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/

Managing Your Cat’s High Blood Pressure

cat hypertensionAlthough your cat may seem to have little reason for stress or high blood pressure, feline hypertension is a serious yet common health threat to many house cats. High blood pressure in cats can occur without any discernible cause; however, it is typically a symptom of another disease. Hypertension can commonly occur in both kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. Obesity and genetic components can also contribute to the likelihood of a cat developing high blood pressure. No matter the cause, high blood pressure can cause significant harm to a cat if not treated promptly.

Symptoms of Hypertension

If hypertension is not detected through a routine vet checkup, some of the symptoms can include:

  • Circling
  • Disorientation
  • Blindness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Seizure
  • Stroke
  • Vomiting

Unfortunately, high blood pressure often does not have any warning signs for owners to watch for. Because of this, it is important to take your cat to the vet regularly. Much like humans, senior cats are particularly vulnerable to hypertension.

Detecting Hypertension

Blood pressure in cats is measured the same way as it is in humans. A small cuff is placed on either the cat’s leg or tail and the reading is taken. Occasionally, a cat will have anxiety while at the vet. This can increase a blood pressure reading, resulting in a false positive. To help prevent this, try to keep your cat calm and still. The standards for cat blood pressure are:

  • 159/95 and below – Normal
  • 160/119 to 179/100 – Hypertension. (Treatment should be administered)
  • 180/120 and above – Severe hypertension. (Immediate treatment should be administered)

Treatment

Fortunately, hypertension is easily manageable if found and treated early. The first step in treatment is determining whether the high blood pressure is being caused by an underlying disease. Once determined, the underlying disease is treated.

Specific treatments for feline hypertension is similar to treatment in humans. In some cases, medication such as an ACE inhibitor and diuretic may be administered. The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can customize these medications into a flavored pill that tastes like liver or tuna making it much easier to administer to your cat. Many vets will also recommend a low sodium diet for cats with high blood pressure. With early detection and routine vet care, the prognosis for managing feline hypertension is typically positive.

Unfortunately, your cat can’t tell you when there’s something wrong. Thankfully, your vet can. Routine vet visits are the best ways to prevent illness and ensure your cat is both healthy and happy for years to come.

 

 

 

sourced by CareFirst Specialty

Benefits of Compounding Medication for Patients With Allergies

compounding pharmacistIf you have reactions to certain types of allergens, you have to be very careful about what you consume. The severity of allergic reactions can vary; they can range from a short bout of minor itching to a full-blown episode of anaphylactic shock.

You also have to be very careful about the medication you take. Both pill and liquid forms of prescription and over-the-counter medications contain fillers, binders, and other substances that are made of ingredients, such as dyes, to which you may be allergic. This can make the medication that you need to be taking to get well a potentially fatal treatment.

The Allergens in Medication

There is a wide range of allergens that are commonly found in the inactive ingredients that bind the active ingredients in medication together. Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Gelatin
  • Peanut oil derivatives
  • Wheat
  • Dairy
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Coconut

Are There Allergens in Your Prescription Medication?

The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can reformulate a prescription to exclude unwanted, nonessential ingredients, such as lactose, gluten, or a dye to which a patient is allergic. There are currently no federal requirements in place to specify which non-medicinal ingredients may have gluten. As a result, many medications may have any number of allergens as some of their ingredients.

Using a Compound Pharmacy

Filling a prescription at The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can be ideal for people with life-threatening allergies and for whom many of the brand-name medications that are commercially available may be dangerous. Physicians can provide prescriptions for compounded medications, which will be created by one of our skilled compounding pharmacists without the allergens and other types of ingredients that can compromise your well-being.

How is it Done?

The pharmacists remove the component of the drug, such as a filler, that contains the allergen and they deconstruct the medication down to its base parts to remake it into a drug that will be safer for you. In certain situations, a compounding pharmacist can combine certain medications that contain an allergen with anti-allergens, like an antihistamine, to eliminate the effects of the offending ingredient.

If you have an intolerance to gluten or are allergic to peanuts or milk, you should take care that any medication you are prescribed does not contain those substances. We create customized drug mixtures that are designed with your allergens and food sensitivities in mind. Contact us today to see how we can compound the medication that will suit your needs.

 

 

 

 

 

Sourced by Arena District RX

Acetaminophen: The Not So Harmless Medication

man-holding-pills-and-glass-water-thumb

Acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol®) is found in many over-the-counter and prescription medications used to treat pain and fever. Although often considered a “harmless” drug, acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the US. Acetaminophen is frequently found in combination products such as Vicodin® and many cold & allergy medications. It is important to read medication ingredient labels to identify all sources of acetaminophen (which is sometimes called APAP or a variety of names resembling acetaminophen) since overdose often occurs when patients simultaneously take multiple products containing acetaminophen.

The FDA has recommended reducing the maximum daily adult dose of acetaminophen to 3,250 milligrams per day. Healthy adults who have taken the maximum dose of acetaminophen for just two weeks have been found to have liver damage. Drinking alcohol while taking acetaminophen can increase the risk of toxicity since both are metabolized by the liver.

The FDA is asking healthcare professionals to stop prescribing combination prescription pain relievers that contain more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit, citing the risk for liver damage. By limiting the maximum amount of acetaminophen in prescription and OTC products, patients will be less likely to overdose on acetaminophen if they mistakenly take too many doses of acetaminophen-containing products.

If you realize that too much acetaminophen has been taken, call 911 immediately. Signs or symptoms of liver damage are often not noticeable for hours or even days and by the time symptoms occur, damage may be severe and could even lead to death.

It’s also helpful to select cough and cold remedies that do not contain acetaminophen, to reduce the risk of accidental acetaminophen overdose.

If you need a medication but can’t take an adequate dose because it is combined with acetaminophen in the commercial product, we can help by compounding a preparation that is acetaminophen-free.

We are here to help if you have any questions. Please call The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills and speak with one of our friendly pharmacists.

 

 

 

Sourced by Patti Storey