Alex is a dietitian focusing on therapeutic, pre- and postnatal nutrition and nutrigenomics, which is how the genes impact your diet. She is passionate about helping her clients reach their health and weight goals, encouraging lifestyle choices specific to the individual. She believes in an holistic approach, which is why she is so happy working alongside some of the best doctors and psychologists in the country.
Learn how to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation, presented by Dr Annelie van Breda
Mindfulness is a mind-body approach to life’s experiences.
• It means paying attention to your thoughts, feelings and body.
• Mindfulness is a way of being to help manage stress and become more resilient.
• It has been shown to exert a powerful influence on health, wellbeing and happiness.
• Mindfulness is a practice.
• No experience in meditation is needed for you to benefit from this course.
World Antibiotic Awareness week from the 13th till the 19th of November serves as a reminder to us all (both patients and doctors) to focus on the reasonable prescription of antibiotics, preventing antibiotic related complications and being aware of antibiotic resistance.
For this reason, I have focussed on a diagnosis that is of the most frequent conditions incorrectly treated with antibiotics: Acute bronchitis.
Acute bronchitis is classified as a lower airway infection that causes a cough for less than 3 weeks and does not fulfil criteria for pneumonia.
What I’ve noticed in practice is that patients become distressed when a cough lasts longer than a few days. A viral bronchitis typically lasts at least 5 days and can go on for 1 to 2 weeks. This is with or without phlegm production.
Many patients have the expectation to receive an antibiotic when they present to the doctor for a cough. This is best managed by appropriate patient education where the risks and benefits of using an antibiotic are discussed with the patient. Mostly, the risks will outweigh the benefits.
Most patients with acute bronchitis recover without antibiotics within 1 to 3 weeks and do not need follow-up.
The reasons to consult a doctor for possible antibiotic prescription for a cough are: High fevers, difficulty breathing, bloody phlegm or if your cough lasts longer than 3-4 weeks.
Dr. Sonia Hough is the newest member of The Health Team. She brings with her many years of experience in private emergency medicine and is excited to be working full time at the practice in Mouille Point.
DEALING WITH OBESITY: A Psychotherapist’s Perspective
From where I sit there is more right with you, than wrong with you. So how does this apply to Obesity?
For starters let’s define obesity. We define obesity using the BMI (Body Mass Index), your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters. A BMI of 30.0 or higher falls within the obese range.
By 2025, worldobesity.org estimates that 2,7 billion adults worldwide will suffer from obesity, and untreated obesity will contribute to a significant proportion of ailments including heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and many types of cancer.
So, what are the psychological factors that underpin obesity?
Obesity is as much a psychological as a physical problem, and the causes for obesity lie in some combination of environmental, psychosocial and biological attitudes. Individuals with psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and inappropriate eating might often use food as a coping mechanism to deal with feelings like sadness, anxiety, stress, loneliness and frustration. A perpetual cycle of mood disturbance, over eating and weight gain may emerge: the resulting weight gain results in guilt and may in turn reactivate the vicious cycle.
Add to this problematic eating behavior like mindless eating or binge eating, and this may lead to Binge Eating Disorder (BED). Because BED is not associated with compensatory behavior such as purging, fasting or excessive exercise, the majority of people with BED are obese.
Obesity and eating disorders are often treated separately. In my view the co-occurrence of eating disorders, specifically BED and obesity, should be studied and examined more carefully. According to research there are high increases in the prevalence of obesity and comorbid binge eating, and this supports the need for more integrated approaches to both the prevention and treatment of obesity and binge eating.
If one doesn’t examine and assess the occurrence of BED in obese persons seeking treatment they will find it difficult to achieve a healthy BMI. Because of multiple failed attempts to lose weight, obese people are often discouraged and frustrated and may show signs of low self-esteem and learned helplessness.
With the above in mind my perspectives on how to approach BED and the resulting obesity are to:
Establish the diagnostic criteria of BED in the patient to understand how this contributes to their obesity
Through a non- judgmental approach employ therapy to assess the feelings that contribute to binges and interpret these with the patient
Arrange other medical tests as appropriate
Teach the patient mindfulness to become aware of their feelings: binge eating is about feelings and not food
Teach patients that food is food and has no good or bad qualities as such. Depriving yourself can cause a backlash and self-destructive behaviors. Mindful eating is an important skill to manage eating behavior.
Give nutritional advice which can help with controlling moods, by keeping blood sugar levels stable
Explain the link between binge eating behavior and stress and how important it is to recognize triggers and to learn new ways of coping with stress and anxiety
Introduce new coping behaviors, that do not involve eating, to deal with stress.
Explain the role of exercise to manage anxiety and depression
The main message is that binge eating cannot heal feelings: there is no connection between the heart and the stomach!
Dr. Annelie van Breda PhD works as a Psychologist and uses psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and mindfulness to treat clients with obesity and BED in her practice at the Health Team in Mouille Point. She also does sessions via Skype for out of town patients.
New research brings hope to anyone looking to prevent and even reverse Alzheimer’s Disease and the cognitive decline of dementia.
Dr Dale Bredesen has just released “The End Of Alzheimer’s ” , a book on his research available in bookstores now. I am currently reading it- and highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in this field/ family with this disease.