October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and in addition to encouraging and educating women to take steps to prevent breast cancer, we feel a large part of prevention is also maintaining their overall health. Find out more about how our pharmacy can help care for you or the women in your life.
Gut Health and the Spread of Breast Cancer
Our pharmacy commonly shares about the importance of gut health for overall wellness. A recent study shows that an unhealthy gut can trigger changes in normal breast tissue which then allows breast cancer to spread to other parts of the body. The gut microbiome is a collection of microbes that naturally live in the digestive system and the microbiome can be disrupted by poor diet, obesity, long-term antibiotic use, and other factors. When this happens, the microbiome changes the makeup of important immune cells in the breast tissue which facilitates the spread of cancer. When breast cancer metastasizes, it is often deadly, so finding ways to stop the spread can improve survival rates. The first step to help maintain or improve gut health, is to take a quality probiotic. A high-quality probiotic supplement along with prebiotics work hand and hand to restore gut balance. Consuming fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, and water kefir as well as reducing dietary sugar and stress is also helpful. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain the health of your gut microbiome.
Bone Health and Osteoporosis Risk
It is estimated that osteoporosis affects approximately 200 million women worldwide and nearly one in three women over the age of 50 will experience a fracture related to osteoporosis. Aging is not the only factor that increases the risk of osteoporosis, but there are several conditions that can play a role in the development of osteoporosis, bone loss, and fractures. Autoimmune disorders contribute to bone loss due to chronic inflammation and steroid medications sometimes used to fight inflammation. Digestive disorders, including Celiac disease, can create issues with nutrient absorption leading to weakened bones. Other conditions, such as diabetes, depression, hyperthyroidism, breast cancer, and others can also contribute to bone loss and increased risk of osteoporosis. Take charge of maintaining optimal bone health and reducing the risk of developing brittle bones with some simple prevention tips including living an active lifestyle with a mix of physical activities, avoiding processed foods, consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables, increasing vitamin D levels, and taking an omega-3 supplement. If you suffer from any risk factors, talk to our pharmacist for help selecting a quality supplement and appropriate dosing recommendations based on your specific needs.
A Therapeutic Challenge: Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis is a common infection caused by an overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. It is the most common vaginal condition for women in their reproductive years. Although a specific cause is not known, it most commonly occurs in women who are sexually active. Practicing safe sex by using condoms and reducing the number of sexual partners can help to reduce the risk of contracting bacterial vaginosis. Common symptoms include abnormal discharge and pain, itching or burning in or outside the vagina. It is important to note that although the symptoms are similar, bacterial vaginosis is different from a yeast infection. A yeast infection is a fungal infection while bacterial vaginosis is a bacterial infection. Although bacterial vaginosis can resolve on its own without medication, seeking care from a medical professional is important. If left untreated, serious complications such as ectopic pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, and other sexually transmitted diseases can occur. Therapies can include an oral or topical antibiotic such as topical amphotericin B or boric acid vaginal capsules or suppositories. When taking antibiotics, a quality probiotic is also recommended to replenish the good bacteria in the gut. Our compounding pharmacist can work with women and their medical providers to provide therapeutic options to resolve the infection.
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