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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs becomes first NRL club to offer free menstruation products

The Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have announced a remarkable initiative: they will be the first NRL club to provide free menstrual products in female restrooms and locker rooms.

If you get your period en route to the NRL’s Women In League Round at Belmore Sports Ground this weekend, you can breathe a sigh of relief — the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have got you sorted.

The Bulldogs are set to become the first NRL club to provide free ongoing menstrual products in female restrooms and locker rooms. The club has partnered with hygiene experts Rentokil Initial to equip all public restrooms and female locker rooms at Belmore Sports Ground with dispensers and sanitary bins.

So, whether you’re a player, a club employee, a fan, or a visitor, your menstrual needs will be met, alleviating the stress of unexpected periods in the early stressful atmosphere of rooting for your team.

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While acknowledging the progress made by European sporting organisations in providing complimentary menstrual products to employees and athletes, Bulldogs CEO Aaron Warburton is proud to be an Australian pioneer of this dignity-based programme.

Warburton believes that providing these necessities is not only a thoughtful gesture but also an important part of their commitment to assisting women in achieving success on and off the field. „Central to this new partnership,“ Warburton acknowledges, „is a shared vision that menstruation should never be an obstacle for women participating in Rugby League or restrict them from giving their best.“

The decision to provide free menstrual products, according to Lauren Milner, the Bulldogs‘ Female Football Operations Coordinator, is a „no-brainer.“ „I bring period products to every practice and game,“ Milner says because it’s so common for her to be approached by young players who are caught off guard by their period.

Karen Kavanagh, Marketing Director Pacific at Rentokil Initial, asserts, „Washroom dignity is a conversation that has been largely ignored in many businesses for years.“ According to a recent Rentokil Initial and Researchify study, 61 per cent of working women in Australia experience stress and anxiety due to a lack of access to menstruation and incontinence products at work.

More than half of them had to miss work to buy sanitary products, which isn’t always an option for elite athletes and others in demanding professions.

It’s a sign that menstruation is finally being accepted and normalised in sports, and we applaud it! So go ahead and root for your favourite team this weekend, knowing that the Bulldogs have your back.

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Bronny James’ cardiac arrest isn’t as uncommon as you’d think

The rate of healthy, young men suffering sudden cardiac arrest is surprisingly high, as many aren’t aware they have arrhythmias. That number is even higher amongst male athletes.

Up-and-coming basketball star Bronny James, son of the great LeBron James, was rushed to hospital yesterday after suffering a cardiac arrest during basketball practice. 

The 18-year-old University of Southern California student and player was training on campus when the incident happened and was treated on-site before being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). 

In a statement made on behalf of the James family, a spokesperson said “Yesterday, while practising, Bronny James suffered a cardiac arrest. Medical staff were able to treat Bronny and take him to the hospital. He is now in stable condition and no longer in ICU.

“We ask for respect and privacy for the James family and we will update the media when there is more information. LeBron and Savannah wish to publicly send their deepest thanks and appreciation to the USC medical and athletic staff for their incredible work and dedication to the safety of their athletes.”

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Reports about the incident say Bronny’s cardiac arrest was likely caused by a kind of arrhythmia, which the Mayo Clinic states is an irregular heartbeat caused by asynchronous electrical signs. “The faulty signalling causes the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia) or irregularly.” 

According to St John’s Ambulance Victoria cardiac arrest is the biggest known killer in the modern world. In Australia alone, a first-world country with high-class healthcare, the death rate from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is 90 per cent, and “for every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation, the chance of survival for a casualty decreases by 7 to 10 per cent.”

While many people are aware they suffer from cardiac arrhythmias, as they can be genetic, a lot do not, thus are unable to properly mitigate the risks by avoiding certain strenuous activities. 

Dr Richard Kovacs, a cardiologist with Indiana University Health, told Fox Sports “In the last decade, we’re also seeing a shift toward cardiac arrhythmias that come without what we call structural heart disease,” – meaning they’re incredibly hard to spot. 

The fact that Bronny survived the incident is remarkable. But it’s also a dark reminder that it’s not the first time a young male athlete has suffered a cardiac arrest when they’re seemingly at their physical prime. 

Men, particularly male athletes, are at a higher risk of experiencing sudden cardiac arrest than women, and tragic stories of young men passing away after bouts of physical activity are becoming increasingly common. 

The early symptoms of cardiac arrest are similar to feelings of exhaustion or physical exertion, including shortness of breath, a tightness in the chest, and fast heartbeat. Thus, the warning signs are often ignored or go unnoticed. 

On the American front, cardiac arrest is reportedly the number one cause of death among high school athletes in the US, accounting for around 75 per cent of all students who died during exercise. Meanwhile in Australia, According to research done by the Centenary Institute, an Australian medical research centre in Sydney, every year around 30,000 Australians die from sudden cardiac death. Worryingly, these numbers are particularly high amongst young Australians, with four Aussies between 15 and 35 dying from SCD each week. 

So what can people do to reduce their risk of sudden cardiac arrest? If you have concerns about your heart health, your first port of call should be the doctor, who can listen to your heart and order tests to survey the risk. 

If you know you have an arrhythmia or genetic predisposition to cardiac disease, then screening and regular checkups are a must, along with personal vigilance and awareness of symptoms. 

The Mayo Clinic also suggests the following to foster greater heart health: 

  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet
  • Getting regular checkups
  • Not smoking or using tobacco
  • Being screened for heart disease
  • Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol

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Naomi Watts says she suffered from menopause symptoms at 36

After going through early menopause at the age of 36, the star wants to shed light on the taboo subject and bring the hope and new beginning that it eventually brought her — to other women as well.

Menopause, usually between the ages of 45 and 55, marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. However, for actress Naomi Watts, this life-changing transition began much earlier — when she was 36 and trying for a baby.

Watts told Hello that perimenopause was “a word I didn’t even know about” when she getting ready to start a family. When she was thrown into this unexpected phase, Watts felt panic, loneliness, and a sense of „very much less-than or like some kind of failure.“ 

Watts, now 54, is speaking out about her experiences in an effort to reshape the menopause experience for women everywhere.

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„Mood swings, night sweats, migraines“ were among her symptoms, and as a result, she told Hello! „I felt like I was spiralling out of control.“The symptoms were not only difficult, but also caused „anxiety, shame, confusion, and panic.“

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to menopause. Every woman’s body and experiences are unique. Hot flushes, night sweats, and mood swings are all common symptoms, which Watts experienced. Anxiety, brain fog, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, discomfort during sex, and changes in skin and hair can all be added to this list.

These symptoms typically appear during perimenopause, the period preceding menopause, and can last for three to four years. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) provides some relief through gels, pills, or patches. However, while many women find it beneficial, it is not appropriate for everyone.

Watts remarked on the scarcity of resources available at the time to help women navigate the perimenopausal and menopausal transitions. She explained that there was little doctor intervention aside from „Here’s a patch, gel, or spray.“ And from her friends, she was „met with nervous laughs and shrugging it off, and I thought, ‚Oh wow, no one else is there, I better keep silent,‘ and that’s how it was,“ she says.

Watts turned her adversity into a strength by finding her voice and using it to advocate for herself and others. „Going through this journey led to a deeper understanding of myself, and I came out on the other side feeling more authentically me,“ Watts admitted.

Despite significant progress, Watts believes that much more work needs to be done to educate and raise awareness about menopause. Telling Hello! „I truly believe that if menopause hadn’t been such an off-limits topic when I first started experiencing symptoms, I would’ve had an easier transition.“

Naomi has teamed up with the non-profit Menopause Mandate to provide more midlife support so that no woman feels as alone or as lost as she once did. Watts concluded by encouraging all women to „just be open and honest about what you’re going through.“ Because, as she knows all too well, „hiding is so much more exhausting.“

Watts believes that the big screen has done a poor job of portraying menopause, and she is eager to change that. „How is that not worth writing stories about?“ She inquired, describing the menopause phase as providing „excellent material for meaningful and rich storytelling.“ 

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Doctors warn against dangerous new TikTok of drinking borax

TikTok users are „training“ others to consume Borax, a common ingredient in laundry detergent and household cleaners that has been banned as a food additive in Australia.

Also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, borax is a colourless crystalline compound comprised of boron, sodium, and oxygen. You’ll find it in your laundry detergent and even as a standalone cleaning agent — where it should belong. Its close relative, boric acid, is widely used as a pesticide against ants and cockroaches.

Despite this, TikTok is flooded with videos of people getting on the „Borax train,“ consuming it in their water, coffee, or baths. Why? They claim that borax can be used to treat inflammation, joint pain, arthritis, lupus, and various other ailments.

None of these health claims are supported by scientific evidence. In fact, they’re all washed up, and you should try to avoid direct contact with borax as much as possible. 

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Borax and its cousin, boric acid, have made quite a name for themselves in everyday household items. They’re found in everything from laundry detergents and wood preservatives to fertilisers and even contact lens solutions. Borax crystals can also be found in supermarkets, hardware stores, and garden centres. 

Borax contains the element boron, which is known to be necessary for the growth and health of plants and some animals. Its role in human health, however, is less clear. Boron is found in some foods, such as grapes and potatoes, but it is not considered an essential human nutrient. It is suggested that consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables can safely provide our bodies with minimal boron required.

Several studies have been conducted to investigate the relationship between dietary boron, and bone health, brain function, and immune response. However, just because borax is natural does not mean that it is safe to consume or apply liberally to our bodies.

In fact, intentional exposure to borax, whether through skin contact or inhalation, can cause irritation wherever it comes into contact. As far as swallowing goes, this implies it is a no-go. 

First, a quick lesson in science. The median lethal dose, or LD50, is a term used in toxicology to describe the dose required to kill half of a tested population. According to The Conversation, the LD50 for borax in rats is approximately 5g per kilogramme of body weight. That’s a fairly large dose, implying that acute toxicity resulting in human death is unlikely. But just because something doesn’t kill you doesn’t mean it’s harmless or good for your health.

Borax was used as a food preservative in the early twentieth century until research revealed various side effects associated with borax consumption, including headaches, nausea, vomiting, and gastric discomfort.

Now, Borax is classified as a reproductive toxin. This means that it can potentially impair fertility and harm an unborn child. As a result, it has been banned as a food additive in a number of countries, including Australia and the United States.

It also contains precautionary statements, recommendations for appropriate personal protective equipment, and safe storage and disposal methods. Simply put, we should not consume borax. This warning is clear as day in the product’s safety instructions, which include statements like „CAUTION“ and „KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.“

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