Category: Mens Health

Southbank Medical Centre

Covid-19 Vaccination FAQ’s

Covid Vaccination

Covid VaccinationCan I choose which vaccine I get?

No, due to supply and logistic issues, the Pfizer vaccine will only be available to those in the highest priority group in stage 1a of the rollout.

How many doses of vaccine will be required?

Two doses. The Pfizer vaccine requires a spacing of three weeks between doses and twelve weeks for the Astra Zeneca vaccine.

Will the Covid-19 vaccine be effective on new virus variants?

While there is some evidence that the current vaccines may be less effective in preventing infection by mutant variants, they are still likely to prevent you from getting seriously sick.

How long will immunity from the Covid-19 vaccines last?

This is still unclear as the clinical trials are still ongoing and we are still at an early stage of mass vaccination. We will have more information as world vaccination programs progress.

What if I’m pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy?

COVID-19 vaccines are not routinely recommended in pregnancy, because pregnant women have not been included in clinical trials. However, some pregnant women may still choose to be vaccinated after considering the benefits and risks of vaccination.

Women who are breastfeeding can have a COVID-19 vaccine, and they don’t need to stop breastfeeding after vaccination. Women who are planning pregnancy can have a COVID-19 vaccine, and they don’t need to avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.

What are the likely side effects of the vaccination?

All vaccines can cause side effects which are usually mild and short lived. The Pfizer and Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccines may have minor side effects such as pain at the injection site, fever, muscle aches and headache.

Can children receive the Covid-19 vaccination?

No. As children were not included in the clinical trials, children under the age of 16 cannot have the Pfizer vaccine and those under 18 cannot have the Astra Zeneca vaccine.

Can I get the flu vaccine at the same time as the Covid-19 vaccination?

No, it is recommended these vaccines should be given at least 14 days apart.

If I have already had the Covid-19 infection, do I need to have the Covid-19 vaccination?

Yes, it is still recommended that you should still be vaccinated.

If you would like to discuss any issues about having the Covid-19 vaccination, please book an appointment with one of our doctors at Southgate Medical: https://southgatemedical.com.au/about/book-now/

For further information regarding Covid-19 vaccination visit: https://www.ncirs.org.au/

Covid-19 Vaccination At Southgate Medical

Low Testosterone in Men

Low Testosterone in Men

 

| Low Testosterone in MenLow testosterone, also known as testosterone deficiency or Hypogonadism, is a condition often overlooked in men but one that can significantly impact on a man’s life both physically and mentally.

What Is It?

Hormones are produced in certain glands in the body and give signals to other organs about such functions as cell growth, metabolism and reproduction. Testosterone, the male sex hormone, is produced in the testicles and has an effect on body growth, the development of male sexual characteristics and sperm production. The medical condition of low testosterone occurs when the body isn’t able to make enough testosterone.

 

Why Does It Happen?

Low testosterone can be a result of a range of causes, including problems with the  testicles, genetic disorders (such as Klinefelter syndrome) or problems with hormone production in the brain. As testosterone is a necessary key for sexual maturity, bone and muscle growth, and general mood, low testosterone levels may lead to significant symptoms. 

What Are The Symptoms? | Low Testosterone in Men

These symptoms will present differently, dependant on the period of development:

Early Childhood

Early teenage years 

  • Late or failed puberty
  • Small testes and penis
  • Poor facial, body or pubic hair development
  • Poor muscle development
  • Underdeveloped larynx resulted in an un-deepened voice
  • Breast development (otherwise known as Gynecomastia)
  • Short height or poor height growth

Adulthood | Low Testosterone in Men

  • Mood swings
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor stamina
  • Reduced muscle strength
  • Increased body fat
  • Poor libido
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Low semen volume
  • Hot flushes
  • Osteoporosis

Testosterone deficiency may often be overlooked as a cause for many of the above adult symptoms. If you are concerned about any of these symptoms, please consult your doctor at Southgate Medical.

If Testosterone deficiency is diagnosed, it can be  treated with testosterone hormone replacement therapy. Testosterone therapy usually continues for life and will need to be reviewed regularly by your doctor.

Southgate Medical Centre
Men’s Health

Migraine Headache

migraine headache

migraine headacheFor many people, migraine is used as a term to describe severe headache. However, true migraine is a neurological disorder that can be very distressing and disabling. 

Over three million Australians suffer from migraines, with women three times more likely to suffer from migraines than men. Typically, migraines are a throbbing or pulsating headache localised to one side of the head and may start with a visual disturbance. Increased sensitivity to light and sound, as well as nausea and vomiting, are also common symptoms of migraines. Migraines can last for up to 4 to 72 hours. 

The cause of migraines is unknown. In some cases, migraines have been shown to be triggered by certain foods (cheese, chocolate and alcohol), stress, menstruation, and weather changes. Hormonal levels are also believed to play a large role in causing migraines.

While there is no known cure for migraines medications for treatment and prevention are available. The trigger factors for migraines differ from person to person and can include a combination of causes. 

  • Medications This may include drugs known as Triptans which may relieve symptoms or modify the severity of the attack.

If the migraine headaches are occurring frequently, a variety of medications are also available that may prevent these episodes or reduce their frequency

  • Avoiding triggers –  for example, avoiding foods which have previously triggered the Migraine
  • Alternative Therapies – acupuncture, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, yoga and certain diets have also been shown to help

Resting in a dark quiet room is also shown to help alleviate the worse effects of a migraine. 

Your doctor can provide advice should you suspect to be suffering from migraines. Studies show that up to 50% of migraine sufferers have not been diagnosed, so it is important to consult your doctor in order to receive proper treatment. Keeping a diary to track your migraines can also help in understanding when they happen and what your specific triggers are.

Southgate Medical Centre
Migraine Headache
Medical Services Melbourne

Blood in Semen?

Doctor Melbourne

blood in semen

Any male can experience blood in their semen. Known as haematospermia, it can occur at any time after puberty and it is most common between the ages of 30 to 40. During orgasm, sperm and fluid travel through the urethra from the testicles and out the tip of the penis. Bleeding can occur at any point along the urethra, causing a brown or red colour. Often, there is no pain and it is only noticed after ejaculation. Finding blood can be extremely worrying, but it is rarely an indicator of any serious condition and it will often go away on its own. However, it should still be addressed and it is important to visit your doctor, especially if you have any concern.

Sometimes it may be an isolated issue, or it can be linked to other symptoms of an underlying condition. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) rarely cause it. Similarly, rough sexual intercourse is rarely a cause, although injury to genitalia can cause bleeding during urination. Swelling, infection, blockages or injury to the male reproductive system or prostate can also cause blood in semen. It is also a known side effect of a prostate biopsy and some blood thinning medications.

In rare cases, It can be symptoms of much more serious causes. It can be caused by a benign prostate enlargement (BPH) which can cause the build up of prostate stones (similar to bladder stones). It can also be a sign of Tuberculosis, parasitic infections, testicular cancer, haemophilia and chronic liver disease.

If you find blood in you semen, you should visit you doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will give you a physical check-up and may ask for semen and run samples for testing. Typically, if it is the only symptoms you are experiencing, even after tests and physical examinations, then usually no treatment is required. It should go away with time. It may go away and come back, but generally blood in semen disappears without treatment and does not increase risk of other diseases. Isolated, blood in semen does not put your sexual partner at risk either.

Should you be experiencing other symptoms, blood in your semen might have an underlying cause that requires you to get proper treatment.

The doctors at Southgate Medical have expertise in Men’s Health and can be consulted if you have any concerns about this issue.

Southgate Medical Centre
Men’s Health

The Bad Effects Of Eating Junk Food

The Bad Effects Of Eating Junk Food

What you eat and drink each day effects your health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally. Good nutrition, along with regular exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight, while reducing your risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease. However, consuming regular amounts of fast and junk food will impact your quality of health, and will have negative effects on your body.

The Bad Effects Of Eating Junk FoodThe Negative Side Of Junk And Fast Food

Junk foods are food and drinks with low nutritional value (e.g. vitamins, minerals and fibre) and high in kilojoules, fat, sugars and/or salt. On the other hand, fast foods are a type of food you get from a restaurant designed to be delivered to you in the quickest way possible. Some fast foods can be healthy, but typically most fast foods are junk food. For example, salad, sushi and sandwiches are healthy forms of fast food. However, most fast food restaurants, such as McDonalds or KFC serve unhealthy junk food.  In Australia, 35% of an average adult’s daily energy intake and 41% of children’s daily energy intake comes from junk food.

While the occasional night of junk food won’t hurt much, eating Junk foods regular has been shown to lead to increased risks of obesity and chronic diseases. Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and some cancers all have causes in excessive junk food consumption. Further, the specific content of many fast foods can have negative side effects for your body;

  • Junk food high in sodium can lead to increased headaches and migraine
  • Junk food high in carbs can trigger outbreaks of acne
  • Eating excessive amounts of junk food may increase your risk of depression
  • The carbs and sugar in fast foods can lead to dental cavities
  • Fried foods are filled with trans fats which raise LDL cholesterol levels
  • Fast food is filled with empty carbohydrates, which can lead to increased blood sugar and insulin resistance
  • Increased sodium levels can lead to your body retaining excessive water, leading to bloating

The Key To A Healthy Diet | The Bad Effects Of Eating Junk Food

To avoid the negative health risks to your, your diet needs to be nutritional and diverse. Small changes to your diet can make an immense difference to your health. It’s easier than you think, especially if you follow at least six of the eight goals outlined below. 

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables: The more colourful you plate, the more likely you are to get the vitamins, minerals and fibre your body needs, so be sure to choose a variety of red, orange and green vegetables (such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli).
  • Make half the grains you eat whole grains: eating whole grain foods such as whole-wheat bread will help you avoid processed grains high in empty carbohydrates. Look for whole wheat, brown rice, bulgur, buckwheat, oatmeal, rolled oats, quinoa or wild rice.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk: Fat free and low fat milk contains the same amount of calcium and other nutrients as whole milk, but contains fewer calories and less saturated fat.
  • Choose a variety of lean protein foods: Lean meats (meat with lower fat content) are far better than meat with large amounts of fat content. Select leaner cuts of beef, turkey breast of chicken breast. 
  • Compare sodium in foods: Use the nutritional facts included in the labels on food packaging to select foods containing low levels of sodium. Choose canned foods with labels stating low sodium, reduced sodium or no salt added. 
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks: By drinking water or unsweetened, you can cut your calories substantially. Sodas and energy drinks are high in added sugar and calories, so be sure to avoid these. If you seek added flavor, try adding a slice of lemon, lime or watermelon to your glass of water. 
  • Eat some seafood: Seafood such as fish and shellfish are high in protein, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids (healthy fat). Try eating at least eight ounces of seafood a week if you are an adult. 
  • Cut back on solid fats: Major sources of solid fats are cakes, cookies, ice cream and processed meat. Try to avoid these to cut back on your solid fat intake. 

By following the above eight goals, you will help your body get the nutrients it needs, while cutting back on unhealthy content. If you combine a healthy diet with regular physical exercise, your physical and mental health with begin to improve immensely.

Southgate Medical Centre
The Bad Effects Of Eating Junk Food

Male Infertility

Male Infertility

For many couples, starting a family is a simple and natural experience. However, some couples may experience difficulty and frustration when trying to conceive a child due to male infertility. 

Male InfertilityMale infertility generally depends on the quantity and quality of your sperm. If your sperm count is low, or if your sperm is of poor quality, then it will be difficult, maybe even impossible, to conceive a child with your partner. Male infertility is widespread, and for about 30% of infertile couples, the problem is solely with the male partner. About 1 in 20 men have a low sperm count, with about 1 in every 100 men having no sperm at all. There are no obvious signs of infertility and you will need medical tests in order to properly diagnose infertility. If you have been trying to conceive without success for at least 12 months, with regular sex, then it is worth consulting your doctor. Infertility can be a sign of other (possibly undiagnosed) health problems, so it is important to you seek proper health advice.

Male infertility can be caused by a number of factors that affect sperm production or how the sperm travels. About 2 out of every 3 infertile men have the problem of insufficient sperm production or low quality sperm. About 1 in 5 infertile men have other physical problems, (including voluntary vasectomy). Obstructions in your reproductive organs can stop you from properly ejaculating sperm. Other less common causes of male include low hormone levels, sperm antibodies (antibodies which fight against sperm) or even genetic mutations.

Often, a significant proportion of infertile men have a treatable condition, and will be able to conceive naturally after treatment. In some cases, your doctor will recommend assisted reproductive treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). These methods don’t address infertility, but will provide an alternative method for couples to achieve pregnancy. If you have had a vasectomy in the pass and are trying to conceive, vasectomy reversal is another option available. 

However, the best treatment is always prevention, and there are a number of things you can do to decrease your chance of infertility. Smoking, excess drinking, STIs, anabolic steroids, and even tight fitting underwear have been shown to decrease sperm count and sperm quality, so do your best to avoid these factors. If your workplace is potentially hazardous, it is important to wear the appropriate protective clothing and to follow occupational health and safety guidelines.

Southgate Medical Centre
Men’s Health

Hay Fever Management

Hay Fever Management

Spring has arrived, and unfortunately for many of us, so has Hay Fever!

Hay Fever is the common term used to describe the symptoms of sneezing, nasal congestion, red itchy watery eyes and headache related to exposure to the grass & tree pollens that are in the air in Spring.

Hay Fever Management

Hay Fever ManagementSo what can you do to best manage these symptoms?

  • Check the daily pollen forecast.  A very useful app is available providing pollen counts and also forecasts of thunderstorm asthma. You can download the Melbourne Pollen Count mobile app here. On high pollen count days you may need to say indoors 
  • Take anti-histamine tablets as needed – these are available over the counter from your pharmacy
  • Consider daily use of a corticosteroid nasal spray – this needs to be taken continuously throughout the Hay Fever season to prevent symptoms
  • Anti-histamine eye drops can be helpful for itchy red eyes
  • If symptoms are severe and recurring each year, talk to your doctor about allergy testing and desensitization immunotherapy

Asthma & Hayfever

Remember that people with Hay Fever may also be at risk of getting Thunderstorm Asthma. This can happen when a high or extreme pollen count day combines with a particular type of thunderstorm, turbocharging the spread of pollens. Consult your doctor about whether you may also benefit from having an asthma reliever inhaler such as Ventolin or Symbicort on standby.

Southgate Medical
Hay Fever Management

Men’s Health Checkups

mens health

mens health checkupNormally, deliveries of healthcare and strategies for disease prevention are generally meant to be ‘gender neutral’ and assume that healthcare interventions are equally successful for both men and women. However, studies are increasingly showing that this is not the case anymore. Instead evidence shows that focusing on the particular health needs of both men and women will improve the health of both groups.

When it comes to men’s health, research shows that men require a better-informed and planned response to their specific health care needs. Of particular concern for men include lower life expectancy on average, higher levels of avoidable mortality and higher rates of death from heart disease, cancer, suicide and respiratory diseases. The causes of these health issues are multifaceted, and there are range of factors involved such as health illiteracy, attitude and lifestyle behaviors. 

As such it is very important for males to not only have a healthy diet and regular exercise, but to also have regular medical checkups with your doctor. There are various types of men’s health checkups, each individually being very helpful in preventing disease and improving your quality of life;

Physical Health Tests

will involve your doctor checking your physique to ensure you remain physically healthy. Your doctor will assess your medical history and may look at your dietary habits, work habits, exercise habits and your relationship status to determine your physical health. Depending on your doctor’s assessment, you may be recommended to get a specific checkup. 

Psychological Health Tests

are very important in helping diagnose and treat mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and stress. A psychologist will aid you in coping with your mental illness and will help maintain your mental health. 

Men’s Heart Checkups

are necessary to identify cardiovascular diseases that may show up as you grow older. Your doctor may perform a variety of tests, including (but not limited to) cholesterol tests, obesity tests, Echocardiogram tests and blood pressure tests. These tests will ensure whether your heart is healthy or not, reducing your risk of cardiovascular problems. 

Bone Tests

identify skeletal diseases such as osteoporosis. As part of a bone test, you may be required to get X-rays, a tomography, bone density tests and biopsies. These tests will ensure your bones remain healthy. 

Diabetes Checkups

will be recommended based on if you smoke, have an unhealthy diet, have cardiovascular disease or have a family history of diabetes. 

Cancer Screenings

include screening for prostate and bowel cancer. These are important tests conducted to catch cancerous diseases in order to treat them as early as possible. 

Skin Checkups

are important if you have regular exposure to sunlight and UV radiation. Men are showed to be more double as likely as women to contract skin cancer. You should contact your doctor in the case of any abnormal change in color or shape of your skin.

Eye Health Checkups

are recommended annually for men above 40 years of age. This will help reduce the risk of you developing diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and general eyesight deterioration. 

Dental Health Checkups

are recommended for every 6 months to help maintain healthy oral hygiene. 

Neurological Health Tests

help identify whether you have any risk of brain-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s Dyslexia or brain tumors.

Southgate Medical
Men’s Health Checkups

What Is Anxiety, And How Should You Best Manage It?

what is anxiety

what is anxiety disorderThere is more to anxiety than just the feeling of stress or worry. It is perfectly normal to feel anxious during stressful situations. When we feel pressured, feelings of stress and anxiety are common responses that usually disappear when the stressful situation passes. However, if your feelings of stress occur regularly or don’t go away, this might mean that you are experiencing an anxiety condition.  

In Australia, anxiety is the most common mental health condition, with around one in four Australians (one in three women and one in five men) experiencing it during their lifetime. Every year, over two million Australians experience anxiety. 

The sooner people get support, the more likely they are to recover and there are many ways to help manage it. 

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms are complex and evolve over time, and since we all experience anxious feelings during periods of stress, it can be hard to know if our feelings are normal or not. 

Normal feelings that people experience are limited in time and tend to be connected to a stressful situation or event, such as a group presentation or a job interview. In contrast, anxious feelings experienced are more regular, not always connected to stressful situations, and can impact on day-to-day quality of life. While each person can experience different types, there are some common symptoms including:

  • Panic attacks
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Quick breathing
  • Excessive fear/worry
  • Avoidance of certain situations

There are more symptoms that you may experience, and you will need to see a doctor to properly be diagnosed with anxiety condition. However, these can be used as a guide for yourself and others. 

Treatments for anxiety

Mental HealthEffective treatment for anxiety involves helping you learn how to control your anxiety so it doesn’t control you. What treatment is recommended for you will depend on what type of anxiety you experience. 

If your symptoms are mild, your doctor might suggest changes to you daily routine, such as regular physical exercise. In this time of isolation, you might also like to try online or telehealth therapies, many of which are free, anonymous and easily accessible for anyone with internet access. For instance, if you are a university student, your university should offer free and anonymous counselling a phone call away. 

If you experience moderate to severe symptoms of anxiety, psychology and/or medical treatments are likely to be required. Psychology treatment can involve Cognitive Behavior therapy and Behavior therapy, which will be designed by a mental health care professional for your needs. You may also be prescribed a form of antidepressant medication or antianxiety medication (also known as Benzodiazephines). 

Management strategies

If you experience an anxiety condition, there are a range of strategies you can try to help manage your mental health. Here is a short list of a few strategies that may help:

  • Slow breathing. When you’re experiencing anxiety, your breathing becomes faster and you may hyperventilate. Try deliberately slowing your breathing.
  • Stay in the moment. Anxiety can make your thoughts live in a fearsome future that hasn’t happened yet. Try to bring yourself to where you are presently.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. By keeping active, eating well, spending time with family and friends, you will reduce your stress and anxiety levels, improving your overall wellbeing.
  • Take small acts of bravery. Avoiding what makes you anxious can bring some relief but can make you more anxious in the long run. If you try approaching something that makes you anxious, even in a small way, you can go a long way to overcoming your anxiety.
  • Be kind to yourself. Remember that you are not defined by your anxiety, and that your anxiety does not make you weak or inferior in anyway.

If you feel that you may experience an anxiety condition, be sure to seek support from not just your doctor, but also from your family and friends. 

If you require support, don’t hesitate to call for help

Southgate Medical Centre – 03 9690 1433

Lifeline Australia – 13 14 11

Beyond Blue – 1800 512 348

Top Tips: Managing Stress during COVID-19

Managing Stress during COVID-19

Managing Stress during COVID-19The past few months have been incredibly strange, scary, and unnerving. Understandably, many of us are feeling more stressed than usual, with everyday demands shifting from what we are all used to. Although easier said than done, it is important that we take care of ourselves and try to manage our stress as well as possible.

Here are our suggested tips for lowering stress and keeping mentally healthy:

Asking for Support  | Managing Stress during COVID-19

As we’ve all been in isolation, in quarantine, working from home, looking after kids and family in confined spaces, it’s not surprising that we’re all feeling somewhat disconnected from each other. Luckily with technology today we are able to reach loved ones quickly. Make a time to call a friend/family member. Even if the call is only for 5 minutes – check up on them, and don’t hesitate to ask for their support, too.

Limit News Time | Managing Stress during COVID-19

News of COVID-19 is everywhere at the moment. However – for some, it can be too confronting to read and watch the news every day. If you feel like the constant news coverage is doing more harm than good, limit time spent reading the news. Choose one way of receiving COVID-related updates, and avoid all others.

Good Sleep Hygiene | Managing Stress during COVID-19

Mental HealthOne benefit of working from home is being able to sleep in a little longer! Take advantage of the extra hour or two you have at home (instead of the normal commute). Try and practice good sleep habits – going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Limiting screen time and caffeine before bed. You might not have another opportunity to reset your sleep/wake cycle.

Speaking to a professional

Sometimes you need a little extra help dealing with stress. Talk to your GP/psychologist/mental health practitioner. They’re here to help you and they are feeling the effects of the pandemic too. Take advantage of telehealth appointments, and make sure you take the necessary time to look after yourself as well as everybody else around you.

Unique experience

What is most important is to remember that this time has been a unique experience for us all. There is no correct way to react to a pandemic. Be kind to yourself and reflect on the magnitude of the situation.

Southgate Medical Centre
03 9690 1433

Lifeline Australia – 13 14 11.

Beyond Blue – 1800 512 348.