Category Archives: Practice News

Flu Season Has Arrived

Dear Patients, 

Hope you are well. Autumn has arrived so has the start of the flu season. Although we could get flu at any time of the year, the spread is more prevalent when the weather cools down. The peak of flu season in Australia is usually June to September.  

The last two flu seasons have been unusual in Australia due to the covid-19 pandemic; we have not seen many influenza cases and there has been lower uptake of the vaccine. Now that the borders are open and life is returning to normal, health experts are predicting a more severe flu season in 2022.  

What is the flu or Influenza? 
The Flu or Influenza is an acute viral illness. It is a highly contagious disease that mainly affects the respiratory system. It is caused by influenza viruses classified as type A, B or C. Only influenza A and B viruses are included in seasonal influenza vaccines as they cause the majority of disease in humans. 

How the virus spreads?  
Influenza spreads easily, mainly through large particle droplets produced by sneezing and coughing. Droplets containing the influenza virus also settle onto surfaces, and the virus can then pass from hands to the nose, mouth or eyes. People with influenza can be infectious to others from 24 hours before symptoms start until 1 week after the start of symptoms. In previously healthy individuals, symptoms typically subside within 5–8 days. 

Symptoms 
Influenza symptoms usually have a sudden onset. The most common symptoms are:  

  • fever  
  • dry non-productive cough  
  • nasal congestion  
  • headache  
  • sore throat  
  • body aches, fatigue and feeling generally unwell          

Older adults and young children can be more severely affected and develop atypical symptoms.  

Prevention 

  • Vaccination is the best protection against influenza and its complications 
  • Practising hand hygiene and cough etiquette (such as covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing) can help reduce the chances of getting and passing on the influenza virus.  
  • People who are sick with influenza should stay home from work, school and social gatherings to prevent close contact with and transmission to other people. 

Why is it necessary to receive another dose of the influenza vaccine each year? 
The influenza virus changes frequently. Each year, the dominant strains differ and a new vaccine is created to target the current strains. The vaccine is most effective for the first 3-4 months after vaccination (though it is expected to continue to offer some protection after this period).  

Can influenza vaccines cause the influenza? 
There is no live virus in the influenza shot, so you cannot get influenza from the vaccine. The vaccine can cause some mild “flu-like” side effects such as body aches, fever and fatigue which may be mistakenly thought to be an influenza infection. 

Who should be vaccinated? 
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for all people aged ≥6 months unless contraindicated (refer to link for Contraindications).  

Influenza vaccination is strongly recommended for anyone travelling overseas in 2022.  

Free vaccine 
There are a number of groups that are at increased risk of influenza and its complications. Influenza vaccination is strongly recommended and funded on the National Immunisation Program for the following groups:  

  • Children 6 months to 5 years of age 
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people 
  • Pregnant women (during any stage of pregnancy) 
  • Adults ≥ 65 years of age – this age group receive different version of the vaccine which is designed to increase the immune response to the vaccine  
  • All individuals aged ≥ 5 years with medical risk conditions (Please refer to link)  

If you are not eligible for the free vaccine, the cost of one vaccine is $25.00. 

To book an appointment, please click the button below. 

Kind Regards, 

The Team from Lane Cove Doctors Medical Centre

Sources:  

Vitamin D – The Sunshine Vitamin

Dear Patients,

With the change of seasons into Autumn, the team from Lane Cove Doctors Medical Centre would like to share some information on Vitamin D to ensure you maintain your optimum health to live your best life.  

What is Vitamin D? 

Vitamin D is a nutrient you need for good health. It helps your body absorb calcium, one of the main building blocks for strong bones. Together with calcium, Vitamin D helps protect you from developing osteoporosis, a disease that thins and weakens the bones and makes them more likely to break. Your body needs Vitamin D for other functions too. Your muscles need it to move, and your nerves need it to carry messages between your brain and your body. Your immune system needs Vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. 

Sources of Vitamin D 

Small amounts of the Vitamin D you need can be obtained through food (about 5 – 10 per cent).  

  • Vitamin D is added to many breakfast cereals and to some brands of orange juice, yogurt, margarine, and other food products. 
  • Fatty fish (like trout, salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils are among the best natural sources of Vitamin D. 
  • Beef liver, egg yolks, and cheese have small amounts of Vitamin D. 
  • Mushrooms provide a little Vitamin D. 
  • Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun (90%). Your body makes Vitamin D when your bare skin is exposed to the sun. Most people get at least some Vitamin D this way. However, clouds, pollution, old age, and having dark-coloured skin reduce the amount of Vitamin D your skin makes. Also, your skin does not make Vitamin D from sunlight through a window.  

What happens if I don’t have enough Vitamin D? 

Factors such as lockdown, working from home, decrease in exercise and outdoor activities have may lead to Vitamin D deficiency.  

Vitamin D deficiency does not always have obvious symptoms but without treatment there can be significant health effects. These can include bone and muscle pain and softening of the bones – such as rickets (in children) and osteomalacia (in adults) which can make bones easy to fracture or break.  

Which adult groups are at high risk of Vitamin D deficiency? 

  • Older or disabled people in low-level and high-level residential care, particularly those who are housebound, hospitalised community-dwelling geriatric patients. 
  • Dark-skinned people of either sex 
  • People with a disability or chronic disease (eg: multiple sclerosis) 
  • Fair-skinned people and those at risk of skin cancer and avoid sun exposure 
  • People working in an enclosed environment, such as office workers, factory or warehouse workers or night-shift workers. 

Do I need a Vitamin D Test? 

Vitamin D deficiency is done through a simple blood test by measuring a form of Vitamin D in your blood named 25-hydroxynitamin D (25-OHD).  

You may need a Vitamin D test if: 

  • you are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency or 
  • you have abnormal levels of calcium, phosphate or magnesium in your blood 
  • you have bone problems 
  • you have diseases that might result in, or be caused by, too much or too little Vitamin D  
  • you have problems with your parathyroid gland 

Please check with your doctor whether you need a Vitamin D test. 

Source: National Institutes of Health 
Source: Health Direct 
Source: The Medical Journal of Australia 

Best wishes,

The Team from Lane Cove Doctors Medical Centre

Introducing Our New Doctors

Dear Patients,

The team from Lane Cove Doctors Medical Centre hopes you are staying safe and well, especially for those who are going back to the office or school.   

Welcoming New Doctors at Our Practice 

Please join us to welcome our new doctors in the clinic. We attached their bio and area of special interest.  Please do not hesitate to contact us should you like to know more about them or book an appointment Here.

Dr Rida Sen

Background – Dr. Rida Sen studied medicine at the University of New South Wales and completed her internship and residency at Concord Repatriation General Hospital. She holds a Diploma in Child Health and has had additional training in mental health prior to coming into general practice. She loves being a family doctor and has worked to serve communities in both regional and western Sydney.   
Special Interests – She enjoys the holistic nature of general practice and has a special interest in women’s health, paediatrics, mental health, and preventative healthcare.   
Personal Interests – In her spare time Rida enjoys watercolour painting, reading, spending time outdoors in the sunshine and with her family.  
Availability – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8am-6pm; Alternate Sunday: 9am-1pm 

Dr Brodie Hookins

Background – Dr. Hookins graduated from the University of Sydney in 2016. He has worked in the obstetrics and gynaecology departments of Royal North Shore, Hornsby and Gosford Hospitals, and has a special interest in antenatal care, women’s health, and family planning. He spent the last year working in rural medicine in Central Western NSW and has returned to Sydney to complete his training in general practice.   
Special Interests – Very interested in care during pregnancy, women’s health, paediatric medicine, mental health as well as drug and alcohol use, skin procedures, palliative care, holistic care and general medicine.   
Personal Interests – Outside of work he enjoys music, photography, kayaking, film, and bushwalking  
Availability – Tuesday & Thursday: 8am-6pm; Alternate Sunday: 9am-1pm

Welcoming New Exercise Physiologist at our Practice 

Please also welcome onboard, Jeremy Chow, our new Exercise Physio at Lane Cove Doctors! After some time on leave, Jeremy is back and ready to provide tailored plans for all your exercise physiotherapy needs. 

Jeremy Chow – Exercise Physiologist

Background – Jeremy graduated from B. Applied Science (Exercise Physiology) from The University of Sydney. Since graduating, he has committed his career to empowering his clients to achieve their meaningful goals through education and movement. Jeremy believes that exercising and moving can be fun and enjoyable and he strives to make a fun and enjoyable experience for his clients. Jeremy has worked in various settings including hospitals, clinics and gyms. 
Special Interests – He has a high affinity for cardiovascular rehab, mental health and chronic pain populations. 
Personal Interests – In his spare time, Jeremy enjoys going to the gym and experimenting with new exercises or longboarding around Sydney and in Winter, he likes to go skiing. Jeremy also likes travelling to different countries with his wife, Mira, and learning about their culture and lifestyle. 
Availability – Wednesdays 

Booster Eligibility  

You are eligible for a booster vaccination if you:  

  • are fully vaccinated (have received 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine),  
  • are aged 16 and over, and  
  • have received your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago.  

For further information please see the NSW Government website Here.

Please take care and stay safe.   

Best wishes,   

The Team from Lane Cove Doctors Medical Centre 

Pack yourself a filling lunch fast



With the hustle and bustle of work building up over the week, we feel like there’s less and less time to prepare lunch for work. It comes as no surprise when we grab something convenient from the nearest food outlet.

The downside? These options can come served in large portions with excess added salt, sugar and unhealthy fats instead of the nutrients we need to stay energised and full for the rest of the day. Buying lunch also takes time to line-up, order and wait for our food to be made. This leaves less of our lunch break to sit, chew and enjoy our food, a key experience that starts the process of proper digestion and lets our brain know we are full.

To solve this dilemma, use this four-step guide to pack a filling, healthy and delicious lunch, fast.

STEP1: VEGETABLES

Take advantage of pre-packed salads or microwavable vegetable bags and fill half of your lunch with a good hit of fibre that adds “bulk”. The stretching of our stomachs from fibre signals to our brain we are full, making our meal much more satiating. Certain fibres, like those in asparagus and beetroot, also feed our good gut bacteria. When well-fed, they release appetite-regulating chemicals that can stave-off hunger-pangs and unnecessary snacking too soon after our lunch.

STEP 2: PROTEIN

Next, include a serve of lean protein. This is essential for longer lasting satiety as protein increases the production of hormones which signal long-term fullness to our brain. Aim for a palm-size and look for quick options like canned tuna or salmon, boiled eggs and ready-to-eat lean roasted chicken or falafels. 

STEP 3: LOW GI CARBOHYDRATE

Round out your meal with carbohydrates that have a low Glycaemic Index (GI). This means it is broken down into glucose slowly, providing our brain a sustained stream of fuel to power through the 3pm slump. Make use of high-fibre wholegrain breads and wraps, microwave grain cups and even canned legumes.

STEP 4: HEALTHY FAT

Finish with a dash of healthy fat for flavour (i.e. fun). Ensuring your packed lunch is tasty gives it a fighting chance against highly-palatable takeaway options. Healthy fats are also needed to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like those found in tomato, capsicum and leafy greens. Sprinkle a handful of nuts for crunch, spread a creamy hummus in your wrap or whisk extra virgin olive oil-based with balsamic vinegar to perfectly coat salad vegetables.

Next time you plan to head to the food court, try these four steps and see how you feel. You might just find the staff kitchen cookies aren’t calling your name come mid-afternoon.



WWW.THELIFESTYLEDIETITIAN.COM.AU

The Ins-and-Outs of PrEP

WHAT IS PrEP?

“PrEP” stands for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, with “prophylaxis” meaning “to prevent or control the spread of an infection or disease.” PrEP is a new HIV prevention method in which people who do not have HIV infection take a pill daily to reduce their risk of becoming HIV infected. The pill is contains two antiviral medicines that are also used to treat people who already have HIV infection. These are the same drugs used to suppress the virus in people living with HIV.

WHO SHOULD TAKE PrEP?

The effectiveness of using HIV antiretroviral drugs as PrEP has been established by clinical trials conducted in gay men, heterosexual adults and injecting drug users. PrEP can be considered for people in these populations who are at high risk of acquiring HIV, such as gay and other homosexually active men who are having multiple events of condomless sex.

HOW DO I START?

You will need to see a GP who will chat to you about your sexual history and discuss PrEP to see if it’s right for you. If you are eligible to start PrEP, the doctor will provide you with a script which can be filled at your local pharmacy for a subsidised price.

REGULAR MONITORING & FOLLOW UP.

People taking PrEP medication need to have a check-up every 3 months when STI & HIV testing together with a blood test for kidney & liver function will be done.
More Information is available here.