85-90% of all people with diabetes have type 2. While it usually affects older adults, more and more younger people, even children, are getting type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes some insulin but it is not produced in the amount your body needs and it does not work effectively. Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although there is a strong genetic predisposition, the risk is greatly increased when associated with lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist. Your doctor can help you manage all of this. Many people have diabetes without even knowing it. Around 898,000 Australians (4% of the population) had diabetes in 2007-08. This rate had risen from 1.5% in 1989. For more info go to; www.diabetesaustralia.com.au
– Asthma is a long-term respiratory condition caused by hypersensitivity and inflammation of the airways. Symptoms include a cough, wheezing, chest tightness and breathlessness, and can vary in severity from person to person.
When asthma symptoms get significantly worse, it is known as an ‘asthma attack’. Call triple zero (000) to seek immediate help if you or someone else has severe symptoms of asthma.
Your doctor can normally diagnose asthma by asking you questions and doing tests. They will want to know when and how often symptoms happen, and if you have noticed anything that might trigger them.
When asthma symptoms get significantly worse, this is known as an “asthma attack”. A severe asthma attack usually develops slowly, taking 6 to 48 hours to become serious. However, for some people, asthma symptoms can get worse quickly.
For more info go to; www.asthmaaustralia.org.au for more information on asthma, or call Asthma Assist on 1800ASTHMA (1800 278468).
ALLERGIES Irritated skin can be caused by a variety of factors. These include immune system disorders, medications and infections. When an allergen is responsible for triggering an immune system response, then it is an allergic skin condition. See you Doctor for more information.
A trigger is anything that irritates the airways and brings on the symptoms of asthma. These differ from person to person, and people with asthma may have several triggers. Common triggers include house dust mites, animal fur, pollen, tobacco smoke, exercise, cold air and chest infections.
Your doctor will also want to know if you have been taking any medicines, what your occupation is, whether you smoke or are exposed to passive smoking, as well as details about your work and home environment.
Arthritis affects people in different ways but the most common symptoms are:
- stiffness or reduced movement of a joint
- swelling in a joint
- redness and warmth in a joint
- general symptoms, such as tiredness, weight loss or feeling unwell.
See you Doctor for guidance on management of the condition.
For more info go to; www.arthritisnsw.org.au
You might be interested in taking a look at some quick information about the health dangers of smoking. Did you know…?
- Smoking kills half of all people who continue to smoke
- At least one in four of those people die between the ages of 35-69.
- A smoker who does not quit loses on average 10 years of their life.
- Smoking is responsible for about 85% of lung cancers.
- Smokers are 20 times more likely to develop lung cancer.
- Smoking increases the risk of heart attack 2-6 times.
- Smokers are 1.5 to 2 times more likely to have a stroke.
- Smokers on average are more stressed than non-smokers.
- Smoking causes premature skin ageing.
- Smokers are more likely to lose their teeth.
- There are many more consequences if you continue to smoke.
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT QUITING
Wounds can heal by a traditional method of healing where the wound is allowed to dry out or by moist wound healing which uses wound fluid to assist healing. It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional when trying to heal wounds.
TRAVEL HEALTH ADVICE
The excitement, the challenge and the novelty involved in tackling a holiday makes the experience irresistible. But with that experience may also come some health risks. For peace of mind see your Doctor to assist you and to avoid or minimize health risks. We can give you advice on immunisations, give you malaria advice and advice on strategies to prevent insect-borne disease.
Spirometry is used to measure the volume of air that is inhaled and exhaled from the lungs. This test is particularly helpful in the diagnosis of asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), pulmonary fibrosis and other lung conditions. The test is non invasive and takes about 25 minutes.
ECG (electrocardiograph) measures and records the electrical activity of the heart. With each heartbeat,the heart emits a series of electrical discharge spikes that can be recorded using electrodes on the surface of the body. The shape and pattern of the spikes can assist in diagnosing a wide range of heart problems such as; muscle defect; enlargement of the heart; congenital defects; heart valve disease; arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms); tachycardia or bradycardia (heart rate too fast or too slow); ectopic heartbeat; coronary artery disease; inflammation of the heart (myocarditis); inflammation around the heart (pericarditis); changes in the amount of electrolytes (chemicals in the blood); and myocardial infarction (heart attack), past or present.
ABI DOPPLER(ankle brachial index) is an efficient tool for objectively documenting the presence of lower-extremity peripheral arterial disease(PAD. It is a simple, reproducible, and cost-effective assessment that can be used to detect lower-extremity arterial stenosis in the primary care setting, as well as to identify patients at increased risk for lower-extremity arterial injury after penetrating or blunt trauma.
Snoring occurs when the muscles of the airway relax too much during sleep and vibrate (creating noise) when air we breathe passes in and out. Most people will snore at some time, however loud or chronic snoring can disrupt sleep-quality and disturb others. Particularly when loud, it is often associated with other sleep-related breathing disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wm-TZ-dO_rQ – SEE YOUR DOCTOR FOR FURTHER INFO
Pain can be very difficult to manage and can cause distress in patients. Pain is a very common condition. Around one third of Australians are in pain, with one in five reporting that their pain is constant. The occurrence of pain rises as people get older, and women are more likely to be in pain than men. Pain management strategies include pain-relieving medications, physical or occupational therapy, and complementary therapies (such as acupuncture and massage).
See your doctor for assistance in understanding and coping with your pain.
Two yearly pap-smears are the best form of early detection for cervical cancer. About 734 Australian women, or about seven women in every 100,000, are newly diagnosed with cervical cancer each year. Cervical cancer accounts for approximately 1.7 per cent of all cancers in Australian women.
Since the introduction of the National Cervical Screening Program in 1991, the number of new cases of cervical cancer for women of all ages almost halved to the year 2005, and mortality also halved from 1991 to 2006.
Regular breast checks are a very important tool for early detection of breast cancer. Ask your doctor to show you how to do a thorough breast check yourself each month. If you are 40 years or older you are entitled to a free mammogram every 2 years at BreastScreen Australia. Call 13 20 50 to arrange an appointment at your nearest BreastScreen facility.
If you find a lump in your breast or are worried about an abnormality you should contact your doctor immediately.
Between 1994 and 2010, the age-standardised mortality rate for breast cancer in women decreased by 30 per cent (from 30.8 deaths per 100,000 women in 1994 to 21.6 deaths per 100,000 women in 2010).
CHILD IMMUNISATION is a simple, safe and effective way of protecting your family against harmful diseases that can cause serious health problems and sometimes death. Immunisation will help you stay healthy. If you are unsure where you are up to or you have missed a vaccination, it’s easy to catch up—just ask your doctor. There are recommended guidelines published by www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/medicare/australian-childhood-immunisation-register/your-childs-immunisation-schedule
ELDERLY HEALTH ASSESSMENTS
Help, support and care are available to older people through community care organisations, hospitals and residential facilities. Many community care groups provide in-home care.In cases where in-home care is not possible, alternatives are available.
Your doctor can provide information and arrange services.
AGED CARE ASSESSMENT
Aged Care Assessment Teams determine the best care options including rehabilitation, community care or residential care (including nursing homes).
You will need an ACAT assessment and approval if you have complex aged care needs and want to:
- access aged care services through any level of Home Care Package
- receive services through transition care
- receive respite care in an aged care home (sometimes known as nursing home)
- move into an aged care home.