Asthma Week Is Coming – ( 1st to 7th of September )

Could it be asthma?

If you have:
• Breathlessness,
• Wheezing,
• A tight feeling in the chest, and/or
• Continuing cough, then you may have asthma.

You may have all of these symptoms or only a few, and they may come and go.

When does it start?

Asthma can start at any age, and can be more of a problem when it starts in older adults, so don’t assume if you never had it as a child that it’s not possible now.

Maybe I’m just getting older…

No! Being breathless is not a normal part of getting older – it should always be checked out by a doctor.

A diagnosis of asthma is more likely if you have eczema or hayfever, or have close relatives with allergies and/or asthma, and if your symptoms:
• keep coming back, or happen at the same time each year
• are worse at night or in the early morning
• are clearly triggered by exercise, allergies or infections
• improve quickly with reliever medication

What should I do if I think I have asthma?

If you suspect you might have asthma, you should see your doctor for a professional diagnosis. Don’t ignore it – if you do have asthma, the sooner you get it under control, the faster you can get back to living a full and active life!

Things to tell your doctor

1) How can I tell when my asthma is under good control?
2) How can I tell when I am getting a flare-up of asthma symptoms?
3) What medications do I need to take every day for my asthma?
4) Can I work out which triggers make my asthma worse and can I do anything about them?
5) If exercise sets off my asthma, what can I do to control that, so I can keep active?
6) What do I do if my asthma gradually gets worse over a few weeks?
7) What do I do if I have a sudden or severe asthma flare-up (an asthma attack)?
8) Can you please check that I am using my asthma devices correctly?
9) Can I have a written asthma action plan? (or can you check that my written asthma action plan is up to date?)
10) When should I see you again for an asthma review?

Before you leave your doctor, make sure:
— your medications have been reviewed, you know which ones to take and when and you have enough prescriptions until your next visit
— you can use your asthma medication devices correctly
— you have an up-to-date written asthma action plan
— you have booked another appointment for review

— If you have had any night-time asthma symptoms, such as cough, wheeze or breathlessness, since your last check-up
— How many days a week you have had day-time asthma symptoms in the last month
— If your asthma has made it hard to keep up with normal activity
— If you have had any asthma flare-ups or attacks since your last visit

— Anything that seems to trigger/make your asthma worse
— What you do about your triggers and whether this helps
— How much exercise you do and any asthma symptoms during or after exercise

Medication & devices
— How often you have taken your reliever medication in the last month
— How often you take your preventer medication
— Show your doctor how you use your inhaler
— If you are using any other medications or complementary therapies

General Health
— Any other changes in your health, e.g. quitting smoking, increasing exercise, weight changes, allergies, other health issues.
— For women, if you are planning a pregnancy or may be pregnant.
If you have a written asthma action plan, bring it to your appointment, so that your doctor can check it is correct and up to date.

Please Welcome Our NEW Doctor – Dr. San

Please Welcome Our NEW Doctor – Dr. San.

Who is joining the Team from the 7th August 2017.

We welcome Dr. Aung Htet San, who is a Specialist General Practitioner, and will be joining us as a permanent full time doctor. He obtained his fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners this year in January 2017. He has worked in Myanmar (Asia), Seychelles Islands (Africa) and the UK, before he moved with his family to Australia in 2010.

He graduated with Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery in 2000, at Yangon, Myanmar in Burma and has a Diploma in Skin Cancer.

Dr. San is a passionate and considerate family doctor with a keen interest in diagnostic medicine.

Book in for Skin Check Today

Don’t forget that your moles are still there under your winter clothing! Get a skin check today, as this is an ideal time in the year to have that done. The sooner a skin cancer is identified and treated, the better your chance of avoiding surgery or in the case of a serious melanoma or other skin cancer, potential disfigurement or even death.
It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor about your level of risk and for advice on early detection.
It’s important to get to know your skin and what is normal for you, so that you notice any changes. Skin cancers rarely hurt and are much more frequently seen than felt.
Develop a regular habit of checking your skin for new spots and changes to existing freckles or moles.

Camden South is getting a New Medical Practice UPDATE

The building of your NEW Camden South Medical Practice should be completed at the end of July and then adding another 2 months for completing all the civil works, like the drainage, car-park and landscaping, whereby we should be moving over there sometime in early October. “Finally”. Let’s keep our fingers crossed, as we have all been waiting a long time for this day to come.

2017 Seasonal Influenza Vaccine

Vaccination remains the best protection we have against influenza. The 3 years and over “Fluarix Tetra” vaccine is now already available. Who is eligible to receive the free National Immunisation Program influenza vaccines? – Pregnant women, all Aboriginal people 36 months of age and older, all persons aged 65 years and people 36 months of age and older with medical risk factors predisposing to severe influenza.
The 3 years and under vaccine “FluQuadri & Junior” is now also available. This will be available for free to children aged 6 to 35 months with medical risk factors only, an example of this is Asthma and to all Aboriginal children aged 6 to 35 months.

Camden South is getting a New Medical Practice

The building of your new Camden South Medical Practice has started this week across the road at 2 Berallier Drive. The concrete slab will be poured early next year and hopefully the Practice will be operational before September 2017. We are excited to further expand our services with this new Practice including to add more GP doctors, for serving the needs of our local community.

2016 Shingles Vaccine

The shingles vaccine, Zostavax, has “now” been approved to be placed on the National Immunisation Program (NIP), to be provided free of charge to people aged 70 – 79 years, subject to vaccine supply. Simply make an appointment with us by booking online or call us at (02) 46556571.

There will also be a five year catch-up program for people aged 71 – 79 years.
Herpes-zoster (Shingles) is a viral infection caused by reactivation of the varicella-zoster (chicken pox) virus, which is a member of the herpes group of viruses. It is usually a mild disease characterised by a painful skin rash with blisters involving a limited area. However, it can be severe in older adults and immunocompromised persons and may cause serious or even fatal complications.

FOOD BYTES #5: Food poisoning – when foods are actually ‘bad’ for you

Written by Belinda Russo (Accredited Practising Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist)

from Tiny Tummies Nutrition

With all the media hype around the latest ‘superfoods’, celebrity diet secrets and the ‘best’ time of day to eat carbs (there is no solid scientific evidence that there is a ‘best’ time of day to eat carbs by the way), it is all too easy to forget that it’s not just what we eat that matters, but also HOW we eat. In particular, how we prepare and store our foods.

Picture this, you have just lovingly prepared a super nutritious meal worthy of the Masterchef 2017 title, except that you forgot to wash your hands before you started preparing the vegetables- after having meticulously spice-rubbed the chicken. Your super nutritious, Masterchef worthy meal is now a breeding ground for millions of (not-so-gut-friendly) bacteria which will later have yourself and your family running back and forth to the toilet rather than running back to the kitchen for seconds- not such a pretty picture after all!

Every year in Australia, there is an estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning, resulting in 21, 920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to the doctor! This says to me that we all have a lot to learn about food safety and need to be a lot more mindful about how we are preparing and storing our foods. Particularly if yourself or someone you are preparing foods for is elderly, pregnant, an infant or young child or has an illness which affects their immune system – these individuals have a higher risk of suffering severe symptoms, or in some cases, death, as a result of food poisoning. To significantly reduce your risk of food poisoning, follow these basic food safety rules:


Follow the 20/20 rule when washing your hands- wash hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds then dry hands for 20 seconds before starting your food prep.

  • #   Repeat frequently during food preparation and cooking, especially after handling raw meats or vegetables with visible soil.

School/work lunch tip: When preparing food, always remember the 20/20 handwashing rule. Lunchboxes and reusable drink bottles must be thoroughly washed and dried daily (if cracked, split or crazed, replace as bugs love hidey holes). Wash all fruit and veg thoroughly.


As soon as possible after purchase meat, poultry, dairy foods, vegetables, salad ingredients should be refrigerated at or below 5ºC. A fridge thermometer should be used to make sure the temperature is at or below 5ºC.

  • #   Refrigerate leftovers promptly – cooked food should be stored in covered containers and either put in the fridge to cool, or frozen immediately.
  • #   Frozen foods should be defrosted in the fridge NOT on the kitchen bench. 

School/work lunch tip: Lunches can safely be prepared a little ahead of time provided they are kept in the fridge or frozen. To keep school lunches cold throughout the day, pack a frozen milk popper/yoghurt tube, water bottle or commercial ice pack with the lunch. Place perishable foods such as cheeses and sandwiches between the frozen items. Divide cooked leftovers into small lunch-sized portions so they refrigerate or freeze quickly.

The Australian Food Safety and Information council’s mantra is IF IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT! I agree with this to an extent- if it doesn’t smell or look right absolutely, get rid of it. But with the ridiculous amount of food wastage already happening in Australia, maybe we could try planning our meals for the week, buying only what we need for the week in terms of fresh produce, prepare and store our foods safely and correctly and then it’s a win-win situation- reduced food wastage, less cases of food poisoning, more people cooking nutritious meals from home, a healthier Australia- ok, well, it’s not that simple, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction!


  • #   Chicken, minced or boned meats, hamburger, stuffed meats and sausages should be cooked through until they reach 75 degrees celcius using a meat thermometer (I can hear the rare-steak lovers screeching at me now – I’m just giving you the facts though, enjoy that rare cooked meat, but enjoy at your own peril!).
  • #   Serve hot food steaming hot above 600C.
  • #   Defrost frozen poultry and rolled and stuffed meats thoroughly before cooking

School/work lunch tip: Make sure lunch foods are cooked properly in the first place and when reheating, make sure they are steaming hot all the way through – stir or turn food as appropriate. Choose low risk foods such as hard cheeses,  freshly cooked meats and poultry, fresh, well-washed fruits and vegetables, canned tuna or salmon, shelf stable snacks and sandwich spreads.


  • #   Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw and cooked foods separate when storing and preparing
  • #   Food should be stored in covered containers in the fridge and put raw meats and poultry in the bottom of the fridge so the juices don’t contaminate food on lower shelves.
  • #   Don’t put cooked meat back on the plate the raw meat was on.

School/work lunch tip: Make sure lunchbox foods have been well separated from other foods in the refrigerator, particularly meats, chicken and fish (the juice from these foods will contaminate foods which won’t be cooked before adding to the lunchbox, such as fruits).

 Tini 1                                 

November 6th – 12th and the 20th is the Australian Food Safety Week – visit

1. Accessed online 24/10/16

for more information about food safety in at home and work, or visit

2. Accessed online 24/10/16

for information regarding commercial food safety regulations and food labelling standards in Australia. If you do get food poisoning please seek the advice of your GP.

Want to know more about planning and preparing nutritious meals for yourself and your family? Book an appointment today with our Accredited Practising Dietitian for expert tailored nutrition advice at


– Accessed online 24/10/16


By Belinda Russo (Accredited Practising Dietitian and Exercise Physiologist)

from Tiny Tummies Nutrition

IRON DEFICIENCY ANEMIA IN WOMEN – Did you wake up this morning feeling like you’ve just run a marathon, in heels, with a couple of screaming toddlers dragging along on your ankles? Did you accidentally put the milk in the pantry and cereal in the fridge…again? You could be the 1 in 4 women with a form of iron deficiency known as iron deficiency anemia (IDA).

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when your body stores of the mineral, iron, are insufficient to make the very important protein haemoglobin. Haemoglobin catches a ride on red blood cells to deliver oxygen to tissues and muscles so they can function optimally. So when there is insufficient iron the rest of the body can’t get the oxygen it needs. This is when symptoms of IDA become more noticeable:

# General, ongoing fatigue

# Weakness

# Pale skin

# Shortness of breath

# Dizziness

# Tingling/crawling sensation in legs

# Tongue swelling/soreness

# Cold hands and feet

# Fast or irregular heartbeat

# Brittle nails

# Headaches

# Pica-craving non-food items eg. dirt, ice

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is advisable that you speak to your GP. Typically a simple blood test is all that is needed to diagnose IDA although the cause of the condition may need further investigation. There are many possible causes of IDA, however, the most common are:

#  Inadequate iron intake- the body cannot make iron so we must consume foods rich in iron to keep ensure we have enough circulating in our blood and stored in cells for the body to draw upon in times when we need a little extra iron eg. during an infection

#  Pregnancy or blood loss due to menstruation or childbirth

#  Internal bleeding- stomach ulcers, polyps in the colon or intestines, and colon cancer are just a few conditions which can cause internal bleeding

#  Inability to absorb iron even when you are consuming enough dietary iron- undiagnosed or poorly managed coeliac disease, intestinal surgery (eg gastric bypass) are examples of conditions where iron absorption is impaired.

#  Vegetarians and vegans also need to be mindful that the type of iron consumed through plant-based foods is not as well absorbed as the iron found in meat and there are certain components of plants that inhibit absorption of iron in the body as well. This is not to say that meeting iron requirements through a plant-based diet is impossible, that’s not the case at all- it just takes a little more careful planning!

#  Infants and children (especially those born prematurely) also tend to be at higher risk of iron deficiency particularly during growth spurts due to the increased demand for iron during these times

Most of the causes mentioned above can be treated with some simple dietary changes, in addition to iron supplementation if your GP advises this is necessary (usually in cases of severe IDA).

When I am seeing a client with IDA, leading into how we are going to manage the condition through dietary changes is typically the part of the consult where I hear a resounding- but I don’t like red meat! And my usual reply is that they don’t have to eat it if they don’t want to! Yes, it is true that the iron in red meat is more readily absorbed than that in plant-based foods, and that per 100g, red meat is a richer source of iron than white meat or fish.

However, if you completely detest red meat or for ethical reasons choose not to eat it, there are many other ways for you to meet your iron requirements without having to force feed yourself red meat or compromise your ethical beliefs.
 Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 10.57.24 PM


Putting this information into something a little more practical, a woman aged 19-50 years could meet her iron requirements with the following:

Breakfast: 2 Weetbix with milk, a slice of wholegrain toast with peanut butter and a piece of fruit

Mid-morning: Small handful of cashews and small tub of yoghurt

Lunch: Chicken/tuna/egg and salad sandwich on 2 slices of wholegrain bread plus a piece of fruit

Mid afternoon: 8 halves dried apricots and 2 slices of cheese

Dinner: 100g tofu or 100g steak with vegetables (including spinach) and 1 small potato

This example provides approximately 20mg of iron, and the inclusion of Vitamin C rich foods (such as fruit) with meals helps increase the absorption of iron from plant-based foods. Animal protein (red meat, chicken etc) will also help increase absorption of iron from plant based foods. It is advisable to avoid consuming tea, coffee, unprocessed bran, and some herbal medicines with meals as these can block iron absorption (just enjoy them 30-60 minutes before or after meals instead).

So, despite what the ads say, you won’t necessarily be ‘better on beef’ or need to ‘get more pork on your fork’ (but if you enjoy beef and pork-no worries!) to prevent or manage iron deficiency- it just takes a little careful planning to ensure that you are getting the iron your body needs, and that it is absorbing it effectively. And when supplementation is advised by your GP, it is best to combine this with some simple dietary changes.

September 5 – 9 is Women’s Health Week- visit

For more information about this great initiative raising awareness about women’s health issues.

If you have been diagnosed with IDA, or if you would like to know more about optimal nutrition for prevention of IDA for either yourself, your child or another family member, book an appointment with our Accredited Practising Dietitian for expert tailored nutrition advice at:


From Where Can I Get Aged Care Help

What Aged Care Help Can I Get

For most people, growing older means there are times you find it difficult to manage day-to-day living activities. You may need help, or you may be caring for a family member or a friend who needs help, but you just don’t know where to start or what help you can get.

There are different types of aged care services to support you, whatever your needs. When you call My Aged Care, our contact centre staff will ask you questions to help us understand your needs.

My Aged Care helps you

My Aged Care helps you find the information you need about aged care services.

This can be as simple as calling the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422 or reading the My Aged Care website My Aged Care provides you with information about:

– Different types of aged care services.

– Eligibility for services.

How we understand your aged care needs and help you find local services to meet your.
 needs – you are able to select your own service provider.
Costs of your aged care services, including fee estimators.

To help you find the right services, the contact centre will ask for your consent to create a personalised client record. A client record holds up to date information on your needs and any services you receive. The client record will reduce the need for you to retell your story to the contact centre, assessors and service providers.

Staying in your own home

There are many different services that may support you to stay in your own home for longer, including:

– Help with housework:
– Help with personal care such as bathing and dressing:
– Help with meals and food preparation:
– Help staying physically active:
– Social support and activities:
– Help with transport:
– Nursing care:
– Allied health support such as physiotherapy, podiatry or a dietician:
– Maintenance and modifications to your home:
– Goods and equipment to help you:
– People you can talk with through counselling services:

The My Aged Care website has been established by the Australian Government to help you navigate the aged care system. My Aged Care is part of the Australian Government’s changes to the aged care system which have been designed to give people more choice, more control and easier access to a full range of aged care services.

My Aged Care is made up of this website and a contact centre. Together they can provide you with information on aged care for yourself, a family member, friend or someone you’re caring for. You can call the My Aged Care contact centre on 1800 200 422 between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and between 10am and 2pm on Saturdays. The My Aged Care contact centre is closed on Sundays and national public holidays.

You can expect My Aged Care staff to be polite, helpful and knowledgeable and to provide:

Prompt, reliable and confidential services
Clear information, which can be made available:
In languages other than English if you speak another language and need an interpreter:

In other formats if you have hearing difficulties or a vision impairment:
Help to find Government-funded aged care services
Prompt resolution of any complaint or concern you have with My Aged Care.

Aged Care: