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2021 can be the year of health: Tips from our doctors at Inkerman Medical Group

2021 can be the year of health: Are you ready for a change?

By | Clinic News

2020 was a wild year for global health. As all our healthy habits, exercise and self-care regimes went flying off the tracks, 2021 is a great year to commit to new changes.

With the new year already in, it’s a popular time of the year to set some new health resolutions that are realistic and achievable.

Here is a list of simple things for improving all aspects of health and starting an improved quality of life for 2021

1. Get outside and enjoy your neighbourhood

Two women working out in their neighbourhood instead of hitting the gym in 2021

When COVID started to surface in Australia, many indoor facilities such as gyms and community swimming pools were shut. With COVID-19 still around, unpredictability has become almost certain.

So, why not enjoy working out in your local area? When you exercise outside, every day can be a little different. So, you won’t lose your motivation and still enjoy the fresh air outdoors.

Also when we spend time outdoors it is easier to lose track of time. We also tend to exercise longer when you’re working out in a park rather than inside a gym.

More: Read this article on  20 Exercises You Can Do in a Park

2. Go easy on junk food

Go easy on junk food, instead eat healthy and practice portion control

According to a report published by The Georgia Institute of Global Health, Australians are eating ever bigger portions of food-laden in fats, sugar and salt. With the worst offenders that stood out were pizza and cake, they tend to increase about 66% more kilocalories in just one serving.

Junk foods are also high in sodium that can lead to increased headaches as well as high carbs that can trigger acne.

To avoid these negative effects of junk food on your health, make a few simple changes to see the huge difference it makes in your wellbeing. For example, avoid junk foods and/or practise portion control.

More: The best 2021 review on portion control – 8 Best Portion Control Plates for Healthy Diet

3. Book an appointment for an annual health consultation

Just like you wouldn’t let an annual car servicing slip through the cracks, the same goes for your body. It is very important to visit your doctor at least once a year for an annual overall health check-up.

Even if you feel healthy, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor regularly. An annual health consultation can check for current or emerging medical problems as well as assess your risk for any future medical issues.

So, visit a doctor for an annual health check and tick off that one important thing off your to-do list for 2021. 

4. Exercise regularly for your mental health

Inactivity tends to not only increase your risks for chronic health issues but also negatively impacts your mental health.

When you engage in physical exercises your body releases happy hormones called endorphins that help to reduce the perception of pain as well as enhance positive feelings despite injury or stress.

It is highly beneficial to engage in physical activities after a long vacation to snap yourself out of holiday blues. Even working out for as little as 30 minutes can improve your mental wellbeing. 

5. Consider a visit to a doctor for the health issues you have been ignoring

Early warning signs like chest pain shouldn't be ignored

Whether it’s a lump somewhere on your body or an unexplained headache that refuses to go away – start the year with a visit to a doctor to make sure that it isn’t something very serious.

Most medical conditions come with warning signs, and they are there for a reason. When you delay seeking medical treatment, the result can be fatal. For example, delaying to seek cancer treatment even by one month can put you in a 6% to 13% higher risk of dying – a risk that only keeps growing the longer their treatment is delayed.

So, make this year the one you stop ignoring your signs and symptoms !

Start your health year with Inkerman Medical Group

At Inkerman Medical Group, we offer comprehensive health care for people of all ages. Our doctors have a special interest in mental health with the emphasis on treating and preventing illnesses to promote mental wellbeing.

If you would like to consult any of our doctors, book an online appointment or call us at (03) 9527 4355. 

Thrive Magazine Issue 4 for health and wellbeing information

Welcome to the 4th issue of Thrive Magazine

By | Clinic News

Health and Wellbeing Information for you and your family 

With December upon us and a summer of fun ahead, where we can take the opportunity to de-stress and unwind, you’ll find in this issue of Thrive. We bring you content to help you keep in check what normally is an ‘over-indulging’ time, the opportunity to review your finances by mitigating the ‘Laziness Tax’ and when celebrating with friends and family during the festive period and still enjoy yourself with mindful drinking. 

Additionally you’ll be captivated by the yearly Firefighter Calendar and the focus our frontline heroes bring to the support of our Australian Wildlife, for whom this time last year was really tough during the bushfires. 

Click here to read the magazine

Thrive Magazine Issue 4 for health and wellbeing information

Wear your red ribbon for raising awareness about HIV/AIDS this World AIDS Day, Inkerman Medical Group

Wear your Red Ribbon this World AIDS Day: Now more than ever

By | Clinic News

Held on 1st December every year, World AIDS Day is a global event to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS. Every year, World AIDS Day focuses on a specific theme, which this year will be “Now More Than Ever” for Australia.

On this day, people around the world gather together to show their support for people living with HIV and commemorate people who have lost their lives due to this illness.

At Inkerman Medical Group, this year we aim to encourage our communities to educate themselves and others about HIV AIDS, its prevention, testing and the many treatments and care services available for your sexual health.

Let’s learn more about HIV/AIDS. 

What is HIV AIDS and why is it important to know more about it?

HIV is the name of a virus that damages your immune system. Once inside your body, it will start killing the immune cells making it more likely to get diagnosed with other medical conditions including cancers.

The HIV virus is not transmitted by any other medium but bodily fluids such as blood, semen, breast milk and rectal fluids.

The scariest part of this disease is that the virus can insert itself into our DNA, that remains there forever and we still do not have a cure to get rid of it completely.

But the good thing is that there are treatments available to make it easier to live with it. The most crucial thing is to start your treatment as soon as you know your HIV status before it further deteriorates your health. 

HIV/AIDS may not be curable but certainly preventable

Since first reported in the 1980s in the United States, we have come a long way fighting HIV and AIDS. Thanks to awareness campaigns, education and continuous improvement in medications, the rate of HIV infection has been controlled well in Australia.

HIV/AIDS is very preventable. There are many effective ways available to prevent the risk of HIV infection. Speaking with your GP about your sexual health is perhaps the best way to reduce your risk to HIV/AIDS.

Our GP’s at Inkerman Medical Group suggests the following ways to keep your HIV risk at bay: 

1) Use protection every time in the right way

Using protection such as a male condom or a female condom is highly effective in preventing HIV transmission and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.

According to the World Health Organisation, consistent use of protection can reduce your risk by 85% or greater against HIV and other STIs.

Learn more about the right way to use protection, click here.

2) Reduce your risk through PrEP

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a widely used daily HIV medication taken by HIV-negative individuals to prevent the risk of being HIV-positive. This medicine is used to form a biological barrier, preventing the HIV virus from entering your body.

When taken the right way, PrEP is very effective in preventing the risks of HIV transmission and it is appropriate for anyone to use it. However, it is best to consult a sexual health doctor if you’re considering PrEP.

3) Get tested for STDs regularly

If you’re a sexually active person, regular testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is pivotal for your sound sexual health.

Our Inkerman Medical Group doctors recommend all adolescents between the age of 16 and 64 to get tested at least once every year.

All pregnant women are also advised to get tested for syphilis, HIV and Hepatitis B when early in their pregnancy.

4) Never share needles or other injecting equipment

Always use clean, sterilised and new needles when an injection is required. The risk of both getting and transmitting HIV through shared needles is extremely high.

Injecting equipment including needles and syringes can contain blood and blood can carry the HIV virus.

Sharing these injecting equipment is also considered the second riskiest behaviour for getting infected with HIV after unprotected sex. 

You can have HIV and still not know about it 

Knowing your HIV status is beneficial to make decision for HIV medication and treatment, Inkerman Medical GroupMany individuals can have HIV and still not be aware of it simply because they won’t notice any symptoms at all.

There are some initial symptoms like fever, headache, muscle and joint pain within the first few weeks, but they are often overlooked for seasonal flu and other common diseases.

The only way to get to know your status is through a test.

How soon can a test determine the virus after the first exposure to it?

After a possible infection, there are still no tests available that can determine the virus immediately.

If you think you have been exposed to the virus, it is best to consult a doctor for a test within 72 hrs.

Every individual might have a different window period between the first exposure to the virus and when a test can tell for sure if you have the infection. Your doctors are the best to consult about your window period and what test would suit you.

It is also necessary to get a follow-up test after your window period is over for a confirmed HIV status.

Consult our Inkerman Medical Group doctors for your sexual health

This World AIDS Day, consult your GP for sexual health for you and your partnerWe understand that discussing your sexual health might be an uncomfortable thing to do with your care providers.

Talking honestly about your sexual health goes beyond preventing the risks for HIV and other STIs. You may even learn more about a possible diagnosis of an underlying condition related to your sexual health.

Your conversation with our doctors will be very confidential and they are highly experienced in answering any questions on sexual health, safe practices, prevention and treatment for HIV and AIDS.

Our doctors will ensure that you and your partner are aware of the risks to HIV and will check on your mental health as well as the use of harmful substances.

If you would like to consult our doctors, you can book an online appointment or call us at (03) 9527 4355 for further discussion. 

Thrive Magazine - Issue 3 displaying closed front cover and feature story

Welcome to Thrive Magazine Issue 3

By | Clinic News

Welcome to Issue 3 of Thrive Magazine!

Health and Wellbeing Information for you and your family.

Welcome to the third issue of Thrive magazine.

Thank you to all of you who gave us such excellent feedback and valued suggestions for the topics and updates you would like to see more of in future issues.

It is a great pleasure researching for you every month, as we consult with health and wellbeing leaders to bring you diverse and comprehensive mind, body, lifestyle and relationships content to help and inspire in these ultra-challenging times.

As October was Mental Health Month, we have a wealth of content to help ease stress, keep perspective and motivate you to enjoy life to the fullest while embracing the challenges life serves up on our daily plate.

Thrive Magazine - Issue 3 displaying closed front cover and feature story
Use of a finger prick device during diabetes screening, diabetes screening Melbourne, Inkerman Medical Group

Raising awareness this World Diabetes Day: Your regular diabetes screening can make the difference

By | Clinic News

Every year in the month of November, people across the world come together to celebrate World Diabetes Day.

Marked in the honour of Sir Frederick Banting who discovered insulin along with Charles Best, this global campaign aims to raise community awareness about its prevalence, and educate people on the risk, signs and symptoms associated with diabetes and how early detection can save someone’s life.

Led by the International Diabetes Federation, World Diabetes Day has a special theme every year. While last year’s theme was “Family and Diabetes”, this year the focus is on nurses, “The Nurse and Diabetes”. 

What is World Diabetes Day and why awareness is important? 

From its humble beginnings in 2006, World Diabetes Day has become a globally-celebrated event to raise awareness for a disease that is estimated to affect millions across the globe.

With millions affected by diabetes in Australia and throughout the world, knowing more about this silent-killer has become more important than ever before. Diabetes Australia describes it as the epidemic of the 21st century and is one of the biggest challenges that confront the Australian healthcare system.

They also estimate that about 1.7 million Australians are currently living with the condition, with over 500,000 of them not knowing if they have it.

Since diabetes is a chronic health issue and is a major cause for blindness, heart attacks, kidney failure and many other health complications, spreading awareness can be the most effective way to reduce its risk, delay its onset and perhaps prevent diabetes.

Recognise your prediabetes and diabetes 

Early diagnosis of both prediabetes and diabetes is the key to managing the disease as early as possible and potentially delaying or preventing further health complications.

Type 1 diabetes is usually detected sooner when compared to Type 2, as the symptoms are substantial and easier to recognise.

In contrast, Type 2 diabetes has a very gradual growth and sometimes takes many years to notice. This makes Type 2 diabetes complicated as you might only know if you have diabetes after undergoing a diabetes screening test. 

Recognising the signs and symptoms of diabetes

Recognise the signs and symptoms of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes through a GP in Inkerman Medical GroupBoth types of diabetes may present similar symptoms which is why seeking immediate medical help from a GP like Inkerman Medical Group is crucial for your diabetes health.

Signs and Symptoms of Type 1 diabetes 

  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight-loss
  • Feeling lethargic and low energy levels
  • Blurred vision
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Leg cramps
  • Having cuts that heal slowly

Signs and symptoms of Type 2 diabetes

  • Putting on weight
  • Itches and skin infections
  • Being excessively thirsty
  • Low energy level
  • Feeling hungry most times
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness and headaches 

Apart from being aware of the symptoms, the other important aspect of diabetes awareness is knowing who might be at risk. 

Who should be screened for diabetes? 

Anyone 45 or older than 45: Since the risk of diabetes also grows with age, it is advised to undergo a glucose test for anyone 45 years old or above. If your results are fine, consult your doctors on how often a diabetes screening is best for you.

Patients with prediabetes: Anyone with early diagnosed prediabetes are recommended to undergo a screening test once every year.

Women with gestational diabetes: Women who have been previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes or who gave birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds should consider undergoing a diabetes screening once every year.

Patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) and with a medical history of heart disease should undertake regular diabetes screening.

Family history of diabetes: Anyone with a first-degree family member who is diagnosed with diabetes is at a higher risk than others of also being diagnosed with diabetes.

People with a sedentary lifestyle, less physical activities and abnormal cholesterol levels should seek advice from GPs on how often they should do a diabetes screening test. 

The role of a GP in your diabetes care

Asking a GP about your risk for higher glucose level can help prevent the risks for diabetes

A GP is well-trained and experienced in providing patients with information on self-management techniques and assisting patients through education, motivation and skills development to manage their diabetic condition.

They will help you learn all the ways in your day-to-day life to help control the disease such as exercise, nutrition and diet, medication and medical interventions.

Our team of doctors have extensive experience in helping our Melbourne patients in diagnosing, managing and preventing prediabetes and diabetes across all age groups.

To consult our doctors, please make an online appointment or call us at (03) 9527 4355 for further discussions. 

 

Dementia is a progressive condition with age, recognising early warning signs is important mitigation, Dementia Doctor Melbourne

Understanding Dementia: Recognise your early signs and seek help from doctors

By | Clinic News

What is Dementia?

Dementia can be defined as a group of symptoms caused due to the loss or damage to the nerve cells that form the brain. It affects a person’s cognitive abilities and impacts a person’s ability to carry out their everyday tasks.

According to Dementia Australia, dementia is an umbrella term to define a number of neurological conditions of which memory loss is the most common symptom.

A person with dementia shows a variety of other symptoms including disorientation, mood swings, displacing things and changes in personality leading to a progressive cognitive decline.

If you notice any warning signs in yourself or identify anyone in your family and friends, it is best to seek medical help and talk with your doctors.

Importance of early diagnosis of dementia

Early signs of dementia are mostly vague and they even greatly vary from patient to patient. Perhaps one of the most usual signs is facing problems with remembering recent events.

Therefore, early diagnosis and access to critical medical services can help people take control of their condition. Apart from providing early treatment alternatives, it can help identify other medical conditions with dementia-like symptoms.

Being able to identify the early signs of dementia helps you prepare for the future. It gives you the time to explore a variety of drug and non-drug treatments available and access relevant resources and support from doctors and specialists.

Recognise the early warning signs of Dementia

Confusion and disorientation can be warning signs for Dementia, Dementia doctors MelbourneOne of the easiest ways to recognise dementia is if your memory loss starts to impact you in your everyday life. You may find it almost very difficult to recollect recent events and activities that gradually increase as you age. This could be a warning sign and medical intervention is very important.

However, early memory loss with dementia should also not be mistaken with aging. Failure to recognise the early signs of dementia could lead to people not being diagnosed with dementia for many years. Hence a doctor’s intervention is a must to diagnose dementia.

Apart from the most common symptom of memory loss, the other common early symptoms that a person might experience includes:

  • Not being able to remember or facing difficulty in remembering recent events and activities
  • Increased confusion
  • Changes in behaviour, personality and judgments
  • Decreased concentration at work
  • Loss of ability to perform everyday tasks
  • Facing problem in communicating like trouble in finding the right words or using words that might not fit well in a sentence or in context
  • Difficulty in abstract thinking like finding difficulty in counting, managing finances
  • Poor cognitive and spatial abilities like difficulty in judging speed, distance and direction while driving
  • Mood swings including sudden confusion, feeling remorseful, withdrawn and suspicious at times.

The 4 common types of Dementia in Australia

1. Alzheimer’s Diseases

This is the most common type of Dementia in Australia accounting for almost 70% of all Dementia diagnoses in Australia. Although it starts with a sudden short term memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition, with its progression rate varying from person to person.

People with Alzheimer’s disease find it difficult with thinking and reasoning. They may also have little or no orientation at times. The biggest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease is increasing age, with about 3 in every 10 people over 85 having dementia worldwide.

2. Vascular Dementia

This type of Dementia which is also sometimes called “Post-Stroke Dementia” is caused due to brain damage as a result of cardiovascular problems and strokes.

This is also one of the easiest types of Dementia to recognise due to the drastic changes in a person’s behavior almost immediately seen after a stroke. Vascular Dementia mostly impacts your cognitive abilities which is due to the result of damage in the brain.

The progress of Vascular Dementia is shown to be slowed or even prevented by the use of drug-based treatment.

3. Lewy-Body Dementia

Lewy Body Dementia is more or like a combination of Alzheimer’s Diseases and Parkinson’ Syndrome. Often misdiagnosed, this is the second most common type of Dementia, that can be identified by the early signs of visual hallucinations.

A patient with LBD also experiences declined cognitive skills, problems with sleeping followed by times of confusion and extremely sensitive to psychotic medications that can be fatal.

4. Fronto- Temporal Dementia

As the name suggests, this type of Dementia is caused due to damage in the Frontal and Temporal lobes of the brain leading to people experiencing issues with language and adverse changes in their personality.

People with FTD are usually withdrawn to themselves and as the condition progresses, they lose their emotional side and show little to no emotions and needs to others around them.

Diagnosing Dementia at Inkerman Medical Group

Local Melbourne GP like Inkerman Medical Group provides comprehensive dementia screenings, Dementia doctor Melbourne

The best place to start your Dementia diagnosis is by talking with your local GP. A GP will conduct many tests and assessments to achieve a more definitive diagnosis.

At Inkerman Medical, our GPs have a special interest in diagnosing dementia.

What to expect at Inkerman Medical Group Dementia Assessment

  • A thorough medical examination and psychological assessment will be conducted by our GP to identify the type of dementia. This is done in regards to ensuring the presence of dementia in a patient and if the correct treatment is done.
  • A detailed medical history of your family is studied as part of the assessment to identify if anyone in your family had been diagnosed with dementia before.
  • An assessment of your mental health is also conducted followed by biopsies including blood- test, glucose tests, urine tests.
  • Further referrals to memory specialists, neurologists or psychiatrists are provided if necessary.

If you have any concerns, discuss with our doctors by making an online appointment or call us at (03) 9527 4355 for further information on Dementia Assessments.

Telehealth and Phone services by Inkerman Medical Group, Doctors in Southeast Melbourne

Changes to MBS Phone/Telehealth Bulk-Billing Services

By | Clinic News

Dear patients!

Inkerman Medical Group has been on the front line in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis providing the best possible care to our patients. We would like to continue providing the much-needed support to our patients and would like to advise you of the changes to the Medicare Benefits Scheme in regards to billing of appointments.

As of 1 October 2020, the following changes will come into effect:

We will return to our previous pricing structure for consultations, the same fee will apply whether a doctor sees you in person or provides a telehealth consultation. Reception staff will call you later in the day to process the payment and facilitate the Medicare rebate claiming process.

Charges for in person / telehealth consultation are as follows:

  • Standard appointment (up to 15 mins) – $82 (Medicare rebate $38.75)
  • Long appointment (up to 30 mins) – $140 (Medicare rebate $75.05)

Additional charges apply on weekends.

These changes will allow our doctors to see you in a safe and convenient way.

Reception is always happy to assist you in booking and organising payment for your phone/telehealth appointment, however, please note that reception cannot ask the doctor if your appointment will be bulk-billed.

Thank you for your understanding!

Thrive Magazine Issue 2 with health and wellbeing information for family health, Doctors in Inkerkman Street

Thrive Magazine #2

By | Clinic News

Welcome to Issue 2 of Thrive Magazine!

Health and Wellbeing Information for you and your family.

Welcome to the second issue of Thrive magazine. We’re delighted by the feedback we’ve had to our launch edition last month; how much you appreciated the diverse, comprehensive health and wellness information designed to help navigate these ultra-challenging COVID-19 days. As well as entertaining and inspiring you, of course!

Click the button below to read the 2nd issue. Featuring Sally Obermeder as our cover story.

Thrive Magazine #1

By | Clinic News

Welcome to Thrive Magazine!

Health and Wellbeing Information for you and your family

Every month Thrive will deliver fresh information to guide and inform you on issues and challenges similar for all of us. Such as keeping our immune systems strong, our fitness and mobility healthy, our minds and emotions calm and focussed, and our friendships and relationships nurtured.

In this issue read about Sam Wood on tips for Dad-time in lockdown, hear Olivia Newton-John talk about her recent safe skincare launch, learn why now really is the time to learn to meditate, get some financial advice for challenging times, and much more…

Click here to read the magazine!