Health

Learn more about your health, and what makes your heart tick. We bring you the latest health news about your favourite topics such as: Healthy living, medical conditions, nutrition, parenting, relationships, medicine, health technology, and more!

 
 
 
 
 
 

Dodged winter's woes? Here's why the South African National Blood Service needs you more than ever

Have you managed to steer clear of a cold or flu so far? Give your immune system a thumbs up, and then consider heading to your nearest health Donor Centre or Mobile Blood Drive to donate blood. Here’s why.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Unwind this June and WIN tickets to see Katy Perry live

Feel like you're running out of juice this June? Enough quality rest and relaxation is key to maintaining a youthful body and mind – so take time out to enjoy life, and find out how to win yourself double tickets to see Katy Perry live!

 
 
 
 
 
 

"Why I'm embracing digital tech in healthcare"

In this opinion piece, Dr Sudeshan Govender, a General Practitioner in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal, explains why he believes the digital revolution will improve healthcare for both patients and healthcare practitioners.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Food, fitness and health: how to be at your best in your 60s and beyond

Over 60? This June, we're celebrating Youth Day by encouraging youthfulness through a holistic approach to your wellbeing. Here's your guide to managing your diet, exercise and health.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Food, fitness and health: how to be at your best in your 50s

This June, we're celebrating Youth Day by encouraging youthfulness through a holistic approach to your wellbeing. Here's a 50-something's guide to managing your diet, exercise and health.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Food, fitness and health: how to be at your best in your 40s

This June, we're celebrating Youth Day by encouraging youthfulness through a holistic approach to your wellbeing. Here's a 40-something's guide to managing your diet, exercise and health.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Food, fitness and health: how to be at your best in your 30s

This June, we're celebrating Youth Day by encouraging youthfulness through a holistic approach to your wellbeing. Here's a 30-something's guide to managing your diet, exercise and health.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Food, fitness and health: how to be at your best in your 20s

Under 30? This June, we're celebrating Youth Day by encouraging youthfulness through a holistic approach to your wellbeing. Here's a millennial's guide to managing your diet, exercise and health.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Smoking and vaping: personal choice or public health hazard?

Government recently announced that it would be amending a number of South Africa's smoking laws. But how far should they, regulatory bodies and private companies go in drawing the line between freedom of rights and public health hazard?

 
 
 
 
 
 

Meet Dr Kitchin - a role model for "doing things the right way"

Inspired by his family's local GP, Dr Omolemo Kitchin went on to study a super-specialised field within respiratory medicine that deals with children's lung diseases. We caught up with this gifted professional to learn more about him.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Long live the lung: Meet one of SA's leading lung doctors

Twelve years ago, Richard van Zyl-Smit was named one of the very first recipients of a Discovery Foundation Academic Fellowship Award. We caught up with him for tips on how to keep your two oxygen-processors in tip-top shape.

 
 
 
 
 
 

A breath of fresh air: an expert's tips for healthier lungs

The global prediction for developing countries is that respiratory diseases will account for more deaths and disability-adjusted life years. A lung specialist and a dietician offer these tips on how to keep disease at bay.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Cold, flu, allergic rhinitis or sinusitis: how to tell the difference

Suffering from respiratory issues but not sure why? Here's a handy guide to understand the difference between common conditions that affect the health of your airways.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Changing South Africa for the better: turning rural youth into talented doctors

For almost two decades, the Umthombo Youth Development Foundation (UYDF) has given bursaries to rural youth to study medicine or health sciences. Once destined to herd cattle or work on the mines, these graduates come home uplifting communities served by the local hospitals and propelling economic growth. Is this replicable, scalable model a solution to transforming communities while providing quality healthcare services?

 
 
 
 
 
 

How to stay youthful at any age

Photo app filters are handy at helping us look younger than we actually are, but chances are, some days, you feel a lot older than you are. Your body is the more accurate judge. Here are ways to keep your body youthful, throughout the ages.

 
 
 
 
 
 

You have until September to earn points for getting a flu shot

When it comes to getting your flu shot, don’t wait till the flu season is over, else the vaccine is far less effective and you’ll miss out on easy Vitality points.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Sherene's stomach ache diagnosed as Stage 2 ovarian cancer

For Sherene Grobler, a 52-year-old Witbank grandmother, the shock of hearing that tumours removed from her ovary, urethra and bladder were cancerous was cushioned by instant support from her family and church friends.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Cancer and women's health: make sure your lifestyle and finances are protected

Female cancers are some of the most common and serious health issues that affect women. What should you know about ovarian cancer? Why is it so important to make sure your lifestyle and finances are protected in the case of a life-altering illness.

 
 
 
 
 
 

A woman's guide to cancer screening and prevention tests

Prevention is better than cure. This is what cancer screening tests are about. Used to identify and eliminate common cancers or precancerous conditions early on, so that more advanced cancers can be prevented, these tests can literally save your life.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Ovarian cancer: what do you need to know?

Ovarian cancer is cancer of the cells of one or both of the ovaries. Although listed as only the seventh commonest cancer in women after breast, cervical, colon, skin, lung and uterine cancers, its incidence is on the rise especially in developed countries.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Cancer diagnosis? Make a plan and take control!

Linda Greeff, an oncology social worker and cancer survivor herself, believes that a patient’s long-term survival is most impacted by the first treatment intervention. She shares her insight from her own experience with being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

 
 
 
 
 
 

You and the flu: what your GP wants you to know

Every autumn and winter, the trickle of flu patients becomes a flood in doctor's waiting rooms around the country. Here are some FAQs doctors commonly get, and guidelines to help you avoid and manage the flu this year.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Luke rescues his twin brother from drowning at home

The inspiring story of the Bridle twins highlights disability and drowning risks, as well as the importance of calm, quick action in the event of an emergency.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Amy Rabie gets her mojo back after Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis

Driven by her high-pressure job, Amy Rabie, 24, believed long hours were the cause of her tiredness, headaches, constant thirst and blurry vision. Little did she expect she had life-threatening Type 1 diabetes.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Give your baby everything, but not HIV

Pregnancy is a very special time in a woman's life. You have to make serious decisions that affect your and your baby's health, and this is especially important if you have a chronic condition like HIV.

 
 
 
 
 
 

How you can have kidney disease and not know it

Kidney disease has largely indistinct symptoms, which means that most people have no idea they’re headed for renal failure. Here’s how to find out if you’re at high risk, and what to do about it.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Why do I feel so bleh? Understanding what causes pregnancy nausea

Nausea and vomiting is the most common complaint in pregnancy. We chatted to Dr Natalie Odell, who qualified with a Fellowship in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the College of Medicine South Africa and a MMed from WITS, to better understand its causes.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Why caring for your kidneys is no kidding matter

Globally, 1 in 10 people suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), marked on 8 March – World Kidney Day. However, most people who have the disease don't know they do. Awareness is key to prevention, so here are 8 ways to care for your kidneys.

 
 
 
 
 
 

4 flu myths you shouldn't fall for this season

Being mindful entails seeking trusted sources and facts behind common assumptions and practices. This is especially important when it comes to medical issues. Read on to see if you have all your flu facts straight.

 
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know about the listeriosis outbreak

More cases of Listeriosis have been confirmed in South Africa over the past few months. Here is what you need to know about the disease, as well as tips on how to prevent listeriosis.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Does hand hygiene really help? Facts to help you avoid the flu

Can you unwittingly spread the flu? Will being OCD about clean surfaces help? Here are four flu facts to help you be more mindful about avoiding and preventing the spread of flu this year.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Beating the kidney dialysis odds

Brian Anderson, is a minor walking miracle. He's had 93 operations, including two kidney transplants and been on intermittent dialysis for 22 years. He's passionate about raising awareness around Chronic Kidney Disease and organ donation.

 
 
 
 
 
 

A fierce flu season is expected: immunising early is the best defence

One of the best ways to be mindful of your own and others' health this March is to protect against, and prevent the spread of, the frighteningly contagious influenza virus. Here's why getting immunised early offers you the best defence.

 
 
 
 
 
 

6 milestones to celebrate in your baby's first months

Many parents are preoccupied with whether their new-borns are developing normally. Every baby is different – but here are some fun signposts to look out for!

 
 
 
 
 
 

Remember to wrap *ALL* your Valentine's gifts

In the mood for love? February is a good time to think about stopping the spread of sexually transmitted infections, specifically HIV. No matter your HIV status, always wrap up to protect yourself and your partner.

 
 
 
 
 
 

A new dad's guide to new-borns

This is the second of a two-part feature in which a financial writer at Discovery and father of twins, offers honest and tongue-in-cheek advice to expecting and new dads. The article was first published in Men's Health in February 2018.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Baby on the way? It’s time for dads to deliver!

This is the second of a two-part feature. A financial writer at Discovery and father of twins offers honest and tongue-in-cheek advice to expecting and new dads. The article was first published in Men’s Health in February 2018.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Using technology to manage your health

Life is easier, you have choices that are best suited for you, you save costs and valuable time. These benefits of technology are now also changing healthcare and how you interact with doctors – and it is all available on your smartphone with Discovery Health's Smart Series.

 
 
 
 
 
 

4 fundamentals to raise a happy child

Personality can play a big role in how your child approaches life, but there are certain fundamental things you can do to encourage wellbeing in your kids. Try your best to accommodate for these key elements below!

 
 
 
 
 
 

A healthy mom, a healthy child

You know new life is precious and getting the best care is important. With the right support, you can have peace of mind when it comes to the care your child needs or when you're thinking of growing your family.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Sisters fight Cervical Cancer together


It's hard to imagine that cervical cancer affected the lives of two sisters in the same year - and how differently. Alrita Groenewald, 41, was given less than 30% chance of survival, while her sister Tessa Supra, 46, chose to silently carry the burden of her subsequent diagnosis.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Replace those resolutions! (with small, effective habits that last)

How many times have you made a New Year's resolution to "get healthy" that didn't last a month? Don't worry, we're not judging. Fact is - it's pretty tough to stick to resolutions. And according to behavioural economists, it takes a lot more than sheer willpower.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Reassess your health plan - how and why you should

No one can predict what medical emergencies or other healthcare costs the coming year might bring. This makes it tricky to strike a balance between meeting your budget and making sure you have sufficient medical cover. Here are some factors to help you decide.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Why we should all be sun-smart this summer - no matter your skin tone

According to Cancer Research UK, more than 80% of melanoma cases could be prevented by avoiding sunburn - and those of us with darker skins aren’t immune. Here's why and how to be sun-smart this summer.

 
 
 
 
 
 

5 diabetes myths and misconceptions: the good, the bad and the ugly

Did you know there are an estimated 1.3 million adults living with undiagnosed diabetes in South Africa? In fact, 50% of people with type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it. Get your stats and facts straight here.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Healthcare is a team sport

In the last in a series of pieces exploring the SA healthcare industry, Discovery Health CEO Dr Johnathan Broomberg explores the fragmented structure of private healthcare as a major underlying reason for inefficiency and overuse of healthcare systems. (Published: Sunday Times, 26 November 2017)

 
 
 
 
 
 

Empowering the patient

In the third in a series of pieces exploring the SA healthcare industry, Discovery Health CEO Dr Johnathan Broomberg why a critical success factor in this shared value model is that all of us need to become well-informed healthcare consumers, rather than passive patients. (Published: Sunday Times, 19 November 2017)

 
 
 
 
 
 

Fighting healthcare costs through shared-value

In his second opinion-editorial, Dr Broomberg's explains how Discovery Health is using the concept of shared value to fight rising healthcare costs. (Published: Sunday Times, 12 November 2017).

 
 
 
 
 
 

What's driving up our health care costs?

In the first, in a series of opinion-editorial published in Sunday Times and aimed at educating consumers about important matters in the South African healthcare sector, Dr Jonathan Broomberg, CEO of Discovery Health, delves into the key drivers of healthcare costs (Published: Sunday Times, 5 November 2017).

 
 
 
 
 
 

Your diabetes dictionary: A guide to understanding medical jargon

Do you zone out when someone starts using medical jargon? Here are some simple explanations so you can keep yourself in the know with diabetes terminology.

 
 
 
 
 
 

A mom's guide to gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes can come as a shock to women who've never had any issues with their blood sugar levels before. Here's what expecting parents need to know.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Vitality Weight Loss Rewards saved formerly morbidly obese dad's life

Vitality Weight Loss Rewards (WLR) is a weight-loss journey that aims to help you lose weight in short, manageable cycles until you reach a healthier weight. You will earn rewards for participating and for reaching your goals. This is Sean Venske's story.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Tackling comfort eating through Weight Loss Rewards

"What has Vitality Weight Loss Rewards done for me and how am I behaving differently as a result? Having a goal to aim at, and the means to hold himself accountable (weekly weighing and self- tracking) made all the difference." - Ned

 
 
 
 
 
 

Knee op recovery fast-tracked by Vitality Weight Loss Rewards

Vitality Weight Loss Rewards is a weight-loss journey that aims to help you lose weight in short, manageable cycles. Losing weight not only fast-tracked Kim's knee op recovery, but has been transformative and the benefits are spilling into all aspects of her life.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Every breath that Martie takes is a miracle

Martie Geertsma, 43, is living testimony to the power of a positive, proactive attitude. Her very existence depends on continuous 24/7 oxygen and intravenous drug supplies to treat the rare disease from which she suffers - Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, (PAH).

 
 
 
 
 
 

Self-discipline is that much easier with Vitality Weight Loss Rewards

Vitality Weight Loss Rewards just helps you keep going with its encouraging feedback messages and enabling you to track your weight loss. That's very motivating. Once I got into the habit of eating properly and doing all the right things, it changed my way of life. Read Dawn Zaal's weight-loss story.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Vitality Weight Loss Rewards boost CEO's health & fitness journey

Vitality Weight Loss Rewards (WLR) is a weight-loss journey that aims to help you lose weight in short, manageable cycles until you reach a healthier weight. You will earn rewards for participating and for reaching your goals. This is Johan van den Berg’s story.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Stem Cell Banking

NetCells, Next Biosciences' umbilical cord stem cell banking service, gives expectant parents the opportunity to collect their new born baby's umbilical cord blood and tissue stem cells and cryogenically store them for potential future medical use.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Men or women – who has the higher risk of heart attack?

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women across the world. Is heart disease a condition that women need to pay more attention to? And are symptoms of a heart attack the same in men and women?

 
 
 
 
 
 

29-year old’s near heart-attack a sobering wake-up call

Numbness in the left arm and a stabbing pain the chest. Those symptoms sent a 29-year old Discovery Health Medical Scheme member to a hospital emergency unit one evening on his way home from work. He shares his story in his own words.

 
 
 
 
 
 

"I'm too healthy to have high cholesterol" and other myths

It's possible to lower the risk high cholesterol by eating well and being physically active, so it’s tempting to think that only people who eat badly and don’t exercise can have this condition. But is that true?

 
 
 
 
 
 

The Iron Man story: Amputee Jaco van Staden's inspiring comeback

Amputee Jaco van Staden's worst nightmare has left him a better man than ever and with a foot that is almost as good as the one he was born with.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Stock up this Spring: How to assemble your own first aid kit

A decent first aid kit is a household must-have. Many kits on offer promise to stock everything you might need, but it’s a sure bet if you assemble your own. Here are some first aid essentials.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Medicine cabinet clean-out? Factors to consider in a first aid kit

Have you come across a dusty first aid kit while spring-cleaning your medicine cabinet? Before you toss it back in, here are some handy guidelines on what it should include. After all, a kit is only as useful as what you can do with it!

 
 
 
 
 
 

When you get a cancer diagnosis

Surviving cancer physically is sometimes only half the battle. The other half is the post-treatment journey. Laurie Gaum shares his emotional lung cancer survival journey.

 
 
 
 
 
 

The emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can be traumatic, both as a patient and as a loved one. Here’s what to expect.

 
 
 
 
 
 

'How my Apple Watch saved my life'

When Russell Pengelly got his Apple Watch, he planned to use it to get healthier through Vitality. Little did he know it would end up saving his life

 
 
 
 
 
 

Ultra-marathoner Redi Tlhabi finds her peace in running

While the rest of the world sleeps, Redi Tlhabi can be found taking in lungfuls of cool morning air as she completes yet another training run. This is how she recharges her brain and meditates ahead of another busy day – and gets the most out of her day.

 
 
 
 
 
 

You do know it is twins, right?

For Oratile and Tebo Tlhabane the news they were having a baby was a surprise. Then one baby became two.

 
 
 
 
 
 

When a loved one suffers from a mental health illness

Mental illness impacts all spheres of life - social to psychological. Supporting a person with a mental illness requires knowledge of what is harmful or helpful.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Gavin Cowden left diabetes in his dust, cycling towards his dreams

Discovery Vitality member Gavin Cowden shares his remarkable journey from overweight pre-diabetic to South African Para-Cycling Champion

 
 
 
 
 
 

Having bipolar disorder doesn't define me

Discovery Health Medical Scheme member, Emma Attwell opens up about her journey with mental illness and shares the value of sound medical aid when faced with numerous health challenges.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Help your health, help SA!

An investment in our health is an investment in a better future for ourselves and our country. Dr Craig Nossel, Head of Vitality Wellness: The Sunday Times, 2 July 2017

 
 
 
 
 
 

Submit your claim fast and easy in any of these 3 digital ways

With Discovery Health Medical Scheme, submitting claims is easy when you use one of our digital channels. These digital platforms offer you convenience and allow us to process and pay claims faster.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Extra cover when you need it most

When you have spent the funds in your Medical Savings Account, the Day-to-day Extender Benefit ensures that you do not have any gaps in cover when you visit a provider in our Premier Plus GP Network.

 
 
 
 
 
 

The incredible benefits of top medical care in the comfort of your own home

Discovery HomeCare is a unique service offered in the South African medical scheme market to provide patients with specific healthcare needs, access to high-quality care solutions at their homes.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Learning from adversity: A Breast Cancer survivor's story

Norma Moller shares her experiences during her rollercoaster cancer treatment journey that has left her wiser, more aware, more disciplined, and an expert when it comes to her own body.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Discovery Health brings you user-friendly technology

Future health technology could empower patients to take responsibility for their health and allow doctors to intervene by means of individual wearable devices that monitor and transmit health information.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Sweat, but not the small stuff

While some people claim to be immune to stress, it is a normative condition. Without it, humans would not thrive or succeed in life. Dr Craig Nossel, Head of Vitality Wellness: The Sunday Times, 25 June 2017

 
 
 
 
 
 

Being a present day dad

As we wake up on Father’s Day hoping for another pair of cool socks and a #1Dad mug, it is probably a good time for us dads to reflect on how we have done in raising our kids. Dr Craig Nossel, Head of Vitality Wellness: The Sunday Times, 18 June 2017

 
 
 
 
 
 

New dad's survival guide

Be there to enjoy all the highs, knowing that you’re as prepared as possible for this new season... Read on for some useful information about how to support your partner and navigate those early days.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Measles and misinformation – do vaccines work?

With 17 confirmed measles cases, the Department of Health has announced an emergency campaign to address the outbreak. Read why they’re rolling out vaccines to kids, and what you should do about it.

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