For the next couple months, we’re going to have to be extra careful about cold and flu viruses floating around. Because we believe wintertime is for snowmen and hot chocolate, and not for being sick inside, we’ve compiled a couple suggestions to help you (and the kids) avoid getting sick this winter!
Wash your hands
Washing your hands on a regular basis helps avoid germs that could potentially get you sick. This is especially important after you have been public places, such as restaurants and gyms. If you aren’t able to wash, carry an instant hand sanitizer with you. Remember to follow up with a moisturizer to avoid dry skin!
When it’s cold outside, a warm bed is one of the best places to be. That makes it easy to get plenty of sleep! Sleep helps boost your immune system and allows you to fight nasty viruses. So get tucked in early this winter, because it will keep you ready to fight illness.
Drink plenty of fluids
You know this. We know you know this. But it’s worth mentioning because it’s so important. Water keeps you hydrated, and juices provide you with vitamins you need to stay healthy. Watch your kids to make sure they are drinking enough fluids as well, especially on those days when they are outside for hours building snow forts!
Beware of commonly used items
Shopping carts, elevator buttons and escalators are typically contaminated by cold and flu viruses. Bring hand sanitizer with you, or use sanitizing wipes if available, and avoid touching any surfaces that you don’t have to. If you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your mouth or eye, you may get those cold and flu germs.
If you aren’t able to avoid getting sick this winter, we recommend Theraflu Warming Relief Sinus & Cold. It’s a new formula that addresses conditions associated with sinus and nasal congestion, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, cough and fever. It should not be used for children under 12 without a doctor’s permission. Because everyone has different symptoms, please drop in and ask us if you aren’t sure what cold/fever medicine is best for you.
When did you kick your heat on this winter? Chances are that the minute you did, your skin started drying out. For some people, this means that it’s time to purchase some heavy duty moisturizer; for others, it may be time to talk to a dermatologist. Each case is special, but here are a couple tips to help you fight skin dryness this winter.
Use an exfoliating scrub once a month. This will get rid of dead skin and allow your body to create new skin. Be careful to not confuse exfoliating with using a harsh peel, which can strip the oil from your skin.
The lotion that you used during the summer months may not be right for wintertime. Consider looking for a different lotion that is more heavy duty. Most oil-based lotions are better for dry skin because they provide more protection than water-based moisturizers. If you’re not sure what type of lotion or moisturizer is best for you, drop by and we’ll help you pick one based on your personal preferences and needs. Plan on packing emergency lotion in your purse or pocket so it’s always handy.
Your shower and hand-washing water should be lukewarm instead of hot. Hot water takes moisture out of skin and causes dryness. If the thought of lukewarm water doesn’t thrill you, try taking shorter showers.
With the heat always on, the air in your home gets dry. A humidifier places the moisture back in the air. You may already have one built in your furnace, but if you don’t, consider picking one up for this winter.
Do you have any tricks to beating out dry skin?
- Image by ~W~ via Flickr
With the holidays coming up, we may be paying attention to what we eat, but it’s very easy to go over our recommended calorie and food intake. The USDA Food Guide Pyramid gives us outlines on healthy eating habits, but do you understand what that means for the holidays?
Grains: Grains are a good source for carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Whole grains are the best for you because they have the least amount of processing. A great naturally sweet snack is a piece of whole wheat bread with sorghum syrup. It might get a little sticky – if you have this at a gathering don’t forget the hand toilettes!
Fruits: This is where you have to be careful at the holiday parties. You may see a fruit dessert – but that doesn’t mean you can eat all of it! Another popular treat is serving fruit covered in sugar or chocolate. Watch out for what you’re putting on your fruit, most fruits are naturally sweet.
Veggies: The cold months are the best for carrots, beets and broccoli. So when you’re visiting friends and family this season, consider a veggie tray instead of chips. Veggies fill you up without any guilt after you leave the party. And don’t forget that we have a winter Farmers Market in Columbia where you can stock up on fresh produce.
Meat and Beans: This is a fairly broad group that contains meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts. It one of the main ways to get protein in your diet. The USDA recommends eating lean or low-fat cuts of meat to cut down on discretionary calories. If you’re having a holiday party, keep a bowl of unsalted nuts on the table for a simple and healthy snack!
Milk and Dairy: Milk and dairy products are essential for helping build strong bones. The easiest way to get these nutrients is by drinking milk, but eating cheese and yogurt are also great ways to get your dairy servings. You should typically have three servings of dairy each day. A cheese tray is always popular at gatherings and great finger food too!
Oils: “Oils” is another way of saying “fats” in food. These include saturated, unsaturated and trans fats. Saturated and trans fats are the ones to avoid. Oils are mostly used in cooking, for a healthier option, try using olive oil in your holiday recipes.
Discretionary Calories: This is the area for wiggle room in the food pyramid. You can fill up the rest of your daily intake with more of other food groups, foods with higher caloric content, foods with added fats and sweeteners, and foods that are mostly fats. The amount of discretionary calories you have each day depends on your other food intake. This is the important group to watch during the holidays, especially with all the cookies and cakes around!
So whether you’re hosting the party, or are planning on bringing a dish, keep the food pyramid in mind. Do you have any healthy dishes that you enjoy preparing?
Osteoporosis is a condition where bone density decreases, making bones fragile and easier to break. It’s dangerous because there are no symptoms until a bone fracture occurs. This is usually when an incident (such as a fall) that would not necessarily cause a serious injury, does. With the streets and sidewalks getting icy soon, it’s important for everyone to know the dangers that come with osteoporosis. Talk with your friends and family members to see if they know the risks of osteoporosis and how they can prevent injuries.
Am I at Risk?
You are at a higher risk for osteoporosis if you are:
- Of white or Asian descent
- Thin or have a small frame
- Have a low calcium intake
- Have suffered from an eating disorder
- Are not active
- Have excessive alcohol consumption
What Can I Do to Prevent Osteoporosis?
You can prevent osteoporosis by:
- Increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake
- Not smoking
- Avoiding excessive alcohol
You can learn more about vitamin D with our blog post from this summer.
What do you do to keep your bones healthy?
It’s 46 degrees today, mid-Missouri! This means it’s time to get ready for the holiday festivities. With the holidays comes mindless munching and rich desserts. This year, enjoy your holidays without any post-December weight-gain blues by eating a light healthy snack to curb your hunger before you go to holiday parties, or bring a healthy appetizer to share.
Ron Robertson, the OTC manager at the Broadway Pharmacy, enjoys making guacamole for gatherings. Here is his recipe:
- ½ small white onion
- 1 firm medium, ripe tomato
- 1 medium or 2 small jalapenos
- 3 medium, ripe avocados
- 2 T. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 T. fresh lime juice
Mince the onion and tomato. Remove the jalapeno’s stem, seeds and spines, then finely mince and combine in a mixing bowl with the onion and tomato.
Remove the skin and pits from the avocados, and then thoroughly mix them with the onion-tomato-jalapeno mixture using a potato masher or a sturdy fork.
Stir in cilantro and the lime juice.
Garnish with a couple of while sprigs of cilantro and serve with whole wheat tortilla chips and/or fresh vegetables.
- Choose avocados that are uniformly dark and slightly tender.
- If you want some spice, leave the seeds and inner spines in the jalapenos, and choose the darkest peppers.
Once prepared, the guacamole will not keep its green color for long. If you must wait before serving, cover completely with plastic wrap, smoothing the wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate.
Runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion….oh my! Fall allergy season is upon us. For America’s 60 million seasonal allergy sufferers, fall can be the hardest time of the year.
So what causes these annoying fall allergies? Male plants release tiny cells called pollen in order to reproduce. When the pollen or other allergy triggers enter the body, the immune system mistakes it for nasty foreign invaders and releases antibodies. When the antibodies attack the evil allergens, they then release chemicals called histamines, which cause the allergy symptoms. For a full list of symptoms, visit WebMD.
The worst attackers:
- Ragweed: Even if ragweed doesn’t grow where you live, it can still make you miserable. It can travel for millions of miles through the wind. For further information about ragweed, check out this great video.
- Mold: Mold spores can easily be airborne. It thrives in damp areas both indoors and out. Mold can even be found in the damp leaves that are in the streets and yards. College students should make sure to be aware of any damp areas in their room. If found, contact the facilities right away.
- Dust mites: These are microscopic, spike-like insects are also common for indoor allergies. They are most prevalent in the humid summer months, but are stirred when you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall.
Avoiding fall allergies:
- Stay indoors with windows closed when pollen is at its peak (10 a.m. -3p.m.)
- Before turning on your heat, clean your heating ducts.
- Use a humidifier.
- Wear a mask when you rake leaves.
When avoiding allergens doesn’t help, there are always antihistamines or decongestants. Keep allergies under control in order to avoid an infection. Stop into D&H to learn more about allergy medications or to get answers to your fall allergy concerns.
Medical News Today
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
While fall means backpacks, football and falling leaves, it also typically brings runny noses and the dreaded flu. The changing seasons are a prime time for illness, but there are ways to help prevent the flu before it hits.
Get vaccinated: Flu vaccines help protect against the three strains of influenza that were determined to be most prevalent in the coming year. From the vaccination, the body develops antibodies that will fight flu infection.
Take preventative action: Wash your hands, use tissues (then throw them away) after coughing and sneezing, avoid contact with sick people and try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
If you are already sick, stay home! This will help prevent the spread of illness to others.
Certain groups of people are advised to be vaccinated each year: pregnant women, children younger than 5 (especially those under 2), people over 50, people with chronic health conditions, those who live in nursing homes/long-term care facilities, healthcare workers and those who have continued interaction with high-risk flu individuals.
You can help prevent the flu by getting a flu shot at D&H Drugstore. We’re offering them at our Paris Road locations on September 15, 16, 23 and 24, and at our West Broadway location on September 17, 18, 21 and 29. Come in any time between 9 a.m. – noon and 1 – 6 p.m. Medicare beneficiaries will have no up-front costs. D&H will submit the charge to Medicare as long as the current insurance card is presented. Cash price is $28.00. For more information, call 573-777-7305.
Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Flu
Key Facts About the Flu Vaccine
Seasonal Influenza Toolkit