Healthy Tips from Dr. Katherine
Mar 29 2018 By Dr. Katherine Morris - Consultant Family Medicine
Spring break has arrived! Here are some tips on what you can do to minimize health risks and stay healthy this spring break:
Tips to Avoid DVT
For many this is a time to travel. With long haul flights comes the increased risk of DVT (a blood clot in the leg or arm) for some travelers.
- Move your legs frequently to exercise your calf muscles, for example straighten and flex your ankles
- If you’ve been sitting for a while, get up and stretch your legs
- Keep well hydrated
- Consider wearing compression stockings
- Know what to look for- the signs of a blood clot include pain, tenderness, swelling, redness and warmth of the arm or leg
- Talk to your doctor if you think you may be at risk, for example if there is a family history of blood clots
Health tips for beach goers
It’s holiday time and the temperature is rising! Before you head to the beach, here are some quick reminders on protecting your skin from sun damage and the risk of skin cancer:
- Shade, clothing and hats are preferable to using sunscreen
- Use a broad spectrum sunscreen (with UVA and UVB protection) with a high SPF
- Apply at least 15 minutes before going in the sun
- Apply generously to all exposed areas, including your ears, neck and lips, and the top of your head if you don’t have much hair!
- Reapply every two hours and after swimming or sweating
- Do not allow the cream to get too hot as this can damage it
Don’t forget to protect your eyes too. Sunlight reflecting off sand and water can increase UV exposure and the chance of eye damage. Wear sunglasses with a high UVA and B rating. Wraparound styles are most effective. Encourage your children to try them too.
Spring is often a dreaded time of year for allergy sufferers as pollen counts rise.
- Sneezing, blocked or runny nose, and itchy eyes or throat could indicate that you are suffering from allergic rhinitis or hayfever. These issues can develop at any age. There is a good selection of medications that can help with these symptoms. Tests can also be done to identify which allergen is causing your symptoms.
- If you already have a diagnosis and you know which time of year you start suffering, begin taking your medication in advance to increase the chances of success.
- Other things you can do to reduce your exposure to pollen include wearing sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat, to shower or wash your face and nose after being out side, and keeping windows closed when you are at home.
March is ovarian cancer awareness month.
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are generally not well recognised. Too often the diagnosis is made late, when the cancer is already at an advanced stage. However, when diagnosed and treated in the earliest stages, 5 year survival is over 90%.
There is no screening test for ovarian cancer, it is NOT detected by a cervical/ pap smear
Help to spread awareness of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer:
- Persistent bloating
- Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
- Pain in your tummy or pelvis
- Needing to pass urine more often or urgently than usual
- The symptoms will be frequent, persistent and new
Please see your doctor if you are worried about any of these symptoms. There is most likely another cause for them but it’s important to check it out.
Healthy sleep tips for children
We all know that good sleep is very important for a child’s physical and mental wellbeing. Why not review the routine in your house to ensure the best chance of restful night.
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- Have a relaxing bedtime routine. Keep the lights dim to help with melatonin production. A nice warm bath and a bedtime story are ideal. Consider some relaxing breathing exercises
- Know how much sleep your child needs. For example, a three year old may need 12 hours sleep, but a nine year old needs only 10 hours
- Avoid screens in the bedroom. Using smartphones, tablets etc near bedtime can make it harder to get to sleep. Try to put them away an hour before bedtime
- Make sure the room is dark, tidy, quiet and a comfortable, cool temperature