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Monday, 21 May 2018 11:48

Ban the Cotton Bud

Ban the Cotton Bud

You will probably never meet a doctor who has a good thing to say about cotton buds. People will stick a range of mind-boggling objects into their ear to remove wax or just give it a good scratch. The humble and innocuous cotton bud causes more trouble than all of them combined.

The skin of the ear canal is thin and delicate and the eardrum is surprisingly not that far away either.  Pushing an ear bud in and rotating it repeatedly because it feels good to scratch that itch can abrade the skin setting up a painful outer ear infection. Put it slightly too far and the eardrum can be damaged and even ruptured.

Tuesday, 08 May 2018 16:06

Introducing Solids to Babies

Introducing Solids to Babies

On average, infants visit their GP 11 times in the first year of their life and a common query is when to introduce solids. There is often conflicting advice given by well-meaning relatives and friends as well as various websites which leads to confused parents.

Babies either born premature, with poor weight gain or special health needs then it is essential to consult a doctor or dietician to assist. 

For most infants it is recommended to commence solids between 4 and 6 months of age. They should however continue to breast feed or use infant formula to the age of 12 months.

Monday, 07 May 2018 14:20

You Found What in Your Scrotum

You found what in your scrotum

So you have found, gulp, a lump in your testicle.

What should you do? Run around the room hyperventilating? Keep it to yourself and hope worry will make it go away? Pretend you never noticed?

Alarming though this maybe to discover, it is rarely a cause for concern. Don’t panic but get it checked out by the doctor and put your mind at rest.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018 15:22

Fever in Your Child

Fever in your child

The vast majority of fevers in children are caused by minor and self-resolving viral illnesses. But, rarely, they can be an indicator of more severe illness. So, when can you relax and let their natural immunity fight off the illness and when do you need to seek medical care?

Thursday, 08 March 2018 09:07

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is very common with studies showing at any one time it is present in 12% to 21% of women of reproductive age. It is important to be aware of this condition as its symptoms vary between women and in up to a third of people the diagnosis is not reached until 2 years after they present to doctors with their symptoms.

Women with PCOS may have irregular periods (usually infrequent) due to irregular ovulation. This in turn can lead to delays in falling pregnant. In addition they may also show signs of high free testosterone levels in their blood with problems such as excessive and male pattern hair growth, acne and scalp hair loss. When pelvic ultrasounds are done they may also demonstrate multiple ovarian cysts, which gives the condition its name. However, each woman may show a different mixture of these symptoms and with different severity.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018 09:05

Anxious Children

Anxious Children

Childhood anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health issues in young people and can often continue in some form into their adult life. There are many helpful psychological strategies they can learn at any age to help manage their anxiety so that it becomes less of an issue. 

A degree of anxiety can be a good thing in all of us by giving motivation to change and adapt to new requirements in the environment. However, if the level of anxiety is not appropriate to the situation or causes a person to avoid doing things that are in their best interest, it can become a problem.

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 09:35

Shield Yourself From The Death Star!

Shield Yourself From The Death Star

Living in Australia, we are very aware of the need to protect ourselves against the harmful effects of the sun, but how does the light actually damage our skin?

Light is made up of visible and invisible components and it is the short wavelength light in the ultra-violet component (UV light) that causes the trouble. In turn this UV light is subdivided into UVA, UVB and UVC depending upon the wavelength. The most powerful of these is UVC, which is filtered out by the earth’s ozone layer and so poses no threat.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 13:44

Why Losing Weight is Hard

Why Losing Weight is Hard

Obesity is the major chronic health problem facing Australia. From it many other medical conditions can arise including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis and many cancers. Included amongst these is the unhappiness and despair it can cause amongst those who are overweight.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 06:08

Don't Die of Embarrassment

Don't Die of Embarrassment

As doctors we have all seen patients who have avoided seeking medical help out of a fear of embarrassment. Rashes in the groin, sexual problems, problems with urination, bowel issues, lumps in unusual places, fears of sexually transmitted diseases, emotional concerns, abuse at the hands of others and many more fall into this category.  

 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 06:08

Why do Local Anaesthetics Sting?

Why Do Local Anaesthetics Sting?

It is one of the great ironies of life that Local Anaesthetics should cause a degree of pain before they start to work to block out further pain. Proving once again in life there is not such thing as a free lunch. But why do they sting when first injected?

Wednesday, 27 December 2017 06:08

The New Age of Contraception

The New Age of Contraception

For many years the oral contraceptive pill was the first choice for women looking for reliable and safe contraception and it remains a good choice for many. It was developed in the 1960s but over the last 10 years or so the appearance of various Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (or LARCS) has begun to replace their position as the best choice for women of all reproductive ages. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and various other professional bodies now recommend LARCs as first line contraception for young women.

 

Monday, 20 November 2017 06:08

Post Natal Depression

Post Natal Depression

All new parents will experience fatigue and extremes of emotion at some point but how can you tell the difference between simple tiredness and Postnatal depression (PND)?

It is common for new mothers to experience the baby blues in the first few weeks after birth. This can be crying and feeling low, but if these symptoms persist after the first month, or occur in the year after birth, this may be postnatal depression. 

Monday, 20 November 2017 06:08

Who's Choosing Your Nursing Home?

Who's Choosing Your Nursing Home

At any stage of your adult life it is important to put in place instructions about your future or your families future. This is even more important as you age or if you have elderly parents. The best know method of doing this is through a Will, which covers your instructions at the time of your death. To die without a Will leaves your loved ones in a difficult position that requires various legal processes to overcome the problem.

Monday, 20 November 2017 06:08

Should I have a Colonoscopy?

Should I have a Colonoscopy?

It depends…

Bowel cancer in Australia is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death. In 2017 it is estimated there is a 1 in 11 chance an individual will be diagnosed with bowel cancer before the age of 85.  A colonoscopy is an important test in detecting bowel cancer but for most people it is not necessarily the first step.

Friday, 03 November 2017 16:20

Stress and your Locus of Control

Stress and your Locus of Control

One of the major factors contributing to psychological distress in our lives is the amount of control we perceive we have over our circumstance and events that occur. Much of what happens in our lives we can’t control: from the traffic on the road through to the loss of a loved one, life is full of uncertainty and unpredictability. There are, of course, many things well within our control such as the lifestyle we pursue and how we treat those around us. 

Monday, 23 October 2017 06:08

Headaches in Children

Headaches in Children

Headaches are one of the more common reasons children visit their GP. This is not surprising given that headaches increase in frequency from affecting around 5% of preschool children and rising to around 70% of adolescents. Understandably when their child is affected by a more severe or prolonged headache, parents fear the worst diagnosis that they can imagine: this usually being a brain tumour or meningitis.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017 06:08

Lifestyle change: What's holding you back?

Lifestyle change: What's holding you back?

In modern societies a lot of ill health and unhappiness is partly or wholly due to poor lifestyle choices we all make. These include our diet, inactivity, alcohol consumption, cigarette use, work-life balance, sleeping habits and many more. As doctors these choices are the most difficult thing to encourage people to change and our success rates are poor. 

Friday, 08 September 2017 13:47

Why Am I So Tired All The Time

One of the more common presentations to General Practitioners are complaints of tiredness without any particular other symptoms to suggest a cause. People will just say they feel tired all the time and don’t know why.

Most often no physical illness can be found and the tiredness is related to work/life balance issues, lifestyle factors such as insufficient sleep, life stresses and sometimes mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Friday, 08 September 2017 06:08

RUOK

RUOK

RUOK is a suicide prevention charity in Australia, reminding people that having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones could save lives.

Staying connected and having meaningful conversations is something we can all do. You don't need to be an expert - just a great mate and a good listener. So, if you notice someone who might be struggling - start a conversation.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 06:08

It's Not All In Your Mind

It's Not All In Your Mind

Through out history, people have tried to explain illness and how it affects the workings of the body. A major philosophical advance came with the work of a French philosopher, Renee Descartes, in the 17th century. He believed that the mind and the body were separated from each other. 

Monday, 31 July 2017 06:08

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic Syndrome

Just under a quarter of all adult Australian could be diagnosed with the Metabolic Syndrome, which increases the risk of premature death by 60% as well as over doubling the risk of cardiovascular disease like heart attacks and strokes as well as tripling the risk of diabetes.

Monday, 17 July 2017 06:08

Childhood Eczema

Childhood Eczema

Childhood eczema is very common and sometimes found in the same child as part of the allergic triad of asthma, eczema and hay fever. Unfortunately it is often under treated in children due to fears about the overuse of steroid creams. This arises from well meaning yet misguided advice given by health professionals as well as friends and family.

Friday, 14 July 2017 06:08

Dr Google

Dr Google

For good or bad, Doctor Google, is a presence in all our lives. People, understandably, wish to be well informed about their health and there is a wealth of good information online.  Unfortunately, Dr Google can also lead you up some strange paths. One minute you just want to know why you are getting migraines and the next some nutter with a website is suggesting Kale enemas as a cure for all your ills! 

Friday, 14 July 2017 06:08

Erectile Dysfunction

Failure to launch

Many men at some stage of their life can have problems with erections. Here we are not talking about the dodgy shed you put up in the back garden, which the Council then makes you take down. No, we are talking about the sensitive subject of impotence, or to be more medically correct, erectile dysfunction.

Friday, 14 July 2017 06:08

Safe Travels

Safe Travels

Before travelling overseas, particularly to less developed countries, it is worth discussing disease prevention measures with your GP. Whether it is a visit for the first time, an old favourite holiday like a regular trip to Bali or you are travelling back to your country of origin to visit relatives: advice on health travel is important.

Friday, 14 July 2017 06:08

Back Pain

Low Back Pain

Lower back pain is very common with up to 85% of people experiencing some form of it at some point in their lives. By far the most common form of this is what doctors term acute mechanical back pain, which can last for up to 6 weeks. 

Tuesday, 16 May 2017 10:36

Good News on Pap Smears

Welcome changes for many women

Pap smears are understandably an unpleasant test for many women and the 2 years in between recalls seems to come around a little too quickly for most. The good news is that from the beginning of December 2017 the interval in between is to be stretched to 5 years with women advised to start having pap smears at age 25 rather than the current 18 years.

Friday, 28 April 2017 10:30

Menopause & Hormone Replacement Therapy

New Evidence for Safety

For many women, the menopause can be a time of great discomfort with hot flushes, irritability, mood changes, sleep disturbance and loss of libido. The good news is that new medical studies and re-evaluation of old research shows that Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is extremely safe and by far the best therapy to alleviate the discomfort of the menopause.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 17:32

Meningococcal Vaccination

Free Meningococcal Vaccines for WA Teenagers

A vaccination to protect against meningococcal strains A, C, W and Y will be offered to 15-19 year olds in an Australian-first, statewide program to start in school Term 2, with the majority of vaccinations planned for Term 3.