Health Tips

Melatonin can Reduce Sleep Cycle Problems

Melatonin can Reduce Sleep Cycle Problems

By on Oct 10, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

Every spring, we advance our clock time one hour to save daylight hours for work and play. In the fall, residents turn their clocks back because it’s more beneficial. Your sleep and wake times are either one hour earlier or one hour later. During the fall, your body must adjust to an earlier wake-up and bedtime. For a few days or weeks, your body may have difficulty allowing you to sleep or wake up. Natural melatonin is a hormone made by a small gland in the brain. Small amounts can be found in foods like meat, grains, fruits and vegetables. You can also buy supplements at your pharmacy to help you sleep and wake up. As everyone probably knows, you have an internal clock that regulates both your sleep and your ability to wake up. Melatonin production is greater in the early evening. It stays high throughout the night and then decreases in the morning. Many now believe that a regular bedtime – same time going to sleep and waking up every day – is beneficial to your health. A change in time, even one hour each way can change our healthy practices. Light affects the production of melatonin. Because the winter months are shorter, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual. “ Melatonin has been or may be used to treat many different problems. Insomnia Delayed sleep phase syndrome Insomnia associated with ADHD Insomnia due to high blood pressure medications Sleep problems for children with autism, cerebral palsy, and intellectual disabilities Jet lag Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), winter depression Sleep patterns for those who work nights Preventing or reducing problems with sleep after surgery Reducing chronic cluster headaches If you’re doing your own research on melatonin, you may find a number of ways that the supplemental hormone is being used for illnesses. But, as with any supplements or medicines and especially with any serious disease you should consult your physician or pharmacist before taking melatonin. The website Webmd lists the following disorders or diseases that have been treated with melatonin: “Alzheimer’s disease or memory loss (dementia), bipolar disorder, a lung disease called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), insomnia caused by beta-blocker...

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Women Facing the Effects of Menopause Have Options

Women Facing the Effects of Menopause Have Options

By on Sep 7, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

Although some women believe that menopause is the end of an important stage of life, many others welcome the end of the pain and discomfort of their menstrual cycle. But, before this relief can occur, the website Reference explains that these women will experience the symptoms of menopause about 12 months after their last menstrual cycle. The symptoms can last 2-5 years before ending. Menopause normally happens when a woman’s body ages and begins to decrease the production of estrogen and progesterone. A complete hysterectomy, the removal of ovaries and uterus can also cause a woman to go immediately into menopause. Symptoms can be more severe in this case. Cancer treatments, chemotherapy and radiation can also cause someone to enter into early menopause. Usually, women will begin the process sometime in their 40’s and 50’s. Each may endure a number of symptoms because of a decline in hormones produced. They may suffer through a few or all of the following conditions. Menopause manifests itself differently in different women. Missed periods – Women will begin to miss periods, have more infrequent periods and then stop altogether. Mood swings – Menopause can cause an immediate change from joy to irritability in seconds. Women may cry uncontrollably or snap at loved ones without any reason. Vaginal dryness – The vagina becomes dry and painful. Vaginal dryness can become a more serious condition without treatment. Weight gain – Many women will notice additional weight in their stomachs. For most, this will occur and then stop post-menopause. Night sweats or hot flashes – Extreme sweating can occur usually while sleeping but sometimes during the daylight hours as well. Loss of sex drive – Women may experience a loss of sex drive during menopause. Lack of sleep – Anxiety during menopause can cause women to have difficulty either getting to sleep or staying asleep all-night long. Hair loss – Women may have thinning hair during this time. This, too, usually ends post-menopause. Loss of memory – Clarity and focus can lessen with hormonal changes in the body. Tender breasts – Breasts can become sore and tender. Chronic headaches – The change in hormones can cause migraine-like headaches during menopause. In additional to the listed symptoms,...

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Over the Counter Pain Medications Should Be Taken Seriously

Over the Counter Pain Medications Should Be Taken Seriously

By on Aug 3, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

Over the counter pain medications can reduce fever, pain, and inflammation, but just how much do you know about these medicines? Will you and your family be safe when taking them and do you know the risks and side effects that might occur? There are three basic types of over the counter pain medications: acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin. Ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is used to treat headaches, toothaches, back pain, arthritis, menstrual cramps or minor injury. Taken as directed, this pain medication is an efficient way to ease your symptoms. But, as with any medications, taking too much or taking it too long can cause other problems. Ibuprofen can increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes if abused. An individual may take 4 doses of 800 milligrams each day; a maximum dosage of 3200mg a day. And it’s best to take each dosage with food or milk to prevent an upset stomach. Overdosing on ibuprofen can damage an adult’s stomach or intestinal lining which can be fatal. Ibuprofen is packaged under several brand names. Most people probably recognize the most common three as Advil, Aleve and Motrin. Acetaminophen can also be bought over the counter for pain and inflammation. Individuals take it to treat the same conditions as ibuprofen, but many consider it a better fever reducer and headache medication. Because of concerns over liver complications, the maximum daily dose has recently been decreased from 4000mg to 3000mg. The most common brand name for acetaminophen is Tylenol. Aspirin, the third pain reliever on the list, is also used to treat pain, inflammation and fever. If you are considering taking aspirin daily for your heart, consult your doctor. Aspirin has blood thinning effects which is what benefits your heart, but a doctor needs to check existing health conditions and make sure medications are safe for those conditions. There is also the question of dosage, just how much is right for you daily? Some may not consider over the counter medications as seriously as prescription drugs. But, there are still dangers and risks with each one of these medications. You should always be careful if you’re already taking other medications. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking...

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Mosquitos can be Pesky or Dangerous

Mosquitos can be Pesky or Dangerous

By on Jun 7, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

  As the temperature rises, the warm spring and summer weather brings us the always pesky, and sometimes dangerous, mosquito. Most of us have probably been bitten by a mosquito at one time or another. And, for most of us, a normal bite doesn’t pose too much of a threat. But, some people may have more serious allergic reactions and some can contract even more dangerous diseases like viruses and fevers. Here at Medical Center Pharmacy we see how different people are affected by mosquito bites. Even at the least severe levels, it’s still an annoyance that can ruin a pleasant summer morning in the garden or evening on the patio sipping lemonade. The female mosquito feeds on human skin to drink blood because it has nutrients required to form their eggs. They move from host to host feeding and leaving their own saliva on skin. It’s this saliva that causes our skin irritation and itching. The skin’s reaction can be immediate causing redness, itching and some swelling. Or some reactions may be delayed as much as a day and can last a week. Because the mosquito moves from host to host, each can pick up and carry diseases from one to the other. The infected insect becomes a tool to move the disease. Several different species of mosquitos may carry different types of diseases in different locations around the world. In the United States, we probably recognize the West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever, viruses that cause encephalitis and the Zika Virus. These diseases are not spread from person to person, only through the bite of the mosquito. Control mosquitos for less danger The first line of defense for these diseases is the control of the insect. Mosquitos lay their eggs in stagnant water or water that doesn’t flow. Lakes and marshes breed mosquitos. But a mosquito will also lay her eggs in smaller things like bird baths, children’s swimming pools, puddles, and clogged drain pipes. Anything that holds water should be cleaned or emptied frequently. Fill holes and areas where puddles can form and hold water for extended periods. Keep your grass and other vegetation trimmed so it doesn’t hold large amounts of moisture. Most mosquitos don’t come out...

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Know the Risks of Taking Expired Drugs

Know the Risks of Taking Expired Drugs

By on May 4, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

You Can imagine the surprise I got when I read a Harvard Health Publication that said that expiration dates on prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t “really indicate a point at which the medication is no longer effective or has become unsafe to use.” They go on to say that some medicines are safe to take years after the indicated expiration date on the bottle. Of course this stirred up my own curiosity so I decided to do more investigation. When and why expiration dates came into use Expiration dates on prescription and OTC drugs came about from a requirement established in 1979 from the FDA. The purpose is explained in an FDA resource publication: “The medicine expiration date is a critical part of deciding if the product is safe to use and will work as intended,” says Ilisa Bernstein, Pharm.D., J.D., Deputy Director of the Office of Compliance in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Some might say it is for consumer protections, both physically and financially. In other words, to protect you from taking something that could be harmful to your health and also to ensure that you are getting everything you paid for. An article at NPR.org gives more in depth explanation of how drugs could become harmful, if their strength is weakened: The general rule, says pharmacist Mike Fossler, with the American College of Clinical Pharmacology, is that once a drug is degraded by 10 percent it has reached “the end of its useful life.” If you take it months or even years past the expiration date, it’s unlikely to do you any harm, he says; it just might not do you much good. Pharmacist Mohamed Jalloh, a spokesman for the American Pharmacists Association, says there’s an even bigger reason not to rely on old drugs: antibiotic resistance. When you inadvertently “underdose” yourself by taking antibiotics that aren’t full strength, he says, you run the risk that the bacteria you’re battling will figure out not only how to defeat this weakened drug, but other antibiotics, too. Why take the chance? Some people might look at the expiration date simply as the last date the manufacturer will guarantee the full potency and effectiveness of the...

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Do You Think You Are Developing Allergies?

Do You Think You Are Developing Allergies?

By on Apr 5, 2017 in Health Tips | 0 comments

Ah, spring! It’s a wonderful time of year – at least for some of us. For others, that ahhhh turns into a never-ending series of ah-choos! Yes, spring foliage is popping up and so are allergies. It’s not just in spring that allergy sufferers contend with their condition. It follows them throughout the year. Most of what you read to find relief tells you that the best strategy is to avoid the things that trigger the allergy. That really limits life for some people. Although the medical community can’t pinpoint the reason, some people develop allergies later in life to things that they have never reacted to previously. It could be a change in the environment, their personal health, or the molecular make-up of a different strain, variety, or type of allergen. In other words, there is something that shifts – and it could be only a slight shift, but enough to trigger an allergic reaction in your body. What are allergies? The immune system protects our body from what it deems invaders. The white blood cells (lymphocytes) are the basic component of that system and when the white cells make a mistake, an allergic response is the result. The lymphocytes encounter a particle and identify it as an invader, it then produces antibodies that are specifically engineered to attack that specific menace. Allergies can affect nearly every area of the body and the Cleveland Clinic explains … When allergens are airborne such as pollen, dust and molds, the allergic reaction generally occurs in the eyes, nose, and/or lungs. If the allergen is ingested, such as foods or drugs, the allergic reaction may occur primarily in the mouth, stomach, and intestines. The antibodies that are produced to fight off the threat attach to the suspect molecule on one side and then attach its other side to a mast cell, which contain histamine and other allergy mediators. When that happens, it results in immediate responses such as runny nose, itchy eyes, skin rashes, and indigestion. What are the most common allergens? Pollen Dust Pet dander Mold Dust mites Wheat Colorants, additives and preservatives Grass Cow products Different people are affected by different allergens and in varying degrees. Identifying the triggers...

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