All posts by PVH Medical Team

Patient survey

We’re listening to you and improving patient care

We recently carried out a patient survey called the Practice Accreditation and Improvement Survey. We asked for your honest opinions on the service we provide.

We’re pleased to announce that 98% of all patient ratings about our practice were good, very good or excellent. Thank you!

We listened to your concerns and have taken the following actions to make improvements to patient care where you feel it would be most useful.

Waiting times in the surgery

Our doctors and staff endeavour to start on time and work as efficiently as possible. At times emergencies can arise, which cause the doctors to run late or sometimes people just require extra time.

We now keep at least one appointment free per session for catching-up time.

We ask patients when making an appointment if they have several matters to discuss, and if so, a double appointment will be made.

Please ensure that you have made an appointment for each family member to be seen.

If you’ve been sitting in our waiting room for more than 20 minutes, please ask the receptionist to check that you have not been overlooked.

This information has been included on the TV in our waiting area, our patient newsletter and our website.

Telephone access to a nurse or doctor

You may contact the clinic at any time. If you call during a doctor’s consulting session, our reception team will usually take a message and have the doctor return your call.

If it’s an emergency, we’ll put your call through to a doctor or nurse for advice.

Patient flow around the reception desk

We are considering ways to make this a smoother process and avoid unnecessary waiting, particularly once you have seen the doctor.

Using the check-in kiosk can avoid the queue on your arrival. Ask us if you don’t know how to use it.

Thank you

Thanks for your valuable feedback. We look forward to continuing to look after your health needs.

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Physio Pascoe Vale

Building your buckets (how physio can help with diabetes)

A condition that physiotherapists often treat is called tendinopathy.

Also known as tendinitis, it’s a tendon disorder that results in pain, swelling, and impaired function.

People with diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing tendinopathy than those without diabetes.

Most tendinopathies take months to rehabilitate and get back to full, pain-free function. That’s why finding out what you can do to reduce your risk is really important.

The bucket analogy

To develop a tendinopathy you have to ask your tendon to do more work than it can handle, consistently.

Think of the tendon working as filling up a bucket. Each contraction leads to a little more water filling the bucket.

Contract and load equals a splash more in the bucket.

Contract and load again equals another splash.

When the bucket is full, the metaphorical tendon it represents is also full of work. This is where tendinopathy and pain often starts.

All of us have tendons which can do bucket loads of work. Where diabetes comes in is the size of the bucket – it’s much smaller.

We know from research and clinical practice that if you have diabetes your ability to work your tendons is reduced. In other words, your bucket size is smaller.

This sounds like bad news but there is a silver lining.

You can increase your bucket size

That’s right. You can increase your tendon’s ability to tolerate load.

How? With exercises and training.

Pre-injury, this can be guided by exercise physiology (EP) and is often part of a regular exercise routine. Loading muscles, bones and tendons together increase their ability to work.

When you’re injured, trying to live your life with a full bucket of work in your tendons means you need to get really specific with its management.

With the help of our physiotherapist, Naveena Seethapathy, a little bit of work can be taken out of your overloaded tendon, the work can be removed completely, or moved to another bucket (tendon).

This might be hands-on therapy, gait or movement re-training, shoe or aid use. Naveena can then work on that bucket capacity by training your sore tendon to be able to do more work in the future.

Physio Pascoe Vale

Pascoe Vale physio, Naveena Seethapathy

Help for those in pain

For those with diabetes, tackling full-bucket tendinopathies via this structured and evidence-based approach is proven to be the most effective method of treating tendinopathy.

You also get some great side effects. Those relating to building bigger buckets include:

  • Increased lean muscle mass
  • Increased physical activity
  • Decreased usage of medications.

This can have a profound effect on your life, even if it just means you can now go for a walk to the shops!

Want to get on top of your pain?

If you want to build bigger buckets and get on top of your tendon pain, make a booking with our physiotherapist, Naveena, today.

The quickest way to do this is by tapping on ‘Book an Appointment’ on our website. We look forward to seeing you soon!

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Targeted exercise to help diabetes

How exercise physiology can help with diabetes (some things may surprise you)

The single factor that links all chronic disease management is exercise.

It’s a word we all know, and a concept we’ve had relationships with in the past.

The challenge for those living with diabetes is how to get the correct ‘dosage’ of exercise. What types of exercise – walking, running, skipping? Should you be lifting heavy weights or light weights? What about pilates? And what about the fads – is Zumba the best exercise for diabetes?

All of these questions have an answer. And that answer will differ from person to person.

An exercise physiologist, also known as an EP, is the professional to give you your exercise answers.

Here are four common questions our EP, Mike Fitzsimon, gets asked about diabetes. The answers may surprise you!

1. Why exercise?

Diabetes Australia recommends that everyone with diabetes does at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day. That’s right – every single day.

If weight loss is needed as well, then that number increases to 45-60 minutes of exercise every day.

Exercise has many positive effects on muscles, bones, joints, organs and even our brain.

With diabetes it improves our ability to process and use carbohydrates, and increases muscle and other tissue mass to better process carbs in the future. These are just some of the positive effects.

2. How do I reach my recommended exercise minimums every day?

Your EP will sit down with you and work through your history, your days, the barriers and the opportunities that you have to exercise.

They will work out what kind of exercise is best and what you like the most, and avoid what you like the least.

Exercise physiology in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne.

Exercise physiologist Mike Fitzsimon

3. Why do my blood sugars drop when exercising?

This goes back to the understanding around blood sugars being our first fuel source. When we exercise, we use the sugars as fuel.

If we don’t use them, we convert the sugars to other substances including the bad fats that float around and clog up blood vessels as well as sit around our vital organs. This can lead to high disease risks.

4. If I’m walking every day, is this enough exercise? 

The answer is no.

We all, and especially those with diabetes, need to be completing two sessions of resistance training per week as well as the daily 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.

Resistance exercises are where you use your body weight, actual weights and resistance training bands, and work muscles through their ranges to build strength and conditioning.

We’re here to help

If you’re reading this and thinking that you need some assistance meeting the recommended minimums for your exercise levels, you can rest assured knowing we have the best people qualified to help.

Our EP Mike Fitzsimon is here in Pascoe Vale and ready to help you.

There are many ways you can see Mike. You can come in for one-on-one work where you ask your questions. There’s also the actions that you need to do.

Our EP has The Strong Room where you can complete assessments and do your exercises in safety with an expert guiding you.

You can do these exercises one on one, or join some friendly small groups where you can feel supported and encouraged by others exercising together.

Make a booking today

To see Mike you can book in now online or by calling 9304 0500.

If you’re eligible for Medicare rebates (those with chronic disease, and separately those with diabetes) you can get your doctor to write up referrals. This can unlock some Medicare funding pathways to access exercise physiology.

We’d love to help you on your way to feeling great. Why not get started today?

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Diabetes foot disease

What do your feet have to do with diabetes?

When it comes to our feet, we rarely think about diabetes.

Instead, things like calluses and ingrown toenails usually spring to mind. So what do our feet have to do with diabetes?

There are vast numbers of Australians with diabetes, pre-diabetes or undiagnosed diabetes. As a result, many of us are living with diabetes foot disease – and some of us don’t even know it!

Having diabetes can increase your risk of foot ulcers and, in extreme cases, amputations. That’s why looking after your feet is really important.

In fact, Diabetes Australia recommends that everyone with diabetes sees a podiatrist regularly.

To delve into the issue further, our Podiatrists from PridePlus Health, Tim Mulholland and Gus McSweyn, recently had a chat.

Read on to find out how diabetes can affect your feet, and how you can get help.

A conversation about diabetes and your feet

Tim: Alright Gus, as podiatrists we know that feet are super-important to managing diabetes as a whole. It’s difficult to exercise when our feet are sore! Not only that, our feet can tell us about diabetes disease progression before other symptoms occur.

Gus: Yeah, that’s true. There’s actually a lot that goes into a Diabetes Foot Risk Assessment. Let’s break down two of the main testing parts – I’ll take circulation, and you can talk about sensation.

Tim: Perfect. Talk us through circulation then, Gus.

Gus: Circulation is really a round-about way of describing the vascular or plumbing system of the body. The heart is the strong pump that sends oxygen and nutrient-rich blood around our bodies under high pressure. We also have the arteries which are flexible, elastic-like pipes which carry it to the farthest reaches of our bodies.

Tim: That’s the tips of the toes!

Gus: Yeah, that’s it. If the circulation system isn’t working due to a blockage in the arteries or the pump malfunctioning then we don’t get all that good stuff getting to the toes. In the worst cases, your toes can suffer tissue death and drop off. In earlier stages, we get things like cramps, aches, fragile skin and nails, and internal injuries to bones and tendons, which occur more easily and take longer to recover from.

Tim: And as podiatrists in Pascoe Vale we get to see a lot of feet, feel their temperatures and pulses but even more importantly – measure the pressure of the blood flowing to the tips of the toes.

Diabetes foot disease

Tim and Gus sit down to talk diabetes.

Gus: Our circulation testing gives us really accurate information on the amount of blood flowing to the toes. It also allows us to track changes over time. If we do the tests at least annually we can pick up changes occurring well before any nasty complications occur. We can then act accordingly.

Tim: That’s great information. While the sensation system is no less important and has many more complex relationships than just the following, I’ll try to keep it brief.

Gus: Let’s hear it then!

Tim: If you can’t feel things, you don’t know if problems are occurring. Pain is a gift (and a curse). Also, if you can’t feel things you don’t always know you can’t feel things. Podiatry tests will give you accurate, repeatable and consistent data to check this against.

Gus: Very true. So as a recap, diabetes foot disease can be really nasty, but mostly preventable with sound early assessments and interventions. If you have diabetes you really should see us for minimum annual assessments and then semi-regular to regular check-ups to make sure everything stays under control.

Tim: There’s heaps of great information out there about what to do, and a good podiatrist will tailor their advice to you, your feet, your risk level and work with you on areas that need improvement. Check out this information about why you should have a diabetes foot risk assessment and some advice from Diabetes Australia about what to do at home as well.

Preventing diabetes foot disease is key

Don’t let the mostly preventable and manageable complications of diabetes foot disease affect you.

If you’re due for your diabetes foot risk assessment, or need any assistance with foot and ankle-related issues, you can book online or call us on 9304 0500 to get assessed.

Your health is precious. Look after yourself!

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Dietitian Melbourne

Is sugar really that bad?

Sugar appears to be in all our food products nowadays.

It’s in obvious sources such as biscuits, soft drinks, chocolate and cakes to less obvious foods like tomato sauce, breakfast cereals and pasta sauce.

Sugar is continuing to build a bad reputation as a contributing factor to many health conditions, and rightly so.

We’re eating lots of processed food

Most of our energy intake is now coming from processed and packaged food and drinks, such as cereal and soft drinks, which may contain added sugar. More than half of Australians are eating more sugar than recommended.

You might be surprised at how many of our food products contain added sugar – even the ones that don’t necessarily taste sweet! And food that is marketed as health food is often packed full of sugar.

Moderate your sugar intake (especially if you have diabetes)

While everyone should be moderating their sugar intake, it’s particularly true for those who are managing diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body is unable to regulate blood sugar levels as a result of an issue with the hormone insulin.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the body does not produce enough insulin, while Type 2 diabetes is where the body is resistant to insulin.

If diabetes is not controlled, blood sugar levels rise. This can cause numerous long-term complications including nerve and blood vessel damage, vision impairment, kidney disease and heart disease.

While eating sugar doesn’t directly cause diabetes, it can lead to gaining weight if eaten in excess, and obesity is a risk factor for Type 2 diabetes.

Pay attention to carbohydrates

Sugar, and carbohydrates in general, are particularly important when managing diabetes.

One of the biggest impacts on our blood sugar levels is what we eat, especially carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice, noodles, potato, biscuits, legumes, fruit, cakes etc).

All carbohydrate foods will be broken down into sugar (the simplest form of carbohydrate) in the body once it is consumed, no matter the type of carbohydrate.

Dietitian Pascoe Vale

Once the food is broken down into sugar, it’s absorbed into our blood stream. This is why it’s important to keep an eye on how much sugar and carbohydrates you are eating overall.

Stick to small portions (½-1 cup cooked) of carbohydrate foods at each meal and watch for any extra treats in between meals.

High GI vs low GI

Carbohydrate foods that are higher in simple sugars and low in fibre (white bread, biscuits, soft drink) will have a larger, negative impact on blood sugar levels.

These types of foods are usually referred to as high GI (glycaemic index) and lead to large spikes in blood sugar levels and poorer blood sugar control.

Carbohydrates that contain more fibre and less simple sugars (wholegrain bread, quinoa, legumes) are referred to as low GI, and will not result in large spikes of blood sugar levels.

These are much better choices for blood sugar control. It’s best to eat mainly low GI carbohydrates whenever possible.

Aim for a healthy diet

A healthy diet will lower your diabetes risk or help you to manage the condition better.

Watch portion sizes, opt for plenty of vegetables, include moderate amounts of low GI wholegrains, fruits, healthy fats and lean proteins.

You can still include treats but try to limit portion size and frequency to special occasions!

Got any questions about diabetes? Need help with your diet? Book an appointment with our in-house dietitian in Pascoe Vale today.

 

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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About food allergies

A food allergy is an immune system response to a food protein that the body mistakenly believes is harmful.

When a person eats food containing that protein, the immune system releases massive amounts of chemicals, triggering symptoms that can affect a person’s breathing, gastrointestinal tract, skin and/or heart.

Food allergy now affects one in 10 infants and about two in 100 adults in Australia. Some children may outgrow their allergy, while some adults develop their food allergy later in life after eating the food without a problem for many years.

What are the signs and symptoms of food allergy?

They can be mild, moderate or severe. An allergic reaction can include:

  • Hives
  • Swelling of the lips, face and eyes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling of the tongue or throat
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Persistent dizziness and/collapse.

The severity of an allergic reaction can be unpredictable. However, someone who has previously had a severe reaction to a particular food is more likely to have another severe reaction to that food.

If left untreated, signs and symptoms related to breathing and heart/blood pressure can be fatal.

What foods can trigger allergic reaction?

There are more than 170 foods known to have triggered severe allergic reactions.

The most common triggers, causing 90% of allergic reactions in Australians are egg, cow’s milk, peanut, tree nuts (such as cashew and almond), sesame, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.

Jessica is a dietitian at PVH Medical

Dietitian Jessica Fuller can help with food allergies.

Children often outgrow certain food allergies during childhood.

What is anaphylaxis?

Food allergies can be severe, causing potentially life-threatening reactions known as anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis must be treated as a medical emergency, requiring immediate treatment and urgent medical attention. (Remember to call 000 in case of an emergency.)

An allergic reaction usually occurs within 20 minutes to two hours of eating even a small amount of the food, and can rapidly become life threatening.

Food Allergy Week

Food Allergy Week is an important annual initiative of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia. It aims to raise awareness about food allergy in Australia, to help reduce the risk of a reaction for those living with food allergy and to help manage potentially life-threatening emergencies when they happen.

Food Allergy Week runs from 26 May to 1 June and calls on all Australians to ‘Be aware and show you care’ by getting involved with various activities.

Is there a cure for food allergy? How do you get help?

Currently, there is no cure for food allergy. Avoidance of the food is the only way to prevent a reaction.

Our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller, can assist with food allergies and even help you understand food labels. You don’t need a referral to see our dietitian.

Our friendly GPs in Pascoe Vale are also here to help with any health concerns you have, including those relating to food allergies.

 

Source: Food Allergy Week

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Pascoe Vale gym

The Strong Room – our specialised gym in Pascoe Vale

At PVH Medical, we understand that exercising and working towards optimal health can be hard.

Life is busy. Sometimes we are sick. And sometimes we are injured.

Fortunately, we have a fully equipped gym called The Strong Room and some caring professionals to help you with any challenges you face.

The Strong Room is different to big, unfriendly gyms where you’re left to your own devices. Our health professionals work with you, your needs, and your abilities to offer different solutions to achieve your goals.

Hear what some of our team have to say.

Physiotherapist Naveena Seethapathy

Physio Pascoe Vale

How do you use The Strong Room?

It’s great to have access to a large space for our rehab. Physiotherapy can involve some one-on-one manual (hands-on) work which we do in our dedicated clinical rooms. When it comes to rehab there’s only so much you can do with rubber bands in a small room. The Strong Room allows me to find safe loads to build strength, flexibility and capacity in my clients as they overcome their injuries.

What can you help people with?

I’m here for you when you’re sore. Any musculoskeletal and sporting injury, really.

I work closely with Mike the EP a lot where initially a client comes to me with an acute injury – pain. We then work on diagnosis and commence therapy to get on top of that early pain.

As a client’s rehab progresses they will often move over to Mike for further exercise therapy/rehab. This is where they can focus on bigger-picture movements, activities and exercises, usually doing an individualised program in a group setting.

I can also help people with returning to sports after an injury, injuries sustained at work, road traffic accidents, as well as improving performance.

How do people find you?

Upstairs at PVH Medical! You can book your appointments on the PVH Medical website, on Facebook or by calling the reception team on 9304 0500. I’m in clinic Monday, Wednesday and Friday with some later appointments for those coming in after school or work.

Read more about physiotherapy in Pascoe Vale

Exercise Physiologist (EP) Mike Fitzsimon

Exercise physiologist Pascoe Vale

How do you use The Strong Room?

The Strong Room is my clinical ‘home’. As the Exercise physiologist (EP) at PVH Medical my priority is enabling our community to experience their own personal journey of self-discovery through exercise.

The Strong Room is an innovative, safe and enjoyable place to learn how to condition your body and mind with evidence-based exercise. I consult one-on-one with people injured, needing assistance managing chronic disease (such as diabetes, arthritis, depression and so many more) and those looking to re-engage with exercise again after falling off the wagon.

I also run group exercise classes in The Strong Room where up to six people perform their individualised plan. The groups are heaps of fun and a great place to work out, get healthy, get better and connect with other like-minded people.

Some of our classes are targeted for specific people. We run Strong To The Bone for those at risk of falls and fractures relating to decreased muscle and bone strength. All classes are really inclusive, with each participant completing their personal programs for weight loss, increased strength, managing persistent pain, anything and everything that exercise can have a positive influence on (which is pretty much everything!).

The pilates reformers are also handy tools for us to adjust the load we place on our bodies for rehab. Very useful.

I also use our Wii Fit Balance board and force platform. For those needing variety, we can use technology to enable improvements in lower limb conditioning and improved balance. This is useful for those clients with specific balance deficits or lower limb issues.

What can you help people with?

The list is so long. The right exercises are needed to assist with pretty much any health or lifestyle condition. If we just look at the eight most common chronic conditions – which together affect a staggering 50% of Australians – exercise has proven benefits for all of them.

These include cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health, arthritis, back pain, lung disease, asthma and diabetes.

Chances are if you’re looking to achieve a goal that is health, fitness or wellness related, I can help you get there.

How do people find you?

You can phone 9304 0500 or book online on the PVH Medical website. I have hours available during the day as well as after hours for those trying to fit work, life, kids and grandkids around their schedules.

Read more about exercise physiology in Pascoe Vale

Podiatrist Gus McSweyn

Podiatrist Pascoe Vale

How do you use The Strong Room?

For us podiatrists, we use the space in The Strong Room to complete gait (movement) assessments on the treadmill where we record people walking and running, and work out why they are suffering and implement changes from there.

Often these changes are relating to building strength in lower limb muscles. There’s plenty of steps, weights, balance mats and other equipment where we can get started.

Using video capture we can really slow down and get detailed running gait analysis. We can use this as part of our assessments and to re-train movement patterns as well.

I’m also a keen runner and play footy myself. The Strong Room is a great place for me to personally rehab any niggles that hit me in my old age!

What can you help people with?

A lot! Lower limb, foot and ankle issues. Podiatrists see plenty of people with foot, heel and ankle pain but that’s not all. We have heaps of experience (as well as evidence) that the interventions we use including strengthening muscles, footwear prescription and orthotics are beneficial for knee pain, shin pain and even hip/lower back issues.

I have a passion to help out runners as well. The treadmill in The Strong Room allows us to do some gait re-training where we can adjust and coach technique to reduce pain from injuries, risk of injuries and even lean towards enhancing performance.

How do people find you?

You can book by calling the lovely reception team on 9304 0500, visiting the PVH Medical website or via the Appointuit app on your smartphone.

Read more about podiatry in Pascoe Vale

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Cystic fibrosis Pascoe Vale

Cystic fibrosis in summary

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-limiting genetic disorder.

It affects the whole body, but mainly the respiratory system (lungs), the digestive system (the pancreas and sometimes the liver) and the reproductive system.

How it affects people

When a person has CF, their mucus is very thick and sticky. It’s difficult for people with CF to clear this mucus from their lungs. It clogs the tiny air passages and traps bacteria. This causes recurring infections and blockages, which can cause irreversible lung damage over time.

Thick mucus in the digestive system can also affect the transfer of digestive enzymes from the pancreas to the small intestine. This leads to difficulty with digesting fats and absorbing some nutrients.

This means that people with CF can have problems with nutrition and need to consume a diet high in kilojoules, fats and salts.

CF is the most common life-limiting genetic disorder affecting Australians today for which there is no cure.

Symptoms of cystic fibrosis

People with CF may experience:

  • a persistent cough that sometimes produces thick mucus
  • difficulty breathing
  • wheezing
  • frequent lung infections
  • salty sweat – salt loss in hot weather may produce muscle cramps or weakness
  • tiredness, lethargy or reduced ability to exercise
  • poor growth or weight gain
  • frequent visits to the toilet
  • bulky, greasy poo
  • diarrhoea or constipation
  • poor appetite
  • CF-related diabetes
  • infertility in males.

Diagnosis of cystic fibrosis

In Australia, most babies are screened at birth for CF through the newborn screening test. This involves collection of a blood sample through a heel prick test immediately after birth.

One in every 2,500 births produces a child who has CF. Approximately 3,500 people in Australia have CF. Most people who have CF are diagnosed within the first two months of life.

If you’re planning a pregnancy, you can be tested to see if you’re carrying the CF gene. Chat with your Pascoe Vale doctor for more information.

Help support cystic fibrosis

May is 65 Roses month, an annual national fundraising and awareness initiative. It raises awareness and essential funds to extend and improve the quality of life for people with CF.

You can get involved in the 65 Roses Challenge by creating your own fundraising event, selling merchandise or making a tax deductible donation. It’s a great cause.

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Holiday operating hours

Have a happy and healthy break!

The team at PVH Medical wishes you a happy and safe Easter holiday.

Easter is a special time to get together with loved ones, enjoy the long weekend and eat some chocolate (in moderation!). Our team will also be taking some time off, and our practice will be closed on the public holidays – Good Friday and Easter Monday, as well as ANZAC Day.

Here are our operating hours over the next two weeks:

  • Good Friday, 19 April – closed
  • Easter Saturday, 20 April – open normal hours, 8am-5pm
  • Easter Sunday, 21 April – closed
  • Easter Monday, 22 April – closed
  • Easter Tuesday, 23 April – open normal hours, 8am-9pm
  • ANZAC Day, Thursday, 25 April – closed.

Thanks for letting us look after your health needs. Have a wonderful Easter and stay healthy!

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General health check Pascoe Vale Melbourne

General health checks in Pascoe Vale

When was the last time you had a general health check?

Getting your vital signs regularly checked by a doctor is a simple and effective way to manage your health.

This can include the measurement of your temperature, respiratory rate, pulse and blood pressure. These numbers provide critical information (hence the name ‘vital’) about your state of health.

In particular, they:

  • can identify the existence of an acute medical problem
  • can determine the magnitude of an illness, and
  • are a marker of chronic diseases.

At PVH Medical we go a step further than checking your vital signs. When we assess your overall health, we consider both non-modifiable and modifiable risk factors.

Non-modifiable risk factors

These are the things you can’t change, and may include:

Age

While you can’t turn back the clock, you can add years to your life by eating well, exercising, managing stress, not smoking and getting quality sleep.

Gender

While the average life expectancy in Australia is among the highest in the world, women are outliving men by approximately four years.

Family history

Your own risk of developing health issues can increase if there is history of it in your family.

Personal history

If you’ve had health problems in the past, minimising your risk with a healthy lifestyle is essential.

Modifiable risk factors

These are risk factors that can be reduced if you make lifestyle changes:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Being overweight
  • High blood cholesterol.

Health checks at PVH Medical

We can run a range of tests to help you manage your health. For example:

  • Blood pressure – for hypertension, stroke and heart attack
  • Blood glucose levels – for diabetes
  • Cholesterol – for heart disease
  • Skin check – for skin cancers
  • Body composition, such as your weight and waist measurement
  • Annual health assessments for people over age 75
  • A once-off health check for those between age 45-49 with risk of developing chronic disease.

We can also assess things like your nutrition, stress levels and emotional wellbeing, and refer you to a psychologist or specialist if need be.

We also have on-site pathology in Pascoe Vale to assist.

Book a health check in Pascoe Vale today

Getting your vital signs checked, and having some basic health tests done, is crucial to your overall health and wellbeing.

Call 9304 0500 or book online today to take a strong step towards a long, healthy and happy life.

 

Source: UCSD and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

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Bowel cancer Melbourne

Fighting bowel cancer

Bowel cancer is diagnosed in about 3,700 Victorians and over 12,500 Australians every year.

Also called colorectal cancer, this serious disease mostly affects people aged 50 and over. However, it can happen in younger people too.

Bowel cancer is the third deadliest cancer in men.

The good news is that if bowel cancer or its warning signs (polyps) are diagnosed early, it is often curable.

Symptoms of bowel cancer

In the early stages, bowel cancer often has no symptoms. This means that a person could have polyps or bowel cancer and not know it.

Some of the most common symptoms of bowel cancer are:

  • Blood or mucus in faeces or on toilet paper
  • An unexpected change in bowel habit (e.g. diarrhoea or constipation for no obvious reason)
  • general discomfort in the abdomen (feelings of bloating, fullness, pain, cramps)
  • constant tiredness
  • weakness and paleness.

Having these symptoms doesn’t mean that you have bowel cancer. If you’re experiencing these symptoms you should discuss them with your doctor at PVH Medical.

Screening for bowel cancer

90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated. That is why screening is so important.

Bowel cancer screening is looking for early changes in the bowel lining, or signs of a bowel cancer in healthy people who do not have symptoms.

Screening can find polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. It’s one of the most effective ways to prevent bowel cancer developing.

A simple home test could save your life

If you’re aged between 50 and 74, you’ll receive a free home testing kit from the government. Do the test – it could save your life.

If you don’t receive a kit, check this online calculator or call the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Information Line on 1800 118 868 to see when you will.

The Cancer Council recommends doing a screening test every two years to protect yourself against bowel cancer.

Talk to us about bowel cancer

If you’re over 50 you should talk to us about the screening tests, so that any signs of bowel cancer can be picked up early.

We have both female and male doctors in Pascoe Vale to help you with any questions you may have.

Together let’s fight bowel cancer!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel and Cancer Council

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Happiness Pascoe Vale Melbourne

How can we be happier?

March 20 is International Day of Happiness. It’s about bringing us all a little closer to our happy place.

But what can we do to be happy? Here are 10 simple things to help you find your Zen.

As always, if you’re feeling blue our psychologists in Pascoe Vale are here to help.

1. Listen to music

Listening to melancholy music like Adele can help boost positive and peaceful feelings. This can be therapeutic and calming for the mind and body.

2. Speak to the person next to you

If you catch the train or bus to work, strike up a conversation – you could bring joy to both of you! Similarly, try chatting to the person behind you in the supermarket queue. Face-to-face human interactions are important for our happiness.

3. Know that money sometimes can buy happiness

You’ve probably heard of the saying “Money can’t buy happiness”. But it can if what you buy is extra time, or you pay to delegate tasks. So don’t feel guilty about ordering tonight’s dinner online or hiring someone to mow the lawn. Spending money to save time might make you happier.

4. Exercise and eat healthy food

A study in the Journal of Health Psychology found that people who exercised felt better about their bodies, even when they saw no physical changes in the mirror. And it goes without saying that eating well keeps your body and mind both healthy and strong (here are some of our tips for healthy eating).

5. Call your mum

Call your mum, your dad, a relative or a friend. Hearing a loved one’s voice can help reduce stress, which means a happier you. You’ll also make your loved one’s day.

6. Hang out with happy people

Yawns aren’t the only things that are contagious. The more you surround yourself with positive people, the happier you may feel. Go ahead and enjoy a round of drinks with your mates, grab a coffee with that woman at school pick-up who’s always smiling, or schedule a visit with your cheery hairdresser.

7. Daydream about your upcoming holiday

Going on a holiday may not necessarily make you happier. But thinking about leaving town is another story. The fact is that we get an extra boost of joy if we delay pleasure. We build positive expectations, imagining how amazing the experience will be. That warm sun or the frozen strawberry daiquiri by the pool? It’s just an added bonus.

8. Reminisce about fond memories

Dig up your old photos and reminisce about fond memories from the past. Then call or email your old friend or childhood bestie! Feeling nostalgic about the past can increase optimism about the future and make you happier.

9. Play with your pets

Playing fetch with your dog or cuddling up with your cat makes you feel good. Interacting with pets can release oxytocin, leaving you with a joyous feeling. Pets offer huge benefits for kids, too, like learning about responsibility.

10. Wake up a little earlier

With more time in the morning, you won’t be running around the kitchen spilling coffee and dropping toast as you frantically get the kids to school. Getting up a little earlier can make it easier to get a positive start to your day.

Stop looking for happiness

Perhaps the best way to find happiness is, ironically, to quit searching for it. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself or set yourself up for expectations that you sometimes can’t meet. Instead, focus on finding meaning — by forging new friendships and pursuing favourite pastimes — and happiness may follow.

Need help? Our experienced psychologists in Pascoe Vale can help you work through any issues you have and find a happier you. To make an appointment, simply call 9304 0500 or book online.

 

Source: International Day of Happiness and Best Health Mag

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Kidney health Pascoe Vale Melbourne

Kidney disease explained

Each year, more than half a million Australians consult their doctors about kidney disease and urinary tract infections.

One in 3 Australian adults is at increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease, and one in 10 has some sign of chronic kidney disease.

What is kidney disease?

Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that act as your body’s waste filtration system. They filter your blood 12 times per hour. Excess water and unwanted chemicals or waste in the blood are disposed of as urine (wee).

Kidney disease is when your kidneys are damaged in some way and are not filtering your blood effectively.

Symptoms of kidney disease

Kidney disease is called a ‘silent disease’ as there are often few or no symptoms. In fact, you can lose up to 90% of your kidneys’ functionality before experiencing any symptoms. Some signs and symptoms include:

  • a change in the frequency and quantity of urine you pass, especially at night (usually an increase at first)
  • blood in your urine (haematuria)
  • changes in the appearance of your urine
  • puffiness around your legs and ankles (oedema)
  • pain in your back (under the lower ribs, where the kidneys are located)
  • pain or burning when you pass urine
  • high blood pressure.

If your kidneys begin to fail, waste products and extra fluid build up in your blood. This, and other problems, can gradually lead to:

  • tiredness and inability to concentrate
  • generally feeling unwell
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea and vomiting
  • shortness of breath
  • itching
  • bad breath and a metallic taste in the mouth.

Risk factors for kidney disease

You are more at risk of developing chronic kidney disease if you:

  • have high blood pressure
  • have diabetes
  • have established heart problems (heart failure or past heart attack) or have had a stroke
  • are obese
  • are over 60 years of age
  • have a family history of kidney failure
  • smoke
  • have a history of acute kidney injury
  • are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Take the online kidney risk test.

Prevention of kidney disease

Medication and changes to lifestyle, along with an early referral to a kidney specialist can prevent or delay kidney failure.

Heathy lifestyle choices to keep your kidneys functioning well include:

  • Eat lots of vegetables and fruit, as well as legumes (peas or beans) and grain-based food such as bread, pasta, noodles and rice
  • Eat lean meat such as chicken and fish each week
  • Eat only small amounts of salty or fatty food
  • Drink plenty of water instead of other drinks like sugary soft drinks
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay fit. Do at least 30 minutes of physical activity that increases your heart rate on five or more days of the week, including walking, lawn mowing, bike riding, swimming or gentle aerobics
  • Quit smoking (our doctors in Pascoe Vale can help with this)
  • Limit your alcohol to no more than two small drinks per day if you are male, or one small drink per day if you are female.
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly (a range of medication is available for high blood pressure)
  • Do things that make you happy, help you relax and reduce your stress levels.

Raising awareness for kidney health

14 March 2019 is World Kidney Day. It’s a global awareness campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys. You can find out more information here.

8-14 April 2019 is Kidney Health Week. ‘Don’t be blind to kidney disease’ is this year’s theme. See if you’re at risk of kidney disease by taking the test.

Treatment for kidney disease

If detected early enough, the progress of kidney disease can be slowed and sometimes even prevented.

Our team of friendly doctors can help you manage kidney disease. Make a booking online or call 9304 0500 today.

 

Source: Kidney Health AustraliaWorld Kidney Day and BetterHealth Channel

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Physio Pascoe Vale

Q&A with Pascoe Vale physiotherapist Naveena

We sit down and chat about life and physiotherapy with Pascoe Vale physio Naveena Seethapathy.

So Naveena, a question that physios often get asked, why physiotherapy?

I’ll answer that with some more questions. Think about this, why do we seek help for our aches and pains? The most common answer is to reduce pain and improve function.

So the next question. Who do we seek help from? This is where the answers stray from the common to the rare. It might be a physio, it might be a GP, or it might be a podiatrist. Often it’s a friend, sometimes it’s a tablet, and sometimes we do not seek help at all.

I became a physio because I wanted to help people, and help people in pain be it acute once-off or chronic. I wanted to be involved in all aspects of someone’s journey from pain and loss, to find themselves with power, confidence and living their best lives.

For me, that could only mean physiotherapy.

So how does this philosophy translate to a physio consultation in Pascoe Vale?

Here is where our knowledge and beliefs come into play. There’s often this idea that something is mechanically wrong and needs to be ‘fixed’ with medication or surgery. This idea is compelling, isn’t it?

But is it correct? It seems prudent to learn more about our injury or disease and the available treatment options. To get to know how you can tackle it yourself and invest your time in targeted treatment that not only helps you with pain relief but also improve function and even prevent it from happening again.

Doing appropriate physio exercises results in a faster return to work, less healthcare costs, less side-effects and a big boost to your general health.

Physiotherapy empowers you and puts you in the driver’s seat to take charge of your own health.

How does your personal academic, family and sporting history influence your physiotherapy practice?

I have been lucky to work in three different countries (India, Australia and the United States) as a physio and there are a few things that I have realised are universal.

  • Most people prioritise good health over anything else and being able to do things they want without any aches and pains
  • The human body has an amazing innate ability to heal itself; it is counterproductive to think we can ‘fix it’. The best way to facilitate healing is to listen to your body and challenge ourselves in just the right ways
  • Clients seek my help for reasons that are very important to them at that point in their lives. It is very rewarding to see them undergo the transformation from pain-ridden and unable to do what they want to the best they can be
  • I’m committed to constantly learn and get better at what I do. I’ve completed my Master’s in Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy and being a member of the Musculoskeletal Group of the APA (Australian Physiotherapy Association) keeps me updated with the latest research and evidence-based practice.

In Pascoe Vale, we see people from diverse population groups, with many different problems. How do you personalise your service?

Let’s say you have done your research and walked in through the door to see me. The foremost step in personalisation is listening to your story. You are unique and so is your story. I listen as it gives me big clues to your problem including to your expectations of the treatment session and goals you want to achieve.

This will be followed by a thorough assessment of the skeletal, muscular, articular and nervous system to figure out what’s going on. Investigations like x-rays and scans are only tools to confirm or differentiate what we know already from our clinical examination so more often than not they’re not required to start treatment.

Physiotherapists are highly skilled in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions but we are also trained in looking out for non-musculoskeletal conditions that could be masquerading as something else. Rest assured we arrange appropriate referrals if required (I’m very proud of my letter writing!).

Once we have a list of physical impairments and functional limitations we will work out a step-by-step management plan that is specific and tailor-made for you. It might be some manual therapy, dry needling, taping to help with pain relief or targeted exercise therapy to sustain the progress. Also, prevention strategies and education can build tolerance and resilience in our bodies’ systems.

Is there anything that we can do as sub-elite level sportspeople to help reduce our own injury risks?

  • If you have a niggle that is bothering you, sort it out! Not only does this reduce injury risk but it also improves your game
  • Pre-season assessments. Check for flexibility, strength issues and get a tailored program for yourself
  • Use training sessions wisely. Training should cater to the playing techniques/drills, as well as strength and conditioning, flexibility, balance and proprioception
  • Adequate hydration, sleep (you heal in your deep sleep) and nutrition
  • Proper gear, including proper footwear (I’ll leave that targeted advice to the podiatry experts)
  • Training load. Increase gradually; you want to keep track of what are you doing and then gradually increase. Some of us have to be careful to not get carried away and over-train leading to injury
  • Warm up!

At the risk of alienating the majority of our audience, who are your favourite teams?

We don’t currently have a consensus at home. My husband follows the Pittsburgh Steelers (grid iron) and my sons are into the Richmond Tigers.

I love to barrack for the underdogs in any sport!

And finally Naveena, for all those who need some high-value physiotherapy care in Pascoe Vale, how would they book in for an assessment with you? Where are you located?

I practise at PVH Medical, 124 Kent Rd, Pascoe Vale. It’s easy to book an appointment online or by calling 9304 0500.

 

Source: PridePlus

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Pascoe Vale dietitian

Smart, healthy eating – do you do it?

Eating well is key to feeling your best, both now and in the long term.

We know healthy eating plays an important role in keeping your body healthy and strong, as well as preventing illness.

Go for 2 and 5

Eating 2 serves of fruit and at least 5 serves of vegetables each day is the single most important dietary change we can make to be healthier. But how do we fit them all in?

Spreading fruit and vegies over breakfast, lunch and dinner (plus snacks if you need them) makes it easier to get our 2 fruit and 5 vegies per day.

Not sure what constitutes one serve? You can find out here.

Clever ways to enjoy more fruit and veg

Try the following simple meal and snack ideas. They will not only help you get your 2&5 but can save you time, money and even help shrink your waistline!

  • Chop vegies ahead of time and store them in containers in the fridge
  • Buy fruit and vegies that are in season – it’s cheaper and they’re generally tastier
  • Look for fruit and vegies that are cheaper per kilogram or unit
  • Try steaming some frozen vegies in the microwave or adding to a stir-fry when you’re pressed for time
  • Canned fruit and vegies are also good options to have on hand (choose canned fruit in natural juice or water, and canned vegetables with no added salt)
  • Try steaming, grilling, baking or stir-frying with just a small amount of oil
  • Make fruit and vegies more fun for kids, like cutting them into interesting shapes.

Healthy Eating Quiz

The Healthy Eating Quiz is a general guide, designed to help you rate how healthy your eating habits are. It will help to identify areas in which you’re already eating a wide variety of foods and areas where you may be able to improve.

At the end of the quiz, you will receive a score with general feedback on your current eating patterns. It will also give you suggestions for ways to increase the variety of foods in your diet.

If you have any questions about your score, or for tailored advice on healthy eating, please make a booking with our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller.

How does your diet stack up? Take the Healthy Eating Quiz now to find out.

Smart Eating Week

When it comes to food and nutrition, do you know how to make the right choices for you?

Find the answer to your questions by participating in Smart Eating Week! It runs from 11-17 February, 2019.

You can get involved by spreading the word, attending an event, reading up on smart eating, as well as joining the conversation on social media with hashtag #SmartEatingWeek.

We make getting dietary advice easy

For dietary advice and nutritional wellbeing, make a booking today with our in-house dietitian, Jessica Fuller. You can book online – it’s easy!

 

Source: Dietitians Association of Australia and SA Health

Note: This information is of a general nature only and should not be substituted for medical advice. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.

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Our fees are changing from 1 February

To maintain our high quality of care, our fees are changing.

The changes are effective 1 February 2019.

Fees for general consultations

Level Consult length Private fee Medicare rebate Out-of-pocket cost (gap)
B – Standard 5-20 mins $85 $37.60 $47.40
C – Long 20-40 mins $130 $72.80 $57.20
D – Prolonged 40+ mins $180 $107.15 $72.85

 

The gap for Health Care Card (HCC) holders and pensioners is $15 for all consultations.

Fees on weekdays after 8pm, Saturday after 1pm, Sunday and public holidays

An additional $15 fee applies for privately billed patients.

HCC holders and pensioners are to pay the full consult fee and will have an out-of-pocket cost of $20.

Review appointments

Review appointments are charged at a discount rate for all patients.

A review appointment is a simple follow-up to check on the progress of a previous problem. It’s generally carried out within 2 weeks of the original appointment.

Further information on our fees can be found here.

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