Summertime in Ohio

It is summertime in Ohio and the sun is finally out! While you’re outside soaking up those rays of sunshine, be sure to use sunscreen. Sunscreen will help protect you from the harmful UV rays from the sun and help to prevent skin cancer. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends wearing a broad spectrum, water-resistant, sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher. It is important to wear sunscreen on any day you’ll be outside, even if it is cloudy or snowy. You can also protect yourself by seeking shady areas or wearing protective clothing such as long sleeves, a hat, or sunglasses.

The truth about artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are synthetic sugar substitutes. These are attractive alternatives to sugar because they add virtually no calories to your diet. However, studies have found that artificial sweeteners can actually increase your risk for weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Artificial sweeteners confuse your metabolism because they are much sweeter than sugar. They are also highly addictive. The moral of the story is that artificial sweeteners may not be a “guilt-free” alternative to sugar. It’s important to keep everything in moderation.

Drinking caffeine

Many US adults rely on drinking caffeine in the morning to jump start their day.  While caffeine works well to wake people up, too much caffeine can have negative effects on your health.  These can include increased stress on your heart, irritability, and headaches.  Also, patients with high blood pressure or other cardiovascular diseases should limit caffeine intake, as it can worsen those diseases. According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine doses up to 400mg per day appear to be safe.  This amount of caffeine equates to around four cups of coffee or 10 cans of pop.

Tips for getting a good night’s sleep

Trouble sleeping is the most common complaint in general medical practice. Luckily, there are many simple and effective strategies to achieve a better night’s rest:

  • Establish regular times to wake up and go to sleep (including weekends)
  • Avoid electronics/ other bright light before bed
  • Avoid daytime naps
  • Exercise routinely but not close to bedtime
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment free of loud noise or extreme temperature
  • Discontinue or reduce the use of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine
  • Go to bed only when sleepy (avoid trying to force sleep)
  • Avoid drinking large quantities of liquids in the evening

Safety in the outdoors

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning the family’s annual camping trip to the lake! When packing for the camping trip, here a few healthy reminders for spending time in the outdoors. The best way to prevent mosquito bites to wear clothing that covers your skin, such as pants and a nice long shirt. Then use a bug spray that contains 10% DEET to keep these biting bugs at bay for around 2 hours. As for poison ivy, a good thing to remember is “Leaves of 3, leave it be”. If you don’t know what a plant is, don’t touch it; and always wash your hands and clothes off with cold water to get rid of any of the oil from poison ivy.

How to prevent motion sickness

Many travel during the holiday season and may be affected by motion sickness. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and vomiting and may last 36 to 72 hours. Motion sickness is generally easier to prevent than it is to treat. Individuals can prevent motion sickness by looking out the window in a car rather than reading a book or watching a movie. Over-the-counter medications such as, Dramamine or Dramamine Less Drowsy, are available. Ask your pharmacist for help selecting the right product for you. Note: these products should be avoided in elderly patients.

Is gluten-free right for me ?

Gluten-free diets have become “hip” in past years. We’ve seen an increase in the number of gluten-free products available. Gluten-free diets are necessary for people with celiac disease, but is it right for me? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Some believe a gluten-free diet will them help lose weight, boost energy, treat autism, or improve general well-being. However, there is little to no evidence to support this. Gluten-free diets can be extremely challenging, expensive, and cause nutritional deficiencies. Although necessary for people with celiac disease, gluten-free diets may not be beneficial for those without.

Long term side effects from PPIs

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Prilosec and Nexium are great over-the-counter products used to treat heartburn that occurs 2 or more days a week. PPIs block acid secretion in the stomach. These agents are very effective with minimal side effects. However, vitamin B12 deficiency, pneumonia, low magnesium levels, and bone fractures are potential side effects associated with long-term use. It is important to talk to a doctor before using these agents long-term.

The importance of taking medication

It is estimated that 3 out of 4 Americans do not take their medication correctly. Non-adherence (not taking medication) may not seem like a big deal, but it can have harmful consequences. For example, untreated high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, and stroke. One common reason why people are unable to take their medication correctly is that they simply forget. Sand Run Pharmacy has a variety of pill planners available. Also, ask us about our multi-dose packaging program. These products help remind you to take your medication each day.

Springtime allergies

Spring is the time for all the plants to bloom! The buds on the trees start sprout, the flowers start to blossom, and we all start to sneeze. Instead of suffering through allergies and spending a fortune on tissues, stop by Sand Run Pharmacy and talk to our pharmacists about what medications will help you the most based on your symptoms; anything from sneezing and runny nose, to itchy and watery eyes.Some other ways to help deal with allergies is to limit your exposure to what might be causing your allergies, and washing your hands and clothes after coming inside.