Prostate Cancer and Your Pelvic Floor

Yes, men do have a pelvic floor too! It is mostly believed that only women experience pelvic floor issues following childbirth. However, men can be affected by pelvic floor conditions as well, most commonly incontinence. It is reported that more than two thirds of men do not discuss the issue of incontinence with their GP with more than 30 per cent of them affected.

According to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men with over 20 000 new cases diagnosed nationally per year. Following prostate surgery (prostatectomy or TURP) urinary incontinence, or bladder weakness is one of the most common symptoms men have due to the removal of the prostate. During the recovery process men often find this the biggest challenge to cope with.

Full bladder control gradually returns over time and most men usually fully recover within six to twelve months, in conjunction with using specific pelvic floor exercises. Ideally pelvic floor exercises should be started four to six weeks before surgery and continue post surgery under the care of a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.

Common problems affecting men that could be successfully treated by a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist includes:

- Incontinence following prostate surgery
- Erectile dysfunction after prostate surgery
- After dribble
- Peyronie's disease
- Bowel conditions
- Pelvic floor muscles and pelvic pain

If you are having prostate surgery or do have any questions, please make an appointment to see a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist.

Resources:

1. https://www.continence.org.au

2. http://www.prostate.org.au

3. https://www.physiotherapy.asn.au/APAWCM/Advocacy/Campaigns/APA_Mens_Health.aspx

Exercising Right for Prostate Cancer

This month is Prostate Cancer awareness month. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in men in Australia, with almost 20,000 diagnoses each year.

What is Prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in males in Australia. It occurs when abnormal cells develop in the prostate. Sometimes these abnormal cells can multiply and spread into surrounding or distant tissue in the body.

How can exercise help?

As well as the general benefits exercise has on health and well-being, there are specific benefits to men with prostate cancer who are currently undergoing treatment or have done so in the past.

Men with prostate cancer currently on a hormone therapy may experience numerous side effects including:

  • Reduced bone mineral density

  • Reduced muscle mass

  • Fatigue

  • Increased cholesterol levels: which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease

  • Feelings of depression or anxiety

Appropriately prescribed exercise is a great way to help manage these side effects.

What type of exercise is best?

It is recommended that men perform a combination of both aerobic and resistance exercises. This will help combat a loss of muscle mass or bone density that may occur during treatment, assist in managing fatigue, decrease cardiovascular risk factors like increased cholesterol and assist in managing feelings of depression or anxiety that may arise.

Males that have undergone radical prostectomy as part of their treatment, might also be recommended to complete additional pelvic floor exercises.

Are there any exercise considerations?

Risk of bone fracture, is increased with hormone therapy or if cancer has spread to the bones. Therefore, it is important to get guidance on what exercise is safe and appropriate for you from an Accredited Exercise Physiologist who has experience working with men who have prostate cancer.

For more information on how we can help, contact us on 8969 6300 or info@bblifestyleclinic.com.au

Fighting Parkinson's Disease

What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the dopamine producing neurons in the brain. It is characterized by a resting tremor, slowness of movements, rigidity, gait disturbance and postural instability.

How Can Exercise Help?
Exercise has been shown to improve symptoms and slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease. It is especially effective if introduced at an early stage after diagnosis. The dopaminergic neurons in the brain are highly responsive to exercise, meaning that exercise can stimulate dopamine synthesis and therefore reduce the presence of symptoms.

Exercise can improve:

  • Gait
  • Balance
  • Tremors
  • Flexibility
  • Grip strength
  • Motor coordination
  • Mental health
  • Quality of life

Participating in a structured individualized exercise program also allows the individual to play an active role in their management plan, giving back some power and control that many feel they lose after diagnosis.

What Type of Exercise is Best?
There is no one type of exercise that will work for everyone with Parkinson’s Disease. This is as there are many different signs, symptoms and challenges, with the ability for individuals to present quite differently.

Resistance Exercise
Performing resistance exercises that improve lower limb muscle mass and strength can help improve balance, walking stride length, speed and distance.

Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise will improve your heart and lung function, making activities of daily living easier and more sustainable in the long term. Treadmill walking has been shown to have immediate and long-term benefits on gait in individuals with Parkinson’s Disease. Cycling has also been shown to reduce muscle rigidity and slowed movements.

Dual-Tasking Exercise
Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease often have difficulty performing two tasks at once. This is especially the case when walking as gait patterns are already altered with Parkinson’s Disease. BY incorporating dual-tasking elements into a program, it has been shown to improve gait velocity, stride length and balance.

The following types of exercise have also shown to have benefits:

  • Balance
  • Mobility
  • Exercises that promote attention and learning
  • High intensity aerobic exercise
  • Exercises that challenge the individual to change tempo, direction or activity

Are There Any Exercise Considerations?
Everyone with Parkinson’s Disease can present with a variety of symptoms or areas of concern. So it is important to seek the right advice when beginning an exercise program. Get in contact with an Exercise Physiologist who has experience working with individuals who have Parkinson’s Disease and they will help tailor a program to you.

For more information on how we can help, contact us on 8969 6300 or info@bblifestyleclinic.com.au

Healthy Dinners for Diabetes

Our awesome Dietitian Aimee from our Cremorne clinic takes us through how to prepare easy healthy dinners for someone with Diabetes.

Struggling to put together a well-balanced meal at dinnertime for you or a family member who has Diabetes? This quick article will assist you in maintaining stable blood sugar levels, a healthy weight and maximum food satisfaction and enjoyment at dinner!

Dinner time can be challenging when we get home from an exhausting day. The last thing we want to think about is “What’s for Dinner”? – Sound familiar? Read on.

WHY? Well if your goal is to maintain or lose some weight to help control your diabetes then choosing a healthy, well-balanced meal is important to ensure extra kilojoules, sugar and fat are not creeping into your last main meal of the day.

Diabetes in a Nutshell – what is happening in your body!

Diabetes is when high levels of glucose circulate within the blood. When we consume carbohydrate-containing foods, our body breaks it down into glucose (sugar). The presence of glucose triggers the release of insulin, a hormone helping to reduce glucose levels in the blood. When the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin or insulin doesn’t work as effectively, diabetes arises. Without adequate insulin, glucose in the blood builds up and can increase short and long-term health risks.

Type 1 – When the pancreas cannot produce insulin due to the body’s immune system damaging the cells that usually make insulin, therefore insulin must be replaced in order to manage blood sugar levels.  

Type 2 – Usually a result of either insulin resistance where the pancreas is supplying insulin, however the cells are resisting the insulin, compromising the uptake of glucose for energy and or over time the pancreas can become overworked and fails to produce adequate insulin to glucose ratio.

To achieve a healthy balanced dinner, having a few handy kitchen supplies is important so you can make a quick, nutritious and delicious meal that ticks all the boxes and keeps your blood sugar levels in check.

Low Starch Vegetables – a variety of colours helps you to achieve a balance of micronutrients & fibre!
Fill half your plate with an array of low starch vegetables. Some convenient options:

  • Birds Eye steam fresh bags or frozen stir fry mix
  • Fine cut coleslaw; spinach, rocket, kale leaves pack, stir fry rainbow veggies à
  • Spiralized zucchini or cauliflower and broccoli steam “rice” packs

High Fibre Carbohydrates – encourage a slow release of blood sugar and promote increased fullness!
Fill ¼ of your plate. Some convenient options:

  • Lentils, freekah, beans superblend (see image to right à)
  • Brown/long grain rice or quinoa microwaveable packs
  • Spiralized sweet potato noodle packs or birds eye frozen oven roast bag

Lean Protein – broken down slowly, providing long-lasting energy
Fill the other ¼ of your plate. Some convenient options:

  • BBQ chicken (skin and stuffing removed) à keep in an airtight container for a few days’ supply
  • Birds Eye steam frozen fish /Atlantic salmon or canned tuna and salmon or versatile eggs!

Healthy Fat – promotes a healthy heart and has anti-inflammatory effects
Enjoy adding a thumb size of avocado, nuts, seeds or olives to your salads & veggies.

 Now putting it all together - Inspired Buddha or Burrito Bowls

Step One: add a high fibre, slow-releasing source of carbohydrate i.e. ½ cup beans or brown rice as pictured.
Step Two: add lean protein including 150g fish or prawns, 120g poultry, two boiled eggs or 100g lean heart-smart minced beef or pork meat
Step Three: add 2-3 cups of varied low starch vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, mushrooms, capsicum, green beans, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cabbage, baby beetroot, bok choy, zucchini and the list goes on!
Step Four: include some heart-healthy fats including ¼ avocado, 1 tbsp. of olive oil, 10 olives or a sprinkle of nuts or seeds.
Step Five: Enjoy, take your time and appreciate the colours and flavours

Remember that the AMOUNT of carbohydrate is going to be very individual and you should check in with a friendly local dietitian to set a collaborative plan. You can book in here http://bodyfusion.com.au/contact-us/ or read more about our dietitians here: http://bodyfusion.com.au/about-our-dietitian/

Wishing you some delicious and healthy dinners!

Dumbbells for Diabetes

This month saw National Diabetes week from 8th-14th July, with the focus of this year’s campaign on early detection and treatment for all types of Diabetes.  We all know that Diabetes is becoming an increasingly common diagnosis, but what does it actually mean?

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 Diabetes occur when the pancreas in the body can’t make enough insulin and the body’s cell can’t respond effectively to the insulin that is produced, causing high blood glucose levels (or high blood sugar levels).

Did you know that Diabetes is:
-        The leading cause of blindness in adults
-        The leading cause of kidney failure
-        The leading cause of preventable limb amputations
-        Increases the risk of heart attacks and stroke by up to 4 times!

What Can You Do?

There is mounting evidence that shows us that you can reduce the risk of developing Diabetes, but also help manage the effects of Type 2 Diabetes through lifestyle factors: diet and exercise!

It is recommended that you perform both aerobic and resistance exercises. This may sound really complicated, but its simpler than you think.

Aerobic exercise uses large muscle groups in a rhythmic nature and is sustained for at least 10 minutes or more. For example:
Walking, running, swimming, cycling, rowing etc
Resistance exercises involve muscular contraction against resistance to improve your muscular strength, endurance and mass. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lift heavy weights at a gym. It can be as easy as sitting and standing up from your chair!

How Does This Benefit You?

Aerobic exercise stimulates and strengthens your heart and lungs, allowing the body to improve the way it uses oxygen. You will find that as this happens, exercise and even activities that you do each day will become easier to do. It also helps reduce risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes, including blood pressure and waist circumference.

Resistance exercises have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity within the body for up to 48 hours after exercise! So not only will these exercises allow your muscles to take glucose from the blood and into the cells without the use of insulin, but it will also improve the way your cells respond to insulin after you have finished exercising.

Where To Start?

Use the services available to you!

If you have Type 2 Diabetes your GP can refer you for group services to assist in its management. These group services are available with a Medicare rebate. You are entitled to the following services each calendar year: 
- One initial assessment
- Eight group sessions 

If you need some help in getting started, get in contact with your local Accredited Exercise Physiologist. They can help you develop an individualized exercise program and give you strategies to keep you going in the long term.

For more information on how we can help, contact us on 8969 6300 or info@bblifestyleclinic.com.au

Putting your oxygen mask on first

As parents it can be our tendency to have our health as the last priority. One of our Strong Mums this week gave us the great analogy of putting the airplane oxygen mask on first before helping children and the people around you. We are no good to those that depend on us if we cant keep our heads above water ourselves. We take a look at Perinatal Depression and how reaching out for the guidance of a counsellor can help.

What is Perinatal Depression? (Source: The Gigdet Foundation. www.gigdetfoundation.org.au)

Pregnancy and the first year of parenthood (the perinatal period) can be a uniquely special time. It is also a time of great adjustment and the impact is often underestimated in our society. All expectant and new parents will have their good days and bad days, their ups and downs. But when bad days start to seriously outnumber the good they may be at risk of perinatal anxiety and depression.

Perinatal depression and anxiety affects 1 in 5 mothers and 1 in 10 fathers. Men are not immune from perinatal depression and anxiety. Commonly, but certainly not always, this develops as reactive depression to a partner’s illness – it’s understandably difficult to be around a person who is ‘down’ all the time. In fact, if the mother is depressed the whole family is affected: partner, baby and other children. That’s why it’s essential to get help straight away.

This term perinatal covers both antenatal depression and anxiety (occurring during pregnancy) and postnatal depression and anxiety. 

Check out this great fact sheet on how to seek out help from the Gidget Foundation.

Introducing Meeghan's Counselling Services:

We have been privileged to have Meeghan join our team in the past few months. Meeghan is an experienced counsellor and massage therapist who works with couples and families, new mum’s as well as individuals experiencing mood and anxiety disorders. Meeghan is available by appointment for 1:1 Counselling at our Cremorne Clinic.

Meeghan is registered with Medibank Private and Doctors Health. Her website (www.holushealth.com) explains the approaches that she uses to assist new mums and individuals experiencing concerns that are causing stress, anxiety and depression, thereby stopping the individual engaging in a positive and healthy life.

When is it a good time to see a physio after you have had a baby?

Our Senior Physiotherapist Julie from our Cremorne Clinic takes us through a few simple questions you can ask when recovering after having a baby. And when it is the right time to see a physio.

1. Do You Have a Weak Pelvic Floor?

  • Accidental leaking of urine when coughing, sneezing, laughing or during exercise
  •  Frequent bathroom visits or leaking before reaching the bathroom
  • “Dragging” or “Heavy” sensation in the vagina
  • Not able to control passing wind
  • Lack of sexual sensation

Any of the above symptoms may indicate that your pelvic floor is still weak.  A real time ultrasound imaging and an internal check of your pelvic floor with our physiotherapist can determine if you require a pelvic floor exercise program.

2. Do you have an Abdominal Separation?

Rectus Diastasis Abdominis (DRA) is a separation of the left and right abdominal muscles (rectus abdominus) with widening of the midline connective tissue( Linea Alba), which is common during the third trimester.  Recent research believes that the separation remains abnormal for 40% of the mums at 6 months after delivery. 

If the separation does not completely recover, the abdomen may protrude or bulge further when exercising.  Such physical discomfort can prevent women from returning to exercise.

A detailed assessment with the real time ultrasound imaging can determine whether your abdominal separation can be treated or require surgery.

3. Am I ready to begin exercise again?

A postpartum assessment is critical to make sure the recovery of your pelvic floor and abdominal wall is on the right track.  It also detects any underlying postural alignment and biomechanics changes following your childbirth.  We use 3 simple functional tests to check if your core is ready for a return to exercise.

1.     Can you do a single leg squat?

2.     Can you do a heel raise on one leg?      

3.     Can you hop on one leg?

Julie is available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays to see any new mums with help recovering post birth. 

Nutrition Tips for BreastFeeding

Top 5 Nutrition tips for healthy breastfeeding:

Our Amazing Dietitian's Ash and Aimee from BodyFusion fill us in on their top tips for when you are breastfeeding. 

Breastfeeding is a time of great change for your body. With these changes, the amount of energy and nutrition is greater and for this reason making sure you are eating a well-balanced diet is essential for meeting these targets. Everyone’s requirements are different, so visiting an Accredited Practicing Dietitian for an individualised plan can be helpful. To help you get started, here are our top 5 nutrition tips for healthy breastfeeding:

1.     Plan ahead and prioritise your mealtimes:

Time is one of the main barriers my clients face when juggling everything that comes with being a new Mum. Make life easy by planning ahead. Start by planning your meals for the week in advanced and using online shopping/delivery services to assist with the main bulk of your weekly groceries. Cook meals in bulk and freeze individual portions for a quick lunch or dinner at a later date and DON’T SKIP MEALS – set an alarm to remind to eat before you are starving!

2.     Keep a healthy snack handy:

One of the most common reasons for reaching for a sweet biscuit or quick muffin at the coffee shop is not having another option at hand. Make a habit of chopping up a large container full of vegetables on Sunday night and keeping them in the fridge for the week (storing these in water will help keep them fresh and crunchy!). Other quick snack options are grainy crackers such as Vita-weats, natural Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and nuts.

3.     Choose nutrient dense whole foods:

Whilst you are breastfeeding, your requirements for certain nutrients such as Iodine, Iron and Calcium can be difficult to meet. Eating a wide variety of whole foods rich in nutrients such as green leafy vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seafood and dairy can help us make the most of our meals. Research also suggests that exposure to small amounts of allergens found in foods such as nuts can help to line an infant’s immune system and protect against allergies. 

4.     Choose protein rich meals:

Protein is vital for growth, maintenance and repair of cells. Whilst you are breastfeeding, you need additional protein through your diet to help build the protein in your breast milk. Aim to include a source of protein with each meal. This can include a wide range of foods such as meat, including fish and poultry, eggs, dairy, legumes, soy based protein such as tofu and nuts.

5.     Stay hydrated:

Aim to finish at least 1.5 – 2L/day to replace fluid lost in breast milk. A quick tip is to have a drink of water or cup of tea every time you breastfeed. A good indicator of how hydrated you are is checking the colour of your wee. If it’s pale-coloured or clear, you're getting plenty to drink. If it’s dark yellow, or smells strongly, or if you feel lethargic or faint, you may be dehydrated and need to increase your fluid intake.
 

Remember, breastfeeding is an important time to build your nutrition and healthy eating practices for you and your growing family. Aimee practices from our Cremorne Clinic on Mondays. To make an appointment contact the clinic on 8969 6300 or 0426 500 251.

Helping New Mums Return to Exercise Safely and Build strength from the Inside Out

Post-natal exercise has proven to have a huge range of both physical and mental health benefits including:

-      Helping to prevent and manage post-natal depression

-      Strengthening of abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, as well as improving upper and lower body strength. Helping to get rid of Mummy Tummy.

-      Reduce the chance and manage common injuries and reduce back and neck pain

-      Relieve stress

-      Increase energy levels

-      Weight management

Every mum is different and it is important that a one size fits all approach isn’t taken. Your journey back to exercise and recovery will be different to your friends with little ones and that is ok. Working with an Exercise Physiologist can help determine what is the right type of exercise for you at different time points.

So what is safe after giving birth?

The body goes through a number of physiological changes throughout pregnancy so it is important to gradually re-introduce physical activity with the appropriate guidance. Your return to pre-natal exercise levels will depend on a number of factors including the type of delivery you had and any complications that arose.

There are a number of types of exercise that have significant benefits for new mums. These include pelvic floor, abdominal and glute exercises, aerobic exercise and strength training.
Pelvic floor, abdominal and glute exercises assist in rebuilding the strength and stability around the core and pelvic floor muscles and joints of the pelvis which is essential in reducing discomfort, preventing incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse, as well as returning to pre-natal activities.

Aerobic exercises such as walking, running and cycling are important activities to increase your cardiovascular fitness post-birth, improve your energy levels and reduce stress. Though, it is generally not recommended to begin impact exercise, such as jogging or running, until at least 12 weeks post-birth and only with clearance from a health professional. We often liken this post natal period to the same time and care you would take if you were recovering from a sporting injury. You don't just jump straight back on the field after an ankle sprain. Performing impact exercises to soon in your postpartum period can overload your unstable joints and pelvic floor muscles which can increase the risk of sustaining an injury or pelvic organ prolapse.

Strength training can assist in building strength in areas of the body that are heavily used in the daily life of a mum, as well as reduce the chance or manage injuries, and help relieve stress. As a new mum you will experience incidental strength exercises by caring for your baby (lifting, carrying, bouncing etc), this is a great way to begin strength training post-birth. You can generally increase your strength training approximately 6 weeks after giving birth, with the appropriate clearance and guidance from health professionals.

How do I begin exercising after birth?

Soon after giving birth you will often be given pelvic floor and simple abdominal exercises to perform by your physiotherapist. You will also be able to begin walking, which is a great way to slowly get back into exercise and fitness. Start with slow gentle walks and gradually build up the intensity when you feel ready by increasing your speed and duration, or walking uphill. A good goal to aim for initially is to be physically active for 20-30 minutes each day as long as you feel comfortable to do this. This can be broken up into multiple small bouts of physical activity to make it more manageable.
When beginning strength training exercises, it is important to perform exercises that are safe and appropriate for you and what you want to achieve. Seeking the right guidance from a health professional is recommended, especially if you have not performed any strength training in the past. Another focus we have is teaching you how to both engage and relax pelvic floor muscles. We tend to use different breathing exercises to assist with this and then combine this from simple pelvic floor exercises on the floor and progress through to standing and strength based exercises such as squats and deadlifts.  

When beginning or returning to exercise post-birth it is essential to remember that each new mum is different so it is best to seek advice from an Accredited Exercise Physiologist to help you devise an individualised exercise plan that is tailored to your needs. For more information on how we can help, please contact us on 8969 6300 or info@bblifestyleclinic.com.au