Lifestyle

Vaginal birth and Caesarean: Differences in babies’ bacteria

The UK scientists say these early encounters with microbes may act as a “thermostat” for the immune system. And they may help explain why Caesarean babies are more likely to have some health problems later in life. The researchers stress women should not swab babies with their vaginal fluids – known as “vaginal seeding”. How […]

Lifestyle

Labour pledges free personal care for over-65s in England

Currently, state help with the cost of home or residential help is available for those with assets below £23,250. Labour says the pledge, costing an estimated £6bn a year, will double the number of those not having to pay. It would bring England into line with Scotland, where personal care is free for those with […]

Lifestyle

‘Cancer treatment broke my heart, but I’ve survived’

When diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 at 33, she had just settled back into working life after getting married and spending a year backpacking round the world. “I noticed one of my nipples was inverted and when I Googled for answers, I thought: ‘Oh God, this can’t be me.’” Three years later, after surgery […]

Lifestyle

Mediator: French weight-loss drug trial over ‘up to 2,000’ deaths begins

Servier, the drug’s manufacturer, is accused of deceiving users over the killer side effects of a drug later used to treat overweight diabetics. Believed to be one of France’s biggest healthcare scandals, the firm is on trial for manslaughter and deceit. Servier has denied the charges, saying it did not lie about the side effects. […]

Lifestyle

Medical cannabis product approved for epilepsy

Doctors can prescribe Epidyolex – an oral solution of cannabidiol, which comes from the cannabis plant – if they think it will help sufferers. It has been approved for use in the UK and other European countries, but the NHS does not currently recommend it. But some parents want alternatives that contain a component not […]

Lifestyle

‘Revolutionary’ new class of cancer drugs approved

Tumour-agnostic drugs do not care where the cancer is growing in the body as long as it has a specific genetic abnormality inside. UK doctors testing the drugs said they were “a really exciting thing”. They said the approach had the potential to cure more patients and cut side-effects. The drug that has been approved […]

Lifestyle

Obesity not caused by lack of willpower – psychologists

It calls for changes in language to reduce stigma, such as saying “a person with obesity” rather than an “obese person”. And it says health professionals should be trained to talk about weight loss in a more supportive way. A cancer charity’s recent ad campaign was criticised for “fat shaming”. Obesity levels rose by 18% […]