Close to 50 per cent of Canadian women and 40 per cent of Canadian men are affected by a venous disorder. Symptoms of a problem with the leg veins include itching, heaviness in the legs, aching, cramps, leg/ankle swelling and restlessness or discomfort at night. READ MORE
November 19th, 2014
November 17th, 2014
Although the Canadian flu season has not yet started, it is never too early to begin your flu prevention plan…
Virtually every adult is familiar with the symptoms of flu. A runny nose, headache, aches and pains in the joints, fever and malaise are typical of a flu bout, as are a number of days spent in bed or on the couch while your body recovers. READ MORE
November 14th, 2014
The flu shot
What is true, and what isn’t
Right about now, all across Canada, many families are in a quandary. The concern for some people, particularly those with school-age children, is whether or not to have a flu shot. While health authorities advise that having the influenza vaccine is the best way to avoid a bout with the flu—and possibly passing it on to others—alternative health proponents and magazines suggest otherwise, often saying it is “safer” to rely on botanical preparations, homeopathic immunity shots and healthy eating.
While we agree that healthy living makes a positive contribution to an effective immune response, flu viruses are ubiquitous, opportunistic, and unpredictable. Often, despite taking all the health-enhancing steps to avoid catching the virus, we fall prey to it, simply by being close to someone who coughs or sneezes on us, or touching something like a door handle that is contaminated with it.
November 12th, 2014
As new labour-saving devices are invented, and as the digital world continues to expand, we are sitting more and moving our bodies less. Recent studies have pointed to the dangers of sitting, going so far as to suggest that even regular exercise is not protective.
“Secretarial spread” is the old-fashioned term for weight gain that occurs from hours of sitting. Unfortunately, this term doesn’t begin to describe the harms that actually arise. Studies have shown that excess sitting causes:
- a reduction in fat and calorie burning
- reduced circulation to the brain (resulting in a poorer mood)
- weaker muscles
- an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and death.
November 6th, 2014
We live in a fast-paced society which interferes with many important aspects of life. We don’t get enough sleep, exercise, or leisure time and we rely on processed/fast foods. Indeed, this pace may cause us to lose touch with what our bodies really need for optimal health, and that can include losing touch with how, when, what and why we eat.
When was the last time you grabbed a fast food meal, or ate in front of the computer, television, or in the car? Have you ever skipped meals because you were too busy? Have you ever let yourself get so hungry that you ate too much? On the other hand, do you find you overeat at buffet restaurants or find yourself dialing for pizza after seeing the television advertisement? Have you ever eaten because you were angry or sad?
October 9th, 2014
October 6th, 2014
Like most parents, I smiled inwardly when I said last winter, “I hate to say ‘I told you so’ but, well, you know.” So, I have to admit that I was smiling, albeit rather ruefully, because I went on and on last flu season advising everyone – despite their risk level – to get a flu shot as early as they could.
If you ask me, there really was no reason for the mad, last-second rush in late December and January where so many people desperately tried to get a flu shot. This was especially the case, I think, among people between the ages of 20 and 60 – a group that was hit especially hard during the annual flu season.
And that’s because the prevalent flu virus last year year was H1N1, that virus first found widely in 2009, and which was commonly called swine flu. The reason that a younger demographic was hit so hard compared to older people is that this group has had very little exposure to cousins of this virus, something that seems to provide a bit of protection against H1N1.
Hence, the scramble to get inoculated once the news spread widely in the younger age group that had them saying “Hey, dudes, we’re at risk. Not just Gramma this year. Us, too. Time to get a flu shot.”
So here’s the teaching moment: the entire community is at risk from flu, sometimes one group more than another. However, if every year a much larger number of us were to get that year’s annual flu shot, then way more of us – in all age groups – would be protected from the herd immunity effect.
In other words, when you get a flu shot, you’re not only trying to help yourself, you’re also doing something to help someone else who that year may be more vulnerable to flu complications than you are – this usually means the very young and the very old.
So, even if this flu season, we go back to the same old, same old and once again, the main flu strain is one that affects mainly the very young and the very old, it would still be a huge benefit to our community if everyone in the middle aged groups also decided to get a flu shot.
So hey, if you don’t want me to go on and on again, and I’m sure you don’t, then make sure you schedule your flu vaccination appointment at London Drugs.