Wasp, hornets and  bees are active now.  Check your first aid kit to be sure products used for stings are in date and in good supply.

Supplies for insects bites

  1. Benadryl of Diphenhydramine in capsule and liquid form
  2. Epipen or Auvi-Q for severe reactions. These are prescription items. Request an epinephrine device from your physician even if you are not severely allergic to stings. Someone you know will be and each time you are stung the reaction can become worse. Coupons are available to help with epinephrine costs. Check out or
  3. Instant ice packs
  4. Aloe gel with lidocaine
  5. Home remedies include applying a slice of raw onion, meat tendurizer or a baking soda paste to the sting site

Diabetic News

New drugs have been approved for Type 2 diabetics

!. Afrezza- Afrezza is rapid acting insulin in a powdered form. It is inhaled and would be a replacement for Humalog or Novolog.  Afrezza cannot be used in patients with asthma or COPD.  Check out the website for more information.

2.  SGLT2 Inhibitors- Invokana, Farxiga, and Jardiance are excellent oral medications for Type 2 diabetics.  They work by having excess glucose excreted in the urine. Kidney function must be in good shape to use these drugs.  These drugs lower blood pressure and can cause weight loss.  Metformin and other diabetic medications can be used with this group of drugs if needed to get better control of blood glucose levels.  Check out…/SGLT2Inhibitors-A-New-Treatment-Optio.

Chronic Urinary Tract Infection

Chronic urinary tract infections or UTIs are common in the elderly. The cause of the urinary tract infection can be due to a sedentary lifestyle and inadequate fluid intake. Often urinary tract infections go undetected because the usual symptoms of painful urination or blood in the urine do not present themselves.  The urinary tract infection  may only be discovered when the patient ends up in the ER due to lethargy, fever and confusion.  Cranberry Mannose supplements taken daily can prevent urinary tract infections by creating an environment in the bladder that will not allow bacterial growth. Probiotics taken daily can also be helpful in the prevention of urinary tract infection.

NOW Cranberry Mannose Packets or Capsules are excellent products for UTI prevention.  NOW products are available for pick up or mail order at Service Drug. Please call 218-829-3664.

Good Health Tips


1. If your are allergic to the poison ivy or poison oak plant take an antihistamine before you go to an area known for these plants to help prevent allergic reactions.  Antihistamines that do not cause drowsniness are Allegra or Fexofenadine and Claritin or Loratadine. It is critical that you shower with a strong soap such as fels naptha ,ivory or a poison ivy soap and laundry all clothing immediately after exposure to the plant and it’s oils. These tips should prevent or lessen the alllergic rash reaction caused by poison ivy or poison oak.

2.  Preventing Dementia – Vitamin D has been found to found to decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease if blood levels of Vitamin D are kept above 50nmol/l. This information was published in a study found in the journal Neurology, August 2014. Please get a Vitamin D level during your next medical visit and let your health care provider know that you need to keep your Vitamin D level at a miniumum of 50.  There are so many reasons to take Vitamin D, please check out my past blog posts for additional information on Vitamin D.

3.  Medicare Part D – Medicare Subscribers, November is the month to renew or change your Medicare Part D insurance. Medicare Part D is the part of medicare that covers prescription costs. Contact your insurance agent or ask your pharmacist for information about which plans fit your prescription needs and your budget.  The changes you make in November will begin on January 1, 2015.

Summer First Aid KIts

It is time to prepare your summer first aid kit.  The following is a list of essential items.

* Sunscreen SPF 30 that is unjder 2 years old.  Suncreen should be applied every hours or more if swimming of sweating profusely.    do not forget to apply sunscreen to the top of the ears, nose and bald heads.  LIpbalm with sunscreen is also great to have on hand.

* Band-aids, antibiotic ointment and instant ice packs

* Poison ivy soap examples are Grandma’s Poison Ivy Soap, Fels-Naptha, Zanfel

* Insect repellent

* Talk to your doctor about emergency supplies of the following: Triamcinolone 0.1% Cream for poison ivy and other rashes caused by allergens.  Silvadene Cream for burns and Epipen for severe allergic or anaphylatic reactions to bee stings.  Doxycycline 100mg a quantity of 2 for deer ticks that have been attached for less than 36 hours.  This preventative dose of doxycycline must be taken within 72 hours of the tick bite.

Medication Side Effects

Every medication has side effects.  Two types of prescription medications that cause problem side effects for many people are the ace inhibitors and the statins.

The most common ace inhibitor is lisinopril.  Side effects that may require a change of medication include constant cough or feeling that the throat needs to be cleared. This worsens at bedtime. The throat may also feel as if it is swollen.

The statins include lipitor ( atorvastatin ), Zocor (simvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), mevacor (lovastatin) and crestor. The statin side effect that may require a change of medication is muscle pain.  Arm, leg and back pain occur in up to 10% of those taking statins.  The combination of a statin with the over the counter supplement COQ10 100mg to 200mg daily may alleviate the muscle pain.  If the muscle pain is intolerable a medication change to a different cholesterol lowering agent should be made.


Vitamin D Levels

I am a two time breast cancer survivor.  My last round with breast cancer was in November 2014.  Treatment consisted of a lumpectomy and the suggestion of chemo therapy and herceptin.  I declined both drug treatments due to the toxic effects they would have on my heart.  The treatment plan I have chosen involves turning my immune system into a cancer fighting machine.  A critical part of my plan involves maintaining a Vitamin D level of at least 70 ng/ml.  I have been taking 9,000 iu of Vitamin D daily for months and my blood level was only 37 ng/ml.  This information led me to research Vitamin D absorption and I found that to maximize absorption Vitamin D must be taken with a meal that includes fat.  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin.  If you are feeling tired, depressed and constantly fighting colds and flu get your Vitamin D level checked.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome or RLS is a nervous system disorder that causes the legs and sometimes the arms or torso to feel like they are crawling, have electricity or water running through them. Restless Legs Syndrome affects up to three percent of the population and is more common in women than men. Prescription medications used for treatment include Mirapex, Requip, Gabapentin and Lyrica. Low iron levels may contribute to RLS.  Over the counter supplements that can be helpful are iron supplements depending on iron level, B Vitamins and Magnesium. In addition to supplements, a homeopathic tablet called Hylands Restful Legs has been helpful in many of my Service Drug clients.