Opiate Replacement Programs

Atticus Health’s Dr Hardik Solanki has undertaken additional training of a course titled Medical-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence. This course was designed to enhance medical practitioners’ knowledge and skills on opiate replacement programs.

Opiate replacement programs are in place to assist those with opioid addictions. These addictions can lead to opioids being misused for extended periods of time, which can be debilitating or even life-threatening. The replacement of suboxone, which can be prescribed by a trained GP, can assist with addiction recovery. Suboxone works by keeping withdrawal symptoms at bay.

A patient who comes to their GP seeking help with an opiate addiction may be provided with a prescription for Suboxone, and those suffering from addiction and dependency will be referred to Peninsula Health’s Frankston and Mornington Peninsula Drug and Alcohol Service (FaMDAS). Additionally, they will have regular monitoring and counselling by a trained GP.

Opiate replacement programs have a good rate of success with the conviction and dedication from the patient. These programs take into consideration the fact that each person requires a personal and individual approach. As addiction is commonly associated with other mental health issues, the treatment will also aim at helping patients deal with mental health issues for their overall health and wellbeing.

Knowledge and experience in these programs also allow GPs to assist people who are living with friends or family suffering from addiction. If you think this service would benefit you or somebody you are close to, book in now to take the first step to recovery.

 

Adding Activity to Your Workday

For those of us working at a desk all day, you often find the end of the day comes with a stiff back and low energy. Better Health Victoria has called sitting “the new smoking”. This is based on the many potentials damages prolonged sitting can do to your body. These damages include the weakening of muscles, weight gain, hip and back problems due to poor posture, increased risk of heart disease and more.

Here are some ways to incorporate a little more activity into your workday.

Use your lunch break to take a brisk walk

Take the time scheduled for your break to enjoy the outdoors. If you work close to a park, you could take your packed lunch there to appreciate the outdoors. Should your workplace not be near anywhere you can sit, simply eat your lunch at work then take an energetic stroll afterwards while you listen to some music, or just enjoy your own thoughts. Taking this time out has also been proven to improve mood and productivity in the workplace. The Scandinavian journal of medicine and science in sports performed a study of regular 30 minute walks which found notable improvements in employees’ workplace happiness.

Perform exercises at your desk

These are all exercises that can be completed while seated at your desk:

 

You can also use your desk chair to do:

 

Catch public transportation or cycle

By catching public transportation or riding a bike to and from work, you ensure that your workday begins and ends with a little activity.

You can use the PTV app or website to plan your journey and tramTRACKER as a means of tracking exactly when your next tram is arriving, in live time.

 

Wear an activity tracker

Most activity-tracking watches and devices have reminders in place to prompt activity after long periods of the wearer remaining sedentary. These reminders can be your cue to take a walk around the office or to refill your water bottle. If you work in a private space, take a moment to do some star jumps or burpees to get the blood flowing again.

 

Try a standing desk

If your workplace allows it, consider adding an adjustable standing desk to your work station. Standing desks can lower your risk of weight gain, obesity and heart disease while also decreasing back pain.

By attaching an adjustable standing desk, you have the option of lowering it when exhausted. Having the flexibility to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday will also change up your mindset, which can aid productivity.

Click here to see Officeworks’ range of standing desks.

 

 

Asthma Awareness

Spring is the season for new flowers, animals being born and, unfortunately, a rise in asthma risk. Asthma Australia uses the beginning of September as the time to draw awareness to the increased risk to asthma sufferers. 1 out of every 9 Australians suffers from asthma and 80% of those also deal with the associated problems that come from hay fever. This year Asthma Australia’s theme is ‘Asthma in Disguise’.

Thunderstorm Asthma

Thunderstorm asthma is the phenomenon that occurs during grass pollen season, which in Victoria is typically from October to the end of December. Asthma Australia advises that this time of year brings about more frequent reactions of asthma and hay fever. The storms that happen over spring and summer cause winds to carry the pollen seeds over long distances and become concentrated in the wind just before a thunderstorm. These smaller concentrated particles can get further into airways than regular pollen and thus trigger more cases of hay fever and asthma.

How to Protect Yourself

The first step to take if you are unsure how to deal with asthma is to book in with your GP to make an Asthma Action Plan. This way you can work with you GP to find the best way to handle your asthma and hay fever problems year round.

Once you are aware of your sensitivity to increased pollen, whether it be due to asthma, hay fever or a combination of the two, the next step is to be aware of the pollen count before you plan your daily activities. AusPollen is an app and website that has experts gathering information on pollen counts to forecast the daily pollen risk for up to a week in advance in your area.

If you find yourself faced with a high pollen count day and your healthcare professional has advised you to be cautious of the risks this carries, you can take steps to avoid excessive exposure. Staying inside as much as possible, while keeping house and car windows closed can minimise pollen exposure. Avoid hanging clothing on outdoor clotheslines during these high-pollen periods, and instead hang indoors or use a clothes dryer. Recommend children who experience asthma or hay fever to take their school lunch breaks in the library, or other indoor options that are available. Always keep whatever prevention method your GP has recommended on hand during thunderstorm asthma season.

Asthma First Aid

If you are suffering from a severe asthma attack, the best course of action is to call 000.

If you are experiencing a mild to moderate asthma attack, it is important that you follow the 4 Asthma First Aid steps.

1 – Sit the person upright.

2 – Give 4 separate puffs of blue-grey reliever puffer.

3 – Wait 4 minutes.

4 – If symptoms have not improved, call 000 to tell the ambulance that there is an asthma attack.

To have constant access to these steps, download the Asthma App.

Extra Help

For those of you used to dealing with symptoms of hay fever and allergic rhinitis, you are used to the associated costs that come with care. Asthma Australia has combined a list of tips to assist with managing your symptoms while saving money.

 

Atticus Home Care

Atticus Health is excited to announce that we will be branching out into a Home Care service. Due to patient needs, we will be providing a service of home-visiting nurses and doctors.

We understand that not every patient can make it into a clinic as often as they may need, so we are offering this linking service to help combine care while living independently. Our team of clinical professionals are committed to bringing you the same impeccable level of care that you have come to depend on from Atticus Health.

With our 24-hour Ageing-In-Place monitoring technology our team works together to provide well-communicated, well-informed care, bringing peace of mind to you and your loved ones.

The service will initially be offered in the Bayside City area, including Carrum and its surrounds. Atticus Home Care will be privately funded or accessible through the home care package scheme.

To receive your free initial comprehensive home assessment, ensure you book in before 30th September 2019.

For more information call 1800 ATTICUS (1800 288 4287) or email Clare at cwestlow@atticushealth.com.au

Stronger Together.

Diabetes Week 2019 – Take Diabetes 2 Heart

Australian National Diabetes Week this year is from the 13th to the 20th July. The theme for Diabetes Week 2019 is “Take Diabetes 2 Heart“, focusing on the relationship between type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia. Those with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop heart disease in their lives. The Take Diabetes 2 Heart campaign is encouraging Australians living with type 2 diabetes to work towards good heart habits.

Those at higher risk

  • People with family history of diabetes
  • Those over 55 years of age
  • Anyone over 45 and overweight or with high blood pressure
  • Those over 35 and of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
  • Women who have experienced gestational diabetes, or had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

If you are aged between 40 and 45 and believe you are at risk, you can book in with our clinic nurse to receive a diabetes assessment.

Diabetes Australia offers an online risk calculator, for determining your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. You can click here to find out your risk.

Ways to improve cardiovascular health

  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Ensuring you get plenty of regular exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Keeping track of your blood pressure
  • Not smoking
  • Managing your cholesterol levels

 

State Prevention Programs

The Victorian government is running Life! which is a free healthy lifestyle program that aims to assist in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Expert health professionals are offering this program through a group course, or through a telephone health coaching service, to accommodate various needs. Additionally, the website offers tips and recipes for supporting a healthy lifestyle.

 

If you have diabetes and believe you need assistance maintaining a good relationship with your heart health, book now to speak to your GP. You may be eligible for an exercise plan with Nikki, our exercise physiologist, who works at both our Hastings and Carrum clinics. Alternatively, you can sign up for membership at our Hastings or Carrum on-site gyms for full access and discounted group and private sessions.

 

Dry July

For over 10 years, Australians have been going alcohol-free for the month of July as a way to raise funds and awareness for people affected by cancer. Since it began in 2008, more than 160,000 have abstained from alcohol in July, and collectively raised upwards of $37 million for various cancer organisations.

Why Go Dry in July?

By going dry for July, you can help raise awareness for those affected by cancer. That includes those who are diagnosed, as well as all their friends and family. Cancer is Australia’s leading cause of death, with 1 in 2 men and women having a diagnosis by the time they turn 85. The Cancer Council estimates approximately 50,000 cancer-related deaths for 2019.

While these figures are shocking, the survival rate for cancers can be as high as 90%, according to the Cancer Council. Many awareness organisations offer personal stories from survivors, such as the National Breast Cancer Network Australia. Continuing to raise both awareness and funds offers the opportunity to further research and to assist those coping with diagnoses.

Abstaining from alcohol can also provide many personal health benefits. Medical News Today conducted a study into the effects of participants who went without alcohol for one month and found that the participants felt a higher awareness of their relationship with alcohol, and an increased ability to control their future drinking. They also experienced higher energy levels, weight loss and a better quality of sleep. The Sleep Foundation confirms that affect that alcohol has on the quantity and quality of a person’s sleep.

Who Will You Be Supporting?

The organisations involved in Dry July include:

Each state also has local organisations involved. Some of Victoria’s local participants are:

  • Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre – a centre focused on developing innovative cancer therapies and international research programs, with the best of patient-centred care and medical treatment.
  • Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre – a world-class cancer centre providing care, treatment and research for the people of the Grampians Region of Victoria.
  • The Alfred Hospital – Alfred Health provides the most comprehensive range of healthcare services in Victoria through their 3 hospital campuses, large network of community programs and 14 statewide services.

For full information on the organisations involved in Dry July, visit the beneficiaries section of their website.

How Can You Help?

If you think Dry July sounds like the challenge for you, get started right away. Sign up on the Dry July web page as an individual or a team. Once you have committed yourself, begin spreading the word. Chase up friends, family and colleagues who you think would be up for it, and encourage them to join you on the journey.

To begin fundraising, Dry July offers assistance to help you reach out across various platforms. They provide social media images, pre-written emails, posters and more to help you seek support. For additional resources and fundraising tips, head to the fundraising section of the website.

If you are having reservations about being unable to abstain from drinking for the whole month of June, there is a way to make Dry July work for you. Dry July offers participants to purchase ‘Golden Tickets’ as a way to buy a night or day of drinking. For example, if you have a special occasion that falls directly in the middle of July, but still want to participate in Dry July, you can buy yourself one of these Golden Tickets, and add to your fundraising pool for a night free of obligations.

Need Some Further Motivation?

To get you started, here are some  scrumptious non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy while you commence your month without alcohol:

Caramel Apple Pie Mocktail

Sparkling Berry and Pomegranate Mocktail

Carrot Cake Smoothie

Classic Banana Smoothie

Healthy Breakfast Juice

If you or someone you know is dealing with issues from alcohol addiction, visit Reach Out for information and support.

Autumn is for Apples!

It’s that time of year to get orchard-fresh apples. The Mornington Peninsula has some brilliant local orchards to meet all of your apple needs!

If you’re after a great variety of local apples, family-run business Staples Apples in Main Ridge has what you need. The Staples family has operated the business for more than sixty years, providing scrumptious seasonal products from their orchard to the residents of the Mornington Peninsula. They grow every apple from Fuji to Pink Lady, and believe that their products speak for themselves, with sampling being an important part of their sales.

Staples also sells delicious cherries in December and January – perfect for your Christmas lunch! The sweet treats are well worth the hinterland drive.

http://staplesapples.com.au/about-us/

For a unique cider experience, I have to recommend the Mock cidery in Red Hill. They have an array of apple and pear ciders on offer, in a quaint farm setting. You can enjoy a tasting paddle of ciders made from freshly grown apples, either inside the rustic building with a crackling fire, or in the courtyard with chickens bustling around. They are open 7 days, and offer a large selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ciders and juices.

The Mock orchards also produce my family’s favourite apple cider vinegar. The vinegar is also made using their certified biodynamic apples. Perfect for dressing salads or pickling your own vegetables at home.

http://mockredhill.com.au/about-us

 

If you find yourself with too many apples to eat, what better use for them than in the perfect autumn dessert – apple crumble! Here’s a tasty recipe to try, recommended by our Atticus GP Clinics experts  .

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 lady williams apples, peeled, cored, halved, thinly sliced
  • 375ml (1 1/2 cups) unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sweetener (Hermesetas Gold brand)
  • 55g (1/2 cup) hazelnut meal
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 x 200g carton no-fat vanilla yoghurt

METHOD

  • Step 1

Preheat grill to medium. Place the apple, apple juice, nutmeg and half the sweetener in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the apple softens. Spoon apple mixture into a round 20cm (base measurement) ovenproof dish.

  • Step 2

Meanwhile, combine the hazelnut meal, flour and remaining sweetener in a bowl. Add the water and stir until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture.

  • Step 3

Cook under preheated grill, about 7cm from the heat source, for 2 minutes or until golden. Serve with yoghurt.

https://www.taste.com.au/recipes/apple-crumble-3/62a94be9-731f-4c30-a80e-8510d874e215

 

 

 

Mother’s Day Classic

Mother’s Day is approaching, and what better way to celebrate than to take your mum on a fun run raising money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation? The event is held in many locations and offers different participation options to accommodate for varying fitness levels.

https://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/

The Mother’s Day Classic is a fitness and fundraising event that has been ongoing for 22 years and so far has raised over $35 million for the NBCF. What a wonderful thing to be a part of!

You can forms teams with your friends, family, workmates or other groups. Fundraising is encouraged, and there is merchandise available online. One of the most important things to do is dress up in as much pink as you can find! There is just something about seeing hundred of men, women and children embracing the spirit of the event that makes you really feel a part of something special.

The Balnarring-Somers event begins at the Coolart Wetlands and Homestead and offers a 4km walk, a 4km run and an 8km run. The walk goes through the wetlands and park and is suitable for most fitness levels. Both runs will go through the surrounding roads and the paddocks in the homestead. My team and I will be splitting between the 4km walk and the 4km run and meeting up again at the end.

The Flinders event departs from the Flinders Yacht Club and has the option of 4.5km walk, 4.5km run or 9km run. The Flinders walk and runs both follow a course that wind above the cliffs of Flinders, offering spectacular views of the ocean.

For those wanting to support the cause, but unable to attend the event, you can either sponsor a participating friend or family member, or else donate directly to the NBCF through this link:

https://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/how-to-donate/

I hope to see some of you at the Balnarring-Somers event! Send us any fun photos from the event, wherever you participate.

Environmental Health

At Atticus Health we are focused on providing all of our patients with a full and comprehensive health care, which includes environmental health.

What is Environmental Health?

Environmental health involves those aspects of public health influenced by the factors, circumstances, and conditions in the environment or surroundings of humans that can exert an influence on health and well-being. Environmental health provides the basis of public health

Environmental health addresses all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted towards preventing disease and creating health-supportive environments. This definition excludes behaviour not related to environment, as well as behaviour related to the social and cultural environment, and genetics.

Smog/Pollution Levels in air

A classic example of how the environment impacts our health is smog/ pollution levels in the air.  Luckily for the most part, Australia remains a pretty clean place.  But, if we don’t care – it will change.  We don’t need to be fearful, however it is important that we all do our part, and put in place strategies that are in our control to assist in improving our environmental health.These changes need to be put into effect now rather than in 50 years.  In some countries, you can get extremely sick if you don’t use a mask over your nose & mouth outside.  Not to mention, that you can’t even see very far at all because of the smog.  So, you don’t have to be a tree hugger to see that the problem is REAL.

The website linked below can assist you in tracking the level of air pollution around the world.

https://waqi.info/

Tree Planting

A beautiful and simple way of improving air quality, is planting trees.

For millions of years trees have been critical in maintaining safe levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide on our planet. Trees are the world’s single largest source of breathable oxygen and play a vital role in addressing climate change. They filter air and provide oxygen, conserve soil and water, prevent desertification and protect and stabilise ground cover.

Native trees also assist our agricultural areas to be more sustainable, prevent salinity and soil erosion, provide shade, shelter, food and habitat to native animals. They provide sources of timber for fuel, wood, food, fodder, essential oils, gums, resins and latex, medicines and shade. In other words, the importance of trees can’t be understated.

At our Hastings clinic we were very aware of the need to support environmental health factors from conception. We planted native trees throughout the flowerbeds that surround the clinic. Some of Floyd’s favourite trees planted there are Eucalyptus gungurru, Eucalyptus woodwardii, Eucalyptus sideroxylon (ironbark), Eucalyptus ficifolia (flowering gum), Brachychiton (Illawarra flame tree), Banksia Integrifolia (coastal banksia)

 

As well as this Atticus Health actively avoids the use of paper, where possible in our clinics and gravitate towards a paperless system.

How can you improve your environmental health?

Everyone’s lifestyle is different and complex, so you need to establish what steps work for you. Based on your needs, consumption, free-time and capabilities. The same solution isn’t always going to be applicable for everyone, however. Below are some common suggestions that people feel are relatively easy swaps and changes to make. Figure out which ones suit you and go from there, baby steps. To help improve environmental health, “we don’t need a handful of people doing it perfectly, we need the whole world doing it imperfectly”.

You can assist in improving your own environmental health by selecting products with minimal waste, picking up waste you see when out in nature and recycling/disposing of it appropriately, bulk buying, getting involved with environmental charities by donating or volunteering, choosing locally produced produce, even purchasing products from companies that care about the what the materials are in your products, where they come from and how to dispose of them – https://www.biome.com.au/ is a website from which you can make more environmentally everyday purchases to assist in improving overall environmental health. Here are a few more things you can read about improving your environmental health.

You can purchase a bracelet from 4Ocean, a charity that pulls a pound of plastic from the ocean for every purchase, read more about it here.

You can also plant trees in your own home, or if you don’t have a garden there are several charities you can donate money to, to plant trees to improve Australia’s air quality. Here is a link to a charity you can donate money to plant trees to help improve environmental health.

Is There a Magic Energy Pill, Doc?

Is There a Magic Energy Pill Doc?

Not too long ago I was asked by a nurse, “I’m feeling tired all the time Floyd, is there a pill I can take that’ll help me?” I pondered this.

There are many medical causes of “fatigue”.  Yet, often times no medical cause is found.  The conclusions I discuss below are relevant to that scenario.  If you’re excessively tired, then it may well be worthwhile seeing your Doctor to check if there’s something medical at play, or whether it’s a symptom of mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.  However, if nothing comes up, then consider these contributions to boost your energy.

 

The first thing I’m going to say is that most of these things are to do with your mind.  A well geared mind does increase energy – that’s my finding.  So these are a few tips to increase your mental energy, which generally flows on to increased physical energy.

 

  1. Let go of being defensive. This can be tough.  Being defensive comes naturally as a response at times.  But, it can really eat people up during the day.  Being defensive at work, on the road, with family.  Man, that’s tiring.  Observe what people say or do, and see if you can look beyond being defensive to look at the facts, and simply choose an appropriate response, without the emotional storm of “defensiveness” coming into play.  Move on.  Change if you have to.  Or, assert your case (which is different to an emotional backlash).  Don’t let your heart rate get too fast, or teeth start to clench.  Relax, judge things on their merits and keep moving.

 

  1. Treat people around you as your equal. There is a rise of tribalism out there. I’ve read about it, I’ve heard about it, I’ve seen it.  The question is – who is your tribe?  Your family, your sports team? Your state, your country, your religion, your ethnicity, rich people, poor people, well dressed people, humbly dressed people?  When you look at people around you – on the street, on a bus, have fun with the notion of tribe, for sure.  But don’t take it too seriously.  If you can walk around during your day and see yourself in the eyes of another, on the bus, at that café, and it brings a smile to your face, which you share – a genuine moment – that exchange will in itself increase your energy, as your very being reminds you that that’s true – your real tribe is humanity and to go further – life itself.  That’s reality.  Promoting equality then, although at first an idea that may sound requiring of effort, is natural for your soul, and the practice of it – finding similarities in everyone around you, and seeing yourself in the eyes of another – will not only make your day degrees more enjoyable, it WILL increase your energy.  Likely, if we all do this, it will raise the collective energy level of our society.

 

  1. Perhaps a more obvious thing to say.  If you have a purpose, you’ll generally have more energy.  Connect with the things which you’re doing in the present, be it your job or family or any other pursuit.  That true connection and alignment with your having and being, will give you a drive you wouldn’t exist otherwise.  Think about what’s important to you and spend your time doing that thing.  Find purpose.

 

  1. Realise your fears and work to minimise them. A long time ago I read Napolean Hill’s famous book (or at least listened to the audiobook) – Think, and Grow Rich.  The title’s a bit harsh or greedy sounding, but the basic lesson is valid.  Your ultimate success or fate, hinges on your ability to carry through your belief and will.  Along the way, the book implores the reader to recognise their own fears, face them, and resolve to minimise them.  These fears are:
    • The fear of death
    • The fear of ill health
    • The fear of criticism
    • The fear of poverty
    • Fear of old age
    • Fear of loss of love

Now it’s rather tough for me to comment on all of them, even the importance of them.  But I think one thing is true.  Fear does sap energy.  Fear and worry.  Worry leading to procrastination and mental baggage of all sorts, reflecting indecision in the minds of people.  If you can keep deciding things during your day to “clear your head”, rather than leave things on a to do pile, and indeed, avoid basing your decisions on any particular fear – you’ll have more energy at the end of the day – for sure.

So there you have it.  I hope I haven’t sounded condescending or flippant.  And again, if you’re unduly tired, it may well be worthwhile seeing your doctor, to be sure.  However, the fact remains there – often your state of mind either increases your energy level, or robs it.  May this little article help your personal energy level rise!