It would hardly be an exaggeration to claim the majority of us take our feet for granted, not putting them first in our health and wellbeing regimen. Charlotte Russell of Feet First Podiatry says that treating feet is not a luxury, but rather a necessity.
A podiatrist for more than 30 years, Charlotte knows what she is talking about and the clinic she established where four podiatrists now practise, has been on its prominent Upper Riccarton site for 23 years.
“Take the first step to healthier feet with us,” she says.
“We provide specialist footcare advice for everyone – children with foot problems, the elderly with diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, sports enthusiasts and people seeking relief from corns and calluses, heel pain or ingrown toenails. It’s often only when our feet start to give us pain that we realise we only have one pair and we need to look after them.”
Charlotte emphasises how important it is for diabetic patients to have regular podiatry visits. “Poorly controlled diabetes may lead to nerve damage which impairs sensation. Preventative treatment is key to avoid ulcers or gangrene.”
Prevention and management are two words you will hear constantly from podiatry specialists. “Many foot issues can be managed through physical stretching or the use of orthotics – shoe inserts designed to support, align or improve the function of the foot. We custom make these and have a great range of quality, stylish podiatric shoes in our retail Shoe Room.”
You can find Feet First Podiatry at 37 Main South Road, Upper Riccarton. Phone 03-348 7910.
Eating and drinking are some of the most basic human needs and yet, for many people who suffer from chronic and repeated gastric reflux, the freedom to eat and drink what they choose may not be a given.
Metropol talks to endoscopy specialist, Surgeon Ross Roberts from The Endoscopy Clinic about gastric reflux and what treatment options are available.
What is gastric reflux?
Put into simple terms, gastric reflux is the regurgitation of gastric contents into the oesophagus, which can create a burning pain in the lower chest area, often after eating. However, it’s important to recognise, gastric reflux is not just one symptom and is often a pattern of heartburn, choking and sometimes coughing.
The symptoms of gastric reflux can come on at a young age, even in babies, and may not be easily recognised in younger patients.
What treatments are available?
Broadly classified as medical treatment or surgery, the aim of medical intervention is to reduce the acidity of the fluid that regurgitates and causes the inflammation of the oesophagus.
For people with mild symptoms, simple measures like over-the-counter medications such as antacids often suffice, by treating and preventing symptoms.
However, more severe cases, particularly if the patient is unresponsive to lifestyle changes, often requires the use of Losec (Omeprazole) and similar treatments, which slow or prevent the production of acid within the stomach.
While these treatments can be very effective, they may not necessarily control all regurgitation for all patients, so surgery may be a preferable option for some.
What impact does diet have?
Diet plays an important role in gastric reflux and some patients can manage symptoms by steering clear of certain foods.
A number of common foods and drinks which can exacerbate reflux include coffee, wine, chocolate and fatty foods – all the enjoyable stuff. But onions, garlic and tomato can also exacerbate symptoms, so it’s not just the bad foods.
What role does surgery play?
Surgery is a very effective and safe means of permanent control of acid reflux. It can be undertaken using a laparoscopic (keyhole) technique and most people will recover normal activity within two weeks.
Though it is a minimally invasive surgery, laparoscopy is most suitable for younger, fitter patients who have ongoing symptoms despite appropriate medication. Surgery can have side effects, so the decision to undergo surgery requires consultation with a specialist and the family doctor.
Some conditions can exacerbate acid reflux, such as pregnancy and obesity, as these raise the pressure in the abdomen. For most women who suffer from pregnancy related symptoms (heartburn), this will resolve spontaneously after delivery.
How is acid reflux diagnosed?
Gastroscopy is the most accurate way to confirm acid reflux and this involves passing a video camera down the throat into the stomach to examine the upper digestive tract
The best person to advise you about this is your family doctor and he or she can then refer the patient for a gastroscopy if required.
The Endoscopy Clinic, Level 1, 9 Caledonian Road, Christchurch 8014. For more information phone 03-961 6666 or visit www.endoscopyclinic.co.nz
Just like blood pressure, mammograms or a dental checkup, it’s important to monitor your skin’s health. As we say goodbye to summer, it’s time to tick off your skin check as well. Early detection matters.
We’ve enjoyed the sunshine, now we should check what damage it may have caused. Even though skin cancer is usually easy to spot and treat, certain types can be deadly when left untreated. Although anyone can develop a skin cancer, those with a history of high sun exposure (particularly sunburns) and fair skinned people are the most vulnerable. The facts are stark:
New Zealand has the highest melanoma incidence rate in the world;
Two in three New Zealanders will develop a skin cancer over their lifetime;
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer;
Around 70,000 people are diagnosed with melanoma and other skin cancers in New Zealand every year;
About 500 New Zealanders die annually from skin cancer;
Most skin cancers can be cured with early diagnosis and treatment;
The sooner skin cancers are detected, the simpler the treatment and the more successful it is likely to be.
Early diagnosis is vital so it’s important to go to an expert who is trained in detecting skin cancer – a doctor at Molecheck.
The skin cancer doctors at Molecheck have had extensive training in dermoscopy and skin cancer management. They aim to detect skin cancer at the earliest possible stage using a hand-held, surface microscope called a dermoscope.
Skin cancer can occur on any part of the skin, not just in moles. The Molecheck team uses the latest dermoscopy techniques to view structures beneath the skin surface (including tiny cancer blood vessels) which enables them to diagnose melanoma and other skin cancers at the very earliest possible stage, before they can be seen with the naked eye.
All Molecheck patients receive a thorough and comprehensive skin cancer and melanoma check. And as well as skin cancer detection, dermoscopy technology enables Molecheck doctors to confidently diagnose many types of benign growths, which avoids anxiety and unnecessary surgery.
Molecheck doctors aim to find any skin cancer at the first consultation. At this consultation, they may also treat pre-cancerous lesions with cryotherapy (also called cryosurgery). Some benign unsightly or unwanted spots, lumps and discolourations may also be able to be treated during the consultation.
Get to know your skin by checking it regularly— particularly if you are over 50, have a family history of skin cancer or have had any episodes of bad sunburn as a child. And if a spot has changed, becomes raised, is sore, itchy or scaly, or a new spot appears, it’s a good idea to get it Molechecked.
Find out more at email@example.com or phone 03 355 5089 to make an appointment with the experienced team at Molecheck.
It’s a fancy word, but an aneurysm is simply a dilated blood vessel. As the blood vessel dilates, there is an increased risk of complications such as thrombosis or rupture.
If the abdomen’s main blood vessel – the aorta – becomes dilated or greater than 30mm, it is called an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm or AAA, for short. While the risk of rupture is very low for aneurysms smaller than 55mm, this risk increases with larger aneurysms and those increasing quickly in size.
With asymptomatic disease, it’s important to understand the risks of doing nothing versus the risk of intervention. Not surprisingly, the risk of death from rupture within the community is extremely high, whereas the risk from elective repair is relatively low, with most cases only requiring minimally invasive surgery.
Unlike the UK or Australia, there is no National Aneurysm screening programme in New Zealand despite a recent observational study of more than 4,000 individuals showing the prevalence of aortic aneurysms in men (ages 65-74) was as high as 9.1 percent and an astonishing 16.8 percent for men aged 75-84, increasing further to 22 percent in the over-85 age group.
While not everyone with an aneurysm requires surgery, a simple and relatively inexpensive test can be performed to exclude an aneurysm and determine size when present.
At Christchurch Vascular Group, consultant specialist Vascular Surgeon Peter Laws or one of his consultant colleagues can arrange for an ultrasound scan at their clinic in St George’s Hospital or at your chosen provider. Peter can then discuss treatment options or continued observation as required. Why not make an appointment today for peace of mind.
Contact Christchurch Vascular Group on 03-365 4502 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whether you are a busy executive, retiree or working parent, your health is important. Each of these important life stages are a crucial time to take care of yourself, because optimal health is vital to leading an active and meaningful life.
At Wigram Health, patient health is the dedicated team’s top priority. The team understands its patients need and want a premium service with minimal hassle. To that end, Wigram Health has combined its clinical excellence and state-of-the-art facility to deliver My Health Check-up, the most comprehensive executive wellness programme available.
My Health Check-up is designed to:
• Uncover potential health problems
• Proactively manage identified health problems
• Reduce or eliminate any health risk factors
• Empower patients to achieve positive lifestyle change.
Through the programme, the team will acquire a detailed knowledge about a patient’s health status and know exactly what actions to take to improve their health and wellness.
The core principles of the programme is as follows:
A commitment to building a long-term relationship with patients to provide them with an outstanding care experience. The day of their first visit marks the beginning of a long-term relationship. After the visit, the team will coordinate all the follow-ups and make sure that all concerns have been addressed. Patients will also be sent a reminder about their next check-up date.
A DEDICATED COORDINATOR:
The team does everything possible to coordinate visits with patients’ busy schedules. A dedicated wellness coordinator will schedule all the visits at times that best suit patients and advise them of any preparation required.
A DEDICATED WELLNESS DOCTOR:
A dedicated wellness doctor, who takes all the time necessary to understand health concerns and carries out a comprehensive head-to-toe examination, will be available. At the end of the evaluation, the doctor will discuss examination findings and test results. The doctor will then recommend a management plan which may include lifestyle advice, treatments, further investigations, and specialist referral. A comprehensive written report will be provided and either delivered to the patient’s home or emailed.
A COMPREHENSIVE EVALUATION:
My Health Check-up is the most comprehensive health evaluation tailored to health needs. The comprehensive checks include:
• History and exams
• Comprehensive lab tests
• Cardiac health
• Lung health
• Visual health
• Biometric evaluation
• Specialised diagnostic imaging (as clinically indicated).
Wigram Health believes in the genuine and compassionate care of people, the kind of care that the team members would want for themselves and their loved ones. It wants to reinvent traditional healthcare and turn patients’ healthcare experiences into positive ones. Moreover, it wants to bring together a team dedicated to exceptional patient experience, smart use of technology, and people-centred design to bring this vision to life.
Providing the same day appointments, extended opening hours, minimal waiting, and virtual consultations so that patients can access care with minimal disruption to their busy lives is all part of the service.
To make an appointment for My Health Check-up or find out more, please contact Wigram Health on
03-349 8613. Email email@example.com, visit www.wigramhealth.co.nz.
Would you be interested in better health, more relaxation, better circulation, greater flexibility, higher levels of peace of mind, an improved sense of well-being, stress relief and a feeling of being totally revitalised?
A visit to Beauty Progress Thai Massage Spa for a traditional Thai Massage is designed to re-energise your body, mind and soul.
With three treatment rooms available (including doubles – yes, you can have a massage with your partner) you can enjoy a truly therapeutic experience. One of the most popular treatments for men and women at Beauty Progress is the Thai Therapeutic massage. It concentrates on the relief of specific stress points and muscle tension – perfect for those who suffer from muscle pain.
To celebrate six years of Thai massage at Beauty Progress, and just in time for
Easter, it is offering a special promotion on the
Executive Package. The 90-minute treatment incorporates a 30-minute Reflexology Foot Massage to ease sore and tired feet, plus a divine one-hour full body massage using techniques to deeply massage and release the knots in your muscles. A tension relieving scalp massage is included.
Normally worth more than $200, until 7 April, you can treat yourself and your friend, partner, mother or sister to this 90-minute executive treatment for $109. Don’t miss out on this fabulous deal running for three weeks only. Gift vouchers are also available at the Spa. Phone 0800 379 4315 or visit the website at beautyprogress.co.nz to make your booking.
Christchurch’s Corneal Lens Corporation is thrilled to welcome the Evolve range of eye drops for dry eyes. Created and manufactured in London, Evolve Eye Drops quickly became a top seller in the UK, prompting Corneal Lens Corporation to bring the premium products to New Zealand.
Whitney Parsons, Marketing and Accounts Manager for Corneal Lens Corporation, says because this is a top quality and specialised dry eye product range, it is only available through optometrists nationwide.
The four products in the range are: Hypromellose 3 percent for mild dry eye, Carmellose 0.5 percent for moderate dry eye, and H.A 0.2 percent for severe dry eyes. There are also eyelid wipes for general lid and eyelash hygiene, Whitney adds.
Whitney’s favourites are the Carmellose and the H.A., but your optometrist will advise you on the best item for you and offer free samples.
“Each of the four products within the range is preservative free and can be used with contact lenses,” Whitney says.
They are easy to use – contained in a small portable squeezy bottle, with blue tip technology to help with accuracy, and are competitively priced. Once opened, the bottle will last for three months.
As well as supplying Evolve eye drops to New Zealand, Corneal Lens Corporation is the maker and supplier of specialist contact lenses, contact lens solutions, TheraTears, and Ortho-K – the type of contact lenses that you wear overnight to reshape the cornea of your eye.