Ben Franklin Apothecary Blog
3Jun/170

Men and Hearing Loss

“You don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” Depending upon your age, these words may recall the lyrics of a 1970s folk song by Joni Mitchell. But you might want to listen up and consider these words another kind of warning—especially if you’re a man.

 

hard of hearing man placing hand on ear listening to gossip

More people with hearing loss. Today, twice as many people have hearing loss  as in the 1980s. And sadly the trend isn’t improving. A recent report predicted that the number of U.S. adults with hearing loss will rise to nearly a quarter of  the population in the next 40 years. Perhaps we’ve adapted just a bit too well to all the noise in our environment—from rock shows and subways to motorcycles and kids’ toys.

The story is even more sobering for men. That’s because hearing loss may be more common and severe in men than in women. One likely reason is that more men than women are exposed to sustained loud noises.

 

Links to other health issues. Increasingly, researchers are seeing links between hearing loss and other health issues—problems that often affect men. These include sleep apnea, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and dementia. Consider this:

  • Sleep apnea is strongly linked to hearing loss at both high and low frequencies.
  • The inner ear is so sensitive to blood flow that it could be the “canary in the coal mine” for cardiovascular disease. In other words, blood vessel blockages might show up here first.
  • Hearing loss is twice as common in people with diabetes.
  • Research also shows a link between hearing loss and dementia.
  • In people with both depression and hearing loss, use of hearing aids reduces symptoms of depression.

 

Protect your hearing. You may have already experienced some hearing loss. But that doesn’t mean you can’t protect what’s left. Start here:

  • Get earplugs for loud events—and wear them! Even the simple foam plugs you can buy in our store can help protect your ears.
  • Let’s talk painkillers. A study in men found that taking painkillers like aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), or acetaminophen only two times a week significantly increased the risk of hearing loss. These drugs may do this by reducing blood flow to the inner ear. If you’re concerned, let’s discuss this.
  • Consider an iron test. By contrast, iron helps carry blood to the inner ear. That may be why low levels have been linked to hearing problems.
  • Check the volume. It’s really tempting to turn up the volume, especially for your favorite tunes. Resist!

Of course, your doctor should first rule out a medical problem that could be causing any hearing loss. Then, let our pharmacy team know if you would like any guidance about specialists who can help evaluate your hearing or help you choose a hearing device. Just remember: these are not your father’s hearing aids. Today’s hearing aids are nearly invisible, can adjust to different environments, and benefit from many high-tech features.

1May/170

Aging Women: Ways to Stay Healthier

Like a surprise visit from your least favorite relative, aging can bring more than you’d bargained for: a few more wrinkles, a little less stamina, floppy arms, baggy kneecaps…. Sound familiar? Worse, though, are the big health changes that may accompany aging. Many of these you can’t even see. Here are some tips to point you in a healthier direction.

 

Where’s the fat? As it turns out, not all fat is created equal. Where you carry your fat can make a big difference, especially as you age. A recent study of women in their seventh decade of life found that being overweight or obese didn’t shorten their lives, unless the weight was carried at their waists. The risk of death was consistently higher in women with waists measuring more than 31.5 inches. However, there was an exception: Compared with white or black women, Latinas had lower death rates at any waist measurement or body mass index (BMI).1

A second study also found that pockets of fat near the heart can be a hazard for women as estrogen levels drop after menopause. For the first time, researchers have shown a link between this type of fat and the risk of calcium build-up in the heart’s blood vessels.2 Bottom line? As you age, healthy diet and physical exercise are more important than ever to reduce your risk of heart disease.

 

The new smoking: sitting. When it comes to activity, your cells apparently don’t lie. Each day, do you sit for more than 10 hours and get fewer than 40 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity? If so, your cells might be eight years older than your actual age! That’s what a recent research study found when assessing nearly 1,500 women, aged 64 to 95.3 A second small study of 70 women also found that walking briskly at least 150 minutes a week can improve weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in as little as 10 weeks.4 Moral of the story? Enjoy that retirement, but keep moving!

 

Medications for older women.  As you age, you’re more likely to take medication. And, in general, women are more likely to take more drugs than men. Over age 65, 9 in 10 take at least one drug a week and more than four in 10 take at least five different drugs a week. Twelve percent take 10 or more drugs per week.5

But as you age, your body changes. It contains less water and more fat, which changes how your body processes medication. Also, your kidneys and liver may be less able to rid your body of drugs. 5

 

What does this all mean for you? It means taking medications over age 65 is more likely to cause side effects and drug interactions.5 And that means that our teamwork is more important than ever. Let’s stay in touch to be sure you are on the right type and dose of medications.  Visit with our friendly pharmacists at Ben Franklin Apothecary!

 

 

 

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: “Belly Fat More Dangerous in Older Women Than Being Overweight” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_163752.html Accessed 3-30-17.
  2. HealthDay: “Fat Near the Heart a Hazard for Postmenopausal Women” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_163335.html Accessed 3-30-17.
  3. HealthDay: “Too Much Sitting Ages You Faster” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_163112.html Accessed 3-30-17.
  4. HealthDay: “Brisk Walk May Help Sidestep Heart Disease” Available at https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162978.html Accessed 3-30-17.
  5. Merck Manual: “Aging and Drugs.” Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/older-people%E2%80%99s-health-issues/aging-and-drugs/aging-and-drugs Accessed 4-3-17.
18Apr/170

Make Everyday Earth Day

Each April 22, folks from all walks of life celebrate Earth Day and help raise the awareness of environmental issues & host festivities in their communities.    Today, more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.  In fact, Earth Day has evolved into a globally celebrated event, with festivities occurring in more than 200 countries.

For most people it goes under the radar, unnoticed and un-celebrated. This doesn't have to be the case in your community / household and it's important for each of us to raise environmental awareness not only on Earth Day, but all throughout the year.  My challenge to you is to be the change you wish to see in the world!

 C9o2dR-VwAAg3EZ.jpg large

Try implementing some of these easy and fun ways to celebrate Earth Day that can actually make a difference all year long.

  1. Keep The Car In The Garage

How about leaving the car at home and walking, cycling or using public transport even just for today? Perhaps it’s walking the kids to school instead of driving them, or you might opt to cycle to your favorite downstore store. It may take you a little more time but you’ll get to enjoy the fresh air, teach the kids about nature on the way to school, or read a book on the train or bus. Who knows, you might enjoy it so much it becomes a regular thing!

  1. Become a Better Grocery Shopper

First, get a reusable grocery bag to limit all the plastic produced in the world.

Then try to buy fresh foods that you can carry in reusable containers. For example, fresh fruits and vegetables don’t come prepackaged. Also, nuts, lentils, coffee beans and many other dry goods can generally be purchased from bulk containers. By using reusable containers, you’re further reducing the amount of plastic in the world

  1. Recycle

As Voltaire says, “no snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible,” yet where would the avalanche be without each snowflake? In the same way, our individual and seemingly small habits can combine to have a powerful effect — and recycling is a great example of this. Get the kids involved too and help create some positive habits for generations to come!

  1. Get A Reusable Water Bottle

The US alone consumes 50 billion plastic water bottles annually. Most of these bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills, in oceans and elsewhere, which harms organisms and the environment. Just creating these bottles uses 17 million barrels of gasoline, which would be enough to power 1.3 million cars for a year. Even more energy is then spent transporting water bottles and then recycling them.

  1. Stop Printing!

The average American uses seven trees worth of paper and paper products every year. That’s a lot of trees, and most of it ends up in the garbage. Whenever possible, avoid printing at work. A link or a PDF is often easier to keep up with and won’t clutter your coworkers’ desks.

  1. Use Essential Oils

Many candles, scented plugins, and room sprays contain toxic, synthetic fragrances. Instead of those, add pure or mixed essential oils to a diffuser or humidifier to spread a pleasant aroma throughout your home. Many essential oils boast health benefits or have calming effects on mood.

  1. Get Planting

Today’s the day to take the plunge and create a veggie patch or start planting some flowers.  Native flowers look beautiful and they provide pollen and nectar for pollinators like bees and hummingbirds. Even better, locally-sourced flowers are typically low maintenance because they’re accustomed to your climate.

With a veggie patch, You’ll not only be eliminating the carbon emissions that are involved in getting produce to plate, you’ll also be able to enjoy fresh, organic produce whilst saving some money. If you find the idea of a veggie patch daunting or if you have limited outdoor space, you could start by planting some fresh herbs or a couple of lettuces in a bucket — or for a rustic look, an old wine barrel.

  1. Use Earth-Friendly Cleaning Products

It’s easy to just keep using chemical-laden cleaning products without giving it a thought, so try being really conscious about what you are using to clean with. Having to wear gloves and being advised to not breathe in the fumes should be a sign that what you’re using is not a healthy option.

We all want our homes to be clean and germ-free, but we don’t need to rely on chemicals to achieve that. There are many cost-effective, green-friendly options to choose from and today’s the day to give them a go. If you are really resistant to spending extra money on cleaning products, then why not do some research into cleaning with fresh lemon juice or vinegar water.

  1. Build a birdhouse of Start a Bee Farm

Building a birdhouse is definitely the easier option here. All you’ll need is a couple pieces of wood for birds to stand on and a place to put bird feed.

Starting a bee farm is more complex. But here’s a handy guide that will help you beat back the decline of bees around the world.

  1. Enjoy Nature

Today, too many people spend too much time indoors consuming media in some form or another—usually electronic. A climate-controlled environment requires energy to maintain, as do devices. Do yourself and the planet a favor by powering down, going outside, and enjoying nature with your friends and family. You don’t need to get on a plane to have an adventure. There might be some local undiscovered spot that will become your new retreat. National parks and nature preserves are resources many people don’t take advantage of and, unfortunately, parks that don’t receive a lot of visitors are at risk of being defunded, developed, or mined of their natural resources. Plan a visit to a less popular park to help protect its funding and maintenance.

 

Small changes add up quickly and can make a measurable difference on your carbon footprint and use of the Earth’s natural resources. Hopefully, these will provide a good start and encourage you to explore other areas such as using fewer disposable goods and recycling regularly. If everyone adopted just a few of these changes, we could significantly reduce our collective impact on the Earth.  Start making the habits now... make everyday Earth Day!

 

For information on festivities to celebrate Earth Day in Dallas, don't miss #EDTx17 from April 21-23 at Fair Park - http://buff.ly/2pOwwqk

 

 

 

1Apr/170

Seasonal Allergies: Trying to Nip Them in the Bud

Itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, fatigue…. These are just a few of the signs of seasonal allergies—also known as hay fever.1 And get ready: It looks like we may have a real doozy of an allergy season this year.2 Milder winter temperatures in places can cause plants to pollinate early. And a rainier spring leads to quick plant growth, as well as an increase in mold. 1

Pollen allergy

Allergic reactions mostly occur when your body responds to a “false alarm.” And, as you well know, there isn’t a cure for seasonal allergies. But there’s no reason to let this time of year take all the spring out of your step! Arm yourself with information.

Monitor climate factors. When checking the weather and planning your day, keep these things in mind:

  • Heat and high humidity promote the growth of molds.
  • Cool nights and warm days allow tree, grass, and ragweed pollens to thrive.
  • In spring and summer, tree and grass pollen levels tend to peak in the evening.
  • In late summer and early fall, ragweed pollen levels tend to peak in the morning.
  • Windy and warm days often result in surging pollen counts.
  • After a rainfall, pollen counts may go up, even though the rain temporarily washes pollen away.1

 

Avoid your triggers. If allergies are making you miserable, you may want to see an allergist. Specializing in allergies, this person can help you figure out what triggers your symptoms. Then you can find ways to cut off those triggers at the pass. During allergy season:

  • Keep windows and doors shut in your car and home.
  • Monitor pollen and mold counts daily. Weather reporters often provide this information.
  • After working or playing outdoors, take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes. 1
  • When doing chores outside, wear a NIOSH-rated filter mask. Better yet? Delegate!
  • Be on the lookout for mold, which can build up in moist months. A deep spring cleaning will help get rid of mold and other allergens. Cleanliness may not be close to godliness. But it sure may help you feel better.
  • Clear the air with a HEPA room air cleaner rated with a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). If you have central air, use air filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12. Change air filters every three months.3

 

Relieve your symptoms. Corticosteroid nasal sprays, decongestants, antihistamines. These are examples of over-the-counter drugs that can help relieve your symptoms. Come talk to me to make sure you’re using them the right way. If side effects are a problem, we can work together to come up with a solution. For example, a few possible side effects of antihistamines are sleepiness, dry mouth, constipation, and light-headedness.4

For some people, allergies can lead to or coexist with other health problems such as asthma or sinusitis. Asthma narrows or blocks the airways. Sinusitis is caused by inflammation or infection of cavities behind the nose.5  Just one more reason why working with your doctor and your friendly hometown pharmacist is a good idea.

 

Ben Franklin Apothecary, 302 N. Main Street, Duncanville, TX  75116 www.BenFranklinrx.com

 

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. ACAAI: “Seasonal Allergies.” Available at: http://acaai.org/allergies/seasonal-allergies Accessed 3-3-17.
  2. ABC30.com: “Seasonal allergy sufferers feeling the change in weather.” Available at: http://abc30.com/health/seasonal-allergy-sufferers-feeling-the-change-in-weather/1780067/ Accessed 3-3-17
  3. ACAAI: “5 things to Do to Fell Better During Spring Allergy Season.” Available at: http://acaai.org/news/5-things-do-feel-better-during-spring-allergy-season   Accessed: 2-23-17.
  1. Merck Manual: “Seasonal Allergies.” Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/immune-disorders/allergic-reactions-and-other-hypersensitivity-disorders/seasonal-allergies Accessed 3-3-17.
  2. NIHMedlinePlus: “How to Control Your Seasonal Allergies.” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/spring13/articles/spring13pg22-23.html Accessed 3-3-17.
1Mar/170

5 Tips to Help Save Your Vision

Eight out of 10 people living with vision loss worldwide could have saved their sight through prevention or treatment.1 Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Of course, seeing your doctor for eye exams and treatment is key.

 

future technology, medicine and vision concept - cute girl with eye chart

Here are a few other things you can do help ensure your eyes have a bright future:

  1. Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses that block 100 percent of ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B rays give you a big bang for your buck. They can:
  • Delay development of cataracts.
  • Prevent retinal damage.
  • Protect delicate eyelid skin from skin cancer, non-cancerous growths, and wrinkles.2
  1. Eat right. You are what you eat. It’s an old adage, but there’s something to it. And when it comes to your eyes, it may still hold true. Recently, the Coimbra Eye Study found a lower rate of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in people eating a Mediterranean diet. This includes lots of:
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes such as beans
  • Fish
  • Cereals
  • Fruits (In the study, those who ate just over 5 ounces of fruit a day were nearly 15 percent less likely to have AMD.)3

The researchers found that fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E seemed to be most protective. (Surprisingly, people who consumed more caffeine also had less AMD.)3

Other research has also shown that zinc, lutein, xeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids may protect not only from AMD, but also cataracts and dry eye. You can find these nutrients in citrus fruits, vegetables oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and cold-water fish like salmon.4 Some people should not take large doses of antioxidants for medical reasons. So be sure to talk your doctor or our friendly pharmacist at Ben Franklin if you have any questions about this.

If you are at risk for diabetes or AMD, you may also benefit from a low-glycemic index diet. What is this? Avoid foods that quickly raise your blood sugar, such as sweets and white bread.4

  1. Quit smoking. Smoking is linked to AMD and cataracts.2 Yes, I know it’s not easy, but if you smoke, quit, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start! If you need ideas for quit-smoking resources, our pharmacist will be glad to help.
  2. Send kids outdoors. Here’s one for your kids: Recent research is pointing to a possible benefit of more time outdoors early in life, especially between the ages of 14 and 29. Although researchers don’t understand why, this appears to decrease the risk of nearsightedness (myopia). So, send your kids outdoors, but don’t forget the sunglasses and sunscreen.5
  3. Use eye protection. Two-and-a-half million eye injuries occur in the U.S. each year. Using standard protective eyewear could prevent most of these injuries. If you or your child plays sports, make sure the eye protection meets the specific requirements of that sport. Not sure? Check with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).2

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.

31Jan/170

Emotions and Heart Disease

In the past 40 years, cases of heart disease in the U.S. have dropped by 20 percent.1 Now, that’s news worth celebrating this Valentine season!!! Efforts at prevention, detection, and treatment appear to paying off. For example, Americans’ cholesterol levels keep falling. Researchers think that ditching trans fats from our diets may be one reason why.2

Emoticons Sonrientes 30

Still, heart disease here remains the number-one cause of death in both men and women.2 We can do so much more to support our faithful tickers. You might be surprised to learn how much your emotional health influences your heart. Check out a few recent studies:

 

Pessimism. A study lasting 11 years looked at the risks linked to pessimism among 3,000 men and women. And guess what? That “glass-half-empty” attitude seemed to have a pretty big impact. Those who were most pessimistic were twice as likely to die of heart disease as the least pessimistic. The researchers can’t prove that negativity caused the rise in heart-related deaths. But this emotion can lead to an increase in hormones related to stress and inflammation. And, that might help explain the link.3

Worry. An even larger study of 7,000 Norwegians also found a link between worrying about a heart attack and actually having one. The “worried well” were twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who weren’t anxious about their health. Again, the link can’t be proven, but physical changes from anxiety are the likely culprit.4

Depression. Over 10 years, researchers tracked 1,100 women and found that those with a history of depression had a much higher risk of heart disease. In fact, in women younger than 65 with no history of heart problems, depression was the only significant risk factor linked with developing heart disease. Depression can produce stress hormones. But it may it may also lead to unhealthy behaviors that can increase the risks.5

Anger. Either intense anger or physical exertion doubles the odds of having a first heart attack. Even worse? Combining the two triples that risk, according to a study of 12,000 people. Chances are, anger and intense activity simply trigger an attack in people who already have artery-clogging plaques, say the researchers. Intense emotions or activity may cause a domino effect: A rise in blood pressure and heart rate constricts blood vessels. That, in turn, causes plaques to rupture and cut off blood flow to the heart.6

Spotting any trends, anyone?

With medical help or even self-care such as meditation or relaxation exercises, you can learn how to shift some of these moods. If these emotions are a challenge for you, our pharmacy team will also do what we can to help. For one thing, our pharmacists can point you to reliable sources of health information.  Together we can work on managing blood pressure including discussing a few changes to your diet and lifestyle.  Review the signs of a heart attack and make an appointment with your doctor today to review your overall health.

 

 

Ben Franklin Apothecary, 302 N. Main Street, Duncanville, TX  75116

 

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: U.S. Heart Disease Rates Fell 20 Percent Since 1980s: Study. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162007.html Accessed 1-3-17.

 

  1. HealthDay: Americans’ Cholesterol Levels Keep Falling. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162292.html Accessed 1-3-17.

 

  1. HealthDay: Pessimism May Take Unwelcome Toll on the Heart. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_162083.html Accessed 1-3-17.

 

  1. HealthDay: Hypochondriacs May Worry Themselves Into Heart Trouble. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_161838.html Accessed 1-3-17.
  2. Women’s Brain Health Initiative: Depression Can Fuel Heart Disease in Midlife Women: Available at: http://womensbrainhealth.org/think-twice/depression-can-fuel-heart-disease-in-midlife-women Accessed 1-4-17.

 

  1. HealthDay: Anger, Heavy Exertion: Fast Track to a Heart Attack? Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_161395.html Accessed 1-4-17.

 

 

23Dec/160

A New Year—A New You?

Is there a person on the planet that hasn’t made a New Year’s resolution—and then failed to follow through? Setting goals may be the easy part, but turning those goals into results….? Well, we all know how hard that can be.

 

new year resolutions post it concept

Whether you’re hoping to shed a few pounds, step up your level of exercise, or kick that smoking habit once and for all—you can take steps to improve your chances of success. Here are just a few ideas.

Set SMART goals. First of all, know how to set goals that will help you succeed. Here is an example of a SMART goal: “To help me lose weight, I will walk at least 10 blocks—instead of 7—at least 5 days a week for the next month. Here’s what makes this a SMART goal:

  • Specific: The goal is precise. Your goal isn’t just to walk more. With this goal, you will know exactly how many blocks you will walk each week.
  • Measurable: You can tell whether or not you have achieved the goal.
  • Achievable: Your goal should challenge you, but not be overwhelming. You’re already walking 7 blocks, 4 days a week. So you know that it’s likely you can walk 10 blocks, 5 days a week.
  • Relevant: This goal is appropriate because exercise is a key part of a weight-loss or weight-management plan.
  • Time-bound: Your goal is limited in time. At the end of a month, you can continue with this goal or commit to a new one. 1,2

Start small, think big. Starting with small steps can help you succeed. But as you set goals, keep an eye on the big picture: How does this goal fit in with the rest of your life? With the SMART goal above, for example, it may help to remember that exercise is good for your overall health, whether or not you lose weight.  It may give you more energy, decrease stiffness, and help you keep up with your kids—or grandkids.2,3,4

Stay motivated. Understanding the big picture is one way to stay motivated for the long haul. What else keeps you motivated?

  • Try the buddy system. Have someone who’s supportive join you. It really works.
  • Visualize success. Picture yourself walking through the neighborhood. You can also use positive self-talk to stay on track. “I feel so much better after I get out for a walk.”
  • Reward yourself. Once you’ve met your goal, reward yourself with something material, like a movie or CD—but not food. Or, you can try something less tangible like a quiet afternoon sitting by a lake.
  • `If you slip up, start over. This doesn’t make you a bad person. Congratulate yourself for your past successes, and begin again.5,6

How we can help.

Is one of your goals starting to work-out regularly & run a 5k?  Let us help you get started on a path to be ready to run the Heart of Duncanville 5K in October.

What if one of your goals has to do with managing your medications? Maybe you are having trouble remembering when or how to take them. Start with us. Ben Franklin pharmacists can guide you. For example, we’ll show you techniques for taking your medications the right way. Or we’ll help you find products to jog your memory so you don’t forget to take your meds.

Now, that’s a great buddy system!

 

 

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: S.M.A.R.T. Weight Loss & Your Fitness Device. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/smart-weight-loss-fitness-device Accessed 12-5-16.
  1. gov: 3 Things to Keep in Mind When Setting Goals & Expectations. Available at: http://women.smokefree.gov/your-weight-loss-expectations-goals/3-things-to-keep-in-mind-when-setting-weight-loss-expectations-goals.aspx Accessed 12-2-16.
  1. gov: Goal setting: Eating, Physical Activity & Weight Loss. Available at: http://women.smokefree.gov/your-weight-loss-expectations-goals/goal-setting-eating,-physical-activity-weight-loss.aspx Accessed 12-2-16.
  1. gov: 3 Steps for Setting Physical Activity Goals. Available at: http://women.smokefree.gov/your-weight-loss-expectations-goals/3-steps-for-setting-physical-activity-goals.aspx Accessed 12-2-16.
  1. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “Guide to Behavior Change.” Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/behavior.htm Accessed 12-2-16.
  1. Nemours Foundation: Motivation and the Power of Not Giving Up. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/motivation.html Accessed 12-2-16.

 

5Dec/160

Healthy Holiday Tips for You!

The holidays may be a source of many special memories…. And also temptation, stress, and oversize expectations may throw you a curve ball or two. How can you possibly maintain your balance through it all, let alone stay healthy?

Santa Claus Doctor using a stethoscope
Check out these 7 tips for a healthier holiday.

1. Beat the bugs. Add “flu shot” to your to-do list, unless of course you’ve already gotten it done. Also, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds. Lots of germs can easily “leap” from hands to nose and mouth—not to mention from you to other people. When you fly or ride a bus or train, use a disinfectant wipe on armrests, tray table and latch, air vent, and seatbelt buckle. Also, drink plenty of fluids while traveling—try for 8 ounces of water each hour. Moist airways are less susceptible to viruses and bacteria.

2. Stay active. And by active we don’t mean just shopping or wrapping presents! At the very least, put on some holiday music and dance! This may not be the best time of year to start a new exercise routine, but don’t let exercise go by the wayside. And when flying, be sure to move around the cabin every 60 to 90 minutes.

3. Chill. Don’t let holiday hysteria overwhelm you. Try a 15-minute chair massage at your local salon or airport or shopping mall massage kiosk. Along with relaxing muscles, massages may lower levels of stress hormones and boost white blood cells, which can protect against infections. What else calms you….? Relaxing music? Meditation? Walks in the park? Be sure to prioritize YOU in the midst of this busy time. And, it goes without saying: get plenty of sleep, which can stave off sickness. One study found that people who sleep at least eight hours a night are three times less likely to catch a cold than those who sleep less than seven.

4. Handle food wisely. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods. Make sure to cook foods to the right temperature and don’t leave perishables out for more than two hours.

5. Head ‘em off at the pass. Are temptations lurking around every corner? Pack healthy snacks, such as fruit, nuts, or low-fat string cheese. And provide healthier options such as vegetable dishes at holiday gatherings. Granted, these foods may not have the same appeal as mom’s pecan pie or candied potatoes, but they may keep you from overindulging. Whatever you do, don’t “save up” your calories for big parties and family meals. That can simply lead to overeating. If you are cooking for family and friends consider having a diabetic or low sodium friendly item. It’s just another way to ensure everyone can rave about your cooking.

6. Ease up. Sure, we know ‘tis the season to imbibe. But that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard. Before drinking any alcohol, be sure to have something to eat. Alcohol may react negatively to your medications. Consider serving juice or flavored water for a healthy alternative.

7. Check your meds—and vitamins. Check your supply of prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and vitamins. I can go over this list with you. Make sure you have what you need before traveling. Our pharmacy team can help you with solutions to remember to take your drugs or to order refills—before you run out.

 

We wish you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.

 

 

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. Health: “10 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays.” Available at: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20648861,00.html Accessed on 11-3-16.
  2. CDC: “Holiday Health and Safety Tips.” Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/ Accessed on 11-3-16.
  3. HealthDay: “Around the World, Holidays Bring Added Pounds.” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_161093.html Accessed on 11-3-16.

 

10Nov/160

Thankful – JD Power Customer Satisfaction

On Thanksgiving Day, families across the country will come together around dining room tables. Many will share a bountiful feast and give thanks for many blessings. What better time than the month of November to also give thanks for our customers?

 

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We are particularly grateful this year: In the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Chain Drug Store Pharmacies.” We outpaced other “brick-and-mortar” chain drug stores in four of five categories:

  • Our stores
  • Our cost competitiveness
  • Our pharmacists
  • Our non-pharmacy staff

The pharmacy study is now in its eighth year. This year, it was based on responses from 14,789 pharmacy customers who filled or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period of June 2016.

Personalized service. The survey also found that health and wellness services enhance customer satisfaction. We’re pleased by this finding. It validates the approach we use. This includes highly valued services such as consolidating medication pick-up, medication therapy management, and individualized disease health coaching.

This kind of personalized service is a contrast to the approach offered by many large chain drug stores. By contrast, we take the time to care for you and your family right in your community. We take the time to hear our patients and provide trusted advice to answer your health questions.

Trusted advice. Patients can trust the advice offered at their local Health Mart pharmacy. Our pharmacists’ extensive training and expertise can help set your mind at ease. That’s because you know you can rely on their considerable knowledge to provide informed care and help you achieve optimal results from your medications.

How do we do this? For one, we simplify the language of prescription coverage—making it easier to understand without compromising accuracy. We also provide clinical services that can help you stay well. And we partner, as needed, with health care providers to enhance the quality of your healthcare.

Customer loyalty. Personalized service plus trusted advice is clearly a winning combination. And, as seen in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart is surpassing the industry average in customer loyalty.

The pharmacy team at Ben Franklin Apothecary (a proud Health Mart pharmacy) accomplishes this in many ways. For example, we don’t treat you as a number. We know that you’re a unique person with unique needs, which we strive to address. We accept most insurance plans and make it easy to transfer prescriptions. It also helps that our locally owned pharmacies are a part of the community—close to where our patients work, shop, and live.

 

Again, thank you for allowing us to serve you with your pharmaceutical needs.  It means a great deal to us & consider it a privilege to serve you!!  And we'll keep doing what we enjoy most: delivering the very best care possible for our patients.

> Ben Franklin Pharmacy Team

 

 

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.

 

Source

  1. J.D. Power press release: “Health Mart, Publix, Sam’s Club, Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy Rank Highest in Respective Segments.” Available at: http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/jd-power-2016-us-pharmacy-study. Accessed: 10-4-16.

 

 

 

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3Oct/160

News about the Flu Vaccine – 2016

It’s really tough to stay on top of all the health news these days. Our pharmacy team at Ben Franklin Apothecary is here to help. Since the flu season is right around the corner, here’s a snapshot of recent news stories about the flu vaccine.

 

Health Concept: GET YOUR FLU SHOT

Flu shot helps people with diabetes. The seasonal flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone 6 months and older.1 But for some people it can be a matter of life and death.

During a seven-year study, British researchers looked at a group of nearly 125,000 people with type 2 diabetes—people who have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.2 In those with type 2 diabetes, the flu vaccine was linked with reductions in flu-season hospital admissions, including a:

  • 30 percent reduction in admission for stroke
  • 22 percent reduction in admissions for heart failure
  • 19 percent reduction in admissions for heart attack
  • 15 percent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza

Among those who received a flu shot, the death rate was 24 percent lower than in those who had not been vaccinated. The study didn’t prove a cause-and-effect connection between the two. But the results are pretty compelling.

 

Limits of the flu vaccine “twofer.” How do infants benefit when their moms have a flu shot during pregnancy? Previous studies showed a benefit, for sure. Now we know how long it likely lasts. Researchers in South Africa assessed more than 1,000 infants whose moms received a flu shot while pregnant. During the first eight weeks after birth the vaccines were 85.6 percent effective.3 After that, effectiveness ranged from about:

  • 25 percent at eight to 16 weeks
  • 30 percent at 16 to 24 weeks

It’s helpful to know this because current vaccines don’t work well in infants younger than six months, and infants have high rates of the flu. Talk to me about other ways you can protect your baby. That includes washing your hands often, keeping your baby away from sick people, and making sure everyone else in your family is vaccinated.1

 

 Get your flu shot! If you’re like many people, getting a flu vaccination can easily slip your mind. But a flu shot is too important to get bumped to the bottom of your priority list. Every flu season is different, and every person responds to the flu in a different way. The flu can lead to hospitalizations and even death. The flu season often begins in October, so there’s no better time than the present.

 

Long-term protection. More good news? Another study has found that flu vaccines offer moderate protection for about six months. That’s the length of most flu seasons. The study’s findings suggest that a flu shot in early fall may prevent the greatest number of cases.

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Want to get a jump-start on that flu shot instead? Well, then, October is your month. Call your doctor or your friendly pharmacist at Ben Franklin for your flu shot options.  Walk-ins for flu shots are available from Mon-Fri from 10am-6pm and Sat from 10am-5pm.   If you do catch the flu this season, stop in for your flu needs and talk with our pharmacist about your symptoms.  As always, we are here to help.

 

 

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. What You Should Know for the 2015-201 Influenza Season. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm Accessed 8-13-16.
  2. Flu Shot Tied to Fewer Hospitalizations, Deaths in Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160085.html Accessed 8-31-16.
  3. Pregnancy Flu Shot Protects Newborn for 8 Weeks: Study available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_159719.html Accessed 8-31-16.

Ben Franklin Apothecary
302 N. Main Street
Duncanville, Texas 75116
Pharmacy: (972) 298-4936
Ben Franklin Apothecary
302 N. Main Street
Duncanville, Texas 75116
Pharmacy: (972) 298-4936