foodallThere are fewer health-related issues more mysterious than a food allergy. Finding out the exact cause can be like something from a detective film, and it’s not until the cause is solidly pin-pointed that the person can be sure they have a handle on their allergy, and can avoid the trigger completely.

It’s first important to recognise that a food allergy is totally different from a food intolerance. Food allergies can be fatal in their most severe form, an allergic reaction which occurs instantly or soon after eating a trigger food which the body rejects, sometimes in a violent way. However a food intolerance is more about the body having issues digesting a certain food, such as what happens with a lactose intolerance.

Anyone can have a food allergy at any time in their life. Children with food allergies may grow out of them in time, however if an adult develops an allergy, this is likely to stick with them for the rest of their life. Identifying the cause is vitally important to stop a severe reaction from occurring, and because of the unpredictable nature of a reaction, the mysterious cause should be sought out as quickly as possible.

Symptoms of a food allergy can be wide-reaching, but the main ones are difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, itching in the mouth, skin rashes, hives, diarrhoea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Throughout the course of the reaction, the symptoms may change from one to another, as the food makes its way through the digestive tract. This can all happen over the space of an hour, and in the event of a severe reaction, it’s important to get help fast.

The most common causes of food allergies are shellfish, such as shrimp, crab, crayfish etc, milk, eggs and peanuts. As soon as the trigger is identified, the person involved should avoid it completely, which of course means checking food labels carefully for the rest of their life. Luckily there are now regulations in place to ensure that ingredients are present on labels, making it easier to avoid important triggers.

When diagnosing a food allergy, the doctor will take a detailed history from the patient, and may at first advise an elimination diet. This is obviously where the patient eliminates certain common triggers one at a time from their diet, and watches for symptoms, keeping a diary to help the doctor make a firm diagnosis. If this still doesn’t throw any light on the problem at hand, there are other blood test-related diagnosis methods which can be used to measure levels of IgE (an antibody involved in the allergic reaction) in the patient’s blood.

Of course, avoidance of the trigger is the best form of attack against a food allergy, however in the event of a severe allergic reaction, the patient may be advised to wear a warning bracelet and carry adrenaline for self-administration in the event of a problem.

A food allergy once diagnosed can be easily managed, but the hard work is figuring out the mystery. If you are at all worried about food allergies, call the practice now on (07) 4661 9988Warwick, or (07) 3854 0165 Tenerife to arrange an appointment.

headacheIf you’re under the illusion that a migraine is just a bad headache, you’re very wrong. Ask anyone suffering regularly from migraines, or even someone who has only ever had one, and they’ll tell you that a migraine is like the worst headache on the planet, then doubled. The scary thing is that a vast amount of people are regularly affected by migraine attacks, and a lot of it is down to the stressful lives we lead nowadays.

It is thought that migraines are more common in men than women, and out of the 8 million sufferers in the UK alone, 18% of these are female, compared to 6% of men. Of course, children are also affected, however these are thought to decrease in severity as they get older, despite the fact that in this age group, boys are more likely to be affected. Why is this? Well, hormones play a big part in migraine causation, especially in adult females with hormonal disturbances during the menstrual cycle and the menopause.

What causes a migraine?

There are countless triggers to a migraine attack, and these are generally variable on a person to person basis. Stress is a major cause, as well as poor diet and little exercise, however an intolerance to bright lights, noise, smoking, alcohol, hormonal causes, consumption of certain foods, such as chocolate and nuts, and consumption of certain ingredients in food, such as monosodium glutamate (MSG), are all common triggers to a migraine attack.

What are the different types of migraine?

There are two types of migraine – migraine with aura, and migraine without aura.

Whilst you might think that migraine without aura sounds less severe, this is actually worse than the first type, and can last anything up to three days, with debilitating symptoms rendering the person basically useless until the attack passes. Migraine with aura can last for around an hour and is accompanied by visual disturbances, and occasional nausea and vomiting.

Symptoms of a migraine include flashing lights before the eyes, tunnel vision, temporary blindness, zigzag lines, dizziness, numbness, vertigo, confusion, fainting, inability to stand light or sound, low blood pressure, and extreme pain in the head, usually around the front and the temples.

As you can see, a migraine is not a pleasant experience, and is not simply a bad headache.

What is the treatment for migraines?

There is no cure for migraines unfortunately, and it’s more about managing symptoms and cutting down on attack frequency. There are many effective methods for this, however the most common does still tend to be medication. This isn’t always the best option, because side effects can be unpleasant, they don’t work for everyone, and they don’t always alleviate symptoms enough. Other options are more holistic and include stress management, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, deep relaxation, exercise, and looking at the overall diet, as well as cutting out triggers.

If you are struggling with the symptoms of migraines and the frequency of attacks, call the practice now on (03) 9381 1991 to arrange an appointment.

adhdYou will probably have heard the letters ADHD and ADD in passing, and maybe you know someone who has been diagnosed with the condition, but do you really know what it is?

Medical terms can be complicated, especially when abbreviated!

ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and ADD is simply attention deficit disorder. Whilst both are subtly different, they are essentially very similar in nature, and the overall general treatment is the same regardless. The types of ADHD/ADD which fall underneath the same umbrella however are very different, and should be diagnosed and treated differently in effect.

The difficulty in this case comes from recognising symptoms, and identifying the type. Treating the appropriate type of ADHD/ADD in the correct way will have a much greater success rate for the person involved. Thankfully, testing has come on leaps and bounds over recent years, so more and more people suffering with the effects of this difficult condition can get effective treatment faster, and live their lives free of the sometimes debilitating effects of this complex condition.

The main symptoms of ADHD/ADD are:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Easily distracted
  • Often losing things
  • Not organised
  • Often late
  • Easily side-tracked
  • Often working on several tasks at once because of an inability to concentrate on one thing

As you can see, these are traits which could be easily mislabelled, especially in adults.

Whilst children are most often diagnosed with the condition, it can and does affect adults, and it is most often the case that the adult has had it since childhood, but it has only just been picked up, often because of a family member or someone close has noticed traits and persuaded the person affected to seek help.

There are several types of ADHD/ADD, but the main are inattentive, hyperactive, and combined. Inattentive is often the hardest to diagnose because the symptoms which present could be put down to someone being a little withdrawn or shy, when in fact they are down to ADHD/ADD. Because of this, many go undiagnosed.

Much in the way of study and research has gone into the best treatment options for ADHD/ADD, and the best ways to identify the particular type. EEG biofeedback has shown great hope for treatment, with those undergoing this form showing a 60/70% success rate in medication reduction after treatment. More research is going into this, but it certainly shows hope on the horizon.

The key first step to seeking the treatment required to live a life in control of ADHD/ADD symptoms is to seek help if you are at all worried. If you are concerned about symptoms which you believe could be down to this condition, call the practice now on 03 9095 7990 to arrange an appointment to discuss your worries and possible options.

Diagnosis of the condition, and then determining the type is the first step to a targeted treatment plan, which will help make life much easier for the person involved, as well as close friends and family, in understanding the condition and its effects.

VitaminCWhile most people would have a hard time naming good sources of most vitamins or what they are good for, most of them can easily tell you that citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C and may even remember from history class that sailors were once given daily rations of limes to prevent scurvy.  This is because Vitamin C is vital to the body’s ability to form collagen.  When the body is deprived of Vitamin C, collagen is unstable, which leads to the spongy gums, loose teeth, weak bones and bleeding that are characteristic of scurvy.  Milder deficiency can still result in bleeding gums, pinprick hemorrhages, and tendency to bruise easily.

One of the most common uses of Vitamin C is as an immune booster, especially during the winter when colds and flu make the rounds.  Studies have shown that Vitamin C is highly concentrated in immune cells and is quickly depleted during illness or infection.

Another common use of Vitamin C is as an antioxidant.  Certain highly reactive molecules, commonly called free radicals, in high concentrations, can cause damage to tissue and to genetic material.  Antioxidants like Vitamin C work to keep those reactive molecules under control, preventing that damage and adding a layer of protection against cataracts and other illnesses.

A lesser known function of Vitamin C is that it aids in the absorption of iron.  Adding Vitamin C rich foods to iron rich foods may be particularly beneficial to some individuals with anemia.

Vitamin C has another function that few people are aware of.  The brain uses Vitamin C to synthesize some neurotransmitters, most particularly serotonin.  Neurotransmitters are the chemicals in the brain responsible for carrying messages between nerve cells.  Most people know serotonin as a feel-good chemical, but is also responsible for governing our daily rhythms and controlling stress and even some pain sensations.  That’s not to say Vitamin C can replace antidepressants, but Vitamin C rich foods should certainly be part of everyone’s daily diet.

Most people know citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C, but citrus fruits aren’t the only, or even necessarily the best, sources.  In fact, six foods contain more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C, and none of them are citrus, though some are closely related to citrus fruits. These foods are: papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, strawberries, and pineapple.  Other good sources include leafy greens, berries, cruciferous vegetables, melons, apples, pears, and bananas.  As abundant as Vitamin C is in plant based food, provided you consume at least a few servings of fruits and vegetables per day, you should be getting plenty to avoid deficiency.  However, tobacco and nicotine products can deplete Vitamin C.  If you use any of these products, you should increase your Vitamin C intake.  The National Academy of Sciences recommends an extra 35mg for these people, about half an orange.

Keep in mind that even low levels of heat can destroy Vitamin C and begins to decrease as soon as the fruit or vegetable is harvested, so these foods should be eaten fresh and raw as often as possible.  Keeping the food cold will help to slow this process, so keeping the food in a cool place will help.  Canning does not preserve the Vitamin C content.

As easy as it is to get enough Vitamin C, you may be wondering if it’s possible to get too much.  Technically speaking, sure.  It’s possible to get too much of anything.  However, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin.  This means that excess is excreted in the urine rather than being stored in the body.  In most people, it takes much more than is easily available from food to get too much.  Some people have taken as much as 25 grams a day with no ill effect, while some individuals experience some gastrointestinal upset at levels as low as a few hundred milligrams.  Symptoms include diarrhea, cramping, nausea, and occasionally kidney stones.  If you experience any of these while taking Vitamin C, reduce your dose or discontinue use.  Symptoms should subside in a couple of days.


Practice management software is a crucial consideration in setting up your practice. Its usefulness can seriously impact the operation of the facility and can improve or undermine the results that the business achieves.

Before picking a system your have to consider exactly what are your needs. A solo specialist simply beginning will certainly have different practice management software needs from a multi-practitioner practice that has been operating for lots of years.

Single specialists will usually require the following.

Portability of the System.

Lots of practice start ups have the specialist working in an additional place to supplement their income while they increase their own practice. Once their practice has grown adequately they can then move into their practice on a more full time basis. However until then they require a system that can easily be accessed in multiple locations simultaneously.

This is because they might have an assistant in one location reserving sessions for them while they might be booking visits in yet another area. Web based practice management programs can conveniently deliver this, while traditional systems typically can easily not.  One such system is iconpractice.

Low Start Up Costs.


When starting a practice you normally have many upfront expenses and overheads with little income entering the company. Practitioners often have to buy costly therapy benches, diagnostic equipment and workplace furnishings.

There is also the requirement to spend a larger amount on marketing the practice in order to develop clients, without which the practice will certainly fail. It would certainly be wonderful for that reason to prevent a huge upfront expense for practice management software.

Typically standard practice management programs also charges for each computer that the system is put on, or if you are running a server, for each workstation. This can quickly multiply the price, working into your launch money. Net based software generally charges based upon just how many practitioners are in the practice. Individuals can then access the software on as many pcs as they like, even if they are operating in different places.

Low IT Requirements.

Running a server is hard and expensive and usually calls for contractor IT support. If you are organizing to run conventional systems on more than one computer you can practically guarantee that you will need some type of network and server setup.

Web based practice management programs usually needs only an internet connection which can easily commonly be accomplished by a straightforward wireless network. This kind of environment is effortless and affordable to set up and typically straightforward to manage.


As long as you have a reliable internet connection, and nowadays most businesses do, web based practice management software supplies a number of advantages over conventional pc or server systems. The capability to access the software practically anywhere, plus small start up prices and IT requirements make it an attractive choice.

For more information on clinic software visit