Posted in Family GP
The long summer days are over and we now look to what winter has in store and how we need to prepare ourselves.
I Know What You did last Summer
Who spent a lot of time out in the sun last summer? Have you had your post summer skin check? Its important to regularly – at least annually – have a thorough skin check for potential scan cancers. You may not be aware but we have recently incorporated Derm Engine into our skin check process. Derm Engine uses full body imaging to map and evaluate skin conditions. Stay tuned for an introductory offer for our patients next month.
What Did We Learn About Covid-19 in The Northern Hemisphere Winter?
Thankfully we have not seen a more deadly strain of Covid 19 coming out of the northern hemisphere winter. A second strain of the omicron variant has developed, and whilst it appears more infectious, it does not seem to be more deadly. It is already in Australia and is responsible for the recent rise in cases in NSW and Victoria. Health departments are saying current vaccines are effective in reducing severity of symptoms and hospitalisation, especially for those that have had three vaccinations. The federal government is recommending a fourth booster shot for at risk patients (those over 65, and those that are immuno compromised). We are vaccinating those patients that want them. Call us to make a booking.
Colds and Flus Are Back
Now that lock down is in the past, and overseas travel has resumed, regular colds and flus are back. And many workplaces are asking workers to stay at home if they have cold and flu symptoms. How do you do your best to avoid these? Start with a strong immune system. And that means a good diet with anti-oxidant rich foods like fruit and vegetables. Garlic, brightly coloured vegetables, mushrooms, and nuts are a great foundation. And potentially supplementing that diet with vitamin C and zinc can also be useful. But how much and how often? Need something tailored to your body and lifestyle? Give us a call. We can help.
As always we will be running flu vaccine clinics for those patients seeking them. This year’s vaccines have arrived. Call us if you want to be booked in.
What is long covid?
Many of you would have heard or read about Long Covid. Long Covid is a new illness that healthcare professionals are still learning about. After catching Covid-19, some people can feel unwell and take longer to get better than others. Long Covid can affect any part of your body with different symptoms. We are learning that ongoing or new symptoms can change and come and go over time. Long Covid generally describes Covid related symptoms that continue for more than 12 weeks. The RACGP notes that there is no link between the severity of your Covid-19 (including whether you were in hospital) and the likelihood that you will have long Covid.
Common Symptoms of Long Covid are many and varied. Broad categories include:
- Respiratory Symptoms (Breathlessness, coughs).
- Cardiovascular Symptoms (heart and circulation issues including chest tightness and pain and palpitations).
- General Symptoms (Fatigue, fever, pain).
- Neurological Symptoms (headache, brain fog, loss of concentration, memory issues, sleep disturbance, dizziness, pins and needles, numbness, delirium, mobility impairment).
- Gastrointestinal Symptoms (abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, weight loss and reduced appetite).
- Musculoskeletal symptoms (joint pain, muscle pain).
- Psychological / psychiatric Symptoms (symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder.
- Ear, Nose and Throat Symptoms (ringing in the ears, earache, sore throat, dizziness, loss of taste, smell or both.
- Dermatological Symptoms (skin rashes, hair loss)
What If I Think I Have Long Covid?
The first thing you need to do is book in an appointment with one of our GPs. We will undertake a thorough assessment and establish a plan with you that involves the support and rehabilitation you need. This may include referrals to allied health including dietitians, physiotherapists, psychologists, cardiologists and occupational therapists amongst others.
Heart Health Checks
Due to the recent passing of some high profile people in the community there has been a recent focus on heart health – particularly amongst men and women over 45. Whilst its sad to see the passing of such people and the devastating impact on their families, it is positive that heart health is in the spot light. Poor diet, smoking, general fitness and stress are big indicators, as well as family history. There is a lot you can do to proactively improve your heart. Starting out with a heart health check is the first step. This involves getting an understanding of your lifestyle matched against heart health risk factors. It can also potentially lead to further specific heart testing followed by a plan to improve your heart health. All of our doctors provide this service and can help you be the best you can be.
|Posted in:Preventative MedicineHealth and Well BeingFamily GP|
We are lead by Dr Margaret Evers, principal GP and new practice owner. Dr Margaret is locally trained and has been a GP for more than 15 years. Margaret is your classic family GP that has seen it all. Highly experienced across all elements of family medicine, she truly cares and works hard for her patients. See her detailed profile here . She has a growing knowledge of integrative and lifestyle medicine, but refers specialist integrative matters to Dr Marina Macpherson.
Dr Marina is a GP that is an integrative medicine specialist. Her special interests within integrative medicine are women’s health, menopause and menstrual disorders, thyroid health, gut health, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic disease, health and weight optimisation, chronic disease prevention, and children’s health. For more information see Dr Marina's profile.
Dr Louise Hui is new to our practice, works in the field of integrative medicine, and also has a long background as a family GP. She came to us through an international search and has just arrived in the country. She has bought locally, and plans to work at Whole Medicine in the long term. Dr Louise has a post graduate qualification in integrative medicine and seeks to develop this interest further at Whole Medicine. She has recently taken an interest in the treatment of Long Covid. More information on Dr Louise can be found here.
Dr Dina Elhelawani is another highly experienced allrounder with a specialisation in women’s health and paediatrics. Dina has been with us for six months, is very popular and already has an active following.
Dr Faran Rizvi will join us shortly from the UK with his young family. He has interests in lifestyle medicine, men’s health, paediatrics, musculoskeletal system (including administering joint injections) and aesthetic medicine (Botox).
Dr Roy Othman is our resident skin specialist. Using our Derm Engine full body skin analysis software he maps and analyses our patient’s skin for issues that need monitoring or removal. Dr Roy can also perform minor surgery to remove many of the skin blemishes that need removal.
|Posted in:Family GP|
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|
Zinc is a fantastic antiviral in its own right. It was used commonly in the past, prior to antibiotics, but in mainstream it is rarely used anymore. It is not unusual to be deficient in zinc, even with a well rounded diet, as Australian soils are commonly in low supply. Zinc is rapidly used up in viral infections and when in low supply lead to recurrent or prolonged infections.
Vitamin D is a vitamin we make in our bodies from sun exposure. It is actually a pro-hormone rather than a vitamin. It is vital for immunity, brain development, and acts as a potent fat soluble anti-oxidant. Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of COVID-19 infection, along with increasing the risk of more serious symptoms.
Vitamin C is also not officially a vitamin, it is chemical that is made in most mammals, but due to a "mutation" hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans, alongside guinea pigs, salmon and fruit bats no longer make it. It is a potent anti-oxidant and is anti-viral, anti bacterial and even antifungal. When the immune system is overwhelmed by infection, vitamin C is released from the white blood cells in massive amounts, it is used to support the white bloods cells and also assists in mopping up the inflammation caused as waste products of the immune defence.
Vitamin C in high doses can stop viral infections in their tracks. Intravenous Vitamin C is a safe and effective treatment for overall wellbeing, liver detoxification support, immune support and inflammation. Speak with one of your Whole Medicine GP's about whether Vitamin C is something you would like to try.
|Posted in:VitaminsPreventative MedicineHealth and Well BeingFamily GPCOVID-19|
Many people ask us this. Shared care is when pregnant women chose to share their ante-natal care between an experienced GP and their chosen hospital. The benefits of using GP lead shared care is the opportunity to develop a long-lasting and warm relationship with a GP that takes you beyond the pregnancy into breastfeeding, postpartum care and not to mention making sure the baby's health is well looked after too and possibly even the Dad!
There is no need to drive to un-necessary hospital visits, when you can receive some of your care in the quiet and safe practice of Whole Medicine.
For you safety and care: social distancing, including temperature checks, cleaning and triaging are all in operation at Whole Medicine during the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Posted in:Women's HealthHealth and Well BeingFamily GPPregnacy|