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Dietitian Pascoe Vale Melbourne

What to eat before and after a workout

Physical activity is important for so many different reasons.

It can help lower your risk of chronic diseases, improve mental health and aid in weight management.

Your nutrition and diet in conjunction with your exercise is important too.

We’re often warned not to ‘undo all our good work’ by making poor food choices when exercising. But equally as important, you should not deprive yourself, or you will have a poor quality workout and increase your risk of injury and exhaustion.

Consider your energy goals

When choosing appropriate pre- and post-workout meals and snacks, it’s important to consider your energy goals.

To lose weight, your energy targets will be smaller, so select foods and portions that pack only just enough of the right nutrients to fuel your exercise and recovery.

If you’re looking to add muscle mass, you will have higher energy targets, and may opt for larger pre- and post-workout meals.

What should be in your food pre-workout

Your pre-workout meals should be centered on low GI carbohydrates, which provide a constant and stable stream of energy for periods over an hour. The best meals will also contain:

  • Electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium, which assist in nerve and muscle function
  • B vitamins, which assist in energy metabolism
  • Proteins, to protect and repair the working muscle.

It is recommended to limit fats pre-work out, as they delay the digestion and availability of carbohydrates and protein.

Good meal options

Some good options include:

  • Oats with low fat milk and berries(for higher energy targets, add banana and a drizzle of honey)
  • Fresh or frozen fruits with low-fat natural yoghurt (for higher energy targets, add ½ cup of natural muesli)
  • Green smoothie with 1 piece of fruit, a variety of vegetables and your choice of milk (for higher energy targets, add an additional fruit and ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1-2 slices of grain toast with low fat cottage cheese, sliced cucumber and tomato (for higher energy targets, add an additional slice of toast or a glass of Milo).

What should be in your food post-workout

While pre-workout meals are all about low GI carbs, the ideal post-workout meals will focus equally on high quality proteins.

This includes all essential amino acids, mostly sourced from animal products including eggs and dairy.

For vegans, soybeans and their products are a reasonable alternative.

Proteins are most important after a workout, and studies show that the ideal target is 20g for both men and women. This can easily be reached without splashing out on expensive protein powders.

Include low GI carbs as well, otherwise the protein in your meal will be used instead to replenish your energy stores.

Good meal options

The following examples contain at least 20g of high quality protein, low GI carbohydrate, and electrolytes:

  • 2 poached eggs on 2 slices of grain toast and roasted tomato
  • 1 small tin of tuna and 20g of low fat cheese in a wholegrain wrap with salad
  • 100-150g of lean chicken breast or fillet steak with 1 cup of mashed sweet potato and greens
  • Vegan curry of 100g of firm tofu with ½ cup of chickpeas, ½ cup basmati rice and mixed vegetables.

For higher energy targets, increase your portion size of protein and low GI carbohydrate.

Need help?

We understand that eating the right food and managing your diet can be difficult. That’s why we have an in-house dietitian who can help.

Enjoy your workout!

Further reading

 

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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Exercise in spring

5 exercise tips for spring

Spring is here and it’s time to get moving!

If you’ve been hibernating, you’re not alone. Let’s face it, sometimes it just seems too hard to keep our motivation and enthusiasm for exercise during winter. The days are shorter, colder and the sofa seems more appealing!

So if you’ve had a break from exercise, lost some strength, gained some weight, felt depressed or been a bit unwell, exercise is the perfect way to change this. Spring is here and it’s time to take control.

Getting back in shape is an exciting but difficult journey so here are some essential tips for doing it right:

1. Get help from a pro

Avoid the common pitfall of too much too soon.

After a break you’re not the athlete that you were a few months ago. Chances are you’ve lost some fitness and therefore you need to plan your journey back to full health.

Exercise physiologists (EP) like me (Mike Fitzsimon from PridePlus Health) are the perfect professional to help tailor an evidence-based exercise routine to your needs. An EP will assess your capacity and recommend an appropriate training routine to get you back in shape whilst avoiding injury and/or burn out.

If you’re in pain and need physio to help get you started, a physiotherapist will diagnose and treat the cause and help you get moving again.

If you’re struggling with foot pain, not sure about what shoes you should be exercising in or wanting advice on changing your running gait, then a podiatrist would be your first port of call.

And finally, your GP in Pascoe Vale should also be part of your ‘Exercise Pro Team’. If you’re battling a chronic medical condition and need clearance prior to returning to exercise, your doctor can give you some guidance too.

2. Join a group

Exercising with others keeps you motivated. It’s fun to share a common goal and exchange stories.

Be part of a group that improves and achieves whilst maintaining an individual routine.

Being part of a community of exercisers helps you stay on track and gives you a focus.

We have lots of group exercise class options in our clinic in Pascoe Vale. Check out our group exercise timetable here.

3. Mix it up

Exercise should be varied to stimulate the right outcomes.

Cardio, weights, exercise bands, mobility exercises, balance exercises, indoors, outdoors – it’s like eating a well-balanced diet – get a bit of everything to help you improve.

If you’re running then you need resistance exercises. If you’re losing weight you need cardio and weights.

Your EP will help you work it out.

4. Move smarter

The quality of your movement will help you stay fit and healthy for longer.

Work on technique and posture before load so that you develop good habits and don’t get injured.

A simple walking or postural assessment or core strength assessment before you get started will help you stay on target to reach your goals and help you exercise whilst minimising injury.

5. Wear the right gear

Starting with the right footwear, and wearing workout clothes that breathe, will make you feel better and more comfortable.

As the days get warmer you should consider wearing breathable clothing and stay hydrated before, during and after exercise. When exercising outdoors make sure you slip, slop, slap to protect your skin from harmful UV rays as well.

This spring we’re looking forward to helping you hit your exercise goals. Book in with your Exercise Pro Team member here to get you going.

Further reading

 

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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Stroke Pascoe Vale Melbourne

What is a stroke?

Stroke attacks the brain – the human control centre.

A stroke happens when the blood supply carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is interrupted. When brain cells do not get enough blood, they die at a rapid rate (up to 1.9 million brain cells every minute).

Stroke can affect people physically and emotionally, as well as the way they think – from muscle weakness and speech difficulties, to memory, hearing or vision issues.

Every stroke is different. It all depends on where in the brain the stroke occurs and how severe it is.

What are the symptoms of stroke?

Think F.A.S.T. It’s an easy way to remember the most common signs of stroke:

  • Face Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?
  • Arms Can they lift both arms?
  • Speech Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?
  • Time Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

How can you manage your stroke risk?

There are some risk factors you cannot do anything about, like:

  • Age – the older you get the greater your risk of stroke.
  • Gender – stroke is more common in men.
  • A family history of stroke – having a parent or sibling who has had a previous stroke.
  • If you’ve had a previous stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

The good news is more than 80% of strokes can be prevented. Here are some things you can do to help reduce your stroke risk:

Raising awareness of stroke

Monday 2 to Sunday 8 September 2019 is National Stroke Week. It’s an annual opportunity to raise awareness of stroke and the Stroke Foundation in Australia.

The theme for 2019 is F.A.S.T heroes, recognising the people who spotted the signs of stroke and called an ambulance straight away, potentially saving a life.

Our team of doctors and allied health professionals at PVH Medical can work with you to help manage your stroke risk.

Make the first step by booking a health check online today.

 

Source: Stroke Foundation

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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Eczema Melbourne

What is eczema, what causes it and how can you get help?

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a recurring, non-infectious, inflammatory skin condition affecting one in three Australians at some stage throughout their lives.

The condition is most common in people with a family history of an atopic disorder, including asthma or hay fever.

Atopic eczema

This is the most common form of the disease. The skin becomes red, dry, itchy and scaly. In severe cases, it may weep, bleed and crust over, causing the sufferer discomfort.

Although eczema affects all ages, it usually appears in early childhood (in babies between two-to-six months of age) and disappears around six years of age. In fact, more than half of all eczema sufferers show signs within their first 12 months of life and 20 per cent of people develop eczema before the age of five.

Most children grow out of the condition, but a small percentage may experience severe eczema into adulthood.

What causes eczema?

Eczema is caused by a person’s inability to repair damage to the skin barrier. Once the skin barrier is disrupted, moisture leaves the skin and the skin will become dry and scaly.

Environmental allergens (irritants from the person’s surrounds) can enter the skin and activate the immune system, producing inflammation that makes the skin red and itchy.

You are more likely to get eczema if your family has a history of eczema or allergic conditions, including hay fever and asthma.

In most cases, eczema is not caused or aggravated by diet. If you feel that food is to blame, see your doctor or a dietitian for proper allergy testing and dietary advice.

While eczema causes stress, and stress may increase the energy with which you scratch, stress does not in itself cause eczema.

What are the symptoms of eczema?

  • Moderate to severely itching skin
  • Rash – dry, red, patchy or cracked skin. Commonly it appears on the face, hands, neck, inner elbows, backs of the knees and ankles, but can appear on any part of the body
  • Skin weeping watery fluid
  • Rough, ‘leathery’, thick skin.

How does eczema affect people?

Although eczema is itself is not a life-threatening disease, it can certainly have a debilitating effect on a sufferer, their carers and their family’s quality of life. Night-time itching can cause sleepless nights and place a significant strain on relationships. Eczema ‘flare-ups’ can often lead to absenteeism from work and school.

Is there a cure for eczema?

Although there is no known cure for eczema and it can be a lifelong condition, treatment can offer symptom control.

Have a chat with your PVH Medical doctor about the treatment available. In some cases you may be referred to a dermatologist (skin specialist).

If you have any questions about eczema, please come and see us. To make a booking online, tap on ‘Book an Appointment’ at the top of the screen or download the Appointuit app on your phone.

 

Source: Eczema Association of Australia and BetterHealth Channel

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Patient survey

We’re listening to you and improving patient care

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

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

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

Waiting times in the surgery

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

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

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

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

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

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

Telephone access to a nurse or doctor

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

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

Patient flow around the reception desk

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

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

Thank you

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

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Physio Pascoe Vale

Building your buckets (how physio can help with diabetes)

A condition that physiotherapists often treat is called tendinopathy.

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

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

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

The bucket analogy

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

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

Contract and load equals a splash more in the bucket.

Contract and load again equals another splash.

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

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

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

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

You can increase your bucket size

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

How? With exercises and training.

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

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

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

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

Physio Pascoe Vale

Pascoe Vale physio, Naveena Seethapathy

Help for those in pain

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

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

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

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

Want to get on top of your pain?

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

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

 

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

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Targeted exercise to help diabetes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Why exercise?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exercise physiology in Pascoe Vale, Melbourne.

Exercise physiologist Mike Fitzsimon

3. Why do my blood sugars drop when exercising?

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

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

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

The answer is no.

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

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

We’re here to help

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

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

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

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

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

Make a booking today

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

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

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

 

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

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Diabetes foot disease

What do your feet have to do with diabetes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A conversation about diabetes and your feet

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

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

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

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

Tim: That’s the tips of the toes!

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

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

Diabetes foot disease

Tim and Gus sit down to talk diabetes.

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

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

Gus: Let’s hear it then!

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

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

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

Preventing diabetes foot disease is key

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

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

Your health is precious. Look after yourself!

 

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

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Dietitian Melbourne

Is sugar really that bad?

Sugar appears to be in all our food products nowadays.

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

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

We’re eating lots of processed food

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

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

Moderate your sugar intake (especially if you have diabetes)

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

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

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

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

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

Pay attention to carbohydrates

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

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

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

Dietitian Pascoe Vale

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

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

High GI vs low GI

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

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

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

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

Aim for a healthy diet

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

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

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

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

 

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

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About food allergies

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

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

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

What are the signs and symptoms of food allergy?

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

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

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

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

What foods can trigger allergic reaction?

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

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

Jessica is a dietitian at PVH Medical

Dietitian Jessica Fuller can help with food allergies.

Children often outgrow certain food allergies during childhood.

What is anaphylaxis?

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

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

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

Food Allergy Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Source: Food Allergy Week

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

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Pascoe Vale gym

The Strong Room – our specialised gym in Pascoe Vale

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

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

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

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

Hear what some of our team have to say.

Physiotherapist Naveena Seethapathy

Physio Pascoe Vale

How do you use The Strong Room?

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

What can you help people with?

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

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

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

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

How do people find you?

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

Read more about physiotherapy in Pascoe Vale

Exercise Physiologist (EP) Mike Fitzsimon

Exercise physiologist Pascoe Vale

How do you use The Strong Room?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What can you help people with?

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

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

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

How do people find you?

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

Read more about exercise physiology in Pascoe Vale

Podiatrist Gus McSweyn

Podiatrist Pascoe Vale

How do you use The Strong Room?

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

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

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

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

What can you help people with?

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

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

How do people find you?

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

Read more about podiatry in Pascoe Vale

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Cystic fibrosis Pascoe Vale

Cystic fibrosis in summary

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

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

How it affects people

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

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

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

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

Symptoms of cystic fibrosis

People with CF may experience:

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

Diagnosis of cystic fibrosis

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

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

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

Help support cystic fibrosis

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

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

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel

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

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Holiday operating hours

Have a happy and healthy break!

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

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

Here are our operating hours over the next two weeks:

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

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

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General health check Pascoe Vale Melbourne

General health checks in Pascoe Vale

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

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

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

In particular, they:

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

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

Non-modifiable risk factors

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

Age

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

Gender

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

Family history

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

Personal history

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

Modifiable risk factors

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

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

Health checks at PVH Medical

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

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

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

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

Book a health check in Pascoe Vale today

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

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

 

Source: UCSD and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

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Bowel cancer Melbourne

Fighting bowel cancer

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

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

Bowel cancer is the third deadliest cancer in men.

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

Symptoms of bowel cancer

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

Some of the most common symptoms of bowel cancer are:

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

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

Screening for bowel cancer

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

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

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

A simple home test could save your life

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

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

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

Talk to us about bowel cancer

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

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

Together let’s fight bowel cancer!

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel and Cancer Council

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Happiness Pascoe Vale Melbourne

How can we be happier?

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

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

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

1. Listen to music

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

2. Speak to the person next to you

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

3. Know that money sometimes can buy happiness

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

4. Exercise and eat healthy food

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

5. Call your mum

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

6. Hang out with happy people

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

7. Daydream about your upcoming holiday

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

8. Reminisce about fond memories

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

9. Play with your pets

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

10. Wake up a little earlier

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

Stop looking for happiness

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

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

 

Source: International Day of Happiness and Best Health Mag

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

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