Page 1

SUMME R 2019

language creating a great healthcare experience altogether



From possibility to ability Our sub-acute hospitals offer comprehensive inpatient rehabilitative programmes for patients who have suffered an injury or illness. A dedicated multi-disciplinary team of health professionals will help you on your way to recovery.









WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU We would like to invite all patients and customers to air their views and provide us with input regarding this magazine. In doing so, we can remain relevant and will then be able to make a difference and “create a great healthcare experience altogether” on a daily basis. Please email us with any suggestion you would like to read about at or

FIND US: Facebook: @intercaregroupsa LinkedIn: Intercare Group ADVERTISING & EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES Health-Bytes Publishing: 021 913 0504 | Publishing Editor: Christa Grobler Graphic Designer: Anke Marais Proofing: Jö Grobler Printing: Business Print

ADVERTISING: FREE copies of Body Language are distributed at Intercare Medical and Dental Centres. To advertise, please contact our advertising department.

Body Language 01


Message from


In 2020, the Intercare Group will be celebrating its 20th year in business, although the first medical and dental centre only opened its doors in 2002. Intercare has shown immense growth over the years, which would not have been possible without the dedicated efforts of our healthcare professionals, staff and care partners, and the overwhelming support of our customers. The organisation has always been differentiated by its unwavering focus on delivering value to customers, underpinned by a strong ethos of innovation and a relentless commitment to excellence. Intercare believes that true value is a function of quality, affordable clinical care as well as accessibility, convenience and customer service. The company has made significant investments in innovative approaches to how it monitors and enhances all aspects of customer experience, and consistently challenges industry benchmarks in these areas. Solving for the customer needs has always been a key contributor to the organisation’s success. However, Intercare recognises that these are dynamic and that offering a new level of convenience and accessibility to our patients is critical. Digital health technologies are key enablers of this, and 2020 will see Intercare build on its existing digital capabilities and offering to patients, which will include telemedicine solutions.

The challenges of today, of which there are many, represent the opportunities of tomorrow and if we remain steadfast in our commitment to the Intercare vision and values, we will continue to be leaders in health in the decade to come. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support and dedication during a trying year and wish you and your loved ones a blessed festive season and a new year filled with peace, joy and prosperity.


02 Body Language


Rifilwe Community Outreach Throughout the year, Intercare reached out to several underprivileged communities. The last initiative for 2019 took place on Wednesday, 27 November at the Rifilwe Community Centre where the Christian Social Services is overseeing a “Garden of Love� for the women in need. About 15 women of all ages, attend to the vegetable garden three times a week. Produce from the garden are harvested and divided between the ladies. This project offers these jobless ladies a purpose in life by helping them to maintain the garden and assisting them to put food on the table. During the outreach, members from the corporate office not only ensured that the ladies have enough garden equipment and

vegetable seeds for the coming months, but also joined them in planting a variety of seedlings for a good harvest. Scarecrows were built and planted between the beds to keep the birds at bay. While some team members were working in the garden, others entertained the children with songs and games and surprised them with party bags, gifts, fruit and cold drinks. After attending to the garden, the ladies were treated with hats to protect them from the sun, food parcels and colourful cupcakes to take home. Thank you to all who participated in whatever way, thus demonstrating the value of Compassion.

Body Language 03



health news

Too much SUGAR can cause high blood pressure. It’s widely known that if you have too much salt in your diet, you’re more likely to develop high blood pressure, but a recent study suggests that people should be careful about how much sugar they consume as well. Drinking too many sugary beverages appears to raise the risk of high blood pressure, experts are warning. Findings suggest blood pressure goes up incrementally for every extra can of sugary drink consumed per day. The precise mechanism behind the link is unclear, but scientists believe too much

sugar in the blood disrupts blood vessel tone and salt levels in the body. For every extra can of sugary drink consumed per day, study participants on average had a higher systolic blood pressure by 1.6mmHg and a higher diastolic blood pressure by 0.8mmHg. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Someone with a blood pressure level of 135mmHg over 85mmHg is twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke as someone with a reading of 115mmHg over 75mmHg. Source


Strokes don’t only hit the elderly. One in five stroke victims are between the ages of 20-55.

Many strokes can be prevented. They’re often caused by high blood pressure, tobacco, obesity, diabetes, inactivity and stress.

Strokes can be treated, but you need to act fast. Signs include issues with balance, blurred vision, facial droop, a weak arm or leg and terrible headaches.

Be a man & lose weight

OBESITY AFFECTS MEN AND WOMEN ABOUT EQUALLY. BUT, YOU MAY BE SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT MEN PAY AN EXTRA PRICE, SINCE OBESITY TAKES A SPECIAL TOLL ON MALE HORMONES, SEXUALITY, AND PROSTATE HEALTH. HERE ARE A FEW FACTS THAT MIGHT MOTIVATE YOU TO RENEW YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP: • Obesity lowers testosterone levels, which can affect muscle function and heart health. • Men who are obese are more likely to experience erectile dysfunction (ED) than men with healthy weights. Weight loss can improve erectile function for overweight men. • Obesity has been linked to low sperm counts and reduced sperm motility, both of which can make a man less fertile. • Obese men are more likely than men with healthy weights, to develop kidney stones, which are typically very painful. • The prostate gland often enlarges (benign prostatic hyperplasia) with age. The prostate tends to enlarge more in men who are overweight. • Obesity changes the metabolism of sex hormones. Some studies have shown that extra body fat increases a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer. Find a healthy weight for a healthy life, it’s the manly thing to do. Source:

04 Body Language

Drowsy & driving Sleep deprivation is a common cause of motor vehicle crashes. But most people don’t realise that you can fall asleep at the wheel and never know it. Beware microsleep. When you’re extremely tired the brain will sneak in “microsleeps”—fleeting naps that usually last two or three seconds, but sometimes last up to eight seconds. If you experience a microsleep while driving, it’s all too easy to drift into another lane, run off the road, or crash into a tree or another car during those few seconds of unconsciousness. Drowsy driving doesn’t have the same stigma as drunk driving, but it’s every bit as dangerous. Any business that has employees operating motor vehicles on the company’s behalf, or has employees at high risk for driving while fatigued (e.g. shift workers, young people, business travelers), should have explicit policies and educational programs with respect to drowsy driving. Source:

FESTIVE SEASON HEALTH TIPS Celebrate responsibly Enjoy the festivities in moderation. Overeating can cause stomach issues. If alcohol is being served, please do not drink and drive. Eat frequent, small snacks Eat a little something every two to three hours to prevent overindulging on holiday treats.

Add veggies Fill half your plate with low-carb vegetables: salads, green beans, broccoli and asparagus are great. Portion properly You can still enjoy roast potatoes and malva pudding, but choose a smaller portion of these holiday favourites. Mind your drink Choose water or sugar-free beverages to avoid excess calories. Body Language 05


Whether you’re basking in the sun at the beach or seeking shade in a cool canopy of trees, protect yourself with these summer skin care tips to prevent sunburn. Sunburn can happen within 15 minutes of being in the sun, but the redness and discomfort may not be noticed for a few hours.


SLIP into a T-shirt


Use a tree, umbrella or tent to protect yourself from the sun.

SLAP on a hat


Stay hydrated and don’t wait until you’re thirsty.

SLOP on the sunscreen


Wear protective clothing, sunglasses and a hat.

SEEK shade often


SLIDE on sunglasses

>SPF 30

Stay indoors during the hottest time of the day from 10:00 to 15:00.

Use a sunscreen with a SPF of 30 or higher, that provides both UVA and UVB protection and is water and sweat-resistant.

What to do if you slip up and get burned:




What does sunscreen do?


Sunscreen filters, but does not block UV radiation


If you go boating, wear a life jacket.

Always swim with a buddy.

Keep toys not in use away from the pool and out of sight.

Be aware of dangers like rip currents, tides, sandbars, shallow and deep water.

Do not enter water after consuming alcohol.

Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.

Actively supervise children whenever near water. Designate a “watcher.”

Enter shallow or unknown water feet first. Don’t dive.

MINOR WOUNDS Skinned knees, bumps and bruises are often unavoidable in the summer, especially for active kids. Most minor wounds can be treated at home without the need for further medical attention unless: • There is a foreign body embedded in the wound. • The wound shows sign of infection. • The wound is from a human or animal bite.

WHAT TO DO • Wash your hands & check that there is nothing inside the wound. • Apply gentle pressure with a clean bandage or cloth to stop the bleeding. • Clean the wound under running water and wash the area around it with soap. • Apply an antibiotic ointment or spray. • Cover the wound with a bandage or dressing for protection. Body Language 05 • Get a tetanus shot if it's been five or more years and the wound is deep or dirty.

Your mouth says a lot about your health. Improve your overall wellbeing. Book a dental check-up.


OF BACK-TOSCHOOL BUGS Returning to school also means back to germs - your child is exposed to hundreds of other children – and a myriad of viruses and bacteria. We explain the most common ailments and how to treat them.

A IS FOR AIRWAYS COLDS Children typically have six to eight bouts of colds a year with more severe and longerlasting symptoms than adults. Home treatment If the child is generally healthy, his or her own immune system will overcome the virus. Antibiotics will not help a cold. • Keep the child at home. • Give plenty of fluids. • Give paracetamol (e.g. Panado) or mefenamic acid (e.g. Ponstan) for headache, pains and fever. Many combination cold medications contain feverlowering drugs. Do not over-medicate. • Clear nasal secretions with a saline (salt water) solution. Decongestants are only necessary when nasal obstruction interferes with feeding or sleeping. • Oral decongestants might contain sedating antihistamines, which might lead to drowsiness. Others contain pseudoephedrine, which can make children over-active. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice.



Fever, headache, muscle aches, pain and respiratory signs are typical flu symptoms. In children it can present as a runny nose, wheezy chest or even lung infection. Highly contagious, flu spreads by direct contact with droplets from infected individuals.

Asthma is a lifelong, chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes airways to narrow.

Home treatment is the same as for a common cold.

Signs and symptoms • Shortness of breath. • A high-pitched whistling sound or wheezing when breathing. • A cough that goes on for more than ten days. • Chest tightness.

• Airborne substances (cigarette smoke, strong perfumes, car exhaust fumes). Make sure your child’s teachers/carers know about: • Substances that may trigger your child’s asthma, particularly any food sensitivities. • An emergency plan to follow if an asthma attack becomes serious. B

Prevention The annually updated flu vaccine can protect against the most likely strains. Best time for immunisation is during March and April.

Prevention Avoid and manage asthma triggers, including: • Upper respiratory infections. • Allergens (animal hair, house dust mites, pollen, foods). • Environmental conditions (very cold air/low humidity). • Vigorous exercise.


GASTROENTERITIS (TUMMY BUG) Parasites, viruses or bacteria can all cause gastrointestinal infections. Rotavirus is the most common cause of acute diarrhoea, which

Why do children get sick so often? Childhood illness may not affect your family until your child starts daycare or school. After that, though, it may seem as if he (or she) is sick all the time. This is normal: your child is simply building a robust immune system. Resistance to infection develops only after exposure to a multitude of germs.

10 Body Language

is usually preceded by crampy abdominal pain and vomiting. These infections are generally short-lived, but there is a danger of dehydration. The younger and smaller the child, the greater the danger. Be particularly vigilant if your baby has diarrhoea or is vomiting. Don’t wait until you see the warning signs! Signs and symptoms of dehydration • No urination for 6 to 8 hours in children. • Fewer than 6 wet nappies a day in an infant. • Few or no tears when crying. • Thirst and dry mouth. • Sunken eyes or fontanelle. • Weakness/lethargy. Call your doctor if your child has: • Fever, diarrhoea or is vomiting. • Signs of dehydration. Rush your child to the emergency room if your child: • Vomits up blood. • Has blood and mucus in stools. • Starts projectile vomiting or has severe abdominal pain. Diarrhoea is often associated with an infection elsewhere (e.g. otitis media/ear infection, a respiratory infection). Consult your doctor, if you suspect that this is the case.

Home treatment To pevent dehydration: • Give small sips of liquid regularly. Tiny chips of ice to suck are sometimes more acceptable. • Use oral electrolyte solutions (Rehidrate or Hydrol) to replace lost fluid, minerals and salt. • Probiotics (Entiro or Reuteri) are essential in replacing the good flora in the gut. • Vomiting during gastroenteritis usually gets better rapidly and will often abate once the child is rehydrated. DIY REHYDRATION FLUID ADD + 8 level tsp of sugar + 1/2 a level tsp of salt + 1 l water. Give small sips of liquid regularly. Prevention • Hand washing is most effective. • Rotarix, a vaccine for rotavirus, can be administered from six weeks of age. C IS FOR CONTAGIOUS CHICKENPOX (VARICELLA ZOSTER) This is one of the most common children’s diseases and highly contagious.

How long should a sick child stay at home? Children can generally return to school when they: • have no fever • are rested and alert enough to pay attention in class • have completed any period of medically recommended isolation.

Signs and symptoms • A blotchy rash, followed by spots that are flat and red, turning into pimples, then itchy blisters, then scabs. • The rash may be the first sign of illness, sometimes coupled with a slight fever, headache and general malaise. Chickenpox is contagious from one to two days before the rash appears, to seven days after the onset of the rash, when all the blisters have formed scabs. Do not scratch the scabs as it can cause scarring. Home treatment • Alleviate the itchiness with a topical lotion (calamine lotion). • Give an antipyretic to ease the fever. • Keep nails short to prevent scratching.

Body Language 11

Prevention Varilrix, a chickenpox vaccine, can be administered from nine months.

years. Mumps is contagious from a day before, until three days after the swelling of the glands.

Home treatment • Give paracetamol for pain. • Avoid giving sour or acidic foods.


Signs and symptoms • Swelling of the salivary glands on one or both sides of the jaw • Pain when eating and drinking • Sometimes fever, muscle pain and headache

Prevention Your child can receive the mumps vaccine alone or in combination with the measles and rubella vaccines (known as MMR vaccine). Immunisation will enable you to avoid many dangerous childhood illnesses.

A viral infection that causes swelling of the salivary glands, but can also affect other organs. Mumps spread by direct contact and air droplets, it affects both sexes, while 85% of infection occurs in persons younger than 15

MEDICAL DICTIONARY Antipyretic: An agent that reduces fever or quells it. Antiemetic: A drug taken to prevent or treat nausea and vomiting. Decongestant: A drug that shrinks the swollen membranes in the nose and makes it easier to breathe. Diarrhoea: A familiar phenomenon defined as unusually frequent or soft or watery bowel movements. Probiotic: A microbe that protects its host and prevents disease. The best-known probiotic is Lactobacillus acidophilus, which is found in yogurt, acidophilus milk and supplements. Rebound (congestion): A rebound effect is the worsening of symptoms when a drug is discontinued, in this case, congestion. Mefenamic acid: A common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Viral infection: Infection caused by a virus. Some of the most familiar minor illnesses, such as coughs, sore throats, and attacks of diarrhoea and vomiting, are often caused by viral infections. However, it can also be responsible for fatal diseases such as rabies, HIV infection and AIDS. This article is for reference only and should not take the place of a medical consultation. If you are concerned about your child’s health, trust your instincts and call your doctor.

12 Body Language



Living with diabetes requires daily vigilance — counting carbs, exercising regularly, checking blood glucose throughout the day and more. But even with a proactive approach, situations can arise when a person’s blood sugar level drops dangerously low (or reach dangerously high). Severely low blood sugar can cause someone to become confused or even unconscious. Diabetes makes a person’s body unable to produce enough – or any – insulin. Insulin is a hormone which enables the body to convert and use glucose (sugar) from food as fuel. As a result, their blood sugar level is too high. Insulin dependent diabetics take insulin to help keep their blood sugar at safe, lower levels. But if someone doesn’t eat enough carbohydrates for the amount of insulin they’ve taken, or if they exercise more than usual without adjusting their insulin dosage, they can experience too low blood sugar — called hypoglycaemia.

The following signs and symptoms of low blood sugar can indicate that someone’s experiencing hypoglycaemia: • Shakiness • Dizziness • Weakness, having no energy • Sweating, chills and clamminess • Confusion and disorientation • Hunger • Fast heartbeat If action isn’t taken quickly to raise their blood sugar, it can progress to severe hypoglycaemia (informally called insulin shock* or diabetic shock), which may cause: • Muscle weakness • Difficulty speaking • Blurry vision • Confusion • Convulsions or seizures • Unconsciousness A person going into a “low” can appear to be drunk. They can sweat, talk incoherently, become disoriented, stumble, become aggressive, even “feisty,” sometimes obscene, or pass out. But they’re NOT drunk and they are definitely not having fun.

It can happen to people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and is especially challenging for people who experience what is called hypoglycaemia unawareness. As people have diabetes for longer and longer and they have more and more low blood sugar levels, their body will get used to being at that low level. Their bodies won't display typical symptoms. There can also be cases where people don’t act on their initial symptoms – for example, young children may not be able to describe their symptoms, so no action is taken to get their blood sugar back up. It then continues to get lower until their blood sugar is so low that they will lose consciousness. A hypoglycaemic event is an emergency, and intervention is necessary. Respond quickly. What can you do if you’re ever with someone who’s experiencing severe hypoglycaemia? 1. If a person is alert, or disoriented but still conscious, help them find something to eat or drink that contains about 15 grams of fast acting carbohydrates. Sweets like chocolate bars and cookies have carbs, but they also contain fat, which delays the absorption of carbs, so they are not ideal for this situation. Instead, choose: • Half a cup of fruit juice or regular soda. • Three or four glucose tablets. • Hard glucose candies e.g. five Life Savers candies or jellybeans.

14 Body Language

2. Wait for 15 minutes. Within 15 minutes, the symptoms of low blood sugar should be improving. During this time, ask the person to rest. Reassure the person as much as possible. 3. If the symptoms abate, ask the person to keep resting for a while. This has been an emergency situation and the person needs to take it easy. Follow up with a sandwich and a banana/ cookies, or similar food that takes a longer time to digest. This will stop the energy crash that can occur after eating lots of sugar. 4. If the person is, or becomes unresponsive or unconscious, or is having seizures, call an ambulance. Don’t try to give them anything to eat, as they may choke on it. However, they may have a glucagon rescue kit with them that contains a dose of injectable glucagon that can raise their blood sugar. If no one who’s been trained to use a glucagon rescue kit is around, stay with the person and wait for emergency responders to arrive. Talking to your friend or loved one about their experiences with hypoglycaemia can help you be aware and prepared to help in an emergency situation. And if their behaviour ever seems off, or they don’t seem well, don’t be afraid to ask if they’re okay. Since low blood sugar can make a person confused or disoriented, friends or loved ones might be the first to recognize that action is needed.


This is a condition in which blood glucose levels drop too low (below 3.5mmol/l) and your brain is not receiving the fuel it needs. This only occurs in people treating their diabetes with medication.

A condition in which blood glucose levels are abnormally high. It is more common in type 2, or non-insulindependent diabetics. It can also occur in type 1 diabetics who consume carbohydrate-heavy foods without enough insulin afterwards.



• Not eating enough food. • Missing or delaying a meal. • Exercising without taking the necessary precautions. • Taking too much medication – insulin and\or diabetes tablets. • Drinking alcohol.

• High blood glucose can result when food, activity and insulin or other medication are not balanced. • High blood glucose may happen when you are ill, pregnant or under stress.



• Hungry, shaky or light-headed • Nervous or irritable • Sweaty or weak • Your heart beats at a faster rate • Confused • A numbness or tingling in your tongue or lips • Have a headache • Be unusually sleepy

• Excessive thirst • Dry mouth • Excessive hunger • Glucose in the urine • Large urine volumes • Weakness and lethargy • Urinating more often • Blurred vision • Weight loss



Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) vs Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar).

Hypoglycemia is a medical emergency and needs urgent treatment (see the first aid section). If not treated immediately, it can result in: • Severe confusion and disorientation • Unconsciousness • Seizures • Coma • Death

• If you think you have high blood glucose, check your blood glucose levels. • If you have type 2 diabetes, call or see your doctor. • If you have type 1 diabetes, test your urine for ketones and seek medical advice immediately if ketones are present.

*Insulin shock refers to the body's reaction to too little sugar – hypoglycaemia – often caused by too much insulin. Diabetic coma refers to a victim of high blood sugar – hyperglycaemia – who becomes confused or unconscious. Body Language 15



Got a garden? it’s time to start planting. Did you know that regularly spending time in the garden could reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke by up to 27%? Or that gardening can lower the risk of obesity by an average of 54%? Research shows that gardening can improve both your physical and mental health as well as your mood. Gardening can relieve stress, reduce tiredness, and even improve memory and spatial awareness. 16 Body Language

HERE ARE SOME OF THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GARDENING: GET SOME VITAMIN D Spending time in the garden provides sunlight which in turn gives you some much needed Vitamin D. Vitamin D that comes from natural sunlight promotes a number of important health benefits such as stronger bone and muscle maintenance. Exposure to sunlight can also increase production of the happy hormones, serotonin and endorphins. Even if it is not from gardening, you should always look to spend some time doing outdoor activities.

MORE THAN A PHYSICAL WORKOUT Gardening for several hours a week is an enjoyable form of exercise which improves overall wellbeing. It could help you to lose weight and lower the risk of obesity by as much as 62%. One study found that three hours of gardening could equal the intensity of a onehour gym session (based on calories burned), whereas one hour of gardening equals about 35 minutes of jogging. All the activities (e.g. pruning, digging) will add up and give you a good workout.

Keeping your mind sharp by doing a brain-stimulating activity like gardening also has a positive influence on mental health. Regular gardening may even help reduce the risks of dementia by 36%. One study showed that dementia patients’ cognitive decline slowed down over the next 18 months, after they participated in 6 months of gardening.

Mycobacterium vaccae. This particular antidepressant causes cytokine levels to increase, which in turn boosts the production of serotonin – the happy hormone.

FEELING GOOD Being out in the garden and exposed to different microbes, living in the soil, helps to build up your immune system which in turn helps you to fight many types of diseases.

AND BREATHE Gardening is a very effective way of relieving stress and is a great distraction from the day to day stresses in life. According to a study by researchers at Wageningen University, gardening may have a calming effect by reducing the amount of stress hormones (cortisol) in the body. You may be surprised by how relaxed you feel after you spend some time among the plants.

Especially young children should be encouraged to take part in the gardening fun. Children who spend more time outdoors will feel less stressed, sleep better, and experience less ADHD symptoms. According to a UK research study, getting your hands dirty can also make us happier as soil contains a natural antidepressant called

SUPER FRESH FOOD Growing your own organic vegetables, herbs and fruit is not only rewarding but is there’s a good chance of people maintaining a healthier, nutritional diet too. Gardening can make us more conscious about what we eat. It encourages us to question the source of what we eat, and whether there is a healthier alternative for it.

DON’T HAVE YOUR OWN GARDEN? Make sure you get outside to parks and instead of gardening, fill your space with houseplants. Bringing nature inside will improve the atmosphere in your home by having lots of green around. You can even create a vegetable patch or herb garden on your balcony. Attending to your plants can be just as calming and rewarding as gardening outside. Check with your doctor first if it’s been a while since you’ve been physically active and you have health issues or concerns such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis or high blood pressure. It is a good idea to talk to your doctor before engaging in any moderate or vigorous gardening activities. SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? GET UP AND INTO THE GARDEN TODAY AND START ENJOYING THE BENEFITS. THE NEW WONDER DRUG IS YOURS FOR THE TAKING.

REFERENCES AND SOURCES: UK S Mobility at Organic Lesson at and www. Garden Furniture Land at


Medical Schemes


The idea behind medical aid seems quite simple: You pay a monthly premium, and in return the scheme helps you pay your medical bills. But it is complicated and complex. It seems that every year medical scheme premiums increase, and medical savings accounts are depleted sooner. Out-of-pocket payments from mid-year onwards is becoming the norm. It is important that you understand what your rights are with regards to how your medical scheme uses your savings to finance your healthcare needs. What type of care should a medical scheme not fund out of your Medical Savings Account (MSA)? Most medical scheme options are by law required to fund the costs related to the diagnosis and/or the treatment of specific medical conditions and to do so outside of your MSA. This is referred to as the Prescribed 18 Body Language

Minimum Benefits (PMBs). There are 270 such conditions which are defined in the Medical Schemes Act 131 of 1998. In addition, there are 26 chronic diseases, which are PMBs, including: High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Diabetes, Heart Disease and Heart Failure, Asthma, Bipolar Mood Disorder, Emphysema, Chronic Kidney Disease, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Hypothyroidism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, HIV, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus The PMBs may also include certain acute conditions such as: • Ear infections • Pneumonia • Asthma attacks • Heart attacks • Appendicitis • Fractures and dislocations of certain bones and joints

May the medical scheme put restrictions on the payment of PMBs?

How can I, as the patient, ensure I benefit from the PMB legislation?

A medical scheme can require certain conditions to be fulfilled before they fund PMBs. However, if all these prerequisites are met, the medical scheme is required to pay in full for whatever is specified in the Medical Schemes Act.

1. Educate yourself. This includes what conditions are covered, what parts of the diagnosis and treatment needs to be covered by law and what potential restrictions are placed on your funding by your medical scheme.

The following may be required by your medical scheme to process the appropriate payments in full:

2. Ensure you are registered for your condition and that any appropriate preauthorisation is obtained. This usually requires you to obtain a form from your medical scheme and have it completed and submitted. Ask your doctor about this when consulting with them.

o Completion and submission of certain paperwork and test results by your healthcare provider and/or yourself to confirm that the condition is a PMB. o Registration of the condition as a PMB. o Pre-authorisation. o The use of appropriate codes on accounts or in preauthorisation requests by the healthcare provider. o Confirmation that: • You receive your care from a designated service provider or a preferred provider within defined networks. • Your doctor prescribes medication from a defined list (called a formulary). • A patient has joined a specific disease management programme.

3. Ask your doctor if there are any codes they can use to ensure your care is paid for out of the correct benefit. To ensure that the scheme will accept full liability for the cost involved, the correct procedure codes and ICD10 codes (a code that can confirm what you have been diagnosed with) should be used in the billing process.

Is there a limit to benefits for a given PMB condition?

4. Ensure you see only doctors in the provider network your medical scheme has set up. These lists can usually be obtained from the medical scheme via their website, the scheme app or customer call centre.

The benefits, which a medical scheme is required to cover for a certain PMB, are sometimes defined quite broadly within the legislation, for example, that the medical scheme has to cover the diagnosis, treatment and costs of the ongoing care of these conditions. Exactly which tests and interventions are covered within this may not be specified, and should therefore be discussed with your medical scheme.

5. Ask your doctor if there is suitable medication on your medical schemes list of approved drugs or formulary. When collecting your medication from the pharmacy, ask them to provide you with medication on your medical scheme’s formulary. The medication your doctor prescribed may not always be substitutable, but your pharmacist will discuss this with you if that’s the case. Body Language 05


SAFETY IS NO ACCIDENT Make a New Year’s Resolution To Check For Safety and Prevent Falls in your Home. Falls are the second leading cause of accidents in the home, and 60% of all falls happen at home, accounting to more than a million trips to the emergency room every year. The number of falls increases during the holiday season. Anyone can fall. But as we age, our risk of falling becomes greater. Falls are the leading cause of injuries in older persons, resulting in hip fractures, cuts, and even serious head and brain injuries, that can be fatal. Fortunately, most falls can be prevented by creating a safe living space. With a few simple changes around the house, you can “fall proof” your surroundings to prevent dangerous falls. Key problem areas include stairs and under lit, wet or cluttered areas. The first step to avoiding falls is to understand what causes them. For example, poor balance, decreased muscle and bone strength, reduced vision or hearing, and unsafe conditions in and around your home can increase your chance of falling. Staying safe and on your feet is a matter of taking some steps to protect yourself. Let’s look at some of the best ways to make your home safe for everyone. This doesn’t 20 Body Language

have to involve a complete house remodel. You can make your home safe from falls with just a few basic changes. CLEAN UP CLUTTER. The easiest method for preventing falls is to keep your home neat and tidy. Remove all floor clutter, books, shoes, newspapers etc. and rearrange furniture to create clear pathways. Clean up messes, spills and debris immediately. REPAIR OR REMOVE TRIPPING HAZARDS. Tie up those computer, lamp, and extension cords you have laying around. Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall. If needed, have an electrician put in another outlet. Examine every room and hallway, looking for items such as loose carpet, slippery throw rugs, or wood floorboards that stick up. Then repair, remove, or replace those items for more effective fall prevention like using double-sided tape or a non-slip backing so the rugs won’t slip. INSTALL GRAB BARS AND HANDRAILS. These safety devices are crucial for older persons going up and down stairs, getting on and off the toilet, and stepping in and out of the bathtub without injuring themselves. Handrails for staircases are non-negotiable

and ensure safety for everyone. Make sure handrails are on both sides of the stairs and are as long as the stairs. AVOID WEARING LOOSE CLOTHING. You want to feel comfortable at home, but baggy clothes can sometimes make you more likely to fall. Opt for better-fitting and properly hemmed clothing that doesn’t bunch up or drag on the ground. LIGHT IT RIGHT. Lighting is an excellent way to help prevent falls. Install brighter light bulbs where needed, particularly in stairways and narrow hallways and night lights along whatever hallways or rooms you may use at night. Outside your home you should have lighting along walkways, on the porch, and around your garage; it’s important to be able to see where you are going especially in the dark. WEAR SHOES. Socks may be comfortable, but they present a slipping risk. Preventing falls at home can be as simple as wearing shoes. You can also purchase non-slip socks that have grips on the soles of the feet if shoes are too uncomfortable.

MAKE IT NON-SLIP. Bathtubs and showers, as well as floors in kitchens, bathrooms, and porches, can become extremely slippery when wet. Rather use non-slip rugs or consider putting down a permanent nonskid surface especially on shower floors and in bathtubs. STEP UP. Keep a sturdy step-stool around in case you need to reach higher shelves. Better yet keep your most used items shoulder height. MOVE MORE CAREFULLY. Many people fall at home by moving too quickly from a sitting to a standing position and vice versa. Preventing falls like this is as easy as taking your time. Pause after going from lying down to sitting and from sitting to standing. Also take a pause before using the railing on stairs, whether going up or down.


Body Language 21

“Don’t let the fear of falling again prevent you from being active. Inactivity creates an even greater risk of falling.”

FOR THE ELDERLY Fall prevention means injury prevention. Falls, with or without injury, scare many older adults so much that they limit their activities inside and outside the home, which can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness. The first step to avoiding falls is to understand what causes them. In addition to unsafe conditions in and around your home, poor balance, decreased muscle and bone strength, and reduced vision or hearing, can also increase your chance of falling. Have your doctor or pharmacist look at all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines. Some medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy. Have your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist at least once a year and update your glasses. If you fall... • Try to land on your buttocks to prevent more serious injuries. • Don’t rush to get up. • Make sure you are not injured before trying to get up or letting others help you get up. Staying safe and on your feet is a matter of taking some steps to protect yourself. You can prevent falls by making the needed adjustments to your home and lifestyle, and by making sure you eat well, stay fit, and use whatever devices will facilitate your daily life while keeping you safe. Your independence and wellbeing are at stake. 22 Body Language


Ready, set, exercise

Give a gift to yourself - to me, from me - and commit to starting an exercise routine in 2020. Exercise is the ultimate self-care activity, but no excuses allowed. Avoiding exercise is really a matter of mind over metabolism. In your mind, you can come up with a list of good reasons or rather creative excuses to skip exercising. But your body’s metabolism, the engine that converts meals (input) into energy (output), is just aching for a reason to workout.

Excuses serve a simple purpose: To relieve some of the guilt associated with not doing whatever it was we said we were going to do. The same goes for all our new year’s resolutions we tend not to keep. Because exercise (starting, doing more etc.) is one of the top new year’s resolutions every year, we pre-empted some of the most common excuses that people give for not starting, or keeping to an exercise routine: DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME OR TOO BUSY This is by far the most common excuse. We all work too much and don’t have a lot of time to devote to exercise. The

majority of the population are one, or all of the following; wife/husband/ parent/student, who has really busy schedules. If something is a priority, you will make and/or find time for it and make it happen. Schedule exercise into each day, in creative ways. Try time-saving strategies, such as interval training and gym shortcuts if time is your biggest excuse. Remember the famous quote: “Those who do not make time to exercise will need to make time for illness”.

the most successful and busiest people in the world ensure they find time to get their workouts in. I’M ON MY FEET ALL DAY AT WORK AND THAT COUNTS AS MY EXERCISE. Many people are convinced that their job is considered exercise. The only way your job counts as exercise is if you are an exercise instructor, a personal trainer who works out with his or her clients, or any other fitness-related job that involves sweating.

TOO TIRED Yes, you are. Who isn’t? The reason might be that you are not getting enough exercise. Did you know that exercise increases your productivity and boosts your energy levels both at home and in the workplace? Some of

24 Body Language

Even if you wear an odometer at work and find out you are walking 5 kilometres each day on the job, it counts as activity, not exercise. There is a big difference between the two. Rather go up and down the staircase in your office building or go for a walk during your lunch break. A sustained burst of energy — 20 to 30 minutes — does more good than 15 casual trips to the copy machine throughout the work day. But all movement is good.


I NEVER SEE ANY RESULTS Really? You don’t see results because a) you are not exercising regularly b) you eat too much junk which cancels out your workout c) you are expecting results too soon. Be patient and wait for 3 months to judge your results. If you are still not seeing results after 3 months, you should consider trying something different such as getting a personal trainer, seeing a nutritionist or changing your exercise routine. Seeing results and feeling better is about being consistent with exercise and eating right. GYM MEMBERSHIPS ARE TOO EXPENSIVE There are plenty of exercises you can do outside of a gym that are free. Walking and cycling is free and has a change of scenery. Put your baby in a jogging stroller and go for a long walk, run or jog. Or use an exercise application on your smartphone to do at-home exercise routines in the comfort of your own home. Get your small children to join in the fun and into the routine. They can also help you to stick to your resolution.

Then don’t. You don’t have to. Find an exercise buddy, partner or significant other and you might just be motivated to actually show up. It also helps to share your exercise goals with your buddy, because they will help keep you accountable. Try a trainer. Working with a trainer is a great way to jump-start or rejuvenate an exercise routine. Sign up for a local 5K road race and experience running together with lots of other people. You might just get a T-shirt as well. Do yourself a favour and make time for yourself to exercise instead of making excuses. If you want to get fit, you have to give away only one thing – your excuses. You’ll look and feel much better and you will be rewarded with reduced stress, lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar and other physical benefits — along with a healthy dose of pride.

Sources:; www.


As the year draws to a close, we know you need to take it slow. And though an adventure like a road trip seems great in theory, you probably just want a straight-forward getaway where the pool and playground are within walking distance. This way the team will be easily entertained and you can sit back for a well-deserved break. That’s why TravelGround has rounded up a list of ten resorts in South Africa and Namibia that are a proper paradise for the whole family!

MIDLANDS SADDLE AND TROUT RESORT Near Mooi River, KwaZulu-Natal From R1100 per night for 2 If you stay in one of this resort’s luxury chalets, you’ll have access to a restaurant, wellness centre, adventure golf, bowling, a convenience store, fishing, tennis, a games room, hiking trails, horseback riding, a jungle gym and a swimming pool right on your doorstep!

LE MIRAGE RESORT AND SPA Sossusvlei, Namibia From R4480 per night for 2 If you’re in the market for a high-end stay, Le Mirage near Sesriem in Namibia will ensure you unwind properly. Get a massage at the Mystique Spa, take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool or indulge in a five-course dinner at the restaurant on the premises.

MERRY PEBBLES RESORT Near Sabie, Mpumalanga From R320 per night for 2 This family-orientated resort in the heart of the Bushveld, offers tubing, swimming, trout fishing, and canoeing on the mighty Sabie River. It also offers activities like tennis, putt-putt, outdoor chess and fun facilities like water slides and trampolines to keep the kids occupied.

HEROLDS BAY RESORT Herolds Bay, Western Cape From R750 per night for 2 Enjoy sweeping views of the Indian Ocean and forests at this resort along the Garden Route. The Bush Lapa Restaurant on the premises has live music shows on a monthly basis and guests can birdwatch and mountain bike to their heart’s content.

26 Body Language

DINOKENG RESORT Dinokeng, Gauteng From R250 per night for 4 Tucked away on the outskirts of the only Big Five game reserve in Gauteng, this resort is a roar of a stay! It offers supertubes, a jungle gym, braai areas, a heated indoor swimming pool, a outdoor swimming pool, mountain biking trails, trampolines, game drives and a mobile spa.

THE KINGDOM RESORT Pilanesberg, North West From R1050 per night for 2 Laid out as a collection of small villages, this resort is just a two-hour drive from Johannesburg and the ideal getaway for Gautengers. Guests can cycle, mountain bike, rock-climb, swim and waterslide on the premises, or visit the spa and restaurant.

BOTTERKLOOF RESORT Still Bay, Western Cape From R729 per night for 2 This resort is located on an olive and wine farm along the Garden Route and offers a swimming pool, farm stall, wine store, restaurant, children’s play area, bass fishing, and birdwatching, so you don’t have to set foot off the premises to be entertained.

SWADINI, A FOREVER RESORT Near Hoedspruit, Mpumalanga From R375 per night for 2 Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Mac-Mac Falls are near this award-winning resort on the banks of the Blyde River. But with a heated and cold swimming pool, hiking trails, game drives, river-rafting and boat cruises on site, there isn’t much reason to stray from your stay.

HOLE IN THE WALL RESORT Coffee Bay, Eastern Cape From R550 per night for 2 Surrounded by vast stretches of unspoilt coastline, this resort offers picturesque scenery, not to mention activities and facilities like a swimming pool, braai areas, a wellness spa, a restaurant, a bar, a children’s play room, hiking, birdwatching, nature walks and fishing.

CHANTILLY RESORT Near Zinkwazi Beach, KwaZulu-Natal From R1750 per night for 2 Once an old homestead, today this luxurious resort plays host to weddings and conferences. It offers a swimming pool, bar facilities, outdoor showers and private patios with beautiful braai bomas for vacation goers - and Zinkwazi Beach is just six kilometres away! Body Language 27


Calling all men - take a Mo’ment Early detection is key when it comes to treating prostate and testicular cancer. PROSTATE CANCER Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer globally and locally, and showing significant increases. According to the National Cancer Registry, an estimated 1 in 19 south African men will develop prostate cancer. Prostate cancer affects one in six men over 50, and is most common after age 70. In South Africa there is a very high rate of late detection of advanced stage disease due to a lack of awareness. The prostate is a small gland positioned around the urethra (the exit tube from the bladder, which runs through the penis), and it produces seminal fluid, which along with sperm from the testicles, make up semen. RISK FACTORS You have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer if you: • Are OLDER than 50: Almost 2 out of 3 prostate cancer cases are found in men over age 65 • Have a FAMILY HISTORY: If your father or brother is diagnosed with prostate

cancer you are 21/2 times more likely to get it, compared to someone with no family history of cancer. • Have an AFRICAN ANCESTRY: International and local research indicates that the risk for aggressive prostate cancer is higher in black men. • Follow an UNHEALTHY LIFESTYLE: • Obesity • Lack of physical activity • Smoking • Drinking more than 2 standard alcoholic drinks per day • Unhealthy diet Up to 50% of male cancers can be prevented by making healthier diet and lifestyle choices. SYMPTOMS Symptoms are generally unnoticeable during early stages and appear only in advanced prostate cancer. Some symptoms are similar to those of benign prostate problems. They include: • Frequent urination, especially at night • Trouble starting/stopping urine flow • Weak urine flow

• Pain/burning sensation while urinating • Blood in the urine or semen • Difficulty getting and/or maintaining an erection • Painful ejaculations • Deep pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs DIAGNOSIS - EARLY DETECTION IS KEY Most enlargements of the prostate are benign (not cancer) and can be treated easily. See your doctor to make sure! Men need to go for simple screening tests to detect prostate cancer. It only takes 10 minutes. Regular screening results in early detection, and on-time diagnosis, enabling more effective treatment and a better chance of recovery: A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test: Blood is tested for PSA levels, a protein produced by the prostate. High levels may indicate inflammation of the prostate or even cancer. A blood test or finger prick test can establish if PSA levels are raised.

The following guidelines are recommended: Routine PSA testing, annually, from age 40 for all men at high risk of prostate cancer. This includes those men with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age (younger than 65 years). Routine PSA testing, annually, as from age 45 for all males who are at risk of prostate cancer. This includes men who have a history of prostate cancer on either the mother or father’s side, or with a firstdegree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than 65 years). Routine PSA testing, at least once every two years, for all males from age 50. The PSA test is often combined with a digital rectal exam: The doctor examines the prostate through the rectum to check for any prostate lumps or abnormalities which could be a sign of cancer. TESTICULAR CANCER Testicular cancer, though rare before puberty, is one of the most common cancer of men aged between 15 and 49. Testicular cancer is 100% curable if caught and treated early - even advanced testicular cancer can be cured. In fact, the overall cure rate is greater than 90% for testicular cancer detected at an early stage. If diagnosed early, testicular cancer can be treated effectively via surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. The testicles are two small oval-shaped organs hanging below the penis in a pouch of skin called the scrotum. Their function is to produce sperm and testosterone. RISK FACTORS

Your risk to develop testicular cancer increases if you have: • A history of cryptorchidism, i.e. testicle(s) that have not descended into the scrotum • A family history of testicular cancer • A personal history of testicular cancer • HIV • Had a rare complication of mumps called mumps orchitis SYMPTOMS


testicular self exam • Check yourself monthly during, or after taking a warm shower or bath. • In front of a mirror, look for any increase

Most testicular cancer can be detected at an early stage. Symptoms include: • A painless swelling or lump in one or both testicles • Enlargement of either testicle • Pain or feeling of heaviness in a testicle/ scrotum • An ache in the lower abdomen, back or groin • Pain/discomfort in the testicle/scrotum DIAGNOSIS For early detection, examine yourself regularly. Should you find a lump, your doctor may do a physical examination as well as laboratory and diagnostic tests to make a diagnosis and decide on a treatment plan. SOURCES Prostate Cancer Foundation of SA www.; Prevent Cancer Foundation; Cancer Research UK www.; National Cancer Institute (US) www.; CANSA

30 Body Language

in size or swelling. • Cup one testicle at a time using both hands. • Roll the testicles between the thumb and fingers, feeling for any lumps. • You’ll feel soft tube like structures at the top and back of each testicle (spermatic cord and epididymis) which may feel slightly tender – this is normal. • The testicle itself should be smooth with no lumps. • Lumps can be as small as a grain of rice, and are usually quite firm like rubber. • If you do detect a swelling or lump, make an appointment and have it checked by your doctor.

Summer Recipes LET’S BRAAI SOME PEACHES, PLUMS AND NECTARINES For most of us, it is not summer without the evocative smell of a smoky braai. Firing up the coals and throwing on our meat of choice is usually a thing of joy. However, the standard braai featuring meat and potato salad or coleslaw could be accused of being a little mundane or lacklustre, so here are some new and delicious braai suggestions, prepared by some of our favourite food personalities. They’re all inspired by the season’s stone fruit, so that you may add some zest and excitement to your outdoor cooking this festive season.


by Justin Bonello

• 1 tbsp of rice vinegar • A big glug of olive oil • A couple of pinches brown sugar • The juice and rind of 1 lime • Salt and cracked black pepper to taste • Half a red onion, finely chopped • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped • A chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and grated • 3 spring onions, finely sliced • A handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped • About 2 to 3 handfuls of various types of firm stone fruit, pitted and cut into strips To make a vinaigrette for the slaw, mix together all the ingredients except the fruit, mint and coriander in a salad bowl. Finish by tossing the fruit in the dressing to coat and serve topped with fresh mint and coriander.

PEACH, BACON AND CHICKEN KEBABS Serves 8 THE CHICKEN • 600 g chicken breast fillets • 1 tbsp grated ginger • 2 cloves grated garlic • 1/2 tsp turmeric • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper • 1/2 tsp salt • 1/2 tsp ground cumin • Zest of 1 VERY yellow lemon • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt Cut the chicken breast into 16 chunks and place it into a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, stir well to coat, marinate for 30 minutes. THE PEACHES • 2 large very firm cling peaches, washed. • 8 rashers of streaky bacon, cut in half lengthwise • 4 wooden skewers that have been soaked in hot water for 40 minutes. Cut each peach into 8 wedges and season with salt and pepper. Wrap each peach wedge in a strip of bacon. Divide the chicken and peach wedges between the four skewers, thread alternating the chicken and peaches. Grill on the fire for 12 to 14 min or until chicken is done, then brush with the glaze and cook for another minute or two. THE GLAZE • 1 tbsp honey • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce • 1 tbsp very finely chopped coriander • 1 tsp sesame oil Stir together and brush the kebabs just before taking them off the fire. Body Language 05 For more inspiration visit

We begin our day with one goal, putting our patients first. Family doctors for you and your loved ones. Our medical centres offer a wide range of healthcare services such as routine, chronic and walk-in care, as well as patient wellness. Open 7 days a week. Book online at

Day Hospital

Thanks to our child-friendly wards, there is nothing scary about our day hospitals.

Profile for Health-Bytes

BodyLanguage Issue 17 Summer 2019  

Snippets: Health nBack-to-school bugs First aid: How to treat insulin shock Wellness: Gardening for Good Health & Wellbeing Need to know: Me...

BodyLanguage Issue 17 Summer 2019  

Snippets: Health nBack-to-school bugs First aid: How to treat insulin shock Wellness: Gardening for Good Health & Wellbeing Need to know: Me...