All Posts in Category: Health

Prevention is Key? Yeah Right!

Prevention is Key? Yeah Right!

We’ve all heard that expression; but do we adhere to it?

You would think that we would learn from our mistakes and for something we have.  For example, years ago it was chique that everyone smoked and no one thought of the health repercussions of smoking until years later people started getting diagnosed with lung cancer.  Today there is not a public place in this country that you can have a smoke and rightfully so; smoking is very bad for you and the people around you.

There are numerous examples of preventatives.  I remember as a boy, my brother and I rolling around in the back seat of my Dad’s big Ford LTD.  Now every province and state has very strict laws on seat belt use that everyone wears one.  This past week I took the training wheels off my son’s bicycle.  He was ready to start learning how to ride on 2 wheels.  First, we had to put his elbow pads on, then his knee pads and finally his cool looking shark helmet.  You know, just like when we were kids.  Sunscreen is another one.  I remember back in the 80’s going away on those Spring Break trips to Florida.  We were using Hawaiian Tropic oil.  It probably had an SPF of 1 if we were lucky.  You know what I’m talking about.  You came home looking nice and golden brown only to have your skin peel for the next few weeks.  Now when I go away, I don’t use anything less than a 50 SPF.

Ultimately, you want to live a very healthy life full of joy and happiness.  Healthy; physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

We are very blessed that we live in this information age.  Everyone pretty much has a smartphone and or a tablet that provides us with instant information on almost anything we could possibly need.

These smartphones and tablets (iPad, etc) get their data through wi-fi.  The iPhone has been around now since 2007 and has totally revolutionized our society.  Everything is evolving at a very fast pace.  There is pretty much no place that doesn’t have wi-fi readily available.  But there is another side to this story that no-one talks about.  What could possibly be the ill effects of all this technology on our health?  What effects will there be in our health years from now, particularly our children?  Are we today’s society of smokers past?  Health Canada has implemented ‘Safety Code 6’ to ensure that it continues to provide protection against all known adverse human health effects of radio frequency fields.  Health Canada dispels all the myths out there and quite clearly writes that continuous exposure from multiple sources of RF energy, does not cause adverse effects.  Please visit for more details.  That being said, Safety Code 6 is based on an ongoing review of published scientific studies.  They also have this to say on their website……..

‘Given that cell phones are used frequently and in close proximity to the body, Health Canada provides additional guidance to concerned cell phone users so that they may take practical measures to reduce their exposure to RF energy. These measures include limiting the length of cell phone calls, using hands-free devices, and replacing cell-phone calls with texting. While there is no evidence that children and teenagers are at increased risk, Health Canada encourages parents to limit their children’s use of cell phones, as children are often at increased risk from a variety of environmental factors.’

I don’t know about you but my wife and I’s kids wake up wanting to go on the iPad or iPhone and those devices are pretty close to their bodies.  We both decided to limit the exposure and the distance of the devices from them.  These are the preventative measures we have initiated in our household in regards to cell phone and iPad use.  One thing for sure is that we don’t bring those devices into our bedrooms while sleeping.  Better to be safe than sorry.  I wanted to bring this to your attention so that you can do your own research and come to your own conclusion on what you think is safe and not.

Here’s another one that will get everyone steamed up!  In our city, the powers that be decided to eliminate fluoride in our drinking water against the professional advice from dentists.  As Larry David would say…..’ how’s that working out for you ?’  I don’t have any scientific studies but all I can say is that every Dentist I talk to is busier than ever filling kids cavities.

This one hits close to home.  What about all the individuals diagnosed with High Cholesterol and decide not to take the medication their Doctor prescribed because of the side-effects that they heard from their friend.  ‘How’s that working out for them?’  What about the person who refuses to take their high blood pressure medication because they are in denial?  How’s that working out for them?  How about the patient who has been diagnosed with high blood sugar and refuses to take their medication and follow a diet and exercise plan.  How’s that working out for them?

I think you get the picture.  I could continue on and on.  The choice is ours.  The big word here is “choice”.  We as adults have a choice.  Children do not have a choice.  As an adult, if you decide not to take any preventative measures for yourself that’s your choice, but I beg of you; if you have children please try to take the appropriate preventative steps to ensure their safety for today and for their future.

By: Frank Murgic, President & CEO of Sunshine Drugs.

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What’s New With Blood Pressure?

What’s New With Blood Pressure?

Managing Hypertension

“What’s New” is the title page of Hypertension Canada’s 2016 CHEP guidelines booklet for the management of Hypertension. CHEP stands for Canadian Hypertension Education Program. The dedicated men and women who compose this important document are unpaid volunteers comprised of clinical and scientific healthcare professionals. They selflessly contribute their time and expertise to the annual development and dissemination of the CHEP guidelines, which helps keep healthcare professionals informed of best practices in hypertension management.

What is hypertension?

Usually, when your blood pressure (BP) is above the healthy range, you have “high BP” or hypertension. Most people can’t tell whether their BP is high; they call it the silent killer.

What should my BP be?

A healthy BP, measured at your doctor’s office, should be less than 140/90 mmHg. At home, it should be less than 135/85 mmHg. For people over 80 years of age, it should be less than 150/90 mmHg. Finally, for diabetics, it should be less than 130/80 mmHg. Ideally, your normal BP should be 120/80 mmHg.

What does that mean?

The figure 120 is a representation of your systolic pressure, the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats. Next, 80 describes your diastolic pressure, the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart is at rest between beats.

Why does BP increase?

BP increases with age because blood vessels narrow as we get older. As a result, your heart works harder to pump blood through your blood vessels, which causes the pressure in your blood vessels to increase.

How does high BP harm the body?

It can lead to numerous debilitating diseases such as memory loss, stroke, impaired vision or blindness, angina, heart pain or heart attack, kidney damage as well as decreased sexual ability.

What causes high blood pressure?





Who can check your blood pressure?


How can I purchase a BP monitor for home use?

Talk to your pharmacist about which home BP monitor is best for you. Make sure your arm is measured for the right cuff size.

How can I measure my BP at home?

They can also help assist you in getting more involved in the treatment by encouraging you to have more responsibility and autonomy in monitoring your own BP and reporting the results so your healthcare provider can adjust your prescriptions as needed. They can also help educate you and your family about hypertension and its treatment.

Why treat high BP?

Treatment, in the form of medication and healthy lifestyle choices, can significantly help persons with hypertension. A decrease of 10/5 mmHg (achievable by taking one medication or introducing one change in lifestyle) reduces your risk of developing heart failure by 50 percent, stroke by 38 percent, heart attack by 15% percent and death by 10 percent.

How can I treat high BP with medication?

It’s important to remember that medications only work if you take them. Most people need two or more medications to control their BP and, for the most part, need to stay on them for life. Lifestyle changes are also needed. Most medications take up to six weeks to show their full effect; be patient. What’s more, because medications have controlled the BP does not mean
that one’s hypertension has been completely cured. Stopping a treatment when blood pressure returns to normal can cause your BP to rise again to dangerous levels. Fortunately, many drugs that lower BP also prevent heart attacks and strokes.

How can I do a better job of taking my medication properly?

Work with your healthcare provider and pharmacist to help improve medication adherence. They can help assist you at every visit using a multi-pronged approach that includes tailoring and simplifying pill taking to fit your daily habits. They can utilize single pill combinations as well as recommend unit of use packaging (myOnePac).

What are some further dos and don’ts of BP monitoring?


• Carefully read instructions for your blood pressure monitor
• Go to the bathroom before taking your pressure
• Sit comfortably: feet flat on floor, back supported, arm at heart level
• A bare arm is the preferred method (or a thin layer of clothing) on your upper arm
• Put cuff on and wait for 5 minutes Take two readings – wait 1 to 2 minutes between readings
• Record date and time with measurement
• Show your readings to your healthcare provider


• Cross your legs
• Take your pressure if you’re in a hurry
• Smoke 30 minutes before measuring
• Drink caffeine 30 minutes before measuring
• Eat a big meal for 2 hours before measuring
• Wear tight clothing
• Talk or watch TV during a measurement
• Measure your pressure if you are cold, nervous, uncomfortable, or in pain.

To lower your blood pressure, integrate the acronym PRESSURE into your day-to-day life:

Get regular Physical activity: Aim to get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day. Reduce your weight and

Eat a healthy diet: Integrate into your diet fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains, and lean meats like fish and poultry.

Stop smoking: Avoiding smoking will lower your risk of organ damage.

Ask your pharmacist or primary healthcare provider about proven methods that can help you quit forever.

Eat less Sodium: Fully 13 percent of cardiovascular events in Canada are attributed to excess dietary sodium. Processed and fast foods contain high amounts of salt. Choose foods with 5 percent or less of the daily value of sodium.

You can control blood pressure: Aiming to live a less stressful life can significantly affect your fight against hypertension. Individualized cognitive behaviour interventions are more likely to be effective when relaxation techniques are employed.

Take your medications: If you are on medications, take them as directed by your healthcare provider.

Avoid Excess alcohol: Limit alcohol consumption to less than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women

By: Frank Murgic, President & CEO of Sunshine Drugs.

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