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Southbank Medical Centre

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome

What is carpal tunnel syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome

Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is pressure on the Median nerve in the carpal tunnel of the wrist. It is characterised by a painful tingling and burning sensation particularly around the fingers. People with carpal tunnel syndrome experience symptoms such as numbness, tingling and pain especially at night.

What causes carpal tunnel syndrome?

Any swelling can cause pressure in the carpal tunnel, however most cases are due to an unknown cause. Often there is a combination of factors, some of which include:

  • Pregnancy – pregnancy hormones can cause increased water retention, which can cause swelling in the wrist. Usually symptoms dissipate soon after birth.
  • Arthritis and other inflammatory diseases – these diseases can cause inflammation and swelling in the wrist
  • Wrist injuries – bone fragments from fractures can irritation and inflammation of the wrist.
  • Genetic/Congenital factors – some individuals are born with increased susceptibility
  • Tumours – some tumours (usually benign) can protrude into the wrist and increase pressure in the wrist
  • Repetitive use – overuse can cause carpal tunnel tendons to become irritated and inflamed

Risk factors

Some individuals are at a greater risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. These include:

  • Pregnant women
  • People with certain types of arthritis
  • People who have undergone sudden weight gain
  • People who perform repetitive tasks with their hands on a regular basis

Symptoms

Symptoms include numbness, a “pins and needles” sensation in the fingers and darting pain originating in the wrist (particularly at night). There is less pain in the little finger and half of the ring finger. Affected people also experience weakness of the hand.

Treatment

There are multiple types of treatments, which can be broadly categorised as surgical and non-surgical treatments. The recommended treatment may depend on whether the carpal tunnel syndrome is associated with other conditions.

Non-surgical treatments

  • Resting and avoiding using the affected hand in worsening activities
  • Wearing splints and wrist braces
  • Physiotherapy
  • Diuretic medications to reduce build-up of fluids around the wrist
  • Injection of corticosteroids and local anaesthetic to reduce pain and swelling

Surgical treatment

This involves a surgical procedure whereby the sheath of the carpal tunnel is incised to reduce pressure on the median nerve.

Where to get help

 

 

What is an anaphylactic reaction?

Anaphylactic Reaction

What is an anaphylactic reaction?Anaphylactic Reaction

Anaphylactic reactions are symptoms due to severe allergies, which cause serious and sudden illness that may result in death. They occur due to an overreaction of the immune system to certain substances or triggers, which are normally otherwise harmless.

Some common triggers include:

  • Peanuts, fish, milk eggs and other food triggers
  • Bee and wasp stings, ant bites and other insect bites and stings
  • Medicines such as penicillin and aspirin and other medications

On some occasions, a person’s trigger may not be identified.

What are the signs of an anaphylactic reaction?

Anaphylaxis is usually rapid, occurring between 20 minutes to 2 hours after being exposed to the trigger. The signs may be subtle at first but then can become more severe.

Signs of an anaphylactic reaction can include any of the following:

  • Swelling of the tongue and throat
  • Ongoing cough and wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing which can manifest in loud breathing
  • Dizziness or collapse
  • Abdominal pain or vomiting
  • In young children, pallor, lethargy

Treatment for anaphylactic reactions

Anaphylactic reactions are serious medical emergencies. Emergency treatment can be followed using the instructions on individual ASCIA Action Plan for Anaphylaxis or First Aid Anaphylaxis Plan.

  1. Lay the person flat – do NOT allow them to stand or walk
  2. Give adrenaline injector (EpiPen® or AnaPen®)
  3. Phone ambulance – 000
  4. Phone family/emergency contact
  5. Further adrenaline may be given if there is no response after 5 minutes
  6. Transfer the person to the hospital for at least 4 hours of observation from the time of the last dose of adrenaline

The adrenaline (epinephrine) autoinjector (EpiPen® or AnaPen®) should be given first. This includes people with asthma or breathing difficulty, even if no skin signs are present.

Conduct CPR at any time if the person is not responding and not breathing normally.

Why is adrenaline (epinephrine) used to treat anaphylactic shock?

Adrenaline acts quickly on neurons to cause various systemic mechanisms for reducing the symptoms of anaphylactic shock. Some of these include:

  • Causing throat and lungs to relax allowing for breathing
  • Increasing blood pressure and blood flow around the body
  • Decreasing inflammation of the skin, and reducing redness, swelling and pain

How to prevent of anaphylactic reactions

The best way to prevent anaphylactic shock is to avoid known triggers. It is also important to tell the people around you about your allergy, including when eating out for food allergies or at the workplace. Your doctor may also refer you to an allergy specialist for allergy testing. In some cases, desensitisation to the identified allergen may be possible.

Where to get help

 

Hepatitis Infections & Vaccinations

Hepatitis Vaccinations

Hepatitis VaccinationsWhat is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a disease where the liver becomes inflamed and damaged.
The liver is a very important organ for filtering the blood and maintaining the body’s nutrition through making proteins and storing vitamins and iron. If the liver cannot perform its normal function, serious illness can occur.

Symptoms of hepatitis

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Dark urine
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Swelling
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)

Types of hepatitis

Hepatitis is usually caused by a hepatitis virus infection, but other causes include bacterial infection, alcohol and drug use.
There are many different types of hepatitis viruses. Each is given a letter with the most common being hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. In some cases hepatitis may also be caused by non-hepatitis specific viruses such as the Epstein-Barr virus.
The treatments of hepatitis differ based on the type and cause of hepatitis.

Hepatitis and travel

Travelling provides the opportunity to soak in the beauty and diversity of the world, but it is essential to always ensure your health and safety is secure at the same time. Hepatitis viruses are very common around the world so it is important to take the necessary precautions before and during travelling.

Hepatitis vaccinations

There are individual vaccines available for prevention of Hepatitis A & Hepatitis B infection. There are also a combined Hepatitis A&B vaccinations. Hepatitis B is currently provided on the Australian childhood immunisation schedule. If you are unsure of your immunity or whether you have been vaccinated, you may find more information on the Australian Immunisation Register or otherwise please discuss with your doctor.

Hepatitis A

Transmission for the hepatitis A virus occurs through direct contact with infected food, drinks or objects contaminated with faeces, therefore the best preventative measure for the hepatitis A virus is good hygiene.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is passed on via blood and body fluids. Transmission through blood is prevented by avoiding shared injecting equipment and also avoiding tattoo parlours, hair salons and nail salons where instruments are contaminated. Transmission through bodily fluids is prevented through practising safe sex.

If you’re planning to travel overseas to countries where hepatitis infection is more common, you should get advice from your local GP or a travel clinic 4-6 weeks before you depart. The doctors at Southgate Medical specialise in Travel Medicine and would be happy to provide further advice regarding vaccinations.

 

Covid-19 Vaccination FAQ’s

Hepatitis Vaccinations

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

Thunderstorm Asthma

thunderstorm asthma

Thunderstorm Asthma In Australia

thunderstorm asthmaOn Monday the 21st of November 2016, Victoria experienced the world’s largest epidemic of thunderstorm asthma. Severe storm activity led to thousands of people suddenly experiencing asthma attacks and difficulty breathing.

Thunderstorm asthma can happen suddenly to anyone, anywhere. Typically it occurs during the spring and summer when there is a large amount of pollen in the air during a particularly windy or stormy day. 

People who suffer from asthma or seasonal hay fever are more likely to suffer from it, but it can be experienced by anyone. The risk is highest during the October to December period. 

Those experiencing thunderstorm asthma may have any of the common asthma symptoms including cough, wheeze, breathlessness or a tight feeling in the chest. However, asthma symptoms can be different for everyone. If you experience symptoms of seasonal hay fever (runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing and itchy eyes) you should also be wary of experiencing an asthma attack due to thunderstorm asthma. 

If you have asthma and/or seasonal hay fever, you will need extra protection to minimise your risk. It is recommended to always have a reliever inhaler such as Ventolin or Symbicort on standby.

It is also important to keep up to date with pollen counts and thunderstorm weather forecasts during spring and early summer and to stay indoors if possible on those days to minimise exposure.

Southgate Medical Centre

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

Preparing your Kid for Childhood Vaccinations

Hepatitis Vaccinations

We all have been terrified of needles at one point or another, especially as kids. If your child is anxious about receiving vaccinations, you as a parent may in turn feel anxious and scared for your child. In particular, a bad experience receiving a vaccination at a clinic can be especially frightening and traumatic for your child. Being prepared for vaccinations will help immensely in easing both your and your child’s anxiety.

Childhood VaccinationsBefore the Childhood Vaccinations

There are a few things you can do as parents to prepare you and your child for vaccinations. Make sure to get a list of the vaccines your child may need and note down any question you may have for your doctor. If your child has an immunisation record, be sure to bring a copy along to your appointment. You can also pack your child’s favourite toy, book, or blanket for some comfort during their vaccination. If your child is older, it is beneficial to have an honest chat with them about how vaccinations will keep them healthy. Be clear that the needle may pinch or sting, but that any pain won’t last long. Be sure to avoid using vaccinations as a threat (eg.” If you misbehave I will have the nurse give you a needle) and avoid telling scary stories about vaccinations. 

During the Childhood Vaccinations

If you have any questions about the vaccinations, be sure to ask the doctor. The doctor will give you a copy of the relevant Vaccine Information Statement which will include information about the vaccines such as the risks and benefits. 

During the vaccination, there are a few things you can do as a parent to make your child’s experience easier. For babies and toddlers, you can distract them by cuddling, singing or talking in hushed tones. By smiling, maintaining eye contact and talking to them, you will make your child feel safe and ok. You can even comfort your child with their favorite your or book. Holding your child firmly on your lap will also make them feel more comfortable. Once your child has received all of their shots, make sure to be especially supportive. Cuddle you child and talk with a soothing, praiseful voice. Babies can also be additionally soothed through breastfeeding. 

For older children and adolescents, you can distract them by pointing out interesting things in the room or by telling stories. Be sure to support your child if he or she cries, and never scold your child for not “being brave”. Be mindful that fainting is common amongst adolescent’s right after receiving a vaccination. It is advisable for you to wait in the clinic for 15 minutes after receiving a vaccine so you may be observed for any reactions, and for treatment to be provided if needed. It can be beneficial to ask your child’s doctor about the common side effects after a vaccine such as fever and pain and what steps you can take at home to help reduce these at home. https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/immunisation-side-effects 

After the Appointment

If you have any concerns about your child after they have received their vaccinations, contact the clinic during business hours. If the matter is urgent, contact the Royal Children’s Hospital Immunization hotline on 1300 882 924 or dial 000 in a Medical Emergency

Interested in booking in a vaccination for your child? Book a consultation today or contact us at Southgate Medical Centre!

Southgate Medical Centre

What are the Causes For 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.

Concerned about the amount of junk food you’re consuming or just want to find out more? Book an appointment with us at Southgate Medical Centre as we specialise in both Men’s Health and Women’s Health.

Southgate Medical Centre
The Bad Effects Of Eating Junk Food