Fall is here and soon will come winter. If you live in Minnesota like I do there are few chances to get sunlight and that means your Vitamin D level may be low. There is strong evidence to support the fact that low Vitamin D levels worsen rheumatoid arthritis. My suggestion is to take Vitamin D 2,000 IU daily and at your next doctor appointment have your Vitamin D level checked to confirm your correct dose. A website that may be of interest is http://www.naturalnews.com/042324_rheumatoid_arthritis_vitamin_D_deficiency_sunlight.html
Another nutrient that is helpful for arthritis pain is Curcumin which is found in capsule form. Curcumin is also known as the spice Tumeric.
If you would like to order these supplements call Service Drug at 1-800-950-4947.
Recently my daughter, a nurse complained of excruciating right upper arm pain. I thought she had been bitten by some sort of insect while at the beach but she insisted it was a blood clot. Her arm was swollen, red and hot to touch. The pain was persistent enough that she sought medical care. The third doctor she saw finally figured out that indeed she had a blood clot in her arm. Her only risk factor for the clot was estrogen/progesterone birth control pills. The treatment for her condition is Lovenox injections for a few days to thin the blood quickly and Coumadin or Warfarin tablets for six months to continue to thin the blood so the clot will dissolve. The danger of blood clots is that they can move from the arm or leg, and end up in the the lungs or brain which can be fatal. My advice to those who are taking an estrogen/progesterone birth control product is to take an 81mg Aspirin at least 3 times a week if not daily with food to prevent stomach upset. Aspirin should not be taken without a doctor’s order if you are on blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder.
Calcium is required for bone formation, bone strength and muscle function.
A diet low in calcium can result in unnecessary bone fractures, weakening of the spine and muscle cramping.
Dietary requirements for calcium by age are:
* 1yr to 3yrs 500mg or 2 servings of milk
*4yrs to 8 yrs 800mg or 3 servings of milk
*9 yrs to adult 1,000mg to 1,300mg or 4 servings of milk
***a serving of milk is 8 ounces or 240ml or one cupfull
Other sources of calcium:
soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, goat’s milk
* A great tasting calcium supplement for all ages is Adora calcium 500mg chocolate supplements. They are found in pharmacies with the calcium supplements and contain vitamin D. Both milk and dark chocolate are available and will make any chocolate lover happy. If you cannot find Adora calcium chocolates contact Service Drug and we can mail them to you with a credit card number. Service Drug # 1-800-950-4947. Our address is Service Drug 218 W Washington Brainerd, MN 56401
In case you have not done so prepare your summer survival kit.
* Sunscreen SPF 30 that is under 2 years old. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 2 hours or more often if swimming. Do not forget the top of the ears, nose and bald heads. LIpbalm with sunscreen is also great to have o hand.
* Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, instant ice packs
*Aloe with lidocaine to keep in the refrigerator. It instantly calms bug-bites, poison ivy, and sunburns
* Insect repellant that is safe to put on skin like lemon-eucalytus spray and an insect repellant for clothing only to protect yourself in the woods against ticks
* Talk to your doctor about a presciption for triamcinolone 0.1% cream for bad rashes and possibly an emergency prescription of doxycycline for tick borne diseases
Topical pain relievers can be used for joint and muscle pain. They are a good alternative or addition to oral pain medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. Topical pain relievers that work well contain methyl salicylate 10% or trolamine salicylate 10% or capsaicin 0.1%. These must be applied only to the area in pain and hand washing is required after application to avoid getting these medications in the eye. Examples of topical pain relievers are IcyHot, Aspercreme and Capzasin-HP.
A big chain pharmacy is not always better, give the small independent pharmacy a chance. All pharmacies that accept insurance for prescriptions charge the same amount for a copay and many times the independent pharmacy will have a better price for cash prescriptions. As an independent pharmacy owner I feel it is my responsibility to get to know my customers and to make sure the medications they are taking make sense for them with no bad drug interactions or side effects. My advice is to find a pharmacy where someone knows you and has time to answer your medication questions.
Two supplements that are of interest for type 2 diabetics are bitter melon and gymnema sylvestre. Bitter melon is known as a plant insulin and has been found to prevent sugar absorption from the intestines as well as increase the number of beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Gymnema sylvestre is an herb that delays glucose absorption along with other health benefits.
More information on bitter melon can can be found at the following websites, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_melon and http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/herbsvitaminsa1/a/Bitter_Melon.htm .
More information on gymnema sylvestre at the following websites, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2170951/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymnema_sylvestre
Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10 is found in all cells and has the primary function of generating energy. Low CoQ10 blood levels have been found in heart failure patients and those with atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries ) which leads to heart attacks and strokes. Taking CoQ10 supplements has been shown to increase life expectancy in heart failure patients. CoQ10 has other health benefits as well, including decreasing muscle pain that is caused by statin drugs that are used to lower cholesterol and decreasing the number and severity of migraine headaches. Research is being done to determine if CoQ10 is beneficial in the treatment of Huntington’s disease, cancer, cardiac arrest survival and high blood pressure. Doses of CoQ10 range from 100mg to 300mg daily. Information and references can be found at wikipedia.org/Coenzyme_Q10.
If you are spending the winter is a non tropical area you may need vitamin D. My recommendation is to get a vitamin d level checked at each yearly physical and to take vitamin D 2,000 iu daily. I am a breast cancer survivor and take an average of 5,000 iu daily to prevent my cancer from ever recurring, this has kept my level at 60ng/ml. Normal vitamin D levels should be between 20ng/ml and 80ng/ml. A reference from the National Institute of Health is available on the internet at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-QuickFacts/
* Builds the immune system
*Helps fight cancer
*Helps with depression
*Builds bone along with calcium
*Great for the heart
*Decreases muscle spasms
*Possible prevention and treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes
There have been several studies conducted concerning the link between low zinc levels and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms. Much more research needs to done on this subject. A few references on this subject can be found in the Pharmacy Today Journal December 2012 or at www.pharmacytoday.org. An internet search of zinc deficiency provides information on this topic and other health concerns caused by low zinc levels. Continue reading