Movember

Movember takes place every November, as a way to raise awareness of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

“Our fathers, brothers, sons and friends are dying by suicide, every minute of every day.

We won’t accept this. To make change happen, Movember views mental health through a male lens. We focus on early intervention, engaging men and working to their strengths. By 2030, we aim to reduce the rate of male suicide by 25%.

Men with prostate cancer and testicular cancer face an uphill battle before, during and after treatment. But with useful tools and straight-shooting advice, we aim to lighten their load so these men can live life to the fullest.

Globally, men die on average 6 years earlier than women, and for largely preventable reasons.

So we’re shining a light on the health risks men need to know about, increasing awareness to stop men dying too young.”

What you can do

  • Grow – grow a moustache through the month of November to raise awareness and funds for Movember.
  • Move – over November run or walk 60km on behalf of the 60 men we lose to suicide every hour across the world.
  • Host – throw a Mo-ment event and gather your friends, family or coworkers to raise spirits and funds on behalf of Movember.

If you have concerns regarding your physical or mental health this November, book in to speak to our supportive and understanding GPs. Atticus Health is now a HALT-friendly clinic, supporting and prioritising mental health.

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.

 

Foot Health Month

This year’s Foot Health Month focuses on the theme of promoting podiatry. The Foot Health Month campaign seeks to remind the public about the significance of good foot health and encourage people to seek more information about the services that podiatrists offer.

Podiatry is a growing profession. In 1999, there were 2,011 podiatrists in practice. By 2016, this number jumped to 4,399. According to Podiatry Board of Australia industry statistics, the rapid growth of podiatry is reflected in the youthfulness of the profession, with close to 40 per cent of practicing podiatrists being under 35 years of age.

One of the most serious foot health issues is lower limb amputation resulting from complications of diabetes. APodC CEO Damian Mitsch says focusing on proper foot care has the potential to reduce the effects of diabetic foot among Australians.

“Unfortunately, Australia performs very poorly against other developed nations in terms of diabetes-related lower-limb amputations. In fact, we have the second-worst rates in the developed world – an avoidable amputation takes place every 2-3 hours in Australia,” says Mitsch.

“In additional to this social cost, the financial burden on the healthcare system is extraordinary, with each lower-limb amputation costing $26,000 plus aftercare costs.”

“Proper podiatric care has the potential to dramatically prevent amputation for a patient with a diabetic foot condition. Foot issues need to be identified and treated quickly and consistently to stop a minor wound becoming infected, ulcerated and, ultimately, resulting in the loss of limb to save someone’s life,” Mitsch added.

If you believe you have foot health needs, book in to see Chloe today.

Atticus Podiatrist Chloe Middlemass

World Osteoporosis Day

Osteoporosis is a common disease that affects around 1.2 million Australians. Osteoporosis occurs when bones lose minerals, such as calcium, more quickly than the body can replace them, causing the bones to become brittle. This leads to a higher risk of bone breakage than a normal bone.

Osteoporosis is thought of as a ‘silent disease’, as it rarely shows symptoms before the brittleness of the bones leads to a fracture. As the bones lose density and strength, a fracture – partial or complete break of the bone – can be caused by a minor bump or fall.

Who is at risk?

2019’s World Osteoporosis Day is focused on men making bone health a priority – “Real men build their strength from within“. Osteoporosis is often thought to be a women’s disease, as women are at a higher risk after menopause. When estrogen levels decrease, the bones lose calcium and minerals at an elevated rate. As testosterone levels lower more gradually, the deterioration of men’s bones may happen at a slower pace. However, there are many factors that can lead to the development of osteoporosis. These include:

  • Family history – If family members have a history of osteoporosis or broken a bone from a minor fall or bump, these can be indicators of low bone density.
  • Medical history – Low hormone levels, some chronic diseases and some medicines for breast and prostate cancer can increase your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin D and calcium levels – Both vitamin D and calcium are essential for bone health, and low levels put you at risk.
  • Lifestyle factors – Low exercise levels, smoking history, extremely low or high weight and excessive alcohol intake all contribute to your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Detection

If you are over 50 and present with any of the osteoporosis risk factors, then it is recommended that you get a bone density scan. This is a simple scan that takes approximately 10-15 minutes. If you are concerned that you may be at risk of osteoporosis, book in with your GP for them to determine if you should be referred for a bone density scan.

Prevention

There are steps you can take to prevent osteoporosis. In addition to living a generally healthy lifestyle, there are 3 main approaches to take to lower your risk of osteoporosis:

  • Calcium – Victoria State Government’s Better Health Channel provides you with information on recommended calcium intake for different ages and life stages.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D aids in the absorption and regulation of calcium, while also supporting growth and maintenance of the skeleton.
  • Exercise – To build and maintain bone strength, it is important to focus on the right kind of exercise. Weight-bearing exercise and progressive resistance training both work the muscles and bones sufficiently to increase bone strength.

To find the right exercise regime for your body, you can make an appointment to see Nikki, our exercise physiologist. She is available at our Hastings and Carrum clinics for personal and group classes, depending on your needs.

 

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.

 

 

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia, and while less common, does also occur in men. Early detection is key to diagnosis, and has lead to a 91% 5-year survival rate in Australia according to the Cancer Council.

Who is at risk?

You are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer if you:

  • are female. Being a woman is the single biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer
  • are 50 years or older.
  • have a family history of breast cancer.
  • smoke, drink alcohol or are overweight/obese.
  • have a history including other factors.

To find out which risk factors relate to you, check the Cancer Australia’s interactive risk factor search.

What you can do?

Be breast aware – regularly check for changes. By performing a monthly breast self exam (BSE), you will be able to notice any changes and consult promptly with your healthcare professional. Any change in the breast’s appearance or feeling are symptoms worth investigating with your doctor.

How to help?

If breast cancer is a cause that you believe in, there are many ways to help.

  • Host a Girls’ Night In – throw a dinner party, movie night or anything fun with your girls and raise funds while having a good time.
  • Set up Go Fundraise page – dedicate fundraising for Breast Cancer Network Australia. Whether it be for a sporting event, bake sale or personal challenge – the options are limitless.
  • Host a Pink Sports Day with your local sporting group  – a time for everyone involved to ‘pink up’, PLAY4BCNA and support breast cancer.
  • Buy from BCNA partners – choose your stores and brands with BCNA in mind to make an everyday difference.

If you have recently been diagnosed with breast cancer or know somebody who has and you want to find out more, go to BCNA’s My Journey. They will guide you to the pertinent information for your situation.

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.

Olya Solodovichenko – Atticus Hastings Physiotherapist

The Atticus team is thrilled to welcome Olya to our Hastings clinic. She will be joining Nikki our exercise physiologist and Chloe our podiatrist as part of our allied health team. Together with our GPs and nurses, allied health gives us the opportunity to offer more specialised health assistance to our patients from within the one clinic.
If you have not already had the pleasure of meeting Olya, this is her story:
“It feels like I was born as a physio! I worked for Australian Defence Force (Army and Navy), for acute-care hospitals in Australia and overseas, for private physio- and general practices, primary health care, sports & fitness clubs and even for Disability Sports & Dancing Club!
As a member of Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine, I strongly believe, that we can manage and fix most of our health problems by better choices of our daily living, such as movements, nutrition, sleeping, thoughts and emotional reactions to our circumstances.
Working with my patients as a team, I try to show them the deepest roots and hidden causes of their problems, not only going through and correcting their postural and movement errors, but also their nutrition, sleeping habits, stress levels, worries and fears, and any other things that might contribute to their aches & pains, inflammation or poor healing rates.”
Qualifications: PhD – Sports & Exercise Science; Master of Applied Sciences (Clinical Exercise Science); Master of Physiotherapy Studies; Bachelor of Physical Education & Sport

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.