Tips For Planning Your New Year’s Resolutions

New Year's ResolutionIt’s a new year which means it’s time to make resolutions.  In fact, 45% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions and the most common resolution is losing weight.  If you are like most people, you will discover that making resolutions is easy.  It’s keeping to them that is the challenge.

According to psychologist John Norcross, author of Changing for Good, studies show that people who resolve to change behaviors do much better than non-resolvers who have the same habits that need to be changed.  Statistics he has gathered reveal that, by the end of January, some 64% of resolvers are still sticking to their resolutions.  At six months, that number drops to 44%.

For this reason, many commentators have expressed the opinion that New Year’s resolutions are a waste of time. But in fact, experts say, the very act of making resolutions improves your odds of success.  The key, they say, to keeping your resolutions is planning.  You need a detailed blueprint that addresses how you will reach your goals in a way that leverages your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses.  Below are a few tips to help you stick with your New Year’s vows.

  • Have realistic expectations – Once you see you are capable of making changes in your behavior, it inspires confidence. Imagine yourself practicing a particular behavior change two weeks out, two months out, two years out, and if you can’t, then re-evaluate your goal to make sure it is doable.
  • Create detailed mini goals for yourself – Break your resolutions into lots of specific “baby steps.” This will allow you to see incremental progress toward your larger goals and provide greater motivation to keep going.
  • Enlist support – Studies show that social support is critical, especially after the first few weeks when your motivation may begin to flag. Seek out someone who will be there for you long-term.
  • Control your environment – Remove temptations that may distract you from your goals.  Surround yourself with people, places, and things that will help you change your behavior.
  • Reward yourself – Reward yourself along the way for continued motivation and success.
  • Anticipate slips and deal with them constructively – Setbacks are inevitable; it is how you respond to them that matters.  Use slip-ups as helpful reminders to remain strong and get back on track, not as excuses to give up.

Whatever your New Year’s resolutions for better health, remember that just by making them you are already ahead of the pack!

Tips for Healthy Holiday Travel

holiday travelIf you are traveling this holiday season, don’t let illnesses ruin your experience. Since winter is cold and flu season, it’s important to protect yourself and your family from common viruses that are around. Keep the following tips in mind, so that you can stay healthy while traveling during winter.

Common Winter Viruses

Which viruses should you be worried about when you travel during winter?

  • Seasonal influenza: More commonly known as the flu, this viral illness can cause serious complications for some individuals.
  • Common cold: Many different viruses can cause sneezing, a runny nose, coughing and other cold symptoms.
  • Norovirus: This gastrointestinal illness, which can cause nausea and diarrhea, is a concern if you’ll be taking a cruise this winter.
  • Mosquito-borne illnesses: If you’re traveling to a tropical climate, protect yourself from Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses.

Get Immunized

Being immunized can help protect you from certain illnesses. You should get your flu shot, which helps lower the risk of complications from flu viruses. Plan ahead, since the flu shot takes about two weeks to become fully effective. If you’re traveling abroad, you might need to get other kinds of immunizations, depending on where you’re going.

Take Supplements

Some dietary and over-the-counter supplements can help you stay in good health during your trip. Vitamin C can give your immune system a boost, which helps protect you from cold and flu viruses. Vitamin C also helps reduce inflammation if you get achy muscles during your trip. B complex vitamins can help you handle any stress you’re feeling about your trip. Keep in mind that stress can affect your immune system, which can increase your risk of getting sick. Probiotics can help ensure that your digestive system is healthy while you travel.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water while you travel helps different bodily systems function properly. Carry water with you while flying, or keep a cooler filled with bottled water in your car if you’re driving. You might also want to bring a refillable water bottle to carry around at your destination.

Get Physical Activity

No matter how busy you are while you’re away on vacation, it’s important to get regular physical activity. Staying active helps keep your body in good condition, lowering your risk of becoming ill. Simple activities, such as going for walks or doing stretches, are enough to provide you with this benefit during your trip.

Sleep Well

Hectic vacations can make it difficult to sleep, but your immune system needs a good night’s rest to function effectively. Try to stick to a regular sleep schedule during your travels if possible, and read or do another calming activity before bed instead of looking at any screens.

If you need to stock up on medications or dietary supplements before you travel, contact us at The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills. We are here for you!

Compounded Sinus Therapy

sinus therapySinusitis (a sinus infection) can cause pain, facial pressure, and headaches. Home treatments, such as laying a steamy washcloth over the face, can help with common sinus complaints. However, if you suffer from intense sinus pain and headaches, you may want to talk to your doctor about sinus therapy.

What is Sinus Therapy?

Sinus therapy is the treatment of sinusitis with prescription drugs and/or nasal irrigation. It includes several different types of medications that may be administered by a nasal nebulizer, sinus rinse or nasal spray. The medications are often combined with a saline solution and used during nasal irrigation. Depending upon the cause of your sinus infection, your doctor may suggest any of the following:

  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-biofilm agents
  • Antifungals
  • Mucolytics or mucus thinners
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Antihistamines

Treatment also depends upon whether you have chronic sinusitis, an acute sinus infection, allergic rhinitis, or other conditions of the sinuses. You may even receive a combination of the above treatments. The medications are typically given as nasal sprays, nasal irrigations, or by nasal nebulization. Physicians may also administer these medications in the office in the form of nasal gels that are placed deep into the sinus cavities.

When is Sinus Therapy Needed?

Sinus therapy is required whenever you have symptoms along the sinus passageways that don’t resolve on their own. Many conditions other than sinusitis can affect the sinuses, including allergic rhinitis, recurrent nasal polyps, fungal infection, or a buildup of biofilm and mucus. If you’ve had a recent sinus surgery, you may also need sinus therapy to treat post-operative crusting or infection during your recovery.

Sinus surgery is usually performed if you experience chronic sinus problems that don’t respond to conventional therapies. The purpose of sinus surgery is typically to improve your ability to drain the sinuses. This can be accomplished by removing sinus blockages, polyps, damaged or inflamed tissue, or bone. You have a greater chance of successful surgical results when you continue treatment to prevent future sinus problems. Compounded sinus formulations can help to keep your sinuses healthy following your surgery.

The Benefits of Sinus Therapy

The goals of sinus therapy are to treat the infection (which may be viral or bacterial) causing your symptoms, relieve pressure and pain by stimulating drainage, and reduce inflammation of the nasal and sinus passageways. To that end, topical sinus therapy – sinus solutions that are inhaled or applied nasally, provide the most efficient relief. Whether your doctor prescribes a sinus rinse, nose spray, or nebulizer solution, these formulations directly target the areas where your symptoms occur.

Directly targeting the sinuses also allows the medication to work while minimizing the potential for side effects that can occur when taking medications by mouth. We customize a compounded treatment will decrease mucous and inflammation right where these problems occur. And, the most important benefit of a compound medication is that the compounded sinus solution will be made specifically for your own needs, medical history, and sensitivities.

If you’re suffering from sinusitis or other sinus complaints, contact us. The knowledgeable pharmacists at The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can prepare the exact formulation prescribed by your doctor and answer any questions you have regarding your medication.

Who Is At Risk For Colorectal Cancer?

colorectal-canceer-awarenessColorectal cancer, or cancer of the large intestine (colon) and rectum, is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The rising prevalence of colorectal cancer leads to a few important questions. Who is most at risk for colorectal cancer? How do you know if you are at risk? Can you do anything to prevent colorectal cancer?

What Is a Risk Factor?

First, it is important to discuss what a risk factor is. A risk factor is any one thing that affects or increases your chances of contracting a disease, illness, or condition. There are numerous risk factors for most conditions, and having any one of them does not necessarily mean you will contract that disease. However, it does increase your risk for contracting the disease; in fact, having numerous risk factors further increases the likelihood you may contract the disease.

Fortunately, some risk factors are things you can address and change to decrease your risk. Others you cannot change, such as genetic factors. Finding out you have risk factors for a condition certainly does not mean you will contract that condition – and some people that contract a condition have no risk factors at all – but knowing your risk factors can help you address those that you can change.

What Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors Can You Change?

As mentioned, you can address certain risk factors to decrease your risk of contracting colorectal cancer. Pay attention to whether you have these risk factors:

  • Being overweight or obese. If you are overweight or obese, you are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. In particular, there is a connection between a larger amount of belly fat, the corresponding larger waistline, and colorectal cancer. This connection is stronger in men than it is in women.
  • Being physically inactive. An increased risk of colorectal cancer is also linked to low levels of physical activity. Although inactivity often goes hand in hand with being overweight, some relatively thin people are inactive. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity per day.
  • Eating a poor diet. A diet high in certain types of foods can increase your risk of colorectal cancer. In particular, consumption of a great deal of red meats and processed meats – beef, pork, lamb, sausages, bacon, and deli meats – is a risk factor for colorectal cancer. Avoid this risk factor by eating lean proteins instead, such as chicken, fish, and turkey.
  • Carcinogenic food preparation. Cooking meats at high temperatures, such as frying, broiling or grilling, may increase your risk for colorectal cancer. Grilling or charring meats produces carcinogenic chemicals that also may increase your risk. Reduce the frequency at which you use these methods, and avoid charring your meats.
  • Consuming alcohol. Doctors have connected alcohol consumption, especially moderate to heavy alcohol consumption, to increased risk of colorectal cancer, in addition to many other health risks, especially in men. Both men and women should avoid alcohol use, or limit use to no more than two drinks per day for men, and one per day for women.
  • Smoking. It is a well-known fact that smoking is a risk factor for lung, throat and mouth cancers. However, it’s also a risk factor for many other cancers, including colorectal cancer. Quitting smoking is one of the best ways to eliminate a colorectal cancer risk factor.

What Are Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors You Cannot Change?

Unfortunately, not all risk factors are things you can address and change on your own. However, awareness of these risk factors is important:

Increased Age

Both men and women experience gradually increasing colorectal cancer risks as they age. People older than 50 are at the highest risk, though younger adults are not immune. After 50, colorectal cancer screenings are much more common and insurance usually covers them.

Race and Ethnicity

Scientists aren’t sure why, but it appears certain groups are more susceptible to cancer. African -Americans have a higher rate of colorectal cancer than any other race, as well as the highest mortality rate resulting from colorectal cancer. Ethnic Ashkenazi Jews have the highest rate of colorectal cancer in the world.

Personal History of Polyps or Colorectal Cancer

If you currently have or have a history of colorectal polyps, you have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. This is also true if you have previously had colorectal cancer itself, even if you had the cancer removed or are in remission – your risk of developing colorectal cancer in another part of the colon or rectum remains higher.

Family History of Polyps or Colorectal Cancer

If you have a family member – particularly, a close family member such as a parent or sibling – with a history of either polyps or colorectal cancer, you are at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer yourself. Risk is especially high if that family member developed cancer before the age of 45.

Certain Genetic Predispositions

Certain genetic factors, mostly for polyp development, can increase your risk of colorectal cancer. These include Lynch syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, and MYH-associated polyposis. Identifying these syndromes is important to begin early cancer screenings.

Having Type II Diabetes or Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Although other factors, such as being overweight or physically inactive, also lead to diabetes and present risk factors, diabetic patients are at an increased risk of developing colorectal cancers and don’t respond as well to treatments. In addition, IBD such as Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis can increase your risk.

If you have one or more of these risk factors, consider it a reason to begin paying attention to your colorectal health. Remain vigilant in protecting your overall health and screening for colorectal cancer, and do what you can to eliminate the risk factors you can change.

Healthy Living Helps Decrease Risk Factors of Cancer

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In addition to following the above-mentioned guidelines on how to help minimize your risk for colorectal and other cancers, consider opting for customized health treatment programs that cater to your specific needs. This includes your prescription medication regimen.

The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills provides a more individualized approach to medications and can offer easier delivery systems that are gentler on the palate and digestive tract. Contact us today to learn more.

 

 

sourced by Matt Poteet, Pharm.D.

Benefits of Collagen

collagen_supplements_collagen_powder-1024x768Collagen powder has been gaining interest recently. Although it is often thought of as just a beauty product to help with skin aging, the benefits go far beyond.

 What Exactly is Collagen?

This insoluble protein accounts for a majority of  the protein in our body and is found mostly in skin, muscle, bone and connective tissue. It is also rich in the amino acids proline, glycine and hydroxyproline which are not typically present in food. There are 16 types of collagen, with type I, II, III, IV most commonly found throughout the body.

While our body produces collagen regularly, over time lifestyle factors can lead to reduced elasticity in cartilage, tendons, ligaments and skin. This leads to wrinkles, thin skin, joint discomfort and muscle weakness.

What are the Benefits?

Joint pain. As your cartilage weakens and deteriorates with age, you may start to experience stiff, achy joints. It’s possible that upping your collagen intake may help reduce joint pain and alleviate symptoms of arthritis.

In a 2009 study, participants took a type II collagen supplement made from chicken necks for 90 days. Results showed that osteoarthritis symptoms decreased by 40 percent while the severity of symptoms dropped by an impressive 33 percent.(1)

Skin health. This essential protein provides elasticity to the skin, helping it to appear more youthful and healthy. A study published in 2014 randomly chose women, ages 35-55 years old, to take a collagen hydrolysate supplement. They reported an improvement in skin elasticity within four weeks and reduced wrinkles after eight weeks.(2)(3)

Muscle health. Collagen contains a concentrated amount of glycine, an amino acid involved in the synthesis of creatine. Creatine provides muscles with the fuel needed to power through your workout. A 2015 study looked at men 53 and older with sarcopenia (muscle loss) and after 12 weeks of added collagen they saw an increase in muscle mass and fat loss.(4)

Digestive health. Collagen is in the gut’s connective tissue and can help support and strengthen the protective lining of your digestive tract. Any alterations in the barrier function of your intestine, also known as leaky gut syndrome, can allow particles to pass into the bloodstream and result in chronic inflammation.

There is a correlation between low collagen levels and individuals with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease).(5) In theory, increasing your intake of collagen could help build up the tissues that line your gastrointestinal tract and improve overall digestive function.

Where Can You Find Collagen?

If you want to consume collagen naturally, eat a well-balanced, high-protein diet that includes animal products such as beef, chicken, fish and egg whites. Another option is to supplement with collagen peptides. There are many different collagen products and bone broth powders on the market, however many might not reap the benefits. If you’re in the market for a quality collagen, contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills to see how we can help.

 

 

sourced by Brandi Grimmer, LPhT, CNC, Nutritional Consultant

(1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2764342/