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.
Did you know that June is Australia’s Bowel Cancer Awareness month? Wednesday 19th June is known as Red Apple Day, in reference to Bowel Cancer Australia’s red apple logo. Australians are encouraged to use this day to support Bowel Cancer Australia’s important work by purchasing and displaying Bowel Cancer Awareness ribbons, and by partaking in apple-themed fundraising activities.
The Bowel Cancer Awareness Month website has great suggestions and guidelines for fundraising activities. Click here for more information.
Who Is Affected?
1 in 13 Australians will have a bowel cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, making it Australia’s second deadliest cancer.
While there are incidences of bowel cancer occurring in younger Australians, the highest risk category is men and women aged over 50. Hereditary factors, such as your parents or grandparents being effected by bowel cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, can also increase your risk.
It has been suggested that smoking, high alcohol intake and high red meat consumption are also factors that can increase your risk of bowel cancer.
What Can You Do?
Bowel Cancer Australia predicts that 15,604 diagnoses of the disease will be made in Australia this year, but the good news is that bowel cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer if detected early.
All Australians ages 50-74 are advised to partake in a non-invasive, at-home screening process, known as a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT). If you are eligible for the FOBT, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program can send you a free test kit to collect the sample in your home, and sent to a pathologist for analysis.
If you are at greater risk for bowel cancer, it is recommended that you discuss the best screening option for yourself with your doctor.
Maintaining a healthy diet, quitting smoking and lowering alcohol intake are all steps you can take to help keep your health at its peak. When you are above the age of 40, it is recommended to get annual medical checks, as a tool to stay on top of your health. If you require assistance with these lifestyle changes, your regular GP is a great point of contact to start the change. Book now to make an appointment.
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.
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.
If you’re looking for something to spice up your fitness routine, now is the perfect time! Take advantage of the Premier’s Active April initiative. Active April is a program that is run every year, by the Victorian Government to promote healthy and active lifestyles.
You can register online, or download the app to your mobile phone. Once you have registered, the program will list all the participating local facilities and events. Participants receive passes to local fitness centres, exclusive invitations to fitness-related events, and a large variety of discounts for entrance to participating businesses, ranging from Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium to Otway Fly Treetop Adventures
If you are a Hastings local, Somerville Health and Fitness Studio is offering a free 10 day Recreation Pass to all Active April participants. This includes swims, group fitness classes and use of the gym. So even if you’re already a visitor to our gym here at the Hastings clinic, you could still take advantage of this deal to diversify your fitness interests. So far, I have used my participation in Active April to add lap swimming back into my fitness regime.
Using the website or app, you can record your activities to monitor your progress – and help achieve that 30 minutes of exercise a day! You can also form teams with your friends and family, if you want to add a competitive edge.
Another perk that has been added this year is the Get Active Workout Program, which provides various instructional videos for home-based workouts, which don’t require any equipment.
So what are you waiting for? Register now for your most active April yet!