What does a GP do?

A general practitioner is a medical doctor who provides and co-ordinates healthcare for individuals together with their families based on the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best available evidence (called Evidence-Based Medicine).

A general practitioner should be able to manage most conditions that most people have, most of the time (Prof D Metcalfe). A few principles broadly illustrate the scope of general practitioners (from McWhinney 1997).

  • Commited to the person rather than to a particular body of knowledge, group of diseases, or a special technique
  • Seeks to understand the context of the patient’s illness
  • Utilises every contact with patients as an opportunity for health prevention and education
  • Takes an interest in the health needs of his/her practice population in their entirety
  • Integrates as part of a community-wide network of supportive and health care agencies
  • Manages and deploys resources in a cost-effective way that benefits the patient
  • Remains a life-long learner to ensure evidence-based medicine principles

What are the common symptoms or conditions managed by Dr Pedro?

  • Heart disease e.g. angina, palpitations, cardiac failure, ischaemic heart disease
  • Respiratory e.g. shortness of breath, pneumonia, lung ailments, asthma, chronic obstructive airway disease, allergic rhinitis.
  • Gastrointestinal disease e.g. dyspepsia (bloatedness), stomach/colon ailments, anaemia, irritable bowl syndrome, constipation, diarrhoea, nausea & vomiting, heartburn, reflux.
  • Auto-immune and rheumatologic diseases e.g. joint pains, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout.
  • Endocrine disease e.g. Diabetes Mellitus, Thyroid disease (over active or under active thyroid), Hypertension, Cholesterol
  • Infectious diseases e.g. Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, sexual transmitted diseases
  • Neurology e.g. chronic headache, stroke, peripheral neuropathy, pins & needles
  • Woman’s health e.g. family planning, cervical cancer screening, breast examinations, STD screening, meno-pausal related conditions

The above is merely a summary of common symptoms/conditions and often needs specialist referral for further management.

What is Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)?

High blood pressure is an average blood pressure reading always above 140/90mmHg. Hence constantly above this level.

What do the values mean?

Blood pressure readings is determined by the of the amount of blood your heart pumps and the resistance to blood flow in the arteries. Pressure is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg). The recordings always reflect two readings i.e. 160/100mmHg (pronounced as 160 over 100)

  • Top/first number is called the systolic pressure – this is the pressure in the arteries when the heart contracts 
  • Bottom/second number is the diastolic pressure – pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest between each heartbeat.

How is Hypertension diagnosed?

For a diagnosis of Hypertension to be made you need several high blood pressure readings. A one-off high reading does not mean you have Hypertension. Your blood pressure varies throughout the day and various factors could elevate your blood pressure reading i.e. anxious, stressed, pain, recent exercising etc.

What are the causes?

In some cases the cause is not known – Essential Hypertension. But various lifestyle factors contribute. Some case it is caused by other conditions – Secondary Hypertension (certain kidney or hormone problems etc.)

Who should have a blood pressure check?

Everyone should have regular blood pressure checks as it usually causes no symptoms. The frequency of checks should be more often in those with higher contributing risk factors (elderly, previous high readings, comorbidities such as diabetes, smokers and those with a strong family history of cardiovascular disease.

What are the risks/complications and how can it be treated?

See your general practitioner for further information.

What is Fatigue (TATT - Tired All The Time)?

In today’s hustle and bustle everyone struggles with that overtired feeling or feeling that they are overworked. These are generally transient.

“TATT” or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is more profound and lasts longer. Almost a constant state of weariness that affects your quality of life and mental well-being.

What causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Some instances fatigue is due to an underlying medical condition that would require treatment. Quite often however it is due to bad habits or routines. Chances are you know what is causing your fatigue. Identifying and acknowledging these, is the most important step toward revitalising your mind, body and spirit. So three factors commonly attribute to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (TATT) viz. lifestyle factors, psychological problems; medical conditions.

What is the treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Recognising attributing factors goes a long way towards your revitalising process. See your doctor for further information.