What To Do If You Get the Flu

What To Do If You Get the Flu

I’m guessing that the flu isn’t on your top-10 wish list, right? But just in case you get sick this flu season, here’s a list of 10 things you can do to help ease your symptoms—and to stop the flu in its tracks and protect others.

  1. Stock up. A few supplies may make it a bit easier to manage the flu. It’s best to have these on hand before you get sick. Otherwise, send a healthy member of your family out on an errand, if you can.
  • Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen for reducing fevers and easing achiness
  • A thermometer
  • Cough syrup or cough drops
  • Saline nose drops or sprays
  • Drinks such as fruit juices or tea (avoid caffeine)
  • Easy-to-eat foods such as clear soups, crackers, or applesauce1,2
  1. Stay home! The first day you have symptoms, you may be tempted to venture out to work or school. Please don’t! Not only do you need the rest, but this is also when you’re most contagious.1 Try to nap—and read or binge-watch your favorite television episodes.
  2. Prevent the spread. In addition to staying home, wash your hands often and cover your cough and sneeze into your sleeve.2
  3. Drink fluids, breathe steam. This is a great way to thin your mucus, making it easier to cough up. This may help prevent a lung infection. Using a humidifier (a cool mist) or breathing in steam from a hot shower may also help ease congestion.1
  4. Calm your cough. It can be exhausting, I know. Try over-the-counter (OTC) cough medicines—an expectorant helps thin mucus. Do not give a child under age 4 any type of cough medicine. Sucking on lozenges may also help your cough or scratchy throat.1
  5. Ease nose woes. You—or your kids—can try saline nose drops or sprays to ease nasal congestion. First, put a few drops into one nostril. Then gently blow the mucus and saline out. Repeat on the other side.1
  6. Treat other symptoms. Sure, a fever—along with chills and achiness—is a sign your body is fighting off the virus. But that doesn’t mean you need to suffer in silence. Ask me if you have any questions about which fever reducer to take. But don’t forget: Never give aspirin to someone younger than 19—it can lead to a serious illness.1
  7. Ask about antivirals. Your health care provider may advise you to take one. If you do this within 48 hours of when symptoms begin, you have a fighting chance of reducing their impact.1,2
  8. Know when to seek medical help. If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms, call the doctor:
  • Dark urine
  • Dizziness
  • Fever of 100 degrees F for 3 or more days
  • Returning fever or sore throat after feeling better

More serious symptoms require immediate medical care:

  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Balance problems or confusion2
  1. Talk to me! And of course it goes without saying: If you need guidance about any products—or any questions whatsoever—let me know, and I’ll try to steer you in the right direction.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources
1.      WebMD: “10 Tips to Ease Flu Symptoms.” Available at: http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/coping-with-flu#1 Accessed 8-31-17.
2.      Public Health: “Treatment of Flu.” Available at: https://www.publichealth.va.gov/flu/treatment/ Accessed 8-31-17.
Advertisements

Overweight? All Is Not Lost!

Overweight? All Is Not Lost!

Need to shed 15 or 25 pounds? Try this trick: Pick up a 15- or 25-pound turkey in the grocery store (or a bag of soil at the nursery). Then carry it around for a few minutes. Did you find it tough to do? Extra pounds take a toll, don’t they? But weight gain is often such a gradual process that you might not even realize it’s happening.1

Sadly, more and more people are dying from weight-related health problems. This includes high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other conditions. In 2015, 40 percent of 4 million deaths linked to weight were in people who weren’t even considered obese, just overweight.2 And for those who gain more, the risks are even greater. For example, 44 extra pounds in midlife increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 10 times.1 There’s an emotional toll as well. A recent study found that heavy kids faced three times the risk of depression in adulthood.3

Okay, enough of the scary statistics. I’m here to also say that even small changes can make a big difference. For example, did you know that losing just 7 percent of your body weight can cut your risk of diabetes by 60 percent?4

So what can you do? As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s no shortage of weight-loss tips out there. Here are a few backed by recent research:

  • Weigh yourself regularly, especially during times of life transition, such as pregnancy or marriage. See the number going up? Nip that trend in the bud before it gets even harder to do.1
  • Down water instead of other drinks. Following 16,000 adults, researchers found that drinking a glass of water instead of a beer every day reduced the risk of obesity by 20 percent. Substituting water for sugar-sweetened drinks lowered the risk by 15 percent.5
  • Be wary of artificially sweetened drinks, though. Among 1,000 subjects in seven clinical trials, aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose showed no major weight-loss benefits. In fact, data from 30 observational studies involving 400,000 people showed a link between artificial sweeteners and obesity. These kinds of studies, however, can’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.6
  • “Keep on walking, keep on walking,” to paraphrase Dory from Finding Nemo. A global study looked at “activity gaps” and found that waistlines have widened in places where walking rates have declined.7 The great thing about this activity is that nearly everyone can do it. And it doesn’t cost much, just the price of a good pair of shoes. On your walks, you can also try a few quick bursts of fast walking or running to burn extra calories.8
  • Get enough sleep. This link might be something you don’t think much about. But studies have shown a lack of sleep may contribute to obesity.

Of course, it goes without saying that you need to focus on healthy food choices, too. Eat more vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, and nonfat dairy products. And don’t tempt fate. Keep sugary, starchy foods out of your house, if you can.8

If lifestyle changes aren’t quite enough to be effective, your doctor may prescribe a medication or other measures. As you know, I’d be glad to share my insights. Good luck!

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources:

  1. HealthDay: “More Evidence That Midlife Weight Gain Harms Your Health.” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_167272.html Accessed 8-2-17.
  2. HealthDay: “2 Billion Worldwide Are Obese or Overweight.” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_166514.html Accessed 8-2-17.
  3. HealthDay: “Heavy Kids Face Triple the Odds for Depression in Adulthood.” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165743.html Accessed 8-2-17.
  4. WebMD: “Weight and Diabetes: Lose Pounds to Lower Your Risk.” Available at: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/features/diabetes-weight-loss-finding-the-right-path#1 Accessed 8-2-17.
  5. HealthDay: “Drink Water, Fight Fat?” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165714.html Accessed 8-2-17.
  6. HealthDay: “Could Artificial Sweeteners Raise Your Odds for Obesity?” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_167249.html Accessed 8-2-17
  7. NHLBI: “Treatment.” Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/treatment Accessed 8-2-17.
  8. WebMD: “Lose Weight Fast: How to Do It Safely.” Available at: http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-fast-how-to-do-it-safely#1 Accessed 8-2-17.

Kids and Sleep: How Much Is Enough?

Kids and Sleep: How Much Is Enough?

What happens when your kid doesn’t get enough sleep? Does he turn into Oscar the Grouch? Not a surprise, really. But moodiness isn’t the only downside of a lack of shuteye.

Sleep is critical for mental and physical development. In fact, a lack of sleep can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, injuries, diabetes, and obesity in kids, as well as depression in teens (and adults).1,2

Sleep guidelines for kids. About a year ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics came out with new sleep guidelines for kids. In case you missed it, here’s what they now recommend:

  • Infants 4 to 12 months: 12 to 16 hours (including naps)
  • Kids 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours (including naps)
  • Kids 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours (including naps)
  • Kids 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours
  • Teens: 8 to 10 hours1

Guidelines are more challenging to devise for infants younger than four months. That’s because there is so much variation among young infants as they begin to develop regular sleep-wake cycles. 1,2

Signs of sleeplessness. How can you tell if your child isn’t getting enough sleep? Here are some telltale signs. Your child may:

  • Have trouble waking up and getting moving within 15 minutes.
  • Sleep at least two hours longer during weekends or vacations than during the school week.
  • Fall asleep during short car trips or at school.
  • Have trouble remembering, paying attention, and learning.
  • Be irritable or hyperactive.1,3

About that hyperactivity—that’s counterintuitive and can really throw parents. When you’re tired, you probably slow down. But kids can really wind up when they haven’t gotten enough sleep, and will resist going bedtime, even if they’re bone-tired. This sign can look a lot like attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder.4

What you can do. Yes, I know: Getting kids to bed at night is easier said than done. But it’s worth the effort, because quality sleep is not a luxury. You can make a difference in a number of ways.

For example, help your child learn how to prioritize and focus on the activities he or she really enjoys—maybe not three sports all at the same time! Limit your child’s access to caffeine—remember it’s in chocolate, too. Make sure the bedroom is cool and dark. Set a regular, relaxing nighttime routine. Most important, keep TV and computers out of the bedroom, and turn off all screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Whether it comes from a bulb or a smartphone, light promotes wakefulness.1,2

If your child isn’t getting enough sleep, it’s also important to rule out a sleep disorder or other medical condition. Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea in kids, not just in adults.4 I’d be glad to talk over your concerns or maybe its time to make an appointment with the pediatrician.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources:

  1. CBSNews: “New sleep guidelines for babies, kids and teens.” Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-sleep-guidelines-for-babies-kids-and-teens/ Accessed: 7-1-17.
  2. National Sleep Foundation: “Children and Sleep.” Available at: https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/children-and-sleep Accessed 7-1-17.
  3. HealthDay: “Health Tip: Is Your Child Sleeping Enough?” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_164509.html Accessed 7-1-17.
  4. National Sleep Foundation: “How Much Sleep Do Babies and Kids Need?” Available at: https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/content/how-much-sleep-do-babies-and-kids-need Accessed 7-1-17.

Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Sun Praire, WI, April 11, 2017

Bridgett Edgar, pharmacy technician at Pharm A Save in Monroe  recently attended the IPC Independent Pharmacy Conference in Scottsdale, AZ.  At the three day conference she participated in nearly 10 hours of continuing pharmacy education courses.

Meeting organizers said that during the educational sessions attendess were updated on the latest trends in prescription medications.  They were also brought up to date on the latest rules and regulations affecting the practice of pharmacy.   Edgar says she was pleased with the information she gained and will use it as she strives to insure her patients get the maximum benefit from the medication Pharm A Save provides.   Edgar participated in the meeting as the official pharmacy technician representative of the Washington State Pharmacist Association.

According Don Anderson, President and CEO of the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative (IPC) said a primary goal of the meeting was to provide formal business classes and a forum where pharmacy owners can learn from others whose experience will help them take better care of their customers.

About IPC: Formed in 1983 IPC is the nation’s largest group purchasing organization.  The cooperative serves the needs of nearly 6000 independent pharmacy owners across the country.  With locations in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and Phoenix, Arizona, IPC prides itself on providing access to programs and services that enable pharmacy owners to operate more modern, up to date and profitable pharmacies.    Continue reading Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

April is Community Service Month

Community Service Month – What does that mean to you? Do you get overwhelmed and wonder how in the world you could squeeze in one more thing?

Community service is a broad phrase. Some think about donating to a local organization with time or money. Others volunteer with a church. It doesn’t really how you “step out”, there are many ways to get more involved with your community.

I want to share with you some of the things that will be keeping us busy in April.  Pharm A Save Monroe has made it a goal to get out in the community even more this year.

April 1st 2017 – Pharm A Save Monroe donated instant ice packs to the Sky Valley Little League. This was our way of helping the kick off to their season be a successful one. Unfortuntly it rained out, but they are set for the upcoming season.

April 8th 2017Monroe’s Senior Center Auction!  Pharm A Save Monroe donated a basket of goodies to be auctioned off at this years East County Senior Center Auction. All proceeds from the auction go to support Monroe’s senior center. This year, we also have a table and will enjoy the dinner & dining experience, as well as fight of dessert. If you have never been to this auction, it is a wonderful night out for a great cause.

April 12th 2017 – Pharm A Save Monroe sponsors a lunch at the Monroe East County Senior Center on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. When United Way cut a vital piece of funding to our local senior center, we knew we had to help in anyway possible. We started this outreach in October, and since then have been able to spend time with those who can come.  The center has lunch every day, for a nominal fee. Lunch is open to all ages so we get a chance to catch up a variety of people.  Pharm A Save was able to offer flu vaccines and one on one time with our Pharmacist Shaunett Rph.  Having this time outside of the building and helping others is truly rewarding. A big shout out to Jacob and Candace at the Senior Center for a fantastic job of organizing and planning. And, thank you to the other weekly meal sponsors Brookdale Monroe and EvergreenHealth Monroe. What an absolutely rewarding experience this has been.

April 15th 2017 – Monroe will have their 21st Annual Community Easter egg hunt.    Pharm A Save Monroe will set up a booth and have games & prizes for the kiddos. Be sure to stop by and say hello!

April 15th 2017The Sky Valley Chamber Dinner and Auction – We have been involved in the auction committee and are looking forward to the 25th Annual Dinner and Auction for the Sky Valley Chamber (Sultan and surrounding areas). The event is a Masquerade theme, and is taking place at Camp Houston in Gold Bar WA.

April 29th 2017 – Healthy Kids day at the Monroe WA YMCA – We will be set up with goodies for the kids as well as information for the parents on how we can help with keeping kids healthy. We offer free vitamins for children, so this will be a great opportunity to share this with the families.

There will be more in the coming weeks. Pharm A Save will be hosting the “Blue Door” from the Monroe Boys and Girls club the week of May 14th. I encourage you to follow their project on twitter : @MonroeBlueDoor

If you see us out in your community, be sure to come say hello! We have a busy year ahead!