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Co-Enzyme Q10

Sunburn

Flu Shots

Blood Pressure Checks

Sore Throats

Arthritis

Diverticulitis

Deep Vein Thrombosis

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Co-Enzyme Q10 - your questions answered

What is CoQ10?
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring enzyme found in every living cell. It is essential for the manufacture of energy necessary for all of our body processes.

What will CoQ10 do for me?
In addition to being essential for energy production, CoQ10 is an excellent antioxidant and immune system stimulant. These properties make CoQ10 highly beneficial in the management and prevention of many diseases.

What conditions benefit from CoQ10?
The heart muscle contains the greatest amounts of CoQ10 in the body and many heart conditions benefit from CoQ10 supplementation. These conditions include stroke, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina and atherosclerosis (cholesterol build-up on atery walls). Taken before and after cardiac surgery, CoQ10 has been shown to reduce complications and hasten recovery. CoQ10 has also been shown to dramatically improve periodental disease (inflammation and infection of the gums) and may also be of benefit in migraine, headache, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Parkinson's Disease and Huntington's Chorea.

People with diabetes and obesity can benefit due to CoQ10's role in energy production. CoQ10 may also enhance aerobic capacity and muscle performance making it a great supplement for athletes and people suffering fatigue (e.g. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or post-viral syndromes), or for those with muscular dystrophies.

I am on a cholesterol-lowering medication and have been advised to take CoQ10. Why is this?
Certain drugs used to treat high cholesterol (statins) have been found to decrease the levels of CoQ10 in the body. This occurs because of the role of these medications is to inhibit the enzyme HmgCoA-reductase which is involved in production of cholesterol by our body. This enzyme is also essential for CoQ10 manufacture, an action that is therefore also blocked by statin medications. Many people taking statin medications experience muscle aches and pains, believed to be due to the deficiency ini CoQ10 that occurs. Supplementation with 100mg/day of CoQ10 restores levels to normal and reverses some of the side effects of statin use. It is also very important to supplement with CoQ10 if on statin medication as CoQ10 deficiency is associated with various heart conditions and people with high cholesterol are already at higher risk of heart problems.

What does should I take?
The recommended dose to take in conjunction with statin medications is 100mg per day. Dosage recommendations vary depending on the condition being treated. Our Pharmacists can advise you on the best dose for your circumstance.

Why supplement? Don't I get CoQ10 through my diet?
CoQ10 is found in meat and fish products and in lesser quantities in broccoli, cauliflower, nuts, spinach and soy. The CoQ10 in these foods are significantly reduced however by length of storage, processing and cooking. In addition to this, poor eating habits, stress, infection, statin medications and ageing all affect the body's ability to produce adequate amounts of CoQ10.

Are there any safety issues with taking CoQ10?
CoQ10 is extremely well-tolerated and non-toxic with very little occurrence of side effects.

Will CoQ10 interact with other medications I am using?
It is important to let your Doctor know if you are considering using CoQ10 and are already on other medications as there is a potential for interaction. CoQ10 can reduce the vascular side effects of the eye drops Timolol without effecting eye pressure.


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Sunburn

Ideally prevention is far better than a cure for sunburn; therefore the use of sunscreens, protective clothing, wearing a hat and minimising exposure to the sun (especially during the middle of the day) is extremely important.

If you do, however, find yourself with a painful case of sunburn, there are measure to relieve the symptoms and to promote healing. The most important measures to take include:

  1. Avoid further sun exposure until the redness, peeling and pain have disappeared
  2. Wear loose, soft clothing to avoid irritation of the burned skin
  3. Drink plenty of water to replenish fluid levels as dehydration is a potentially dangerous side effect of too much exposure to the sun
  4. Take cool showers and apply cool compresses
  5. We recommend the application of a hydrogel (brand names include Solosite or Solugel) as often as possible to burnt areas. These products will dump water back into the skin and hydrate the area. If applied soon enough, they will prevent the formation of blisters and peeling.

For the pain of sunburn, simple analgesics such as Panadol or Nurofen are suitable. Please check with the Pharmacist or your Doctor if these medications would be suitable for you.

Other moisturisers such as after sun preparations and aloe vera gels are also fine to use to return moisture back into the skin, however they will not prevent peeling. It is important to check the alcohol content of these products, particularly aloe vera gels and sprays, as they can dry out the skin.

For severe sunburn, or if you are experiencing blistering, severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, chills or severe pain, you should see your Doctor.


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Should you have a Flu Shot?

The Flu, also known as influenza, is a common and highly contagious disease that affects millions of Australians each year. A typical case of flu may cause some people to feel unwell and miss days of work. However, in the elderly and people with existing health problems, it can lead to hospitalisation or even be life-threatening. The Fluvax is recommended for everyone aged 65 years and over, and for children and adults with a chronic medical condition. Anyone whose immune system is not fully functioning should also consider a flu injection. Please see your Doctor today to discuss or to obtain a prescription.


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Blood Pressure Checks

Your blood pressure is the pressure of the blood in the arteries as the heart pumps it around the body. Blood pressure does not stay the same all the time - it changes to meet your body's needs. It blood pressure remains high, it can lead to serious problems like a heart attack, stroke, heart failure or kidney disease.

Measuring blood pressure
Blood pressure is usually measured by an instrument called a sphygmomanometer. It is best to measure blood pressure when you are relaxed and sitting or lying down.
bp
Blood pressure is recorded as two numbers, such as 120/80. The larger number indicates the pressure in the arteries as the heart squeezes out blood during each beat. It is called the systolic blood pressure. The lower number indicates the pressure as the heart relaxes before the next beat. It is called the diastolic blood pressure.

Blood pressure varies
Blood pressure changes to meet your body’s needs. If a reading is high, your Doctor will measure your blood pressure again on several separate occasions to confirm the level. Your doctor may also recommend that you measure your blood pressure at home or have a 24-hour recording with a monitor device. This can be useful if going to the clinic makes your blood pressure rise.

High blood pressure
There is no ‘ideal’ blood pressure reading. The following figures for clinic blood pressures can be used as a guide:

Come into one of our pharmacies and one of our expert staff will be happy to take your blood pressure or assist you in obtaining your own blood pressure machine.


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Sore Throats

A sore throat is a raw, painful feeling in the throat aggravated by swelling. It is one of the most common complaints for which people see a Doctor. There are four different areas of the throat that may become sore:

  1. Pharyngitis - the pharynx is the area behind the mouth and soft palate at the back of the throat
  2. Tonsillitis - the tonsils are located at the sides of the throat and will appear red and swollen
  3. Laryngitis - the larynx is at the top of hte airway. When infected, patients suffer hoarseness or loss of voice
  4. Epiglottitis - is a flap that closes over the airway during swallowing. The patient will have difficulty breathing

HEALTH MANAGEMENT
Most sore throats clear up with 7-10 days. If symptoms persist, see your Doctor.

Antibiotics may be prescribed for a bacterial sore throat, but will not be effective against viruses. An antiseptic spray or gargle such as Difflam C or Betadine will help ease the symptoms of a sore throat. Medicated lozenges such as Difflam or Cepacol are convenient to suck on to relieve pain and inflammation of the throat.

For any advice on symptoms, please come in and speak to our friendly and expert staff.


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Arthritis

People usually complain of pain in the affected joint. Symptoms usually start from middle age onwards. The pain is generally described as a deep ache, which is hard to localise. The affected joints are not usually hot or inflamed, unless the osteoarthritis is very advanced. Exercise makes the pain worse, rest relieves it, but prolonged inactivity may result in stiffness. Morning stiffness is common, but usually lasts less than 30 minutes. Osteoarthritis may come and go, with periods when there is very little or no pain. Some people identify particular times when the pain is worse, for example, in damp weather.

Medicine therapy for arthritis include simple analgesics, namely Paracetamol. Regular paracetamol, two tablets (1gm), three or four times daily, is the first choice of treatment in mild to moderate osteoarthritis. It must, however, be taken regularly - not just when required - to have the best effect. Aspirin is not usually recommended in osteoarthritis because of the level of doses required for pain relief and the adverse effects on the stomach.

Osteoarthritis is more common in the elderly and it is normally recommended that they avoid products containing medicines which affect the central nervous system (CNS), for example, codeine. These medicines can cause constipation and elderly people may be more susceptible to CNS effects such as sedation. Glucosamine has been shown to help relieve pain and preserve cartilage, but may take up to four weeks for effects to be noticed.

Physiotherapy and occupational therapy are important for pain management and keeping limbs functioning. Weight control will reduce the weight on the joints. Heat may be useful before exercise and ice packs useful after exercise. This is an individual preference and should be trialled for a week or two to determine if either of these treatments provide any pain relief. The ultimate therapy for osteoarthritis of a joint is to replace the joint. This is a relatively common operation in which the total joint (hip, knee, etc) is replaced. However, replacements have a limited life of about 10 years before another replacement is required. The improved mobility and quality of life after these operations is often dramatic.


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Diverticulitis


Diverticulitis occurs when small sacs located in the large intestine become inflamed. Diverticula are small pockets of bowel projecting through the outer muscle layer of the intestine. These small sacs are forced out by increased pressure within the bowel. A low fibre diet causes increased force of contraction, raising pressure inside the bowel and contributing to the formation diverticula. Constipation, decreased physical activity and ageing are also associated with the formation of diverticula.

HEALTH MANAGEMENT:

Ask our expert staff for supplements that will increase your fibre in your daily diet


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Deep Vein Thrombosis


A thrombosis is a blood clot. The clot may block a blood vessel, causing potentially serious health effects. A deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the leg. A deep vein thrombosis in the thigh carries a risk of pulmonary embolism. This occurs when the clot, or thrombus, loses its attachment to the inside of the vein, leaves the leg and lodges in the pulmonary artery, the main blood vessel to the lungs. If the clot is large enough, it can completely block the artery and cause death.

Blood flow through the leg veins generally requires some mechanical help, since it ‘flows’ up instead of down. Working calf muscles act as a pump. The contracting muscles compress the veins and force the blood in these veins upwards to the heart. This process is aided by valves in the veins, which direct the flow of blood and counteract the effects of gravity.

Sitting still for long periods of time allows blood to pool in the veins.

SYMPTOMS
The symptoms of a DVY may include:

RISK FACTORS
Some of the risk factors that may contribute to the formation of a blood clot include:

COMPLICATIONS OF DVT
If the DVT remains in the leg vein, it can cause a number of complications, including inflammation (phlebitis) and leg ulcers. However, the real danger occurs if the clot leaves the vein and travels through the circulatory system. A pulmonary embolism means the clot has blocked off the main artery to the lungs or one of its major branches. It is estimated that 80% of cases are linked to DVT.

ECONOMY CLASS SYNDROME
International flights are suspected of contributing to the formation of Deep Vein Thrombosis in susceptible people. Some airlines err on the side of caution and offer suggestions to passengers to reduce the risk of DVT.

DIAGNOSIS METHODS
A DVT can easily be mistaken for other disorders, including lymphoedema and chronic cenous disease. The diagnosis of a DVT is confirmed using a number of tests such as:

TREATMENT OPTIONS
Treatment for DVT includes:

Come in and ask our staff about TRAVERNO compression stockings. Available in black and beige for both men and women. We also stock a large range of Jobst Compression Stockings.


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