Life Healthcare Magazine - September 2016

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‘Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.’ Joshua J. Marine

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i m a g e s g e t t y / g a ll o i m a g es , d a i l y d i sp a t c h a n d s u ppl i e d

The latest reads to nurture your mind, body and soul

Eat Ting: Lose Weight. Gain Health. Find Yourself By Mpho Tshukudu and Anna Trapido (Quivertree) The title of this book is deceptive because Eat Ting is not a diet book. Health and wellbeing are its core ingredients and the authors are hoping to lead you there by helping you fall in love with timeless African flavours, traditional South African food and modern versions of time-honoured classics. Registered dietitian Mpho Tshukudu and food anthropologist Anna Trapido present such intriguing recipes as gluten-free sorghum flapjacks and salads featuring low-GI, ancient grains, and they tempt with modernised tshidzimba with oven-roasted tomatoes or inhloko with spiced pumpkin salad. Eat Ting is clearly worth a read, and a taste, and the innovative dishes will leave you feeling happier and healthier.

The Longevity Book: Live Stronger. Live Better. The Art of Ageing Well By Cameron Diaz (HarperCollins) Author Cameron Diaz wants to talk about a taboo topic: the ageing female body. In The Longevity Book, she pulls together research and advice garnered from top medical experts and researchers, layered with her thoughts, opinions and experiences to discuss a topic she believes is as essential to our health as it is emotionally charged and culturally neglected. With compassion and insight, she explores what history, biology, neuroscience and the women’s movement can teach us about maintaining optimal health and wellbeing as we transition from our thirties to midlife. What can we do to cope with changes in body, mind and spirit? The Longevity Book may have some answers.

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Muhammed Ali: A Tribute to the Greatest By Thomas Hauser (HarperCollins) On 3 June 2016, the world lost one of its greatest sportsmen and one of the strongest voices for equality on the planet. Muhammed Ali’s legacy goes far beyond the boxing ring and in this book, the author attempts to calibrate the legacy left behind from interviews, research and historical documents. While this book could easily be misconstrued as just another biography, Hauser pushes the envelope by examining what Ali really stood for as opposed to what corporate America and the media wanted him to be. Through his work and true to his journalistic roots, Hauser attempts to reveal the real Ali – warts and all – and what he believed so we can truly celebrate his legacy.


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yoga: good for the mind, body and soul Show ageing the door as you slip into your comfy yoga pants and a yogic posture, says Charlene Yared-West


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spring 2016

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ome favour dairy and others oppose it vehemently. The prevalence of food allergies worldwide is increasing and studies have shown that an early introduction to food allergens – before six months – can increase the risk of developing food allergies, which is why it’s recommended these foods are only introduced after six months. Life Healthcare magazine speaks to two experts in the field of nutrition 20

i mag es getty/gallo images, istock and supplied

It doesn’t agree with everyone, so how do you know if you’re lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy? By Charlene Yared-West – registered dietitian Marijke Pienaar at Life Robinson Private Hospital and gastroenterologist Dr Hilda Smith at Life Wilgeheuwel Hospital – who shed light on the topic of lactose intolerance and milk allergies.

First, see an expert

‘If you suspect a possible dairy sensitivity, see your doctor for a food allergy test,’ says Pienaar. ‘Both allergies and intolerances can be managed, but

spring 2016

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attacks I

You feel like something’s seriously wrong, like you’re dying, but though you aren’t, a panic attack is one of the most frightening experiences. There is hope to managing the condition, so take a deep breath and read on, says Mandy Collins


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’ll never forget the night a friend sent me a message from the bathroom of a restaurant. ‘I’m having a panic attack,’ she texted. ‘It just came out of the blue. I’m sweating and shaking, and I can’t breathe. My chest feels like it’s going to explode. I feel like I’m dying.’ It wasn’t the first time she’d had such an attack so she could recognise it and ask for help, but the first time people experience a panic attack, they usually have no idea what’s happening to them, says clinical psychologist Werner Teichert of Life Poortview Hospital in Roodepoort. ‘Patients are often referred to me after racing to their closest emergency room with severe physical discomfort, often thinking that they’re having a heart attack only to find out that it was in fact a panic attack,’ says Teichert. ‘They describe symptoms that “came from nowhere” because they develop abruptly and may include a combination of heart palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, paraesthesia (numbness or tingling sensations), feeling of choking, trembling or shaking, dizziness, fear of going crazy and a fear of dying. These symptoms usually reach their peak within minutes and rarely last longer than an hour.’ Haneke Jonas, an occupational therapist specialising in mental health and vocational rehabilitation of mental health patients at Life Poortview Hospital, says panic attacks are rooted

in anxiety. ‘Anxiety is caused by stress and traumatic events, diet, genetics, exhaustion and underlying anxiety disorders, which cause a decrease in brain neurotransmitters,’ she says. ‘The “out of the blue” onset of a panic attack is rather an accumulation of the effects of anxiety and is often accompanied by subtle physiological signs preceding an attack. Even though people express the attack as being sudden, they are often unaware of the alarms that their bodies give them in advance.’ ‘Some people actually describe having a panic attack while relaxing at home or having dinner with friends,’ adds Teichert. ‘As part of my treatment of patients who have panic attacks or panic disorder, my recommendation is that they see their doctor to rule out medical conditions that could cause anxiety symptoms such as hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland) and hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). ‘Anxiety symptoms such as muscle tension, irritability, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, hypervigilance and restlessness resemble the symptoms associated with panic attacks, but are less acutely distressing and persist over a longer period of time. However, if untreated, anxiety symptoms will intensify over time and could lead to increased vulnerability for panic attacks.’ Teichert says panic attacks are usually treated with psychotherapy (cognitive behavioural therapy is usually the treatment of choice) and in some

spring 2016

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i mag es getty/gallo images and supplied



‘I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.’ Unknown

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i n n o va t i o n

A new space for

Life Wilgers NICU

Life Wilgers Hospital has just unveiled its new neonatal ICU (NICU) – a spacious, comfortable facility that caters not just for infants, but parents too. By Meg de Jong

images supplied


he time parents spend bonding with their new arrival is precious beyond description – even more so in the case of a complicated birth or premature delivery. This very simple yet significant fact is at the core of Life Wilgers Hospital’s new neonatal intensive care unit, which opened in May – a spacious redesign that allows mothers and fathers privacy and comfort as they tend to their newborns. ‘There’s plenty more space for parents, which is so important,’ says paediatrician Dr Humphrey Lewis, adding that each crib can be isolated so the family has privacy. ‘It’s a huge improvement that they have more

access to the children,’ he says. The design of the NICU is geared towards a calming, therapeutic atmosphere, with large windows allowing plenty of natural light into the space. A dedicated milk expression room is kitted out with comfy chairs for mothers to express in private, and there is also a clean sluice room for handling used bottles. Visits to the NICU are never an easy time for those involved, and parents will often be faced with difficult decisions around the future of their newborns. Life Wilgers Hospital’s counselling area was added as a space for medical staff to discuss a child’s prognosis with parents. The unit is also equipped with a special humidity incubator –

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or giraffe incubator – for premature babies who are at risk of losing too much water through their skin, and suffering from temperature and electrolyte imbalance as well as dehydration. While every care is taken to protect newborns from germs and bacteria in NICU, from time to time infection takes hold and the baby will need to be kept in isolation. The new NICU is equipped with four isolation cubicles to keep babies healthy and comfortable for this duration, as well as host babies from the emergency room or other units. ‘The new unit has been planned according to 2016 needs in South Africa,’


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‘Caring for others is an expression of what it means to be fully human.’ Hillary Clinton

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PUZZLE THIS... Test your mental agility with our brain-teasers


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I M A G E I S T O C K P U Z Z L E S P R E S S / M A G A Z I N E F E AT U R E S ( P T Y ) LT D

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