Category Archives: General

February – March 2018

School refusal can be serious

Children and adolescents who experience severe emotional distress at having to go to school need to be taken seriously. It can lead to considerable absence from school, which in turn can impact on education and job prospects. This is completely different to truancy and is not associated with anti-social behaviour.

 

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Mobile phones and kids

It is hard to believe that the ubiquitous mobile phone only became widely used in the 1990's and smart phones in the past decade.

Previous generations of parents did not have to contend with managing their children's use of phones. Today there is a view that children should have access but neither can you wind the clock back. Certainly, there is research showing that too much screen time is an issue for children as they tend to exercise less and it can impact on sleep. There is also the additional complication of social media being accessed via mobile phones anywhere, anytime.

 

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Avoiding Listeria

Listeria is an infection caused by a common bacterium that occurs in the soil and water.

Thus, plants and animals in the food chain can be infected. There are around 65 cases in Australia each year and 10% of these are in pregnant women who are at greatest risk in the third trimester.

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Dealing with depression

Depression is a common condition affecting as many as one in five Australians. For some it can be an ongoing condition; for others, there may only be an isolated episode. Depression is more than just feeling sad for a day or two. It is feeling miserable for at least two weeks together with a lack of enjoyment of usual activities, withdrawal from friends and often sleep and appetite disturbance.

 

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Back To School – Healthy Options

This week we see a return to school for many NSW school aged children, for a big 2018 school year. Its easy to fall into easy and unhealthy food options in our school lunchboxes.

Make a resolution this year to start healthy and stay healthy.

Healthy snacks and lunches help our children not only to stay healthy but it helps them to stay focused in class, and gives them the energy they need to get through the school day.

Click here for some great tips and recipes to make your children’s lunchbox healthy

 

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December 2017 – January 2018

Children at the Beach

The summer holiday is the perfect opportunity to get children away from electronic devices and into the outdoors. While we want children to play safely and avoid injury, we need to recognise that a grazed knee is not a major drama.

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Connecting with your Teenager

The teenage stereotype of a monosyllabic adolescent behind a slammed-shut bedroom door has some validity but it is far from the whole story. Adolescence is a time of change, physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. The transition from child to adult is not always easy. In this era of social media and smart phones, there are additional pressures.

 

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Tips for Travellers

Travel vaccinations are important considerations before travelling, but most of the health issues people face on their travels can't be vaccinated against. Insurance claim statistics suggest that people experience similar health issues travelling as they do at home - chest or sinus infections, gastro, cuts and bruises and more serious ones like heart attack and broken bones from trauma.

 

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Jellyfish

While shark attacks make headlines, there are other creatures in the water than can cause us problems when swimming. These are many and varied and influenced by season and where on the coastline you are.

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Getting on top of Impetigo

Impetigo is a skin infection caused by common bacteria (staphylococcus and streptococcus).

It is more common in children, as the name school sores suggests, but it can also affect adults. The bacteria can live quietly on the skin but minor grazes or other disruptions of the skin's surface can allow infection to set in. It is not a reflection of poor hygiene.

 

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Chlamydia the hidden STI

The commonest sexually transmitted infection (STI) in Australia is Chlamydia with the number of cases rising over the past 20 years, particularly in the 15 - 25 age group. Both sexes are equally affected and it is very treatable .

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Summer Sun Care

We all love Summer and spending time with our family and friends in the sun, by the pool or at the beach but were you aware that you can get sunburnt on a cloudy day even when it isn’t summer? The sun damages our skin even when we just get a light tan.

The best way to prevent skin cancer is by using sun protection measures. The Cancer Council of NSW recommends we Slip, slop, slap, seek and slide to protect your skin from overexposure to the sun and sun damage.

It is also important to create good life habits. Did you know that unprotected exposure to the sun on children’s delicate skin significantly increases the risk of developing skin cancer later in life. Two out of three children at school today will be diagnosed with skin cancer later in life.

 

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Protecting your skin

Slip

The best form of skin protection is to wear clothing that covers your neck, shoulders, arms, legs and torso.

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Always apply a SPF 50+ sunscreen 20minutes prior to going in the sun. An SPF 50+ filters 98% of UV radiation. Re apply this sunscreen every two hours or after you have been swimming or sweating which may have caused your sunscreen to wear off.

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Wear a broad rimmed hat which will offer extra protection to your face, ears and neck.

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Always head for a shady place; under a tree, shade sail or veranda. Be aware that UV radiation is reflective and bounces off surfaces such as concrete, snow, water and sand, causing sun damage even when you think you’re shaded.

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Wear sunglasses. Your eyes can be damaged from the sun as well. Make sure you wear sunglasses that have a UV filter that meet the Australian standards. (An Eye Protection Factor of 10)

Visit the Cancer Councils sun protection page for more information.

If you are concerned about any spots on your skin or would like a skin check please contact us to make an appointment.

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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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Breast-Cancer-AwarenessIII

Pink Month for Breast Cancer Research

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia and the second most common cancer to cause death in women, after lung cancer. It is uncommon in males.

Over 15,050 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. The risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by age 85 is 1 in 8 for women.

Women aged between 50 and 74 are invited to access free screening mammograms every two years via the BreastScreen Australia Program.

It is recommended that women with a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, aged between 40 and 49 or over 75 discuss options with their GP, or contact BreastScreen Australia on 13 20 50.

This year we will be dressing in Pink in support of Breast Cancer research and those fighting cancer, and for our friends and family members that we have lost to breast cancer.

Donations big or small help Cancer Council support women going through cancer treatment.

We will also be holding a Raffle with some beautiful prizes donated from the local community. Please join us for a tasty breakfast and help Brook Medical Centre raise much needed funds for Breast Cancer Research.

 

Update: Thank you to everyone who made a donation or purchased a ticket in our Raffle. We, as a community have raised $1722. Outstanding effort.

bress cancer rfle

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e Health and You.

When booking in for your appointment, you may be asked if you are registered with eHealth or would like to register. This process only takes a couple of minutes but it could be very beneficial to your health in the future.

Having a My Health Record means your important health information like allergies, current conditions and treatments, medicine details, pathology reports or diagnostic imaging scan reports can be digitally stored in one place. Healthcare providers like doctors, specialists and hospital staff can see these details online from anywhere at any time when they need to, such as in an accident or emergency.

For more information or to make a My Health record click here

 

 

 

 

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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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