Does exercise weaken or boost your immune system?


Every day our immune system protect us from a lot of pathogenic microbes and viruses that we are constantly exposed to.
Immune function can be influenced by many factors such as genetics, stress, aging, nutrition, sleep and physical activity level.
Recent researches have revealed that a person’s level of physical activity influences the risk of some infections, specially upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs).
URTI is an illness caused usually by a virus or bacteria which involves transmission through the upper respiratory tract, including the nose, sinuses, pharynx, or larynx. Common cold, sinusitis and tonsillitis are examples of URTIs.
In fact, when you do moderate intensity exercise, regularly, your susceptibility to illness reduces because this type of exercise boosts your immune system.
Regular exercise increases white blood cell (body’s immune system cells that fight pathogens) function and also both directly and indirectly decreases stress hormones.
On the other hand, strenuous exercise causes increased levels of stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisone) which suppress white blood cell function and have negative effect on the function of immune system.
That is why vulnerability to infections increases for a period following prolonged moderate to high intensity exercise or an unaccustomed high intensity exercise session.
Another possible reason for higher risk of getting URTIs after high intensity exercise is higher rate and depth of breathing during exercise and subsequently, higher exposure to pathogenic microbes and viruses.
So if you want to boost your immune system and be safe, do exercise regularly, avoid overtraining, eat healthy, sleep enough, practice relaxation techniques and of course do not forget to be wash your hands and maintain social distance!
If you’d like to know more about the content discussed in this article, please call (03) 9770 2398 to book an appointment with Mona.

Exercise and diabetes type 1, what you should know!

By Dr Mona Shabghareh
In patients with diabetes type one, the Pancreas’ ability to produce insulin is impaired. Therefore, this type of diabetic patients needs insulin replacement therapy to maintain their blood glucose level in the normal range.
It is critical to take a proper dose of insulin to prevent hypo-glycemia or low blood glucose level.
Many researches have shown that moderate levels of exercise can reduce blood glucose levels by multiple mechanisms and this effect is more significant if you exercise for a longer duration. The effect of exercise on blood sugar is additive to the effect of insulin and it can last up to 24 hours.
On the other hand, high intensity exercise may lead to an increase in blood sugar level by increasing stress related hormones such as adrenaline and cortisone. In addition, injuries that may happen during exercise and sport participation can also increase blood glucose levels.
So despite the fact that regular exercise have a lot of health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart and vascular disease, improving your mood, making your bones and muscles stronger and helping you to control your body weight, it can lead to hypo or hyper-glycemia or even be detrimental to your health if you do not know how much and what type of exercise suits you.
The best way to ensure you are doing the correct thing is by consulting with an expert physician.
However, some other helpful tips include;
1. Checking your blood glucose levels before and after an exercise session. It is safe to do exercise only if your blood glucose level is between 6.6-10 mmol/L.
2. Always have some quickly digested carbohydrate (such as fruit juice or barely sugar) available when you are exercising.
3. Eat something 1-2 hours prior to exercise.
4. Avoid dehydration.
5. If you want to inject insulin prior to your exercise session, use a site away from the exercising muscles to inject.
6. Do not drink alcohol after exercise as it dehydrates and lowers blood glucose level.
7. You should adjust your pre-exercise insulin if you are doing strenuous activity for longer than 1 hour.
8. Be aware of the signs of hypo-glycemia and stop if they appear.
9. Avoid exercising in extreme temperatures.
Based on the guidelines from the American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM), you should visit and be evaluated by a Sports Physician or Cardiologist if you are over 35 years old or have had diabetes for a couple of years or want to do any exercise that exceeds the demands of brisk walking.
If you’d like to book an appointment with Dr Mona Shabghareh, please call (03) 9770 2398

Welcome Dr Matt Chamberlain!

MP Sports Physicians are very excited to announce that Dr Matt Chamberlain will be joining the team. Matt will be consulting from our Narre Warren rooms, starting in early September. Welcome Matt!


Effective August 3 2020

With the announcement of Stage 4 restrictions by the State Government today,our COVID 19 plan has been updated as follows:


Non clinical staff will wear face masks and face shields at all times within the clinic, except when eating and drinking. Face masks may be disposable surgical masks  or triple layered fabric masksif preferred. If fabric masks are used, they must be laundered daily.

Instruction will be given in safe donning and removal.

Hand washing with soap will be performed at intervals throughout the work day and hand sanitiser will be used frequently.

All desk/ keyboard / telephone surfaces to be cleaned twice daily. At the end of the day, these surfaces should be sprayed down with Viraclean or Clinicol and covered with a paper towel over night.

A continued focus will be placed on cleaning surfaces in waiting room.

All verbal interactions with patients will take place behind Perspex screens (sneeze screens).

At all times, a distance of 1.5 metres will be maintained between staff. Where possible, tasks will be performed in a separate room.

If non clinical staff are required to self isolate, they will be paid their usual hours in sick leave. If no leave is available, they may choose to take unpaid leave or negotiate their options directly.


Clinical staff will be expected to wear face masks and face shields (provided) for all patient interactions. Face masks must be changed after eating/ drinking. At a minimum, they should be changed every 4 hours.

Face shields should besprayed with antiviral cleaner at the end of each day. Each staff member will have their own shield.

Clinical staff must wear gloves for all direct patient skin contact. These gloves should be removed and hands washed prior to returning to use the computer keyboard.

Keyboards in clinical rooms will be sprayed and covered overnight.

Clinicians will wipe down all surfaces with clinicol/ viraclean after each patient visit.

Due to difficulties with communication, it is not necessary to wear masks during telehealth consultations. In this case, the consultation must be conducted with the consulting room door closed and the mask replaced as soon as the consultation is over.

Plastic aprons will be provided to wear whilst consulting at the clinicians discretion. Surgical gowns will not be provided. All clothing should be washed after each day of wear.

The clinic is investigating the supply of “scrubs” for ease of daily laundering.

Please ensure lower arms are bare during times of patient contact.

Clinical staff should not enter the reception area unless absolutely necessary and are expected to spend the majority of their workday in their consulting room.


Will not attend work with respiratory or cold like symptoms or if a household member is being tested for COVID 19 until tests have returned as negative.

In the event of illness, staff MUST attend for COVID testing.

Clinicians may continue working remotely while awaiting test results and isolating in their own home.

Will have the COVID SAFE app on your phone and keep it close to your work area.

Will provide their own water bottles for drinking.

Will take care to avoid sharing mugs/utensils during the workday. At the end of the day, dishes will be cleaned and have recently boiled water poured over them before being left to airdry.


All patients are strongly encouraged to utilise the option of telehealth wherever possible.

If a telehealth appointment is conducted and the Doctor deems is necessary for the patient to attend to complete the appointment, there is no additional charge for that attendance.

Patients should not attend the clinic if they have any cold or flu like symptoms.

ALL patients MUST wear a mask when attending the clinic.

No visitors or support people are permitted in the waiting room.

Frail patients who are unsafe to ambulate alone may have a support person help them into the waiting room. Clinical staff will look after them from that point. Support people will be contacted to come back in at the end of the appointment.

Children may attend with a maximum of one parent.


In the event of a person testing positive who has been present in our clinic during their infection period, the clinic will be closed immediately for deep cleaning. All people deemed to have been contacts will immediately self-isolate and undergo COVID 19 testing. As stated above, clinical staff may continue working remotely in this case.


These infection guidelines have been put in place to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and the wider community and we thank you for your efforts in helping us to control the spread of COVID 19.

Get to know our doctors!


Mona joined the MP Sports Physicians team earlier this year. Mona consults from our Narre Warren rooms on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Mona obtained her medical degree and Bachelor of Medical Science at Shiraz University of Medical Science (Iran) in 2009.  Since then, Mona has been practicing in the field of Sport and Exercise medicine and in 2012 attained her sports Medicine fellowship.

Mona has a keen interest in women athletes health as well as ultrasound guided tendon and joint injections. Her personal interests are tennis, Pilates and Zoomba!

If you’d like to book an appointment with Mona, please call (03) 9770 2398.



Generalized Hypermobility

When should I be concerned?

Article written by Dr Mona Shabghareh

Basically a hyper mobile joint means a joint that can move easily beyond its normal expected range and having more than two hyper mobile joints is called generalized hyper mobility.
Although having hyper mobile joints is very common especially in young females and it is not usually a big concern, this increased range of movement might also be a sign of a serious disease.
So that is important to know when you should suspect having hyper mobile joints, how to manage it and when you should be concerned about it.
How do I know if I have hyper mobile joints?
There are 5 simple questions which you can use them as a simple screening tool and If you answer yes to two or more than two of these questions, it is very likely that you have hyper-mobile joints.
1. Can you now (or could you ever) place your hands flat on the floor without bending your knees?
2. Can you now (or could you ever) bend your thumb to touch your forearm?
3. As a child did you amuse your friends by contorting your body into strange shapes OR could you do the splits?
4. As a child or teenager did your shoulder or kneecap dislocate on more than one occasion?
5. Do you consider yourself double-jointed?
What should I do if my joints are hyper mobile?
As mentioned earlier, joint Hyper mobility is very common particularly among young females and athletes and if you have hyper mobile joints, it does not necessarily mean that you need special care unless you begin to develop some sign and symptoms.
A not every hyper mobile person becomes symptomatic but some symptoms such as joint pain or swelling, joint dislocation and subluxation, fatigue and muscle cramps are common. In addition, ligament sprains, tendon strains and other musculoskeletal injuries are more common in hyper mobile people. The good news is that many of these symptoms can be improved by strengthening and balance exercises and avoiding excessive stretching. Moreover, we naturally become more stiff as we become older, so many of these symptoms may attenuate later in life. However, there are some possible sequels such as premature degenerative changes in joints because of frequent moving beyond the normal range.
It is also worth mentioning that there is some evidence regarding the increased risk of osteoporosis in hyper mobile people, the reason is still unknown but it is wise to have a healthy diet and active lifestyle to prevent it. Your doctor may also advise you some dietary supplement such as vitamin C and D.
When should I see a Doctor?
There are some signs which could be suggestive of a more serious conditions in a person with hyper mobile joints so if you have any of the below signs, you should consult with a physician specially if you are doing moderate or high intensity exercise or want to start a new exercise program.
1- A first relative suffering from one of the connective tissue disorders such as Marfan or Ehlers danlos syndrome.
2- Disproportionately long arms, legs and fingers or tall and thin body.
3- Flat feet or curved spine.
4- Stretch marks on the skin which are not related to weight gain or loss.
5- Thin or elastic skin which easy get bruised or does not heal well.
5- Sunken or stuck out chest.
6- Heartor vascular problems such as valve disease or Aortic aneurysm.
7- Lung disease.
8- Sudden collapsing or fainting.
7- Eye problems such as sever near sightedness, dislocated lens, detached retina, glucoma or early cataract.
8- Chronic fatigue or muscle weakness.

If you’d like to book an appointment with Dr Mona Shabghareh, please call (03) 9770 2398.


MP Sports Physicians COVID infection control policy

Effective Friday 10th July 2020

In light of recent surges in COVID 19 infections in Victoria, the decision has been made to further tighten our infection control policy.


Patients attending the clinic are encouraged to wear masks if they have access to one.

Patients should not attend the clinic if they have any cold or flu like symptoms.

We no longer allow friends/ family or other support people in our waiting room due to increased risk of transmission and increased difficulties of contact tracing if a case is identified.

Frail patients who are unsafe to ambulate alone may have a support person help them into the waiting room. Clinical staff will look after them from that point. Support people will be contacted to come back in at the end of the appointment.

Children may attend with a maximum of one parent.

Teleheath remains available for all consultations and is highly recommended where possible.

If a telehealth appointment is conducted and the Doctor deems it necessary for the patient to attend to complete the appointment, there is no additional charge for that attendance.


Clinical staff will wear face masks for all patient interactions.

All staff will wear gloves for all direct patient skin contact, including physical examination.

Our staff will not attend work if they have respiratory or cold like symptoms


These infection guidelines have been put in place to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and the wider community and we thank you for your efforts in helping us to control the spread of COVID 19.

Covid -19 Update – June

COVID 19 policy effective 20/6/20

Unfortunately, the number of cases of Covid 19 in Victoria continues to increase.

This means that we are unable to return to normal as quickly as we had hoped. Please remember that the reasons behind this are based on the health and safety of all our patients and staff.


We will continue with our plans to start rotating our doctors between clinics.

Although we have relaxed restrictions and allowed more facet o face consultations recently, we now return to it being our preference and strong recommendation that as many consultations as possible are conducted via telehealth. Please remember that we will see you in clinic to complete your assessment if a telehealth consultation does not allow a clear diagnosis and management plan. There is no cost for this extra assessment.

We will continue to offer procedures where required.

We will ensure that none of our staff members attend work while unwell. Please note that an unwell Doctor will still be able to offer full telehealth services from home.

We request that you DO NOT ATTEND our clinic if you are unwell. You may still have a telehealth appointment.

We request that relatives and carers do not come into the clinic unless it is absolutely essential.

We will continue our strict hygiene and cleaning procedures.

We thank you all for your patience and cooperation in keeping our state safe.

School Holidays Hours – Mornington Clinic

Over the school holidays our available hours at Mornington will be reduced.

We are still available at our Frankston and Narre Warren rooms.

Please feel free to contact us there.

Ph 9770 2398

Mornington closed:

Tuesday 30th June

Wednesday 1st July

Monday 6th July

Tuesday 7th July

Wednesday 8th July




Effective May 27 2020

As a result of the excellent response in Australia to COVID 19, restrictions have been relaxed earlier than expected. HOWEVER, we still need to be vigilant as COVID is a highly contagious virus and could quickly escalate again.

At MP Sports Physicians, we will continue to offer telehealth appointments to all patients. We will also continue to offer face to face appointments.

We ask that you do not attend our clinic if you are unwell. Your appointment may still be able to be undertaken via telehealth from home.

We ask that, wherever possible, ONLY ONE person attend each appointment to reduce waiting room contact.

Please use the hand sanitiser provided on entering and leaving the rooms and adhere to cough/ sneeze etiquette.

Please let us know at the time of booking whether you prefer face to face or telehealth. Both styles of appointment are equally effective. Telehealth is highly recommended for those over 70 or with pre existing medical conditions.

 Thank you.