@Health Medical Centre

Centurion Health and Medical Services

Stay safe in the sun

Stay safe in the sun 854 471 BeckmanDev

ARTICLE SUPPLIED BY

KILIAN, NIENABER & ASSOCIATES

Talking about sun safety is never a fun subject, but it’s a fact of life that no South African can really avoid. We’ve stepped into those toasty summer months and so it’s worth revisiting some details about looking after yourself in the heat.

 

Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Much of this exposure comes from the sun, but some can come from man-made sources, such as indoor tanning beds and sun lamps. People who get a lot of exposure to UV rays are at greater risk for skin cancer. The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) says that Mzansi now has the second-highest incidence of skin cancer after Australia.

 

The main types of UV rays that can affect your skin include UVA rays and UVB rays. UVB rays have more energy and are a more potent cause of at least some skin cancers, but both UVA and UVB rays can damage skin and cause skin cancer, so the sad fact is that there are no safe UV rays.

 

Most people think about sun protection only when they spend a day at the park, pool, lake, or beach. But sun exposure adds up day after day, and it happens every time you are in the sun. Even though sunlight is the main source of UV rays, you don’t have to avoid the sun completely but getting too much sun can be harmful. There are some simple steps you can take to limit your exposure to UV rays.

 

Simply staying in the shade is one of the best ways to limit your UV exposure. If you are going to be in the sun then:

  • Slip on a shirt.
  • Slop on some sunscreen.
  • Slap on a hat.
  • Put on sunglasses to protect your eyes and skin around them.

 

How much sunscreen do you need to apply? According to CANSA, you should use at least seven teaspoons of sunscreen. Make sure you’re applying one teaspoon per arm. One for each leg. One for your front. Another for your back. And one for your face and neck. If you go swimming; towel down or find yourself sweating a lot, you need to reapply your sunscreen more regularly. Choose a brand that gives protection against UVA and UVB rays (look for the CANSA Seal of Recognition logo). Also check that it has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 to 50. The higher the number, the greater the protection.

 

You need to be especially careful in the sun if you:

  • Have had skin cancer before
  • Have a family history of skin cancer, especially melanoma
  • Have many moles, irregular moles, or large moles
  • Have freckles and burn before tanning
  • Have fair skin, blue or green eyes, or blond, red, or light brown hair
  • Spend a lot of time outdoors
  • Have an autoimmune disease
  • Have certain inherited conditions that increase your risk of skin cancer
  • Have a medical condition that weakens your immune system, such as HIV
  • Have had an organ transplant
  • Take medicines that lower or suppress your immune system
  • Take medicines that make your skin more sensitive to sunlight

 

Before you go on holiday or spend more time in the glorious summer sun, it is important to visit your doctor if you have any skin or health concerns, who can then refer you to a dermatologist or skin cancer specialist if necessary.

 

 

 


@Health Medical Centre and its tenants do not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by the reader as a result of the information provided. For any health concerns or further information, it is always important to seek advice from your @Health Medical Centre healthcare professional.

Understanding chronic heel pain and plantar fasciitis

Understanding chronic heel pain and plantar fasciitis 854 471 BeckmanDev

ARTICLE SUPPLIED BY

KEYSTONE RADIOLOGY

Did you know, in our lifetime, the average person walks approximately 160,000 kilometres? But all too often, we do not place the same emphasis on looking after our feet as we do on other parts of our body.

Overuse injuries of the foot may lead to plantar fasciitis, which is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the plantar fascia.

 

Fasciitis is the most common injury of the plantar fascia and is estimated to induce more than 1 million patients to seek treatment every year. The plantar fascia is a thick, ligamentous structure that runs from the bottom of the heel, across the foot to the toes.

 

The fascia is the largest ligament in the human body, designed in the shape of a bowstring which supports the footbridge, absorbing the shock when walking. The fascia consists of 3 bundles, central, lateral and medial.

 

The central component is proximally thick and distally thin and is the thickest of the three. These large fibrous bundles are embedded within a matrix of loose connective tissue containing type III collagen and a few elastic fibres.

 

Plantar fasciitis can develop without obvious causes; however, some factors may increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

 

Risk factors include:

> Most common between the ages of 40-60 years.

> Certain types of exercise. Plantar fasciitis is common in runners, however, activities resulting in stress on the heel, for example, ballet dancing may contribute to the onset of plantar fasciitis.

> Foot mechanics. People with foot deformities (flat feet, high arch, abnormal walking pattern) are also at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Some underlying medical conditions such as spondyloarthropathies and rheumatoid arthritis are also associated with plantar fasciitis.

> Extra weight puts extra stress on the plantar fascia.

> People who spend most of their work hours walking or standing on hard surfaces for example factory worker’s or teachers are more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

> Bony growths or spurring at the bottom part of the heel (calcaneal enthesophytes), is likely a possible cause.

 

Successful outcome rests on the adequate diagnosis and focused treatment for the best possible recovery, so if you suspect plantar fasciitis or would like to know more about diagnosis and imaging of plantar fasciitis, reach out to Keystone Radiology at 087 055 0587 or info@ks-med.co.za

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month 854 471 BeckmanDev

ARTICLE SUPPLIED BY

DIABETES CARE CENTURION

November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the world team up to bring attention to diabetes. This year’s focus is on taking care of children and teenagers who have diabetes.

 

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic conditions in school-age youth in the South Africa, affecting about thousands of youngsters under 20 years old. Regardless of their age, sometimes youth who have diabetes need support with their diabetes care. That is why it’s important to help your child or teen develop a plan to manage diabetes, and work with their health care team to adjust the diabetes self-care plan as needed. Here are some tips to consider for your child’s diabetes self-care plan.

 

Manage Blood Glucose Levels

Make sure your child or teen takes their medicines as prescribed, at the right time, and the right dose—even when they feel good or have reached their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol goals.

 

Encourage Healthy Habits

Follow a healthy eating plan – particularly if your child is taking insulin. And make sure they get enough sleep and aim for regular physical activity. Children and teens with Type 1 Diabetes should also check their blood glucose levels before, during, or after physical activity.

 

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Your basic diabetes preparedness kit should always contain medical supplies and equipment, emergency and health care professional contact lists such as Diabetes Care Centurion, and a medication list, including doses and dosing schedules, and an allergy list.

During the current pandemic, it’s also a good idea to include face masks, hand sanitiser and disinfecting wipes to your emergency kit.

 

Monitor for Complications

Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the risk for heart disease, vision loss, nerve damage, and other related health problems. The team at Diabetes Care Centurion can help you develop a plan to monitor for any problems.

 

Seek Mental Health Support

Children and teens may not be used to talking about feeling anxious or alone about their diabetes. The Diabetes Care Centurion team includes a Life Coach who can provide helpful advice for dealing with the adjusted lifestyle and the emotions that go along with the diagnosis.

 

For help and information, contact our team at info@diabetescare.co.za or call 012 664 7831

Read this before you buy your kids more cereal

Read this before you buy your kids more cereal 854 471 BeckmanDev

ARTICLE SUPPLIED BY

KILIAN, NIENABER & ASSOCIATES

In order to nourish their growing minds and bodies, it is vital that your children begin each day with a filling and nutritious breakfast. But, when your mornings look like an overwhelming, hectic explosion of trying to get things done before the day officially starts, you might feel as though there is hardly any time to stand in the kitchen and cook breakfast for the family.

 

Breakfast cereals are an easy solution and a great time saver. South Africa has a multitude of brightly coloured cereal boxes decorating the shelves of major retailers, many adorned with mascots that advertise fun and “healthy” flavours for kids – but shoppers should always be mindful of the amount of sugar in each serving.

 

Business Tech news recently evaluated 40 of the most popular cereal brands on store shelves, and they revealed that almost half of the cereals have sugar content that makes up a quarter of a typical serving.

 

Cereal brands are constantly changing their recipes to attract market share in a competitive space – which means that some brands change over time, new brands are introduced and others are discontinued. Many brands will add “healthier” multi-grain options, but just because it sounds healthier, doesn’t necessarily mean it is better.

 

For instance, in 2018, Kellogg’s changed the local recipe for Rice Krispies, turning the single grain, relatively sugar-free cereal, into a multi-grain vanilla-flavoured breakfast bowl with far more sugar. The new recipe pushed the total sugar content from 8 grams of sugar per 100g, to over 21 grams.

 

South Africa’s most sugar-filled cereal crown belongs to Bokomo, with the group’s Creme Soda flavoured Otees carrying a whopping 38.6 grams of sugar per 100 grams!

 

This is followed by Otees Mixed Berry, Kellogg’s Strawberry Pops, Coco Pops and Otees Chocolate Flakes – all of which have more than 30 grams of sugar per 100 grams.

 

The recommended serving size for a bowl of cereal is 30 grams, and this does not account for added milk or sugar, which could significantly change the sugar content.

 

South Africa’s health authorities have begun exerting a great deal of pressure on manufacturers to reduce sugar levels in their products, so the situation will certainly change over time. Still, cereals are a great option if your family doesn’t have the time for other breakfast alternatives. So, if you choose to eat cereal for breakfast, here are some tips to help you select a healthier options.

 

Limit the sugar

Try to choose a breakfast cereal with under 5 grams of sugar per serving. Read the food label to find out how much sugar the product contains.

 

Aim for More Fibre

Breakfast cereals that pack at least 3 grams of fibre per serving are optimal. Eating enough fibre can have numerous health benefits.

 

Pay Attention to the Portion Sizes

Breakfast cereals tend to be crunchy and tasty, and it can be very easy to consume a high number of calories, so try to measure how much you’re eating, using the serving size information on the packaging for guidance.

 

Read the ingredients list

Ignore the health claims on the front of the box, making sure to check the ingredients list. The first two or three ingredients are most important, as they comprise the majority of the cereal. While government regulations try to combat sneaky messaging from manufacturers, food producer still use tricks to hide the amount of sugar in their products. Some sugars are listed several times under different names, like fructose, glucose and sucrose.

 

Add Protein if Possible

Protein is a macronutrient that increases fullness and reduces appetite. Try adding greek yoghurt or a handful of nuts or seeds to the cereal for that extra bit of protein.

How to tell if someone has concussion

How to tell if someone has concussion 854 471 BeckmanDev

ARTICLE SUPPLIED BY

EYE INSTITUTE | CENTURION

Concussions are more common than you may think. It is not always easy to know if someone has a concussion. You don’t have to lose consciousness to have a concussion.

 

What is a concussion: A type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull.

 

In some cases, people will have obvious symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury. Other times, it is not that easy to identify.

 

It is important to identify a concussion and seeing a doctor as they can be dangerous and in some cases, fatal.

 

THE FOLLOWING IS A CHECKLIST OF STEPS OF HOW TO TELL IF SOMEONE HAS A CONCUSSION:

  • Check for loss of consciousness
  • Check if breathing is slow and shallow
  • Ask the victim questions, such as:
    • What is your name?
    • Where are you?
    • What happened to you?
  • Check the victim’s eyes. If you have a flashlight, shine the light into their eyes to see if their eyes focus on the light and the pupils react correctly. The pupils of the eyes focused completely on light should constrict. If there is no response or they have irregular eye movements, suspect a head injury, stroke, or serious ailment.
  • Vomiting shortly after a head injury is a sure sign of a concussion. Some patients do not vomit.
  • Keep the patient awake for a period of time after the injury to see if they are worsening. Sleepiness or difficulty wakening can suggest a concussion or more severe head injury
  • Adults tend to go downhill once they have experienced a concussion. Children on the other hand may not. Keep a close watch on younger children for warning signs.
  • Do not move them unless absolutely necessary

Tips for avoiding ‘Tech Neck’ while working from home

Tips for avoiding ‘Tech Neck’ while working from home 854 471 BeckmanDev

ARTICLE SUPPLIED BY

KEET BESTER PHYSIOTHERAPY

Whether you’re working from home or simply spending more time video chatting with friends and family during the pandemic, chances are you’re relying on screens more than ever.

With all that time watching and scrolling, symptoms of “tech neck” can quickly creep up, making screen time a pain.

Tech neck results from the body position we often subconsciously assume when looking at screens. In this position, your chin comes forward, your shoulders round forward, and often your neck is flexed to look down at your phone, keyboard, and/or computer for an extended period of time.

The unnatural position causes micro-trauma and stress to the upper back and neck area, and leads to pain and discomfort. Eventually, it can cause poor posture.

At Keet Bester, we often see patients with tech neck who often present with the following:

  • neck and upper back pain and stiffness
  • trap pain
  • muscle spasms
  • localised shoulder pain
  • headaches

One can experience aching, burning, stabbing, throbbing, and even numbness and tingling all the way down to their hands.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in patients with signs and symptoms of tech neck. While people are becoming more aware of the condition, it deserves more attention.

Most people don’t think about the way they are sitting or take corrective action until they are in pain. Because it can take months to develop neck and or upper back pain, and even longer to really change one’s posture, it’s easy to form bad habits in our posture while using our devices.

Most people do not have the ergonomically correct chairs made for working on a computer. Additionally, working on laptops instead of desktops can cause you to lean over the screen. Not to mention, the stress everyone is under in these uncertain times can definitely lead to increased physical tension in your body and increased instances of tech neck.

Here are a few ways to ward off the condition include the following:

 

1. Rethink your workstation

Because many home offices are dining room tables, sofas, and beds, they don’t provide an environment for good postural positioning. We frequently advise our patients on setting up a more proper workstation to avoid injury or decrease their current pain. Visiting a physical therapist or physical medicine and rehabilitation physician to help assess and improve your workstation.

 

2. Pay attention to your posture

Sit with your shoulders against the back of your chair and placing your keyboard on your lap to prevent you from bringing your chin and shoulders forward. Most people lean over their desk to type and this is the main culprit of tech neck.

 

3. Take breaks

Take a break from the computer every 30 minutes to an hour. During these breaks, stretch the neck and shoulders. For tech neck due to repetitive smartphone use, take frequent breaks and use less. If watching movies or doing other activities for a long time, you should get a cellphone holder so the phone can be placed at eye level.

Frequent movement and stretching is very beneficial for the body. It keeps blood flowing and prevents muscles and joints from getting stiff. If you leave your neck in one position too long, you can develop pain and discomfort. And if not corrected, after a while, one can develop serious medical issues that result in prolonged or permanent pain and disability.

 

4. Perform stretches

Every hour, perform “Bruegger” exercises. To do this, sit up straight at the end of your chair with your arms extended out and behind your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, with your palms facing up, and tuck in your chin so your head is over your body. Hold this position for 30 seconds at a time while taking deep breaths. Then repeat three to four times. Bands can also be used to strengthen your upper back by performing exercises like scapula rows.

However, when most people have tightness or pain in their neck, they stretch their neck by touching their chin to their chest. This is the worst thing you can do for tech neck. Tech neck causes an elongation with weakness to the posterior neck muscles. In fact, anyone with tech neck should do the opposite. Stretch the front part of your neck and strengthen, not stretch, the back part of your neck.