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Allergies and Asthma Dr. Hister On

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Dr. Hister looks at getting off the couch and starting an exercise program to improve your health.

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Allergies and Asthma Peoples Pharmacist Ian Lloyd discusses the connection between these these two health conditions.

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The Power of Exercise

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Managing The Power Menopause of Exercise The topic I was handed for this month’s column is “The Power of Exercise,” which when I first glanced at it one evening after a 2nd glass of merlot, sounded to me as if my editor wanted me to write an article in the style of one of those television evangelists or a motivational speaker like Steven Covey or Deepak Chopra. But since even in that state of diminished awareness, I was still aware that my editor knows that I’m Jewish so that I’ve really never paid attention to evangelists, and he also knows that the only motivational programming I ever pay heed to is the regular lecturing I get from my wife, a woman whose style is simply not subject to mimicking in an article, I quickly deduced that my editor was really just asking me to write something about his thought that exercise is an incredibly powerful tool to help us live longer and to stay healthy. And he’s right to think so. What I mean is that if you had a contest to pick the single thing that any one of us could do or take or even have done to us that would make the biggest difference in helping us live longer, healthier, happier and more stress-free lives than we currently live – getting a lifetime supply of any of the drugs currently out there, for example, undergoing any of the many surgical techniques that we now have to improve our lot, obtaining a huge supply of one of those all-powerful foods that are constantly promoted in internet viral messages as “dude, this is the one you just have to eat more of,” as for example, berries harvested from remote jungles in Africa which

are eaten in great abundance by tribes that never get hemorrhoids or cancer or migraines (but then the berry-eaters also only live to an average age of 43, something the berry pushers rarely point out), in fact any lifestyle manipulation you can name – being more active and doing more exercise (which are not necessarily the same thing although they generally do go hand-in-hand) would be so far ahead of the others as to make the contest nothing but a race for a distant 2nd place. In fact, doing regular exercise has proven to be so “powerful” in extending both length and quality of life that according to one of the world’s leading authorities on risk factors for disease and premature death, if exercise were a pill, everyone would happily be taking the maximum dose of such a pill every single day of their lives (but then swallowing a pill is easy, moving your tush, not so easy). Or putting it in a way that may be more meaningful to some of you: doing regular exercise (albeit exercise that you like and which you can tolerate) is the most important weapon you can use to 1) lower your risk of dying before your time should be up, 2) lower your risk of developing nearly any chronic illness you can name - heart disease, diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis – and 3 ) slow down the progress of nearly any chronic illness you already have. And interestingly, that latter claim holds even for most conditions for which we have already some pretty good therapies. Take, for example, erectile dysfunction or ED. Continued On Page 11

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Ian Lloyd

Pharmacist, Peoples Pharmacy

Allergies and Asthma At first glance, these two conditions might seem to be very different. In reality, allergies and asthma are related. Allergies are believed to play a role in asthma. It is thought that an over-reaction to common allergens can lead to a constriction of the airways and or increased inflammation in the lungs. The frightening experience of an asthma attack is hard to describe. Someone described it to me best as trying to breathe through a drinking straw; but you can’t take the straw out of your mouth. This “fighting to breathe” is a significant health crisis and leads to many emergency room visits. With proper education and treatment, people with asthma can lead rewarding lives. Many Olympic athletes have asthma, including Jackie Joyner-Kersee. One natural solution to help treat allergies and asthma is simple: avoidance. How can one avoid allergens that are everywhere? Stay indoors all day in a bubble? No, there is no need to be this drastic. It is true that we spend most of our time at home. We also spend the most of that time in our bedrooms: this is where you start. We spend almost hours a day in our bedroom, so it should be an allergen-free sanctuary. Pets should not be allowed to spend extended amounts of time in this room. The carpets should be vacuumed, with a vacuum cleaner that uses a HEPA filter, and surfaces should be dusted regularly. If possible, an air filtration device should be kept in the bedroom. Change sheets regularly and wash them in hot water to kill any dust mites. Cover mattress and pillows in dust proof covers. During the day, consider covering your entire bed with a sheet. At night, remove this sheet and put it in another room. This will help to keep the dust off your bed. Does diet play a role in asthma or allergies? We are not sure. There are classic foods allergens for some people; wine, chocolate, seafood, nuts, etc. Naturopathic 6 People First peoplesdrugmart.com - NEW!

physicians often recommend avoiding certain foods that might cause 'sub-clinical' allergies. There is little evidence that this will help, but there is no harm in trying. Often avoidance of certain food groups can improve your health in other ways: such as, better digestion, more energy, better skin and less joint pain. The most common food allergens are: wheat (gluten), dairy, eggs and soy. If you only want to avoid one food group, make it wheat. Intolerance to wheat gluten, or celiac disease, is more prevalent than people might think. Are there any supplements that can help with asthma? Sadly, the answer is no. But there are a few options. In one study, children with asthma who took omega-3 oil supplements demonstrated better lung function, less medication use and less coughing. There is no harm in trying this supplement; about 1-2 grams a day would be adequate. There are many kid-friendly, and great tasting, omega-3 oil supplements available. Ask your Peoples Drug Mart Pharmacist for help finding one. One supplement that can help with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis (runny nose) is butterbur (Petasites hybridus). In one study, a special extract of butterbur was as effective as over the counter anti-histamines in treating seasonal allergies. This supplement has also been found to be helpful in preventing migraine headaches. If you are thinking about trying butterbur, you must find a particular formulation. These standardized extracts have been processed to remove all the toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) that are naturally present in butterbur. The most common trade name product is called Petadolex. Talk to your Peoples Pharmacist or Naturopath for more information about Butterbur. Butterbur is thought to work by preventing the formation of compounds called leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are inflammatory substances produced by the body in response to allergic reactions. Continued On Page 8


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an

o d...Continued From Page

These leukotrienes are also implicated in the worsening of asthma symptoms. Homeopathy has also been shown to be quite helpful in treating seasonal allergies. I have found that people who use the homeopathic allergy combination products find similar relief to those who use, or don't respond to, over the counter antihistamines. One of the best studies to compare homeopathy to placebo in the treatment of allergic rhinitis appeared in the August 19, 2000, issue of the British Medical Journal. In this study, 50 patients received either a 30CH homeopathic allergy preparation or placebo. After four weeks, their nasal inspiratory peak flow and allergy symptoms were compared with a baseline reading. The homeopathy patients demonstrated a significant improvement in nasal peak flow readings, which measures how congested a person’s nose is. Patients also showed improvement on allergy symptoms, but this was not significant when compared to placebo. What I found interesting was that patients who took the homeopathic preparation showed an initial worsening in symptoms, which lasted an average of four days. This “homeopathic aggravation”, or temporary worsening of symptoms, is consistent with homeopathic treatment.

One should keep this in mind when trying any homeopathic preparation; sometimes things get worse before they get better. My favourite supplement recommendation for allergic rhinitis is quercetin. Quercetin is a natural flavonoid found in many fruits and vegetables. The best sources include apples, green tea and onions. During an allergic reaction, your body’s immune system recognizes a foreign substance and tries to get rid of it. It does this by causing a part of the immune system, called mast cells, to break apart and release histamine and other inflammatory compounds. This causes a lot of congestion and prevents the spread of the foreign substance. This sounds like a great idea, but with seasonal allergies there tends to be an over-reaction to allergens. How quercetin, and other flavonoids, work is by preventing the breakdown of mast cells and the subsequent release of histamine. This is referred to as mast cell stabilization. Vitamin C and the synthetic flavonoid cromolyn sodium can also act as mast cell stabilizers. I recommend a more soluble form called quercetin chalcone, a dose of 250mg taken two or three times a day. Side effects of headache may occur, but this is rare. Continued On Page 10

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pharmacist recommended Health & Wellness Information From Your Peoples Pharmacist

CoEnzyme Q10 The Latin word ‘ubique’ means ‘everywhere;’ ubiquinone is another name for coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, because it is found in every live human cell, where it is essential for life and health. CoQ10 is a fat-soluble, vitamin-like nutrient that helps produce energy at the cellular level, fueling the cells and muscles. CoQ10 is found in high concentrations in the heart, kidneys, and liver. It also enhances immune system function, and is a potent antioxidant, scavenging free radicals to protect cells from oxidative damage. People over the age of 50 should consider taking CoQ10 supplements. Coenzyme Q10 is produced by the body, usually in good supply in our early years, but supplemental CoQ10 can be needed when the body simply does not make enough. Since the heart is the most active muscle in the body, a CoQ10 deficiency affects the heart most, and can lead to serious health problems.

Cardiovascular diseases, including high blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, can increase the body’s demand for CoQ10. Anyone over the age of 50 needs more CoQ10, as levels tend to decline as we age. A growing body of evidence suggests that coenzyme Q10 supplements, alone or in combination with other drug therapies and nutritional supplements, may prevent or treat cardiovascular diseases such as elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, mitral valve prolapse, and angina. In addition, certain cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins (such as Lipitor, Mevacor, Pravachol and Crestor) appear to deplete natural levels of CoQ10 in the body. Taking CoQ10 supplements can correct the deficiency caused by statin medications without affecting the medication's positive effects on cholesterol levels. Talk to your Peoples Pharmacist on how CoQ10 may help with your health and wellness.

health news Berries May Help Protect Your Brain Women who eat more berries may have a lower risk of cognitive decline in old age, a recent study suggests. Researchers found that women who had a higher berry intake delayed cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years. Strawberries and blueberries, which have high levels of compounds called flavonoids, seemed to offer the greatest benefit, the researchers said. The study showed an association, not a cause-andeffect link, and more work is needed to confirm the findings. Still, there are plausible ways to explain how berries protect cognitive function. Stress and inflam-

mation may contribute to cognitive impairment, and flavonoids have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing consumption of flavonoids could mitigate the harmful effects. Previous research of flavonoids, particularly a group of compounds called anthocyanins, has been done with animals and very small trials in older persons, the researchers said. These studies have also suggested greater consumption of foods with these compounds improves cognitive function.

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o d...Continued From Page

One, often overlooked, allergy season option is the nasal rinse. I'm not referring to the gentle salt water sprays that help to moisturize the nostril. These are the more vigorous, nasal flushes. A review of scientific data, appeared in the February 2003 issue of the Canadian Family Physician, determined that nasal rinses were a simple and inexpensive option to help treat various sinus and nasal conditions. I find using a sinus rinse product can really help with my seasonal allergies. Once your get over the awkwardness of squirting about a cup of salty water up your nose, things are great. Ask your Peoples Pharmacist to help you find a nasal irrigation product. I personally use a NeilMed sinus rinse. Asthma, or any other shortness of breath, is a serious medical condition that should be brought to the attention of your physician. These 'wheezing' spells might not go away. Often they can be prevented or treated quite easily. Seasonal allergies can be very troublesome and tiring for those affected by them. When the symptoms of fatigue, watery nose and eyes and or sneezing get your down, visit your People's Drug Mart Pharmacist. They can help you choose the right anti-histamine or supplement to help treat your symptoms. It is a good idea to keep track of your allergy symptoms and any remedies

that might have helped. Writing these thoughts on a calendar is a good idea. By the time next allergy season is upon us, you will remember when the symptoms started and what treatments worked. Take charge of your health, or it will take charge of you. Online resources for asthma and allergies The Weather Network Pollen count in your area. http: www.theweathernetwork.com pollenfx canpollen0en This website provides a listing of pollen counts for many cities across Canada. Asthma Control by Glaxo-Wellcome www.asthmacontrol.com This is Glaxo’s Internet version of their Asthma Control Program. This site is packed with practical tips and suggestions to help people better manage their asthma. Glaxo provides action and monitoring plans for managing asthma, instructions on how to use a peak flow-meter and forms to record the results, and an abundance of other information. Patients are also able to sign up on-line to receive regular information updates about asthma care. This site is excellent for anyone who wishes to know more about asthma. Written By Ian Lloyd, Pharmacist & Chartered Herbalist, Peoples Pharmacy

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Dr. Hister...Continued From Page 4

Thus, most studies have found that exercise is not only the best preventive for ED, but also for a man who’s already developed ED, exercise is a more effective tool to slow down the progression of his ED – perhaps even to reverse it – than any of those pills that seem to promise miraculous help to those silly smiling guys in those ubiquitous TV ads where they only name the drug – Viagra, Cialis - never the condition that the drug is supposed to treat. Finally, perhaps the most important benefit of exercise is that doing regular exercise is probably the best way to slow down that seemingly inevitable and persistent decline in brain function that as a charter baby boomer, I for one have begun to notice more and more of in recent years. So how much exercise do you need to do to get those benefits? Well, clearly, that answer depends on many individual and variable factors, but overall, as a general formula to aim for, the exercise experts have developed an acronym called FITT, which stands for frequency, intensity, time, and type. Thus, the consensus is that most of us should aim to do 30-45 minutes of exercise most days of the week at a “moderate” intensity at least (as with alcohol, how one defines “moderate” when it comes to exercise is clearly a matter of interpretation so that when my wife and I work out together, what has often felt like “moderate” or even “extreme” intensity to me has often been, I’ve later been told, “slacker-time” activity). Which brings me to what I consider the most important part of this article: the last T in FITT, namely the type of exercise you should be doing. Nearly everyone, if you ask them to describe their exercise regime, will focus on the aerobic workout that they do, the running and walking and swimming, etc. And indeed, in the first 50 years of our lives, aerobic exercise is probably the type of exercise that most of us should be focusing on most intensely. But as we enter our older years, we start to encounter two increasingly important hazards in our lives.

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Don’t Play A Guessing Game With Your Daily Medications Many people today are on more than one medication, and when you combine this with a busy and active life, it can lead to the confusion of properly taking your medications. Medication non-compliance is a major concern and accounts for approximately 25% of all hospital admissions among seniors. Peoples Drug Mart and Peoples Pharmacy offer a medication compliance program called “Med Manager.” The Med Manager is a medication compliance card that conveniently organizes your medications for a full week, and helps you easily identify what medications are to be taken at what time of the day. Talk to your Peoples Pharmacist about the convenient Med Manager program.

Are your medications working effectively for you? Medication Review Service The Peoples Drug Mart medication review service was created to ensure medication therapy is appropriate and effective for those taking multiple medications. Your Peoples Pharmacist will ensure all your medications are compatible with each other and working optimally. Medication review includes: O Detailed analysis of all medications (prescription and over-the-counter), vitamins and supplements, to ensure safe and effective use. O In-depth consultation to improve health outcomes by helping resolve any issues that have arisen due to your medications. A Peoples Drug Mart medication review provides an opportunity for you to sit down one-on-one with your Peoples Pharmacist to help identify and resolve common medication-related issues, so you can get the most benefit from your medication. This medication review can help you better understand your medication therapy, and ensure that medications are being taken as prescribed. Speak to a Peoples Pharmacist about scheduling a free medication review.

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Dr. Hister...Continued From Page 11

1) Our muscles inevitably begin to shrink (what’s called sarcopenia) so that we lose muscle power and can’t, for example, as easily correct a fall as we once could. 2) And with age, unfortunately, the risk of falling becomes steadily greater and greater, and falls are a major risk factor for earlier death not only through the risk of breaking one or more bones (for example, 20% of women who break a hip die within 6 months of that fracture) but also because falls can cause head trauma and falls can also result in hospitalization, which by itself carries major potential complications for seniors. All of which means that with age, the other 3 types of exercise become at least equally important to aerobics, and those other three types of exercise are 1) resistance training (what’s commonly called weights), 2) flexibility, 3) balance. So as part of your exercise regime, as you gain in years, by all means try to keep doing aerobic exercise on a regular basis, but also make sure to also add in some regular resistance exercises, and as you cross into your seventies, it’s especially important to pay lots of attention to slowing down the loss of balance that you will experience, and to try to maintain at least some of your younger self’s flexibility. By the way, to help you remember all this, namely that a good exercise regime means including workouts for balance, aerobics, resistance and flexibility, I’ve made up an equally important exercise acronym that I am sure even the most forgetful of seniors will remember: to wit, BARF. So whenever you think of exercise, just think of BARF, and I’m sure the motivation to do more will quickly follow. Dr. Art Hister can be heard on CKNW and other Corus Radio Network stations on House Calls on Saturdays at 10 AM, as well as seen on Global TV news on Saturday mornings at 9:20.

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Darlene Booth R.H.N

The Carbohydrate Conundrum The weight loss industry manages to generate billions of dollars in revenue every year while at the same time the rate of obesity continues to escalate and is fast becoming a growing health concern for many Canadians. It has been estimated that almost 60% of us are currently overweight or obese and the number of obese children, having almost tripled over the past 3 decades, indicates that the majority of us may be overweight in the not too distant future. Gimmicks aside, it seems that each new day gives birth to a potentially sound philosophy promoting the best strategy for shedding pounds, but the problem here is that many of these philosophies totally contradict each other. Take carbohydrates for example; you can either belong to the “pro” carb school or the “no” carb school. This important mega nutrient frequently lies in the middle of dietary debate and confusion. And rightly so, carbohydrates are often implicated in weight gain, but we have to remember that not all carbs are created equal; some carbohydrates are beneficial health and weight management allies. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel source; anyone who has ever experienced a low blood sugar episode will attest to the fact that we physically cannot thrive without them. When we eat, a limited amount of carbohydrate is converted to glycogen and stored as reserve in the liver and muscles to be used for energy; when these storehouses are full, excess carbohydrates are then converted to fat to be used at a later date. The problem here is that once deposited, fat is not as easy to access for fuel as carbohydrates. Another problem is that because carbohydrates are so plentiful in our modern diet; we rarely need to dip into our fat stores for fuel. Carbohydrates can be sorted by glycemic index values, which indicate how fast they enter the bloodstream to provide energy. Sugars are simple carbohydrates; we get glucose and fructose naturally from fruits and vegetables and lactose from milk. Sucrose, or refined sugar, is derived from the processing of sugar cane or sugar beets. Sucrose and glucose are considered high glycemic sugars and enter the blood stream rapidly; this causes insulin to be released, which helps to bring the blood sugar down but also enhances fat

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storage of excess carbs. These concentrated sugars are hiding in many of our soft drinks and processed foods and can too easily contribute to excess fat storage. Lactose and fructose are considered to have lower glycemic index values but still have a concentrated caloric impact. Other high glycemic carbohydrates include processed or refined carbs including white flour products, white rice and pasta, breakfast cereals and sugary treats. These manufactured goodies have been stripped of many essential nutrients and are often just empty calories. It is too easy to overeat these foods; they are tasty and plentiful in our supermarkets and tend to make up a large portion of our diets. Complex carbohydrates generally have a lower glycemic index value than simple carbohydrates and lend themselves to a slower energy burn; they are found in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes. They contain natural fibres such as pectin, lignin, cellulose and hemicellulose, which help to stabilize blood sugars and improve digestion. Complex carbohydrates can be a healthy addition to a weight loss program, but you want to stick to carbohydrates that are high in nutrition and lower in glycemic value and calories. For weight management, the best choices are found in the produce department including but not limited to low glycemic fruits, cruciferous and green leafy vegetables, bell peppers, sprouts, zucchini and so on. Use root vegetables like potatoes, beets, carrots and parsnips in moderation; they are very nutritious but more concentrated sources of calories. Add whole grains to your diet but use them sparingly; they are healthy carbs but should not be the only thing on your plate. It helps to familiarize yourself with portion sizes and stick to them. Eat dried fruits sensibly; these treats are concentrated sources of sugars and are easy to overeat. When it comes to weight management there really isn’t a magic one size fits all formula. Rather than demonizing carbohydrates and avoiding them altogether; choose carbs that deliver high nutrition with low impact. Carbohydrates are an essential addition to a healthy diet that also includes lean proteins and healthy fats. Living well is about balance, moderation and making better choices. Good Health to You!


FLT Tacos in on fish tacos. Salmon A fresh, healthy sp in healthy fats and and avocado abound fying meal. nutrients. A very satis

3 340 g ⁄4 lb. d any Salmon fillets, skin an small bones removed 1 ⁄4 tsp. 1 mL Salt 1 ⁄8 tsp. 0.5 mL Pepper 250 mL 1 cup Mashed avocado 1 tbsp. 15 mL s Chopped fresh chive mL jalapeño 1 tbsp. 15 Finely chopped fresh pepper 1 tbsp. 15 mL Lemon juice 1 tbsp. 15 mL Sour cream 4 4 rtillas Whole-wheat flour to ) ter (10 inch, 25 cm, diame mL packed 2 cups 500 y htl lig e, tuc let x Spring mi 2 0 15 mL ⁄3 cup Diced seeded tomato baking sheet with sides. Arrange fillets on greased er. Cook in 400ºF (205ºC) pp Sprinkle with salt and pe until fish flakes easily when tes nu mi 10 t oven for abou o small chunks. tested with fork. Break int ts in small bowl. Combine next 5 ingredien e over tortillas. Scatter lettuc o Spread avocado mixture cad avo er ov , en giv er , in ord mix, salmon and tomato filling. Fold sides over. er ov m tto bo d Fol re. xtu mi Makes 4 soft tacos. g lories; 55 g Total Fat (6 Before: 1 taco: 720 Ca m diu So Sat); 6 g Fibre; 1483 mg no, ; 23 g Total Fat (13 g Mo ies After: 1 taco: 428 Calor rCa g 33 ; rol mg Choleste 4.5 g Poly, 3.5 g Sat); 56 Protein; 676 mg Sodium g 27 re; Fib g bohydrate; 10

Recipes For Good Health

FLT Tacos Healthy Recipe Makeovers Cookbooks are available at participating

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*Points awarded on net pre-tax purchases. Certain restrictions apply (check with your local Peoples Drug Mart or Peoples Pharmacy for a complete list of non-eligible medications, services & products). Some stores may use a manual system with a different reward level.

The articles published in People First are for the general information of the reader. While effort is made to reflect accepted medical practice and knowledge, articles should not be relied upon for the treatment or management of any specific medical concern or problem and People First accepts no liability for reliance on the articles. For proper diagnosis and medical care, you should always consult your family physician promptly. Opinions expressed in sponsored articles by, Dr. Art Hister, Ian Lloyd, and Darlene Booth are paid editorials and are not necessarily shared by Peoples Drug Mart stores or Peoples Drug Mart (B.C.) Ltd. Some advertised products are not available in all stores. We reserve the right to substitute products or limit quantities. Prices effective while quantities last. Sale in retail quantities only.


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