Alcohol abuse is the leading addictive substance abuse in Australia. Alcoholism is defined as the inability to no longer control the use of alcohol. As it is not always easy to tell when your alcohol intake has crossed the line from moderate drinking to problem drinking, diagnosis of alcoholism is based on meeting certain criteria outlined by the medical classification of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Risk factors for developing alcohol abuse arise from many factors such as:
It is important to manage your alcohol intake as both short- and long term alcohol abuse are associated with physical, social and psychological health issues such as:
When treating alcoholism, there are several treatment strategies each sharing similar steps of first intervention, then detoxification, followed by rehabilitation and lastly maintenance or ongoing aftercare. Examples include behavioural treatments such as cognitive-behavioural therapy and motivational enhancement therapy as well as mutual-support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
 Health Direct (2018, March) Alcoholism at home healthdirect.gov.au/alcoholism-at-home
 Alcohol.org (2020, January) Alcoholism alcohol.org/alcoholism/
 Help Guide (2019, October) Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse helpguide.org/articles/addictions/alcoholism-and-alcohol-abuse.htm
 Alcohol rehab guide (2019, July) What is Alcoholism? alcoholrehabguide.org/alcohol/
 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (2014) Treatment for Alcohol Problems: Finding and Getting Help niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/treatment-alcohol-problems-finding-and-getting-help
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), commonly known as Chornic Fatigue , and also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is an illness affecting the nervous system characterised by at least 6 months of extreme fatigue that is not relieved by rest. Affecting anyone at any age, CFS is a complex illness and currently the cause of is unknown.
What we do know is, chronic fatigue may be a by product of a number of other illness such as Lyme disease or an autoimmune condition. Furthermore, it is thought that chronic fatigue is due to the cells in our body being unable to produce enough energy. However, the underlying mechanisms of CFS vary between patients.
The most prominent symptoms of CFS include:
Treatment of CFS remains complex as current medications have been shown to show minimal long-term benefit. Other therapies include behavioural, cognitive and rehabilitative approaches.
Additionally, recent work has highlighted the positive benefit of acupuncture, like Fong Yang Therapy in treating CFS.
 Harvard Medical School (2018, October) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-a-to-z
 Better Health Channel (2017, November) Chronic Fatigue syndrome https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-cfs
 Health Direct (2019, January) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-cfs
 Toulkidis et al (2002) Chronic fatigue syndrome doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2002.tb04499.x
 Zhang et al (2019) cupuncture for chronic fatigue syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2017-011582
Chronic pain is pain lasting for more than approximately 3 months or beyond normal healing time. It can range from mild to severe and can be a result of:
It is important to manage any pain experienced early on as the longer pain remains untreated, the greater the risk of pain becoming chronic. The cause of chronic pain is thought to be due to changes in the nervous system causing the pain signal to be increased.
It is important to treat and manage chronic pain as it can impact and interfere with day-to-day functioning such as sleep patterns, sexual activity, the ability to work and can cause emotional distress.
Treatment and management of chronic pain may include the following:
If chronic pain is not managed well and persists for a very long time, it may result in a medical condition known as allodynia. This is where part of the body is perceived by the brain to become very de-sensitized and can cause a heightened amount of interpreted pain even on gentle touching of the affected area.
 Health Direct (2018, September) Chronic Pain healthdirect.gov.au/chronic-pain
 Pain Australia. What is Chronic Pain? painaustralia.org.au/about-pain/what-is-chronic-pain
 Arthritis Australia. Chronic Pain arthritisaustralia.com.au/managing-arthritis/arthritis-and-children/chronic-pain/
 NSW Government (2016, February) Chronic Pain health.nsw.gov.au/pharmaceutical/doctors/Pages/chronic-pain-medical-practitioners.aspx
 National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (2019, March) Chronic Pain Information Page ninds.nih.gov/disorders/all-disorders/chronic-pain-information-pag
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), previously known as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) is a painful condition of the arm, hand, leg or foot, which occurs after trauma, such as a fracture.
Symptoms range from mild to severe, and may last up to a few years. The cause of CRPS from a western medicine point of view is still being researched. Treatment aims to relieve symptoms and restore limb function (movement and activity).
Usually females are three times more likely to be affected than males. CRPS affects people in different ways and one person’s response to treatment will be different from another.
Injuries that may lead to CRPS
Most cases of CRPS occur after an injury to the arm or leg, such as:
In rarer cases:
CRPS is a pain disorder that can affect different body systems.
It is believed that different factors contribute to triggering the symptoms:
There is no one diagnostic test for CRPS. Diagnosis is based on a person’s medical history and their symptoms. Professor Yoland Lim Health Care’s doctors may order pathology or imaging tests to outrule other conditions that may present similarly.
Standard Western Medical CRPS Treatment
Professor Yoland Lim Health Care has treated patients referred by medical specialists or GP’s, and you may have tried a range of standard medical treatments, such as prescription medicines (some of which are also used for epilepsy or depression), physical therapy, and interventions like nerve injections, however the results of these significantly vary.
Although CRPS has no simple cure, Professor Yoland Lim Health Care uses an integrated medical approach to obtain the most optimal result for you, involving a number of approaches which aims to restore movement and function of the body:
Prognosis of CRPS
Without treatment patients may have significant pain and disability for years.
Relapses can happen for no known reason or can occur after surgery for a separate problem.
We advise you seek medical review if you suspect you have any of the symptoms stated, to further investigate and manage as necessary.
Dizziness is a broad term describing sensations of feeling unsteady, weak, faint, ‘woozy’ or light-headed. Experiencing dizziness is one of the more common presentations in general practice medicine.
The cause of dizziness varies between individuals including:
Research suggests dizziness can be linked to your emotional state such as fear, panic, stress, embarrassment or anger. In instances where emotional state is contributing to your experience of dizziness, developing new ways to cope with stress, remaining active and focusing on breathing have been found to be effective in reducing dizziness.
As there can possibly be multiple causes for dizziness it is important to be reviewed by your medical practitioner to diagnose the cause, and for appropriate management to be commenced.
When experiencing dizziness, it is important to avoid quick or sudden turns, staying hydrated, changing positions slowly and being careful when turning your head.
 Health Direct (2019, September). Dizziness healthdirect.gov.au/dizziness
 Royal Australian Collage of General Practitioners (2014). Dizziness: if not vertigo could it be cardiac disease? Cardiology. racgp.org.au/afp/2014/may/dizziness/
 Better Health Victoria (2019, May). Dizziness and vertigo betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/dizziness-and-vertigo
 The University of Melbourne – Melbourne Audiology & Speech Pathology Clinic. Dizziness and Stress. healthsciences.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1968488/14661-DIZZINESS-And-STRESS-patient-info-sheet.pdf
 Government of South Australia – SA Health. Dizziness and Balance sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/6ce18b8047c0d4f3bcd3fe7c69742d6b/19035.1-4+Falls-FS4-Dizziness+and+Balance-V1.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=ROOTWORKSPACE-6ce18b8047c0d4f3bcd3fe7c69742d6b-mMFaTrM
Fatty liver is a condition in which excess fat builds up in the liver cells. The liver, which is the largest internal organ in our body, removes toxins and processes food nutrients. When the health of our liver is compromised, the blood from our digestive system cannot filter properly. This could lead to various complications such as inflammation known as steatohepatitis. Non-alcoholic steatohepatisis (NASH) is the most common cause of liver disease in Australia and is commonly seen in people of older age groups with diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Because fatty liver does not cause obvious symptoms, many are unaware of having it until a routine examination. According to Victorian Government Better Health Channel, this condition affects approximately 1 in 10 Australians. While it is normal for the liver to contain some fat, if it makes up more than 10% of the weight of the liver then it is generally determined as ‘fatty liver’. In some serious cases, the liver can become scarred and hardened which in time could cause a condition known as cirrhosis. This often leads to liver failure.
Although there is no known cure, there are a number of things we can do to manage this condition. Making changes to our lifestyles, such as following a healthy diet and exercising regularly are believed to be effective. In a study published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Acupuncture treatment was shown to assists in lipid metabolism which reduces abdominal fat accumulation and helps decrease the mass of fatty liver.
Fibromyalgia is a complex disorder which is marked by generalised pain and muscle stiffness and is often accompanied by fatigue and sleep disturbances. Fibromyalgia affects 2-5% of the population with predominance in young to middle-aged women. It is thought fibromyalgia occurs due to developmental changes in the central nervous system resulting in variations to how sensory information in the environment (such as touch or sound) is processed. Because of this, fibromyalgia is now understood to be a disorder with the brain and not the muscles and bones per se.
Although symptoms vary from patient to patient and range from mild to severe, the most common symptoms include:
While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are effective management strategies to relieve symptoms. This may include active rehabilitation programs, medication and psycho-educational therapies
 Health Direct (2018, September) Fibromyalgia. healthdirect.gov.au/fibromyalgia
 The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (2013, October). Fibromyalgia. Diagnostic challenges Vol 42 (10) 690-694. racgp.org.au/afp/2013/october/fibromylagia/
 Better Health Channel (2017, March) Fibromyalgia. betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fibromyalgia
 Kwiatek, R (2017, October). Treatment of fibromyalgia. Australian Prescriber Vol 40 (5)179-183. doi: 10.18773/austprescr.2017.05
Mycoses (fungal infections) are characterised by the invasion of tissues by one or more species of fungi. These may be caused by dermatophytes, yeast or molds and typically occur in individuals who are immunocompromised. Furthermore, individuals who are organ transplant recipients, or those with underlying conditions such as diabetes or lung disease are at a greater risk of fungal infections.
Broadly, there are two categories in which fungal infections can be divided:
1. Superficial, or
2. Invasive infections
Superficial infections may be caused by both yeast and molds and typically occur on the skin, nail, hair and mucous membranes. In many cases, fungal infections are limited to the mouth, genital area or skin but in individuals with a weakened immune system, there is an increased risk of experiencing a more serious internal infection. The symptoms of a fungal infection depend on what part of the body is being affected. For example, symptoms of a fungal infection on the skin may cause itching, swelling and redness whereas symptoms of a fungal infection in the lungs may cause chest pain, muscle aches and coughing. Commonly, fungal infections are treated with anti-fungal medication in a cream, ointment, suppository, pill or intravenous form.
Onychomycosis (fungal nail infections) may also occur in individuals, and may cause unsightly, green or yellow nails. This can spread to other toe nails, and finger nails, and patients may be troubled by the appearance of these.
 Lab Tests Online (2019, October) What are Fungal Infections labtestsonline.org/conditions/fungal-infections
 Harvard Medical School (2019, January) Candidiasis health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/candidiasis-a-to-z
 Sepsis (2017, December) Fungal Infections sepsis.org/sepsisand/fungal-infections/
Glandular fever, also known as Infectious Mononucleosis (IM) is a common contagious infection caused by the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV). Glandular fever is most common in teenagers and young adults with 90-95% of people in adulthood having been affected by EBV. This is thought to be due to the close contact of teenagers in the later school years and in their tertiary education. Glandular fever is spread through person-to-person contact with saliva. Because of this, it is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Kissing Disease'.
As the incubation period (that is the time it takes to develop symptoms and be infected) is 4-6 weeks, symptoms of glandular fever are gradual. The first symptoms may be:
Due to being a viral infection, western medicine advises supportive care for the management of symptoms. Furthermore, medical professionals suggest ensuring plenty of rest and fluids.
 SA Health. Glandular fever – including symptoms, treatment and prevention. Government of South Australia.
 NSW Government – Health (2012, July 01). Infectious mononucleosis fact sheet. health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/mononucleosis.aspx
 Health Direct (2019, April). Glandular fever. healthdirect.gov.au/glandular-fever
 Better Health Channel (2018, December). Glandular fever. betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/glandular-fever
Hepatitis is a condition defined by the inflammation of the liver. The liver is an important organ for regulating metabolism, storing vitamins, removing toxins and making proteins. Hepatitis may be caused by alcohol and drug abuse or certain medical conditions but commonly, hepatitis is caused by a viral infection.
In Australia, the three most common hepatitis caused by viral infection are hepatitis A, B and C. Depending on the type of hepatitis depends on the symptoms and cause. Hepatitis A is commonly acquired overseas and is spread by direct contact with an infected person or by consuming contaminated foods.
Symptoms may include fever, nausea and yellow skin and eyes. Hepatitis B is the most common hepatitis and is spread through infected blood or body fluids. Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus and is spread through contact with infected blood. Symptoms include and are not limited to flu like symptoms, pain in the liver region, nausea, night sweats, diarrhoea and poor concentration and forgetfulness.
Furthermore, treatment for hepatitis varies depending on the type of hepatitis. For instance, there are effective treatments available for hepatitis B to reduce the risk of consequential diseases such as liver cancer. In the case with hepatitis A, unfortunately there are no current medical treatments available with medical professionals recommending supportive therapy in plenty of rest and fluids.
 Health Direct (2018, May) Hepatitis. healthdirect.gov.au/hepatitis
 Better Health Channel (2018, August) Hepatitis betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hepatitis
 Hepatitis Australia (2019, July) Hepatitis A. hepatitisaustralia.com/hepatitis-a
 Hepatitis Australia (2019, August) Hepatitis B. hepatitisaustralia.com/what-is-hepatitis-b
 Hepatitis Australia (2019, August) Hepatitis C. hepatitisaustralia.com/what-is-hepatitis-c
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) commonly known as ‘herpes’ are infections caused by either Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1) or Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 (HSV-2).
Commonly, cold sores or oral herpes that is blisters around the mouth and nose are caused by HSV-1, and genital herpes are caused by transmission of HSV-2. Although both are often asymptomatic in that they produce and show no symptoms, both herpes infections are lifelong. They lie dormant without causing much issues at other non-active times, and then during times of stress on the body, the characteristic lesions may come out.
Both herpes viruses are contagious during presence of symptoms and absence of symptoms through oral-to-oral contact (HSV-1) and through contact with genital surfaces, skin, sores or fluids (HSV-2). Although there are treatments to alleviate the severity of symptoms such as topical agents, there are currently no cures for the infection.
 World Health Organisation(WHO)(2017, January) Herpes simplex virus. who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus
 Better Health Channel (2018, February) Genital herpes. betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/genital-herpes
 Victoria State Government – health.vic. Herpes simplex infections. health.vic.gov.au/public-health/infectious-diseases/disease-information-advice/herpes
Insomnia is a common sleep disorder defined as the difficulty of getting to sleep and staying asleep ultimately resulting in disruptions in sleep quality affecting daytime functioning. These disruptions can include:
There are two main types of insomnia:
1. Acute insomnia- which occurs for less than 4 weeks, and
2. Chronic insomnia- occurring more than 4 weeks
Insomnia can affect anyone at any point in their lives with a higher prevalence in females, shift workers and older people with poor health. There are multiple factors which can cause insomnia such as:
In order to treat insomnia it is crucial the underlying causes are taken into account. However there is strong evidence and support to suggest the first-line treatment to be cognitive behavioural therapy. Unlike the more traditional western approach in treating insomnia using sleeping pills, cognitive behavioural therapy aims to overcome the underlying causes through engaging in a series of sleep assessments, completing a sleep diary and weekly visits to a sleep clinician.
 Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (DSM-5)
 Cunnington, D et al (2013, October) Insomnia: prevalence, consequences and effective treatment. The Medical Journal of Australia Vol 199 (8) 36-40. doi: 10.5694/mja13.10718
 Sleep Health Foundation Australia (2019, June) Insomnia. sleephealthfoundation.org.au/insomnia.html
 Health Direct (2019, June) Insomnia. healthdirect.gov.au/insomnia
 Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (2019, April) Insomnia management. Australian Journal of General Practice Vol 48 (4). racgp.org.au/ajgp/2019/april/insomnia-management
 Trauer, J et al (2015, August) Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Chronic Insomnia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Annals of Internal Medicine. doi: 10.7326/M14-2841
In pure Chinese medicine the kidney meridian (energy) is regarded as the most important organ in your body (perhaps this is why we are born with two). If your kidney energy is functioning properly, then the rest of the body will likely function properly. Your kidneys draw on your body's core energy. If this energy is depleted in some way through stress, chronic fatigue or immune deficiency your normal kidney function may be disrupted which in turn disrupts may affect your biological clock and sets up a detrimental chain reaction of potential harm to your bodily functions. Similarly, your kidney energy and renal function may be affected through eating the wrong food, drinks and alcohol abuse (besides your liver).
What are some of the effects?
Disruption to your kidney energy may result in stress, chronic fatigue, premature aging of skin, circulation problems, stomach disorders, hormonal imbalance and pre-menstrual problems.
Ig A nephropathy
Glomerulonephritis is the commonest cause of kidney damage. It is where the filtering function of the kidney is not working effectively.
There are a variety of glomerulonephritis- IgA Nephropathy is the most common type in Australia. It affects males more than females, and approximately 10-30% will progress to more kidney damage resulting in end stage renal failure.
Ig A is an immunoglobulin, which is antibody, which is abnormally reacting to parts of our body, and in this case the kidneys.
Left untreated 40-65% Problems with High Blood Pressure and Mild Kidney Failure in later years and
10-30% Develop End Stage Kidney Failure Between 3 to 30 years after Diagnosis .
 Renal Resource Centre, 2012 Level 4, 2C Herbert Street St Leonards NSW 2065 renalresource.com Northern Sydney Local Health District
Chronic Kidney Disease health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/chronic-kidney Australian Government, Department of Health.
Health Direct, Kidney Health Australia healthdirect.gov.au/partners/kidney-health-australia
Kidney Health Australia.
Pain in the jaw? Trouble chewing? Jaw aching?Difficulty opening your mouth? Stuck or locked jaw? Weird noise or clicking of the jaw?
You may have Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder. This affects up to 60-70% of all people, who will have sign of a TMJ disorder at some point in their lives. The TMJ is located where the mandible (lower jaw) attaches to the base of your skull on each side of your head. You can find this by placing your fingers in front of your ears and opening and closing your mouth and you can feel these joints move. Muscles, ligaments and tendons attach across the TMJ to control its movements.
Pain, clicking, locking, facial pain and headache.
The exact cause of a TMJ disorder is not always known. The majority are due to joint degeneration, trauma or injury to the mouth.
Other conditions which can contribute include:
TMJ may contribute to emotional tension or depression. Chronic TMJ pain and dysfunction can be difficult to treat.
There are surgical procedures which involves opening into the joint and joint replacement. However as with any medical procedure there are potential risks, including the facial nerve (7th cranial nerve, that provides the nerve signals for facial movement) which may be affected. Permanent nerve damage is rare but could lead to facial palsy on the affected side and some nerve damage may be permanent.
Professor Yoland Lim Health Care’s clinical examination includes:
Professor Yoland Lim Health Care uses an integrated medical approach which may include:
The holistic patient centred approach aims to promote relaxation, relax muscle tone, and reduce stress.
Although some patients respond very promptly, as TMJ disorders can take years to develop, it may take some time for improvement.
 Jonathan Lomas Et al. Australian Journal Of General Practice. Volume 47, Issue 4, April 2018Temporomandibular dysfunction.
Many human illnesses are caused by infection with viruses. Viruses are a type of parasitic microorganism that invades healthy living cells in order to replicate and reproduce. This process can result in killing, damage or changing the cells ultimately leading to sickness. However, in many cases, our immune system may be able to fight the virus off.
There are four main types of viruses:
3. Enveloped, and
Common viral infections include:
Viral infections are contagious and can be spread from person to person via coming into contact with the infected person, contact with bodily fluids, transmission from mother to child during pregnancy and coming into contact with contaminated surfaces.
Due to the potential ease of transmission and for the danger it poses to elderly, very young and immunocompromised, treatment and management of viral infections should be taken seriously and include:
 Medline Plus (2019, December) Viral Infections medlineplus.gov/viralinfections.html
 Better Health Channel (2014, March) Infections – bacterial and viral betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/infections-bacterial-and-viral
 Seladi-Schulman (2018, October) What’s the Difference Between Bacterial and Viral Infections? healthline.com/health/bacterial-vs-viral-infections
 Health Direct (2018, April) Difference between bacterial and viral infection healthdirect.gov.au/bacterial-vs-viral-infection