Should I Get The COVID-19 Vaccine?

By Farheen Khan (Get Well Clinic)

 

It's incredible to think that it’s been a few months since vaccines have been both available and accessible to the general public to fight against COVID-19. As we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy patios and somewhat normal activities again throughout the summer, the “enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificate” has come into effect as per the Ontario government on September 22, 2021.1 In other words, in order to dine indoors at restaurants, or have access to public spaces like gyms and movie theatres, residents will need to provide proof of vaccination.1

 

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World Suicide Prevention Day

By Eqra Jan, Michaela Karam, and Mura Abdul-Nabi (Get Well Clinic)

About World Suidice Prevention Day

Each year on September 10th, the International Association for Suicide Prevention hosts World Suicide Prevention Day, with over 50 participating countries around the globe. With the goal of raising awareness about mental health and suicide, World Suicide Prevention Day reminds us of the importance of having open dialogue and seeking available resources.

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June is Canadian Men's Health Month

By Eqra Jan, and Michaela Karam (Get Well Clinic)

Although men’s health is important all year round, Canadian Men's Health Month is a time to remind the men in our lives to build healthy habits that support physical and mental health.

Men tend to not prioritize their health as much as women do, who are more frequent users of primary healthcare services (Kazanjian, Morettin, & Cho, 2004). Although many men do not see the use of regular check-ups, annual screenings and tests are some of the most beneficial steps a man can take to support his overall health. These help to find problems and diseases early on, which can give you an edge by addressing them before they worsen.  (Integris Staff, 2019).

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June Is Thyroid Month

Eqra Jan and Michaela Karam (Get Well Clinic)

 

What is the thyroid?

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. The gland controls weight, body temperature, energy levels, skin, growth of hair and nails, and much more. Importantly, it produces hormones such as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) which are responsible for regulating metabolism. Too much (hyper) or too little (hypo) of these hormones can lead to problems in the body’s metabolic processes (Cleveland Clinic, 2021). 

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Cold Case of the Year

Common Cold, Flu, Allergies, or COVID-19?

Farheen Khan (Get Well Clinic)

 

As the nights come earlier and the mornings become cooler, some of us have already started to experience sniffles, sneezing, and sore throats. Each year, as we start to feel the onset of these symptoms, we ask ourselves, “Do I have a cold, the flu or are my allergies just acting up again?” This year however, we have an additional candidate - a much more severe one too - to add to our list of potential diagnoses: the novel (or not so novel anymore) COVID-19.

This new coronavirus strain can cause severe illness in certain groups of people including the elderly population and individuals with underlying health conditions (i.e. heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, etc.) (CDC, 2020a). There is no cure or vaccine for COVID-19 at the moment, and thus social distancing and other preventative measures are extremely important to ensure its containment (WHO, 2020).

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Advil or Tylenol?

What should I take if I have a cold or flu?

Ava Kavianpour (Get Well Clinic)

Which should I take? Which is better? What’s the difference? These are questions you’ve probably asked yourself that led you to this article. In short, both relieve pain. The way they relieve pain and the type of pain they relieve is where these drugs differ.

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Is the COVID-19 Test Accurate?

Tenzin Gyaltsen (Get Well Clinic)

As Ontario transitions into Stage 3, the province’s COVID-19 testing capacity remains a crucial factor for the speed at which we reopen. Recent numbers may seem promising, coming in at the lowest we’ve seen in months, but how accurate actually are these results? In a recent study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, COVID-19 test results were shown to be alarmingly inaccurate, particularly in the case of false negatives.

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How Does the COVID-19 Test Work?

Tenzin Gyaltsen (Get Well Clinic)

We’ve all seen the videos online. A gowned individual sticks a long cotton swab into the back of someone’s nose and twists it around for a few seconds. Their unfortunate victim winces with discomfort but is evidently fine once the swab is removed (although maybe a bit teary-eyed). But what happens to the swab and its mucosal contents and how do specialists distinguish a COVID-19-positive from a COVID-19-negative case? How accurate actually are these results?

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Online COVID-19 Assessment

https://covid19toronto.ca/

 

COVID-19 Assessment Centres

https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-health-advice/covid-19-assessment-centres/

 

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Why does my doctor not include Annual Physicals anymore?

There is evidence that annual complete physical checkups in healthy individual (with no symptoms) do not significantly improve their risk of disease or death. Since 2012, the Ontario government revamped the coverage for Annual Physicals by changing the definition to targeted screening of age-specific risks (now called a Periodic Health Visit), and reducing the payment to doctors by 30% for the visit. The time allowed for this visit has also been reduced since there is less amount of history, physical exam, and testing.

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Rapid Weight Loss versus Slow and Steady

Is your New Year's resolution to get back in shape and lose weight?

If you feel guilty about your holiday feast indulgences, you may be tempted to jump on to the latest diet craze, head to the gym, or hop on the treadmill to lose some weight. However, be warned that rapid weight loss may actually do more harm to you in the long run! A recent study of the contestants in the reality TV show "The Biggest Loser", showed that most contestants who lost weight would eventually start regaining weight again. This was partly due to the slowing down of their metabolism that happened when they tried to lost weight rapidly on the show. There was a pattern in the study that showed those who lost the most weight rapidly, would have the slowest metabolism, meaning they had to eat even less than they ever did, just to maintain their lower weight!

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Pneumonia Vaccine

Have you every had pneumonia? Did you know of someone who died of pneumonia?

We now have a newer, more powerful vaccine to protect adults from pneumonia! Its called Prevnar13 and is the safe enough for babies, but strong enough for seniors. The older Pneumovax vaccine was developed in the 1980's and was routinely given to seniors for free in Ontario, however, it never actually prevented people from getting pneumonia. On the other hand, Prevnar13 prevents ~50% of vaccine-type pneumonias overall! We've been giving Prevnar13 to babies, as part of their routine childhood immunizations, for over a decade in Ontario (those lucky kids get it for free). Communities that got the vaccine actually saw lower rates of pneumonia in the rest of the population, even for those people who didn't get the vaccine (herd effect). Studies also show that you get better protection if you receive Prevnar13 first, before you get the free Pneumovax.

Contact us now (416-508-5691) to get your Prevnar13 pneumonia vaccine and protect yourself and your loved ones around you!

http://www.uptodate.com/contents/pneumococcal-vaccination-in-adults

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Introduce Peanuts Early

 

For the past few years, new research has prompted doctors to recommend introducing foods early to infants from age 4 month old to 6 month old to prevent the development of allergies.

This is a departure from the older recommendations of delaying allergy-prone food introduction to after 1 year, which many doctors had suspected for some time that this practice could have contributed to the rise of food related allergies in North America.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/give-peanut-based-foods-to-babies-early-to-prevent-allergies-new-guidelines-say-1.3922263

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Get Well Clinic

649 Sheppard Ave West
Toronto, ON, M3H 2S4
Tel: (416) 508-5691
Fax: (647) 478-7604

www.getwellclinic.ca

 

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