Every time Kitty cat came close, Archie would sneeze. It wasn’t a little sneeze, but a great big ATCHOOO that made him do a funny little jump. If Archie played with Puppy dog, he sneezed so loud that if you were standing next to him, YOU would do a little jump. His eyes itched and he rubbed his nose until it was as red as a beetroot.
Archie had allergies.
He was allergic to Kitty and Puppy. He was allergic to many other things too – flowers in Spring, dust in the attic, and even carrots. Yes, Archie was allergic to carrots, which made life difficult because he was a rabbit, you see. And young rabbits love carrots more than anything else. Every time he ate a carrot, he itched all over his body and had to spend ten minutes scratching. His mom had to put mittens on his hands so he wouldn’t hurt himself.
“Why does Archie have such terrible allergies?” Archie’s mom asked the doctor?
“Archie’s body is just trying to protect him from anything that might harm him; things like cat or dog hairs and dust and pollen. But it works too hard to fight these things and so poor Archie sneezes and scratches and rubs his eyes! Keep him away from Kitty and Puppy as much as you can,” the doctor said.

Common allergies
In addition to Pollen, Dust, Pets, Insects and Food, some people are allergic to a Medicine or to something in their medicine. They have to take an alternative or get their medicine specially made to leave out the ingredient that causes the medicine.

Can we help?
Parents, come into NewSpring Pharmacy if you or your child are allergic to something in your prescription medicine such as dye or gluten. We can reformulate the medicine to avoid or replace the allergy causing items.

Osteoporosis – Our bone health enemy

May is National Osteoporosis Month. What a great opportunity to think about our bone health. It is daunting that 54 million Americans are affected by Osteoporosis and low bone mass. How can we ensure our children’s bones grow as healthy as they should so they don’t have problems later in life? How can we maintain our own bone health so we don’t suffer from weakened bones as we age?

What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones lose their density and become brittle, causing them to break easily. Our bones are made of live tissue. Our bodies continuously make and lose bone tissue, but if we make too little, or lose far more than we make, our bones may become weak. When we are young, we make more bone tissue than we lose; this is vital because as we age, we begin to lose more bone than we make. If our bones were dense enough in our youth, then we are less likely to suffer from Osteoporosis. The hips, spine and wrist are most vulnerable and likely to break.

Who is at risk?
While everyone is at risk, some people are more likely to suffer from Osteoporosis. Women are more likely to be affected than men because their bones are naturally smaller and therefore less dense to begin with. Besides, women lose bone mass after menopause due to the drop in estrogen levels. Although men are at lower risk, they should not ignore the danger. While 1 in 2 women over the age of 50 breaks a bone due to Osteoporosis, the figure is 1 in 4 for men over 50. Older people, people of Caucasian and Asian descent and small-framed people are at higher risk of getting Osteoporosis. Poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption also increase the risk of Osteoporosis.

How do I know if I have Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis generally develops gradually, and most people don’t know they have it until something happens. A broken bone may lead to a diagnosis during treatment. Easily broken bones are a symptom of Osteoporosis. It is possible to break a bone in the spine and not know it. A broken bone in the spine may causes pain or it may be painless but lead to a stooped posture and loss of height.

Should I get tested?
Osteoporosis is diagnosed using a bone mineral density (BMD) test. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends that women 65 and older and men 70 and older get tested. Besides, if you are over the age of 50 and have other risk factors, talk to your healthcare provider about testing. If you have broken a bone during a fall or other activity, it is also a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about testing to find out if you are at risk. People with low bone density are more likely to break a bone and are also at higher risk of developing Osteoporosis. If you discover this early, you can begin to take precautionary measures to prevent Osteoporosis.

What next if I am diagnosed with Osteoporosis?
Although Osteoporosis cannot be reversed, there are many things you can do to prevent injury. With the help of your healthcare provider, you can formulate a diet and a safe exercise plan to keep your bones from getting weaker. There are also medications that help prevent broken bones. You will also want to take extra precautions to avoid falling, such as wearing low-heeled shoes and using a non-skid mat in the shower or bathroom.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation website provides excellent advice for people living with Osteoporosis and can help identify a community support group in your area or an online support group.

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


Each year, more than 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and more than 4,000 die as a result…

The cervix is the lower part of the womb. It connects the upper part of the womb, where the baby grows, to the vagina. Cervical cancer happens when the cells of the cervix develop changes that eventually turn into cancer.

What causes Cervical Cancer?
Cervical Cancer is mainly caused by a virus called HPV (Human papillomavirus). HPV is a group of viruses that are spread through skin to skin contact, such as through sexual contact. HPV is usually harmless, but some types of HPV cause changes to the cells on the cervix. If these changes are not detected in time, they can lead to Cervical Cancer. Other types of HPV cause genital warts and other types of cancer such as penis, anus, vagina, vulva, and throat cancers.

Who is at risk of HPV infection?
More than half of sexually active men and women are infected with HPV at some time in their lives. Most people infected with HPV will have no symptoms and the body will clear the infection naturally. However, more than 12,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with Cervical Cancer each year, and more than 4,000 women die.

What can I do to prevent Cervical Cancer?
The good news is that if the precancerous cell changes are detected early, they can be treated before Cervical Cancer develops. Cervical Cancer is therefore completely preventable. That is why it is so important to have a Pap test regularly, as well as a HPV test when recommended by your healthcare provider. Women who are no longer sexually active should still have Pap tests because Cervical Cancer can take as long as 20 years or longer to develop.

What is the HPV Vaccine and who can get it?
HPV vaccine protects against the two types of HPV that cause 70 percent of all Cervical Cancer. Experts recommend that girls and young women ages 11-26 be vaccinated against HPV to prevent cervical, vulvar, and vaginal cancers. Both males and females ages 9-26 can also have the HPV vaccine to prevent against genital warts and anal cancer.

If I’ve had the vaccine I’m immune from Cervical Cancer right?
The vaccine does not make you immune against ever getting Cervical Cancer. It protects you against 70 percent of the HPV types that could cause Cervical Cancer, so you are much less likely to get it. It is still important to get Pap tests regularly to detect and treat any other infection early.

To find out if you qualify for a free or low-cost mammogram and Pap test and where to get screened, call: (888) 257-8502

Heart News

Here’s a rundown on some of the recent research findings on heart health…

Never too early
Whatever your age, your cholesterol levels and blood pressure are important for your future heart health.
Research has recently shown that the longer you have lived with high cholesterol the higher your risk of heart disease. The research results were published in the journal Circulation last month. They show that at age 55, if you’ve had high cholesterol for 1 to 10 years, you have double the risk of heart disease compared to people who had low cholesterol levels. If you’ve had high cholesterol for 11 to 20 years, you have quadruple the risk of heart disease compared to people who had low cholesterol levels
The study concluded that for every 10 years a person has borderline-elevated cholesterol between the ages of 35 and 55, their risk of heart disease increases by nearly 40 percent.
Another study on blood pressure suggests that young and middle-aged adults with systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or more (the first number in the blood pressure reading) may have an increased risk for heart disease, stroke and kidney damage in future. Women with high systolic pressure were found to have a 55 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease than women with normal blood pressure. For men, the difference was 23 percent.
Accurate reading
We know that monitoring our blood pressure regularly is important, particularly for people with a history or risk of high blood pressure. And now there’s a more accurate way – ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. You wear the monitoring device all day as you go about your regular business. The device measures your blood pressure at regular intervals and stores the data. You keep a diary of your activity during the day, and doctors use the data from the monitor and the information in your diary to determine whether your blood pressure is high. Researchers found that the data gathered in this manner was up to 40 percent better at predicting future heart attacks, strokes and heart disease than individual blood pressure checks done in a doctor’s office.
Diet do’s and don’ts
Recent studies also provide information on diet do’s and don’ts for heart health. We have known that fruit is good for heart health, and now the results of a study from China emphasize just how important. The study found that people who ate more fruit decreased their risk of getting cardiovascular disease and lowered their blood pressure. Even just one additional portion per day helped lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Another study established the value of eating avocados. The study found that people who ate a moderate-fat diet, and also ate an avocado every day, had lower bad cholesterol levels than those on a similar diet without an avocado a day, and those on a lower-fat diet and no avocado a day. A study on alcohol consumption and heart health found that even people who only drink light to moderate amounts of alcohol benefit from reducing their alcohol consumption, while new research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, found that drinking more than two alcoholic beverages daily in middle-age may raise your stroke risk more than traditional factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Calm mind, healthy heart
Everyone knows that daily exercise is good for the heart, but did you know that yoga has similar health benefits? Researchers at Harvard University found that people randomly assigned to take yoga classes saw improvements in their weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. The calming effects of Yoga could be one of the reasons for the benefits. Certainly, stress is unhealthy. An interesting study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that people who are stressed out, as indicated by their angry communications on Twitter, are at increased risk of heart disease.


“It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you ‘Be of good cheer’…
It’s the hap -happiest season of all…”

December is a month filled with holidays and celebration. If you love the holidays, then the words of the old 60s song that declares this ‘the most wonderful time of the year’ probably puts a smile on your face. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Bodhi Day, or simply enjoy the season as a whole, we wish you health and happiness! Do you and your family have a favorite holiday tradition? Here are some of our favorites…

Get some music into your holiday
Christmas caroling is an ancient tradition, dating as far back as A.D. 129. This is one tradition that’s guaranteed to get you and your family into the holiday spirit. And it’s free and easy to do – all you have to do is sing. You can do it at home – a good old family sing along with just your family, or invite friends over to join you. Or you can seek out the music wherever it’s to be found – at the mall, a jazz concert or ballet. Why make music part of your holiday tradition? Studies have found that music relieves stress and elevates the listener’s mood. One study found that music’s effect on anxiety levels is similar to the effect of getting a massage.

Light up the mood
Many holiday traditions involve lighting candles. A candle is lit each night for eight nights during Hanukkah. Similarly, a candle is lit on each of the seven nights of Kwanzaa. On Christmas Eve, candles are lit during midnight mass. In our own homes, lighting candles can be a pleasant family holiday tradition. Candles have a calming effect and offer an opportunity to dim the lights and unwind. Don’t just burn any old candles though. Make sure you get beeswax candles, which purify the air as they burn, and are therefore good for your health.

Create a family tradition
Create a new tradition; one that is your very own and makes you proud to be a member of your amazing family. If the weather allows, a family walk, run or bike ride might be a lot of fun. Pick a day and a route, name the activity after your family and even print t-shirts for all the participants. How about a family photo day with a difference? Pick a fun and beautiful location for your family photo and plan a fun photo day. If everyone is having a good time the smiles will come naturally for a great family picture.

Make someone happy
Giving and receiving gifts is one of the most satisfying holiday traditions, especially for children. It’s also a great time for family community service or to give thoughtful gifts to the less fortunate. Not sure where to start? Check out the Volunteer Opportunity Calendar at Studies show that giving is good for your health. Some of the health benefits associated with giving are lower blood pressure, increased self-esteem, less depression, lower stress levels, longer life, and greater happiness. So in a sense, you will get as good as you give this holiday season.

Food challenge
The holidays are about tasty food, not healthy food, right? Wrong. Who said healthy food has to be boring? Here’s a great food challenge: Find ways to make healthy food into tasty food. For instance, you can find ways to prepare and serve fruits and vegetables that gets everyone wanting to eat them, or add a healthy secret ingredient into a fun food like cookies. See the article on Page 3 for some creative tips on this. If you and your family are eating healthy through the holidays you will feel great and be happier.

Get to know the neighbors
What better time to get to know the neighbors than when everyone is in a relaxed holiday mood. But don’t just show up at their door empty handed! Bring them some festive home-baked cookies or another of your favorite homemade treats. Baking the cookies will make for a fun family tradition, and you might put a smile on a few faces with your surprise gifts. Don’t forget to save some of those cookies for yourselves to enjoy after you’re done with your deliveries.

Medical Technology: EIGHT Outstanding Advances

Medical technology is advancing fast, enabling us to experience greater wellness in the face of medical challenges.

In this article we tell you about eight outstanding scientific advances from recent times.