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.

Is it a headache or a migraine ?

Do your headaches last a whole day or even longer? Do they feel like they’re pulsing and in one specific area? Have they ever made you nauseous, sick, or kept you from participating in your daily activities? Well, those aren’t headaches at all; those are migraines. There are several different types of migraines that could be affecting you and over the counter medications may not do the trick. The good news is you can treat your migraines and even prevent them from coming on with prescription medication! Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your migraines today.

Cough and Cold medications for kids

Did you know cough and cold treatments vary in children depending completely on their age? Over the counter products are not considered safe in some children. If the child is less than 4 years old NO medications are recommended to be used for cough and cold, symptoms. In these kids, it is appropriate to use saline drops, a humidifier, warm fluids, and/or honey to combat those symptoms. For ages 4-6 using an over the counter medication is okay ONLY if a pediatrician suggests it. In ages 7 and above, medications are considered safe if the directions are properly followed.

Pneumonia

According to the CDC, around 50,000 people die each year from pneumonia, but only 67% of adults older than 65 have received their pneumonia vaccines.  The main bacteria that causes pneumonia is called Streptococcus Pneumoniae, which is the bacteria the vaccines helping to protect you from.  There are two pneumonia vaccines available, Prevnar 13 and Pneumovax 23.  The CDC currently recommends that once you are older than 65, you should get Prevnar 13 followed by Pneumovax 23 around 6-12 months later.  They also recommend getting these vaccines if you are susceptible to pneumonia, including patients with diabetes or asthma/COPD.