We all live busy lives that often become stressful. Stress increases cortisol levels in our bodies. Cortisol is often called the “stress” hormone. Cortisol is necessary to help our bodies regulate blood sugar, metabolism, and our immune systems, but chronic high cortisol levels are detrimental to our health.
High levels of cortisol make us age faster, weaken our immune system, increase inflammation, and can even change which of our genes are expressed.
The demands we have to deal with on a daily basis as we balance work, school, family, and friends can be challenging and create stress.
During times of stress, it is most important to eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep. However, many of our reactions to stress are the opposite of what is good for us.
I would like to propose some practical tools to help us get our heads out of the storm and relax, decreasing our daily stress by practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is being aware of the present moment, paying attention to what we are doing, while we are doing it. It is important to be aware of the events that are happening around us, but most of all, how we react to these events. Practicing mindfulness at the beginning or end of each day can focus us for the challenges ahead and relax us after a hard day, leading to less stress and better sleep.
- Sit or lay down in a quiet place with your back straight and your eyes closed.
- Breathe in through your nose while counting slowly to six.
- Hold your breath for a moment.
- Breathe out through your month while counting slowly to six or until you’ve completely exhaled.
- Repeat this breathing pattern. Let all your thoughts drift away and completely focus on breathing in and out.
- Notice your chest moving in and out and your abdomen expanding and retracting. When your mind wanders, let the thought go. Bring your attention back to breathing, being only aware of your own body.
- Stand still, lift your chest, balance your weight, and feel all ten toes on the ground.
- Start to walk.
- Keep your gaze on the ground fixed about six feet in front of you. Note each part of each step you take- lifting your foot, moving it forward, and placing it on the ground.
- Focus on each step. As thoughts come into your head, acknowledge them, then let them fade into the background and keep focusing back on your steps.
- Continue to walk for half an hour.
Brain waves. Mindful Revolution. http://www.mindfulrevolution.co.za/ Accessed October 24, 2016.
Fargo, Sean. Walking Meditation. Mindfulness Exercises. http://mindfulnessexercises.com/walking-meditation/. Published March 6, 2016. Accessed October 24, 2016.
Klatt, Maryanna D. The Integrative Pharmacist? Intro to Mindfulness and Yoga Research. 2015. Presentation.
Mayo Clinic Staff. Mindfulness exercises. Mayo Clinic. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/mindfulness-exercises/art-20046356?pg=2. Published November 10, 2015. Accessed October 24, 2016.
Munroe, Jean Ann. Girl walking barefoot. OAT Test-Taking Anxiety? Try Mindfulness https://optometryadmissions.com/2014/03/19/oat-test-anxiety-try-mindfulness/. Published March 19, 2014. Accessed October 24, 2016.
Sargent, Sam. Lady with eyes closed in front of ocean. Mindful Breathing for a Healthy Body and Mind. https://www.lifestyle.com.au/health/mindful-breathing-for-a-healthy-body-and-mind.aspx Accessed October 24, 2016.
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is an annual health campaign organized by several breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of breast cancer and also raise money to investigate its cause, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
What is breast cancer?
Cancer cells are characterized by their abnormal ability to grow and invade healthy cells of the body. Breast cancer cells start in the breast tissue and can move to other areas of the body (a process known as metastasizing) as the disease progresses causing complications.
One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. This is an outrageously concerning number and women need to be aware of risk factors that may potentiate their likelihood of getting breast cancer.
Genetic Risk Factors
Breast cancer occurs almost 100 times more often in women than in men. Less than one percent of men will develop breast cancer.
Women over the age of 55 are also more likely to get breast cancer than those of a younger age.
Race is another factor. Caucasian women are diagnosed more often than women of other races.
Knowing your family history is also important. If your grandmother, mother, or sister has been diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer, you have a higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in the future. Mutations in certain genes such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can increase your risk for breast cancer, as well. To determine if you have either of these genes, genetic testing must be done. If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about genetic testing. These risk factors cannot be avoided and women should be aware of their individual risk factors and be routinely checked by their physicians, as early detection is key to treatment and survival.
What You Can Do
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. It is important to know your own risk factors and visit your doctor annually for checkups to detect any signs of cancer. Again, early detection is key for treatment and survival. NBCAM promotes awareness for this disease and gives the opportunity to donate to charity to help those affected by breast cancer. Through early detection, education, and support services, we can fight breast cancer and hope to someday beat it for good!
- “Breast Cancer: Prevention and Control.” World Health Organization. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
- How You Can Help – National Breast Cancer Foundation.” N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
- Nbcf. The National Breast Cancer Foundation. www.nationalbreastcancer.org. NBCF, n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2016.
It’s Time to Get a Flu Shot. Here’s All You Need to Know. By Our October Student Pharmacist, Sarah Redmond.
There’s a chill in the air and now that the weather is turning cold people are starting to get sick. The best way to protect yourself this season is to get your flu shot.
I know you may have some questions, however, so I’m here to answer all your questions about the flu shot.
Q: Who should get the flu shot?
A: Everyone over the age of 6 months! There are also some people who are more likely to get the flu or who might get it more severely than others–these people are “high risk individuals.”
High risk individuals include:
- Children under 5
- Adults over 65
- Pregnant women
- Residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities
- Health care workers
- Patients with certain chronic diseases
High risk individuals should take extra care to get their flu shot each year.
Q: What does the flu shot protect against?
A: The flu vaccine protects you from getting the flu this year, however its benefits are even greater than just prevention. It is proven that getting the flu shot can help you stay out of the hospital- especially if you have a common chronic disease like heart disease, diabetes, or COPD.
For pregnant women, the flu shot not only protects moms, but also protects babies while they’re growing and after they’re born.
If you do still happen to get the flu, the vaccine will help your body fight it off, resulting in a milder, shorter illness.
Q: Why are there different types of flu vaccine? Which one is best for me?
A: There are three popular types of the flu shot you may hear about.
- Tri-valent: Protects you against the three most popular strains of the flu.
- Quad-valent: Protects you against four strains of flu- the same three as the tri-valent plus one more.
- High Dose: Approved for adults over 65, the high dose flu vaccine contains four times as much antigen, the part of the flu that teaches the body how to recognize and fight the virus, as the normal tri-valent vaccine.
Depending on your age, chronic disease states, and insurance coverage, a pharmacist or student pharmacist can help you pick which vaccine is right for you.
Q: I got my flu shot last year, do I need one this year?
A: Yes! The flu shot changes each year. Scientists use information from the previous year and other parts of the world to predict which flu viruses will be most popular and make the vaccine accordingly.
Q: How long does it take to work?
A: It takes about two weeks after vaccination to be fully protected. During these two weeks the vaccine is teaching your body how to recognize and fight the flu virus in the future.
Q: Will it give me the flu?
A: No. The viruses used to make the flu shot have been killed and structures broken apart. This makes the vaccine inactivated, which means it will not give you the flu.
Q: What type of side effects should I expect?
A: Sometimes after the flu shot your arm may be a little achy, with redness and swelling at the injection site. Because the vaccine is teaching your body how to fight the flu, you could also have a very low fever, but this should go away within two days.
Q: Will it hurt?
A: This year you can only get the flu vaccine by injection. In past years, a nasal spray has been available, but it was not as effective so it should not be used. The injection should take only a few seconds and only feel like a pinch. Make sure to relax your arm down by your side as it will help the shot hurt less.
Q: Do I have to make an appointment to get one?
A: No! Any certified Pharmacist or Student Pharmacist can administer the flu shot to anyone over the age of 7 without a prescription. You can get your flu shot here at Plain City Druggist whenever you stop by.
If you have additional questions about the flu vaccine, please feel free to talk to the Pharmacist or Student Pharmacist at Plain City Druggist or Happy Druggist today!
DO I NEED A FLU VACCINATION? [INFOGRAPHIC]. West Corporation. https://www.televox.com/do-i-need-a-flu-vaccination-infographic/. Posted on November 28, 2012. Accessed October 16, 2016.
Influenza (Flu). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). Atlanta, Ga. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm. Last Updated October 14, 2016. Accessed October 16, 2016.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday, October 22 from 10 am to 2 pm. During this yearly event, you can turn in old or no longer used medicines for proper disposal. We know that many of you may have medications that have expired or that you don’t take any more and this is a perfect way to make sure they are destroyed so that no one gets hurt.
To find out more about the Take-Back Day, visit the web site HERE.
To find a disposal location near you, go HERE and put in your zip code or county and city.
In Union County, you can turn in unused and expired medications at these sites:
Union County Sheriff’s Office
221 West 5th Street, Marysville, OH 43040 (Please enter the sally port from the south off of 6th St. Signs will be posted).
Pleasant Valley Fire Department
650 West Main Street, Plain City, OH 43064 (Please enter the rear of the bays).
Richwood Police Department
153 North Franklin Street, Richwood, OH 43344 (Please enter the sally port entrance)
For the nearest locations near Happy Druggist on Karl Road in Columbus, see the flyer below that our student Danae made for us. You can also drop off medications directly at Happy Druggist and we will turn the medications in for you at the closest drop off location.
Free Electronic Waste and Appliance Recycling Day on Saturday, October 15 from 9 am to 1 pm at Union Recyclers.
On Saturday, October 15, there will be a FREE electronic waste and appliance recycling day from 9 am to 1 pm (rain or shine) at Union Recyclers, 15140 US Route 36 East in Marysville.
Items that will be accepted from households, businesses, industries, schools, and the government include: Computers, any and all types of cable and wire, cameras, servers, VCRs, Monitors, DVD Players, all types of cell phones, keyboards and mice, CD and DVD media, battery backup systems, scanners, printers, fax machines, copiers, all stereo equipment, video games, video game systems, all phone equipment, speakers, floppy disks, microwaves, sweepers, and other household electronics.
Televisions will be accepted for a fee of $20 each. There is a $5 Fee for each CRT (cathode ray tubes found in most computer monitors) Monitor.
Freon and Non-Freon appliances including refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, stoves, dishwashers, washers, and dryers will be taken at NO CHARGE.
Aluminum beverage cans will be purchased for 5 cents over the price of the day!
Absolutely NO tires, light bulbs, alkaline batteries or household hazardous waste will be accepted. NO Early Drop Offs!
For more information, call Union Recyclers at 937-642-7283 or visit their web site HERE.
If a business, industry, school, or government office has a large quantity of electronic waste, contact Accurate IT to schedule a pick up date/time. Call 1-888-811-2487 or visit their web site HERE.
To download and print the event flyer, go HERE.