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Archive for November, 2015

GERD Awareness Week is November 22-28.


GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, but if you have it, GERD also stands for upset stomach, heartburn, belching, acid rising up into your throat and choking you, and an aversion to certain foods that might bring on an attack. GERD can also lead to inflamed gums, erosion of tooth enamel, and a chronic sore throat.

One in five people (or about 21 million Americans) is affected by GERD, spending $7.6 billion annually to help treat the disease.

Every year during the week of Thanksgiving, appropriate since we all tend to overeat during this holiday, GERD Awareness Week takes place. This year it falls from November 22-28.

Joe and I know all about GERD, as Joe has been popping antacids since he was a teenager. He has also been taking medicines such as Prilosec and Pepcid for years. These medications led him to have a severe case of anemia and made us very aware that while he needed something for the GERD, he also needed something to combat the side effects caused by the medicines he was using.

The medications, acid blockers such as proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium) and H2 blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid), that are used to treat GERD are serious “drug muggers” since they alter the pH or acidity of the stomach. Remember, a “drug mugger,” according to author and pharmacist Suzy Cohen, is a medication that robs your body of necessary nutrients and therefore causes a whole host of side effects.

GERD medications, because they change the acidity in the gut, can deplete your body of most important nutrients and lead to a ton of health problems. These risks can include:

  • Heart disease
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • High blood pressure

We carry a line of supplements in the pharmacy called Replenish. There is a specific Replenish supplement made just for people taking PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) and H2 antagonists. The supplement is called PPI/H2 Complete and it contains vitamin B12, magnesium, calcium, folic acid, beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron, zinc, and chromium.

To find out more about PPI/H2 Complete, go HERE.

There is also a nice article on the Replenish web site about acid reflux medications and the impact they have on your body. You can read that article HERE.

And don’t forget, stop in the pharmacy throughout the month of November and enter the raffle to win Pharmacist Suzy Cohen’s book, Drug Muggers, so you can learn even more about how to combat the drugs robbing your body of nutrients.

Besides combatting the side effects of the GERD medicines, there are other things you can do to manage the GERD symptoms as the holidays approach. The flyer below lists “15 Tips to Manage Your Symptoms this Holiday.”

Several of the mentioned tips Joe already does, because they help him prevent acid reflux and a miserable night of pain. His favorites from the list would be:

  • Schedule an earlier meal. This was a problem in the early days of the pharmacy when Joe sometimes wouldn’t get home until 8 pm or later. It is also a worry when he has late meetings. As long as Joe eats early, he usually doesn’t have to worry about acid reflux overnight.
  • Nix the juice. Orange juice really gets Joe’s GERD in motion. That is a problem, because he loves orange juice.
  • Substitue water for soda. Joe does this most of the time. He drinks so much water, we call him a camel.
  • Stay awake. Once the symptoms of GERD start (acid coming up in the throat), Joe has to get up and sit in a chair. Lying down only makes things worse.

To read all the other tips, scroll down to the info graph at the bottom of the posting.

For more information on GERD, visit the Digestive Health Alliance web site HERE.

You can also visit the About GERD website HERE.

For other helpful tips LIKE the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) on Facebook HERE.


GERD Infograph 2015

Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 19.


The Great American Smokeout started in 1970 when Arthur P. Mullaney asked smokers in Randolph, Massachusetts to give up smoking for one day and donate the money they would have used to buy cigarettes to fund a high school scholarship.

Today, the American Cancer Society uses the third Thursday of November to encourage smokers to finally quit.

According to the American Cancer Society web site, there are still almost 42 million Americans who smoke cigarettes; 12.4 million cigar smokers; and 2.3 million who smoke tobacco in pipes.

Did you know that within just twenty minutes after you stop smoking, your heart rate and blood pressure drop?

Within two weeks to three months, your circulation and lung function improve.

And within a year, your risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker.

For more information on how your body changes after you quit smoking, go HERE.

We all know the harmful effects caused by smoking, but smoking is also, according to pharmacist and author Suzy Cohen, a “lifestyle drug mugger.”

Drug muggers (per Ms. Cohen’s book of the same name) are usually medications that rob your body of essential vitamins and nutrients. In this case, smoking is the culprit.

If you smoke, you are probably deficient in:

  • Vitamin C which is an anticancer vitamin found in oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruit.
  • Thiamine which, when deficient, can lead to cardiovascular, neurological, and neuromuscular problems.
  • Trace minerals (boron, magnesium, copper, manganese, phosphorous, selenium) which are needed to make healthy bones.
  • Vitamin A or beta-carotene which also can lead to cancer when in short supply in the body.

Besides taking the vitamins and minerals listed above, you should also take N-acetylcysteine (NAC) if you are a smoker. NAC helps to build up levels of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that detoxifies our bodies.


Stop in the pharmacy the entire month of November and enter our raffle to win your own copy of “Drug Muggers.”

There are two components that have to be addressed whenever someone stops smoking: the mental and the physical side to the addiction.

Things you can do to address the mental part of cigarette smoking include:

  • Support groups and counseling
  • Support from family and friends
  • Find something to keep your hands and mouth busy–they are used to holding a cigarette. Carry a sucker or chew gum/candy.

The physical portion of smoking is usually combatted using medications including:

There are many other methods, besides using prescription products or just going “cold turkey,” that can help people stop smoking. For a great article on those many methods go HERE. These include:

  • Hypnosis
  • Acupuncture
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Electronic cigarettes

I remember that when I was a kid, my aunts and uncles and grandma always had a great interest in the Great American Smokeout. They would vow not to smoke on that one day and, finding the challenge very difficult, would either immediately begin smoking the next day or fail to stop smoking even on the day of the smokeout. My grandma always admonished me and my sister, as well as our cousins, to never, ever begin smoking as it was such a hard habit to break. None of us ever did.

After seeing my family’s struggles with cigarettes, and Joe’s mom and dad’s battles, I know how hard it is to stop smoking. But if you want to give it a try on this Great American Smokeout day, stop in the pharmacy and we can recommend Nicotine Replacement Therapy to help start the process. You may also need a prescription from your doctor to aid in controlling your cravings. And, finally, it helps if no one else in the family is smoking in your household. So get support from family and friends to quit together to make the process easier.

You will feel so much better if you take part in the Great American Smokeout and continue to break the habit even after this one day ends. Best wishes to you as you begin this healthy journey forward.



Why Coffee is a Wonder Drug. By Our Wide Awake, Coffee Drinking Student Pharmacist, Abbey Strazar.

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It is common knowledge that many Americans do not get their recommended eight hours of sleep each night, which typically leads to a work day full of yawning.

In order to counteract this feeling of fatigue, many people share a common yearning for a warm cup of coffee to brighten their day. We all know that the caffeine in coffee helps us stay awake, however, what many people are not aware of is the other added benefits that this universal dark liquid offers.

I am here to share these added perks with you.

1) Coffee can improve energy levels.

Caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called adenosine. This reaction causes an increase in the “feel good” neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters help improve energy levels, memory, mood, and general cognitive function.

2) Coffee can increase metabolism.

Coffee has been shown to increase the metabolic rate by as much as 3-11%, which may help to burn fat. This is probably the reason why caffeine is found in many weight loss supplements. However, this effect is thought to diminish with long term consumption.


3) Coffee can improve physical performance.

Caffeine causes the nervous system to be activated by releasing epinephrine into the blood stream. This neurotransmitter causes the “fight or flight” response which increases physical performance. Caffeine is also believed to cause a release of fatty acids from fat tissues. It is recommended to drink a cup of strong coffee 30 minutes to one hour prior to physical activity.

4) Coffee provides essential nutrients, including:

  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Manganese and Potassium
  • Magnesium and Niacin

5) Coffee may lower the risk of certain chronic diseases or illnesses, including: 

  • Type II Diabetes

Huxley R et al., “Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee, and Tea Consumption in Relations to Incident Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus,” was a review that looked at 18 different observational studies. Diabetes is characterized as having too much sugar within the blood stream. As a result, it has been shown that a daily cup of coffee can decrease the risk of type II diabetes by 7%. Further randomized controlled studies are needed.

  • Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Alzheimer’s disease typically affects individuals 65 years and older and is the number one cause of dementia within the United States. It has been observed that eating a healthy diet, exercising, and drinking caffeine can help reduce the risk of developing this disease.

  • Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease that causes the loss of dopamine-generating neurons within the brain. Like Alzheimer’s disease, there is no cure. It has been shown that the caffeine within coffee helps decrease the risk of developing the disease. Caffeine has also been shown to improve movement disorders that are associated with the disease.

  • Liver Disease

The liver is responsible for many different things within the body including metabolizing medications, producing cholesterol, and eliminating toxic substances, including alcohol. Like any other organ system, there are diseases that target the liver, such as hepatitis and fatty liver disease. Both of these conditions can cause cirrhosis of the liver, for which the only cure is transplantation. It had been shown that individuals who drink four cups of coffee per day can have up to an 80% lower risk of developing cirrhosis.

  • Depression

Many Americans are clinically diagnosed with being depressed. Drinking coffee is believed to help with depression while decreasing the risk of suicide. As stated previously, caffeine causes an increase in the feel good neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine.

  • Heart disease and stroke

Caffeine is a stimulant and can slightly raise an individual’s blood pressure by 3-4 mmHg. However, if you are a regular coffee drinker this increase in blood pressure typically goes away. There is some evidence that females who drink coffee on a regular basis have a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.


6) Coffee may help you live longer.

In, “The Relationship of Coffee Consumption with Mortality,” by Lopez-Garcia E et al, it was shown that men who drank coffee regularly had a 20% lower risk of death and women had a 26% lower risk, over a period of 18-24 years. This phenomenon seems to be particularly strong in Type II diabetes, where it has been found to lower the risk of death by 30%.

7) Coffee is a great source of antioxidants.

Coffee is one of the biggest sources of antioxidants in the Western diet. Studies have shown that many Americans get more antioxidants from coffee than both fruits and vegetables.

So Drink Up!


Lovejoy’s Ad for November 16-29. Special Two Week Ad for Thanksgiving.


Take a look at the Lovejoy’s ad for November 16-29. This is a special two week ad for Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Find everything you need to make your holiday meals special.

Check out all the great 10 for $10 items. Buy one or ten. They are all only $1 each. There are hundreds of 10 for $10 items in the store.

Take Note: Lovejoy’s Winter Hours begin November 15. They will be closing nightly at 9 pm.

Did you know Lovejoy’s Market has freshly decorated and personalized cakes for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and holidays? Give them a call at 614-873-4345 to place your order. Get something specially decorated to take to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving.

Like Lovejoy’s on Facebook by going HERE.

For more information on Lovejoy’s IGA, visit their web site HERE.

Remember, we hope you will shop locally and support locally owned businesses here in our community!

Click on each of the pages of the ad to enlarge them. When they show up on a separate page, click again to make the pages even bigger. You can also print them out and take them with you when you go shopping!

Ad 11:16-29

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Diabetes Medication “Drug Muggers.”


Last week, I recommended the book, Drug Muggers by Pharmacist Suzy Cohen. Drug muggers is a phrase author Cohen uses to describe prescription medications (and lifestyle habits) that can rob your body of necessary vitamins and minerals.

To combat the drug muggers in our lives, many of us should be taking supplements to replenish what has been depleted by our medicines.

In my first blog posting on drug muggers, I wrote about statins or cholesterol lowering medicines and the things in your body that are lost with their use. You can read that blog HERE.

This week, since November is American Diabetes Month, I thought we should discuss diabetes medication drug muggers and what supplements you should take if you are on diabetes medicine.

Diabetes medicines include:

  • Glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase, Micronase)
  • Metformin (Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glumetza, Fortamet, Riomet)
  • Metformin and Sitagliptin (Janumet)
  • Tolazamide (Tolinase)
  • Glipizide (Glucotrol)

Some of the side effects that can occur with diabetes medicines when certain nutrients are in short supply:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness and muscle cramps
  • Memory loss
  • Heart disease
  • Frequent infections

Diabetes medications can leave you deficient in:

  • Coenzyme Q 10–necessary for the proper functioning of our muscles, including the heart. Decreased levels can lead to muscle weakness and pain, as well as problems with the heart.
  • Vitamin B6–(pyridoxine) needed for normal nerve and heart function.
  • Vitamin B12-(also known as methylcobalamin) necessary for energy, sleep, as well as for our nervous systems.
  • Folic Acid (also known as Vitamin B9 or 5-MTHF/5-methyltetrahydrofolate or Folate in its natural form)–Folic acid is necessary to make red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout the body. Folic acid is also needed to make DNA, our genetic code, and is thus vital to prevent birth defects. Folate and the other B Vitamins also play an important role in heart function.

We carry a line of supplements in the pharmacy known as Replenish. Replenish has a supplement, Oral Hypoglycemic Complete, specifically for people who are taking diabetes medications. For less than 50 cents a day, you can take this supplement to help restore the vitamins and minerals that have been drug mugged by your diabetes medicines.

During the month of November, we will be giving away four copies of Drug Muggers. So please stop in the store and fill out a raffle ticket. There is a ton of wonderful information in this book about many classes of prescription drugs–more information than I can possibly summarize in my blogs.

There is also an end cap in the pharmacy featuring Statinzyme and the vitamins and supplements needed if you are taking diabetes medications.

As always, please check with your doctor and let them know about any and all vitamins and supplements you add to your daily regimen of medications.