All Posts Tagged: diet

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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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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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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Eat more vegetables

8 tips for increasing your daily vegetable intake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Add grated vegetables.

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

6. Try making poke bowls.

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

7. Add vegetables to your smoothies.

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

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

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

Makeover your meals

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

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

Getting nutrition advice is easy

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

 

Source: The Nutrition Code

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

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Migraine help in Melbourne

The pain of migraine

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

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

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

What is migraine pain like?

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

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

Triggers for migraine

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

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

Headache and Migraine Week, 6-13 September 2018

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

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

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

Three facts about migraine

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

Get help for your headache or migraine

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

 

Source: BetterHealth Channel and Headache Week

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

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It's Coeliac Awareness Week.

What is coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is a lifelong condition that means your body cannot tolerate gluten.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats and can be found in food such as bread, pasta, cereal, biscuits and cake.

People with coeliac disease must be careful not to eat any gluten.

Who develops coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease can develop anytime during your life. You cannot catch it from other people but you are more likely to develop the condition if you have a family member affected by the disease.

How do you know if you have coeliac disease?

People with coeliac disease feel unwell if they eat foods containing gluten. The symptoms can vary from person to person as some people feel very unwell while others won’t have any symptoms at all.

Common symptoms include:

  • Constipation and/or diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Growth problems
  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Fertility problems.

How is coeliac disease diagnosed?

It’s important that you see your doctor if you think that you might have coeliac disease. PVH Medical is open extended hours, including every Saturday.

How is coeliac disease treated?

If you’re diagnosed with coeliac disease, the only treatment is to maintain a lifelong strict gluten-free diet.

There are no tablets or medications available. Most people feel better soon after they stop eating foods with gluten. It can feel challenging at first but Coeliac Australia (a not-for-profit association that supports people with coeliac disease) provides information and support for people with coeliac disease to help self-manage it.

Our in-house dietitian, Samantha Stuk, can also assist with things like dietary management and meal plans.

Coeliac Awareness Week

Coeliac Awareness Week runs from 13 March to 20 March. This year, Coeliac Australia’s Face of Coeliac Disease campaign highlights the fact that people from around the globe are affected by coeliac disease.

The aim of the campaign is to create awareness of the many ‘faces’ of coeliac disease and its wide range of symptoms and associated medical conditions.

Help is at hand

If you think you might have coeliac disease, please make a booking with one of our friendly doctors today. You can book online, on Facebook, on the Appointuit app or by calling 9304 0500.

 

Source: Coeliac 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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