Good Health Blog

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Weight for height?

Gavin LeSueur - June 20, 2019

Do you know your ideal weight for your height? What is the normal range? Good health is many things and the focus on weight is only one parameter. I tell my overweight patients that I would prefer them fat, fit and happy than unfit, smoking and thin. Life is a balance. Good health is a balance. An obsession with weight as a primary measure of health is misguided. Still, it is nice to know what is recommended. The reports give a link to weight/height details. Good health and preventative health go hand in hand.

HIV screening for everyone!

Gavin LeSueur - June 17, 2019

The US Preventative services task force has released a new recommendation about screening for HIV infection.

“Screening for HIV is important so that everyone knows their HIV status, and those with HIV can begin treatment right away,” says Task Force member John Epling, M.D., M.S.Ed. “Today’s treatments help people live long, healthy lives and lower the risk of passing HIV to others.”

That’s it in a nutshell.  If you have ever had sex or used intravenous drugs then you should know your HIV status. There are ‘at risk’ groups but the recommendation is for everyone to know their HIV status.  This is because over half the new transmission cases are by people who did not know they were HIV positive.

Cholesterol, smoking and high blood pressure

Gavin LeSueur - June 11, 2019

These are the big three for the development of heart and vascular disease. Although each is not a disease, they are the risk factors for the development of diseases. Heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems, aortic aneurysms and gangrene are all caused by these problems. The big surprise though is that none of them cause any warning signs for many years. High cholesterol could be an inherited problem – the youngest person I have started on cholesterol lowering medication was 13 years old. His father died suddenly from a heart attack at 42 years of age. If you smoke then you can do so for probably 20 years before noticing the health changes. But you cannot reverse these changes and the problems accelerate with age. High Blood pressure needs to be extremely high to cause headaches. Usually it causes no symptoms until you one day have your Doctor check it. By then it could have been high for many years damaging vital organs slowly. If you smoke or have a family history of high blood pressure, heart problems or high cholesterol then subscribe to the Comprehensive level to find out when and what you should be doing.

Don’t clown around Doc

Gavin LeSueur - May 16, 2019

Usually when a patient comes in and says ‘I’ve just come in for a check up” there is a reason. A relative has been diagnosed with Melanoma or breast cancer, they have noticed breathlessness on walking up a hill or have had trouble passing urine – to list some of the underlying concerns, not initially mentioned, that patients often have.
As a result they usually do not have a ‘check up’ but an investigation of what is concerning them. A patient said to me the other day that it should be called the ‘illness industry’ not the ‘health industry’. After a bit of thought I had to agree because the way Medicine generally works is based on the reason for presentation. After all, Doctors do not go into the streets and tout for well people to come and see them.

But we might be better off, as a community, in doing this. Come to me when you are well and I will aim to keep you that way. I cannot stop all illness but there are recommendations, investigations and examinations that can minimize illness risk, maximize health and detect problems before they are life threatening. eDoc.net will give you an exercise prescription tailored to your age, sex and health. We have health recommendations as well as illness screens.

So I really probably should go into the streets and tout for the well patients to come and see me. I truly want it to be a health industry.

New Years resolutions

Gavin LeSueur - January 10, 2019

The New Year is traditionally a time to initiate change. Weight loss, giving up smoking and starting an exercise regime are three common resolutions. With each year we all get a year older. I tell my patients to never complain about getting old. The alternative is worse (not getting old…). Preventative health is all about maximising longevity and quality of life. New years resolutions are also usually aimed at improving ourselves personally. Take this opportunity to make change, but more importantly make it last the whole year. From all of us here at edoc.net we hope you are having a safe and enjoyable festive season and wish you all the very best of health in 2019. Check out the free and anonymous preventative health screen now!

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An eDoc gift

Gavin LeSueur - December 22, 2018

As we approach the festive season eDoc.net will continue to provide comprehensive advice about what is recommended that you do in each year of your life for preventative health. If you would like to give the gift of good health advice to a family member or friend then simply send them a link to www.edoc.net.  You might save a life and prompt a loved one to take control of their health. And the cost is nothing. Free! Anonymous!
As the Christmas and festive season parties begin remember:
“Eat well, drink in moderation, and sleep sound, in these three good health abound’

Stay safe.  Preventative health is a life guard.  Merry Christmas and have an enjoyable festive season

 

A weighty graph. BMI and life expectancy

Gavin LeSueur - December 19, 2018

I posted this graph six years ago and have since used it 100’s of times to illustrate a pretty mind boggling fact. Bypassing all the problems obesity causes, this graph gets to the one big fact. It puts in a simple way the personal cost of carrying to much weight on your life expectancy. There is a reason when a patient comes in for a checkup that I first do their height and weight. The simple calculation of Basal Metabolic Index (BMI), while it is far from a perfect measure, is a good starting pointer to many potential health issues – hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis etc. Attention 30 year olds – if your BMI is over 45 you will lose 21 years of life.

Ho Ho Ho – oh no….

Gavin LeSueur - November 15, 2018

I thought I would get this post in early – as the office Christmas parties often kick off in November.  Christmas comes with it’s own health risks so a bit of foresight is forewarned!

Emergency rooms and after hours clinics are often busy during this period. Try not to become a statistic…

The reasons are usually one of the following!

– Overeating. Eating too much, too fast can cause indigestion or diarrhea. It can also trigger heart and blood problems.

– Overdrinking. Too much alcohol can stress your liver. It also makes you lose control over your actions and speech, causing you to harm others physically (or emotionally). Accidents caused by drunk driving are common around the Christmas holidays

– Food poisoning. This happens a lot because platters are usually left exposed on the table until the next day. Remember to refrigerate!

– Negligence. We tend to let our guards down during the holidays because we’re too busy and stressed out. We overlook important details like giving maintenance meds to elders or keeping away knives and scissors from kids.

Christmas is something to value and enjoy with your loved ones. So don’t let health troubles get in your way. Have a healthy Christmas!

One Can. Thirty Eight Teaspoons…

Gavin LeSueur - November 11, 2018

Drinking just one 360ml (12 ounce) sugar-sweetened soft drink a day can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 22 percent, a European study contends.

As an exercise in understanding the amount of refined sugar content in soft drink I decided to measure out the amount of sugar that is listed on the side the commonest soft drink sold world wide. With my children observing and using an accurate digital kitchen scale, my ten year old son started counting the teaspoons. Even allowing for the inaccuracy of the spoon size everyone was astonished. At thirty eight teaspoons he had measured the sugar in one can of soft drink.

I suggest every family does this exercise. The impact on my children was significant.

The increased risk of developing diabetes associated with having one sugar-sweetened soft drink a day fell to 18 percent when the investigators took into account people’s total calorie intake and body-mass index (BMI), a measurement of body fat based on height and weight.

Both total calorie intake and BMI are believed to play a role in the link between sugar-sweetened soft drinks and diabetes risk. The fact that diabetes risk fell only slightly when these two factors were taken into account could indicate that the effect of sugar-sweetened soft drinks on diabetes goes beyond their impact on body weight.

The findings are published in the April 24 issue of the journal Diabetologia.

The study found an association between consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and heightened risk of type 2 diabetes. It did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Consumption of pure or diluted fruit juice was not significantly associated with diabetes risk, according to the report.

The 22 percent increased risk of diabetes among Europeans who drink sugar-sweetened soft drinks is similar to previous research showing that North Americans who consume these types of beverages have a 25 percent increased risk of diabetes, the researchers said in a journal news release.

Intimate Partner Violence

Gavin LeSueur - October 25, 2018

Preventative health screening is not always about a blood test or a look at your skin. Sometimes your ‘check up’ might include questions about psychological health, memory or issues about habits.  Approximately 27% of women and 11% of men in the U.S. have experienced contact sexual violence, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner and reported at least one measured impact related to these or other forms of violence in that relationship. In general, victims of repeated violence over time experience more serious consequences than victims of one-time incidents.  A recent recommendation from the US Preventative Services Task Force is that Doctors be aware of the problem and ask all women of child bearing age about intimate partner violence.  The recommendation was made because the outcomes from discovering an issue lead to support and a positive outcome.  If you are experiencing intimate partner violence there is help available. Talk in confidence with your Doctor.

 

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