All Posts in Category: Health Promotion

Summer recipe

Summer recipe: Tuna Nicoise salad

Here’s another yummy, healthy recipe to enjoy this summer.

It serves four people.

Ingredients

  • 400g baby Carisma potatoes, halved
  • 400g green beans, trimmed
  • 400g tinned tuna in spring water, drained & flaked
  • 400g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Spanish onion, finely sliced
  • 2 baby cos lettuces, shredded
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and quartered
  • Olives (optional).

Dressing

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard.

Method

  1. To make the dressing, whisk oil, vinegar and mustard in a jug. Season with salt and pepper. Alternatively, use Praise 100% fat-free French dressing or balsamic vinegar.
  2. Cook potatoes in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes or until just tender. Transfer to a large bowl. Add beans to pot. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until bright green and just tender, then drain and refresh under cold water. Add beans to potato.
  3. Add tuna, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, eggs and olives (optional) to potato and bean mixture. Add 2 tsp dressing to your single serve (leftover salad will keep for another three days). Toss gently to combine and season with salt and pepper to serve.

And voila! Enjoy this nutritious salad.

Have you seen our tasty potato salad recipe?

Need help with your diet?

Our in-house dietitian Jessica Fuller would be pleased to assist you. Book online or call 9304 0500 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.

Read More
Healthy new year’s resolutions

5 healthy new year’s resolutions for you and your family

New year’s resolutions are a great idea. After all, what better way to start the new year than with a fresh outlook on life?

In reality, however, new year’s resolutions often don’t last because they’re unrealistic and poorly executed. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of achievable, healthy resolutions for you and your family to try.

Let us know how you go!

1. Say goodbye to fad diets

Losing weight is a common new year’s resolution. But instead of following the latest diet craze, focus your efforts on eating simple, healthy food like fruit and vegies as much as you can. Just one extra serve of vegies a day can make a big difference, says PVH Medical Dietitian, Jessica Fuller. “It can reduce your risk of mortality by 5% which is pretty impressive,” she says.

2. Find a gym buddy or do group exercises

We all know that going to the gym can be daunting. But what if a friend came along with you? Your buddy can keep you accountable for meeting your goals. You could also consider a group exercise class, like the one we run at our practice in Pascoe Vale. Qualified exercise physiologist Mike Fitzsimon runs classes every week. “Group exercise classes are a great way to prevent injuries and chronic diseases,” Mike says.

3. Ask for help if you need it

Life can throw us some curveballs, causing problems at home, work or school. Often the hardest step is the first step – asking for help. Family, friends and loved ones can offer a great support network. But if you feel like you’ve got no one to turn to, or you need extra support, you can always seek professional help. The team of psychologists at PVH Medical – Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts – treat each client with respect and dignity. “Every discussion is kept confidential,” Jenny adds.

4. Help your child with developmental delays

Do you have kids? If so, you want them to get the best start in life. This includes ensuring that they keep developing as they grow older. Developmental delays like speech and language problems can be addressed by working with a qualified speech pathologist. With 20 year’s clinical experience, PVH Medical Speech Pathologist Naomi DeNicolo can help your child with speech and/or language difficulties, and even with problems swallowing food or drink.

5. Get that niggling pain looked at

Life’s too short to put up with niggling pain. Whether you have a sore back, an injured knee or even a headache, seeing a physiotherapist can help. We recently welcomed Naveena Seethapathy to the PVH Medical team. For Naveena, physiotherapy has been a career where she has found her calling to help those injured or in pain. “It’s never too late to seek help for niggling pain,” says Naveena.

Are you ready for a healthy 2020?

So there you have it – five healthy new year’s resolutions anyone can achieve.

If you need help with any of them, we’d be pleased to help. Simply call 9304 0500 or make an online booking 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.

Read More
Podiatry Melbourne

5 tips to keep your feet happy while travelling

Are you going on summer holidays? Think feet first and get yourself sorted before your trip gets ruined.

1. Sort out your feet before you leave

If you’re experiencing any pain or niggles, make sure you book your podiatry appointment well ahead of your travels to allow for any follow-up to be made, and treatments to help. If you have corns, calluses or irritating nails, these can cause blisters or infections while you travel. Don’t forget to bring the footwear to your appointment that you’ll be wearing whilst away.

2. Breaking in shoes

The footwear you plan on taking on holidays with you is super important. Take time leading up to your trip to increase your activities in these shoes and try swapping socks around too to work out the best combinations.

3. Reduce swelling, cramping and muscle pain

All three can be addressed by investing in support stockings. During long flights, when you’re sitting upright and are inactive for a long period of time (that’s pretty much any flight from Australia to anywhere!), your circulation slows down. Get measured for the correct size support stockings so you don’t land in pain.

4. Avoid nasty infections

Pools, spas and hotel showers are warm and moist environments, just perfect for picking up tinea (athlete’s foot) and also plantar warts (Verruca). Throw a pair of thongs in your luggage and you’ll be fine.

5. Blister management

That blister you get on day one will still be annoying you on day ten. Preventing blisters is the key. Blister management in tropical climates is particularly important with all sorts of tropical bugs wanting to set up camp in your blistered skin.

Simple things to remember:

  • Avoid ill-fitting shoes that are either too loose or too tight
  • Avoid wearing socks and shoes that are wet – change them if your feet get sweaty or you get caught in the rain
  • Try alternating footwear up to reduce pressures on the same areas
  • Socks can reduce friction and blisters on the feet by reducing the moisture and friction on the surface of the foot. Look for socks that wick away moisture from the foot surface and socks that keep their shape and fit, to avoid any wrinkling and bunching
  • If you do get caught with a blister, resist the urge to pop it and pick at it. Dress the area and keep it clean.

Make a booking today

Get your feet checked by one of our podiatrists today. Simply book online or call 9304 0500.

Happy travels!

 

Source: PridePlus 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.

Read More
Travel health Melbourne

Travel checklist: do these things before you go

Summer is an exciting time for Australians. Many of us enjoy time off work to relax, spend time with family and friends or even go on holidays.

If you’re lucky enough to be travelling overseas, follow these tips for a smooth and stress-free trip.

Research your destination

Read up on your destination before you arrive – there are countless travel websites and guide books available. You could also talk with family or friends who are familiar with the places you’ll be visiting. As you research, pay particular attention to local laws, entry and exit requirements, health issues and safety.

Register you details

Make sure you register your travel and contact details on Smartraveller. This can make it easier for the government to contact you in the case of an emergency. You can also subscribe to receive free email notifications when the information for your destinations changes.

Cover yourself with travel insurance

Organising travel insurance is an essential part of preparing for your overseas trip. If you’re uninsured, you’re personally liable for covering any medical or other costs resulting from unexpected incidents or accidents. Check you’re covered for any pre-existing medical conditions and any additional activities you plan to undertake, such as skiing or hiring a motorcycle.

Organise your passports and visas

All Australian citizens, including children, must have a valid passport before leaving Australia and maintain a valid passport while overseas. Find out early which visas you need by contacting the relevant embassy of the countries you intend to visit. Some destinations have specific entry and exit requirements, including compulsory vaccinations.

Get the right vaccinations

Your doctor can check the areas that you will visit, and recommend the appropriate vaccinations to keep you and your family safe. We have dedicated Travel Health GPs to help you with this. While we recommend making an appointment 6-8 weeks before your departure date, it’s never too late to come and see us.

Plan your medications

If you’re planning to take medicine overseas, you should:

  • Meet any legal requirements imposed by the foreign country
  • Take enough medicine to cover at least the planned length of your trip
  • Carry a letter from your doctor detailing what the medicine is, how much you will be taking, and stating that the medicine is for your personal use
  • Always leave the medicine in its original packaging so that it’s clearly labelled with your name and dosage instructions
  • Separate quantities between your luggage in case a bag goes missing.

Additional health tips

Be aware of the risk of hepatitis and HIV – practise safe sex and avoid ear-piercing, acupuncture, tattooing or dental work while travelling in destinations with lower health or hygiene standards.

Avoid temporary ‘black henna’ tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions.

Finally, if you wear glasses, take along a spare pair and/or a copy of the prescription so that they can be replaced more easily if lost or broken.

For more pre-holiday tips, check out Smartraveller.

Have a great time!

Being prepared for your overseas holiday is the first step to having a great time.

Remember, our Travel Health GPs can assist with all your travel health requirements including vaccinations. Safe travels!

 

Source: Smartraveller

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.

Read More
Bowel cancer Melbourne

Bowel cancer in men

1 in 11 Australian men will develop bowel cancer in their lifetime.

Bowel cancer affects men of all ages and the risk increases every year from age 50. Around 55% of all Australians diagnosed with bowel cancer are men.

The impact of bowel cancer in men

Bowel cancer is the third deadliest cancer in men. It kills more than 2,300 men each year.

More than 8,000 Australian men are diagnosed with the disease each year. Around 15% of those men diagnosed with bowel cancer are under age 55.

Preventing bowel cancer in men

Symptoms

In its early stages bowel cancer often has no obvious symptoms. However, any of the following may be suggestive of bowel cancer:

  • Persistent change in bowel habit (looser more diarrhoea-like bowel movements, constipation, or smaller more frequent bowel movements)
  • Change in appearance of bowel movements
  • Blood in the bowel movement or rectal bleeding
  • Unexplained tiredness, weakness or weight loss
  • Abdominal pain, especially if severe
  • A lump or pain in the rectum or anus.

Not everyone who experiences these symptoms has bowel cancer. Other medical conditions, some foods and certain medicines can also cause these changes.

However, if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms for more than two weeks, don’t delay in talking to your GP about them.

Family history

Most men who develop bowel cancer have no family history of the disease.

However, having a relative, especially a first-degree relative such as a parent, brother, sister or child with bowel cancer, can increase your risk of developing bowel cancer.

Diet and lifestyle

Choices you make related to diet, lifestyle, screening and surveillance can influence your bowel cancer risk.

Because you can change or modify these risk factors, they are referred to as ‘modifiable’. For the latest information on modifiable risk factors for bowel cancer, download this free resource.

Screening and surveillance

Bowel Cancer Australia recommends participating in screening appropriate to your personal level of risk. Discuss with your doctor what your personal risk is.

Concerns?

Remember, if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, please make a booking with your doctor. It’s not worth the risk!

 

Source: Decembeard Australia

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.

Read More
HIV Melbourne

HIV and AIDS: get the facts

HIV still exists in Australia. There were 963 new HIV diagnoses in Australia in 2017.

Although this is the lowest number of diagnoses since 2010, we need to make sure this trend continues.

What is HIV?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a condition that can cause AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). HIV and AIDS are not the same thing.

Left untreated, HIV attacks the body’s immune system making the body vulnerable to infections and medical conditions that the immune system would be normally capable of controlling.

What is AIDS?

AIDS refers to the illnesses that can develop as a result of untreated HIV or in a person where current treatments have failed. People living with HIV in Australia may still develop AIDS, but this is now rare.

HIV is a chronic condition

HIV can affect anyone. While there is no vaccine or cure for HIV, there are highly effective treatments.

People with HIV take medications on a daily basis to maintain their HIV at an undetectable level and to keep them healthy.

Today, HIV is considered a chronic but manageable condition, and people with HIV can lead long and healthy lives, with a similar life expectancy to a person who does not have HIV.

How is HIV transmitted?

HIV may be present in blood, semen, vaginal fluid, menstrual fluid, rectal fluids, and in breast milk. It may be transmitted when such fluids from a person with HIV enters the body of a person without HIV during anal or vaginal sex where preventative measures are not used. HIV may also be transmitted through the sharing of needles or through unsterile tattooing and piercing processes.

HIV is not an air-borne virus such as the flu. It cannot be passed on by hugging, kissing, shaking hands, coughing or sneezing, nor can it be transmitted through sharing toilets, washing facilities, eating utensils or consuming food and beverages handled by someone who has HIV.

How can you help prevent HIV transmission?

  • Practice safer sex, i.e. by using condoms with water-based lubricants
  • Take medication called Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • Treatment as Prevention (TasP) – use of anti-retroviral therapy (ART) medicine reduces the amount of HIV in a person’s body and may lead to what is called ‘viral suppression’, reducing the likelihood of transmission of HIV to a HIV-negative person
  • Protect yourself while you travel – if you’re sexually active, take condoms and lubricant to countries where there is a high prevalence of HIV
  • Don’t share needles and personal care items (e.g. razors) as this can increase the risk of HIV being transmitted through blood
  • Get tested if you’re at risk or have known risk factors.

​​​​​​​​To learn more about the ways you can help prevent HIV transmission, please make a booking with your doctor.

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year. It raises awareness across the world and in the community about HIV and AIDS. It is a day for the community to show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died of AIDS related conditions or other conditions associated with HIV.

Get tested at PVH Medical

The only way to know if you have HIV is through HIV testing, such as a blood test.

You can get a confidential test by visiting your doctor and asking for an HIV test.

 

Source: World AIDS Day Australia

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.

Read More

How much do you know about cervical cancer?

Cervical cancer is the growth of abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix.

These abnormal cells can develop into tumours and in worst-case scenarios – spread throughout the body. The cervix is part of the female reproductive system and is the narrow lower portion (or ‘neck’) of the uterus.

How do you get cervical cancer?

The risk factors associated with cervical cancer are:

  • Infection with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Smoking
  • Weak immune system
  • Family history
  • Exposure to Diethylstilboestrol or DES (an oestrogen medication prescribed to pregnant women from the 1940s to the early 1970s)
  • Lack of regular cervical screening tests.

What is the Human papillomavirus (HPV)?

Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by an infection with the HPV.

HPV is an extremely common group of viruses that can affect both males and females. In most people, HPV is harmless and has no symptoms, but in some people the virus may persist and lead to diseases of the genital area, including genital warts and cancers of the cervix, vagina, vulva and anus.

How can HPV cause cervical cancer?

After entering the body, HPV will behave in one of two ways: either remaining dormant (inside the body’s cells), or becoming active.

In most cases, the body’s immune system will clear the virus from the body naturally within 14 months. If the immune system does not clear a HPV infection, it can cause normal cells in the lining of the cervix to turn abnormal. In rare cases this can develop into cervical cancer.

Are there any symptoms of cervical cancer?

If early cell changes develop into cervical cancer, the most common symptoms that might be present are:

  • Vaginal bleeding between periods or after menopause
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Lower back pain
  • Bleeding after intercourse
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Leg pain or swelling.

These symptoms can also be caused by other more common conditions so please don’t panic if you do experience them.

However, see your Pascoe Vale GP if you’re worried or if the symptoms are ongoing. If necessary, your GP will refer you for further tests.

In many cases cervical cancer does not usually carry any external symptoms until it is in advanced stages. That’s why the Cervical Screening Test (see below) is so important.

How can you prevent cervical cancer?

There are two ways to prevent cervical cancer: vaccination and cervical screening.

The HPV vaccine protects against nine of the main HPV types that cause 90% of cervical cancer.

In December 2017, the 5-yearly Cervical Screening Test (CST) replaced the 2-yearly Pap test in Australia.

For most women aged 25 to 74, your first CST is due two years after your last Pap test. After that, you will only need to have the test every five years if your result is normal.

Make a booking today

We’re here for you 7 days a week. If you need to see us, please make a booking today.

 

Source: Australian Cervical Cancer Foundation, Australian Government Cancer Australia, National Cervical Screening Program and Understanding HPV

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.

Read More
Travel health Melbourne

Are you travelling overseas soon?

It’s so exciting knowing that you’ve booked an overseas holiday and you’ll be leaving soon.

To ensure you have a pleasant trip, however, you should see your Pascoe Vale doctor before you leave.

Why? Read on to find out.

Many other countries aren’t like Australia

Even if you think your travel destination is safe, disease outbreaks can and do happen.

In addition to immunisations against new infectious diseases, you might need booster doses of vaccines that you’ve received before.

Each case is different

There is no set immunisation schedule that will suit all travellers, so see our travel doctors for advice.

It’s important that you don’t wait until the last minute to visit your doctor to discuss the immunisation needs for your trip. You might need a number of doses and you might need time after immunisation for your body to develop full immunity.

Different types of immunisation for travellers

Some countries require proof of immunisation for some infectious diseases before you enter.

That’s why it’s so important to see your doctor before you go on your holiday.

Your doctor can check the areas that you will visit, and recommend the appropriate vaccinations to keep you and your family safe.

What about infectious diseases for which there are no vaccines?

Infectious diseases are generally transmitted by food, water or a lack of hygiene (e.g. ‘gastro’ and traveller’s diarrhoea) or by insects (e.g. malaria and dengue fever).

These diseases can be life threatening. Your doctor will advise you on measures and medications that you can take to help prevent these diseases.

We have dedicated Travel Health GPs

PVH Medical is an accredited Travel Health Practice (accredited Yellow Fever Vaccination Provider) and we have dedicated specialist Travel Health GPs.

Before embarking on your next overseas holiday, we can help with all your travel health needs including:

  • A travel health check
  • Vaccinations
  • Fit to Travel and Medical travel insurance requirements
  • The latest travel health information for your destination.

We recommend making an appointment 6-8 weeks before your departure date. Please download our pre-travel assessment form before your appointment.

We look forward to looking after your travel health needs. Stay safe and bon voyage!

Further reading

 

Source: Better Health 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.

Read More
breast cancer Melbourne

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October, Australia’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, provides an opportunity for us all to focus on breast cancer and its impact on those affected by the disease in our community.

What is breast cancer?

It’s the abnormal growth of the cells lining the breast lobules or ducts. These cells grow uncontrollably and have the potential to spread to other parts of the body.

Both men and women can develop breast cancer, although it is uncommon in men.

It’s the most common cancer in women

Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).

Survival rates continue to improve in Australia with 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer now surviving five or more years beyond diagnosis.

Finding this cancer early provides the best chance of surviving the disease. You don’t need to be an expert or use a special technique to check your breasts.

What to look for

Changes to look for include:

  • A new lump or lumpiness, especially if it’s only in one breast
  • A change in the size or shape of your breast
  • A change to the nipple, such as crusting, ulcer, redness or inversion
  • A nipple discharge that occurs without squeezing
  • A change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling
  • An unusual pain that doesn’t go away.

Most changes aren’t due to breast cancer but it’s important to see your doctor without delay if you notice any of these changes.

View the short video below about the breast changes you need to look out for.

Breast cancer risk factors

As a woman, over the course of your lifetime there are many factors that can influence your risk of breast cancer.

While some of the most important of these risk factors, such as being a woman, getting older or having a strong family history cannot be changed, you can still aim to reduce risk of breast cancer through making healthy lifestyle choices and other risk-reducing strategies.

Factors that can be changed are called modifiable factors. They include:

  • Alcohol – drinking alcohol increases your risk for breast cancer. The more you drink, the greater the increase in risk.
  • Body weight – keeping to a healthy weight range reduces risk of breast cancer.
  • Physical activity – active women of all ages are at reduced risk of breast cancer compared to women who do not exercise.
  • Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)/hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – using MHT that contains both an oestrogen and a progestogen is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, with the risk increasing the longer you take it.
  • Breastfeeding – breastfeeding can reduce risk of breast cancer, and the longer the duration of breastfeeding, the greater the benefits.

We can help you manage these modifiable factors. You can also learn more about breast cancer risk factors here.

Pink Ribbon Day

October is the official month for Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon Day, though you can get involved at any time throughout the year.

You can help those affected by breast cancer by making a donation, hosting a Pink Ribbon event or even buying Pink Ribbon merchandise. Visit Pink Ribbon for more information.

Questions? Concerns? Ask us!

Our team of friendly GPs are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have about women’s health and breast cancer.

We understand if your preference is to see a female doctor. We’d be pleased to help you in any way we can.

Please make a booking online or call us on 9304 0500 today.

 

Source: Australian Government Cancer Australia and Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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.

Read More
Eat more vegetables

8 tips for increasing your daily vegetable intake

To celebrate National Nutrition Week, here are eight tips to help you increase your daily vegetable intake.

Let us know if you have any questions or need help!

1. Try and cover half your plate at dinner with vegetables.

This guarantees at least two to three serves of vegies at dinner! You can even use this strategy at lunch and breakfast. Adding 1-2 measuring cups of vegetables to these meals will definitely help you get your five serves of vegies in.

2. The vegetables you eat can be fresh, frozen or tinned.

It doesn’t matter! All contain the same nutritional profiles. So, if you’re getting home late tonight and don’t have time to chop up the vegies, feel free to use some frozen vegetables, or even try the pre-cut vegetables from the supermarket.

3. Add some vegetables to your breakfast (or even an easy Sunday night meal).

Add diced vegetables to scrambled eggs or an omelette or frittata. Capsicum, mushrooms, spring onion, spinach, zucchini and tomatoes are good options that go well with eggs. Or, you could sauté some spinach, mushrooms and tomato to have on the side.

4. Try and have one meat-free day a week.

Eat a dish based on lentils and legumes instead. ‘Meat-free Monday’ is a health promotion that started a few years ago that many people like to follow.

5. Add grated vegetables.

Add grated vegies like carrot and zucchini to sauces and any dishes that involve mince such as pasta sauces, tacos and burritos.

6. Try making poke bowls.

These have become super trendy in 2018 and are also easy to make at home. Choose at least three different vegetables to have (such as sweet corn, shredded cabbage, avocado, lettuce, spinach, tomato and capsicum) to go with some protein and wholegrains (such as quinoa or brown rice). Minimal cooking required!

7. Add vegetables to your smoothies.

Adding greens such as spinach, kale, avocado, broccoli or cucumber is a great way to boost the nutritional content of your smoothie and help meet the five serves a day.

8. Snack on some vegetables if you’re hungry in between meals.

Vegie sticks such as celery, carrot, capsicum and cucumber go well with vegetable-based dip such as hummus.

Makeover your meals

It’s a good idea to take some of your favourite meals and give them a bit of a makeover to see where you can add extra vegetables in.

Take pasta bolognese, for example. You could grate some vegetables through the sauce, or bulk the sauce up with some lentils, or you could have a side salad or plate of cooked vegetables to accompany your bowl of pasta.

Getting nutrition advice is easy

For help and advice about eating more vegetables to improve your diet, make an appointment with our in-house dietitian today.

 

Source: The Nutrition Code

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.

Read More
dietitian nutrition Melbourne

It’s National Nutrition Week!

Looking for an easy way to improve your nutrition? Ready to make some small changes for big gains?

Then look no further than this year’s National Nutrition Week campaign: Try for 5. It encourages all Aussies to have five serves of vegetables a day.

We’ve all heard it before: eating more vegetables is the number one strategy to improve health and lose weight.

But how else are they beneficial?

Eating vegetables can reduce chronic disease

Having more vegies in our diet can reduce the risk of chronic disease. This includes coronary heart disease, stroke, some cancers and type 2 diabetes.

Eating vegetables can help fight depression

New emerging evidence has found that eating vegetables helps improve mood and reduces the risk of depression. And yet, only 4% of Australians are eating enough vegetables!

That means a lot of us are missing out on essential nutrients that help us to function properly including vitamins and minerals (e.g. vitamin C, magnesium and folate), phytonutrients, antioxidants and dietary fibre.

How many vegetables are we eating?

The average Australian is only eating about half the amount of vegetables that they should be.

This is leading to an increased number of cases of obesity, chronic diseases and poor mental health (including an impact on memory and learning).

Not only are we missing out on essential nutrients available in vegetables, we are replacing our vegetable intake with processed foods that are high in unhealthy fats, salt and sugar (not so great for our health).

One extra serve can help

Did you know that just one extra serve of vegies a day can reduce your risk of mortality by 5%? That’s pretty impressive.

Imagine how your health would improve if you had five serves of vegies every single day!

A serve of vegetables includes:

  • ½ cup of cooked green or orange vegetables (such as broccoli, spinach, carrots and pumpkin)
  • ½ cup of cooked dried or canned beans, peas or lentils
  • 1 cup of green leafy or raw salad vegetables
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • 1 medium potato or other starchy vegetable (sweet potato, taro and cassava)
  • 1 medium tomato.

So, now that you know how important vegies are, how can you start having more of them? Simply read our 8 tips for increasing vegetable intake every day!

Further reading

Getting nutrition advice is easy

We offer an in-house dietetics service. This means we can give you professional help and advice about nutrition, including eating more vegetables to improve your diet.

You can make an appointment online or by calling 9304 0500.

Happy Nutrition Week!

 

Source: The Nutrition Code

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.

Read More
See a doctor in Pascoe Vale for mental illness

Look after your mental health

Did you know that one in five Australians are affected by mental illness?

Unfortunately, many of us don’t seek help because of stigma.

What is mental illness?

Mental illness is a general term for a group of illnesses that affect the mind or brain.

These illnesses, which include bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety and personality disorders, affect the way a person thinks, feels and acts.

The exact cause of mental illness is unknown. What is known is that mental illness is not a character fault, weakness or something inherently ‘wrong’ with a person.

It is an illness like any other.

Mental illness is very common

One in five Australians aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year.

The most common mental illnesses are depressive, anxiety and substance use disorder.

Mental health or physical health?

Historically, mental health and physical health were separated. Currently, we understand that mental health and physical health are interconnected.

If we’re in pain, we could be distressed, anxious or depressed. If we have a panic attack, we might have difficulty exercising, sleeping or relaxing.

Whatever the primary health issue and its severity, other health factors often come into play.

There are many ways our health and well-being can be supported, including:

  • Breath work
  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation
  • Self-talk
  • Sleep
  • Social connection
  • Purpose/meaning.

Is mental illness treatable?

Yes, mental illness can be treated. Many people who have mental illness can recover completely while others manage their illness very well.

The most important step is to seek help. See your GP in the first instance.

How to get help

A GP can provide treatment or refer you to a specialist, like a psychologist, for extra help. Note, however, that you don’t need a referral to see a psychologist.

Effective treatments are available and early identification and care can reduce harm and improve quality of life. If you’re uncertain or nervous about speaking to one of our GPs, you’re welcome to take a friend or family member with you.

Let your GP know if you’re getting help from anyone else, such as other doctors, self-help groups, family and friends, or natural therapists.

Remember to provide your GP with your full list of medications (including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and natural therapies). Also, ask your GP for a general health check to see what else might be adding to the way you feel.

Raising awareness for mental health

October is Mental Health Awareness Month.

To help support the mental health of you and those around you, Black Dog Institute has come up with 10 different ways you can take action this October. That’s because there’s no single path to creating a mentally healthier world.

In addition to Black Dog Institute, organisations including Headspace, Beyond Blue and Dementia Australia provide evidence-based information, support, advice and research on a wide range of mental health-related issues.

Further reading

We’re here for you every day

If you need help, please make a booking with us. We’re open 7 days a week to give you all the support you need.

 

Source: Mental Health Australia, World Mental Health Day and Mental Health Foundation Australia

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.

Read More
Talk to your GP about prostate health

Prostate cancer. Get the facts.

Only men have a prostate. It is a small gland that sits below the bladder near the rectum.

The prostate is often described as being the size of a walnut and it is normal for it to grow as men age. Sometimes this can cause problems, such as difficulty urinating. These problems are common in older men and not always symptoms or signs of cancer.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These abnormal cells can continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way and sometimes spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body.

Three facts about prostate cancer

  1. In Australia, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men
  2. More than 3,000 men die of prostate cancer in Australia every year
  3. More men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer.

What are some symptoms of prostate cancer?

In the early stages, there may be no symptoms. In the later stages, some symptoms of prostate cancer might include:

  • Feeling the frequent or sudden need to urinate
  • Finding it difficult to urinate (for example, trouble starting or not being able to urinate when the feeling is there or poor urine flow)
  • Discomfort when urinating
  • Finding blood in urine or semen
  • Pain in the lower back, upper thighs or hips.

These symptoms may not mean you have prostate cancer, but if you do experience any of them, please see your doctor at PVH Medical.

What are the risk factors?

Factors that are most strongly linked to an increased chance of developing prostate cancer are:

  • Age – the chance of developing prostate cancer increases as you grow older
  • Family history – you have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer if you have a first degree male relative with this cancer.

Other factors that may increase the risk of developing prostate cancer include genetics, diet and lifestyle.

Reducing the risk of developing prostate cancer

There is no evidence that the following protective factors can stop prostate cancer from developing, but they can improve your overall health and possibly reduce the risk of prostate cancer:

  • Diet – eat meals that are nutritious. What is good for the heart is good for the prostate.
  • Physical activity/exercise – there is some evidence to show that physical activity and regular exercise can be protective factors for cancer. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.

If you need help getting more physical activity into your day, we offer an exercise physiology service – both one-on-one sessions and group classes.

As for your diet, our on-site dietitian can help with nutrition advice and things like increasing your vegetable intake.

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is asking Australia to get involved and help create awareness and raise the much-needed funds to help in the fight against prostate cancer.

If you’re male and over 50 – or over 40 if you have a family history – you’re encouraged to talk with your GP about prostate health.

Make an online booking with your friendly doctor in Pascoe Vale or call 9304 0500 today.

 

Source: Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

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.

Read More
Diabetes help Melbourne

Type 2 diabetes: Australia’s fastest-growing chronic condition

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body struggles to regulate its own blood glucose levels.

Early diagnosis, optimal treatment and continued management is key to reducing diabetes-related complications.

Our fastest-growing chronic condition

Type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 85 per cent of all cases, is largely preventable.

It’s a combination of insulin resistance and impaired insulin production, and is strongly associated with high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and excess weight (particularly around the waist).

Type 2 Diabetes is Australia’s fastest-growing chronic condition.

Diabetes: A snapshot

  • According to Diabetes Australia, around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes, and a further 2 million are at high risk of developing it.
  • The full cost of diabetes to the Australian economy is estimated to be as high as $14 billion per year
  • The World Health Organisation predicts diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.

Take a look at the video below to find out more about diabetes and blood glucose levels.

Diabetes is preventable

Research shows type 2 diabetes can be prevented — and even reversed early on — with lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise.

According to Diabetes Australia, a small weight loss (5-10% of your body weight) can make a big difference, and reduce your risk of developing complications like heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

If you need help with your diabetes, or you think you’re at risk, chat with your doctor at PVH Medical.

This is an excerpt from an article in ABC News.

 

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.

Read More
Migraine help in Melbourne

The pain of migraine

Headache is one of the most common health-related conditions in Australia, with around 15% of us taking pain-relieving medication for a headache at any given time.

A migraine is a particular type of headache. It can be experienced from as little as once or twice a year, or as often as two or three times a week.

Three times as many women (15%) as men (5%) suffer from migraine, and scientists believe that hormones play a large role.

What is migraine pain like?

The pain is severe, throbbing and usually on one side of the head.

A migraine attack can last from four hours to three days. It’s associated with a spasm of the blood vessels leading to the brain.

Triggers for migraine

No one really knows what causes migraine, but it may be an inherited condition. Attacks can be triggered by a combination of factors, such as:

  • Diet – cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits, alcohol (especially red wine)
  • Sleep – too little or too much
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Physiochemical – excessive heat, light, noise or certain chemicals
  • Emotional causes – stress, excitement or fatigue
  • Relaxation (weekend migraines) – often triggered by a period of stress and overwork followed by relaxation.

Fortunately, we have a large team of doctors and allied health professionals in Pascoe Vale who can help you manage your condition.

Headache and Migraine Week, 9-13 September 2019

Headache Australia, a national charitable organisation, proudly runs Headache and Migraine Week. It aims to raise awareness for headaches and migraines which affect millions of Australians.

You can register to attend events, watch live streaming or recorded presentations during this special week.

If you suffer chronic headaches or migraine, you could even consider joining the National Headache Australia register to receive information about treatment options, research findings and so on.

Three facts about migraine

  1. Migraine is a type of headache and a recognised medical condition
  2. Young women are most at risk
  3. There is no cure for migraine, but the right treatment can reduce the number of attacks.

Get help for your headache or migraine

There are numerous treatment options to help with headache and migraine. So don’t delay – make a booking with your healthcare professional in Pascoe Vale today and get the relief that you deserve!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel and Headache 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.

Read More
Asthma help in Pascoe Vale

5 interesting facts about asthma

Asthma is a condition that affects most Australians.

Despite this, there are many misconceptions about this chronic disease.

So let’s clear some of them up, with these five interesting facts.

Fact 1 – asthma impacts most Australians

Two-thirds of Australians are affected by asthma. Most people know one of the 2.5 million Australians who have been diagnosed with asthma. You probably know someone with asthma!

Fact 2 – asthma is a long-term disease

Asthma can develop at any age, even adulthood. Most people don’t grow out of asthma – even though 1 person in 4 may think that – but it can be managed with medication.

Fact 3 – asthma is a life-threatening disease

More than 400 people die because of asthma each year. The right medication, knowledge, and a written Asthma Action Plan can help keep asthma under control. Almost 1 person in every 3 don’t realise asthma is life-threatening.

Fact 4 – asthma triggers are varied

Triggers include pollen, smoke, physical activity and exercise, and viruses like cold and flu. But are you like 1 out of every 2 Australians who know that thunderstorms can trigger asthma flare-ups? Everybody experiences asthma differently.

Fact 5 – using an asthma preventer every day is the best way to reduce symptoms and flare-ups

Using preventers each day reduces symptoms of asthma and flare-ups for most people. These medications mimic the body’s natural response. Research tells us that only 1 in 4 people under age 24 know this. Preventers are the mainstay of asthma management.

I think I have asthma. Help!

If you think you have asthma, we can provide you with all the support you need. Make a booking online, on the Appointuit mobile app, or by calling 9304 0500.

It’s time you started to breathe easy!

 

Source: Asthma Australia

Read More