Posted on Leave a comment

Daily Dose Ep44. How To Treat Thrush (Vaginal & Penile)

https://youtu.be/CFUHhuSgpIo

Busy Bee? Tune into the podcast here

Embarrassing but it happens! If you’re a women over the age of 16 years, you’re likely to get thrush at least once in your lifetime. Men you’re not off the hook either it can happen on the tip of your penis

Now to be clear, thrush is NOT a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and is more a result of a compromised immune system. 

What’s that mean? Well when your not good on the inside, you can start having problems on the outside. E.g. you’re dehydrated, you’ve been sun tanning for hours, you’re physically overworked at the gym or on some project, you’re underslept, you’re running on more than 3 cups of caffeine-containing drink. IMO these are 50% of the time the cause for the thrush.

The other 50% cause is being on antibiotics in the last few days. See antibiotics kill not only the bad bacteria (e.g. causing that skin boil), but also the good bacteria. Yet the good bacteria help maintain a balance of acidity in the vagina. Without good bacteria, yeast aka thrush take advantage and explode in numbers causing serious itching, a white-cheesy discharge. Gosh you think! You were just doing the right thing by going to the doctor for antibiotics but end up with thrush! Yep, happens all the time. That’s why I always feel remiss if I don’t tell my female patients to consider getting a probiotic (good organisms) with their script. A favourite of mine is Saccharomyces boulardii. There’s many brands of it around, ask your local pharmacist for one-it drastically reduces getting thrush (as well as side effects from the antibiotics like diarrhoea). 

Fun fact: “SB is a tropical species of yeast first isolated from lychee and mangosteen fruit in 1923 by French scientist Henri Boulard.” – Wikipedia

So to loop back to my earlier point about your immunity, taking good care of your fundamentals will mean you’re also less likely to get thrush. Stay hydrated on hot days, go gym or stay active couple times a week, eat your veges – they have fibre which nourishes your good bacteria and acts like a detox sponge for your insides, and if you drink coffee/tea drink double the number of cups in water to balance out their diuretic effects. 

Finally, treatments for thrush are all behind the counter so ask your friendly pharmacist for help on these. 

xoxo Smiling Pharmacist

Posted on Leave a comment

The Friday Tune Up Ep.2

The Friday Tune Up Podcast Cover Image (Smaller JPEG)

Friday, August 21st 2020

My current health hack –

While not quite a health hack in the strictest terms, I’m quite enjoying another new app right now called DuoLingo. Available on Google Play or App Store I’m trying to learn Chinese-Mandarin again for like the 99th time but this app have stick-a-bility. It reminds me each day to give it a go and I do the fun gamified lessons for about 10 mins and call it a night. I like that it’s there on my iPhone within armsreach so no messing around with pen or notepads or chunky dictionaries. To me it’s all about the habit and if it’s a good habit, then it’ll have knock-on effects on other aspects of my life too like health, wealth, relationships and happiness.

New dish of the week –

Tonight I swung by my fiancee’s grandma for Banh Canh, a thick cut rice noodle in a thick chicken broth, chicken pieces, garnished with fried garlic bits and shallots. Comfort food at it’s best. To top it all off, the noodles were freshly handmade a few hours earlier. Considering the cold front that’s hitting much of NSW this weekend, I was super grateful!

What I’m watching on Netflix –

Drive to Survive a documentary about Formula 1 racing. As a kid growing up I was fascinated by fast cars, reading NRMA’s Roadside magazine each quarter. Although not a rev-head in the traditional sense, I came to like Formula 1 for all the high tech it involved. Netflix now lets you in behind the scenes as it follows predominantly two underdog teams: Red-Bull Racing and HASS USA during the 2019 season. The visuals are stunning, the sound is legit, and the struggle in real for these underdogs. I’m personally cheering on our Aussie boy: Daniel Riccardo 

Quote of the week –

“Faster is the scariest word in the world” Gary Vaynerchuck

On having patience to execute the daily menial tasks, so that you can achieve later live on your terms. Gary is like a virtual mentor to me. Bit of context: he was born in Belarus (former Soviet Union), his parents immigrated to America, he helped in his Dad’s liquor store for all of his 20s and now at 43yo he is a leader in the marketting space. More importantly, his legacy is to show impressionable young men (think myself) that success = happiness. To not be misled by all the glamour of entrepreneur land ie jets, bling, girls, champagne. I’ve been pondering a lot this last week about my definition of success. I used to want to become a millionaire but I dont think I have the ambition to get me there. Doing what I love ie. helping others with their health challenges and seeing that AHA moment makes me joyful. What’s yours?

What I’m reading –

The Greatest Salesman In the World, by Og Mandino. A tiny book written in parable form which brought me to tears right at chapter two. It’s about a young sheep herder boy who is working for a wealthy merchant in modern day Damascas whom suddenly is overcome with ambition to become rich to marry the girl of his dreams. I love the simplicity of the tale and the moral of the story at the end of each chapter is worth it’s weight in gold. Currently I’m reading it exactly as prescribed ie. each chapter three times a day for 30days before moving onto the next chapter. It sounds cheesy but it’s a habit thing like I mentioned earlier.  Results thus far? Better reading habits, meal prep habits, gym habits. For most that’s a gamechanger.

Hope you enjoyed that one! xoxo Vien 

PS. Remember to rug up guys, it’s a windy one in Sydney this weekend!

Posted on Leave a comment

The Friday Tune Up Ep.1

 

Cover Image

Welcome to the blog version of our new podcast titled The Friday Tune Up (click for audio)

We talk: health hacks, books, films, food, and favourite quote of the week!

In bite-sized form, here we go!

My current health hack –

The Fitbod app Available from App Store

Ever gone to the gym wondering what today’s workout should be? Wonder no more! Using smart algorithms, this app will track which muscles are sore from your last exercise and target fresh muscles for your next session. It’ll even give you count-down timers for break time so you don’t slack off too long on social media. My work outs before the app were approx 1hr or more, nowdays I can smash out a full workout in 46 miuntes.

New restaurant I dined at –

So earlier this week my fiance and I had the pleasure of taking our good customer-turn-friend, George, to Mr Wong’s in Sydney. A very fancy (but not fine dining) experience at an historical NAB bank building that burned down long ago and retrofitted with georgous decor, a vintage vibe with old wooden beams and low lit light making you feel like you’re in a gangster’s Chinese restaurant straight out of a James Bond film! Peking Duck Pancakes are a must try; everything else you can save your money for your local diner lol.

What I’m watching on Netflix –

Dr Sleep, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. I gotta say I was never a fan of thriller until meeting my fiance. I realise most of them have pyschotic wives chasing their cheating husbands with knives in hand (Girl On Train, Gone Girl). But King keeps you guessing at every twist of the plot and I’ve come to enjoy his storytelling. Long film but will have you on the edge of your seat!

Quote of the week –

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same.”― Rudyard Kipling from his full poem

What I learned here was a man whose luck in life was up and down, from loss of his daughter due to pneumonia, to winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, to the loss of his son in WW1…Life is tough, keeping an even keel helps. I’m forced to remind myself of this when I have difficult customers (embarassingly).

What I’m reading –

Currently reading Tour de France 7x winner, Lance Armstrong’s biography: It’s Not about the Bike: My Journey Back to Life Good Reads

Here’s a man who obviously went through a lot: growing up as a loser kid, proving himself on a bicycle, topping his sport, and getting taken down by scandal at the end of his career. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’m halfway through the book and it’s detailing his battle against testicular cancer. Cancer of the balls-enough to decimate the manliest of men. Most people die. He’s survived it out of sheer force of his will to live, determination to seek the best doctors, getting second and third opinions when others casts doubt on his chances. For that alone it’s worth a read.

Hope you enjoyed the very first episode! xoxo Smiling Pharmacist Vien

Posted on Leave a comment

Bushfires and Asthma

It’s sad to see so many bushfires burning across NSW right now =( I take my hat off to all frontline servicemen and women whom are doing their best for us including fireys, paramedics, chopper pilots, doctors, nurses, the SES, and many others!

Today’s topic is on asthma.

If you’re a carer for the elderly, or young kids, or simply have asthma yourself, NOW is the time to check that you have your medications handy and your asthma action plan handy.

ASTHMA ACTION PLAN

Sample Asthma Action Plan that your doctor can tailor to each individual’s needs

ASTHMA ACTION PLAN 2
Sample Asthma Action Plan from the National Asthma Council Australia

 

Now being techy, I hate carrying pieces of paper around in my pocket or wallet so there’s now a digital Asthma Action Plan! Simply go to http://www.asthmabuddy.org.au/ sign up and then fill in your details (this step is best done with your doctor).

 

Medications come in two varieties: relievers (for asthma attacks) and preventers (everyday use).

Ensure you at least have your Ventolin (other names include: Asmol, Salbutamol) with you at all times during this bushfire season as strong winds can bring smoke and fine dust (particulate matter) from kilometres away into your home or work. On this note, it’s a good idea to stay indoors where there is air conditioning with recycled air and to minimize outdoor activity especially on hazy days. When driving, switch on your A/C and recycle the air there too.

 

VIDEO: Below is a video I shot last year for a mum on Instagram whom wanted to know what the signs are of worsening asthma:

I recommend everyone adults and children alike to always have a spacer device with their Ventolin. Reason being: it makes the puffer work almost 90% better (almost as good as using a nebuliser, but minus the hassle).
VIDEO: How-To use an asthma Spacer device for greater effectiveness of your puffer
Useful Links:
Posted on Leave a comment

Daily Dose Ep22: Slip Slop Slap

 

(Update: I now know what the slap is for…and no it’s not dirty!)

For fun in the sun this summer, remember to protect your family! 

The 80s slogan is:

  • Slip: on a shirt
  • Slop: on some sunscreen
  • Slap: on a hat
  • (Wrap on sunnies)

In babies under 6 months we don’t recommend excessive use of sunscreen, opt for clothing and shade

In kids under 12 years go for zinc based sunscreen as this way less chemicals absorb into their skin

Finally for adults we can use whichever sunscreen that has at least SPF30+ brands 

Remember to reapply after playing in water or after 2hrs of activity.

  

Posted on Leave a comment

Daily Dose Ep16: Best Vacuum for my Allergic Kid

 

I’m a little too excited for our new Dyson vacuum lol..

Ever wondered what household products are suitable for your child who might be sensitive to allergies like dust mites, mould, smoke, perfume etc…?

The National Asthma Council of Australia has a useful website called Sensitive Choice (https://www.sensitivechoice.com/products-services/) which is a non-profit that gives stamps of approval for products ranging from house paint to roof insulation to you guessed it, vacuum cleaners.

When choosing a vacuum cleaner, go for one with the Blue Butterfly stamp of approval. They will have high level HEPA filters meaning? the air coming out is cleaner than the air that went in! Other vacuums won’t fully trap all the dust and dirt – yikes!

Some even have carbon filters to absorb gases like the “new-paint” smell (avoid moving into a freshly painted room for at least a day, the longer the better), or the smell of house-hold bleach (another good reason to strictly keep them out of reach of children)

During spring season its bad enough to have pollen counts rising outdoors, but indoors, you can do your bit with the right choices of household products =)

Posted on Leave a comment

Yellow Fever Vaccine

Yellow Fever gets it’s name from the yellowing of the skin, known as jaundice

What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow Fever is a viral infection spread by mosquitoes often in the South American and African continents.

It is potentially lethal as it can harm many functions on our body from heart to kidneys.

In the early days when there was no vaccine, many people travelling into the tropics died of it.

Thankfully there is now a vaccine called Stamaril (Australia) to prevent it.

Why Get It?

It’s a travel requirement for most countries that upon entry you show a vaccination certificate proving you’ve been vaccinated for Yellow Fever…IF….you’ve been travelling to Africa or South America in the last six (6) days.

Strict policy I know, but it’s to prevent international spread of the disease across borders.

If you don’t get it, they’ll most likely detain you in quarantine for 6 days to confirm your free of the disease and/or make you get vaccinated before entry.

Who Needs It?

Everyone over the age of 9 months

How Do You Get Protection?

Only a limited number of medical centres are Approved Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres. Here is a list of them (Scroll to bottom of page): Approved Centres in Aus

What Else Can I Do? Avoid Mosquitoes

The following measures can minimize exposure to mosquitoes-the culprits behind Yellow Fever spreading:

  • Applying insect repellant containing DEET or picaridin
  • Wearing long-sleeved clothes when outdoors
  • Avoid perfume/cologne as these can attract mosquitoes
  • Keep doors and windows closed at night
  • Drape a mosquito net over your bed to act as a physical barrier

What Other Vaccines Might I Need?

A great website I use often is: https://www.travelvax.com.au/

You simply punch in the destination country and it’ll give vaccine recommendations as well and current alerts for that region e.g. wild weather warnings, disease outbreaks etc..

Posted on Leave a comment

Daily Dose Ep9: Iron Deficiency and Alternatives to Ferro-Liquid

Alternatives to Ferro-Liquid (currently out of stock, July 2019)

Parents, are your kids deficient in Iron but you struggle to find an alternative to Ferro Liquid?

I did some research today into the main causes of iron deficiency, and share with you the currently available products (Maltofer, BioCeuticals Liquid Iron, and SpaTone) as well as a comparison of their pros and cons.

How Do I Take Iron?

Something I forgot to add in the video is when you can take iron with food and when NOT to. Some forms of iron bind to food and therefore won’t be absorbed as well.

Ferro-Liquid and SpaTone: best empty stomach (but do eat about 15 minutes afterward else iron itself may upset your tummy)

Maltofer: best with food

BioCeuticals Liquid Iron: with juice or water

What To Expect

  • Your poop is going to look black-this is completely normal
  • Black teeth: remember to brush after taking a dose!
  • Constipation and Nausea may occur (More common with Ferro-Liquid)

Side by Side Comparison

Brand Form of Iron Concentration of elemental iron Suitable from
Ferro-Liquid Ferrous sulphate 6mg/mL 2 years
BioCeuticals Liquid Iron* Ferric pyrophosphate 1mg/mL 2 years
SpaTone sachets Ferrous iron 1mg/mL 2 years
Maltofer Syrup Iron Polymaltose 10mg/mL 12 years

*Requires GP or Naturopath or Pharmacist advice before buying

From the table its clear that Maltofer is the most potent yet on the box it doesnt allow for dosing in kids under 12yo which is strange.

The alternatives are then the BioCeuticals or the SpaTone sachets.

Posted on Leave a comment

DAILY DOSE EP5: FLU SHOTS

BOOK YOUR SHOT TODAY

BOOK YOUR SHOT TODAY

WINTER IS COMING

Winter season is almost in full swing: protect your family, your kids, your elder folks through herd immunity.

HERD IMMUNITY

Herd immunity, a concept from pack animals like bison, is the concept of protecting the vulnerable within the middle of the pack by having those on the outside a.k.a. vaccinated adults while vulnerable children and elderly are inside the circle protected against the flu virus.

WHY DO THIS

Why do this? Kids under 6 months are too young to get the vaccine, and some elderly people may forget to get a flu shot. Not surprisingly also, these are the most vulnerable groups in our community.

HOW TO GET THE SHOT

So protect your family today, come in, roll up your sleeve, the flu shot is just $19.95 and for 20 minutes of your time.

xoxo @coachvien

BOOK YOUR SHOT TODAY

Posted on Leave a comment

💰💰 Don’t Get Ripped Off at the Chemist 💊💊

 

Save money this cold and flu season!

4 Tips to Save at the Chemist:

1) don’t be suckered for the add-on sales which are airy fairy like vitamin C or echinacea (on their own they suck)

2) Go generics for basics like antibiotics: it’s the same chemical ingredients and u can save over $5. If you need a lozenge, simple eucalyptus drops only cost $2.50-skip more $$$ ones

3) early birds: recognize a cold coming? That scratchy throat? Take a solid product like Armaforce containing andrographis WITH vitamin C, echinacea, zinc, olive leaf within 24hrs of that sore throat..can nip it in the bud and rapidly get better (In my experience overnight-yes! Overnight!)

4) Pain relief in pharmacy these days are limited to non-codeine products (codeine now needs a script). As such our strongest options are basically paracetamol combos with ibuprofen. Sound familiar? Cos it’s Panadol and Nurofen! Just take two pills of each and skip the fancy packaged options like Maxigesic and Nuromol

—————————

Home Deliveries to the Inner West Sydney from $15 Phone: (02) 8068 7131

—————————

Follow Vien on Facebook and Instagram: @smilingpharmacist

—————————