Posted in Children's Health

Nutrition and Immunity

Posted on 21 July 2020
Nutrition and Immunity
COVID-19 is a novel virus, meaning it has never been in circulation within the human population before, therefore long term research isn't available on treatment options. However, good principles of nutritional medicine are likely to be supportive to strengthen the immune system. 

The immune system is a complex whole-body system that is mainly housed in the gut wall and through the body via the antibody system, white blood cells and lymph nodes. These collections of tissues are the source of our immune defence. When we are deficient in certain vitamins and minerals we know that this has a negative effect on the immune system.

Vitamin D is a remarkable vitamin that our bodies make from the sun. If we sun avoid due to fear of skin cancer, excessive indoor time or covering our skin we may be deficient in Vitamin D even in this sunny country. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a poorer immune response. 

Zinc has long been used as an anti-viral agent, however, it has fallen from "fashion" as more pharmaceutical medicines have taken its place. Zinc is currently being research in the ICU units in some Melbourne Hospitals. Zinc is commonly deficient as our soils are over-farmed and with the latest dietary trend heading to vegetarianism, we are finding a lot of zinc deficiencies. Zinc stores within the white blood cells and acts as a first-line defence against viruses. 

Vitamin C is a ubiquitous anti-viral agent and is a potent anti-oxidant used to mop up inflammation and cell debris caused by the immune system's defence actions. Vitamin C  also supports mucous membrane healing, which may play a role in the COVID-19 mechanism in more severe cases. 

Others lifestyle medicine interventions have all good evidence to support optimising immunity, such as adequate sleep, nature-based exercise, good air quality, stress management, and connection with those we love. Our immune systems are dynamic and provide an omnipotent healing presence inside all of us. 

So along with following the DHHS guidelines, such as social distancing, wearing a mask in public, restricting contact with others, avoiding crowds and washing hands frequently and vigorously, there may be some good evidenced-based interventions worth considering. For more information and individualisation please book an appointment and speak it through with your practitioner.
Posted in:VitaminsPreventative MedicineMen's HealthChildren's HealthChronic IllnessHealth and Well BeingFamily GPCOVID-19  

What is My Health Record (MHR)?

Posted on 2 December 2018
What is My Health Record (MHR)?
  • MHR is Australia's national electronic health record system. 
  • It provides online storage for documents and data containing information about your health.
  • The information can be uploaded by you, your healthcare providers, or by Medicare.
  • It is you who will decide whether to make your information available to healthcare organisations and health care practitioners.

The My Health Record system has been running for several years. In the past it required you to opt-in, the change is that you will now be automatically registered unless you 'opt-out' before 31st January, 2019.

What are the benefits of having a My Health Record?

  • Your- "My Health Record" may provide an additional source of information for your doctor that was previously not available.
  • A doctor that you don't see regularly will be able to access your past medical history.
  • In the event of an emergency, if you are unable to provide information about your medical history, healthcare providers will be able to access your My Health Record to see your health information such as allergies, medicines and immunizations.
  • It enables you to better track and manage your own health

What about your privacy?

  • Your My Health Record is personally controlled by you; it's your choice who sees the information.
  • You are able to track who have accessed and updated your My Health Record
  • The uploaded documents in the My Health Record are set to general access for healthcare providers by default, however, you can change your access controls at any time.
  • Your My Health Record can be used by The Department of Health for secondary purposes such as research, policy and planning. However, you can elect for your information not to be used for such purposes.
  • Your information cannot be used non-health related purposes, this includes commercially.
  • Your information cannot be provided to insurance agencies.
  • You can nominate whether you wish to give access to other people such as carer's, friends or other family members.

Note: You are NOT able:

  1. Alter the content of clinical documents created by a healthcare provider
  2. Restrict particular healthcare providers access to your record (only able to restrict access to the health organisation as a whole)

So what next?

  1. You can choose not to have a My Health Record at all (by opting out by 31st January 2019 or cancelling an existing record at any time)
  2. If you choose to opt-out, you can still register for a My Health Record at a later date.
  3. You have the power to instruct your healthcare provider/GP to not add particular information into your My Health Record.
  4. You can set a record access code to give access only to selected health organisations.
  5. You can choose to give access to a nominated representative such as a family member, close friend or carer.
  6. You can remove particular documents from the record.
  7. You can set up automatic notifications via an email or text to alert you when a new healthcare provider accesses your record.
  8. Feel free to discuss your decision regarding your My Health Record with your GP

For further information:

If you wish to opt-out of My Health Record:

Posted in:Women's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthHealth and Well BeingFamily GP  

Personalised Medicine: A no drugs treatment for ADHD and sleep

Posted on 2 December 2018
Personalised Medicine: A no drugs treatment for ADHD and sleep

A medication only approach is not the only solution for people who are suffering with mental health issues. At Whole Medicine we offer non-invasive, evidence based alternatives that have a growing research base supporting their use.

In treating ADHD, stimulant medication has for many years been the first line choice. For many children it can be effective in managing the impulsivity and inattentiveness that is core to ADHD but only while they take it. When the medication is stopped, so too does the impact on these symptoms.  Medications have side effects that for many parents and adults have become a great concern including sleep problems, cardiac concerns, anxiety and nervousness. Sleep disorders have been found in 70-80% of ADHD sufferers, leading to concerns around the use of stimulants and their known impact on sleep.

There is a growing body of research on sleep, demonstrating the primary role it plays in maintaining our mental health and may even be the driver of conditions such as ADHD and Depression. As our understanding grows in this, more focus is shifting to treating the sleep disorder as a primary focus. Medication for sleep is not the answer and may even contribute to altering the sleep rhythm. It is for these reasons that many are seeking evidence based, alternative ways of treating their sleep and ADHD concerns.

EEG Neuro-feeback, otherwise also known as Neuro feedback therapy, is a technology based learning technique that uses a computer to give information to a person about his or her own brainwave pattern in the form of EEG activity, in order to train the person to modify his or her own brainwaves.

When the brain is not functioning properly, evidence of this usually shows up in EEG activity. EEG neurofeedback assists a person to alter his or her own brainwave characteristics by challenging the brain to learn to reorganise and function better. The EEG neurofeeback technique is a process in which subtle brainwave information is amplified and shown back to the trainee in the form of a computer game.

This treatment is backed by the American Psychological Association and has given it a top level 5 rating - "efficacious and specific" and when the treatment is finished, a further improvement in symptoms has been observed in 2 year follow up studies.


Posted in:Children's HealthHealth and Well Being  

Depression and Anxiety is not just in your head

Posted on 28 October 2018
Depression and Anxiety is not just in your head
A young 15 year girl whom we will call Yvonne comes to see me with her Mum at the clinic about 6 months ago. Her Mum was desperate for some support for her. My patient was complaining of anxiety, poor school attendance, doing poorly with her grades and having some sleep and social issues.The girl was also complaining of tiredness, interrupted sleep, feeling agitated and at times feeling overwhelmed and a little depressed. She had already seen the school counsellor but didn't feel there was any trigger for her emotions, things were OK at home and school, and there was no bullying, cyber or other issues that were causing any alarm.

So this is a fairly common scenario these days, with nearly 1/5 teenage girls suffering from anxiety and as many as one in three girls suffering from low self esteem. So is this simply a normal part of being a teenager or is there more that can be done to try to support Yvonne's mental, physical and emotional well-being.

On further questioning we found out that Yvonne was eating pretty badly, she was skipping breakfast and at school was living on soft drink and take away foods, like meat pies, hot dogs and hot chips after school. She was getting colds all the time and finding them hard to shake, her skin was breaking out with pimples, her tummy felt bloated at times and she felt like she was always in a bad mood.

So by incorporating a holistic model of care we did some simple measurements of nutrients for Yvonne and found that her zinc, b6, magnesium and vitamin D and even iron were all on the lower side of normal.

Acknowledging this and giving the right supportive doses of supplementation, Yvonne's mood, energy and vitally all started to pick up, and with some additional supportive counselling and encouragement, Yvonne's diet was improved and even her periods pain improved.

Looking at the whole picture: means taking the extra time to understand the underlying biochemistry and inter-relationships between the environment, the person, their diet and the internal and external stressors that occur during these sensitive times like the teens.Seeing Yvonne a few weeks ago, she mentioned she hadn't had a cold all winter!

For more information about becoming a regular patient at Whole Medicine please call 5986 4229. Be well.

Bookings online - Booking online is super easy and efficient. Please remember if you can't see an appointment available when you want one, please don't hesitant to call, as we do hold some on the day appointment for our regular patients.
Posted in:Children's HealthHealth and Well Being  

Got more than one burning question about your health?

Posted on 22 October 2018
Got more than one burning question about your health?

Meet the Rosebud GPs with time for your whole health story

If you're proactive about your health, you might like to meet Whole Medicine's integrative GPs.

DR Marina Mc Pherson (MBBS, B. Sci (Biomedical) FRACGP

DR Marina has been practicing integrative family medicine for more than 10 years. She is passionate about educating people about their health - inspiring and empowering them to live their best and most optimal life.

Marina completed her studies in post-graduate medicine at Flinders University in 2005. She has undergone further training in Nutritional and Environmental Medicine  with the Australaisian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine and loves incorporating these principals into her holistic approach. She believes that good wholesome food and a balanced lifestyle are the important foundations to good health. Her interests include gut and digestive health, women's health, thyroid and adrenal issues, chronic disease prevention, health optimisation, mental health, stress management, children's health and behavioural concerns and gentle non-punitive parenting guidance.

Outside of work, Marina enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 beautiful children. She loves discovering near and far nature walks (preferably by the water), keeping fit, reading, knitting, travelling and enjoying good food and coffee.

DR Margaret Evers (MBBS, FRACGP)

Dr Evers is the owner of the practice and has been a GP for over 10 years. Prior to Whole Medicine she has practiced in Doncaster, Warrandyte, Wantirna and Collingwood. She has a young family so has first hand knowledge of what its like bringing up children. Dr Evers has strong expertise in women's and children's health in addition to her well rounded GP skillset. Dr Evers is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practioners (RACGP). Dr Evers is a member of ACNEM and the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.




Medicare rebates apply for all services.

Posted in:Women's HealthPreventative MedicineMen's HealthChildren's HealthSkin HealthChronic IllnessHealth and Well BeingFamily GP  
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