National Donate Life Month (NDLM) was founded by Donate Life America and its partnering organizations in 2003. Observed every April, NDLM encourages Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. It also honors people who’ve saved lives by donating life-saving organs. What’s more, it’s a perfect time to honor the actual organ recipients, their families, caregivers and clinical teams as well, because everyone working together makes a difference.
There are many reasons why organ, eye and tissue donations are so vitally important and have such life-changing impacts, not the least of which are:
When you sign up on a donation registry, you’re added to a national system that ultimately matches available donor organs with people on a waiting list. A new person is added to the list every 10 minutes, and 22 people die each day awaiting a transplant that never comes.
In addition to the national Donate Life America organization, here at home Donate Life Mississippi is a partnership of Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency, Mid-South Transplant Foundation, Mississippi Lions Eye Bank and the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS). Its mission is to promote the need for organ, eye and tissue donations in our state. It does this by educating Mississippi residents on the growing need for registered donors so that they can make an educated decision about donating when asked by a DPS examiner if they wish to be a registered donor and to have this designation indicated on their driver’s license.
NDLM has traditionally featured in-person events. In light of the impact COVID-19 has had on most in-person gatherings, however, Donate Life America is encouraging an online-only approach to this year’s observances. Here are some ways you can do so.
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March is National Sleep Awareness Month. We wanted to take the opportunity to talk about some important things that you may not know about sleep.
1. Lack of sleep increases the risk of Alzheimer's: Sleep plays a major role in cleaning out toxins in the brain and throughout the body. The system that removes toxins is 10 times more active when the body is sleeping than when it is awake. Sleep deprivation is believed to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, because the body has been denied the opportunity to remove the amount of toxins necessary. As these toxins accumulate, diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia can develop.
2. Sleep deprivation is more dangerous for women: Women and men face different challenges when it comes to health; for sleep, it is no different. A recent study from Duke University found that sleep deprivation has a greater impact on the health of women. While men are more likely to be impacted by sleep deprivation, women appear to suffer more consequences. Women who suffer from sleep deprivation are at higher risk of cardiovascular and diabetes than their male counterparts, according to the researchers. They speculated that the difference in naturally occurring hormone levels in men and women could be the reason but said more research is needed.
3. Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system: While you sleep, your immune system produces protective, infection-fighting substances like antibodies and cytokines. It uses these substances to combat foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Certain cytokines also help you to sleep, giving your immune system more efficiency to defend your body against illness. Sleep deprivation prevents your immune system from building up its forces. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body may not be able to fend off invaders, and it may also take you longer to recover from illness. Long-term sleep deprivation also increases your risk for chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
As you can see, it is vital to your health to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Here are a few tips on how to improve your sleep
Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis can help you to feel well rested, refreshed and avoid fatigue. The number of hours of sleep that a person requires varies but is usually between 7-10 hours. Here are some of the health benefits of getting enough regular, quality sleep.
We carry top-quality herbal, mineral and nutritional supplements that may help you improve your sleep. Learn more and to order, visit https://shop.freedompharmacyms.com/collections/sleep-support.
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Prilosec belongs to a class of acid-suppressing drugs and antacids. It treats stomach and esophagus problems like acid reflux and ulcers – symptoms of which can include frequent heartburn (defined as two or more times a week), difficulty swallowing and persistent cough – by reducing the amount of excess acids produced by the stomach.
Prilosec helps to heal damage to the stomach and esophagus caused by acids and helps prevent ulcers. It may also help prevent cancer of the esophagus. Prilosec isn’t intended for immediate relief of heartburn as it may take up to four days to take full effect.
There are three types of these drugs:
H2 antagonists (histamine, or H2 blockers) are available in both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) strengths. They block histamine receptors on the cells that comprise the mucous membrane lining of the stomach. Histamine is a chemical that, in part, triggers the release of stomach acids to aid in digestion. H2 antagonists decrease production and secretion of these acids. Brand names include Pepcid, Tagamet, and Axid.
Proton-pump inhibitors block the acid transporter on the luminal surface – the lining – of the small and large intestine in your gastrointestinal tract. This prevents acid from entering the lumen. Brand names include Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid.
Antacids, which are available OTC and don’t require a doctor’s prescription, act by neutralizing the acid in the stomach and by inhibiting a powerful enzyme in gastric juices called pepsin. Pepsin digests proteins in the foods you eat and dairy products. Antacids are effective against heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion and stomach upset. Popular brand names include Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, and Mylanta.
Just as there are benefits to taking Prilosec, there are potential side effects as well. Two less common ones may include headache and abdominal pain, neither of which require immediate medical attention unless they persist or worsen. More serious side effects requiring immediate medical attention could include symptoms of low magnesium blood level – like unusually fast, slow or irregular heartbeat; persistent muscle spasms and seizures; or signs of lupus, like rash on your nose and cheeks, or new or worsening joint pain.
In addition to side effects, Prilosec can cause depletions of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and iron, as well as beneficial bacteria.
These medications have their purposes, but were designed to be used for short amounts of time, not for long term use.
Freedom pharmacists have an effective plan to taper those wanting to get off or lessen the use of PPI’s due to the long term side effects that result in possible disease states. We are available for a free short consult to explain this process and help one transition to a safer more natural approach to help ease reflux and aid in repairing the esophageal and stomach lining.
Freedom Pharmacy carries numerous supplements that can help you offset these depletions. Explore some at the link below:
For a personalized consultation on selecting a supplement or group of supplements, contact one of our pharmacists today!
March is Help Fight Liver Disease Month, and it’s a movement that focuses on the
important role that the liver plays in your total health.
Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. It’s approximately the size of a football and is located under your lower ribcage on the right side. It stores a sugar called glucose, which gives you energy boosts.
There are over 100 different types of liver disease, including:
Diseases caused by viruses, such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
Diseases caused by drugs, poisons, or too much alcohol. Examples include fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.
Inherited diseases, such as hemochromatosis and Wilson disease
Symptoms of liver disease vary, but they include abdominal pain and swelling, leg and ankle pain and swelling, bruising easily, changes in the color of your stool and urine, itchy skin, dark urine color, pale stool color, chronic fatigue, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, and jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes. Sometimes there are no symptoms. Imaging tests and liver function tests can check for liver damage and help to diagnose liver diseases.
Common causes of liver disease are:
Excessive use of alcohol
Poor diet and/or obesity
Reactions to medications, street drugs, or toxic chemicals
Methods for preventing liver disease include:
Avoid alcohol (beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks).
Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, if not already immune. Also get a one-time pneumovax and yearly fall flu shots.
Avoid liver-toxic medications, such as over-the-counter pain killers (aspirin-like medications). Tylenol (acetaminophen) in less than 2 grams per day is safest (one extra-strength every 6 hours). Some cholesterol drugs can also occasionally hurt your liver. Some medicines can cause damage if combined with alcohol or other drugs. Review all other medications with your doctor.
Avoid iron supplementation unless your doctor has shown that you are iron deficient. (If you take a multivitamin, use a brand that does have iron as an ingredient.)
Eat a low-fat, “heart smart” diet, which helps prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that leads to cirrhosis. It’s also good for your heart!
If cirrhosis develops, get screened yearly with upper endoscopy to follow your risk of bleeding and with ultra-sound to detect liver cancer.
For additional support, visit our online store and check out our selection of premium liver health supplements. You may also contact our pharmacists for a consultation!
MedlinePlus, National Library of Medicine:
It has been said that a healthy gut means a healthy you. Nearly 70 percent of your immune system is housed in your digestive system. All food is ultimately broken down in the gut to a simple form that can enter the bloodstream and be delivered as nutrients throughout our bodies. This is only possible with a healthy digestive system. A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that ward off infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A healthy gut also communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being.
Ensuring good gut health requires getting enough probiotics and prebiotics in your diet. Probiotics are live bacteria that are in certain foods and supplements. Prebiotics and probiotics may improve digestive health, improve mental health by strengthening the link between gut and brain health, provide relief to people suffering from stomach and intestinal disorders, and positively affect several other general health concerns.
Prebiotics are substances that come from carbohydrates, primarily fiber, that the human body can’t digest. They’re a food source for probiotics and other beneficial organisms in your gut. Similar to probiotics, prebiotics may support a healthy gut by improving digestive health, as well as lead to fewer antibiotic-related health problems. They may also provide other benefits.
Probiotics can be found in most fermented foods and beverages including yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and cultured buttermilk. Prebiotics are easily derived from a well-balanced diet that prioritizes high-fiber foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
Some foods – like cheese, kefir, and sauerkraut – even have both probiotics and prebiotics. If you’re unable to get an adequate amount of probiotics and prebiotics solely from foods and beverages, supplements can help fill the gap.
Check out the prebiotic and probiotic supplements in our online store here:
Always consult your health care provider before starting a probiotic program.
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