the following used to be. That’s partly true, although there relatively well. morning on the 5th April, the doctor came in are still thousands dying. And it’s still a big looked at me and said ‘I’m so sorry, Jan, the deal. What they’re not being told about is all What is AIDS? results are positive’.” the terrible side effects of the drugs and that Acquired Immunodeficiency HIV will change their lives as it changed mine.” Syndrome or AIDS is when HIV That was it. She had HIV. Jan’s life has has weakened a person’s immune undeniably changed since that day. Jan wants more HIV and AIDS education. She system so much so that it can no herself travels the country on behalf of Positive “I certainly don’t do as much because of the longer fight infections. Women and the Positive Speakers Bureau, side effects of the combinations of medicine talking to medical professionals about safety in I’ve been on. I’m now on my seventh the workforce and getting rid of discrimination combination of HIV medication; I’ve had and stigma by using people living with HIV as problems with my liver, kidney stones and speakers so as to put a face to the illness and have kidney damage.
WOMEN LIVING WITH HIV
Supporting Women and Families living in New Zealand with HIV and AIDS Free Phone: 0800 POZTIV (0800 769 848) www.positivewomen.co.nz email: email@example.com
THROUGH UNITY COMES STRENGTH Whakatauki - Tū kahikatea i te uru
LOOK BEYOND THE STEREOTYPE www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 9
We all probably know someone who is an addict, or suspect someone of being one. Be it alcohol, smoking or gambling, addictions come in many different forms and affect very different people. The one thing they have in common is that they destroy lives – not just of the addict themselves but also of the people around them such as their family and friends. Psychologists debate what causes addiction. Some use their addiction to block the memories they have of trauma and abuse. Others become addicts even though they have led relatively normal lives – leading some researchers to believe there are people with addictive personalities who are naturally predisposed to become addicted to something. Of course, not everyone who has a problem with alcohol or drugs is an addict. For example,
someone who hardly drinks at all for several weeks but then becomes angry and abusive while drunk one night still has a problem with alcohol without being addicted to it. Addiction manifests itself in different ways. Some people are physically addicted and some are psychologically addicted. Some are both. According to www.alcoholdrughelp.org.nz, a not for profit website and helpline for Kiwis with addictions, a physical addiction is something that develops through repeated use of a drug (such as alcohol, heroin, tranquillisers) which changes body chemistry. It means your body certain way until you feel you can’t manage develops a hunger for the drug, which you have without it. Your mind can get hooked on to keep feeding. almost any activity that changes your mood. Your body develops tolerance to the drug you It can dominate your thoughts and you can are addicted to. This means that you will feel lose control of when and how much you less affected by the same amount you used in use. Alcoholdrughelp.org.nz says with a the past and your body “needs” more and more psychological addiction, you keep using alcohol of a hit. or other drugs even though you’ve already With a physical dependency, withdrawal had one or more bad experience, such as symptoms will occur when a person suddenly getting your stomach pumped at hospital stops drinking alcohol or using other drugs. The or being convicted for drunk driving. There presence of physical withdrawal symptoms is no drug upon which you cannot become does not necessarily mean that the person is psychologically dependent. addicted. There is good news. Gone are the days A psychological addiction is a dependency that when addictions were tolerated or develops through repeatedly behaving in a brushed under the rug.
Help is out there, for both addicts and their family and friends. There are treatment faculties, residential care, therapists and support groups all ready to help an addict change their ways. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call a helpline or find a counsellor. Alcohol Drug helpline: 0800 787 797 Gambling helpline: 0800 654 655 Smoking quitline: 0800 778 778 Youthline: 0800 376633 Lifeline: 0800 543 354
Earthquakes shake our whole world. They move our houses, schools and workplaces. They twist our roads and footpaths. They jolt us, our friends, our families and disrupt every element of our lives. The earthquake which hit Christchurch on February, 2011 did this in a very big way.
• Communicate how you are feeling- don’t put on a brave face • Look after yourself - eat well, exercise and avoid alcohol and drugs. In some cases just doing these sorts of things won’t make people feel any better- in that instance it’s important they reach out and ask for further help and that’s where Youthline can assist. The Youthline Christchurch centre was condemned after the earthquake, but all calls and texts are being routed to other centres around New Zealand.
To help young people and their families cope in the aftermath, Youthline has developed a support resource looking at the key elements of grief and trauma and providing an ‘emotional first aid kit’ for those affected.
If you or your child wants to talk with a trained counsellor you can contact Youthline in the following ways:
Youthline hopes this gives young people and their families a tangible resource, which delivers hope.
Helpline: 0800 37 66 33
In the aftermath of such an event people need to understand that how they’re feeling may not be the same as their neighbour feels, but that’s ok - there is no right or wrong and they will get through it. The emotional first aid kit lists practical tips to help people cope, such as: 10 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
• Know yourself - understand how the earthquake has affected you
Free TXT: 234
For further advice parents can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like copies of this booklet email email@example.com or view it on Youthline’s faccebook page www.facebook.com/youthline.changing.lives
Working with nature, rather than against it, is one of the key principles of this thriving family-run operation, where grapes are nurtured from the soil right through to the bottle. Established 10 years ago, the 20 hectare vineyard produces eight grape varieties ranging from Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, through to the heady flavours of Montepulciano and Muscat. Situated halfway between Nelson and the Abel Tasman National Park, the region’s balanced climate and Moutere clay soil is proving to be a winning combination.
A family affair Daniel and Ursula Schwarzenbach, both from Switzerland, moved to the top of the South Island in 1998 and searched for almost two years before purchasing their block on the scenic Coastal Highway. Nearly a decade later, and there are two, albeit small, new additions to the team – son Thomas, seven, and daughter Isabelle, three. Both play an active part in helping out.
The need to cold-stabilise before bottling means the process is purposefully done in July. The winter temperatures mean less energy is required to achieve optimal results, therefore lowering power consumption. The couple have also set up a system whereby all winery waste water is recycled and used to irrigate paddocks. In the vineyard, they no longer use any weed spray after designing a special under-vine mowing implement for the tractor. “As a direct result vine balance and the diversity of plants and insects throughout the vineyard have increased. We also use organic seaweed fertiliser in our bid to work with rather than against nature,” Ursula says. Blackenbrook has recently achieved full accreditation from Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.
“It is important for us to have good equipment. For example each of our tanks is linked to a computer-controlled cooling system that allows us to monitor and adjust the temperature of each one. This is particularly important during fermentation.” Gentleness is a key aspect in the winery, a philosophy achieved through the minimal use of mechanical transfers. Whenever possible gravity is employed, seen in the way the grapes are lifted up to the press by a forklift with a rotating head rather than by an orga. The juice then naturally drains from the press to the settling tanks and is moved only three more times before it reaches the bottle.
A host of accolades and awards is testament to the couple’s hard work and quality of their product. The Blackenbrook 2007 Sauvignon Blanc in particular has come up trumps, being named Best Sauvignon Blanc of the Show at the prestigious Bragato Wine Awards and the New Zealand International Wine Show, and taking the overall trophy from the 2009 Bartho Eksteen Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in South Africa. Blackenbrook wines are mainly sold in restaurants, fine wine shops and through the thriving mailing list. Whilst already exporting into Switzerland, the Netherlands, Singapore and Australia, they have just landed their first order from Japan and are working hard on establishing a strong presence in this market.
Quality prevails All the fruit is carefully hand picked and selected, and the winemaking process is extremely gentle.
“We don’t over-press and we don’t do extra Working with state of the art machinery allows pumping. By simplifying our processes we have minimal bitterness pick up and as a for a more efficient and controlled production process, and one that ensures optimum quality. consequence we don’t have to fine,” says Ursula. The couple have imported a lot of their “It means our wines don’t have the classic equipment from Europe, and emphasise the fining agents added such as fish, milk or egg, importance of innovation.
and reach your glass as a very natural, vegan friendly product with minimal additives.”
Blackenbrook Vineyard Baldwin Road RD1 Tasman, Nelson T. (03) 526 6888 firstname.lastname@example.org www.blackenbrook.co.nz
Maintaining a hands-on, personalised approach sets Blackenbrook apart from the larger, commercialised brands. “We make all of our decisions and therefore have total control over the quality,” says Ursula, who focuses on the marketing side of the business. Not all of the land is currently under vine, leaving room to expand production according to market demand. The aim however, is to remain reasonably small and in control.
Pleased to support Blackenbrook Vineyard
The couple still take pride in putting their own stamp on every single bottle of wine they produce.
Sustainability The gravity-fed winery is a direct reflection of what the Schwarzenbach’s strive for at Blackenbrook – to have minimal interference with nature, ultimately resulting in “pure and genuine” wines. Nestled into the hillside in the middle of the vineyard, the winery is therefore extremely well insulated making cooling and heating more efficient.
9 Merton Place Nelson Ph: 03 546 5321 Fax: 03 546 5327 Email: Stefan@vinpronelson.co.nz
Pitt & Moore are please to provide legal services to Blackenbrook Wines Limited. For assistance with any business related to the wine industry contact Anissa Bain Richmond Phone 543 9090 78 Selwyn Place, PO Box 42, Nelson 7040 T 64 3 548 8349 F 64 3 546 9153 281 Queen Street, PO Box 3101, Richmond 7050 T 64 3 543 9090 F 64 3 543 9099 E email@example.com W www.pittandmoore.co.nz www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 11
They say travel changes you. That’s certainly true for Sustainable Business Network (SBN) founder and CEO, Rachel Brown. As a New Zealand-raised child, her schoolteacher parents encouraged her do sediment sampling in local mangrove swamps. The family went sailing around the top of the North Island, admiring its pristine environments. And she was hugely inspired by her lecturer Jeannette Fitzsimons at university. But on her OE, she saw real poverty and rivers black with pollution. When she returned to New Zealand, she was determined not to let us go down the same path.
What was SBN like in its origins in 2002 compared to today? “We began in a small office above Ecostore in Auckland. We had only two staff members and we focused on why sustainability was important to business. We had to explain the connection between environmental and social issues and demonstrate the business case for sustainability. Membership took off between 2006 and 2009. For example, in 2007, membership grew 40 percent. The then Labour Government recognised the trend and the growing demand for better environmental and social performance from key industries like food, tourism and exports so had a number of programmes in place to future-proof our business and economy.
the nation’s biggest spenders this had a huge impact on business. 2008 saw the recession, a change of government, and a shift away from sustainability. When National came to power, SBN, along with a number of other NGOs lost its funding. It’s been a challenging process, one which many businesses and NGOs have had to go through. SBN had to rethink how we operated – we became more commercial and refocused on supporting our membership. It was a good reminder about what we are really here to do. There’s always a silver lining to change and the loss of Government funding has meant we can focus solely on members rather than reporting to Government.”
By Bridget Gourlay services seem to come from small business – these guys are truly inspiring and we want to encourage more SMEs to join. Our membership fees are based on turnover.
For example, if a small plumbing business wanted to join, annual fees would amount to $300, and the payback could easily be recouped within the first six months if they were actively involved. Through the network the plumber might be introduced to many Do businesses join purely for environmental reasons, or do they see more efficient methods for capturing rainwater, it as cost-cutting and a marketing tool reducing water usage in homes, and perhaps even meeting new customers interested in as well? having sustainable homes. “The bulk of those who become SBN members join for business reasons. A smaller percentage, say 10 percent, join purely because of values. Most want support from the Network and to hear from other members about their experiences and the business benefits they have achieved. I’ve been in this area for a long time now and have seen a lot of change in that time. Businesses are becoming seriously well informed and are integrating sustainability into their visions and strategies. They are asking big questions like ‘What are the big social issues that need solving?’ and ‘What is our role in that?’ as well as ‘How do you get to zero waste when infrastructure isn’t supporting that?’ They are interested in unusual collaboration because they recognise the way we have done business in the past is not how we solve these future problems.
They introduced Govt3, a government-wide purchasing policy which asked suppliers to SBN has traditionally been a membership demonstrate their environmental and social of homegrown, small and medium sized commitments prior to winning contracts. As enterprises. The most novel new products or 12 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
The networking aspect is very important. Once known as a ‘green-leaning’ plumber, that might appeal to a larger business member who could employ them to work on a new ‘green’ building project.”
How is a business’ environmental impact different to households? “It depends on the business type and its size. Business impact tends to be much greater than households. For many it’s energy and transport, for others it maybe the raw materials they use. For example, as fuel prices rise, an efficient taxi company would focus on its vehicles using CARCULATE to redesign their fleet into a safe and efficient one. We could encourage them to consider sustainable driving courses so the drivers can learn how to use less fuel. They may look at biofuels or join the Carbon4Good programme to offset their carbon emissions and support local communities with tree planting.”
What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing New Zealand right now? “Right now I think it is probably rebuilding Christchurch. Hopefully this rebuild can be used as a model for addressing New Zealand’s urban design, energy and water problems. Our homes and commercial buildings are very inefficient and our car-focused urban planning means inefficient transport systems burning up more oil and releasing more carbon into the atmosphere. The rebuild is an opportunity to make Christchurch the most sustainable ‘green’ city in the country and potentially the world. We could even go as far as having new buildings which generate power, be located in the right places to encourage active modes of travel, the streets could be designed for people – not for cars. This is a great opportunity to realise urban planning for a future beyond oil.”
And the greatest environmental challenge facing the world? “Definitely climate change. It is the result of how we live, work and commute and it affects everything. Climate change hits us – socially and economically- it also impacts biodiversity and ecological systems. Whether humans can adapt to the changes coming our way and recreate how we live, work and play to have a positive impact on natural systems is the greatest test of our time.” For more information, visit www.sustainable.org.nz
We all know that proper insulation in your home will save on your energy bills and provide a drier, more comfortable, healthier living environment. But wouldn’t it be great to achieve this with insulation made in a sustainable way from natural resources?
without emitting toxins. And because wool is so durable, it does not need to be replaced or topped up – it will probably last the lifetime of your house. By contrast, the glass fibres in fibreglass insulation break down over time, causing the insulation to slump, meaning it loses its effectiveness.
dioxide and sulphur dioxide. Wool molecules bind together with these molecules in such a way that reemission does not occur, filtering your air and making it cleaner to breathe.
Terra Lana wool insulation
• Will not irritate your skin, lungs or throat Ceiling, wall and underfloor insulation act as a • Doesn’t require gloves or protective natural heater and air conditioner. When the clothing for installing temperature drops and the amount of moisture • Will not cause irritation to lungs or throat in the air increases, the wool absorbs this, releasing heat into your home. • Contains no harmful substances That’s where Terra Lana, a wool based insulation manufacturer steps in. Unlike other On a hot day, it’s the opposite; the wool gives • Is non-allergenic and non-toxic insulation which is made in an unsustainable off moisture into the air, absorbing energy, • Is rodent, insect and moth resistant way and can release harmful toxins and thereby cooling your home. This reduces particles into your home, Terra Lana’s products condensation and mould – your health will • Is naturally resistant to mould do the opposite. thank you! Inert mineral and synthetic fibres do not have this property and therefore are not as • Absorbs pollutants Firstly, the wool used in Terra Lana’s carpets effective at buffering changes in temperature • Is durable and long-lasting is either low grade virgin wool or waste wool and moisture. from the textile and carpet industries. The • Heats and cools the house naturally sheep wool is completely biodegradable, and On top of all of this, Terra Lana natural • Is from wool which biodegrades the melt bond fibre which holds the insulation wool insulation also traps substances like when composted. together is polyester, which decomposes safely formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), nitrogen
When you are building or renovating a home, you’ll be the one living there so don’t leave the selection of materials to someone else. Tell your architect or builder you want Terra Lana natural wool insulation. Your family, the environment and future generations will thank you for it.
Terra Lana 55 Francella Street | Bromley |Christchurch T (03) 982 0211 | F (03) 982 0212 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.terralana.co.nz
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Natural Wool Insulation www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 13
Cashew nuts are little bundles of goodness. Native to South America, cashew trees are today grown around the world and the nuts (actually seeds) are found in most New Zealand supermarkets. Nuts get a bad rep for being fatty, but studies are showing this isn’t true - actually, eating nuts twice a week aids weight loss. Cashew nuts are particularly good as 75 percent of the monosaturated fat found in them is ‘oleic
acid’ – the good stuff in olive oil. They are also cardio protectors by being chocked full of antioxidants. We all know how important calcium is for our bones, but magnesium is just as vital. Insufficient magnesium can contribute to high blood pressure, muscle spasms (including spasms of the heart muscle or the spasms of the airways symptomatic of asthma), and migraine headaches, as well as muscle cramps, tension, soreness and fatigue. The other great thing about cashews is that they are rich in copper. Yes, copper. It’s not something you think would be important to ingest, but numerous health problems can develop when copper intake is inadequate. These include iron deficiency anaemia, ruptured blood vessels, osteoporosis, joint problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, brain disturbances, elevated LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduced HDL (good) cholesterol levels,
irregular heartbeat, and increased susceptibility to infection. Twenty years of dietary data collected on 80,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study shows that women who eat least one ounce of nuts, peanuts or peanut butter each week have a 25 percent lower risk of developing gallstones. Most importantly, cashews are delicious! Sprinkle them on a curry, toss them through a stir-fry, or just munch on them as a snack. Your body will thank you!
“If you eat your carrots, you’ll be able to see in the dark.” Every child gets told that by their parent at some stage, but believe it or not there is a (really, really tiny) grain of truth to this old wives’ tale.
Easy on the mouth, not so easy on the nose. Most of us know garlicky food as something we eat, enjoy, then quickly go and brush our teeth after, well before we kiss our loved one good night. But other than being a burst of flavour in cooking, garlic has other good points.
It has been used by ancient Greek, Egyptian and Chinese cultures to treat a multitude of illnesses. Historically it has been used to treat gangrene in World War One and Two and to ward off scurvy, because it is high in Vitamin C. Today’s scientists are doing research into garlic’s effects on the heart. It has been found to lower blood pressure and garlic is clearly able to lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol, even though this reduction can be moderate. Most importantly, garlic protects blood cells and blood vessels from inflammatory and oxidative stress – which are factors in causing heart attacks. Research is being done into how garlic also helps prevent clots from forming inside of our blood vessels.
14 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
types of fruit. The body doesn’t make lutien so you need to eat it. Lutien is good for your eyes and your skin – it does this by filtering ‘blue light’ by as much as 90 percent. Blue light, which occurs indoors and outdoors, is believed to cause health problems in the human organs exposed to it, such as the eyes and skin. That’s why research has found that a lutien-rich diet lowers your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
An antioxidant called lutien is found in vegetables; particularly dark green leafy ones. It’s also found in corn, egg yolks and some
Lutein may also be good for your heart – it could help prevent or slow down atherosclerosis, the thickening of arteries. So you might not be able to see in the dark – but avoiding cataracts is definitely a bonus.
Research reported by the BBC in 2007 has also found it could help prevent the common cold, which won’t surprise herbal medicine enthusiasts who know it has been used for treating hoarseness and coughs for years. There are also encouraging studies into its ability to ward off cancer and to help us metabolise iron.
Chopping or crushing brings out the ‘allicin,’ which the compound garlic’s health benefits are attributed to. In order to allow for maximal allicin production, wait at least five minutes before eating or cooking the garlic after chopping and crushing it. Garlic can be added to so many dishes – curries, stirfrys, soups and in dressings and dips.
Gastric Reflux (GR) is the spilling of stomach contents back up the oesophagus (throat). This is very common in infants and a cause of the “baby badge” or worse – a complete change of clothes for baby and carer. As long as it isn’t causing pain to the baby and the baby is growing well, there is no medical treatment needed but it can still be quite isolating to parents who are scared to leave home because of the inevitable “milk bath”.
By Roslyn Ballantyne Gastric Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) is when Gastric Reflux does cause complications such as burning pains in the throat, refusal to feed, failure to thrive or breathing problems. GORD needs medical treatment. It’s not always as straightforward as it sounds though and this is why the website Crying Over Spilt Milk was set up by the Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children (GRSNNZ). When GRSNNZ members were asked for their experiences on GR and the support they received, Zalie had this to say: “Being a second time mother I thought I had GR sussed and under control as my first daughter also suffered from it!
I found www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz to be an amazing website and a wealth of knowledge for me in dealing with GORD for the second time! I’ve trawled the site from back to front numerous times and suggest others do also! So much assurance I’m doing the right thing with my upset baby has come from info found on there!” Nicola responded: “As a new mum I really didn’t realise that my baby’s screams weren’t normal until others commented in horror on how he seemed to be in pain. I was devastated! The doctor said he had reflux and would be fine. The doctor didn’t hear the screaming for hours at a time each time!
“My second daughter was a completely different ball game and her GORD was much more severe than the first. Daughter number two was a ‘failing to thrive’ baby. She refused to feed and eventually ended up in hospital. She is now a happy six-month-old who is finally being well medicated.
“I found the Crying Over Spilt Milk website after spending a lot of time researching reflux and ways to help my son… it was the first site where practical tips were offered that I could do at home to ease his pain. The tips have changed both our lives (along with knowing we are not alone in this) and I am so so grateful this site exists!”
“Coming from a small isolated town there wasn’t much knowledge/support with GORD, even the GPs are blissfully unaware of signs, symptoms, medication and other treatments!
If you think your baby has symptoms of GORD, discuss this with a health professional and visit www.cryingoverspiltmilk.co.nz for more information. If a diagnosis of GORD is made
please join GRSNNZ (electronic form is on the website). Membership is free and phone support is also available. There are also well researched, written and referenced information on treatment plans and medications that many doctors use as a guide. This has been approved by a paediatrician. Please do not make any changes to your child’s treatment yourself but feel free to print charts etc. and take them along to appointments with you.
Roslyn Ballantyne is the South Island regional coordinator of Crying Over Spilt Milk Gastric Reflux Support Network New Zealand for Parents of Infants and Children Charitable Trust (GRSNNZ)
Dramatic Improvement for Liam following Dore Having to sit still in class, and especially at assembly, was tremendously difficult for 10-year-old Liam Patten in his first three years at school. Being aware that he struggled with ADHD, his teachers tried to assist with different approaches, but they were not successful and Liam came to dislike school. He found it very hard to concentrate on his work. He would try to do tasks but fail at them and that impacted on his self-esteem. Then, two and a half years ago Liam’s mother, Kathryn, enrolled him on the Dore programme after reading an article in her local newspaper about Dore. The programme offered a drug free, exercise based treatment programme that could help people
suffering from ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and Asperger’s Syndrome. Although he found some of the exercises fun, the requirement to do exercises for 10 minutes twice a day was quite hard work for Liam. But as he progressed through the programme Kathryn noticed a dramatic change in her son. “He seemed to mature overnight, and he took more responsibility for things at home and at school. His reading had improved significantly and he became a library assistant so he could get first dibs at the new chapter books that came into the library.” Liam now finds it much easier to sit still and is far better at concentrating. This makes school work much easier and he always wants to go to school now. Liam now enjoys learning from books and is constantly cooking and doing science experiments. He has learned which things he is good at and those things which require more application. He sets himself tasks and can achieve them without disappointment. Liam recently completed his first cycling race, which he did with his Dad, setting himself a training schedule and sticking to it. He has come a long way since starting on the Dore Programme and Kathryn says when looking at her son now he seems no different to the others in his class – a dramatic improvement from two years ago.
www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 15
Have you ever asked yourself... Is there more cancer around these days? Why are there more pregnancy issues, infertility, or miscarriages? Why do more kids have ADHD now? Is male sexual dysfunction more prevalent now? What damage are we doing to our planet by using plastic? What’s causing
What is BPA (Bisphenol A)? BPA is widely used to make polycarbonate plastics such as those in baby bottles, water bottles and compact disc cases and is an ingredient in the resins used to line food cans. The chemical has been shown to leach into food or water. To see a complete definition of BPA, please go to www. safebottles.co.nz. The following is a direct quote from Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). As you will see they acknowledge that BPA and other chemicals do leach into food and liquid. However, they also say that it’s not proven to be harmful and doesn’t cause cancer. “In some circumstances, chemicals in food packaging can migrate into the food product and vice versa, depending on the nature of the packaging and the food contained within.” Food Standards Australia New Zealand “the most toxic chemical known to man.” Dr Frederick Vom Saal
The facts on BPA The following are quotes relating to BPA and chemicals found in plastic water bottles. To see the full quote and source, please visit our website, www.safebottles.co.nz In men the oestrogen mimicking effects of BPA have been known to block some of the more important effects that testosterone has on sexual functioning. Those who were exposed to BPA were four times more likely than those who were not exposed to report some sort of sexual dysfunction. Associate Professor of Department of Reproductive Sciences - Yale
But even though PETE (used in many plastic bottles) doesn’t contain BPA (as seen on 60 Minutes 9/6/2010), it does contain other chemicals called phthalates - which are also believed to be endocrine disruptors. Mindfood.com Like BPA, these chemicals leach into the water more quickly when the plastic is heated, so don’t leave these water bottles in a hot car or out in the sun. A potentially deadly toxin is being absorbed into bottled mineral
water from their plastic containers. And the longer the water is stored, the levels of poison increase, research reveals.
There are enough warning signs to show the need to act sooner rather than later. There are growing concerns about bottled water in particular in plastic bottles. The safest option is stainless steel. Breastchek.co.nz
Our findings suggest that exposure to low-dose BPA may have widespread effects on brain structure and function. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to classify BPA as safe, basing its ruling only on the findings of two industry-funded studies. There are over 200 independent scientists, not in conflict financially with this chemical (BPA), saying we find it relating to obesity, prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, brain disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, liver disease, ovarian disease, disease of the uterus, low sperm count for men and the list goes on. David Gutierrez Natural News After years of insisting Bisphenol-A (BPA) posed no threat to the health of babies, six larger manufacturers of baby bottles have announced they will stop shipping new baby bottles made with the chemical. Mike Adams, Natural News A 2007 review of 700 studies involving BPA, published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology, found that infants and foetuses were the most vulnerable to adverse effects from this toxic substance. C W Randolph, MD The researchers indicated that such damage is a possible predictor of reproductive diseases in women, including fibroids, endometriosis, cystic ovaries and cancers. Earlier studies linked low dose BPA to female reproductive-tract disorders, as well as early-stage prostate and breast cancer and decreased sperm counts in animals. Andreas Moritz In 2004, one researcher counted up all of the studies done to date on just BPA. Of 104 studies done by independent researchers, 94 found adverse effects. Donna Jackson Nakazawa
The latest study showed that women with a history of miscarriages were found to have higher levels of BPA in their bodies. The women who had miscarriages were found to have BPA levels on average about three times higher than women who had successfully given birth. David Steinman
The National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health concluded that there is “some concern” that BPA may cause problems in foetuses, babies and children, including breast or prostate cancer early onset of female puberty, attention deficit disorder and other problems of the reproductive and neurological systems. David Gutierrez Bisphenol A is such a dangerous chemical that I have no doubt it will one day be banned from all food and beverage products. Frederick vom Saal The following are countries which have taken action against BPA - Canada, Denmark, Belgium and France - so far. Those with the most BPA in their urine had nearly three times the risk of heart disease more than twice the risk of diabetes, as well as signs of liver damage. Unfortunately, the levels of BPA that were associated with disease are within the EPA’s industry-friendly levels of safety.” Byron Richards The following research is by world expert Dr William Shotyk - who has vowed never to drink bottled water again - “I don’t want to shock people but here’s what I know: Antimony is being continuously released into bottled drinking water. The water in PET bottles is contaminated”. Antimony finds its way into water by ‘leaching’ from the plastic in the same way that water absorbs flavour from a tea bag. Jo Knowsley If you have a baby that you are formula feeding, you are likely to be exposing your child to BPA through the formula itself, which is almost assuredly packaged in a BPA-lined can. Aaron Turpen In most countries, BPA is legal in food storage including baby bottles, containers and so forth. Very few companies are using BPA-free containers for anything. Aaron Turpen To see each of the quotes in full and the source please go to www.safebottles.co.nz
Call 0800 777 444, text SAFE to 244 or go to our website P.S. There’s an iron-clad, lifetime money-back guarantee on all bottles.
16 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
Gary Collins Managing Director
The effects of plastic on the environment are already well documented...but what about the effects of plastic on our bodies? Research is showing that under special circumstances, certain chemicals from plastic bottles and containers are able to leach into the water (or food) held within. One such culprit is a toxic chemical known as Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical with estrogen mimicking effects that is linked to obesity, diabetes, breast cancer and hyperactivity. Another two common toxic chemicals present in plastic bottles are antimony and phthalates. Make a change for the better. Buy stainless steel BPA-free SafeBottles and reduce the impact of plastic on the environment and our bodies.
For more information and to see the full range of SafeBottles, please visit www.safebottles.co.nz or call our friendly team on 0800 777 444 or text SAFE to 244.
www.awarenesstoday.co.nzâ€ƒâ€ƒ Autumn 2011 | 17
The Chief Executive of the Asthma Foundation, New Zealand’s authority on asthma, says we need to take a more preventative approach to asthma. Angela Francis, who replaced Jane Patterson in March, says her organisation is moving much more into the preventative space.
That’s how many New Zealand children live with the challenges, fears and disadvantages of asthma. The Asthma Foundation has calculated estimated children’s asthma prevalence figures for New Zealand’s regions as well, which will shock many New Zealanders. The figures are based on one in four New Zealand children having asthma and census 2006 regional population numbers.For example in Auckland, it’s estimated about 70 000 children have asthma (nearly as many people as in the Rodney District) and in Wellington about 23000, or the population of Johnsonville.
“We have entered a new era. We are working hard and smart to improve respiratory health. We are lobbying government for healthier homes and better laws to fight the scourge In the 2009/2010 year, there were 4618 of cigarette smoking. For example, through hospitalisations in New Zealand with asthma our work as part of the Smokefree Coalition, listed as the primary cause among 2 to 16 year we’ve seen some recent results with the olds, up from 4430 the previous year and 3524 announcements about making New Zealand in 2007/2008. Smokefree by 2025 and banning cigarette displays. “And, this is not just about numbers, but children’s everyday lives. We’re committed “We’re also stepping up our efforts to urge to alleviating the fear, pain and disadvantage people to manage their asthma through, for that children with asthma face. The wheezing; example, reducing their exposure to asthma the breathlessness; the days off school. The triggers such as dust mites and sudden sudden, scary trips to hospital,” Angela says. changes in temperature. We will continue Recent Ministry of Health figures reveal that asthma hospitalisations among New Zealand children have increased.
To put the prevalence of asthma into perspective: imagine that every,single person in Hamilton has asthma.
funding research into treatments and educate on best practice, but prevention is where the new health thinking is and we need to be part
18 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
of that, if we are to serve New Zealanders with asthma well. “We ask that parents and caregivers of children with asthma make sure that their child has a child asthma plan, which they and the child can fill out with a health professional [these plans are available at www.asthmafoundation.org.nz. Also parents need to have their children immunised against influenza each year. Children are encouraged to use their preventer medications as prescribed too rather than just relying on their relievers when their asthma gets bad.”
Malcolm Aitken Communications Manager The Asthma Foundation
A new, beautifully appointed yoga facility is drawing people from all over Christchurch, as they quickly realise the benefits of its range of heated classes. Flow Hot Yoga in Riccarton was recently established by experienced yoga instructors Greta Pattison, Victoria Pomeroy and Jessica Smith, to meet a need for more variety in the styles of yoga available in Christchurch. The studio, formally opened by worldrenowned yoga instructor Donna Farhi on February 4, caters for all ages and levels of experience, it aims to bring a sense of balance in body and mind, assisting in recovery from injury and building strength and wellbeing. “Yoga is not only for people who regard themselves as flexible,” Pomeroy says. “At Flow Hot Yoga people are entirely supported and are not working beyond their comfort or healing edge. The important thing is to make friends with our bodies rather than break away from them.” Hot Flow is regarded as the studio’s signature class, optimising the benefits of practising yoga in a heated environment of 40 degrees Celsius. Power Vinyasa, Yin and pre-natal yoga classes are also held regularly. The concept is both dynamic and challenging. The three Bikram-trained owners, together with their teachers, bring flair and knowledge to their individual classes. The studio is open seven days a week and offers up to five sessions each day, from as early as 6:15am.
Why the heat? Practicing yoga in a heated environment allows for the elimination of toxins through perspiration, whilst increasing flexibility and mobility of the body. The heat supports practitioners’ bodies as they perform poses, allowing them to relax and making their bodies more malleable and reducing the risk of injury.
that the heat does not become oppressive. Fresh air from outside is constantly circulated into the yoga room so the air is never stagnant. “People leave the facility feeling invigorated and full of endorphins,” Smith says, adding that the heat does not result in lethargy.
Excellent amenities Upon entering Flow Hot Yoga it is immediately apparent that every measure has been taken to create a quality, state of the art facility. The studio itself is a haven of tranquillity, with natural oils permitting a faint scent that is pleasant yet not overpowering. The spacious bathrooms are beautifully appointed, allowing customers to shower and change after class in comfort. Proud to call themselves “clean freaks”, the team at Flow Hot Yoga are conscious about the environment of the studio and bathrooms. The facility is cleaned daily with natural, hypoallergenic products.
Transformation Pomeroy says it is encouraging to see people leave a session at Flow Hot Yoga with “pure enjoyment” on their faces. “It is just wonderful to see that transformation on a daily basis.” Each style of yoga taught at the studio aims to work through the entire body, improving posture, strength and mobility as well as bringing calm and content to the mind. New customers can purchase an introductory pass giving them unlimited yoga at the studio for two weeks. This enables people to sample the different styles on offer and discover which classes meet their needs. “Our challenge as teachers is that these people continue to come back after the two weeks, as we want them to love yoga like we do,” Pomeroy says.
With the exception of pre-natal classes, all sessions are heated. Yin and Power Vinyasa classes are cooler than the Hot Flow classes, with temperatures ranging from the low thirties to the mid forties.
Greta( one of the studio oweners) doing standing Bow
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www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 19
A conversation with a deaf person is just the same as having a conversation with a hearing person – the key is to discover what techniques work best. Deaf people use different communication tools and there are several ways you can communicate with deaf people to effectively get a message across. Deaf people communicate visually so gesturing, facial expression and body language is very important. Here are some tips that will help you communicate easily with deaf people: • Face the Deaf person and get their attention before speaking. Remember to maintain eye contact… don’t turn away when watching them sign to you
• Deaf people wait for the person who is signing stop before the next person signs • Dim light makes it hard to see facial expressions and NZSL. Make sure the light is in front of you – try not to stand in front of a window • Avoid background noise when communicating 1. Get help with someone with a hearing aid If you have a sudden severe hearing loss, see • Speak clearly and a little more slowly and a doctor urgently. If you have some hearing rephrase rather than repeat loss, and your hearing doesn’t return to normal • Use simple gestures, write information down within two days, see your doctor. and point of indicate subjects or objects 2. Avoid foreign objects • Learn NZSL! There are culturally polite ways to interrupt a signed conversation. For example:
• If you didn’t understand what a person signed • Wait for a small pause before interrupting to you get them to sign it again. It’s ok to check clarify, tell them to slow down • Wave or tap the shoulder lightly and then wait for the person to look • Keep lips and face clear of obstruction (eg – hands, cups, large moustaches). For more information go to www.deaf.org.nz • Deaf people ask for attention by waving, stamping, touching or tapping one another, or switching lights on and off
This information has been kindly supplied by Deaf Aotearoa.
Don’t put foreign objects into your ear canal. The wax in your ear canal will make its own way to your outer ear. You can clean your outer ear with a warm flannel, or have the wax removed by your doctor. 3. Use water sport protection During high speed water sports like water skiing, wear a swim cap or approved swimmer’s earplugs. 4. Avoid noise damage Avoid prolonged or repeated exposure to loud noise.
• In conversation, every contact is very important and people need sufficient personal space for arm movements
5. Use safety gear
• Deaf people can’t interrupt conversations the way hearing people can. They need to see what is being said, so they can only pay attention to one person at a time
Always wear safety approved earplugs or earmuffs when mowing the lawn, using power tools, shooting a gun or in any noisy environment.
6. Dive carefully Too much change in air pressure while scuba diving can cause inner ear damage, dizziness and hearing loss. Equalise regularly during descent. If you are having difficulties seek professional advice before you dive again. 7. Avoid loud music Listen to music at sensible volume. Don’t have the volume up too loud for long periods, especially on a personal stereo when you are using headphones. 8. Avoid flying with a heavy cold Avoid flying if you have a heavy cold. Ears may be unable to clear during changes in air pressure and this could lead to a ruptured eardrum or inner ear damage. 9. Act on ear infections If you or your child has an earache, see the doctor. Earaches are often a sign of an ear infection which, if not treated, can lead to hearing loss. Keep a careful eye on children up to age 10 as they are more likely to have middle ear problems.
THE FACE OF HEARING IMPAIRMENT Hearing Impairment: The Profile You’re 8 years of age and in class, hearing what the teacher is saying; you can hear your fellow students, but you struggle to understand them. By the time you’ve deciphered the speech, the discussion has moved on, your teachers think you are a little “slow” while your classmates aren’t really sure what to make of you. Your auditory processing disorder means it takes your brain longer to make sense of speech, but the teacher and your friends don’t really understand that. That’s the face of Hearing Impairment.
Hearing Impairment: The Profile You’re in your teens and have just learned you are eligible for a state funded Cochlear Implant (bionic ear). You have an unending list of queries but the excitement at the possibility of hearing far outweighs the fear of the unknown. That’s the face of Hearing Impairment.
Hearing Impairment: The Profile You’re in your mid-40s, married with dependent children, but despite attending dozens of interviews, you can’t get a job as you are competing against other candidates who have considerably less experience and skills but they are valued more than you because your hearing loss makes it impossible to use the telephone, and you struggle in meetings. Your husband is under stress from working long hours and things are tight financially. You struggle to hear your children, especially when they’re all there at once, and you sometimes
feel you are losing contact with them. Increasingly, you feel disconnected, lonely and useless. That’s the face of Hearing Impairment.
Hearing Impairment: The Profile You’re in your 50s, you’ve struggled for years with deteriorating hearing but have managed to hang on to your job by compensating and going the extra yards. Your employers and your your family have struggled through the frustration, they’ve stood by you. You are one of the lucky ones and have been offered a cochlear implant which has turned your life around; you can use the phone again for the first time in years and you can hear again in meetings. That’s the face of Hearing Impairment.
Hearing Impairment: The Profile You’ve in your 60s and worked all your life in a noisy environment and hearing protection was not offered and now your hearing and your family are suffering. You struggle to hear in at social functions, so you avoid them; you have the TV so loud your family can’t stay in the same room; ACC declined your application for hearing aid funding and the Ministry of Health funding comes to only $1000. You have limited savings to cover emergencies so you opt for caution, and give the hearing aids a miss. That’s the face of Hearing Impairment.
For thousands of New Zealanders, these examples are the realities of their daily lives and we have people available for interview.
20 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
Hearing Impairment is invisible, but the price tag comes not just in dollars, but in lost opportunities, daily struggles, frustration, anger, isolation, relationship breakdowns, and, more often than we like to acknowledge, bullying and eventually despair.
It is a measure of how much we neglect the Hearing Impaired in New Zealand in that we don’t even have precise numbers on how many New Zealanders are affected. Research from 2001 shows one in 10 New Zealanders has a hearing loss which on the current population makes the total 450,000. Of those, 290,000 have a hearing loss that is a disability. But a report to the Australian Senate in May 2010 states one in six people in that country with hearing loss, while in Britain, the ratio is much the same. One in six New Zealanders equates to 727,950 people. Regardless of the exact numbers, the Hearing Impaired make up the biggest sensory disability group in New Zealand and based on Australian research, it costs the New Zealand economy around $1.8 billion a year in lost production. But the issue is a human one. It is one of struggle and frustration, but also one of triumph and beating the odds. Hearing Week this year focuses on the various faces of Hearing Impairment.
“We are a huge and diverse group, but one that is generally below the radar,” says Louise Carroll, CEO of
the National Foundation for the Deaf which promotes Hearing Week.
“Part of that is our own fault because one of our first responses to hearing loss is to deny and try to hide it. If we don‘t hear something properly the first time, we may ask again, but sooner or later we give up and make a guess. “We struggle in background noise such as in social functions, and the first instinct is not to go there in the first place. We struggle to hear in shops, we struggle to hear in public transport, we struggle in situations where we can’t clearly see the face of the person talking, in the end our whole life becomes an exhausting struggle of trying to communicate and integrate. “But ultimately we can’t give up. The face of Hearing Impairment is also the face of determination.”
and please, do not shout as it is humiliating and makes hearing even more difficult. She said it was also aimed at decision-makers from government to corporations to make them understand the size of the issue and to encourage them to look at how they can help. “It’s easy to dump the issue at the feet of the government and expect some sort of solution, but it is an issue for all of us,” she said. “For every person with a hearing loss, eight or more people are affected – family, friends and workmates. “The issue for all of them – government, corporations and others – is that helping those with Hearing Impairment is an investment and one that ultimately pays significant dividends.”
Mrs Carroll said Hearing Week aims to present all the faces of Hearing Impairment, to make those who live with hearing loss realise they are not alone and there are a number of organisations that can help them. It is also a golden opportunity for all Kiwis to consider how they communicate with each other and to learn how to become hearing aids by gaining our attention; speaking a little slower; please face us; keep your lips clear
Cochlear Limited delivers the world’s most reliable cochlear implant, developed to provide unrivalled hearing performance. Talk to your healthcare professional or visit www.cochlear.com to find out more.
10. Avoid cotton wool
Don’t use cotton wool instead of earplugs. Cotton wool offers no hearing protection at all. It can also damage the ear if pushed too far in.
As we age, our hearing ages too, and almost everyone will experience the clarity of our hearing slowly reduce. High pitched sounds are always the first to become difficult to hear.
Hearing Loss Causes There are several causes of hearing deterioration or loss. Here are some of the most common. Wax build up Wax is produced naturally in the ear canal to help keep it clean and to protect the eardrum. When some people produce more wax than others, it can build up to block the ear canal and reduce hearing. In most cases, the wax is carefully removed by a doctor. If you try to remove the wax from your ears yourself, you risk pushing it further into your ear or damaging the eardrum and causing permanent damage. Ear infection In a child, ear infections such as glue ear can seriously affect progress at school. But ear infections can be satisfactorily treated. If you or your child has a painful or discharging ear, or you suspect your child has glue ear, see your doctor immediately.
Damage to the eardrum Never put any foreign objects in or near your ear canal.
A perforated or ruptured eardrum will cause some hearing loss. The eardrum may heal itself naturally or be repaired with surgery. But if you have a perforated eardrum, wear earplugs when swimming to stop water entering your ear.
Accidents If you received head injuries in an accident your hearing could be damaged. Loud blasts can rupture or perforate the eardrums. So can a fall in a high speed water sport, like water skiing. Rubella and pregnancy Some children are born deaf and there are many reasons why this occurs. Sometimes, if a mother had rubella (German measles) during the third month of her pregnancy, there is a risk that the baby will be born deaf. Also, if a birth is difficult and the baby doesn’t get enough oxygen, deafness can also occur. Other causes of deafness at birth can be advised by a doctor or specialist. Meningitis In some cases, meningitis is known to cause hearing impairment or deafness. Excessive noise Being exposed to loud noise for a short time will cause temporary hearing loss. But very loud, long or repeated exposure will cause permanent hearing loss. The louder the noise, the shorter the time before your hearing is damaged.
Drugs Several drugs can damage your hearing. If you are taking medicine and you think your hearing is being affected, tell your doctor.
www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 21
Hundreds of thousands of Kiwi women share a common, silent secret. Most suffer in silence, wait years before seeking help.
and are necessary for sexual functioning. Ideally these muscles - like any other skeletal muscles - need to be strong, responsive and coordinated. While there are many different types of pelvic floor dysfunction, the most common type occurs when they are weakened. This often results in stress incontinence: the involuntary leakage of urine on exertion or effort.
Often when they finally do reach out, many are shocked to find that their problem is quite easily treatable. Even more devastating is the news they are unintentionally making their secret problem worse… How? By working out and exercising.
The New Zealand Continence Association reveals that these problems are surprisingly common:
“I was getting so frustrated with the same story every week,” says Lisa Yates, women’s health physiotherapist. “Women were amazed by how common their problem was and annoyed that they had been potentially making it worse by doing certain exercises…I have also noticed over the years a growing concern amongst continence practitioners, seeing the same story over and over.”
• One in three women who have ever had a baby suffers from some form of incontinence. • Loss of bladder and bowel control regularly affects nearly 600,000 Kiwis with around 80% of these being women.
Many of these women are in key life stages, such as childbearing or menopause and many will coincidentally be participating in a myriad of exercise. This presents a dilemma to continence professionals who recognise that exercise is a key part of maintaining health, but that the wrong type of exercise may worsen With increasing emphasis placed on the pelvic floor dysfunction. When problems such importance of physical activity, many New and urinary incontinence or vaginal prolapse Zealand women are now regularly participating occur, many women withdraw from physical in some form of exercise programme. While activity altogether, which can start a whole this is good news for the fitness industry, cycle of ongoing health concerns. repeated stress on the pelvic floor caused by many common exercises such as running, and The New Zealand Continence Association is committed to providing professional and certain types of abdominal work can worsen public education and promotes research into the symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence and related problems. They are stress incontinence. determined to try and break this cycle of When the pelvic floor muscles work well, activity withdrawal from continence related they play a key role in maintaining urinary problems. The good news is that robust incontinence. They support the pelvic organs clinical trails have proven the effectiveness of
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Pelvic floor muscle training in treating stress incontinence, with a cure rate of up to 84%. Despite this, many women are still unaware that this common problem can be effectively treated with professional advice from a women’s health physiotherapist or trained continence practitioner. While our television screens are filled with pleasant advertisements assuring that “pads” will solve their “laughable” problem, an important message isn’t getting through. Incontinence may be “common” but is not “normal” and women should not have to suffer in silence. A compounding factor is that many public hospitals and birthing units in New Zealand no longer provide women with important pelvic floor education post-natally. While post natal classes were once mainstream, shorter hospital stays and ongoing budget cuts have seen a steep decline in this sort of education. “It is after pregnancy and birth when the muscles have been stretched and weakened, that the pelvic floor is the most vulnerable and correct education is vital.” says Lisa. Women are bombarded with increasing media pressure
to regain their pre-baby figure, which often results in women returning to intense exercise too soon and ending up with problems…This is heavily reinforced in our culture of abdominal strengthening - People still believe that doing curl-ups will flatten their stomachs post-baby. But it is exactly these types of exercises, done by “at risk” woman that can exacerbate or even cause pelvic floor dysfunction.” To provide education to women the NZ Continence Association is launching the Pelvic Floor First campaign this year. They will run one day courses for midwives and fitness professionals in Auckland, Wellington, Rangiora and New Plymouth and also encouraging continence professionals to hold 1-2 hour public education session in venues all around NZ during World Continence Week (WCW) 20-26 June 2011.
For free information phone 0800 650 659 or visit www.continence.org.nz Check the website prior to WCW for an education session near you.
By Dr Nick Crock
In the wake of the global obesity epidemic, diabetes is a growing problem in New Zealand and worldwide. Current estimates put the number of New Zealanders with diabetes (predominantly type 2), at around 200,000, with another 100,000 who do not know they have the disease. Results from well-designed studies show that good control of blood sugar levels is associated with better long term outcomes and fewer complications from diabetes. In addition there seems to be a “legacy” effect from good blood glucose control now, that pays dividends years in the future (good glucose control early in the disease process results in lifelong benefits). Patients are exhorted to keep blood glucose levels within the normal range to minimise the long term risks of complications. The national target is to get everyone with diabetes to have an HbA1c (the long term measure of blood glucose control) at seven percent or below,
which equates to near normal average blood glucose levels. One tool to help people with diabetes walk the tightrope of good glucose control is selfmonitoring of blood glucose levels (SMBG). In New Zealand we actually spend more on the means to test blood glucose levels than we spend on the drugs that we use to control the blood glucose level itself. This begs the question “Are we testing too much?” or at the very least “Are we testing in the most appropriate manner?” So who, why and when should someone with diabetes benefit from testing their own glucose levels to get the best possible outcome? In my opinion, the answer is like many in medicine – it needs to be individualised, but there are some potential rules of thumb. Probably the easiest to answer is the who:
learn more about my diabetes”, “to see if I got the dose of insulin right”, “to change my diet and see what happens”, “to see what effect that run had on my blood glucose” – or more generally “so that I’ll know how to deal with my diabetes better next time I do those things”. Why, is ultimately about empowering yourself. Regarding the ‘when’, I think the utility of “routine” testing is of doubtful benefit for a lot of people. From a purely theoretical standpoint, doing something for the sake of it doesn’t serve any useful purpose. On the other hand, focussed or targeted testing which
aims to assist with day to day life, answer a question, or improve glycaemic control makes considerably more sense. So the next time you take out your blood glucose meter to check what your capillary blood glucose level is, ask yourself “Why am I doing this?” If you can’t think of a good answer then you probably need some more advice, or education about what to do with the result. That’s where your primary care team and specialist diabetes teams come in.
• Anyone who is on insulin, whether they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes • Some people on sulphonylureas (drugs which lower blood glucose by stimulating more insulin release) • Some people who are unwell • Some people who have dysglycaemia (either high or low blood glucose levels). Why, could be for many reasons, but all too frequently I’m told that it’s “because the doctor expects me to”. For me the only reason for doing a test is to find something out. So why should be “to
www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 23
Build your immune system to get ready for winter’s onslaught It’s that time of the year again — the days are shorter, there is less sunshine, the skies are often grey, and the air is becoming chilly.
important active ingredient ‘Oleuropein’. Oleuropein is attributed to giving Olive Leaf it’s potent immune enhancing properties. Without this active ingredient Oleuropein, Olive Leaf has a much lesser effect. The Olive tree is among the oldest known cultivated trees For a good number of people the winter in the world and it’s fruit and leaves have months can be spent battling some type been used for centuries in folk medicine. It’s of lurgy that leaves them feeling under the popularity has increased in more recent times weather at best, and bedridden at worst. While as it’s many actions and proven effectiveness our immune system is adept at maintaining a make this one of the most sought after herbs healthy equilibrium most of the time, certain for treating a multitude of health conditions circumstances can lead to our immunity particularly immune related. Herbalists also becoming overwhelmed and unable to cope. utilise the herbs Astragalus, Pau d’Arco and Andrographis in their winter formulations. All So what is it about the advent of the cooler seasons that brings about an increase in winter manner of health problems can benefit from their immune modulating actions. Our immune ills and chills? Each year sees the arrival of a system is also adversely affected by even new generation of potential problems for our moderate degrees of zinc deficiency. Zinc is health, and while our immune system has required for the development and activation of the ability to mount a successful response T-lymphocytes, a kind of white blood cell that against a substance it has encountered and helps our immune system function optimally. overcome before, it will not recognise a changed or mutated substance. Some of the Lifestyle recommendations common signs that your immune system is ¢ Vitamin C helps prevent viruses multiplying. under functioning can include lethargy and Citrus fruit, feijoas, kiwifruit, broccoli and fatigue, wounds that are slow to heal, cold capsicum are good food sources and sores, sensitivities to certain foods, animal hair supplementing with extra vitamin C is and pollens and more than one or two winter also recommended. ailments a year. ¢ Cut back on nutrient depleting The immune system is the equivalent of a habits such as alcohol, sugary personal army, it is composed of a complex foods, fast foods and smoking. assortment of physical barriers (skin, mucus membranes and associated secretions), lymphatic vessels and organs, immune cells capable of recognising and eliminating foreign invaders, and chemical mediators integral to the immune response. The immune system has the phenomenal task of protecting against the onslaught of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that continually assail the body. These pathogens (disease causing organisms) may be airborne, reside in food and soil, and can lurk for long periods on commonly used objects such as money and doorknobs. Some even live naturally in and on the body and are kept in check by a healthy immune system. However if immune defences are weakened or the pathogens overwhelm normal resistance, mild or serious states of illness can eventuate. Our immune system is an extraordinarily complex network of cells that have the ability to communicate with each other, recognise substances that are harmful to the body, and then mount an immune response to prevent a person becoming unwell. Because of this complexity, it is not surprising that the immune system relies on a constant supply of nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals to carry out its work efficiently. Additionally, lifestyle factors such as prolonged stress, poor nutrition, inadequate sleep, cigarettes, alcohol and recreational drugs, endurance exercise and some prescription medications all adversely affect the strength of our immune system. Of all the herbal remedies used for helping immune function Olive Leaf is perhaps the most effective as long it contains the all
¢ Keep warm and drink plenty of fluids. A rise in body temperature makes viral replication and survival difficult, and hydration is important to prevent mucus membranes from becoming dry and vulnerable to invasion. ¢ Wash hands regularly. As well as being airborne viruses survive for long periods on surfaces such as door knobs, taps, money and other people’s hands. ¢ Frequently clean all commonly used surfaces with disinfectant when someone in the house is unwell, don’t share eating utensils and throw away all tissues immediately after use. ¢ Get adequate sleep — lack of sleep is linked to poor immune function; and employ good stress management techniques — stress is a known immune depressant. Good Health’s comprehensive Viralex® range of immune system support products provides a broad spectrum of effective and essential ingredients to assist health and well-being for the whole family. Viralex® combines key herbal extracts and nutrients to support the body’s natural immune response. Viralex® Childrens’ liquid and chewable tablets are
suitable for children as young as three years. The Viralex® range can be taken to support immune function before the onslaught of ills, and in higher doses if you feel unwell. There is no need to wait until you feel under the weather before you start supporting your immune system — if you know you are tired and stressed, or know you often get ill at this time of year, then start work on building your immune system.
www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 25
Modern life has enough stresses impacting our health and well-being without illness or disease playing a part. There are things that we can do with just a few changes to our lives we can be much healthier and happier, reduce stress and more effectively ward off various health issues. I’m never going to claim that any of these tips will cure any ailment, if you have an issue
which concerns you then you should go see an expert. People have gotten some amazing results from changing their habits, changing diets, adding quality supplements, changing attitudes and so on. It doesn’t take a daily two hour workout at the gym (not that that’s a bad thing) and it doesn’t involve going 100 percent macrobiotic or something. Dehydration is a subtle problem that affects many of us. The effects show up as diminished efficiency, fuzzy headedness, and other problems that can be caused by many things. You’ve heard about drinking those ‘Eight to Ten Glasses of Water a Day’. This cleans out toxins and helps the body function much better. I keep a sports bottle (non-plastic) by my desk and sip constantly.
Add movement to your life. Park further so you walk between the car and the stops, or take steps instead of elevators. Find ways to add some fun exercise to your routine. You don’t have to run a marathon. Simply add a little more walking to your routine. Increase it on a regular basis.
Eat a large variety of fresh produce, the more richly coloured the better, and supplement your diet with high quality vitamins and minerals if your dietary intake is still inadequate; some minerals are depleted in soil and we cannot get them through food alone. In general, fresh foods are more nutritious than packaged foods.
Take time to relax. Allow yourself to destress at least once a day. Find a little corner somewhere to hide out with a book, or catch up with a friend. The occasional massage or spa time is a nice treat too.
Eat vegetables every day. Vegetables provide vitamins, minerals and fibre. Many are known to help protect against various degenerative diseases including cancer. The fresher the better. The more darkly coloured then better. Yes, I know I mentioned it above. It bears repeating. This may be the single best thing you can do for yourself.
A really basic health and wellness tip; Get adequate sleep. This may involve changing your routine, but less stress and better health may be worth it. Getting a decent mattress may help a lot. Take the TV out of the bedroom.
Laugh. Let humour enter your life. One of the easiest ways of being healthier is to find a way to relax more and have more fun.
Healthy Alternatives provide wellness programs and coaching to help people use food as their medicine, through fitting the food to the individual. Their Wellington clinic is open for appointments, and telephone/skype consultations are available for out of town clients. For more information call 0508 2 BE WELL.
Discover which foods are making you sick www.beallergyfree.net.nz Visit us at the
Gluten Free Food and Allergy Shows For 17 years John used a barrage of creams and steroid ointments in an attempt to control the eczema which was all over his body. Seasonally he also struggled with hay fever, and twice daily antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops were an unwelcome part of his daily routine. As an active sportsman, John struggled as his participation made the eczema worse and hampered his enjoyment. “I couldn’t handle extremes in temperature, as either hot or cold made my skin flare up. When I was physically active I started to itch and it interfered with my focus.”
John was advised to remove gluten, dairy and egg from his diet. But despite many months following these dietary restrictions, he was still breaking out. Then in 2008 he took a Biocompatibility Test from Healthy Alternatives and started their 6-month programme. By successfully identifying and eliminating other reactive foods in his diet, John stopped breaking out within 5 weeks. After all he had tried, John was amazed it was so easy. “I thought it was going to be painful, but all I had to do was provide a hair sample. The results came back quickly and the programme was very easy to follow”. Through the biocompatibility testing, John discovered which foods were making him sick and which he could safely enjoy. He is still eczema and hay fever free today. To find out more about biocompatibility testing and how it can benefit you, visit www.beallergyfree.net.nz or call 0508 2 BE WELL
26 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
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Distributed by Crombie & Price Ph: 0800 11 83 11 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 27
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is also known as Chronic Obstructive Respiratory Disease (CORD), is an umbrella term that covers emphysema and chronic bronchitis. And it is estimated that one in seven Kiwis 45 and over has one of these illnesses. Put another way, that’s about 200,000 New Zealand adults. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in adults in New Zealand following heart disease, cancer and stroke.
So what is COPD? With emphysema the air sacs in the lungs have been destroyed to the extent that people have difficulty absorbing enough oxygen. The airways of people with chronic bronchitis
By Malcolm Aitken
become narrower, inflamed and produce excessive mucus. Signs of having a COPD include coughing, increased phlegm and breathlessness. If you experience these symptoms or someone that you care about does, a medical professional should definitely be consulted. Smoking is by far the biggest contributing factor to COPD. However, there is a rare hereditary factor known to cause COPD too. Severe Alpha-1 Antritrypsin Deficiency is a recessive trait most common in people with northern European genes as part of their genetic make up. In smokers with the deficiency, COPD develops much faster. Less than five percent of COPD cases are attributable to this hereditary factor though.
Asthma Foundation’s COPD support The Asthma Foundation is at the forefront in the fight against COPD. It puts a lot of work into raising public awareness of COPD via its website, news releases and publications – including theCordially Yours (which comes out each year in March and September) and the Asthma and Respiratory News, which comes out in March, July and November each year.
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a quarterly magazine The Foundation also teaches health professionals such as nurses about COPD via its Asthma Fundamentals programme at Whitireia Community Polytechnic in Porirua, near Wellington.
World COPD Day is on Wednesday 16 November 2011. For more information you can visit the Asthma Foundation’s website on www.asthamfoundation.org.nz
And the programme was recently revamped to include a section devoted to COPD.
A number of COPD support groups, which run group exercises and provide a social network, exist in New Zealand. To find the one nearest to you visit www.asthmafoundation.org.nz/ contactus/copdgroups.
Less smoking means less COPD As an active member of the Smokefree Coalition, the Asthma Foundation lobbies Members of Parliament in support of smoke free legislation and other tools in the fight against the big tobacco lobby. One important initiative for the Asthma Foundation is that together with the organisation Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), they present and administer the Smokefree Retailers Awards. Retailers who stop selling cigarettes or at least take down their smoking power wall displays, provided by the tobacco companies, are recognised with a certificate. The awards have been presented all around Aotearoa and have attracted considerable media attention.
It is also important for people with COPD to take their medication as prescribed, follow a self management plan and visit their health team regularly (plans are available on the Asthma Foundation’s website at www.asthmafoundation.org.nz). There are lots of people who can support individuals with who want to support people with COPD. It is important that poorly build a relationship with their doctor, practice nurse, asthma educator and pharmacist, or any combination thereof. Following their advice should help them reduce the number of symptoms they have to deal with.
For many people, regular eye examinations are often down the bottom of their ‘to do’ list. However the team at Richard Suckling Optometrists maintain that this can lead to increased risk of glaucoma and other eye problems that could easily have been avoided. “Glaucoma is a silent disease that often starts around the age of 40, affecting the peripheral vision,” office manager Beverley Berrichi says. “But with regular eye examinations it can be detected in the very early stages, and this is especially important for people with a family history of glaucoma as it can be inherited.” Richard Suckling Optometrists has been operating from Barrington Mall for more than 30 years and has gained a reputation for its professional service and quality products. Two highly qualified optometrists work onsite, with Christine Cooney also being able to dispense prescriptions. Owner Richard Suckling has been practising optometry since the mid-seventies, and is dedicated to providing the best possible service to his patients. Investment in the latest technology enables the practice to effectively detect a wide range of eye diseases, including macular degeneration and cataracts. A digital retinal camera takes photos so health of the eye can be monitored, and a scanning laser enables retinal nerve fibre analysis to be carried out – allowing the detection of glaucoma up to five years earlier than conventional methods. Specialising in contact lenses, Richard Suckling Optometrists has an array of options available for those playing contact sport, or simply for the more fashion conscious. Frame and lens packages start at around $128 for single vision lens, an example of how the practice is committed to providing quality products at attractive prices. “We try to keep our frame prices as low as possible, with the average price being around $250 for some really nice styles,” Berrichi says.
associated with Southern Cross and SuperGold Card holders. AA Rewards are also offered. Additional services and products include sunglasses, prescription safety spectacles and the latest accessories.
Richard Suckling Optometrists: Advice for healthy vision • Wear good sunglasses • Ensure there is sufficient light when reading • Make sure children do not sit too close to the television, and if reading on their stomach ensure that the book is at least elbow length away to avoid the development of shortsightedness • Do not underestimate the importance of regular and thorough eye examinations, especially for those aged over 40
Richard Suckling Optometrists Barrington Shopping Centre 256 Barrington Street T (03) 332 1730 E email@example.com www.suckling.co.nz
We’re EyePro’s Don’t take chances with your eyes. They’re just too important to risk getting it wrong.
“We do have an advantage as we deal with quite a few independent wholesalers, which results in a wider selection at better prices.” The practice belongs to the EyePro Eyecare group, which has added benefits for customers
Available from Richard Suckling Optometrist
www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 29
We all know what it’s like when you wake up after a bad night’s sleep. Your back hurts. Your neck is stiff. You can’t concentrate so you hit the coffee and sugary energy drinks. You might feel grumpy and snap at someone who doesn’t deserve it. Not only does a bad night’s sleep make you feel run over, but getting a good night’s sleep is right up there with eating well and exercising regularly to keep your body and mind in tip top working order. Dreamwool has the answer to all of your sleep problems. Started 35 years ago by ex-farmers who knew the incredible health properties of wool, it has evolved over the years to become one of New Zealand’s leading bed and bedding suppliers.
Wonderful wool The team at Dreamwool considers wool to be one of nature’s greatest inventions. “The natural crimp of the fibre cushions the body in a way that synthetics can only struggle to emulate. Unlike other manufacturers, we never mix our wool with synthetics to pad it out. That might deceive in the showroom, but the difference would be very clear after only a few nights’ use,” Dreamwool manager David Henderson says.
a solid matt as lower quality wools can,” Henderson says.
underlays or the various other products now appearing on the market,” Henderson stresses.
Not only that, but the combination of Southdown wool and natural latex for a bedding is also dust repellent (reducing likelihood of an allergic reaction) is anti-static and naturally anti-bacterial – so theres no harmful vapours released as you sleep. Wool also has the ability to breathe; therefore it controls the bed’s microclimate making it cool in summer and warm in winter.
“Most contain much less wool (some with less than a quarter of Dreamwool’s product). Not only will they fail to provide the proven health benefits that thousands of Dreamwool users enjoy but they tend to flatten badly with use. By comparison, Dreamwool underquilts retain their resilience and their comfort.”
Dreamwool sells a range of mattress options, and the team encourages you and your partner to visit the shop and decide what feels right for you both. There are also wool pillows and under-quilts for sale. Dreamwool’s luxury wool pillow came about after years of research and development. “Epitomizing our quest for excellence, the Dreamwool pillow with its quilted cotton cover and wool filling offers two comfort options, with the ability to adjust the filling to your needs. These pillows are ideal for anyone suffering neck and shoulder discomfort,” Henderson says. The original New Zealand underquilt made by Dreamwool almost 30 years ago is still unique in its effectiveness but is now even more comfortable, because Dreamwool has added a stretch cotton fabric with allergyreducing properties. “Dreamwool’s underquilts must not be confused with sheep skin rugs, woven
If you’d prefer something with New Zealand wood, look no further than a Rose and Heather bed crafted from ancient Kauri, or try a minimalistic slat frame made from Southland Beech timber. It can be stained to your colour of choice and all size options are available. Why not visit Dreamwool’s Blenheim Road shop today and see the quality beds and bedding it has been making for 35 years. Get a good night’s sleep and see the improvements in your physical and mental health!
We all have different bodies and a mattress that’s right for one person might be terrible for another. Dreamwool’s Ergosleep mattresses, Dreamwool Limited using scientific technology, ensure the mattress 105 Blenheim Road, you buy is right for you. Christchurch T (03) 343 5105 All this takes is a trip to the Ergosleep testing F (03) 343 5107 studio. The computer maps out your DNA E firstname.lastname@example.org (personal physical profile) and then your Ergosleep slats are completely adjusted to suit www.dreamwool.com your body. Dreamwool sells beautiful beds that will turn your bedroom into something out of a magazine. Firstly there’s a range of beds crafted in the idyllic town of Richelieu, France. For centuries master craft makers have been creating beds and other furniture in this town, and Dreamwool is the only New Zealand seller of these handcrafted, elegant beds.
Wool provides the healthiest sleeping environment. Believe it or not, the average person loses about 200ml to 500ml of moisture in perspiration each night. Unlike synthetics, wool has the natural ability to absorb this moisture and even out your body’s temperature so your sleep isn’t disturbed. Synthetics do not absorb moisture so readily, resulting in fluctuating temperatures, a clammy feeling and an interrupted sleep. At Dreamwool, only the best quality wool is used in its mattresses. “Because our Southdown wool is of such high quality (thanks to the Southdown Breeders Group), it retains its springy texture and does not squash into
Pleased to support Dreamwool Beds Providing accounting, taxation and business and management advice to individuals and businesses of all sizes throughout Christchurch and New Zealand.
Private Wool Buyers & Exporters of Quality Wool Why is New Zealand wool the best in the world? New Zealand has the “clean, green” image for a reason – our abundant pastures! We have lush green grass available all year round. Our wool naturally has a unique colour and textile strength and is practically free of vegetable matter as well as being whiter than other varieties of stock bred elsewhere in the world.
Pleased to support Dreamwool Beds. 2nd Floor, 137 Victoria Street, PO Box 4160, Christchurch 8140 T. 0064 3 379 0829 F. 0064 3 366 7144 E. email@example.com W. www.marriotts.co.nz 30 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
Main West Coast Road Yaldhurst, RD6 Christchurch 7676 Phone: +64 3 342 6223 Fax: +64 3 342 6234 www.nzwool.com
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energy and no bladder infections. I adopted another dog six months ago and immediately threw away the food the pound gave and started her on the Canidae All Life Stages dry food formula. Canidae is more expensive than other food, but the money that I saved in medicine for bladder infections and vet visits more than make up for it. One thing to be thankful for with the food recall, it made me more aware about the nutrition of my dogs. Linda, Houston
“Thank you for making a great pet food” I just wanted to say that I recently switched my two dogs to Canidae All Life Stages and it is wonderful. They are both doing great on it and their coats have never looked better. If I can budget it in I plan to switch our two cats to Felidae
when the bag of food we currently have runs out. I’m sure they will do equally as well on it. Thank you for making a great pet food and saving me, I’m sure, hundreds in future vet bills.
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For more detailed information call on 0800 101 729 Level 3, 818 Colombo St, PO Box 1879, Christchurch. Fax: 03 961 5112 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Web: www.canidae.co.nz
www.awarenesstoday.co.nz Autumn 2011 | 31
Could your skin rash be psoriatic arthritis?
If you suffer from itchy, red skin as well as sore joints, you could have a condition called psoriatic arthritis.
The good news is that there is a medication called HUMIRA that can effectively treat this condition.1
What is psoriatic arthritis?1 It is a chronic inflammatory disease which occurs when the body’s immune system overproduces a protein called tumor necrosis factor (TNF) which attacks healthy cells and tissues. This can cause stiffness and swelling in your joints, and an overproduction of skin cells which leads to itchy, red plaques on your skin. If left untreated, psoriatic arthritis can lead to limited movement and joint damage.
How can HUMIRA help?1,2 HUMIRA is a clinically proven treatment that has been shown to help stop the destructive action of the TNF protein. HUMIRA can help bring effective relief by reducing joint inflammation and improving skin symptoms.
Symptoms of early psoriatic arthritis can include:1 • Tender, swollen joints • Red, itchy, flaky skin • Pain and stiffness in the back and neck • Nail changes, for example, nails that become pitted and discoloured • Morning stiffness • General fatigue.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, talk to your doctor today.
HUMIRA is only available by prescription from a rheumatologist.3
Freedom to Live
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT HUMIRA Humira is a Prescription Medicine containing 40 mg adalimumab per syringe or pen. It is used for reducing the signs and symptoms and slowing the progression of joint damage in adult patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, including patients with recently diagnosed moderate to severely active disease who have not received methotrexate. It also treats the signs and symptoms of moderate to severe psoriatic arthritis in patients where response to previous disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs has been inadequate. You should not start Humira if you have an infection, including an infection that is only in one place (such as an open cut or sore) or an infection that is in your whole body (such as the ’flu). Tell your doctor if you have a history of recurrent infections or other conditions that increase the risk of infections. Tell your doctor if you live(d) or have travelled to countries where there is more risk for certain kinds of fungal infections (histoplasmosis, coccidioidomycosis, or bastomycosis). These infections may develop or become more severe if you take Humira. Tell your doctor if you have ever had Hepatitis B or been in contact with someone with Hepatitis B. Before starting Humira, your doctor should check you for signs and symptoms of tuberculosis (TB). Tell your doctor if you have ever had TB, or if you have been in close contact with someone with TB. If symptoms of TB (a dry cough that doesn’t go away, weight loss, fever, night sweats), or symptoms of any other infections appear during therapy, tell your doctor immediately. Tell your doctor if you experience any numbness or tingling, or have ever had a disease that affects your nervous system, like multiple sclerosis, or if you experience allergic reactions such as a severe rash, swollen face or difficulty breathing, or if you have liver or kidney problems, or chest pain. Check with your doctor before you receive any vaccine. Tell your doctor if you are taking anakinra or about any other medicines you are taking. You should tell your doctor if you are pregnant, become pregnant, or are thinking about becoming pregnant. The most common side effects of Humira are upper respiratory tract infection, headache, rash, urinary tract infection, weakness, injection site pain, injection site reactions, nausea and diarrhoea. Humira is fully subsidised on Specialist Authority for rheumatoid arthrtis and severe psoriatic arthritis – special conditions apply. Medicines have benefits, and some have risks. Always read the Label and use strictly as directed. If symptoms continue, or you have side effects, consult your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. For further advice on your treatment, please discuss with your doctor. Normal doctor’s visit fees apply. Abbott Laboratories NZ Ltd. 4 Pacific Rise, Mt Wellington, Auckland. For further information, please call Freephone 0800 73 72 71. REFERENCES: 1. Abbott Laboratories, HUMIRA Psoriatic Arthritis 2010 http://www.humira.com/psa/ 2. Humira Approved Data Sheet v19. 3. Pharmac Schedule NZ. December 2010;17(3):101-105. a. Humira Approved Data Sheet. ® Registered Trademark. TAPS PP9285. HUM 809-1210-1. THA PAZ001
32 | Autumn 2011 www.awarenesstoday.co.nz
Published on Jun 18, 2011