All posts by Tom B


Week 6: What do you know about drugs?

For this assignment I talked to two different groups of friends. The differences between these two was striking. One group are my rock climbing, outdoorsy, rarely-bathed friends. The other group is my nerdy, Dungeons-and-Dragons-playing, person you call if your computer is acting up friends.

Among my grungy rock climber friends, they all reported getting sick very rarely. I attribute this to eating well, getting regular vigorous exercise, and living relatively low-stress lifestyles. When they do get sick, however, they said that they all prefer “natural” medicines like the things you would expect to find at Whole Foods. One that they all swore by is a brand called Umcka. Umcka is a tincture whose main ingredient is an extract of the root of the umckaloabo or South African geranium plant (Pelargonium sidoides). Much to my surprise there is actually a lot of good research about the effectiveness of umckaloabo for treating bronchitis. It has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of bouts of bronchitis (Ulbricht, et al., 2010). However, the research that I found said that, as with most herbal medicines, dosing is difficult to determine and safety is not determined (Ulbricht, et al., 2010).

My other friend group (the “nerds” [I say this totally affectionately]) all said that they mostly look at packaging, brand name, price, and symptoms they want to treat clearly listed on the packaging. I know that a few of them have untreated hypertension and felt compelled to inform them that every pharmacy will have a pharmacist available to assist with selecting appropriate and effective medications. Many OTC cough medicines have pseudoephedrine (an alpha- and beta-adrenergic agonist) and or phenylephrine (an alpha-adrenergic agonists) as nasal decongestants and are contraindicated for severe hypertension. I know from working in a retail pharmacy that pharmacists are a drastically under utilized and extremely knowledgable resource.


This Week in the News on Heart Health: D.A.S.H Diet

For the seventh year running, U.S. News and World Report compiled a team of experts in the fields of dietetics and nutrition, obesity, food psychology, endocrinology, and cardiology to rate 38 different diets in their results, cost, and ease among other criteria. For the seventh year running the D.A.S.H. Diet beat out all the others, with the Mediterranean Diet coming in as a close second. D.A.S.H. stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension. The research that led to the dash D.A.S.H. Diet was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. The D.A.S.H. Diet is exactly that: a nonpharmacologic approach to lowering blood pressure primarily through diet and exercise. The diet consists of foods that contain heart healthy fats and are high in dietary fiber and lean protein. These include fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish, whole grains, nuts, beans, and seeds. The diet should include little or no red meat, low sodium, and very little sweets. In addition to its creators’ primary goal of lowering blood pressure, later research has also shown the D.A.S.H. Diet to produce healthy, sustainable weight loss, decrease in rate and severity of cognitive decline in older adults, decrease the risk for kidney disease in older adults, and decreased risk for metabolic disorder among other positive health benefits. The experts acknowledged the downsides to the diet which include that the D.A.S.H. Diet may make eating out more cumbersome given the limitations of the diet and increased time and financial costs of buying and preparing healthier foods relative to less heart healthy foods.



Shoulder dislocation FUN FACTS

1. The shoulder is the most commonly dislocated joint the in body.
2. High activity level is the greatest predisposing factor for shoulder dislocation.
3. Dislocation hurts.
4. The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. It is capable of circumduction, rotation, and has a range of motion of more than 180 degrees in all axes.
5. Pain can cause vagal symptoms including syncope, nausea, and vomiting.


Nephro Vite



Renal patients who undergo dialysis require replacement of the water soluble vitamins (B vitamins and ascorbic acid). Nephro Vite may also be prescribed to patients with alcohol use disorder.


Nephro Vite is a multivitamin containing B-vitamins, folic acids, and ascorbic acid.


Nephro Vite is a once daily multivitamin.


Nephro Vite is used in the clinical settings as well as at home.


Regular multivitamins may not be suitable for replacement of vitamin losses from dialysis as the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are not significantly affected by dialysis. Nephro Vite is formulated specifically for the purpose of replacing losses from dialysis.


Nephron Vite available only as an oral tablet. Safety information for Nephro Vite is not available.