Your Health Category Archive
May 18, 2013Posted By: igorUnder: Health News, Your Health
When you have high cholesterol, you are at a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The problem is, you likely don’t feel sick. Heart disease is a silent killer, meaning there are no symptoms to warn you that you are sick. The only way to know if you have plaque build up in your arteries is to have your blood cholesterol levels measured by having a simple blood test done.
When you have your “cholesterol levels” measured, typically the doctor or pharmacist is ordering a lipid panel. The lipid panel consists of 4 main components:
1) Total cholesterol - the total amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both the good and the bad cholesterol.
2) Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) – this cholesterol is the known as the bad cholesterol. When LDL levels in the blood are too high they lead to plaque build up in artery walls.
3) High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) – this cholesterol is known as the good cholesterol. We want HDL levels to be high as HDL carries the LDL away from the artery walls.
4) Triglycerides (TG) - are the most common type of fat in your body. When elevated they appear to speed up the process of plaque build up in artery walls.
If you are found to have elevated cholesterol or triglycerides, the doctor/pharmacist will recommend changes to your diet and exercise. Dietary changes include avoiding saturated fats and refined carbohydrates and increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seed...
Mar 29, 2013Posted By: igorUnder: Health News, Your Health
January 1st means the start of a New Year, and with that comes New Year’s resolutions and promises to improve ourselves. Statistics show that the #1 New Year’s resolution is to lose weight. They also show that after one month only 64% of people have stuck to their resolution plans. After six months, only 46% remain strong in their resolve. Why to poor success? Although there may be more than one factor to influence the success and failure of any therapeutic strategy, one of the key causes of those resolutions focused on weight loss is that they are focused on weight, not fat and that they employ diets instead of focusing on the improvement of some very poor lifestyle choices. This year, consider making specific changes in your lifestyle to improve your health, not merely to lose weight.
Let’s look at your lifestyle in a new light—as medicine. Did you know that the first line therapy (the best and first therapy that should be tried to treat a disease) in many cases is lifestyle change? Have you ever considered that in many instances increasing your activity level and eating healthier can prevent the need for medications?
Lifestyle changes are considered first line therapy for the following medical conditions:
High blood pressure
Type 2 Diabetes
Conditions related to aging
In addition to the conditions listed above, lifestyle changes are imp...
Mar 26, 2013Posted By: igorUnder: Health Comment, Health News, Your Health
Cardiovascular disease causes one third of the deaths in Canada – more than any other illness.
Although February was Heart Month and to celebrate, we were checking in on your heart health we think this is important enough to continue this service twelve months of the year.
We offer the Framingham Cardiovascular Risk Assessment.
The Framingham Risk Assessment will tell us whether or not you have a low (<10%), medium (10-20%), or high (>30%) 10 year risk of having a major cardiovascular disease event (I.e. Heart attack). It will also determine if you need to make lifestyle changes or be placed on drug therapy to reduce your risk.
What information is used to assess your Cardiovascular Risk?
During this assessment, one of our pharmacists will check your blood pressure and assess your cholesterol levels (this may require sending you for a blood test if you have not had one recently). Using this information, along with your age, gender, smoking status and diabetes status, your 10 year cardiovascular risk will be calculated.
What happens if you are found to be at risk?
If you are found to be in the medium to high risk categories or have high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, your pharmacist will help you to make any necessary lifestyle changes. They will also notify your family physician of the findings and make any necessary drug therapy recommendations.
Who should participate in our Heart Health Clinic?
We recommend participating in our s...
Dec 20, 2012Posted By: jaclynUnder: Health News, Your Health
Christmas is a time of giving. Giving gifts to our family and loved ones brings us joy and happiness over the holiday season. It is also the time of year when charities begin calling for donations and our pocketbooks begin to run on empty. This year, take a moment to consider giving the gift of life through blood donation. This donation won’t cost you a dime, and only takes 60 minutes of your time.
Each minute in Canada, someone needs blood. In fact, 52% of Canadians state that they or a family member has needed donated blood. Canadian Blood Services needs each of us to donate, and donate often. Here’s why. Each time you donate, you give one unit of blood. However, to save a life it takes more than one unit. In fact, it may take up to 50 units to save the life of someone who has been in a car accident. It takes 5 units of blood to save the life of someone receiving cancer treatment.
In addition to blood, specific blood products are also in demand. Plasma and platelet donors as well as stem cell donors are equally as important as blood donors. Platelets are responsible for helping the blood to clot. Patients with prolonged bleeding caused by certain diseases, including cancer, require platelets as part of their treatment.
This holidays, consider giving the gift of life by donating blood, platelets, plasma or stem cells. For more information and videos of the donation process visit www.blood.ca.
To make an appointment contact 1-800-2-DONATE.
Nov 16, 2012Posted By: jaclynUnder: Health News, Your Health
There is a quiet, gradual revolt occurring amongst the male gender. Yes, for too long their specialized wellness needs have been ignored. But no more! Not since books written by authors such as Dr. Johnathan V. Wright, Dr. Malcom Carruthers, Dr. Eugene Shippen, Dr. William Fryer and the list goes on and on, but these authors have exposed the male “menopause” as a real, measurable decrease in male health due to a decrease in male hormone testosterone. When this happens it’s effects are not limited to “maleness” or “sex drive”. Just like any hormone deficiency or underproduction, there are far reaching health consequences when a key hormone like testosterone displays an under production or an imbalance, which nature dislikes, sometimes with a vengeance. This is what has been given the term, Andropause and we'll tell you that this term is so new that many standard dictionaries still do not include this word in their definitions.
We all know that around the age of 50 women go through “the change” known as menopause. Menopause is caused by changing levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Women often suffer from symptoms which can include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbances and much more. However, it isn’t only women who have symptoms as a result of declining sex hormones, men undergo a similar process that is not as widely recognized or accepted.
Between the ages of 20-30 men begin to experience...
Oct 22, 2012Posted By: jaclynUnder: Health News, Stafford Pharmacy News, Your Health
It is recommended that all Albertans aged 6 months and older be vaccinated against the flu (influenza) annually. The flu viruses change from year to year, therefore our vaccines have to change with them. This year’s flu vaccine contains the H1N1 virus along with two new strains.
Immunization is one of the best ways to prevent the flu. While most people who become sick with the flu have mild illness lasting for 5-10 days, the flu causes 20,000 hospitalizations and 4,000 deaths in Canada each year. By protecting yourself against the flu, you are also protecting those around you who are at higher risk of developing complications.
The vaccine is especially important for people who are at higher risk of developing complications from the flu, including:
People who are age 65 or older.
Adults and children who have long-term health problems or an impaired immune system.
People who live in nursing homes or long term care centers.
Women who will be pregnant during the flu season.
Children 6 to 23 months of age.
Children who are 24 months to 18 years old who use long-term ASA treatment.
People who are obese with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or more.
First Nations peoples.
Health care workers and anyone who lives or works with a person who is at higher risk of problems from the flu.
Your pharmacist can help you decide if the flu vaccine is a good choice for you. If you have questions about the flu or flu vaccine, speak with one of our pharmacy team members...
Oct 22, 2012Posted By: jaclynUnder: General News, Your Health
If you are a female or male suffering from exhaustion, sleep problems or hot flashes you may want to consider having your hormone levels tested. These symptoms are only a few of many that may be signs of female menopause or male andropause. If your day-to-day activities are being disrupted by these symptoms saliva testing may be right for you.
Hormones have been measured in saliva for over thirty years, and research continues to accumulate attesting to its reliability and clinical relevance. Saliva testing is considered the “Gold Standard” when determining a person’s hormone levels. Hormones travel from the blood into the saliva by passing through the salivary gland tissue. This means that saliva hormone levels measure the actual delivery of hormones into the tissue, where the hormones exert their effects. In contrast, blood tests measure the amount of hormone that might eventually get into tissue. Therefore, saliva hormone levels better reflect tissue (or bio-available) hormone levels than blood levels do. The following hormones are tested in a basic female panel: estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and cortisol. The basic male panel tests for: estradiol, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol. If stress is a likely contributor to your symptoms, cortisol can be tested at a few points (2 or 4) throughout the day to see if you are suffering from lack of or excess cortisol secretion. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands in ...
Oct 4, 2012Posted By: igorUnder: Health News, Your Health
Forgetfulness...short term memory loss....dementia...
Alzheimer's! It's a word that strikes fear in the hearts and minds of many families. A disturbing idea to think that your memory and the memories of your life can be lost. Like any disease however, it's important that you recognize the early signs and take the actions that we know today will help to slow the progression of the disease. And understand, what you can about the cause, the risk factors and what you can do to help a family member NOW.
There are different types of dementia, but Alzheimer's disease is the most common one among older people. And while some forms of the disease are reversible (such as dementia due to toxic reactions to medications), Alzheimer's disease is not. That's because Alzheimer's disease is a progressive dementia –caused by a progressive degeneration of the brain cells. The brain is the control centre for your whole body; and different regions of the brain are responsible for different parts of the body and for different behaviours. The brain degeneration that occurs in Alzheimer's disease, affects memory, emotions, behaviour and mood, and, as a result, a person's ability to carry out daily activities changes. As the disease progresses through its stages, symptoms worsen.
10 Early Signs
1. Memory loss affects daily life
2. Familiar tasks become more difficult
3. Language becomes a problem
4. Disorientation of place and time
5. Poor judgment
6. Problems ...
Aug 20, 2012Posted By: jaclynUnder: Health News, Your Health
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordatella pertussis. Among vaccine-preventable diseases, whooping cough is among the most commonly occurring ones in Canada.
Whooping cough is making a comeback in Southern Alberta despite the fact that an effective vaccination exists for people of all ages. Already in Southern Alberta this year, 40 cases have been reported. This number is a drastic increase from the typical 1-3 cases seen. Amongst this years cases, the death of a 1 month old baby girl last months is a strong reminder of just how serious this infection can be for infants.
As the number of cases in Southern Alberta rises, we are reminding you to ensure infants and children in your family are vaccinated. Vaccination against whooping cough should occur at in infants at 2, 4, 6 and between 15-18 months of age. Boosters should be given to children between the ages of 4-6 and again between 11-12 years.
Its not just infants and children that should be vaccinated either. Adults need to consider being vaccinated against whooping cough too. Immunity to whooping cough declines over time, resulting in the need for booster’s to be administered later in life. The Centers For Disease Control recommends that pregnant women (not previously vaccinated) receive the vaccination during the third trimester or at the end of the second trimester. Additionally, any adults who will be in contact with infants who did not re...
Aug 4, 2012Posted By: jaclynUnder: Health News, Your Health
Are you a male who is over the age of 40? If you answered YES, this article is for you!
Prostate cancer screening has been a controversial topic in recent years. Some experts think every man should be screened after a certain age while others say screening may only result in over treatment. I believe that screening is an effective tool that should be used, as long as it is done properly.
Fact, 1 in 6 men will develop prostate cancer. While the risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age, early detection through routine screening may mean more effective treatment. Prostate Cancer Canada strongly recommends that all men over the age of 40, speak with their doctor about getting a baseline test for the prostate specific antigen (PSA). PSA is a protein produced by the cells within the prostate gland. A BSA blood test can be used as a screening test in the early detection of prostate cancer.
I believe that baseline screening is the key to the PSA screening tool’s success. Here’s why; some men normally have low levels, some average and some high of PSA in their blood. But, ot isn’t necessarily how high your PSA is that is important, it is how fast your PSA rises that can tell us that prostate cancer is likely. Without the baseline screening while you are young and healthy, it is impossible to determine if you’re PSA has risen above its original baseline level, and how quickly it has done so.
With that being said there are...