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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.

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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

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💰💰 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

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My Girlfriend’s Eczema Won’t Go! How To Fix It Inside-Out

 

I had the pleasure of meeting my physiotherapist friend, Kevin, and he asks:

Q. What should my girlfriend do for her eczema? She gets it on the nape of her neck and it never seems to go away. Having just returned from Taiwan, she’s going to eliminate diary from her diet in hopes of getting some relief. Currently she is using steroid creams.

I said this is a common condition and my strategy would be to work from the inside-out. This marries up perfectly with her approach to eliminate diary as this is a known irritant for a lot of people.

I decided to take him aside to my flip chart and show this picture (see below):

 

IMG_0237

I explained that having a skin condition is great! Now stay with me as I explain why. When such people have symptoms, it’s in the mirror for them to see, they are alerted to the fact that something is amiss with their health. For other people they cannot tell or haven’t yet married up the cause and effect.

I, for instance, after eating poorly, will suffer runny noses and sneezing: hay fever symptoms but due to poor food choices!

So back to the picture, we spoke about the main factors for having a weak immunity: poor or incompatible diet, broken or lack of sleep, no exercise, lots of stress. If we think of our body like an iPhone battery…you drain it through daily activity, and you recharge it through nourishing foods, rest, and exercise. I find this analogy quite helpful to a lot of people.

If fact, they will often reveal some of their indiscretions in these very areas saving me much digging lol! 

Unfortunately, we live in a busy time and me telling someone to eat better and hit the gym doesn’t go down well.

Therefore I always follow up with a quick fix: probiotics!Probiotics are good bacteria. Our body has more bacteria than it does human cells. Unbelievable when I first heard it. What the heck are these critters doing anyway? First, they help with digesting the food you eat. After all, most of them live in your gut. They also serve as your foot soldiers against oncoming invaders that come along with the food and drinks we consume. Ever had food poisoning? That’s salmonella! Ever had kids with worms?! That enters the body by not washing hands before you eat!

So its clear we need probiotics to help defend against invaders and in fact, they form part of our immune system. Back to the eczema, what is eczema? Its inflammation of the skin: it turns red, itchy, red, swollen. These are signs of an immune system going red-alert!

Kevin’s girlfriend is on the right track, re-examine the diet for it is 80% responsible for the immunity in the gut. 

On a side note, I came across a generational effect of NOT looking after your gut. If your grandmother suffered mild gut issues, and lets say she raised you during the 70s and 80s when breastfeeding wasn’t fashionable (what!) then you would have been born with moderate levels of gut issues. Lets say you went on the oral contraceptive pill for ten years before deciding to have a family, and lets say you had your ups and downs and needed the odd antibiotics. Now your daughter is born with severe skin allergies, asthma, or hay fever and knock on wood, autism and learning difficulties. Science is now showing that your grandmother’s gut bacterial population is mimicked across generations, and in fact, worsens in this picture I just painted. 

Why? Breastfeeding passes good bacteria along. When we skip it for formula, we miss this crucial transfer. Taking the oral contraceptive pill plays with our gut bacteria. Finally antibiotics nuke what’s living in our guts and allows bad guys a chance to take hold. 

It’s a crazy side note that I learned today while reading Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book: Gut & Psychology Syndrome (GAPS). 

Wow! What a rabbit hole we’ve gone down. 

KEY TAKE AWAY: Eczema: treat it from the inside-out for more longer lasting results than just your prescribed steroid creams. 

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Gang of Cysts (Ganglion Cysts)

*That aforementioned word-root is inaccurate*

In fact I don’t know why ganglion is part of the name and even went to the urban dictionary in vain

Ganglion cysts are benign (harmless) lumps of lubricating fluid found around joints (think moving parts) like hands, wrists, knees, ankles, and feet.

Believed to occur as a response to micro-trauma e.g. dancer’s feet and called an “internal blister”. The trauma leads to a leakage of lubricating tendon fluid. Think of it like a car engine leaking oil…except

Ganglion cysts are usually harmless but sometimes causing aching or pain when pressuring an underlying nerve or when moving a joint.

Oddly it affects women mostly between the ages of 20-40.

Signs and Symptoms

-large lump/multple small lumps soft to the touch

-apparent muscle weakness

-aching when moving the joints

Given a couple of months these things will go away

Options are to : A) wait it out B) Aspirate with a fine needle, and C) surgically cut it

Unfortunately ganglion cysts can sometimes recur for which we must simply repeat the aforementioned options.

 

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Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in Men

UTIs are a common occurence in women but what about men?

Young men are 30x less likely to suffer this problem but as men age past 50, the occurance rates catch up to that of women.

In fact a UTI in men is viewed at more seriously than if it were in women purely based on the physical differences between the two sexes. Men have a longer urethra (passage for urine), men also have greater distance between rectum and urethra (bacteria have less chance for cross-contamination). Thus a UTI in men is rare and when noticed, is treated with a higher level of suspicion for reasons I’ll get into shortly.

What are the symptoms of a UTI?

  • burning pain when urinating
  • frequency: running often to the toilet
  • urgency: sudden urges to pee
  • blood in urine (slightly pink)

UTIs are an umbrella term that covers infections stemming at different locations including: the urethra, bladder, kidneys, prostate. As such, the symptoms can vary and this helps doctors on their diagnosis.

Symptoms of a more serious infection:

  • dribbling urine (could be sign of blockages at prostate)
  • pain in pelvis
  • chills
  • side/flank/back pain
  • fever
  • nausea and vomitting

Bacteria have a knack for spreading. They will spread given the food and the path. Unfortunately for men and women, the path is through the urethra, into the bladder, across to the prostate and epididymis, and even up to the kidneys via the ureters. Have I lost you?!

Don’t fret. It’s rare that these things happen but here’s my rule of thumb: if you’ve got flank pain and fever, its probably spread to your kidneys. If you’ve got pain in the pelvis and dribbling at the urinal, it’s probably in the prostate. See your GP either way.

Word of warning: men get familiar with the “digital examination”. I’ve been there before lool. It’s when doc puts on his latex gloves with a snap, lubes up, then inserts his/her finger into your butt hole to feel for the prostate. Men as we age our prostate can enlarge putting undue pressure on the outflow of urine. Sometimes the prostate can become cancerous and this is one one for docs to keep a finger on the pulse. Ahem.

Treatments:

Antibiotics. Whilst this sounds straightforward enough, there are a spectrum of bacteria (sometimes even viruses) and so a urine and blood test are required to know what the culprit is before a doctor can prescribe anything.

Treatment is usually for 7 days.

Things your doctor ask you:

Do you have:

  • a history of diabetes?
  • nocturia (peeing at night)
  • prostate issues
  • urine sample
  • blood sample maybe

Know your own risks

  • Are you immobile? patients stuck in bed often find their bladders filling up and overtime the stagnant urine can foster bacteria.
  • Dehydrated? Drink one too many cups of coffee? Coffee has a diuretic effect causing build up of urine in the bladder too
  • Uncircumcised men can potentially harbour bacteria under their foreskins
  • Engage in unprotected anal sex? Use a condom
  • Aged 50+ and Male? Your prostate enlarges with time and can put undue pressure on your urethra causing backlog of urine
  • Finally Go when you feel the urge to go. Holding back on urinating puts you at risk too

Alright men, remember if you have ANY symptoms, get it checked!

xoxo

Vien

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Hand Foot Mouth disease

This is a condition that I personally have had but never really thought twice about until I saw it first-hand in the pharmacy.

Hand Foot and Mouth Disease!

Sounds terrible. In reality not so!

Capture.PNG
Source: Google of course!

What is it?

An infection caused by the: coxsackievirus

How did I catch it?

chances are you (or your child) walked into someone’s sneeze path (lol I made that up but it sounds cool) or contracted it sharing a harmless looking crayon at day-care

It can also spread via the oral-fecal route which is fancy for saying YOU DIDN’T WASH YOUR HANDS!

How do I treat it?

  1. Do not bust the blisters. This will only spread the disease to others!
  2. Fever: give paracetamol or ibuprofen (avoid aspirin in kids)
  3. Hydrate: sores/ulcers in the mouth can discourage kids (and adults) from eating or drinking. Instead offer sips of water or electrolytes e.g. Hydralyte
  4. Wait it out…the virus goes away after 4-7 days. No antibiotics are not effective against viruses. No vaccines exist at this point

How to prevent the contagion?

img_8979-e1525165133104.jpg
Four things to minimize spread: 1) use tissues when coughing/sneezing 2) wash hands before/after eating or using bathroom 3) Minimize sharing of utensils, brushes, and 4) Reduce the kisses hehe
  1. Sneeze/cough etiquette: use a tissue or at the very least sneeze/cough into your elbow
  2. Wash your hands before/after eating, using the bathroom
  3. Minimize sharing of utensils, toothbrush etc as well as kissing (sorry folks!)
  4. Stay at home to cut down spread to others
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The virus incubates for 7 days, then pops up as a rash/lump/blister. Another 7 days pass before they dissappear

Hey if you like these blogs, try our videos-it’s where those last two photos are from.

Here: https://www.facebook.com/canterburylatenight/

 

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Sleep Apnea in a Young Asian Male

We had a lovely friend, Steve swing by recently to trial our CPAP machines for sleep apnea…

Strange thing is….he looks perfectly healthy!

  • Lean and in shape
  • Doesn’t smoke
  • Doesn’t drink
  • Doesn’t have heart conditions

He does however complain of sleep anpea tiredness and him and his dad both snore the house down!

Considering all the rah rah around how bad sleep apnea is on life expectancy (reduced by up to 15 yrs), and blood pressure (increased)…I did some research into why this happens and whether our friend is at risk

The reduced life expectancy is believed to be the stress caused by frequent wake-sleep-wake cycles and the cortisol response (stress hormone).

This also leads to the second issue: frequent “jump starts” to the nervous system causes a constant state of red alert constricting blood vessels and spiking blood pressure.

It gets worse…people with apnea tend to have lower reserves of nitric oxide and this is the exact thing that reverses constricted blood vessels. Side note: nitrix oxide helps men get erections. Apneic men often suffer erectile dysfunction. Go figure..

nitrix oxide helps men get erections. Apneic men often suffer erectile dysfunction

What are the stats?

Apneic people suffer 

  • 140% more risk for heart failure
  • 60% more risk for stroke
  • 30% more risk for a coronary 

If I may indulge….30 years ago there was an interesting study done: apneic patients that chose to undergo a tracheostomy (that classic move you seen in medical shows where they cut a hole in your throat/or stab with a pen depending on your gore tolerance) saw their apnea go, but so did any atrial fibrillation (a heart condition), blood pressure normalized, and they lived ten years longer than their counterparts who opted out.

And den..

So back to our mate Steve, he chose the less gory route of using our CPAP machine and unbelievably his AHI score went from 30 down to 5. That’s a total normalization of his apnea! Not surpringly he felt energetic!

Moral of the story:

If you snore, get checked for sleep apnea-its a simple $99 overnight test done at home

If you are overweight, try lose 10% and that can have dramatic improvements to apnea

If your bed partner gasps for air at night and snores it could be a sign…get them tested!

xoxo

Vien

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Nail Care for Men

If you’re a woman you probably can skip this whole article.

But for us men, read on for the essential nail care!

My promise is I’m not going to bog you down with products and laborious routines.

So basically I had a wife come ask about her husband’s problem nail…

It had broken off almost in half and the nail plate was almost detached….

Ouch!

So what to do?

Here’s the 5 step Guide:

  1. Soak the nail in cold salty water to disinfect
  2. Carefully trim any snags which may catch on clothing
  3. Put on Vaseline or Pawpaw
  4. Cover with a non-stick dressing (avoid sticky bandaids)
  5. Take Nurofen for the pain

Repeat for at least 10 days to allow your skin to regain its strength.

How long till my new nail grows out?

Finger Nails: 6 months

Toe Nails: 18 months

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GERD: Gastro Eosophageal Reflux Disease

Today we had a customer with chest pains complaining that it wouldn’t go away..

Handing me two scripts: one for Gaviscon and another for Somac…I put on my detective hat and asked her about any history of stomach issues starting with the questions:

  • Do you think this is related to any foods you eat? (No I eat very healthy)
  • Do you drink much coffee? (I used to but now just 1 cup a day)
  • Are you bowel motions regular? (Yes, every day)

She appeared lean and told me she is super fit as in: plays soccer twice a week and gyms every other day.

Hmmmm

At this stage it hasn’t quite clicked in my mind yet so I’m digging and digging…I really like solving puzzles like this…someone so young and fit shouldn’t be having symptoms that more often are seen in someone overweight and eats crap.

Now lets not get ahead of ourselves..the doctor has prescribed an antacid and a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). So there must be a diagnosis here…

So now I’m suggesting to her that perhaps it’s worth investigating for bacteria if her symptoms persist. In my mind I’m thinking perhaps it’s Helicobacter Pylori….but part of me is resisting the diagnosis. First because it’s too early..she’s only had persistent chest pain over the last three days…and secondly because she is so young and fit.

To reaffirm this thought…The customer interjects that she’s been on the diet and routine for ages and never has this occurred before.

I suddenly recall a condition called GERD ….not goat…but GERD: gastroeosophageal-reflux-disease. A mouthful I know! It’s basically when people suffer heart burn and chest pains for no apparent reason. Well actually the medical definition is the reflux of stomach contents up the food pipe thereby causing irritation and the physical symptoms of pain. Anyway I never really liked this diagnosis as the treatment always revolved around fluffy ideals like: stress less, lose weight, cut cigarettes, cut alcohol, cut spicy and fatty food. Heck this patient doesn’t have a problem with any of these!

But hang on, she does stress….stress in the physiological sense. She has been exerting herself in soccer matches and at the gym non stop basically….and GERD does have stress as one of the triggers. Still very fluffy but its in the definition……I hold that thought in mind…..

I loop around to the fact that she drinks coffee and ask her:

What time do you have it? (Timing is important see..) What do you know? She has it at 7.30AM-first thing in the morning BEFORE her Weet-bix; which by the way is my favourite breakfast cereal (with honey).

Suddenly I have a light bulb moment! Hang on….if she has coffee, it’s most likely to have gradually irritated her stomach lining to the point of inflaming it.

To test this hypothesis of mine, I ask her questions to see if there are OTHER signs of inflammation:

Do you suffer from break outs (aka acne) or cold sores ever?

Legit as soon as I said that I noticed what looked like a cold sore on the corner of her top lip. She says…YES! I have two cold sores, one right here as you can see (points) and three ulcers at any one time over the last few weeks!

BINGO!

I excitedly explain to her that despite her diet being on-point, the fact that she is under so much physical strain means perhaps her body is running a deficit of nutrients during those exact times….and as such is manifesting these symptoms in her mouth: ulcers and cold sores AND the stomach pain.

It makes sense when you think about the body’s fastest growing cells being those lining your stomach, and the skin in your mouth and hair on your head. Those undergoing chemo often lose their hair first and suffer terrible nausea as these cells are the most demanding in terms of nutrients and so if supply cannot keep with demand…you have problems.

if supply cannot keep up with demand…you have problems.

Before I get to what I finally recommended her lets touch on GERD….

GERD is represented by symptoms of

  • acidic taste in the mouth
  • heart burn
  • bad breath
  • chest pain
  • vomiting

Alarm symptoms that demand immediate GP attention include:

  1. difficulty swallowing
  2. bloody stools
  3. weight loss
  4. anaemia

So to my final recommendation:

I told her to start a multi-vitamin.

Guess what: she just started one that day!

Good on her! I told her to continue that as the extra nutrients will act like a buffer especially during times of physical stress (soccer/gym).

Think of it this way: if the recommended dietary intake of Vitamin C is 75mg daily and she obtains this through her diet..fantastic. But what happens when you are training 7 days a week? You’re probably going to need more in reserve. Hence why I suggested she start that multi-vitamin, to increase her reserves.

Go for goal!

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