Pain in the front of the knee (Quadriceps tendonitis)
Quadriceps tendonitis causes pain in the front of the knee, just above the kneecap. Usually, the pain is dull and gradually increases over time.
It is often a result of repetitive movements like jumping or kneeling. This overuse leads to tiny tears, which cause pain and swelling.
While any active person can develop quadriceps tendonitis, athletes have a higher risk, especially if you:
> run on hard surfaces
> play jumping sports, like volleyball and basketball
> exercise without warming up
> exercise without enough recovery time
> repeatedly squat or kneel.
As with any injury, it is best to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis before proceeding with a treatment plan.
Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death. Having high cholesterol levels — particularly “bad” LDL — is a major risk factor for heart disease.
Thankfully, you can lower this risk by incorporating certain foods into your diet. Here are 9 foods that can lower cholesterol, placing you on the path to a balanced diet and keep your heart healthy.
Breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Australian women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Survival rates continue to improve in Australia, with 89 out of every 100 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer now surviving five or more years beyond diagnosis.
Finding breast cancer early provides the best chance of surviving the disease. You don’t need to be an expert or use a special technique to check your breasts.
Changes to look for include:
> a new lump or lumpiness
> a change in the size or shape of your breast
> a change to the nipple, such as crusting, ulcer, redness or inversion
> a nipple discharge that occurs without squeezing
> a change in the skin of your breast such as redness or dimpling
> an unusual pain that doesn't go away.
Most changes aren’t due to breast cancer but it’s important to see your doctor without delay if you notice any of these changes.
Fibre is an important nutrient that may promote weight loss, lower blood sugar levels and fight constipation. On average, we get less than half of what we need. Increasing your fibre intake is relatively easy— simply integrate foods into your diet that have a high percentage (%) of fibre per weight.
Here are 10 high-fibre foods that are both healthy and satisfying.
Prostate cancer occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. These abnormal cells can continue to multiply in an uncontrolled way and sometimes spread outside the prostate into nearby or distant parts of the body.
While prostate cancer could occur in any man, certain factors raise your risk for the disease, such as:
> older age
> a family history of prostate cancer
> certain ethnicities or race
> genetic changes.
In the later stages, some symptoms of prostate cancer might include:
> Feeling the frequent or sudden need to urinate
> Finding it difficult to urinate
> Discomfort when urinating
> Finding blood in urine or semen
> Pain in the lower back, upper thighs or hips.
These symptoms may not mean you have prostate cancer, but if you experience any of them, it is best to see your doctor. To book an appointment with our doctor, click on the blue 'Book Now' button.
Source: Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia & Healthline
Osteoarthritis (OA) is an inflammatory condition. Eating foods that contribute to inflammation in the body can aggravate its symptoms. Avoiding certain foods could help you prevent OA flare-ups.
> Sugar-rich carbohydrates, such as processed cakes, cookies, and bakery items, may change your body’s immune response to disease. This reaction can worsen inflammation and leave your strained joints feeling even weaker.
> Eating too much sodium causes your cells to retain water. Your body does need sodium to function, however, eating too much leads to an inflammatory reaction. This can contribute to joint damage.
> The Arthritis Foundation points out that foods high in saturated fats, such as fries and doughnuts, can increase inflammation in the body and make OA pain worse. The oils used to fry foods create chemical reaction in your body and can raise your cholesterol.
> Refined wheat products, like white bread, stimulate your body’s inflammatory response. That’s why eating a lot of refined pastas, cereals, and grain products might make your OA pain flare up.
> According to Harvard Medical School, you should limit your intake of foods containing omega-6 fatty acids, such as egg yolks and red meat. Saturated fats may increase levels of inflammation in the body, making OA pain worse.
> Most experts discourage drinking alcohol to excess when you have OA. Drinking alcohol, especially beer, can contribute to flare-ups because of high purine levels in commercial alcohol products.
Bananas provide numerous health benefits. They contain several essential nutrients and provide benefits for digestion, heart health and weight loss. Aside from being very nutritious, they are also a highly convenient and delicious snack food that can keep you healthy and feeling full.
Living with arthritis can be a challenge. Regular exercise and weight loss can help reduce the burden on your joints. Exercise not only contributes to weight loss, but it also can help support the joints by strengthening the muscles around them.
Eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, low-fat proteins, and whole grains can also help ease inflammation and prevent weight gain.
Assistive devices, like canes, raised toilet seats, or equipment to help you drive a car and open jar lids, are available to help you maintain independence and daily function.
As with most health challenges, getting an early diagnosis and a head start on treatment often results in the best outcomes.
Don’t just chalk joint stiffness up to another unavoidable sign of ageing. If there’s swelling, pain, or stiffness, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your doctor, especially if these symptoms interfere with your daily activities.
To reduce levels of inflammation, aim for an overall healthy diet. If you're looking for an eating plan that closely follows the tenets of anti-inflammatory eating, consider the Mediterranean diet, which includes the following foods:
Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, which may reduce inflammation and protect against cancer.
Berries provide antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which may reduce inflammation, boost immunity, and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Nuts are full of inflammation-fighting monounsaturated fat, protein and fiber.
4. Olive oil
Olive oil contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, antioxidants and oleocanthal, a compound that can lower inflammation and pain.
5. Leafy greens
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain a natural compound called sulforaphane. Research on mice shows sulforaphane blocks the inflammatory process.
6. Fatty fish
Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel boast high amounts of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
Source: Harvard Health Publishing and Healthline
Anxiety is a disorder characterised by constant worry and nervousness, and is sometimes related to poor brain health. Medication is often required as treatment.
Aside from medication, there are several strategies you can use to help reduce anxiety symptoms, from exercising to deep breathing.
There are also some foods you can eat that may provide anxiety relief, mostly due to their brain-boosting properties.
Benefits of Nuts
When incorporated into a healthy diet consisting of other natural, whole foods, nuts may help reduce risk factors for many chronic diseases.
Bear in mind the that beneficial effects of nuts are attributed to nuts that have been minimally processed and have no added ingredients.
Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body. These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning.
Making small lifestyle changes and incorporating these tips into your routine can increase your metabolism.
Having a higher metabolism can help you lose weight and keep it off, while also giving you more energy.
How Much Water Should We Drink?
Health authorities generally recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 litres, or half a gallon. However, some health experts believe that you need to sip on water constantly throughout the day, even when you’re not thirsty.
At the end of the day, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, since an individual’s water needs varies according to activity level, weather, certain health conditions, the intake of certain medications and more.
However, these guidelines should apply to the majority of people:
1. When you’re thirsty, drink.
2. When you’re not thirsty anymore, stop.
3. During high heat and exercise, make sure to drink enough to compensate for the lost fluids.
Sources: Healthline and Harvard Health Publishing
Food cravings can be tricky to deal with. Fortunately, there are healthy snack options out there that can satisfy your cravings and serve as nutritious additions to your diet. As with all types of food, it is important to watch your portion size to avoid overeating.
Brain and Memory Foods
Certain vitamins and minerals in foods can help keep your brain sharp by battling fatigue and boosting energy. Here are some brain-boosting foods that can help strengthen and energise your mind.
Omega-3 fatty acids, which is found in abundance in salmon, has been shown to help fight fatigue.
Coffee can help boost alertness, mood and concentration. Drinking coffee over the long term is also linked to a reduced risk of neurological diseases thanks to its caffeine and antioxidants.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants, which act against both oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions that may contribute to brain ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.
Avocados contain monounsaturated healthy fats, which provide sustained energy throughout the day. They’re also high in magnesium and potassium, which help improve blood flow.
Dark leafy greens
Most greens (like spinach and kale) contain high levels of vitamin C and iron, they can help fight fatigue caused by an iron deficiency — a common cause of tiredness.
Eggs are a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamins B6 and B12, folate and choline, which are important for proper brain functioning and development, as well as regulating mood.
Getting to Sleep
Having trouble falling and staying asleep can affect your mental and physical health. Try the techniques below to help you fall asleep quicker and improve sleep quality:
1. Listen to Relaxing Music
Studies have shown that soothing music can promote more restful and deeper sleep. It can even be used to improve chronic sleep disorders like insomnia.
2. Get on a schedule
Our body has its own regulatory system called the circadian rhythm, which works like an internal clock. Waking up and going to bed at the same times each day can help your internal clock keep a regular schedule.
3. Turn off all electronics
Disconnect all electronics, and put away computers and mobile phones so you can ensure a quiet place, free of distractions.
4. Exercise during the day
Exercise can increase the duration and quality of sleep by boosting the production of serotonin in the brain and decreasing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
5. Practice Meditation
Meditation can enhance melatonin levels and assist the brain in achieving a specific state where sleep is easily achieved.
Staying hydrated is extremely important for your overall health. Health experts often recommend drinking several glasses of water per day to meet your hydration needs.
While drinking water is important, you can consume a significant amount of water by including a variety of water-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet.
Vitamin D Benefits
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin in a family of compounds that includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3.
Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it’s directly exposed to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.
Here are three lesser known benefits of vitamin D:
1. Fights disease
Research suggests that vitamin D may play a role in reducing your risk of multiple sclerosis, decreasing your chance of developing heart disease, and helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu.
2. Reduces depression
Studies have shown that vitamin D might play an important role in regulating mood and warding off depression. In one study, scientists found that people with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed an improvement in their symptoms.
3. Boosts weight loss
In one study, people taking a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement were able to lose more weight than subjects taking a placebo supplement. The scientists said the extra calcium and vitamin D had an appetite-suppressing effect.
In adults, symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency include tiredness, aches, bone or muscle pain, weakness and stress fractures.
Our doctors can diagnose a vitamin D deficiency by performing a simple blood test. Book a consultation by clicking on the link in our bio.
Bowel cancer is Australia’s second deadliest cancer. 1 in 13 Australians will develop the disease in their lifetime.
Bowel cancer affects men and women, young and old. Around 30% people who develop bowel cancer have either a hereditary contribution, family history or a combination of both.
• change in bowel habit with diarrhoea, constipation or the feeling of incomplete emptying
• thin bowel movements
• blood in the stools
• abdominal pain, bloating or cramping
• Pain or a lump in the anus or rectum
• Unexplained anaemia causing tiredness, weakness or weight loss
It’s important to know the symptoms of bowel cancer and have them investigated if they persist for more than two weeks. Almost 99% of bowel cancer cases can be treated successfully when detected early.
How To De-Stress
Constant stress can have real physical effects on the body. It has been linked to a wide range of health issues, including mood, sleep, appetite problems and even heart disease.
Stress can manifest in subtle ways that increase people’s risk for heart disease. For example, when stressed, people often eat unhealthy food and don't have the energy or time to exercise. Stress can also lead to other heart-damaging behaviours, such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol.
Here are five simple tips to help you deal with stress and manage unhealthy habits:
1. Stay positive: Laughter has been found to lower levels of stress hormones, reduce inflammation in the arteries, and increase "good" HDL cholesterol.
2. Meditate: This practice of inward-focused thought and deep breathing has been shown to reduce heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. Yoga and prayer can also relax the mind and body.
3. Exercise: Every time you are physically active, your body releases mood-boosting chemicals called endorphins. Exercising not only helps you destress, it also protects against heart disease by lowering your blood pressure, strengthening your heart muscle, and helping you maintain a healthy weight.
4. Unplug: It's impossible to escape stress when it follows you everywhere. Take time each day — even if it's for just 15 minutes — to escape from the world. Get off your phone or laptop, take a break from emails and turn off the TV.
5. Do something you enjoy: Simple things like a warm bath, listening to your favourite music, or spending time reading, can give you a much-needed break from stressors in your life.
Source: Harvard Health Publishing
Arthritis is an umbrella term used to describe inflammation of the joints. There are different kinds of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA).
The basic symptoms of RA and OA include:
- Painful, stiff joints
- Limited range of motion
- Warmth or tenderness in the affected area
- Increased intensity of symptoms first thing in the morning
So, what’s the difference between these two conditions?
OA is primarily a degenerative joint condition, while RA is an autoimmune condition that can affect your entire body— lungs, heart, eyes — and not just your joints. Both are more prevalent in older adults, but RA can develop at any age.
Benefits of Walking
A little bit of walking everyday can offer numerous health benefits to people of all ages and fitness levels. It is easy to fit into your daily routine, and may also help prevent certain diseases. All you need to start walking is a sturdy, comfortable pair of walking shoes.
Always speak to your doctor before starting a new fitness routine.
Feeling Sleepy During The Day
Dealing with daytime sleepiness at work can be challenging as it can affect your productivity level and performance.
Here are 6 steps you can take to fight off sleepiness at work.
1. A shot of caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant, meaning it increases activity in the brain and nervous system. It can improve your thinking ability and mental performance, and give you the energy boost you need. Be careful not to go overboard as drinking too much caffeine can overstimulate you and make you jittery.
2. Get a little bit of shut-eye
If possible, squeeze in a quick power nap on your lunch break. A 15 or 30-minute nap might give you enough energy to power through the day. Don’t forget to set your alarm clock to avoid oversleeping!
3. Get up from your desk
Periodically rising from your workstation to stand or walk around gets your blood flowing. It can also help you to stay awake and concentrate on your work.
4. Listen to upbeat music
Having to do your job in silence can be a drag. To wake up your brain, listen to upbeat music— the more upbeat, the better.
5. Eat a light lunch
Eating a light lunch can keep your energy up. As you pack your lunch, choose healthier sources of energy such as boiled eggs, chicken, berries, nuts, vegetables, and whole grains. Stay away from sugary snacks, sodas, or carbohydrates like white bread and white pasta.
6. Keep your workspace bright
Sunlight in your office can increase alertness and energy. If you’re fortunate to work in a space with windows, let in some natural light. If you don’t have a window near your workspace, get permission to bring in a lightbox– this emits a low level of UV light and helps regulate your wake cycle so you feel less sleepy.
It is best to rule out an underlying problem- such as sleep apnea- by visiting your doctor if your tiredness continues for longer than a few weeks.
Vitamin C is well known for being a potent antioxidant, as well as having positive effects on skin health and immune function. While citrus fruits may be the most famous sources of vitamin C, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables are rich in this vitamin. The current daily value (DV) for vitamin C is 90 mg.
1. Yellow bell pepper
Just one-half cup (75 grams) of yellow peppers provides 137 mg of vitamin C, or 152% of the DV, which is double the amount found in green peppers.
This cruciferous vegetable contains 89 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. One-half cup of steamed broccoli provides 57% of the DV for vitamin C and may lower your risk of inflammatory diseases.
Strawberries contain 59 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. One cup of strawberry halves (152 grams) delivers 89 mg of vitamin C, or 99% of the DV. This nutritious fruit may help your heart and brain health.
Papaya contains 62 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. One cup (145 grams) of papaya provides 87 mg of vitamin C, or 97% of the DV, which aids memory and has potent anti-inflammatory effects in your brain.
In addition to 78.9 mg of vitamin C, pineapple contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps break down food and reduce bloating.
Kiwis contain 93 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. One medium-sized kiwi packs 71mg of vitamin C, or 79% of the DV, which benefits blood circulation and immunity.
One cup of sliced mango provides 60.1 mg of vitamin C. Mango is also a great source of vitamin A, which like vitamin C plays a key role in immunity and additionally keeps your eyes healthy.
A single guava contains 126 mg of vitamin C, or 140% of the DV. It’s particularly rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which is associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Eating a good quality diet, as depicted by the Healthy Eating Plate, can prevent deficiencies in nutrients that help support a healthy immune system.
1. Make most of your meal fruits and vegetables: Aim to incorporate variety and colour, and remember that potatoes do not count as vegetables due to their negative impact on blood sugar.
2. Incorporate healthy protein: Fish, poultry, beans and nuts are versatile sources of protein- they pair well with vegetables and can be mixed into salads. Limit red meat and avoid processed meats such as sausage and bacon.
3. Stick to whole grains: Whole and intact grains such as whole wheat, barley, quinoa, oats and brown rice have a milder effect on blood sugar and insulin compared to refined grains like white bread and white rice.
4. Use healthy plant oils, but in moderation: Use vegetable oils like olive, soy, corn, canola, sunflower, peanut and others, and avoid partially hydrogenated oils such as margarine and vegetable shortening, which contain unhealthy trans fats.
5. Make water your main daily beverage: Skip sugary drinks, use little to no sugar in tea and coffee, limit milk and dairy products to 1 to 2 servings a day and juice to a small glass per day.