October – November

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This is a painful condition caused by pressure on the median nerve running through a narrow space in the wrist (the carpal tunnel) into the hand. The nerve supplies the feeling sensation to the thumb, index and middle fingers, and aids thumb movement.

 

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Hair Raising Symptoms

Nearly all men and 10% of women will suffer some head-hair loss. The commonest form is male pattern hair loss, which can start as young as 20 and sees the hairline gradually recede from the front. The main risk factors are being male and a family history. There are other causes of hair loss (alopecia), including an under-active thyroid, trauma to hair follicles, some auto-immune conditions and side effects of some medications.

 

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When Periods Cease

Menopause literally means cessation of periods. It happens as the ovaries stop releasing eggs. In theory, this makes menopause the day of the last period. In reality, it is not so simple. Some women may experience issues related to menopause for months and even years. Symptoms vary from minor to severe. It can be natural with age or occur prematurely.

 

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Heat Rash v Urticaria

Heat rash or prickly heat is caused by sweat being trapped under the skin. It is more common in children than adults, with the neck, shoulder and chest the most affected areas. It can come on in hot weather or after sport. There is an itchy "lumpy" rash. While uncomfortable, it is not serious.

 

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Know Meningococcal

Meningococcal Disease is rare but potentially deadly bacterial infection that may progress extremely quickly.

Children receiving routine childhood vaccinations will have been given a vaccine at 12 months specifically for one strain of meningococcal disease.

However, this routine childhood vaccination doesn't protect against every type of meningococcal bacteria. Your child could still be at risk from other types of meningococcal disease.

 

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August – September

Reflux in Infants

Stomach-acid rising into the gullet (or oesophagus) causes reflux. The typical symptom in adults is a burning sensation in the lower chest - "heartburn" but reflux can occur at any age. 

In infants the symptoms can include vomiting or regurgitation, difficulty with feeding, sleep disturbances, crying (especially during or after feeds) and irritability. None of these are absolutely specific. They may be regular or intermittent. It ranges from mild to severe. Reflux can occur in both breast and bottle-fed babies.

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Enlarged Prostate

The prostate gland sits under a man's bladder. As men get older it slowly enlarged. It is thought to double in size between ages 21 and 50 and again between 50 and 80 and we don't know why.

Benign prostate enlargement (BPH) is universal but not all men experience symptoms nor need treatment. It is important to note that prostate cancer can also cause prostate enlargement but is a completely separate condition to BPH.

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Vaginal Thrush

Thrush is caused by the fungus candida albicans. While it is part of healthy vagina flora, in certain circumstances it can multiply excessively and lead to typical thrush. About 75% of women will experience thrush at some stage while some get it frequently.

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Iron for Vegetarians

Iron defiency is a potential problem for those on a vegetarian or vegan diet. This is particularly the case for women whose daily iron requirements (especially in reproductive years) because of menstruation are greater than for men. Iron is essential for red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. Iron deficiency leads to anaemia, which causes fatigue, headache and weakness.

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June – July 2017

Wee Problem, Big Solutions

Being unable to control the bladder remains silent because most people don't talk about it. Yet it affects about 13% of Australians.

Severity ranges. Stress incontinence is when urine leaks in response to (for example) movement or any pressure in the pelvis. Urge incontinence is when you need to go to the toilet quickly or else!

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Be wary of Croup

Croup is a viral infection of the throat and windpipe (trachea) and typically affects children under fiver years though children up to eight years can contract it. The hallmark symptom is a harsh, dry, barky cough, mostly at night.

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For the Fainthearted

People may feel dizzy and pass out for many different reasons. Some matter, most don't.

A true faint (vaso-vagal episode) leads to brief unconsciousness because blood pressure drops, blood vessels dilate, or the heart rate slows. When blood pressure to the brain is not maintained we lose consciousness, usually for only a few seconds, go pale, and perhaps feel a bit unwell for a time afterwards. Some people will go through life never fainting whereas others are prone to it.

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April – May 2017

Helping with Learning Difficulties

There are many possible reasons why your child may fall behind in their schoolwork - anything from not getting along with the class teacher to ADHD or a hearing problem. Learning problems need to be detected and remedied early.

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Teething Babies

During teething an infants first teeth (the deciduous teeth, often called "baby teeth" or "milk teeth") subsequently emerge or 'erupt' through the gums. They typically arrive in pairs, the lower two incisors come first at 6-8 months of age, before all 20 teeth take a few years to erupt. This is sometimes called "cutting teeth", but emerging teeth don't in fact cut through the gums but hormones released cause some cells in the gums to die and separate, allowing the teeth to come through.

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Thyroid Tests Serve A Function

The thyroid gland in the front of the neck controls the metabolism of the whole body. Sometimes the gland becomes overactive or underactive. This happens most often in women over 50 who have a family history of thyroid problems or pernicious anaemia (vitamin B12 deficiency).

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Newsletter – February – March 2017

Finding The Balance

Vertigo and dizziness, affecting about 1 in 10 people throughout their life, needs an accurate diagnosis as treatment depends on it.

Vertigo is usually when the inner ear (or balance centre) is affected - conditions such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular neuritis (inflammation of the inner ear), Meniere's disease and migraines. Read more

Swat Pesky Ross River

 This viral infection, spread by mosquitos, typically causes joint inflammation, muscle pain and fatigue. These symptoms generally start 3-21 days after being bitten and can include rash and enlarged lymph glands. For some, symptoms are so mild or can mimic a flu-like illness, that they do not even know that they have it. Read more

Travelling With Peace of Mind

There is an old saying that travel broadens the mind and loosens the bowels! Whenever we travel, the change of environment can affect our gut bacteria. However there is a difference between gastroenteritis (an illness) and having slightly looser stools.

Travellers' diarrhoea is an infection where you typically get diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and some aching, headache and fever. Some may get vomiting but this is not common in true travellers' diarrhoea. It can be due to either a virus or bacteria. It is more common in tropical  and less developed countries. Read more

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