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A Look Back at 2016

Thank you to our loyal customers! Not only do we appreciate your support of our local pharmacies this past year, but also allowing us to serve you for the past 15 years. The following are a list of articles  from 2016 that cover everything from disease awareness and prevention, to healthy kids. Cheers to a healthy and happy 2017!

Village Pharmacy Celebrates 15 Years of Serving Hampstead

Disease Awareness
Alzheimer’s Awareness Month
Colorectol Cancer Awareness Month
Crohn’s Disease
Glaucoma Awareness Month
July 28 is World Hepatitis Day
Lupus Awareness Month
Focus on MS
Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis
Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms and Stages
Symptoms and Treatment Options for Psoriasis
Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Drug Awareness
The Dangers of Antibiotic Overuse
National Drug & Alcohol Abuse Week (SM)
FDA Approvals for 4th Quarter of 2015
New Drugs Approved in First Quarter of 2016
New FDA approvals in the Second Quarter of 2016
Third Quarter Drug Approvals

Personal Well-Being
Avoiding Holiday Depression
Vertigo: Beyond the Dizziness
Heart Rate: Learn your Rhythm
Should you worry about the Zika virus?
DANGER – E-Cigarettes
Plantar Fasciitis
Kidney Stones: How to prevent and treat them
What Causes Hearing Loss?

Seasonal Tips
Fall Safety Tips
Is it a cold, the flu, or allergies?
Summer Safety
Protecting your skin – What are you wearing?

Healthy Living
Avoiding Sugar
Eat Your Vitamins
National Immunization Awareness Month
Tips to Manage Stress
Weight Loss Resolution
Cholesterol: Get the Facts

Children’s Health
Is Your Child Depressed?
National Infant Immunization Health Week
Autism Awareness Month
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
College Send Off
Causes of stress in kids

Men’s Health
Is it your bladder or your prostate?
Top Health Issues for Men

Women’s Health
Survival Mode: How to help women fighting breast cancer

Senior Care
Prevent Falls at Home
The Behaviors of Alzheimer’s


Avoiding Holiday Depression

I’m sure you’re like the rest of us running around taking care of the final details of your upcoming holiday gatherings. Whether it’s the food, the shopping, or the travel (or all of the above), this is the season of stress when it should be, as the song says, “the most wonderful time of the year”.

What stresses you out? Identifying the causes and either mitigating them or avoiding them are the keys to a happy holiday season.

Perhaps you have set some high expectations and have painted a perfect picture in your mind of the perfect meal, the perfect family gathering, the best gifts under the tree, but then the reality of the day sets in. Unmet expectations are the biggest cause of any conflict in life, but the holidays can tend to make them seem that much worse — especially for those with depression.

Break Tradition
As families grow and people move, the traditions you once held dearly may change. Just because they are different, doesn’t mean that they are wrong or bad. Being flexible and willing to compromise will make the season brighter. Holiday are more than what or where you eat, or how many gifts are under the tree. Learn to cherish the time together and overlook the less important details.

Plan Ahead
Taking time for yourself is important to keeping your mood in check over the holidays. Yes, there’s shopping and baking, and cooking and cleaning. But, in between those things, it’s okay to take a nap, go for a run, or curl up and read a book.

Avoid Conflict
Perhaps there’s a sore subject that seems to come up every year, or a new conflict in the family that may rear its ugly head. A good way to avoid the conflict is to prepare an exit strategy.  Simply saying, “let’s talk about it another time” or now isn’t the time”, may help call attention to the setting in hopes that they will respect your response.Then leaving the room and offering help in the kitchen, or going to play with the kids is a good way to escape.

Give Back
Helping those who are less fortunate is another way to overcome depression over the holidays. Being grateful for what you do have and not focusing on what you don’t have will help change your perspective. Volunteering at a soup kitchen, adopting a grandparent, or packing a box for Operation Christmas Child will help lift your spirits.

Organize a gift exchange with family and friends, or bake some goodies for your neighbors is a fun way to bring joy to others. This will reduce cost and reduce your stress at the same time!

Avoid Binge Drinking or Eating
Drinking a glass of red wine is a good way to wind down after a long, stressful day, but drinking in excess can be a problem. Drinking alcohol to deal with holiday stress and depression will certainly not help, and will only intensify your emotions and make you feel even worse.  LImiting your alcohol intake to one or two drinks a day is a good rule of thumb. Do yourself a favor and leave a holiday party early if you don’t think you can stick to your limit.

Binge eating can have the same effect. You may want three slices of pecan pie, but trying sticking to one. You’ll satisfy your sweet tooth, and you won’t wind up with a stomach ache or the guilt associated with overeating.

Learn to Grieve
If you are mourning a loved one, talking about your feelings and not keeping them bottled up will help reduce your stress. Reaching out to support groups or friends who may have the same experience will help, too. It’s not uncommon to feel anger at the person for leaving you alone or feeling guilty for enjoying yourself during the holidays. It’s part of the healing process.

Exercise should be a priority over the holidays, not something to stop and then start again after the new year. Taking a brisk walk for 35 minutes five days a week, or 60 minutes three time a week, will help improve your mood and burn off those extra calories you are consuming.

Get Some Sleep
Studies have shown there is a link between sleep loss and depression, so it’s important to try and stick to your same sleep schedule during the holidays. Be careful about cutting back on sleep to get everything done. And, avoid big meals and physical activity within a few hours of bedtime.

Get Some Sunshine
Tired? Irritable? Feeling down? It may not be the stress of the holiday, but rather the lack of sunlight. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can be treated by taking long walks during daylight hours or exposure to a light box for about 30 minutes a day. If you think you may be suffering from SAD, talk to your doctor about possible treatment options.

Get Help
If you do suffer from depression, please ask for help. Whether it’s a support group, a good friend, or a medical professional and a prescription for an anti-depressant, getting help is the first step to identifying and dealing with depression.


Crohn’s Disease Awareness

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory, medically incurable disease that attacks the digestive system, causing abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever, and weight loss.

Named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, who first described the disease in 1932 along with colleagues Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer, Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of conditions known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD).

Crohn’s disease may attack anywhere along the digestive tract. In some patients, IBD may also affect the joints, skin, bones, kidney, liver, and eyes.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

The GI tract normally contains harmless bacteria, many of which aid in digestion. The immune system usually attacks and kills foreign invaders, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other microorganisms. Under normal circumstances, the harmless bacteria in the intestines are protected from such an attack. In people with IBD, these bacteria are mistaken for harmful invaders and the immune system mounts a response. Cells travel out of the blood to the intestines and produce inflammation (a normal immune system response). However, the inflammation does not subside, leading to chronic inflammation, ulceration, thickening of the intestinal wall, and eventually causing patient symptoms.

What causes Crohn’s?

The causes of Crohn’s Disease are not well understood. Diet and stress may aggravate Crohn’s Disease, but they do not cause the disease on their own. Recent research suggests hereditary, genetics, and/or environmental factors contribute to the development of Crohn’s Disease.

Crohn’s tends to run in families, so if you or a close relative have the disease, your family members have a significantly increased chance of developing Crohn’s. Studies have shown that 5% to 20% of affected individuals have a first – degree relative (parents, child, or sibling) with one of the diseases. The risk is greater with Crohn’s disease than ulcerative colitis. The risk is also substantially higher when both parents have IBD. The disease is most common among people of eastern European backgrounds, including Jews of European descent. In recent years, an increasing number of cases have been reported among African American populations.

The environment in which you live also appears to play a role. Crohn’s is more common in developed countries rather than undeveloped countries, in urban rather than rural areas, and in northern rather than southern climates.

Who is affected by Crohn’s?
Crohn’s disease may affect as many as 780,000 Americans. Men and women are equally likely to be affected, and while the disease can occur at any age, Crohn’s is more prevalent among adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35.

What are the signs and symptoms?

Though symptoms can vary from patient to patient, the tell-tale symptoms of Crohn’s disease includes:

  • Persistent Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Urgent need to have a bowel movement
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Sensation of incomplete evacuation
  • Constipation (can lead to bowel obstruction)

General symptoms that may also be associated with IBD:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Loss of normal menstrual cycle

People suffering from Crohn’s often experience loss of appetite and may lose weight as a result. A feeling of low energy and fatigue is also common. Among younger children, Crohn’s may delay growth and development.

Crohn’s is a chronic disease, so this means patients will likely experience periods when the disease flares up and causes symptoms, followed by periods of remission when patients may not notice symptoms at all.

In more severe cases, Crohn’s can lead to tears  in the lining of the anus, which may cause pain and bleeding, especially during bowel movements. Inflammation may also cause a fistula to develop. A fistula is a tunnel that leads from one loop of intestine to another, or that connects the intestine to the bladder, vagina, or skin. This is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.

If you are experiencing these symptoms of Crohn’s disease, talk to your doctor. Only proper testing can provide an accurate diagnosis.

Source: CCFA.org

What’s the biggest thing to avoid during the holidays? (No, it’s not your family)

It’s sugar.

The average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons of sugar per day. Stop and think about that for a minute. That’s sugar you put in coffee and tea, and the sugars in pasta, granola bars and yogurt. That’s an extra 285 calories per day that health experts say is way too much. In a year, that means you’re consuming about 66 pounds of added sugar every year.

According to the American Heart Association, women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons (100 calories) daily and men should get a max of 9 teaspoons (150 calories).

Those of greater risk of sugar overdose are children and teens. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting total intake of discretionary calories, including added sugars and fats, to 5% – 15% per day. However, children and adolescents in America get about 16% of their total caloric intake from added sugars alone.

Children and teens are particularly at risk. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting total intake of discretionary calories, including both added sugars and fats, to 5% –15% per day. Yet children and adolescents in America obtain about 16% of their total caloric intake from added sugars alone.

According to an article published by SugarScience™, “Using brain-scanning technology, scientists at the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse were among the first to show that sugar causes changes in people’s’ brains similar to those in people addicted to drugs such as cocaine and alcohol. These changes are linked to a heightened craving for more sugar. This important evidence has set off a flood of research on the potentially addictive properties of sugar.”

When reading labels watch out for any of these names in the first few ingredients or those products that have more than 4 total grams of sugar:

  • Agave nectar
  • Brown rice syrup
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses
  • Sucrose

How do we overcome the cravings of sugar?

Protein: Eating protein is one way to curb those sugar cravings. High-protein foods digest more slowly than those high in sugars, and they keep you feeling full for longer. Foods rich in protein include lean chicken, low-fat yogurt, eggs, nuts, and beans.

Fiber: Fiber also helps keep you full, plus it gives you more energy than sugar. High-fiber foods don’t raise your blood sugar, so there’s no hungry ‘crash’ afterwards. Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Quick tip: slice up yellow and red peppers, or carrots and celery for a snacks to munch on during the day and avoid the vending machine. Spreading some peanut butter on an apple is also a sweet treat that is rich in protein and fiber. Avoid fruit cups since those can be filled with extra sugar in the syrup.

Spices: Adding natural sweeteners like coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will sweeten your foods and reduce cravings.

Multivitamins: Nutrient deficiencies can make cravings worse. Taking a good quality multivitamin and mineral supplement, vitamin D3, vitamin B3 and magnesium can help improve the ability to control blood sugar.

Sleep: When you are tired, your body uses sugar for energy to counteract the exhaustion. So, getting enough sleep will help regulate the sugars you crave.

Exercise: Believe it or not, the more you exercise the better you feel and want to live a healthier lifestyle. Walking, running, bike riding and swimming are great ways to get in shape. Start out slowly by exercising for 20 minutes  a few days a week, then work up to longer workouts five times a week.

Water: Sometimes when we think we are hungry, we are really just thirsty. Drinking water can promote weight loss, flushes out toxins, increases our energy and relieves fatigue.

Here’s to a happy and HEALTHY New Year!