On average the heart pumps blood 60-100 times a minute. The Apple watch monitors the heart function and it does this by using a sensor on the back, for this to work accurately, during setup you need to enter in your height, weight, gender and age. It gives you an alert if your heart rate is too high or too low.
Having a high heart rate - over 100 beats a minute can be a sign of an irregular heart rhythm, otherwise known as an arrhythmia, An example of this is Atrial Fibrillation. This is where the heart pumps quickly in a chaotic manor which can then cause small plaques or clots to break off from vessels causing serious medical conditions such as a stroke or other heart conditions. So with this regard the Apple watch certainly is useful, in fact there has been cases reported of people being correctly diagnosed via the watch for Atrial Fibrillation, prompting them to seek medical attention and potentially saving their lives.
But what about a low heart rate? This is a heart rate under 60 beats per minute, this can be normal in some situations, for example an athlete may have a lower resting heart rate. Similarly some medications or illnesses such as an under-active thyroid can also cause a low heart rate. It is important that you discuss your target heart rate with your medical doctor so that you can accurately use your Apple watch.
People who have an abnormally high or low heart rate may also have symptoms, such as fatigue, dizziness, lethargy, shortness or breath or fainting. Again if you do have these symptoms despite having a normal heart rate it is important to discuss this with your medical doctor and remember that the Apple Watch doesn’t check for all types of abnormal heart conditions.
You may have seen the ECG/ EKG function (electrocardiogram) on TV shows like Scrubs, House, Casualty or Holby City, where we put stickers onto your chest to have a look at the electrical activity of the heart. It helps us to determine any rhythm defects, whether you’ve had a recent heart attack or any structural problems related to having a murmur. This feature is yet to be released to Australia.
One of the new health features is the ability to monitor and track the regularity of periods and any associated symptoms. This is particularly useful in patients who have underlying medical conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or for those who are wishing to get pregnant or those going through the menopause.
Another new feature of the Apple watch is the noise application. Background noise ranges from 65-70 Decibels and doesn’t usually cause damage. Long term or repeated exposure to 85 decibels can cause damage, examples include motorbike or dirt bike.
We’ve all heard of step counts, step count this, step count that, 10,000 steps. We know that by having an active lifestyle, we’ll be healthier.
However, if you’re doing 10,000 steps a day and you’re eating KFC, Burger King, Bob’s Burgers, you’re probably not on the right track to having a healthy lifestyle.
The Apple Watch has a gyroscope and an accelerator and when a hard fall is detected an alert is sent to your watch. You can then press on the screen to say you’re ok, or if you remain immobile and don’t disable the alert after 60 seconds it will call the emergency services. This is particularly useful for certain groups of people, such as epileptics or the elderly.
As you can see the Apple watch has a number of medical features which have a number of benefits if used correctly. Please note however, that the Apple watch nor the contents of this video are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or medical condition.
Thanks for watching and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to drop me a line in the comments section below.
Men’s Health | Enlarged Prostate Symptoms and Treatments
Did you know that over 600,000 men in Australia are affected with problems with their prostate? With over 30% of men over 50s having problems with their urinary system.
Today’s talk is all about Male’s Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia otherwise known as enlarged prostate - which is part of the male reproductive system.
The symptoms you should look out for is any change or difficulty in passing water. Which can be categorised with problems holding your water.
- If you feel like you need to go to the toilet a lot more frequently.
- If you have problems passing water, for example getting the stream going or maintaining the stream, or experiencing any bleeding in the urine stream.
- If you experience dribbling after going to the toilet.
These are very important symptoms to look out for and you should see your doctor as soon as you notice them, as the quicker the symptoms can be managed the better the outcome is.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE DOCTOR
You can expect to have a blood test as well as an internal examination. Which is where one gloved lubricated finger is inserted into the back passage to detect an enlarged prostate or suspicious nodules.
Treatment generally tends to be medication which can be started as soon as you notice symptoms, or alternatively you could be referred to a urologist for further investigations or for surgical treatment.
The main take away point is that we want to prevent any long term bladder problems, and the way to do that is by raising awareness in the general population and making sure that if you suffer from any urinary problems to come see your doctor as soon as you can. It is a very common problem and your GP can guide you through this.
ABOUT DR NORA
Dr Nora is a GP from London, England. She graduated from St. George’s University of London in 2011. She carried out her postgraduate speciality studies in London and is a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners and The Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare. Dr Nora has a Diploma in Women’s Health & Family Planning.
Her specialties include
Facial cosmetics including dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle therapy.
Medical treatment of bruxism and hyperhidrosis using anti-wrinkle injections.
Minor Surgery & Skin Checks
Family planning, including the insertion and removal of intrauterine devices and sub-dermal implants & sexual health screens.
Chronic disease management such as Diabetes and Respiratory Health.
Dr Nora takes a proactive approach to health promotion.
Women’s Sexual Health | The Mirena and Copper Coil IUDs Long Term Birth Control
Did you know that I also have F. S. R. H. in the title of my name? Well, that stands for having a diploma from the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health, meaning that I specialise in sexual health and family planning.
In this series I will take you through the different contraception or birth control options that are available to you. Ranging from the short time options, to the long term, the hormonal and the non-hormonal options.
Today I’ll be talking about two long term acting contraceptives which can be used whether or not you’ve had children, are reversible and require one treatment only. The first of which is the intrauterine system (IUS), which in Australia is available as the Mirena. The second is the intrauterine device (IUD), known more commonly as the Copper Coil.
Both these treatments are reversible and can be over 99% effective for birth control, but please note they do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
The main difference between these two is the Mirena (IUS) contains the hormones, whilst the Copper Coil (IUD) uses copper.
WHAT ARE HORMONES?
Hormones are used to regulate physiology and behaviour, and the one used by the Mirena is a synthetic hormone for a chemical that is released locally in the womb for birth control.
The IUS is a small flexible plastic T. shaped device that fits inside the womb of a lady. It has a cylinder at the bottom which releases a steady amount of hormone every day over a period of up to five years. In Australia, it is available as the Mirena, but in other countries you can find other brands such as Skyla, Jaydess, Liletta, Kyleena as well as the Mirena.
It works by changing the mucus in the cervix making it harder for sperm to move through.
It thins the womb lining, making your periods lighter and reducing the likelihood of the womb accepting a fertilised egg.
It also inhibits sperm from reaching or fertilising your egg.
For women going through their menopause, the Mirena is progestin-releasing which can support Hormone Replacement Therapy.
COPPER COIL (IUD)
An IUD is a small T-shaped plastic and copper device that’s inserted into your womb (uterus) by a specially trained doctor or nurse.
The IUD works by stopping the sperm and egg from surviving in the womb or fallopian tubes. It may also prevent a fertilised egg from implanting in the womb.
In Australia it’s available as Multiload or Copper T. With Multiload working for up to 5 years and Copper T working up to 10 years.
The main difference between the two is that the Mirena uses a synthetic hormone which can lead to lighter and less painful periods. However, some women do experience adverse side-effects such as headaches, acne and breast tenderness, this can reduce over the first few months depending on your body. The Copper Coil works without hormones so there are less side-effects, however it does often lead to heavier and painful periods especially for the first few months.
The treatment time takes between 10-20 minutes, it can be uncomfortable. So it is very important to take pain relief such as paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory 30 minutes to an hour beforehand.
As with all invasive treatments, there are risks involved.
- One in 1,000 insertions can perforate the womb, which can cause pain in the lower abdomen or at worst a trip to the hospital for surgery.
- One in 200 times the device may fall out, most likely to happen soon after it’s fitted.
- There is a small risk of getting an infection
It’s really important that you see an appropriately trained medical practitioner.
At the higher end you can see a Gynaecologist who is a doctor that focuses on women’s reproductive health.
You can also see a Specialist General Practitioner, you can identify one usually by looking for titles in their name (for example, DFSRH means they’d have a diploma from the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health), alternatively you can ask for accreditation.
Specialist Nurses with additional training and accreditation can also perform the treatment.
Please ensure that you seek an accredited medical practitioner, as this is not a routine procedure.
“Few Australian General Practitioners are trained to insert IUDs”, so please make sure you choose carefully.
 RACGP Course 90415 – Intrauterine Device Training in General Practice.