All Posts in Category: Health

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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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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Family planning Melbourne

Planning on starting a family?

Are you planning on starting a family soon, or have infant children?

We have dedicated services specifically designed to cater for every stage of a family, including:

  • From the time you decide you’d like to start a family
  • During pregnancy
  • After pregnancy
  • Child healthcare.

Family planning

From contraception to fertility and pregnancy advice, our GPs have got your family planning needs covered. See a female or male GP – it’s your choice.

Pre-conception health check

This health screening is designed for women to determine their readiness to conceive and identify any potential health risk issues.

Antenatal shared care

This is a popular choice for healthy women with a normal pregnancy. It will allow most of your pregnancy care to be managed by one of our accredited antenatal care GPs.

We’re associated with the following hospitals:

  • The Womens (Royal Womens Hospital)
  • Mercy Hospital for Women
  • Northern Hospital
  • Sunshine Hospital.

For more information speak to your GP or contact the shared care coordinator at the above hospitals.

Postnatal care

We offer mother-centric postnatal care services to both the mother and newborn during the first six weeks after delivery of the child. This may include:

  • Routine clinical examination and observation of the mother and baby
  • Routine baby screening to detect potential disorders
  • Support for infant feeding
  • Ongoing provision of information and support.

Baby and child health checks

These checks allow for babies and young children to be routinely evaluated by our GPs to monitor their health, growth and development.

Paediatrics

Did you know we have in-house consulting paediatricians?

A paediatrician is a medical doctor with special training and skills in the diseases and illnesses that affect babies and children, and also in how babies, children and teenagers grow and develop.

Your child might see a paediatrician if your GP wants a specialist opinion about your child’s health and development, or thinks your child needs specialised care and treatment.

We’re here for you and your family

We’re here to take care of the health needs of you and your family. So if you have any questions at all, please chat to one of our friendly GPs.

 

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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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.

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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!

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.

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.

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 – Bronwen Francis, Julie Paschke and Jenny Ricketts – treat each client with respect and dignity. “Every discussion is kept confidential,” Bronwen adds.

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.

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 2019?

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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