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Safe and Healthy Christmas

Holiday traditions are important for families and children. There are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health. Best way to minimize COVID-19 risk and keep your family and friends safer is to get vaccinated if you’re eligible.

How to Protect Yourself and Others

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
  • Stay 1.5 meters from others who don’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Test when you are unwell to prevent spread to others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

Checklist for safe and healthy Christmas and New Year,

  • Do you have enough scripts and medications to get you through the public holidays?
  • Christmas can be stressful or lonely. The Mental Health Line can offer support: 1800 011 511
  • If you have a health concern but your GP is closed, you can call Health Direct for trustworthy health advice: 1800 022 222
  • Avoid hurting yourself or others, drink safely this Christmas. Visit https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/managing-your-alcohol-intake for information on managing your alcohol intake
  • Using Dr Google? These tips will help you understand if you are reading reliable information:
    • Is it clear who wrote the material? e.g. is the author a government organisations or qualified health professional?
    • Is the site trying to sell a product or is sponsored by a product? Information may be biased
    • Is the information current? When was it last reviewed?
    • Is the site Australian? Information from other countries may not be relevant here

May the magic of the Christmas season fill your home with joy and peace. Sending lots of love to your family, and looking forward to the day we can see you again. Take care of yourselves and stay safe.

 

 

Please refer to the below links for more details:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/celebrations.html

https://hopperslanegp.com.au/12-tips-to-stay-healthy-over-the-holiday-season/

https://healthliteracy.nnswlhd.health.nsw.gov.au/tips-for-a-safe-and-healthy-christmas/

 

 

 


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Bowel cancer mostly affects people over the age of 50, but recent evidence suggests it is on the rise among younger Australians.

Our study found bowel cancer incidence is falling in older Australians. This is likely, in part, to reflect the efficacy of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, targeted at those aged 50–74 to screen for bowel cancer using a free, simple test at home. Bowel cancer screening acts to reduce cancer incidence, by detecting and removing precancerous lesions, as well as reducing mortality by detecting existing cancers early.

Why bowel screening is important

Bowel cancer often develops without any symptoms. The cancer can grow in the bowel for years before spreading to other parts of the body. Very small amounts of blood can leak from these growths and pass into your faeces (poo). These tiny amounts of blood are not noticeable just by looking. The bowel screening test is called an immunochemical faecal occult blood test (iFOBT). It can detect these tiny amounts of blood in your poo.

What are symptoms of bowel cancer?

  • Blood in your poo or rectal bleeding
  • A recent, persistent change in bowel habit (e.g. diarrhoea, constipation or the feeling or incomplete emptying)
  • A change in the shape or appearance of your poo (e.g. narrower poos or mucus in poo)
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Pain or a lump in the anus or rectum
  • Unexplained anaemia causing tiredness, weakness or weight loss

Can bowel cancer be prevented?

While there’s no way to prevent bowel cancer completely, several diet and lifestyle choices can lower your bowel cancer risk:

  • Keep physically active for at least 30 minutes each day.
  • Reduce alcohol intake to no more than 2 standard drinks per day, or avoid it altogether.
  • Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese in your daily diet, with at least 2 serves per day.
  • Include wholegrains and fibre, such as brown rice, wholemeal bread, vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts.
  • Limit red meat consumption to 500 grams cooked per week and avoid processed meat altogether.
  • Quit smoking and avoid breathing in tobacco smoke.

When should I see my doctor?

  • See your doctor or healthcare professional if you have blood in your stool, unexplained changes in your bowel habits, tiredness, abdominal pain or any other symptoms that may indicate bowel cancer.
  • Since bowel cancer can develop with few signs early on, you should also speak with your doctor if you know of any pre-existing risk factors, or if you are concerned about getting it later in life.

Please refer to below links for more details:

https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/what%E2%80%99s-behind-the-increase-in-bowel-cancer-among-y

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/bowel-cancer

https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/national-bowel-cancer-screening-program/about-the-national-bowel-cancer-screening-program

Get to know our GP doctors:

At Familywise Medical Practice we provide a comprehensive range of services for your medical and healthcare needs. Bulk billing is available. Get to know our General Practitioners:


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AstraZeneca vaccine Phase 2A updated 17th May 2021

Who qualifies :

  • People aged 50 years and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 16-49 years
  • Other critical and high risk workers

There have been changes to the advice around the COVID-19 vaccines. The Pfizer vaccine is now preferred to the AstraZeneca vaccine for adults aged under 50 years. This recommendation is based on:

  • the higher risk that older people have of getting really sick from COVID-19
  • and the potentially higher risk of people under 50 years developing thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccine. This is a rare syndrome that involves blood clots.

ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) have clearly said that the AstraZeneca vaccine can still be used in adults under 50 years. This will be the case:

  • where the benefits of being vaccinated are higher than the risks of this rare condition,
  • and where the patient has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits (an informed consent).

Everyone who has already had their first AstraZeneca vaccine dose with no serious side effects can receive their second dose.

Common side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine usually last a couple of days, such as feeling mildly sick, having a sore arm, headache or fever.

Advice for people with weakened immune systems (immunocompromise)

People with immunocompromise includes those who have a medical condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system. People with immunocompromise, including those living with HIV, have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including a higher risk of severe illness and death.

The Australian Government strongly recommends people with immunocompromise receive a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca does not behave like a ‘live vaccine’. The adenovirus carrier has been modified so that it cannot replicate or spread to other cells, and it cannot cause infection. It is safe in people with immunocompromise.

What is this side effect that everyone is talking about associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine?

According to available data, symptoms of this rare syndrome usually came up between 4 to 20 days after the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. It usually appears as a headache that doesn’t go away with pain medication (like paracetamol or ibuprofen), vomiting, confusion and/or seizures.

People should seek medical attention immediately if they experience any of the following symptoms:

  • severe persistent headache
  • neurological symptoms (blurred vision, difficulty with speech, drowsiness, seizures)
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • swelling in your leg
  • persistent abdominal (belly) pain
  • tiny blood spots under the skin away from the site of injection.

There is evidence of a likely link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and an extremely rare blood clotting syndrome (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia).

Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe?

Yes. The individual benefit-to-risk balance of vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine varies with age. This balance is based on factors including the increased risk of complications from COVID-19 with increasing age and the potential lower risk of this very rare, but serious, adverse event with increasing age. ATAGI has recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine remains safe to be given to people aged 50 years and over.

I have had my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, what do I do now?

If you have had your first vaccine dose without this side effect or other serious adverse effects, you should receive your second dose booked in with us at 12 weeks.

What if I am worried about side effects?

If you have recently had your first vaccine dose and are experiencing any side effects that you are worried about, Please book an appointment to see your regular GP.

I’m booked in for my first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, what do I do?

If you are an adult aged over 50 years, you should only receive a first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine where the benefit of receiving the vaccine clearly outweighs the risk in your individual circumstance. You may wish to discuss your individual benefit-to-risk balance with your doctor.

Information about how to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be available on the Department of Health website shortly.

For further information please contact the COVID-19 Helpline on 1800 020 080

https://www1.racgp.org.au/newsgp/clinical/astrazeneca-and-pfizer-what-are-the-side-effects-f

https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/learn-about-covid-19-vaccines/about-the-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine

Get to know our GP doctors:

At Familywise Medical Practice we provide a comprehensive range of services for your medical and healthcare needs. Bulk billing is available. Get to know our General Practitioners:


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Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Whooping cough outbreaks can occur in a community at any time of year but are more likely in autumn and winter during cold and flu season. To prevent any outbreak, it is important to be vaccinated – whooping cough vaccination.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease. Symptoms that include fever and long periods of coughing that sound like a ‘whoop’. Whooping cough can affect people of all ages but it is most serious in babies under the age of 12 months, particularly in the first few months.

Whooping cough symptoms include:

  • blocked or runny nose
  • sneezing
  • raised temperature
  • uncontrolled bouts of coughing that sounds like a ‘whoop’ or are followed by a ‘whooping’ noise
  • vomiting after coughing.

Symptoms usually start about 7 to 10 days after catching whooping cough, with a cold, blocked or runny nose, coughing and a mild fever.

Whooping cough is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. It spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and you breathe it in. The bacteria infect the lining of the airways, mainly the windpipe (trachea) and the 2 airways that branch off from it to the lungs (the bronchi). There is a build-up of thick mucus. This mucus causes the intense bouts of coughing as the body tries to cough it up. The bacteria also cause the airways to swell up, making them narrower than usual. As a result, breathing is made difficult, which causes the ‘whoop’ sound as the person gasps for breath after a bout of coughing.

Whooping cough can be prevented with vaccination. Treatment includes antibiotics.

If you have close contact with someone who has whooping cough, your doctor may give you antibiotics to prevent you getting infected.

Whooping cough is a serious disease because it can lead to pneumonia, brain damage and sometimes death.

See your doctor as soon as possible if you think you or your child may have whooping cough.

Please refer to below links for more details:

https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/whooping-cough-pertussis

https://www.healthline.com/health/pertussis

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/whooping-cough

Get to know our GP doctors:

At Familywise Medical Practice we provide a comprehensive range of services for your medical and healthcare needs. Bulk billing is available. Get to know our General Practitioners:


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It’s been a great summer, but it’s time to get everyone back in the groove of classes, sports practice — and getting up early again. Here are some tips to help your kids make a healthy transition back to school.

1.Get Bedtimes back on track

Getting a good night’s sleep is not only important for a child’s growth and development, it’s also key to their health and wellbeing. How much is enough? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 9-12 hours of shut-eye for children aged 6-12 years, and 8-10 hours for kids aged 13-18 years. To help them ease back into the habit of going to bed early, try keeping a consistent schedule, creating a relaxing nighttime routine and powering down all electronics at least an hour before bed time. Discover more ways to help your child sleep well here

2.Tricks and tips for nutritious school lunches

Research from the University of Adelaide has tracked, 430 children aged nine to 10 years almost half of the kids energy consumption was high fat intake; (salt, sugar, fat) junk and processed food.  Premade snacks and junk food may look like ideal options during that early morning rush but they are not a healthy option. Not just for your kid but you too.

Ensure lunch boxes, be replaced with nutritious food such as fresh fruits, veggies, salads, sandwiches,yougurt, whole grains, or homemade muffins.

If you have no idea where to start, the Nutrition Australia has a workshop about smart eating recipes to help you enjoy healthy eating.

3.Health Checks & Vaccines

Before the start of another school year, see to it that you and your kid (s) visit your doctor for annual health check-ups. This is to identify any early signs of health issues so that they can be treated before they develop into a major problem. Sometimes the school will require you to provide up to date medical record and a vaccination report.

Some of the check-ups you should consider carrying out include eyesight and hearing exams, dental check-ups, height and weight checks and skin checks.

Have them take the recommended vaccines and flu shots as well. Disease outbreaks and flu seasons are inevitable nowadays and you will have peace of mind knowing they are safe from that vaccine-preventable illness or flu.

4.Embrace Physical Fitness

Walking kids to school instead of dropping them off can be a great way for establishing healthy habits together.

“There are so many benefits of daily exercise for children:  from improved concentration and better self-confidence to stronger muscles and bones. Research also suggests that physical activity helps to reduce the risk of children developing health problems in later life.”

I hope these four back-to-school health tips will help you and your little ones have a healthy and happy school year.

 

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/blog/back-to-school-health-

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/sleep-tips-for-children

https://nutritionaustralia.org/app/uploads/2020/05/

 

Get to know our GP doctors:

At Familywise Medical Practice we provide a comprehensive range of services for your medical and healthcare needs. Bulk billing is available. Get to know our General Practitioners:


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05/05/2020 Health NewsNews

Preventative care

Preventative health care is important. Screening programs at your doctors are designed for people without any signs or symptoms. Therefore it is important to keep your doctors appointments for any health checks even when you feel healthy.

Why regular health checks are important

  • check for current or early warning signs
  • assess your risk of future medical issues
  • prompt you to maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • update vaccinations.

Health checks for older people

As you get older, keeping an eye on your health becomes more important. Speak to your doctor about:

  • abdominal aortic aneurysm screening – former and current smokers (particularly older men) can consider having an ultrasound to screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms, a blood-filled bulge in a major blood vessel in your abdomen called the aorta
  • blood pressure screening – every year. If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often
  • bowel cancer screening – a simple test for signs of bowel cancer is recommended once every two years if you are over 50
  • cholesterol screening and heart disease prevention – every five years if levels are normal. If you have high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often
  • diabetes screening – every three years. If you are overweight and have other risk factors for diabetes, ask your doctor if you should be screened more often
  • lung cancer screening – for current smokers and those who have quit within the past 15 years
  • osteoporosis screening – if you have risk factors for osteoporosis, you should check with your doctor about screening. Risk factors can include long-term steroid use, low body weight, smoking, heavy alcohol use or a family history of osteoporosis
  • a physical exam – every year or as recommended by your doctor. Your doctor will check and record your weight, height and body mass index (BMI).

Speak to your doctor about immunisation:

  • a pneumococcal vaccine – every 5 years
  • an annual flu shot
  • a tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster every 10 years
  • a shingles or herpes zoster vaccine.

Health Checks with other health professionals may include:

  • Dental  – every 6 months
  • Eye test – yearly if you have vision problems or glaucoma risk
  • Hearing test – if you have symptoms of hearing loss.

Regular health checks for adults

Regular health checks can help to identify early warning signs of disease or illness. Heart disease, diabetes and some cancers can often be picked up in their early stages, with a more successful treatment plan.

When you have a check, your doctor will talk to you about your medical history, your family’s history of disease and your lifestyle. Your diet, weight, how much you exercise, and whether or not you smoke and drink alcohol or take illegal drugs will also be discussed.

If you have high-risk factors, such as a family history of a condition, it may be more likely that you will develop a particular disease. Regular checks may help your doctor pick up early warning signs.

  • If you have a high risk of a particular health condition, your doctor may recommend more frequent health checks at an earlier age.
  • Your GP may also recommend other tests based on your family history, your medical history or current symptoms. Depending on the results of those tests, your doctor may then want to provide a course of treatment, investigate further or refer you to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

Where to get help

Meet our GP doctors:

References:

Health checks by age: the tests you should be having https://www.hcf.com.au/health-agenda/health-care/treatments-and-procedures/health-checks-by-age-the-tests-you-should-be-having

https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/servicesandsupport/regular-health-checks

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/manage-your-health-in-your-40s

https://www.racgp.org.au/clinical-resources/clinical-guidelines/key-racgp-guidelines/view-all-racgp-guidelines/red-book/preventive-activities-in-middle-age


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12/04/2020 Health NewsNews
Image source from freepik

Flu Shot

Winter is coming….so is the flu. The vaccine prepares and boosts your immune system to help fight the flu but not the coronavirus if you are exposed to it. This will reduce your risk of influenza which kills hundreds of people.

Department of Health has recommended you get vaccinated prior to the peak of the flu season, which starts from mid-April to August.  The most effective way to protect yourself and your family is book in for an appointment with your GP for the flu shot.

To book in for flu shot please call us on 8604 2338 or book online: click here- Health Engine.

Why is the flu vaccine free for some people?

The  National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule has provided free flu for some groups of people who are considered at increased risk of complications :

  1. Pregnant Woman
  2. Chronic Disease (eg Asthma)
  3. Over 6 months of age
  4. 65 years and older
  5. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander over 6 months of age.

Signs and symptoms include:

This can go on for some weeks. Children may also have abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.

If your symptoms get worse, see a doctor. You should seek help straight away if you feel chest pain, short of breath, dizzy or confused, or you are vomiting a lot. During this time it is important to take care of yourself by resting, keeping warm, drink lots of fluids and eat light non oily food when hungry.

References:

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/blog/why-getting-your-flu-shot-in-april-2020-will-help-in-the-fight-against-covid-19

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/influenza-a-flu

https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/national-immunisation-program

The Flu Vaccine, the_gp_mum

 

 


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25/03/2020 Health NewsNews

Coronovirus news

It’s been a stressful time all around the world as we deal with coronavirus (COVID-19) and the uncertainty it brings. What life will look like over the next few months has changed and you might be feeling anxious about what this means.

COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection. Find out who is at risk and what you should do if you think you have COVID-19 from below reference links.

Good tips to prevent you from COVID-19:

  • Wash your hand
  • Avoid crowds and stay at home,
  • Disinfect surfaces
  • Do not panic
  • Eat healthy

Reference:

Coping during the coronavirus (COVID-19)

https://au.reachout.com/collections/coping-during-coronavirushttps://au.reachout.com/collections/coping-during-coronavirus

COVID-19 support

https://headtohealth.gov.au/covid-19-support/covid-19

Australia Government Health Department

https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19

How To Avoid Covid-19: The Best Tips To Stay Healthy and Sanitised

https://sg.asiatatler.com/society/how-to-avoid-covid-19-tips-to-stay-sanitised

https://www.racgp.org.au/coronavirus#update16

https://www.racgp.org.au/running-a-practice/technology/clinical-technology/teleheath


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29/01/2020 Health NewsNews

Approximately, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they are 70. Non-melanoma skin cancer is more common in men, with almost double the incidence compared to women. Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer,* melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australians

Everybody is free to wear! It looks like warmer sunnier days are on which is a good opportunity to talk about sunscreen. It’s time for prevention.

First, let’s talk about UV rays. Sunlight is made up of different wavelengths of light. The most damaging are UVA and UVB radiation. UVA penetrates deeper and is thought to be responsible for skin ageing e.g. wrinkles, pigmentation. UVB radiation is responsible for sunburn.


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Back pain is common! It is a physical discomfort occurring anywhere on the spine or back, ranging from mild to disabling. Most people will experience it at the dome stage in their lives. While it can be debilitating, there is a lot you can do to help. Common causes of back pain include being overweight, heavy lifting, poor structure, being sedentary, prolonged sitting and lying down, wearing a poorly fitting backpack or sudden awkward movements.

Estimates from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017–18 National Health estimate about 4.0 million Australians (16% of the population) have back problems. It is estimated that 70–90% of people will suffer from lower back pain in some form at some point in their lives.


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