Stay Healthy and Hydrated this Summer with Trace Minerals

As a Certified Natural Health Specialist at Chambers’ Apothecary, I consult with customers and patients regarding a wide range of health issues. Today, though, I would like to discuss one of the most basic – and most important – health issues: dehydration.

Dehydration is always a factor in mental and physical performance, but during these hot summer months, it is even more important to watch for the warning signs. By the time you are aware of the symptoms, your body is already experiencing dehydration, and your performance could be suffering. It is important to take active preventative steps to ensure that our bodies have what they need.

Some of the signs of dehydration include a feeling of mental fogginess, chapped lips and burning eyes. Your brain is 70% water, so every time you drink water, you’re helping your body function properly. Even a 4% loss of water can cause memory loss and otherwise adversely affect your cognitive thinking. Nutrition – particularly hydration – is one of the few changes that people can make in their lives that can cause them to start feeling better right away.

Water is obviously critical to staying hydrated, but the body also needs vitamins and minerals to perform properly. Unfortunately, most of us don’t get enough of these from the foods that we eat as part of our regular diets.

At Chambers’ Apothecary, we proudly carry a wide variety of Trace Minerals Research® products and supplements that are designed replenish your body and make sure that it is performing at its best. Not only do they provide the vitamins, minerals and electrolytes that our bodies need, but they also help the body absorb those nutrients and direct them where they need to go. Trace Minerals offers products that prepare your body to effectively use these nutrients before, during and after your workout (from warm-up through recovery) to increase your stamina, optimize your performance and maximize your results.

For the month of July, our Discount Club Members will receive 20% off of all Trace Minerals Research products and a free travel size of their ConcenTrace Drops with purchase of any Trace Minerals Research product, which are perfect for anybody who spends a lot of time outside or plans to hit the beach. If you’re not already a member, stop into Chambers’ Apothecary to find out more about our Discount Club Memberships.

As part of our commitment to superior service and custom treatment plans, I am available for nutritional consultations. Together, we can establish a plan that will keep you balanced, hydrated and performing your best all summer long.

Randi Weist, LMT, CNHP, CHS
Natural Health Specialist
Chambers’ Apothecary
278 Lincoln Way East
Chambersburg, PA 17201

Mastectomy Prosthetics Give Patients More Options, Control and Comfort

Custom Mastectomy Prosthetics Can Be a Less Invasive – and More Affordable – Alternative to Surgical Reconstruction

Hello and thank you for visiting the Chambers’ Apothecary blog! I hope that the information that you find here is useful to you and answers some of the questions that you may have, but if you need any more information or would like to discuss these issues in greater detail, please feel free to visit me at Chambers’ Apothecary.

I am pleased to announce that we offer a variety of off-the-shelf and custom-designed breast prosthetic solutions for patients seeking options that are less invasive – and more affordable – than surgical reconstruction. At Chamber’s Apothecary, we use Amoena breast forms that cover patients through every stage of treatment.

All too often I see:

  • Patients who have gone through costly, painful and emotionally draining reconstructions who say, ‘If I had known that prosthetics were an option, I wouldn’t have gone through all of this.’
  • Patients who spend years not feeling like themselves because they didn’t know they had options or how to follow up on them.
  • Patients using homemade prosthetics, ill-fitting compression sleeves and worn-out bras that should have been replaced years ago.

This shouldn’t happen. And it doesn’t have to.

Especially because Medicare currently allows you to get one prosthetic every two years and four bras per year. Additionally, patients wearing compression sleeves should be remeasured every two years (or any time there is a drastic weight change).

It is my goal to help you explore all of your options and help you choose the one that makes sense for you. Patient involvement is critical to any treatment plan, but too often it can feel like your health decisions are being dictated to you.

At Chambers’ Apothecary, we will help you find the solution that fits into your budget and puts you back in control so you can feel like yourself again. If the solution isn’t available off-the-shelf, then we’ll have one custom-made for you.

Feel free to visit us here for more information, and be sure to follow us on Facebook. You can also download our free app from iTunes or the Android store to stay up-to-date with the latest notifications from Chambers’ Apothecary.

Nancy Mazariegos
DME Specialist and Mastectomy Fitter
Chambers’ Apothecary
278 Lincoln Way East
Chambersburg, PA 17201

Staying Safe While Having Fun in the Sun

Sun safety is never out of season. With summer rapidly approaching, that means it’s time for picnics, trips to the pool and beach… and a spike in the number of sunburns.

However, winter skiers and fall hikers should be wary of the sun’s rays just as much as swimmers! People who work outdoors should be taking extra precautions, too.

Sunscreens are products combining several ingredients that help prevent the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation from reaching the skin. Two types of UV radiation, UVA and UVB, damage the skin, age it prematurely, and increase your risk of skin cancer.

UVB is the chief culprit behind sunburn, while UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply, are associated with wrinkling, leathering, sagging and other light-induced effects of aging (photoaging). They also exacerbate the carcinogenic effects of UVB rays and increasingly are being seen as a cause of skin cancer on their own. Sunscreens vary in their ability to protect against UVA and UVB.

What is SPF?

Most sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher do an excellent job of protecting against UVB. SPF – or Sun Protection Factor – is a measure of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB from damaging the skin. So, ere’s how it works: If it takes 20 minutes for your unprotected skin to start turning red, using an SPF 15 sunscreen theoretically prevents reddening 15 times longer – about five hours.

Another way to look at it is in terms of percentages: SPF 15 filters out approximately 93 percent of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 keeps out 97 percent and SPF 50 keeps out 98%. They may seem like negligible differences, but if you are light-sensitive, or have a history of skin cancer, those extra percentages will make a huge difference. And, as you can see, no sunscreen can block all UV rays.

But, there are problems with the SPF model: First, no sunscreen, regardless of strength, should be expected to stay effective longer than two hours without reapplication. Second, “reddening” of the skin is a reaction to UVB rays alone and tells you little about what UVA damage you might be getting. Plenty of damage can be done without the red flag of sunburn being raised.

Whatever our skin color, we’re all potentially susceptible to sunburn and other harmful effects of exposure to UV radiation. Although we all need to take precautions to protect our skin, people who need to be especially careful int he sun are those who have:

  • Pale skin
  • Blonde, red, or light brown hair
  • Treated for skin cancer in the past
  • A family member who’s had skin cancer

Reduce Time in the Sun

It’s important to limit sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are strongest. Even on an overcast day, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can get through the clouds. Stay in the shade as much as possible throughout the day.

Dress with Care

Wear clothes that protect your body. If you plan on being outside on a sunny day, cover as much of your body as possible. Wear a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves and pants. Sun-protective clothing is now available. However, the FDA only regulates such products if the manufacturer intends to make a medical claim. Consider using an umbrella for shade.

Be Serious about Sunscreen

Check product labels to make sure you get:

  • An SPF of 15 or higher.
  • Broad spectrum protection – sunscreen that protects against all types of skin damage caused by sunlight.
  • Water resistance – sunscreen that stays on your skin longer, even if it gets wet. Reapply water-resistant sunscreens as instructed on the label.

Teaching Your Children Healthy Habits

Parents are role models for the next generation, so we need to be practicing good habits to pass down to them. You can help your child have good habits by having them start the habits early in life. This will bring them lifelong benefits. You can encourage them to evaluate food choices and physical activity habits. Here are some tips and guidelines to start.

  1. Be a good role model. If your kids see you eating right and doing physical activity, they will notice and will get the message that good health is important.
  2. Keep things positive. Kids don’t like hearing what they are not allowed to do, so tell them what they can do instead. Keeping things fun and positive works, because everyone likes to be praised for a job well-done. This helps children and teens develop a good self-image.
  3. Get the whole family moving. Plan times for the whole family to get moving together. Take walks, ride bikes, go swimming, garden or even just play hide-and-seek outside. Everyone will benefit from the time and exercise spent together.
  4. Be realistic. Setting realistic goals and limits are a key to adopting any new behavior. Taking small steps and making gradual changes can make a huge difference in your health over time, so start small and build up from there.
  5. Limit TV, video game and computer time. These habits lead to a sedentary lifestyle and cause excessive snacking, which increases the risks for obesity and cardiovascular disease. You should limit screen time to two hours per day.
  6. Encourage physical activities that they will enjoy. Every child is different, so let them experiment with different activities until they find something they really enjoy doing. They’ll stick with it much longer if they love it.
  7. Pick exciting rewards. Don’t reward your children with TV, video games, candy or snacks. Find other ways to celebrate, such as a day going bowling or mini-golfing, or a day at the beach or pool.
  8. Make dinnertime a family time. When everyone sits down together to eat dinner, there’s less of a chance that children will eat the wrong food or snack too much. Get the kids involved in cooking and planning the meals with you. Everyone will develop good eating habits together and the quality time with the whole family is an added bonus.
  9. Make a game of reading food labels. The whole family can learn what’s good for their health and become more conscious of what they’re eating. It’s a habit that helps change behavior for a lifetime.
  10. Stay involved. Become an advocate for healthier children. Insist on good food choices at school. Make sure your children’s healthcare providers are monitoring cardiovascular indicators such as BMI, blood pressure and cholesterol. Contact public officials on matters of the heart and make sure your voice is heard!

We offer nutrition counseling, so stop in today if you want some help along the way! Making the healthier choices are often tough and it can be nice to have a support system to help. Challenge your friends, family and children to change with you and enjoy the benefits.

Skip the Sunbed

Summer is coming to an end, and our tans will soon begin to fade as well. You may want to turn to a sunbed to keep your tan lasting all year long, but is it really worth it? Well, research shows that it is not. Using a sunbed is one of the easiest ways to get and keep a tan, but it is also one of the most dangerous ways. We cannot ignore the long-term health risks associated with sunbeds just for the short-term gain of having a tan.

“Modern sunbeds work by exposing the user to UV radiation, which can be the equivalent of Mediterranean sunlight at midday in August,” says Dr. Miriam McCarthy, Consultant at the Public Health Agency (PHA). Using a sunbed once a month or more increases your risk of developing skin cancer, and if you use them before the age of 35, you significantly increase your risk of developing melanoma.

Binge sessions in tanning salons by young people can lead to:

  • Cancer
  • Premature aging
  • Eye damage

Marbeth Ferguson, the Skin Cancer Prevention Coordinator at Cancer Focus NI said that skin cancer diagnoses have increased by almost 20%. People are ignoring the risks of using sunbeds, but Ferguson advises that no one should be using them.

If you have a concern about skin cancer, such as having a mole that has changed in size, shape or color, you should definitely talk to your doctor right away. Early detection of cancer is vital and you should regularly be checking your skin.