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Health Tips Weekly Roundup #365Health

Health Tips Weekly Roundup #365Health

It was a busy week on The Travel Pharmacist’s Facebook Page! Our Health Tips included everything from how to get a better nights’ sleep to the importance of keeping the head warm to avoid sinus headaches. I think my favorite was learning it’s really my smartphone that’s to blame for those extra pounds from late night snacking!

Here is the weekly roundup for your #365Health…

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Health Tips Weekly Update #365Health

Health Tips Weekly Update #365Health

On January 1st, The Travel Pharmacist Facebook Page started a new resolution. We decided to provide an informative health and wellness tip every single day of 2015. #365Health

We’re covering everything from diet and exercise to herbal, OTC, and prescription remedies – and, of course – the vacation and “exploring the world” health tips you’d expect from The TRAVEL Pharmacist.

Here is a recap of last week’s offerings…

Saturday –

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Avoid travel headaches – literally! Changes in cabin pressure can cause the sinus cavities to swell shut, causing headache pain and head discomfort. To prevent this particular travel headache, try taking an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen (Motrin) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) 30 minutes before you take off. Happy Travels!

Sunday –

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A glass of wine is equivalent to one hour in the gym. Best news ever, LOL! Research conducted by the University of Alberta in Canada has found that health benefits in resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, are equivalent to those that we get from exercise. Everything in moderation, of course!

Monday –

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Got the Monday Blues? Grab an orange or a tangerine! Citrus fruits have the ability to raise levels of chemicals in the brain that affect your mood. And they pack a big dose of natural vitamin C. Orange you glad you read this today? 🙂

Tuesday –

Diet stalled?

Is your diet stalled? Try this simple trick. Switch out your dinner plates for salad plates and fill ’em up. The visual illusion tells our brain that we’re full more quickly, saving 40% extra calories from a typical meal!

Wednesday –

Naps are nice

Naps are nice! Nappers know that taking a short rest can refresh the mind and body. Health benefits of naps also include reduced stress levels, memory improvement, increased alertness and boosts of creativity. Cats know what’s good for them!

Thursday –

Cool Mist humidifier

Misty morning promote better sleep. At night when you’re sleeping with the heat on, microscopic irritants can be a nuisance – drying nasal passages and causing a scratchy throat. A cool-mist humidifier gives back soothing moisture and allows for deeper sleep.

Friday –

The power of the pen

The power of the pen (or pencil)! It’s a good idea to always bring your own pen to sign in at the doctor’s office or urgent care clinic. Lots of sick people are coming through and you don’t want to pick up their icky germs. For the same reason, you should also avoid flipping through the magazines in the waiting room – though that’s a tough one for me.

Wishing you a happy and healthy week!

Come visit our Facebook Page every morning for your dose of good health or enjoy the Health Tips #365Health recap here on Fridays.

What was YOUR favorite health tip this week?

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Dealing With Sprains & Strains

Dealing With Sprains & Strains

All it takes is one wrong move carrying that extra heavy bag or enjoying yourself a little too much on your holiday to find yourself with the minor injury of a sprain or strain. It’s easy to twist an ankle or feel a painful shoulder twinge lifting your stuffed backpack, signaling a sprain or strain has occurred. Knowing what your injury is and how to treat it is the first course of action. Read on to learn the best treatments for getting up and going again!

Know the difference between sprains and strains

A sprain involves the ligaments around a joint. With a sprain you stretch the ligaments that connect bone to bone along a joint. This area will often start swelling very quickly and a bruise may appear.

An ankle sprain showing signs of bruising

An ankle sprain showing signs of bruising

A strain involves the muscle itself. The muscle may be stretched, or even torn. Strains can involve major muscle groups or the tendons that attach the muscle to the bone. You’ll know these by the sharp pain and tenderness of the spot of the injury. Bruising and swelling are generally minimal.

How are sprains and strains treated?

Resting the area as soon as the injury occurs will prevent more damage. For the first twenty-four hours remember the R-I-C-E treatment. Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. After twenty-four to forty-eight hours, warm soaks help increase blood circulation and loosens tight muscles. Keeping the body part as still as possible for a few days is the best way to ease the pain.

Over-The-Counter (OTC) treatments

When you’re on the go and it’s impossible to stay put for a few days, you’ll need to find pain relief at the pharmacy. The availability of OTC products will vary from country to country. A stop into any local pharmacy should help you identify what might be available for your specific location. Anti-inflammatory medicines (like ibuprofen, aspirin, ketoprofen, or naproxen) help a great deal in bringing down painful joint, muscle, or tendon inflammation. These can be irritating to the stomach, so be sure to take them with a meal or a snack.

Prescription Treatments

If the initial pain or swelling doesn’t get better after three days or if you are not able to put any weight on the area at all, it is a good idea to give the doctor a call. There may be more serious injury that only an x-ray can pick up. Your doctor may prescribe a pain medication or muscle relaxant for short term use. Some of these medications can make you very sleepy or groggy so use care when doing any activities that require concentration like driving a vehicle.

The availability of some of the medication suggestions here will vary from country to country. If your injury requires something more than an OTC product a local physician should be able to prescribe the best available treatment.

Happy, Healthy Travels!

The Traveling Pharmacist

Get more great travel health tips as well as spa & wellness destinations on The Traveling Pharmacist.

Learn more about the Travel Pharmacist Team – your Travel Health & Wellness Experts!

As with all medical conditions discussed on the Internet, check first with your doctor before using any alternative treatments.

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EAT CLEAN for 2015! As Close To Nature As Possible

EAT CLEAN for 2015! As Close To Nature As Possible

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It’s a brand new year. A clean slate. Time to start a few new habits to live a healthier and more active life! We’re certainly getting on the bandwagon this year by trying to eat healthier foods and make time for exercise every day. The picture above was taken while we were house-sitting in New Zealand – this was only one day’s take from the garden!

One thing we’re trying to do more as we travel is to EAT CLEAN. It’s a term you hear often, but what does eating clean really mean? It’s not about how often you wash your veggies, but about staying as close to nature as possible. Try to avoid processed foods from boxes or cans and instead pick lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables (organic if possible), and drink lots of water to flush your system. Sometimes this isn’t the easiest thing to do when you’re traveling, but a little preparation goes a long way to helping you stick to your goals.

Here are some specific fruits and vegetables to look for in the produce market for better health –

Skin Health – Look for bright colors to guide you. Sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, and butternut squash are all high in the powerful antioxidant beta carotene. Beta carotene helps shield the body from damaging free radicals that age our skin.

Heart Health – Red onions and red wine! Well, probably not at the same time…but, red onions contain an anti-clotting compound that can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Red wine contains the flavonoid called reservatrol to help bring increased levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol in the body.

Brain Boost – To help with memory…now where did I put my keys? Add an extra serving of beets to your plate. Beets help produce nitric oxide in the body, which open blood vessels in the brain. More blood to the brain is a good thing!

Mood Enhancers – To start your day off on the right foot, grab a banana. High in magnesium to raise your spirits and potassium to provide sustained energy, this fruit is a natural antidepressant. Also bananas are packed with vitamin B6, which is a necessary for making the body’s level of neurotransmitters, like serotonin, higher. So much goodness in a portable package.

Food is our fuel and food can be what brings us together. However, making good choices about what we eat is a struggle for us when we travel. Hopefully together we can lend encouragement to others who may be going through the same dilemma – should I have the apple pie or would I be just as happy with an apple? EAT CLEAN. We know what’s best for us, but sometimes making the right decision is hard.

How do you manage to eat healthy when you’re traveling or even when you’re home?

Happy, Healthy Travels for 2015!

Get more great travel health tips as well as spa & wellness destinations on The Traveling Pharmacist. Learn more about the Travel Pharmacist Team – your Travel Health & Wellness Experts!

 

The Traveling PharmacistAs with all medical conditions discussed on the Internet, check first with your doctor before using any alternative treatments.

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I Found A Strange Pill! Now What? – Pill Identifiers

I Found A Strange Pill! Now What? – Pill Identifiers

This is how it usually happens. You’re looking for quarters under the sofa cushions or rummaging to find your dropped sunglasses under the car seat – and you find a stray tablet or capsule. You can’t, for the life of you, remember what it was or where it came from. Is this a vitamin? An aspirin? Or a prescription medication you filled last fall?

Or, you open up your prescription from the pharmacy and the pills look different. Was this a mistake or perhaps the pharmacy has changed companies that make your tablets – there are LOTS of different generic companies out there. How would you know for sure?

Or, you’re putting up the laundry in your daughter’s room and come upon several stray capsules in a bag. She doesn’t get home until later and your curiosity won’t let you rest until you know what they are used for.

All of these scenarios are times when a pill identifier comes in very handy. Pill identifiers can bring peace of mind when you’re not quite sure or give you valuable information in case of an accidental overdose. They use a national database of drugs and their specific identifications – like imprints, colors and  shapes. You simply type in what you see on the tablet or capsule and your result pops right up!

On-line pill identifiers that I use quite often and trust are listed below.

Drugs.com Pill Identification Wizard

WebMD Pill Identification Tool

National Library of Medicine Pill Box

If you can’t find what you need on these web sites, don’t hesitate to give your healthcare provider a call right away. It’s important to be absolutely sure before taking any medications. Your health is the top priority!

As with all medical conditions discussed on the Internet, check first with your doctor before using any alternative treatments.

More Travel Health Tips from The Travel Pharmacist HERE.

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