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S u m m e r 2 0 1M3M E Re d i t i o n 2

01 What is the social contagion effect? 3

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Recipe : Vietnamese chicken & cabbage salad I 2 TI O Loneliness the silent killer 3

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PARK FAMILY PRACTICE Shop 188, 2A Hollywood Ave Bondi Junction NSW 2022 Telephone: 9389 5988 Facsimile: 9389 7688 Email:

Dr Jaroslava HYBS Dr Melanie GRAY Dr Debbie HILL Dr Simon GERBER Dr Margot CUNICH Dr Farah MEHER-HOMJI Dr Simone STROMER office staff: Tiffany - practice manager. Jazel, Lisa,Tricia Park Family Practice is a fully accredited general practice. All the doctors are vocationally registered. if your preferred GP is unavailable, the other doctors on duty are happy to see you.


Mon – Friday Saturday


8.30 am – 6 pm 9 am – 12 noon

Please ring 9389 5988 for an appointment. Let the receptionist know if you have an emergency or require a longer appointment. Missed appointments and cancellations are an inconvenience not only for us, but also for other patients who may have wanted your appointment time. Missed appointments will be handled as follows: 1st missed appointment - we understand, everyone can forget once. 2nd missed appointment - standard consultation fee will apply. Late cancellation (less than 2 hours prior to appointment) - standard consultation fee may apply.




Mythbusting - Popular myths of summer 3 To s m a c k o r n o t t o s m a c k ?


‘Network therapy’ for healthy lifestyles? W

hile much of what happens on social media such as Facebook and Twitter is superficial and shallow, there are also some serious benefits particularly with regards to health. The current uses in health include tracking disease outbreaks, improving emergency responses and helping people with medical conditions to receive better information. And these may be just the tip of the iceberg. It’s suggested that social media has great potential to change lifestyle diseases such as obesity, smoking and lack of exercise, which afflict our modern living.

with each obese person you have social contact with. You don’t even have to know someone with obesity - you just have to know someone who knows someone.

What to do?

All of the above doesn’t mean you should dump a friend who has a lifestyle disease. But it does mean the choices you make about your lifestyle have an impact on your friends. So making healthy choices can help both you and them. Health experts are also looking at intentionally using social networks, through social media, for better health. This is called ‘network therapy’. But rather than using Facebook and Twitter, which may be manipulated by interest groups for their Social own goals, programs may contagion be specially developed by, for example, a Illness and disease such as the flu and reliable health service. pneumonia spread from one person Ultimately, social network therapy would to another through catching bugs only be allowed with the agreement such as a virus or bacteria. Research of everyone in a group of friends. You now shows that lifestyle d ­ iseases might end up deciding that an influential also spread - through social networks person in the group becomes between people who are friends and ‘a champion of acquaintances. healthy lifestyles’, our chances of being obese increase with If your friends who can lead the each ­o bsese person you have social contact with are smokers, way for everyone - even if this is only through an online network for example, else. you tend to


light up too. If they have obesity, you’re also more likely to have a weight problem. This occurs because: XX people who are already similar tend to come together socially anyway XX people who socialise tend to influence and imitate each other’s habits and behaviours

As a result, your chances of being obese, for example, increase 0.5%

Speak to your GP for more information on healthy lifestyles.

Don’t forget your next appointment is on dd/mm



Your HealthTM is provided as an educational service to patients of our practice. It contains general information only. Please seek our f­ ­ormal advice before acting on any matter ­arising from it. The content herein is covered by copyright.

Loneliness, the silent killer



Vi e t n a m e s e c h i c ke n & ca b b a g e salad Preparation time : 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients: 2 (about 250g each) single chicken breast fillets 1/4 savoy cabbage, finely shredded 110g (2 cups) bean sprouts 1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips 1/2 cup fresh vietnamese mint leaves 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves 55g (1/3 cup) unsalted, roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped Dressing

60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice 2 tbs finely chopped palm sugar 2 tbs fish sauce 2 tbs rice wine vinegar 4 green shallots, ends trimmed & thinly sliced 1 fresh birdseye chilli , deseeded , finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Instructions: To make the dressing, combine the lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, shallot, chilli and garlic in a screw-top jar. Shake until well combined. Place the chicken in a large frying pan and cover with cold water. Season with salt and pepper. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside in pan for 15 minutes to cool. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 2 hours to chill. Finely shred the chicken with the grain and place in a large bowl. Add the cabbage, bean sprouts, carrot, mint, coriander and half the peanuts. Drizzle over the dressing and toss to combine. Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts to serve. Reproduced with permission.

oneliness is very common in Australia. It’s estimated that 3 out of 10 of us experience it as a serious problem at one time in our lives. While loneliness is much more than a Saturday night spent alone reading a book, it does also vary from person to person. For some people, solitude is a way of life that suits them, whereas for others it’s a negative experience. A common definition of loneliness is: a much deeper, long-lasting feeling of disconnection from the relationships a person desires to have. The highest risk of it occurring is when you experience: low income, being a lone carer, mental illness, physical disability and discrimination.

Widespread impact Loneliness is a concern, not just for the quality of your life, but also due to increased health risks. The health risks that increase due to loneliness include: y y Heart disease yy Aches, pains & headaches yy Poor sleep yy Mental illness (such as depression) y y Po tent ial suic ide r isk y y Alcohol & substance abuse y y Nutritional problems

What to do? Fortunately, loneliness can be overcome. The following advice is recommended, including: yy Connect or re-connect with family and friends (either in person or via the phone or internet) yy Get out and about – exercise, shopping, social functions yy Get involved in your community – join a club, enrol in study, learn a new skill yyVolunteer – helping others can make you feel more connected yy Get a pet yy Get support – if loneliness is causing you negative feelings, go see your GP or counsellor for help. For more information, visit For help, contact Lifeline 13 11 14.

Is sugar re ally t he e ne my? S ugar is frequently blamed for the high obesity rates in Australia. Some even say it increases health risks in general. But the expert advice is that such claims are too simplistic and it’s acceptable to have limited sugar in your diet.

Sugar claims There are different types of sugar, including: yy Lactose (dairy) yy Maltose (breads, beer) yy Sucrose = glucose and fructose bonded together (table sugar, many high-sugar foods) Fructose is a sugar that is particularly blamed for obesity. It supposedly stops your stomach telling the brain you’re full, which leads to overeating. It’s also claimed that fructose at any dose increases the risk of diabetes, dementia, heart disease and cancers.

Sugar isn’t causing obesity alone However the research shows the percentage of sugar in the overall diet of Australians is actually less than it was 30 years ago - yet obesity continues to rise.

So what’s the real problem with our diet? It seems we’re simply eating too much food of all types, in other words, too many calories. The problem with sugar then is consuming too much of it, particularly sugary drinks and fruit juices. These drinks contain excessive calories and aren’t as healthy in terms of nutrients compared to whole fruit. In addition, the research shows that small amounts of fructose don’t increase health risks. Fructose is found in apples and pears, so you can eat them as whole fruit or have an occasional juice.

What to do? The best advice for weight loss and good health is: XX Eat less food overall (reduce your calories) XX Eat a balanced diet including: plenty of vegetables, legumes and fruits, preferably wholegrain cereals XX Moderate fat intake XX Limited sugar and alcohol XX Plenty of water XX Exercise regularly

For more information: Speak to your GP, visit

Women’s Health


Hitting below the belt any women mistakenly believe they have to put up with chronic pelvic pain, it’s just a part of life as a woman. But chronic pelvic pain can be treated – and more importantly, not treating it can lead to worsening symptoms and may even reduce the chances of getting pregnant.

What is it? Chronic pelvic pain affects one in 5 women and is the most common reason for women taking days off work. It’s defined as pain located in the lowest part of your tummy (below your belly button), usually in a broad area, not a single spot, lasting for more than six months. It may be there all the time or comes and goes. The pain itself may be: XX Dull aching XX Sharp pains or cramping XX Pressure or heaviness deep inside XX Felt during intercourse or going to the toilet or sitting long hours.

Causes Chronic pelvic pain has many possible physical causes. One cause is endometriosis, where the lining of your womb (uterus) grows outside your

uterus, and menstrual tissue and blood is unable to exit the body and remains in your pelvis. Others include overactive pelvic floor muscles that cause spasms; when a small piece of ovary left inside after hysterectomy; and fibroids, which are non-cancerous womb growths causing pressure, heaviness or (rarely) sharp pain. Additional physical causes are irritable bowel syndrome leading to pain and pressure (together with bloating, constipation or diarrhoea symptoms), painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis), which is a chronic bladder inflammation, leading to a frequent need to urinate and Asherman’s syndrome (womb scarring, such as due to recent pregnancy, curettage and inflammation). Chronic pelvic pain may also be the result of psychological factors such as depression, chronic stress or sexual/ physical abuse. When a cause cannot be found for your pain, treatment aims to help manage and improve your quality of life. See your GP to receive a diagnosis and treatment. For more information, visit

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Mythbusting : Our favourite summer myths

Po Pox 780 Artarmon NSW 1570


Name ______________________

ummer in Australia – the beach, barbeques, outdoor picnics. Here are four myths about our most iconic season: Myth

Wait 30 minutes after eating ­before you swim

What does the research say? It’s claimed that more blood flows to your stomach after eating, not leaving enough blood to bring energy to your arms and legs for swimming, making them more likely to cramp. But research shows enough blood can flow to the arms and legs. Drowning statistics also show no association with eating. The real risk is with alcohol or drugs (associated with one in five

Address_____________________ ___________________________ Med. Practice________________


Mosquitoes ­prefer sweet blood

Mosquitoes vary in what attracts them. Type O blood appears more likely to be attractive, but

In the end, you’ll never know exactly why you got bitten, but someone next to you didn’t.

Sea water is good Salt in sea water is supposed to clean wounds. But sea water may also contain bacteria that cause a skin infection. If you’re immune system is weak, avoid sea water for cuts. Everyone else for cuts can first use sea water, but afterwards you should clean wounds with a sterile disinfectant

SPF50+ sunscreen is much better


people of all blood types still get bitten too. Certain natural skin bacteria give off smells that attract specific mosquitoes, however these bacteria change daily on our skin.

SPF50+ sunscreen’s protection shouldn’t be overestimated. It needs to be put on just as l­iberally as SPF30+ sunscreen, re-applied every two hours (or after swimming etc.), and used with ­protective hats, clothing, sunglasses and shade. In particular, while SPF50+ blocks 98% of ultra-violet B (UVB) radiation, SPF30+ blocks 97% - only marginally less. That’s why Cancer Council Australia recommends any sunscreen that is SPF30+ or more (and labelled broad spectrum and water-resistant).

For more information speak to your doctor.


In 15 words or less, what’s your favourite thing about summer? _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ _____________________________ Drawn 1 February 2014 - winning ­entries may be published online at

Children’s Health

The experts’ advice on smacking your child


urveys show that Australians are evenly divided on whether to smack children as a form of discipline and punishment. However the expert advice is very clear – it is wrong, for three key reasons. 1) Smacking doesn’t work. Yes, every child needs discipline. But the research shows that smacking only achieves a desired behaviour in the short term. Repeat and increasing smacking levels are needed in the long term to achieve the same result. In addition, rather than learning desired behaviour, children who are smacked just end up doing the undesired behaviour behind parents’ backs. 2) Smacking is associated with long term problems in childhood and adulthood including: aggressiveness, anti-social behaviour and mental health problems.

3) It’s illegal for adults to hit and hurt each other, so surely it’s not morally justified for parents to hit and hurt children.

What to do? The most effective way to teach your child discipline requires, firstly, a close, loving and trusting relationship, and also to: XX Be clear and consistent in what you expect from your child. XX Reasonable, consistent, age-appropriate expectations and limits. XX Let the little things go XX Ensure consequences relate logically to your child’s behaviour XX Provide ways of behaving differently in the future XXTake time to calm down or even walk away before you react XX Be clear that you disapprove of a behaviour, not your child XX Express pleasure and praise when your child does the desired behaviour XX Seek help and support if problems persist.

For more information, visit

The great fluoride debate A

ustralia began adding fluoride to drinking water in the 1960s. Now about 90% of us drink fluoridated water. Experts say that it’s a safe and effective method for achieving healthy teeth for children, and also adults. However, some people say we should stop, so it’s important to look at the facts.

What is fluoride? Fluoride isn’t a medication – it’s a substance found naturally in air, rock, plants, soil and water. One argument against fluoride is that it’s listed as a poison and used as an insecticide. However fluoride is only a poison when used in excessive amounts. Water fluoridation involves adding very small amounts of fluoride, which increases the amount already there naturally up to a level that is still safe. Fluoride is similarly added to toothpaste and gels. In addition, research on water fluoridation .

has not only found it prevents tooth decay, there’s no evidence it causes health problems, such as weakened bones or cancer. It’s also the least expensive way to provide fluoride to all children and adults, by adding a benefit, over and above just using fluoride toothpaste and gels.

What to do? In addition to drinking fluoridated water, your children’s teeth need protection as they develop, including: XX Start low-fluoride toothpaste at 18 months and continue until 6 years old XX Use a child-size toothbrush with soft bristles XUse X a pea-size amount of toothpaste, smeared over the toothbrush XX Supervise your child when they brush until you’re sure they can do it well

And if your water isn’t fluoridated, see a dental professional to discuss making up for it with additional fluoride. For more information, Australian Dental Association


Home visits are available for those patients who are too sick to come to the surgery.


For after hours visits please ring the Eastern Suburbs Medical Service on 1300 729 749.


Parking is available in Westfield or in the Car Park at 18 Waverley Street, directly underneath our surgery. Your doctor will try to speak to you if you ring for advice, but if busy, we will return your call as soon as possible. Results follow up - your doctor will advise if you need to attend the surgery or if the results will be available over the phone. Repeat prescriptions and referrals are available via Oz Docs ( Associated services at the centre are a podiatrist and St Vincents Pathology collection centre. If you have any complaints or questions please do not hesitate to discuss these with our staff. You can also contact The Health Care Complaints Commission PH: 1800043159. The Practice also participates in recall and reminder systems (ie The Pap Test Register) Please let the staff know if you do not wish to participate. Your personal health information and medical record are kept strictly confidential at all times, as required.


yCounselling y yFamily y planning yPap y Smears yPregnancy y tests yAnte-natal y care yMenopause y management yStop y smoking programme yVaccinations: y children/travel yMinor y surgery yECG: y heart check yNutrition y advice & weight control yPractice y nurse


Fees charged are those recommended by the Australian Medical Association. Fees are payable at the time of consultation by cash, cheque, Visa, MasterCard or EFTPOS.

Your health summer 2013 finalpark  
Your health summer 2013 finalpark