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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Why do my knees ache?

Gavin LeSueur - August 23, 2013

Nearly half the adults will develop osteoarthritis by the time they’re 85, and obesity will be the main culprit. You can protect your knees by staying active and strengthening the right muscles—at any age—but take these precautions:

Lighten the load. Simply walking around puts pressure equal to three to five times your body weight onto your knees, and toting around extra pounds makes the burden even worse. Excess weight on your knee joints may accelerate osteoarthritis, the degeneration of the joint, so shed some of those pounds!

Work all the muscles. Strengthening and flexibility exercises can build up muscles to stabilize the knees—but don’t bulk up one group and forget about the others. Most important are the quads (front of thigh), hamstrings (tendons and muscles behind the knee and thigh), and hip abductors and adductors (outer and inner thighs, respectively).

Pick your sports. Rowing, cross-country skiing, and cycling are knee-friendly activities because they are low impact and don’t encourage twisting.

Put it on ice. Don’t ignore a tweak or strain, no matter what sport you take up. This is a simple way to reduce inflammation and pain.

Avoid rotation of hips and knees. Jumping and slowing down from a run—common to many exercises—seem to be particularly bad for the knee’s ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Land with joints aligned so that hips are over knees, knees are over ankles, and ankles are over toes—but with some give to the joints. Young female athletes who play sports like soccer and basketball tend to injure their ACL five to eight times as often as young male athletes.

Beware the up and down. Running in hilly terrain can put particular strain on tendons in the knees. Pay attention to clues that your knees need a rest—or at least a flatter course.

Cross-train. Overuse is the slow and steady way to knee injuries. Opt for a range of varied activities by alternating workouts. If you run, for example, alternate with cycling to use different muscle groups.

Brace yourself. Braces typically don’t prevent injury, but if you’re rehabbing an old injury or are trying to prevent repeated tears or strains, having your doctor fit you for the right brace may be in order.

"Check my Sugar please Doc".

Gavin LeSueur - August 6, 2013

I reckon the number one health issue in Western countries today is elevated blood sugar levels.    Pre-diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, although not high enough to be diabetes. Pre-diabetes has no signs or symptoms and people with pre-diabetes have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular (heart and circulation) disease.

Without lifestyle changes , approximately one in three people with pre-diabetes will develop type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal because the body is unable to produce sufficient insulin, or the insulin it produces is unable to work as effectively in the body (insulin resistance).

Insulin is a hormone that is needed to move glucose from the blood into the cells for energy.. A lack of insulin leads to raised blood glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes is a serious and chronic medical condition that over time can lead to long-term damage of nerves and blood vessels, kidneys, heart, eyes and feet.

Symptoms of pre-diabetes – NONE !

Pre-diabetes has no signs or symptoms. It is important to be aware of the risk factors and have your blood glucose levels checked by a blood test ordered by your doctor if you are at risk.

Risk factors for pre-diabetes

The risk factors for developing pre-diabetes are the same as for type 2 diabetes, and include:

  • A family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Low level of physical activity
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure or abnormal blood fats (or both)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Indigenous Australian or Torres Strait Islander people
  • People from some cultural backgrounds including Middle Eastern, South Asian, Pacific Islander and North African backgrounds
  • Gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Some antipsychotic medications.

During my average consulting day about half of the patients have risk factors for pre-diabetes.  I try and do as many blood sugar finger prick tests as practicable but one of the best ways to determine if YOU have a problem is to ask.

‘Can I have a sugar test please Doc!’



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