More research on Strokes and Heart Disease
In the news lately is more information regarding the rise in strokes and heart attacks. This latest research study involved over 4,000 human participants. It revealed that eating higher cholesterol foods like egg yolks, red meat, and other animal products causes changes in the micobes in the our gut. The nutrient choline in these foods causes certain bacteria in our gut to increase production of a compounds known as TMAO. TMAO hyperactivates our blood platelets which can result in increased blood clots leading to heart attacks and stroke.
More information can be found at: http://www.statnews.com/2016/03/10/red-meat-heart-disease/
Lower the cost of your prescription medicines
Have you ever filled a doctor’s precription for medicine only to be shocked when the pharmacist tell you the price? The prices for prescription medications have skyrocketed with the introduction of Obamacare.
One obvious way to save money is to ask the doctor or pharmacist if your prescription comes in generic form. You should also ask if the generic form has the same bioavailability as the name brand form. If it does not, then the generic medicine may not be as effective as the name brand. This is particularly true with some eye medications. For instance, if a precription eye drop is not working, you should see your Optometrist. He may change it to another medication or he might insist that the pharmacist uses the name brand.
With today’s high deductibles, prescription medicines often become an out of pocket expense to you even when put through your health insurance. You might think that your health insurer gets the lowest price for you automatically; unfortunately, this not true. It is sometimes cheaper to buy your medication outside your health insurance plan; but, which pharmacy do you choose is not so obvious.
The prices for generic or name brand prescription medicines are not consistent from one state to another; in fact, they are not even consistent from one local pharmacy to another. So, how does one know where to take their prescription to be filled for the lowest cost? Dr. Weil recommends a smartphone app called GoodRx. You enter your medication and your zipcode and the app locates the prices for your medicines at many competing pharmacies in your area. Dr. Weil can even provide you a GoodRx membership card at no cost. You take it to the pharmacy when you order your precription to know the lowest cost there.
More information can be found at: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/10/business/taming-drug-prices-by-pulling-back-the-curtain-online.html?_r=0.
Cell phone apps for blood pressure monitor
There are many apps you can download to your iphone or android phone which purport to monitor your blood pressure. It has recently been found that these apps are not accurate. Dr. Weil recommends that you delete them. As an alternative, you can purchase an automated blood pressure device relatively inexpensively at Walmart or on Amazon. Dr. Weil endorses the Omron brand. They are very reliable and offer a variety of designs to suit your needs. For example Series 10 is actually wireless.
More information can be found at: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2492134.
Which Eye drops should I use?
When your eyes are irritated, a trip to the drug store can be a confusing adventure. There are hundreds of eyedrops on the market. There are so many colorful bottles with confusing wording, it is almost impossible to actually choose the right one for your situation.
Most of the eye drops sold today are helpful for treating some particular eye condition. The problem is that there is not one particular brand which is best for all eye problems. Even one brand of eye drops may itself have three or four different formulas.
Some helpful general tips:
(1) Make sure that the bottle has wording such as: gentle formula, preservative free, or for sensitive eyes.
(2) Avoid store brand or generic eye drops.
(3) If your eyes are very itchy, make sure the eye drop is for Allergies. For over-the-counter allergy eye drops, we recommend Zaditor or Alaway. These eye drops can safely be used for a week or two. Do not use these eye drops for longer than 2 weeks at a time because overuse can actually make the eyes more red. There are also precription drops which Dr. Weil can prescribe if you need more powerful relief than over-the-counter eye drops.
(4) If your eyes are very dry, do not use eye drops for Allergies. These eye drops will actually dry them out more. Instead, we recommend eye drops such as Soothe, Systane, Blink, or Refresh. It is good to use these eye drops in a preventive manner. In other words, if you know your eyes tend to get dry by a certain time of day, we recommend putting in the eye drops 30-60 minutes ahead. Prevention of dryness works better than waiting for the symptoms to occur. It is safe to use these gentle moisturizing drops every couple hours. There are also prescriptiion drops for severe cases.
(5) Your eye doctor is the best person to evaluate why your eyes do not feel their best. He can recommend specific over-the-counter or prescription treatments for your particular situation.