Every parent knows their kid is unique. Even identical twins are unique individuals. Here are some important reasons why we customize kid’s medication.

Allergies: Your child’s medication is supposed to help them feel better; but that’s not going to happen if your child is allergic to an ingredient in the medication. If your child is sensitive to an additive or coloring in their medication, we can compound the medication without that ingredient or replace it with an appropriate substitute.

Special needs: If your child has a condition such as a seizure disorder or congenital challenges they may be particularly sensitive to certain ingredients. Some children, for instance, may be affected by the dye in some medications.

Diaper rash: Barrier creams and ointments can be infused with antifungals, antibiotics or other prescription medications, to suit the patient’s needs.

Liquid: Children usually have difficulty swallowing tablets and capsules. Their prescriptions that come in these difficult to take forms can sometimes be compounded into liquid form.

Rapid Disintegrating Tablets (RDT): These dissolve in the mouth without the need for chewing or water, which is helpful for a child who has difficulty swallowing tablets.

Taste: Feeling unwell is bad enough; terrible tasting medicine doesn’t make it any easier. When it’s time for your child’s meds, a flavor like bubble gum or chocolate and an attractive color might help.

Call or come in to NewSpring Pharmacy if you need to have medication customized for kids, adults, or even for your pets.

Patient Story: Controlling Diabetes with Diet

Steve’s Journey

A customer tells us the story of her husband’s fight with, and victory in controlling Diabetes…

In September 2010, my husband, Steve found himself in the hospital. He was cramping, extremely thirsty, and could not stay out of the restroom. His sight was not right; he was seeing double. Tests revealed that his blood sugar was 844, and his A1C was 12.
The symptoms had developed gradually over a few days and were a surprise to him because he had no family history of diabetes. After 3 days in the hospital with an IV drip for insulin, he was released with a blood sugar count of around 365. I cannot tell you how overwhelmed we were as a family. We understood that things had to change but I also knew it didn’t have to be a death sentence.
Upon his release Steve was on insulin 4 times a day and was told losing weight, becoming mobile, and watching sugar and carbs would be key to success. I started by cleaning out the pantry and freezer, eliminating all processed foods. I replaced box foods with fresh vegetables and low fat foods. Each night as a family we would plan everything he would eat the next day. This would include breakfast, lunch, dinner and 3 small snacks. We used apps on the smartphone to track the calories and carbs for each meal, checked sugar levels with each insulin injection, and recorded the numbers. By changing his diet and adding exercise, in the first month, Steve lost about 10 pounds.
Creating a menu each week would allow us to buy the items we needed and make good food choices. As well, it helped to keep costs down because I began shopping and planning based on grocery sales. It also saved me time because I knew what I would be cooking ahead of time and could use crock pots or cook ahead the night before. As the weeks passed, it became easy to look over the past menu and plan meals based on things we had not eaten in a while.
To plan meals and make healthy food choices I use the American Diabetes Association website for recipes and ideas from others. There are tons of websites with recipes for diabetics. In time, as we became more comfortable with managing diabetes, we would try new foods and recipes. Steve would test his blood sugar 2 hours after eating new items. If it was still high we would not eat that dish again. This allowed us to figure out which foods worked or did not work for him. I began to replace sugar with sugar substitutes, coconut sugars and fruit. I replaced regular flours with whole wheat flours or alternatives. As well, it allowed us to see that carbs come in many forms. The monitoring also brought awareness to portion control. Eating one portion of certain foods rather than the entire pot will keep you from feeling deprived.
5 years later Steve has lost 90 pounds (and kept it off) and his diabetes is controlled by his diet. We continue to plan menus and to exercise as a family. Our entire family has lost weight. Steve’s eyesight returned to normal, and so did his kidney function; at last check his A1C level was 5.7. The best part is – no more insulin. We all feel better about that!


Here are some tips for a healthy lifestyle as you provide care for your loved one… 

If you are a caregiver to a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, remember that you need to be a caregiver to someone else as well – yourself. Do take good care of your own health. If it seems like there are not enough hours in the day to take care of your loved one, and yourself, don’t worry; perhaps you can come up with a strategy to do both at the same time. Here are some tips.

Exercise together

Physical activity is very beneficial, both physically and mentally, for people at all stages of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Exercising may improve memory and slow mental decline, improve sleep, improve strength and enhance confidence, among other benefits. The exercise can be as simple as a daily walk, gardening, or dancing.

Exercise is certainly just as beneficial to caregivers. Even though the exercise you do with your loved one may be slow-paced, it is still beneficial. For instance, taking a walk provides moderate exercise, fresh air, and the opportunity for social contacts out of the house.

Plan physical activities that you and your loved one can do together and consult your loved one’s healthcare professional if you have any concerns before you begin.The Alzheimer’s Society has  tips on exercise for people with Dementia.

Brain-healthy diet

The Alzheimer’s Association stresses the importance of proper nutrition for people with Alzheimer’s because poor nutrition may increase behavioral symptoms and cause weight loss. Plan nutritious brain-healthy food for your loved one and for yourself and enjoy your meals together.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have developed a diet plan, the MIND diet, which may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53 percent. The MIND diet combines elements of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. It recommends 10 “brain healthy food groups” and identifies five “unhealthy food groups” to avoid.

Not all the recommended foods may be appropriate for your loved one, but you can enjoy those that are appropriate together.

The MIND Diet
10 foods to eat daily: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine 
5 foods to avoid: red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food

Lift your Spirits with Music

Research has shown that music helps calm people with Alzheimer’s disease and may even reduce their eating and sleep difficulties. People with Alzheimer’s and other Dementia can enjoy music and can engage in rhythm playing and singing even in the late stages of the disease. Experts recommend playing music from early childhood, such as folk songs, in the language they were learned, for patients in later stages of dementia. The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America has more tips on music and its benefits to Alzheimer’s patients.

Caregivers too can get great benefits from music. Listening to music has a calming effect, can lift our spirits, and increase our work output. Research has also shown that listening to music may lessen pain, improve immune function and improve memory. Develop a play list of music that is beneficial and enjoyable to both yourself and your loved one. Play and enjoy the benefits together. Try singing songs together as well.

Enjoy activities with your loved one, but be sure to schedule some time just for yourself. Ask family and friends to help out at least once a week so you can go do something you enjoy, even for a short time. You will return rejuvenated.

Living Hopefully with Alzheimer’s

Hardly a week goes by without some progress in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Although there is no cure yet, these study results give us hope. Here are some highlights from the most recent studies…

Music Magic
Music therapy has been used for decades to help patients with a variety of ailments. Research over the years has shown that music has profound effects on the brain. For instance, there is evidence that music can help reduce chronic pain, and help stroke patients regain speech. Music therapy has also been found to be beneficial for Alzheimer’s patients. Researchers at University of British Columbia found that music therapy helps calm Alzheimer’s patients and reduces sleep and eating difficulties. The study measured the patients’ cortisol levels. High levels of cortisol are an indication of stress. They found that music therapy had calming effects almost equal to those of a tranquilizer. Follow-up studies are needed to rule out the possibility that the patients’ improvements were due to the attention they received, not the music, the researchers say.

Diet Matters
A decade-long study has shown that diet matters for Alzheimer’s prevention. The study revealed that those participants who most closely followed the MIND diet reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 53%. The MIND diet is a cross between the Mediterranean and DASH diets. It emphasizes ten foods to eat daily and five foods to avoid (see details in story on page 3). Study participants who tried but did not follow the diet perfectly still reduced their risk of getting Alzheimer’s, while those who followed the diet most consistently for the longest time derived the greatest benefit.

Vitamin D
In one study, researchers found a link between Vitamin D deficiency and Alzheimer’s. The 1,658 study participants, all over the age of 65 years, had their Vitamin D levels checked and followed up over several years. During the course of the study, 171 participants developed dementia and 102 developed Alzheimer’s. The results showed that those with low levels of vitamin D were 70% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, and those who were severely deficient were 120% more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than the participants with no Vitamin D deficiency. Although the study does not prove that Vitamin D deficiency causes Alzheimer’s, it has provided direction for further studies on the effect of Vitamin D supplements and foods rich in Vitamin D. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one-third of the U.S. population is deficient in Vitamin D. We get Vitamin D from the sun, as well as from eating eggs, milk, cheese and fatty fish.

Dairy does it
In a recent study conducted at the University of Kansas Medical Center, older healthy adults who drink milk were found to have higher levels of glutathione, a naturally-occurring antioxidant, in the brain. This finding is important because glutathione could help to prevent damage caused by oxidative stress. The researchers compare this damage to that caused by rust building up on a car for a long time. The study participants who came close to eating the recommended three servings of dairy per day had higher levels of glutathione. More studies are needed to determine the precise effect of milk consumption on the brain, the researchers say.

Australian researchers have come up with an ultrasound technology to clear the brain of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles that cause clumps in the brain, resulting in memory loss and a decline in cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients. The study, done on mice, fully restored the memory function of 75% of the mice, and did not cause any damage to their brain tissue. The sound waves activate the brain’s microglial cells. Microglial cells are waste-removal cells, so once activated, they clear out the toxic clumps in the brain. The research team from the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland will next test their results with higher animal models, such as sheep, before they begin their human trials, which they hope to begin in 2017.


The numbers are alarming! More than 26 million Americans suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), a disease that causes kidney failure if left untreated.

When the filters fail

CKD is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and can therefore not perform their blood-filtering function adequately. The waste that should have been filtered and passed on to your bladder for elimination now builds up in your blood. This can cause you problems such as high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, and nerve damage. If your CKD continues untreated, you could suffer kidney failure. This means that your kidneys can no longer be relied on to filter your blood. Your risk for heart disease is also higher with uncontrolled CKD.

The grace period

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the main cause of CKD. Both of these conditions can damage the tiny, delicate filters in the kidneys and cause them not to function properly. This damage happens over the years, presenting us with a grace period; an opportunity to get it under control before the damage happens.

Keeping alert

Don’t allow kidney failure to take you by surprise. You may not have symptoms even when you have lost three-quarters of your kidney function. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting your kidney function tested. Also be aware of symptoms that could indicate poor kidney function, such as fatigue, trouble concentrating, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, swollen feet and ankles, and puffy eyes.

Two simple tests

Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is a blood test that measures your level of kidney function based on the level of creatinine in your blood and other factors such as your age, race and gender.

A simple urine testdi checks for blood or albumin (a type of protein) in the urine, which can be early signs of kidney disease.

CKD Risk factors

The National Kidney Foundation has identified the following as risk factors for CKD. If you have any of these risk factors it is a good idea to get a kidney health check:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Family history of kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease
  • African-American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander heritage
  • Age 60 or older
  • Obesity
  • Low birth weight
  • Prolonged use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen
  • Lupus or other autoimmune disorders
  • Chronic urinary tract infections
  • Kidney stones

If you have CKD

If you have been diagnosed with CKD, here are six recommendations by the National Kidney Foundation for helpful lifestyle adjustments:

  • Lower your blood pressure if it is high
  • Keep blood-sugar levels under control if you are diabetic
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Avoid NSAID painkillers
  • Moderate protein consumption
  • Get an annual flu shot

Love is good for your health

This year, don’t let Valentine’s Day just go by; celebrate the ones you love.
Love is good for your health. Truly! And not just romantic love – all kinds of love. Parents and children, friends and siblings. Here are a few ways that loving relationships are great for you.

Love is good for your heart
A study from Finland showed that married people, both men and women, were much less likely than single people to have a heart attack; and if they did they were less likely to die from it. Another study showed that our disposition in a relationship affects our heart health. The results of that study showed that women who had hostility towards their spouse had increased risk of heart disease, and men who had dominant or controlling behavior towards their spouse had increased risk of heart disease as well.

Blood pressure
One study found that happily married couples had lower blood pressure levels than single people. However, unhappily married couples had higher blood pressure than both their happily married counterparts and single people. This benefit applies to loving friendships as well. Another study found that people in quality relationships of any kind had lower blood pressure, while the loneliest people in the study had up to a 14.4-point rise in systolic blood pressure.

A loving hand
According to a study published in Psychological Science, holding hands with someone you love reduces stress and anxiety. High stress and anxiety can cause blood pressure to rise, increase heart rate, and make you vulnerable to heart disease. The study participants were happily married couples. The women were told they would receive a mild shock to the ankle. Waiting for the shock made the women anxious, but when their husbands held their hands, the women’s anxious brain activity (measured by MRI scan) reduced. A stranger’s touch was also comforting, but less so than the spouse’s touch.

Loving prose, lower cholesterol
In a study published in Human Communication Research, college students spent 20 minutes writing about their love for friends, relatives or romantic partners. They experienced significant drops in total cholesterol (the mean cholesterol levels reduced from 170 mg/dL to 159 mg/dL). Students in the control group wrote about random topics unrelated to love and did not experience the same health benefit. You might want to consider writing a paragraph in the Valentine cards you send out this year!

Remember though, great relationships aren’t built in a day. Great relationships are built daily – on Valentine’s Day and beyond. Keep loving!