Cambration December 2011 Newsletter
Tis’ the season of family & friends, sharing special memories, and enjoying all that is joyous and wonderful. The staff from Cambrian Pharmacy wishes you all the best during the holiday season and a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Please note the Holiday hours:
- Saturday Dec. 24th 9 – 4:30 pm
- Sunday Dec. 25th Closed
- Monday Dec. 26th Closed
- Saturday Dec. 31st 9 - 4:30 pm
- Monday January 2nd 10 - 6:00 pm
How can you boost your Marvelous Brain this winter?
As the winter months fall upon us, it becomes irresistible to stay indoors under the comfort and warmth of our blankets. Our bodies are ready to go into “hibernation mode,” however, this lack of time outdoors under the sunshine, can contribute to low mood, fatigue and seasonal affective disorder. Believe it or not, there are many things you can do to beat those winter blues! Listed below are some fantastic nutritional and lifestyle tips you can start using today to optimize your brain health.
How’s your mood?
Low mood can be caused by a deficiency in certain minerals or vitamins that are important in assisting normal brain function. A simple high potency multi vitamin and mineral formula can be added into your daily routine to enhance a well balanced diet. A diet that is rich in complex carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes and vegetables), along with lean protein (chicken, turkey, eggs) and essential fatty acids (salmon, sardines, flax seeds) can help balance blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels, can trigger mood swings or feelings of anxiety, irritability, sadness and frustration. Hypoglycemia has been shown to be common in those suffering from mood disorders.
An adequate intake of B vitamins is essential in the production of energy. Vitamin B12 and folic acid are especially important to help make the chemicals in our brains known as “neurotransmitters”. These chemicals communicate with each other to help regulate mood. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for producing feelings of calm and happiness may be low if inadequate levels of vitamins B12 and B6 are present in the body. A recent study showed that individuals who consume a daily dose of nuts have higher level of serotonin levels in their brains. Adding raw, unsalted almonds and walnuts to your diet is a simple, healthy way to obtain fats, minerals and vitamins that may be lacking in your diet. Other foods that are high in tryptophan, the precursor to serotonin, include chicken, turkey, avocadoes and bananas.
Do you wake up feeling tired?
Feeling unrefreshed after waking up and subsequently difficulty getting out of bed in the morning is common after not getting good night’s sleep. This can spiral into fatigue felt throughout the day and inability to focus on completing tasks. Restful sleep is the foundation to prevent feelings of grogginess. Being in bed by 9 to 10 pm is optimal because melatonin, the “sleep hormone,” is secreted by our brains at this time. Melatonin levels peak between 12 am and 3 am and start to fall by 6 am. A solid eight hours of restful sleep should have you feeling set for the day.
If you’re still waking up feeling groggy it may be a good idea to have your cortisol levels tested (more on cortisol below) as high levels can prevent good sleep and can leave us feeling tired. Herbs known as adaptogens, can help to decrease stress and cortisol levels, increase energy levels and improve mental focus and physical stamina. Some effective adaptogenic herbs include Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera), Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea) and Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Depending on your specific symptoms, adaptogens are chosen that will have the most benefit to you!
Are you prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is commonly known as “winter depression” with feelings of normalcy or happiness during the summer. Some common symptoms of SAD include feeling depressed, slowing down, a tendency to oversleep and overeat and an increased craving for carbohydrates. The most common contributing factor to SAD is lack of exposure to natural light. The hormones secreted in our brains also play a large role in influencing how we feel. Secretion of melatonin, the “sleep hormone,” is reduced in the winter and this allows for an increase in cortisol, the “stress hormone,” leading to many of the symptoms mentioned above. So what can you do to beat this vicious cycle? Supplementing with melatonin may be useful to help regulate your sleep wake cycle, provide restful sleep and at the same time suppress cortisol secretion. This will in turn reduce cravings for starchy, carbohydrate filled foods, allow for better appetite control and in effect help stabilize mood. A herb that has been proven to alleviate feelings of depression is St John’s Wort. This herb works to improve psychological symptoms including depression, apathy and sleep disturbances. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, also plays a big role in influencing SAD. Lastly, full-spectrum light therapy may be useful to combat depression by mimicking natural sunlight and restoring the natural 24 hour release of hormones, especially melatonin.
How can your lifestyle affect your brain health?
Indoor winter activities to boost your brain health include playing board games like scrabble or doing weekly crossword puzzles in the newspaper. Sudoku is an excellent way to challenge your brain and brush up on your math skills! Watching a foreign movie with subtitles is also a great way to keep your brain active. Regular exercise may be the most powerful anti-depressant and mood enhancer available! Trying new activities such as home dance or yoga videos, taking up an indoor sport or joining a local gym will be more beneficial than you know to keep your spirits up this winter. The release of endorphins that occurs with exercise is responsible for the mood-elevating effects apparent after working out.
omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is essential for optimizing brain health and mood. EPA and DHA, are the two main omega 3 fats found in fish including sardines, mackerel, anchovies and salmon. Vegetarian sources of omega 3 fatty acids include ground flax seeds and walnuts; however, levels are lower compared to animal sources. Ensuring that blood sugar levels are regulated at all times can have a large effect on mood as the brain requires a constant supply of sugar to function properly. Decreasing the amount of refined foods in our diets, pastries, cakes and cookies is also important to help prevent blood sugar spikes and regulate mood. Don’t let the winter blues get to you this year; take charge of your health and reap the benefits of boosting your marvelous brain today!
Top five tips to improve Brain health:
- Ensure eight hours of restful sleep every night.
- Eat your omega 3 fatty acids.
- Exercise for 30 minutes every day.
- Snack on nuts to balance blood sugar and boost serotonin
- Lower your stress levels using adaptogenic herbs.
All the vitamins, minerals and herbs mentioned above provide a general guideline to ways you can improve your brain health. Dr Farheen Madatali is a Naturopathic Doctor who can tailor specific treatments based on your individual symptoms. Please consult a health care professional before self-prescribing large doses of any vitamins or herbs, especially if you are currently on prescription medications.
Dr. Farheen Madatali completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at McGill University and is a graduate of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She has specialized training in naturopathic oncology and is certified in intravenous vitamin therapy. Her experience in educating individuals on the importance of quality nutrition and effective stress management has allowed her to help people with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hormonal problems and digestive concerns. Dr. Farheen strives to empower, motivate and inspire her patients to optimize their health. Dr. Farheen Madatali practices at Grassroots Naturopathic Medicine Health Clinic. 403-217-8898.
Have you or a loved one ever had difficulty taking medication? You’re not alone. Many people experience issues such as these:
- Stomach upset when taking oral medication
- Reluctance to take the medication due to its taste
- Difficulty swallowing pills
- Requiring a different dose of medication than that which is available from a manufacturer
- Patients who don’t want to take medication at all, especially children or pets
A compounding pharmacist may be able to provide solutions for challenges such as these. Working closely with the patient and the prescriber, compounding gives the pharmacist the means to customize medication to meet the individual needs of each patient.
Are Compounded Medications FDA-Approved?
Because compounded medications are personalized for individual patients, it is not possible for each formulation to go through the FDA’s drug approval process, which takes years to complete and is prohibitively expensive, often costing hundreds of millions of dollars.
However, every compounding pharmacy must comply with the regulations set by the College of Pharmacy in which the pharmacy is located. The ingredients used by compounding pharmacies to make compounds come from FDA-registered and inspected facilities, such as PCCA.
- High-quality fine chemicals and compounding laboratory equipment
- Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)-accredited training and education for pharmacists and prescribers
- A comprehensive staff of experienced consultant pharmacists, pharmaceutical chemists, and training personnel ready to serve their technical support needs
- A database of more than 8,000 proprietary formulas that have been pre-tested with PCCA’s fine chemicals and are continuously reviewed and updated
- Unparalleled quality control and quality assurance for all products
PCCA has been an industry leader as the compounding profession has continued to flourish and advance, playing a vital role in the lives of patients, healthcare providers, and pharmacists alike.
Cambrian Pharmacy is associated with PCCA and regularly sends its compounded products out for independent laboratory testing to ensure quality and accuracy.
Customer Appreciation Day
Come by the store and enjoy a cup of hot apple cider or tea with the staff at Cambrian on us. We appreciate your continued loyalty and support. Thank-you!
Wednesday December 21st
December’s Deal of the Day
More than just the 12 days of Christmas, Cambrian Pharmacy is celebrating Christmas for 20 Days. Each and every day in December there will be a ‘Deal of the Day’. Great discounts on products, but only for one day. You can follow what items will be on sale on Facebook, Twitter and the Cambrian Pharmacy website blog.
Hot Apple Cider Recipe
- 1-2 gallons apple juice
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 4-5 whole cinnamon sticks (broken into pieces)
- 10 – 15 whole allspice
- 20-25 whole cloves
- 1 sliced lemon
- 1 sliced orange
Mix all ingredients together and heat. This is the recipe Cambrian uses for the Customer Appreciation Day held in store. Santa Cruz Organic Apple Juice is available in store. Come by on Dec. 21st and try a sample!
Keeping You Informed...
To receive this newsletter monthly please register on the home page under Newsletter Sign Up. Sign up today.