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PHARMACY CORNER

Diabetes – Back to Basics

 

By Stephanie Simons,
Head Pharmacist,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire

We hear a lot about diabetes in Bermuda. This is because we have an extraordinarily high rate of it in our population: at about 14 per cent we have about double the global average. While we’ve previously discussed how to manage the disease and how to reduce your risk, I thought it was time for a crash course in diabetes, just in time for Diabetes Awareness Month.

Diabetes is a lifelong condition once it develops and can have serious effects on a person’s health and lifestyle. It is defined by the body’s inability to regulate sugar in the blood, known as glucose. We take in glucose in our food, when sugars and carbohydrates are broken down. It is what gives us the energy to get on with our lives, from focusing on work to running around with our kids. Glucose levels in the blood are controlled by a hormone known as insulin which allows the sugar to enter our cells.

But those with diabetes have problems with their insulin which means that the cells don’t get the energy they need and the glucose just builds up in their bloodstream. This causes all kinds of problems including fatigue, extreme thirst, inability to heal properly and blurry vision. There are also a number of serious complications that can arise from diabetes which is why it is so important to regulate the disease with the guidance of a medical professional.

There are two primary forms that diabetes takes: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 means that a person is unable to make insulin at all and it is considered more serious and is unavoidable for those who have it – scientists have yet to discover its cause. Approximately ten per cent of those who have diabetes have Type 1 and they must regulate their blood sugar with frequent insulin shots. Typically, Type 1 develops early in life, often in childhood, though there are exceptions.

Type 2 diabetes is much more common, particularly in Bermuda, and is defined by the body’s cells not responding to insulin the way it should and/or not being able to make enough of it. It can often be avoided with a healthy lifestyle, although there are certain risk factors that can determine how likely it is that you will develop it, including: obesity, family history, an inactive lifestyle and certain ethnic factors.

Those with diabetes must be vigilant about their health and at this time of year it is also important to think about the rise of seasonal illness. Those who have diabetes are often considered by medical professionals to be more at risk of sickness and developing complications which is why we recommend the flu shot for diabetes sufferers: it is better to be safe than sorry.

If you want to find out whether you may be at risk for Type 2 diabetes, Diabetes UK has created a useful diabetes risk assessor tool that you may find useful: https://riskscore.diabetes.org.uk/start. It is much more preferable to try to reduce our risk factors for diabetes than it is to manage the disease: prevention is king.

You can find out more about diabetes in Bermuda by checking out the Bermuda Diabetes Association online at their website here: http://www.diabetes.bm/

If you have any questions about diabetes, either in yourself or a loved one, or want to find out whether you might be at risk, please speak to your pharmacist or your doctor.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

 

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What Generic Means for You

By Stephanie Simons,
Head Pharmacist,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire

Have you ever heard people discussing “generic drugs” and not been sure what they were talking about? Helping our customers find the best medicine for them and their budget is one of the great services that your pharmacist can offer you, so we want to make sure that you’re not missing out!

When your doctor gives you a prescription for medication, they will sometimes specify a particular brand of product. However, our Pharmacy Act allows pharmacists to substitute a generic or less expensive equivalent to what your doctor has prescribed, so long as you agree, without having to contact you doctor.

Generic medications contain the same active ingredients as you would find in brand name medicine and will have the same overall effect. The only difference is the packaging, branding and, occasionally, the inactive ingredients. The inactive ingredients are the things in your medicine that don’t usually have an effect on your treatment – for instance, they might affect the superficial aspects of it, such as shape or taste of it.

Most prescription drugs are available as both a brand offering and generic. Our preference is ordinarily to offer our customers the generic option as they are much more cost effective. We would never offer you a medical treatment that we didn’t think would be just as effective as a popular brand or if we thought that there would be a negative trade-off in terms of the quality of the medication.

Generic medication is typically cheaper because the company producing them does not need to invest in research, testing or advertising – the drugs being produced are copies of medicines developed and tested by big names in pharmaceuticals, once their patents have ended.

Additionally, in Bermuda, we import all of our drugs in from different countries, so sometimes we may have sourced a cheaper, brand or alternative from a different market in order to give you access to more affordable medicine.

Generic drugs are not just limited to prescription medication, many over the counter medications, such as allergy and pain relievers, also have generic alternatives.

Your pharmacist has a record of your repeat and continuing medications and by returning to the same pharmacy over and over again, you can develop a productive rapport and work together to make sure that you are taking the medicine that best fits your needs and is affordable.

If you are on a long course of medication we also encourage you to give us feedback. If you feel that one type of generic or brand medication is working more effectively than another, then let us know. We are always happy to work with you to manage your health and budget.

To find out more about generic medications and to find out if there’s one you should be using, please speak to your pharmacist.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

 

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Clean Hands, Good Health

By Stephanie Simons,
Head Pharmacist,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire

September is the time of school-time and germs! That’s why the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) organisations, Cleans Hands Coalition, is celebrating International Clean Hands Week from September 16.

We are taught from a young age the importance of washing our hands before we eat, after we have used the bathroom and anytime our hands have got dirty. However, many adults lose this conscientiousness: The Royal Pharmaceutical Society found in 2017 that 84 per cent of British adults don’t wash their hands long enough to clean them of bacteria which can cause infections or viruses and that one in five adults does not wash their hands after using the bathroom and a third don’t before preparing food.

When we don’t wash our hands of bacteria, we leave ourselves open to all kinds of diseases and infections through the transference of fecal, mucus and other matter. This can result in illnesses such as salmonella, norovirus and conjunctivitis. The best way to avoid this is to instill a proper handwashing regimen any time you come into contact with dirty material, so: after the bathroom, after using public transport, after interacting with a sick person and throughout food preparation.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society recommends that hands must be washed for 20 seconds – long enough to hum “Happy Birthday to You” through twice – in order to effectively remove germs from them. There are also a number of useful guides about the method used to wash your hands, in particular this one from the UK’s National Health Service shows how to most effectively scrub yourself clean in the manner of surgeons.

At Lindo’s, we stock a wide range of hand-soaps, including natural ones, soaps for sensitive skin and super effective ones, such as Dial’s products.

We don’t always have the luxury, though, of having the time or facilities needed to wash our hands the old-fashioned way but that’s where hand sanitiser comes in handy! Portable and effective, a hand sanitiser is a great handbag or desk staple.

When choosing a hand sanitiser, you should look for one that has an alcohol content of at least 60 per cent, that you don’t dislike the smell of – the smell of hand sanitisers can be surprisingly long lasting – and does not include triclosan. Triclosan is an antibacterial chemical but it has recently been the subject of controversy as it may cause harmful side effects.

The CDC recommends that hand sanitisers should have an alcohol content of at least 60 per cent – the higher the alcohol content, the more germs and bacteria are eliminated. Lindo’s stocks Germ-X which is a powerful germ-killing hand sanitiser with an alcohol content of 63 per cent and comes in a range of handy sizes and scents. However, many people find that the high alcohol content in hand sanitiser can result in dry hands or may have sensitivities that that the alcohol can aggravate. To combat dry hands, it is worth investing in a hand cream (such as Nivea Hand Cream). For those who find alcohol-based sanitisers too harsh or for the very young, alcohol-free sanitisers can work, although they may be slightly less effective. CleanWell hand sanitisers are conveniently available as a foam cleanser and in wipe form and are formulated from natural ingredients designed to kill germs and leave hands soft.

When it’s not possible to wash your hands easily, such as when you’re out and about or using public transport – always a hotspot for bacterial transfer – then hand sanitiser is a great second option. Washing your hands will remove the germs from you altogether, whereas a hand sanitiser will kill them. However, there are certain bacteria that hand sanitisers are not effective against, including norovirus.

Using a hand sanitiser or washing your hands regularly can have a positive effect on your health but also on your productivity: a study in 2010 by BMC Infectious Disease Review found that office workers who used an alcohol-based sanitiser five times a day were two thirds less likely to get sick than the rest of their co-workers.

If you have any questions about how to keep your hands cleans or want product recommendations, please don’t hesitate to speak your Lindo’s pharmacist!

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

 

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Keeping an Eye on Your Health

By Stephanie Simons,
Head Pharmacist,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire

Summer is in full swing now and many of us are enjoying spending our days out in the sunshine. It is important, though, to take care of ourselves as we make the most of the good weather. Along with the risk of sun burn and dehydration, summer brings around greater instances of eye injuries – particularly in children – so we have put together some tips to take care of your sight this season.

Allergy sufferers often put up with symptoms all year round in Bermuda and summer is no exception, with our native flowers in bloom across the island. Allergy medications can help to keep itchy eyes, rashes and sniffles to a minimum but if you prefer to target the symptoms directly without dealing with any other possible side effects, such as drowsiness, drops such as Visine AC, Otrivin-Antistin and Opticrom can be very effective.

While encouraging your children to play outside is wonderful for developing their sense of imagination and will allow them to get a good workout, parents often come to expect injuries to happen – amongst these are eye injuries which can be caused by rough play, branches or dust. This is a normal part of growing up and shouldn’t deter parents from letting children explore the great outdoors, but it pays to be prepared.

A bruised or swollen eye should be treated in much the same way as a regular bruise would be treated: a cold pack should be applied to the injury for short periods of time. Pain can be relieved with over the counter painkillers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil).

An irritated eye that has dust or other particles in it can be flushed with an eyewash such as Optrex which will soothe the eye and help to dislodge anything stuck in it. It is also important to avoid rubbing the injury which might make it worse, even though it will itch.

Swimming is a great way to cool off, but it can irritate the eyes, whether it is seawater or chlorine from the pool. If you have a swimming pool, check that it is not overchlorinated – this can cause stinging pain and dry eyes. The correct pH level for a swimming pool is 7.4, which is the same level as the pH level for human eyes. It can be helpful for children to wear goggles while they are swimming, to keep irritants out.

Many people complain of feeling dried out in the summer, as air conditioners are switched on more regularly and, as a result, dry eyes are a common symptom of this. To avoid this, take care to minimise the use of your air conditioner at home: if it is a breezy day, encourage a cross draft by opening windows on opposite sides of the house and use an electric fan. Before bedtime on warm nights, run the air conditioning on full until it’s time to sleep and then switch off the air conditioning in favour of an electric fan. If dry eyes become too uncomfortable then you may want to use an eye-drop product such as Systane, Genteal or Blink, which help to lubricate the eyes and ease any discomfort.

Whenever a group of children are in close contact with one another, there is always the risk of a spread of infection. This can often lead to the much dreaded ‘pink eye’ sweeping through your child’s friendship circle or siblings. Polysporin Antibiotic Eye Drops can help to treat these quickly and efficiently and does not require a prescription: you may find it useful to keep a bottle in your medicine cabinet if a family member is prone to eye infections.

In addition to obvious physical ailments, it is important to look after the long-term health of your eyes: wearing sunglasses and a hat will help reduce glare and strain and will reduce the chance of squinting which can result in headaches.

If eye pain, redness or itching lasts longer than a few hours, then you should consult a pharmacist or a doctor. If there is any sensitivity to light or signs of a progressing infection, such as a build up of ‘eye gunk’ or if the eye has been scratched, then you should make an appointment to see a doctor.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

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Play safe around the water this summer

By Stephanie Simons,
Head Pharmacist,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire

 

Swimming, boating, diving, snorkelling, fishing, jet skiing: Bermuda is surrounded by water and we appreciate its ability to cool and entertain us all summer long.

We do, however, need to respect it and the potential risks we face when in, on or around it. From drowning to the increased effects of the sun, water can pose a number of hazards that can turn a fun day to an awful memory.

To begin, when on the water, be sure to drink lots of water. It is easy to get dehydrated when in the sun all day, so plan for at least 125 mL of water per person for every half hour in the sun.

According to the CDC, most child drownings happen at a residential pool and most adult drownings occur around open water. Drowning can occur in mere minutes, and a small child can drown in just a few centimetres of water. Teaching children from a young age to be careful around water is the first step; tell them that they are never to go in water without asking permission, and sign them up for swimming lessons as young as 6 months of age. And whether in lessons or not, children should always wear a flotation device and should always be supervised when around water. Everyone, children and adults alike, should wear a flotation device during water sports.

Extended exposure to the sun’s rays is inevitable when enjoying a day on the water. Even an overcast day can cause harm to unprotected skin.

Broad spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVB rays, which cause sunburn, and UVA rays which are also harmful and cause the skin to age. Choose a broad spectrum with 30 to 50 SPF (Sun Protection Factor) for best protection.

The US Food and Drug Administration changed labelling guidelines for sunscreen in 2017, and what used to be referred to as waterproof must now be called water-resistant. Neutrogena, Ocean Potion, Coppertone and Banana Boat all have water resistant and sweat resistant formulations.

There are many choices now for sunscreen, so there is no excuse to go without. We sell Eco-friendly brands (reef safe) by Raw Elements and Sol Rx and cruelty free Vegetarian or Vegan products by Alba Botanicals and Kiss My Face. Zinc Oxide is the safest and best way to filter UVA and UVB rays; look for products from Think Baby and Blue Lizard.

Whatever you choose, apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outside, and use approximately the amount of one shot glass for complete body coverage. Sunscreen should be reapplied every 80 minutes and always reapply after getting out of the water, even if you use a water-resistant brand.

If possible, avoid direct exposure to the sun between 10:00am and 4:00pm and wear clothes that cover your skin: there are a lot of SPF products for kids and adults alike. Wear a hat and protect your eyes with polarized sunglasses.

Even the most careful sunbather can suffer the odd sunburn. If you have overdone it, cover the area with a cool, damp towel or take a cool shower and leave the skin moist. Use a moisturizer with aloe vera or soy or even hydrocortisone cream to relieve the skin. Since a sunburn can cause dehydration, drink extra water.

Summer is here and Bermuda’s beautiful waters beckon. Armed with a little knowledge, common sense and some water-safe products, your day by the water can go – well, swimmingly.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

 

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Men’s Health Month

MENS HEALTH-PHARMACY CORNER-2018-

By Stephanie Simons,
Head Pharmacist,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire

 

This month we’re going to talk about men’s health. So much emphasis in lifestyle and health media is placed upon women, but it’s important to talk about men’s issues, too. June sees the United Kingdom celebrating Men’s Health Week from June 11-17 and the United States recognising Men’s Health Month. The goal of these events is to raise awareness of preventable health problems and to encourage earlier detection and treatment of them among men and boys.

The biggest killers of men in the United States today are heart disease and cancer, according to the Center for Disease Control. However, there are many things that can be done to reduce the risk of these diseases.

The first of which is to ensure a proper, well-rounded diet which contains a full spectrum of nutrition supplemented by an active lifestyle. This combination is the surest route to maintaining a healthy weight, which will greatly decrease the chance of heart disease. In addition to men requiring more calories than women – usually 2,500 calories a day to women’s 2,000 – men and women have slightly different needs when it comes to nutrition.

To ensure that your nutritional needs are met, we suggest taking a multivitamin specifically formulated for men, such as One-a-Day’s Men’s Health Formula or Centrum Men. These supplements will contain more zinc than a regular supplement, which aids in the production of testosterone in men. Many will also contain an antioxidant known as lycopene, which has been shown to reduce the chance of prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society (ACS) has deemed prostate cancer the most common cancer in men, with one in nine being diagnosed with it in their lifetime.

Additionally, men may want to try Tonkat Ali Honey, Maca Powder Honey with Muira Puama or Yohimbe Bark Honey with Red Ginseng – these are honeys supplemented with herbs which enhance male performance and/or benefit the prostate.

Prostate cancer develops mainly in older men, particularly those of African-American descent. About 60 per cent of cases are diagnosed in men aged over the age of 65 and it is rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis is approximately 66.

In addition to ensuring that your diet is well rounded, ACS recommends that men eat at least two and a half cups of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day, keep physically active and stay at a healthy weight. This is, of course, a recipe for a healthy life, not just for cancer prevention.

In addition to ensuring that your body has everything it needs to work at its best, it’s important to take care of your external body, too. That’s why many skincare brands now carry products specially formulated for men. These products can include more masculine scents and even formulations: a man’s skin is estimated to be approximately 25 per cent thicker than that of a woman’s. Dove and Nivea both offer soaps specially formulated to clean and moisturise men’s skin and both brands, as well as Neutrogena offer daily moisturisers.

Men also have to consider sun protection, which can reduce the chance of skin cancer – a serious risk in sunny Bermuda. By investing in a daily moisturiser that contains sun protection, this will help to protect the skin. Alternatively, getting into the habit of applying sunblock as part of your morning routine – after washing your face – will also work and will help to keep your complexion youthful!

While it is good to observe awareness events such as Men’s Health Week or Month, the important thing is to take on this awareness all year round and to take care of yourself properly. If you have any questions or concerns about male health, please don’t hesitate to consult a pharmacist or a medical professional.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

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Hurricane Preparedness – Building a First Aid Kit

Building a first aid kit-pharmacy corner-article

By Stephanie Simons,
Head Pharmacist,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire

Bermuda’s hurricane season runs from June until November each year, which is why Hurricane Preparedness Week is being held in the last week of May. This is a time for islanders to take the time to consider what their plan is in the event of a major storm. While many of us have weathered previous hurricanes, it always pays to be vigilant. There may be new factors to consider that you didn’t have to in the last hurricane season, such as having recently moved, having a new pet or a new addition to the family.

As part of your planBuilding a first aid kit-pharmacy corner-kits for the stormy season, you should take stock of your hurricane supplies and ensure that it includes a full first aid kit. In fact, every home should have one of these, not only during hurricane season. This can be built from scratch or you can buy a pre-packed one from Curad. The benefit of building one yourself is that you can fill it with items that are relevant to your household and use brands that you prefer. We recommend using an air tight container to store the ‘ingredients’ of your first aid kit.

You can get children involved in the process of making a first aid kit by inviting them to choose fun plasters from our selection, including Band-Aid’s Disney Characters selection and Curad’s Sesame Street and Camo selection. Additionally, assembling a first aid kit is a good opportunity to sit down with younger members of the family and discuss the basics of first aid, infections and the importance of hygiene.

The foundation of every good first aid kit is the bandages. The National Hurricane Survival Initiative recommends that each first aid kit should be stocked with a minimum of twenty band aids (of various sizes), two triangular bandages (for slings), two rolls of cohesive bandages, a roll of gauze, a sterile dressing, adhesive tape and at least four sterile gauze pads.

In addition to the bandages, a good first aid kit also needs antiseptic wipes, saline solution, hand sanitiser, a couple of pairs of medical gloves, antibacterial ointment and a cold pack an instant one (made by Cara) can be kept in the kit and even a re-usable one (Nexcare) which you can keep in the freezer. You should also include a pair of scissors and Building a first aid kit-pharmacy corner-infotweezers. These supplies will help you to treat cuts, grazes and swellings.

Finally, a good first aid kit should contain some pain reliever, such as Tylenol or Advil, and any other medication that is regularly used, Benadryl, for instance. I would also recommend Optrex, which will help to wash out sand, dust or anything else that you might get in your eye.

As well as these generic medications, ahead of a hurricane you should ensure that family members have a good supply of any prescription medication they may need during a hurricane and for the days after. However, most pharmacies will typically re-open very quickly after a storm.

For those who don’t want to assemble their own first aid kit, Lindo’s offers two sizes of readymade ones from Curad. These come in two sizes: complete (with 175 pieces) and compact (75 pieces). These are handy and affordable, although you may wish to add to them with any medications or supplies that you need prefer.

In addition to your new first aid kit, you should also ensure that you have bottled water, non-perishable food, batteries, a radio and a flashlight. All of these can be bought at Lindo’s and a member of staff will be happy to help you if you need assistance in finding them.

While there is no need to worry excessively about the possibility of hurricanes, having an effective first aid kit in your home will help you set your mind at rest and may come in handy all year round, particularly if you enjoy boating or camping.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

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Earth Day

Earth day Pharmacy Corner-article

By Stephanie Simons,
Head Pharmacist,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire

Given our island home’s incredible natural beauty, many of us also feel committed to minimising our impact on the environment. We can also feel particularly sensitive to environmental issues such as climate change and global warming, and we are often the first to feel its effects. Over the past few hundred years, Bermuda has seen rising sea levels and the sea temperatures increase. This warming effect has also been linked to increased hurricane activity.

For those who are interested in the protection of our environment, you may consider celebrating Earth Day, an annual event which honours our planet and raises awareness about the issues that affect it. April 22 will see more than a billion people participating in Earth Day. Some of this year’s Earth Day campaigns include reforestation, ending plastic pollution and promoting green cities.

Many of our customers don’t realise how many earth-friendly options there are when it comes to supplements, beauty products and even feminine hygiene, so I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the products we stock.

When it comes to vitamins and supplements, we know that many of our customers want to know exactly what it is that they’re taking, so organic and natural supplements are a great solution. Brands such as Yummi Bears offer organic options to put your mind at rest and to minimise synthetic ingredients.

Another vitamin brand, Rainbow Light, has developed its own trademarked packaging, known as Eco-Guard bottles which are made from recycled consumer plastic, which has reduced their carbon footprint by 92 per cent and has saved more than ten million plastic bottles from being produced every year. In a pledge that will resonate with Bermudians, their motto for sustainability is “More Ocean, Less Plastic.”

Earth day Pharmacy Corner-productsWe are proud to stock a wide variety of Dr Bronner’s products, including the All-in-One soap range. This is an incredibly versatile product that can be used for washing your face, body, hands, and hair, rinsing fruit, washing dishes by hand, doing laundry, mopping floors, all-purpose cleaning and much more. But best of all, the brand is committed to green practices and has pledged not to create avoidable waste, harm the land, people or animals. Their company policy of using 100 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic packaging and to supporting regenerative organic agriculture means that you can feel good about using their products.

Even your toothpaste can be environmentally friendly these days, and Lindo’s is pleased to be able to offer My Magic Mud Activated Charcoal Toothpaste for Whitening in two flavours: Peppermint and Cinnamon Clove. These products are free of glycerine, fluoride, GMOs and sodium lauryl sulphate, but still keep your teeth clean and white! This is a great option for people who would like to reduce the number of chemicals in their everyday routine.

When it comes to everyday products creating waste, one of the biggest offenders are feminine hygiene products. It is estimated that close to 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators are dumped into North American landfills every year and they can take decades or even centuries to biodegrade. That’s why we’re pleased to offer a more sustainable option from Natracare, who have pledged themselves to making their carbon footprint as soft as possible. Their products are made from natural materials, gynaecologist recommended, sustainably sourced and certified organic.

At Lindo’s we are committed to providing environmentally friendly and sustainable options to our customers and this includes not only the products listed above, but many more. Included in our selection of Earth friendly products are options for deodorants, shampoo, conditioner and skincare. If you have any questions about organic or green products at Lindo’s pharmacies, please ask a pharmacist.

To find out more about Earth Day, please visit www.earthday.org.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

 

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Kidneys Are More Important Than You Might Know

Kidney Health

By Stephanie Simons,
Head Pharmacist,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire

 

Kidney Month is observed during March – a month dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease.

The kidneys are two bean shaped organs, about the size of a fist, located just below the rib cage. Every day, they together filter about 200 quarts of blood to remove waste and extra fluid from the body. This waste is then removed from the body through urine.

The kidneys play an important role in the overall health of our bodies. In addition to removing waste and fluid, they help to control blood pressure by controlling fluid levels and making renin, a hormone that regulates blood pressure. They control acid levels, produce erythropoietin, a hormone that enables bone marrow to make red blood cells, and make active Vitamin D, which absorbs calcium and phosphorus for strong bones.

Kidney Health-cross section

Cross section view of a human kidney. The kidney is filled with nephrons that filter blood and generate urine.

If kidneys are damaged, they are not able to do these important jobs. Waste can build up in the body and symptoms such as ankle and feet swelling, vomiting, weakness, itchiness, sleep problems and shortness of breath can develop. Bones become weak and brittle and it can be difficult to concentrate. If kidneys are severely damaged, kidney failure can become a threat and dialysis or organ transplant are the only options.

But many who have kidney disease, known as Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD, don’t even know it; it can start slowly and develop very gradually, so symptoms sometimes don’t appear until the later stages. It therefore helps to know the risk factors and understand habits for good kidney health.

At higher risk for CKD are those with diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history of kidney disease. People of Aboriginal, Asian, African/Caribbean and Hispanic descent, as well as anyone over the age of 50 years old, tend to be higher risk. Those who smoke or are obese are also at risk.

Testing for CKD is relatively easy. A blood test or urine test will give doctors the information they need to determine if you have CKD.

Fortunately for those without the typical risk factors, kidneys are adaptable and able to make up for loss of function. And nutrition can play a major role in kidney health. The key is proper balance of important nutrients.

Water is essential for the kidneys, because it helps them to remove waste from the body and opens up blood vessels to allow blood to travel freely. It is important to not get dehydrated.

Too much sodium in the body can damage the kidneys, so foods high in sodium, such as deli meats, canned and prepared foods, fast foods and some seasonings should be limited. Protein is important to fight infection, but too much protein produces too much urea, a waste that can build up if the kidneys can’t eliminate it properly.

Minerals such as potassium and phosphorus are important but must be kept in check and possibly limited. Potassium helps regulate heart rate and aids muscle health, but if kidneys are not functioning properly, high potassium levels can affect heart rate and possibly cause a heart attack. High potassium foods include potatoes, bananas, squash, legumes, dairy and peanut butter.

Phosphorus keeps bones strong and healthy, but poorly functioning kidneys can’t remove it from the body and too much phosphorus can cause bone weakness and calcium deposits. Phosphorus is found in dairy, protein foods, seeds and nuts and processed foods.

Someone with reduced kidney function might consider taking Vitamins B, C and D, iron and calcium supplements to aid with kidney function, however it is important to take supplements only under the advice of a doctor.

The kidneys are not something that people think about, but a better understanding of our kidneys and how they work can go a long way. This month, take time to consider your kidneys – you would miss them if they were gone.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

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Heart Healthy

Heart Healthy-Pharmacy Corner 2018-p2

By Stephanie Simons,
Head Pharmacist,
Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire

 

It is February, which means that Valentine’s Day is upon us. Synonymous with Valentine’s is the symbol of a heart – or in this day and age, the heart emoji! But I want to take a moment to talk about a different matter of the heart: heart health. The human heart is vital to our wellbeing, so it is important that we take proper care of it.

There are certain factors that can increase your likelihood of having heart disease, so it is important to recognise and address them: high blood pressure; high cholesterol; unhealthy diet or obesity; diabetes and smoking. Although there is nothing that can be done about them, other risk factors to be aware of are having a family history of heart disease and age: the older you get, the greater your risk of heart disease.

Some of these risk factors are particularly pertinent for Bermuda: we have an obesity and diabetes problem. In 2017, the Ministry of Health found that 34.4 per cent of adult Bermudians were obese, compared to 26.9 per cent of adults in the United Kingdom and we are beaten only by the United States, with 38.2 per cent. We also have a diabetes rate of 13 per cent among our population – nearly twice the average globally. In particular, Type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle, is common here.

Heart Healthy-Pharmacy Corner 2018-insetTo keep your heart healthy, take a look at your lifestyle and diet. If you are at risk for diabetes, it is better and easier to correct our eating and exercising habits before we get the disease. Making sure that you eat a well-balanced and well-portioned diet, with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and a good mix of colours, will help to reduce your chance of heart disease and go a long way towards making you feel healthier.

Making exercise a part of your routine is vital and will keep your body running at peak efficiency. Regular exercise helps to keep your weight lower, reduces blood pressure and can lower your cholesterol.

Omega-3 is often touted as a vital nutritional aid for those who want to keep themselves healthy – and with good reason. Omega-3 is a fatty acid which help reduce risk factors for heart disease, including high cholesterol and blood pressure. Omega-3 can be found in oily fish, walnuts and salmon. If these aren’t staples of your diet, though, then you can supplement it with cod liver oil (Seven Seas) other fish oils or flaxseed oil made by Nature’s Bounty among other brands. For those with cholesterol concerns, supplements such as Cholest-Off and Co-Enzyme Q10 can help you to keep your cholesterol levels in the healthy range – although this must be supported by a healthy diet.

Smoking and drinking heavily can put a lot of strain on the body. Smoking narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to pass and easier for blood clots to block them off. If you want to quit smoking, there are products than can help, such as Nicotinell and Nicorette patches or gum. If you want advice on how to quit smoking, please consult with a pharmacist or smoking cessation specialist, who will be happy to discuss the best option for you.

Meanwhile, excessive drinking raises blood pressure, putting you at risk for heart disease. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines low-risk drinking as no more than three drinks on any single day and no more than seven drinks per week for women. For men, it is defined as no more than four drinks in a day and no more than 14 drinks per week.

For some people who are at risk for heart disease, many health professionals recommend aspirin therapy. This is the practice of taking a baby aspirin (81mg) daily, which many studies have found to reduce the change of a heart attack. This is because heart attacks are caused by a blood clot blocking supply of the blood to the heart and aspirin lowers the blood’s clotting factor, which reduces the chance of blood clots. This therapy is recommended to those who:

  • Have already had a heart attack.
  • Have a stent, have had coronary bypass surgery or have chest pain caused by angina.
  • Are considered high risk for a heart attack.
  • Have diabetes and at least one other high-risk factor.

To find out more about whether or not aspiring therapy is for you, you should consult with your doctor or pharmacist.

It is important to look after yourself, and this includes regular physicals with your doctor, who will be able to catch things that you may not notice. This Valentine’s Day, make your greatest gift to your loved ones a renewed commitment to taking care of yourself.

Stephanie Simons is the head pharmacist at Lindo’s Pharmacy in Devonshire. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and has been practicing for over 20 years. She is a registered pharmacist with the Bermuda Pharmacy Council and is a member of the Bermuda Pharmaceutical Association.

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