Abuse is defined as any action that intentionally harms or injures another person. Abuse is never OK: everyone has the right to feel safe and to live free from fear.
Acne is a skin problem that usually starts in your teens. Your skin becomes greasy, skin pores become blocked and you develop whiteheads, blackheads, pimples or cysts. Acne usually gets better with time, though may take some years to resolve. A few people, however, may have problems into their 30s and 40s, and those with severe acne may be left with some scars (early treatment may help prevent this).
Pain can be acute (onset within hours or days) or chronic (lasting weeks, months or years). It's important to recognise which type of pain you have, as well as understand what can be done to help.
For children with allergies, starting school takes an extra degree of planning.
Alzheimer's disease is a form of dementia that causes a gradual decline in a person's ability to remember, understand, communicate and reason.
Angina is chest pain that occurs when the blood supply to the muscles of your heart are restricted. This can be due to narrowing of the arteries supplying the heart.
Antihistamines are mainly used to treat allergies such as hay fever, hives and itching. They may be used to help reduce feeling sick (nausea) and being sick (vomiting).
Anxiety is a normal human emotion. However, some people feel worried or anxious so often that it interferes with their day-to-day life.
Arthritis literally means ‘inflammation of a joint’ and is common as we get older.
Arthritis in children is an autoimmune illness where, for unknown reasons, the immune system becomes confused and attacks healthy cells rather than invading foreign bodies such as bacteria or viruses.
Asthma is a common lung condition that affects the breathing tubes (airways) that carry air in and out of your lungs. Asthma causes wheeze and cough, and can make it difficult to breathe. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of asthma in the world, affecting up to 1 in 4 children and 1 in 6 adults.
Asthma is a condition that causes cough, wheeze and shortness of breath. It is common, with 1 in 7 children in New Zealand taking medication for asthma. With treatment, asthma can be well managed and children can run and play as normal. Many also grow out of it as they get older.
Some people with asthma experience symptoms when they exercise; this is called exercise-induced asthma (EIA), which may be made worse by cold, dry conditions and if the person is unfit. EIA can be managed with the right information and help from your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or asthma educator.
Changes to your body during pregnancy may affect your asthma – it may become better or it may worsen, it may even reappear after not having been an issue since childhood. The key is to be aware of your symptoms and know what to do to keep your asthma under control.
Athlete's foot is a common skin infection affecting the feet, caused by tinea (a fungal infection) resulting in scaling and itching.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a condition that affects the heart, causing an irregular heart beat. This is known as a heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia).
Back pain, usually in the lower back, is a common problem. Fortunately, most back pain gets better relatively quickly and there are simple things that can be done to recover and reduce the chance of pain returning. These include keeping positive and active.
Difficulties with passing urine are common as men age. One in 3 men over 50 years of age and nearly all men aged over 85 years experience some difficulty in urinating.
Bladder control problems (when you pee unexpectedly) are commen in women and are often a sign that one of the mechanisms which keeps us dry is not working correctly. Most women with urinary leakage find they can overcome it or improve their control, but many do not seek help.
A blister is a fluid filled lump that appears where the skin's outer layer is repeatedly rubbed or in some other way injured.
Your blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common condition in which the force of your blood against your artery walls is too high, too often. Ongoing high blood pressure puts stress on the heart and can lead to health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.
Between 2017 and 2020, a national bowel screening programme will become available to everyone aged 60 to 74 who is eligible for publicly funded healthcare in New Zealand.
Most breast lumps are not cancerous. However, as 1 in 9 New Zealand women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime, it's important to get any breast changes checked by your doctor.
BreastScreen Aotearoa is a free national breast screening programme for NZ women aged 45–69 years of age that checks women for signs of early breast cancer.
A bunion is a bony lump that forms at the base of the big toe. Bunions form when your big toe keeps pushing against the next toe. Over time, this can damage the joint and become enlarged and painful.
Until recently, doctors often prescribed calcium supplements for patients at high risk of osteoporosis, however, new evidence questions their role. We investigate why.
Cancer is when certain cells in the body grow and divide in an uncontrolled way. These cells can invade and destroy surrounding tissues.
Easy-to-read medicine information about cetirizine – what is it, how to take cetirizine safely and possible side effects.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex illness that affects many systems of your body, particularly the nervous and immune systems. People with CFS experience extreme tiredness that doesn't go away with rest and can’t be explained by other causes.
Easy-to-read medicine information about citalopram – what it is, how to take citalopram safely and possible side effects.
Coeliac disease is a permanent autoimmune disorder that causes a reaction to gluten, which is found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. This immune reaction makes part of your gut inflamed and can lead to a range of symptoms and nutritional problems.
Over the shorter, colder days of winter, it's not uncommon to come down with a cold or the flu. A cold is usually a mild illness but the flu can be serious, so it’s good to know the difference.
Cold sores are small fluid-filled blisters that appear on the skin, usually on the lips, chin, cheeks, or in the nostrils. Some people have no symptoms from the infection; others develop painful and unsightly cold sores that last for a week or more.
A concussion is a type of mild traumatic brain injury that can occur if you suffer a blow to the head or hit your head after a fall. Concussion results in a short-term loss of normal brain function in response to this head injury.
Congenital heart disease is the name for heart problems people are born with.
Constipation is when your bowel movements (poos) become hard and lumpy, making them painful or difficult to get out. It is a common problem.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a term for damage to the lungs which makes breathing difficult. The main cause of COPD is long-term exposure to substances that irritate and damage the lungs; nearly all COPD in New Zealand is smoking-related.
Easy-to-read medicine information about cold and cough medicines.
Coughs and colds are common in children, but what medicines can be given?
Croup is a viral illness in babies and young children that causes a narrowing of the upper airways, often leading to a 'barking' cough (like a seal), hoarse voice and raspy breath.
We all have the blues from time to time, but if you have depression, this feeling is stronger, it affects your thinking and behaviour, and lasts from weeks to months. However, no matter how low you feel, there is hope. There are people who can help you and things you can do to get on the road to recovery.
Dermatitis is a skin inflammation that causes red, itchy, crusted skin that can become swollen or blistered. Dermatitis affects about 20% of people at some time.
If you have diabetes, you can test your blood glucose levels at home using a blood glucose meter.
The main aim of treatment for diabetes is to reduce your risk of developing complications by keeping your blood glucose levels at reasonable levels.
Pre-diabetes is when the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood is higher than normal. This means you are at much higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body is unable to produce enough insulin, resulting in insulin deficiency.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body isn't able to use insulin properly, resulting in high blood glucose levels. This can lead to a wide range of health problems if not treated.
Dry mouth is a condition where there is not enough saliva in your mouth. Dry mouth can contribute to dental decay, gum disease and infections, so you may need to take extra care of your oral health.
An ear infection occurs when bacteria or viruses infect the middle ear, causing pain and discomfort. They are common in young children, who should be taken to a doctor.
Ear pain or earache is very common in children and can also affect adults. See your doctor if you or a family member – especially a child or baby – has earache.
Eczema is a common skin condition that causes redness, inflammation, dryness and itching of the skin. The exact cause of eczema is not known but with the most common form of eczema – called atopic dermatitis – there is often a family history of eczema, hay fever and/or asthma.