Wellness Solutions Blog

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Let’s talk CBD: 5 Healthy Benefits for Women

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By Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

Natural approaches for promoting better health are steadily on the rise, and every January, National CBD Month shines a spotlight on the powerful benefits of a natural product, cannabidiol.

Recognized for helping to address common health conditions including anxiety, appetite/hunger, depression, immune function, memory, mood, motor control, pain, pleasure, reward, reproduction, fertility, sleep and temperature, CBD is a popular tool used by men and women of many ages and lifestyles. It has become increasingly favored among women for its help with a wide range of women’s health concerns.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 36 million women are living with a condition of the body or mind that makes it more difficult to do certain activities and interactions on a day-to-day basis. A 2019 Consumer Reports survey found more than 64 million Americans used CBD, the majority of whom were female.

So, what makes CBD attractive to women?

CBD, the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, the part that doesn’t get you “high,” has been a game-changer for many struggling with underlying physical and mental health conditions.

The Consumer Reports survey shows a large majority used cannabidiol in pill form, oils and topicals to relieve pain, anxiety, insomnia and arthritis.

Several health-focused benefits of CBD for female users include:

Boosting Mood

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, women experience depression twice as often as men.

Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health disorders and can be treated with medications that can result in undesirable side effects such as fatigue, sexual dysfunction and even substance abuse.

Many women find CBD oil as a natural holistic approach for helping to boost mental states.

This alternative has shown promising results due to cannabidiol’s effect on parts of the brain that regulate mood and behavior.

Balancing Hormones

Hormones play a large part in women’s daily functions, affecting everything from mood to metabolism, as well as critical life stages like puberty, pregnancy and menopause.

As women age, the body produces lower amounts of essential hormones, sometimes creating unpleasant challenges caused by imbalance that can include weight gain, vaginal atrophy and hair loss.

With CBD’s ability to act on the body’s endocannabinoid system, which regulates hormone production, it can be especially helpful to promote balance and reduce symptoms.

Reducing Pain

CBD can help alleviate painful, debilitating cramps and bloating associated with menstruation. Furthermore, it has also been found to provide relief for chronic health problems including endometriosis, a painful chronic condition that affects more than 6.5 million women in the U.S.

Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. Symptoms can be excruciating menstrual cramps, painful sexual intercourse and chronic back and pelvis pain. Research indicates CBD can help endometriosis by minimizing cell migration and relieving pain.

With guidance from a health care professional, women struggling with endometriosis and painful menstrual cramps can explore CBD-infused creams and oils to help ease discomfort and manage symptoms. Specially designed products can also be used intravaginally for targeted relief and improved absorption.

Sexual Health

Research suggests up to 50% of women will experience some type of sexual dysfunction during their lifetime. Female studies often cite pain during intercourse and reduced desire as some of the biggest problems.

Along with CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, certain infused oils can also enhance intimate moments and empower a healthier sex life.

Flora Balancing

While many people have heard about the gut microbiome and the benefits of probiotics for digestive health, few know that the vagina also requires a healthy microbiome to prevent problems such as yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and vaginal dryness. CBD combined with prebiotics and other natural ingredients can help restore vaginal flora to a healthy, balanced state and also alleviates dryness, pain or itching.

So, if CBD can offer this many healing benefits, what is stopping many people from getting started?

For some, the thought of cannabis use – even the non-intoxicating part – is misunderstood. In addition, a dizzying array of CBD products are available, from infused food products to CBD sold at convenience stores. To get the most out of CBD’s benefits, it’s important to know the quality of CBD and that it comes from a trusted source.

In addition, before using any CBD product, consult a medical professional or pharmacist to determine any possible side effects based on your current medications. A knowledgeable natural health professional can provide guidance on CBD quality and safety as well as the different forms, usage and application to get the best natural benefits from this natural powerhouse.

National Nutrition Month: Natural ways to support a happy, healthy gut

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herbal organic medicine product. natural herb essential from nature.

By Dr. Stan Headley, natural health consultant for Cypress Pharmacy

While many of us like to think we have “stomachs of steel” and can eat as we please, our gut usually says otherwise.

Today, between 60 to 70 million Americans suffer from various digestive diseases – irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Crohn’s disease and cancer, to name a few.

Overlooking unhealthy habits as simple as overeating or not chewing food properly can slowly chip away at our digestive ability over time until it’s too late, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms that can keep us from enjoying the most out of our daily lives.

Fortunately, steps can be taken to spot poor digestive function and reverse it by making necessary lifestyle changes and adding targeted nutritional supplements.

What is Gut Health?

Let’s begin by breaking down the popular term known as “gut health.”

It often refers to the physical state, function and balance of bacteria throughout our gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the vital organs we need to digest food, absorb nutrients and process waste.

As an important part of the digestive system, the GI tract works to break down food into nutrients that can be used for energy, growth and repair within the body.

Why is a Healthy Gut Important?

A healthy gut plays critical roles in our overall wellness and contributes to everything from effective digestion to brain health and getting a good night’s sleep.

It can also affect how our immune system functions.

Research shows that 70% of our immune system is housed in our GI tract and that many chronic conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, may be directly linked to poor digestion.

Everything we consume can help or hurt our overall health, and influence how we feel. It’s important to note the gut-brain connection that exists inside our body.

Most people don’t realize we have more serotonin receptors in the gut than in the brain, which further speaks to the importance of maintaining a healthy digestive tract function. The serotonin receptors in the gut and brain help to keep our moods stable while improving digestion.

Scientists have found that about 60% of patients with some type of depression or anxiety have intestinal disturbances of some form, including leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, bloating or GERD.

Supporting a Happy, Healthy Gut

When it comes to how best to manage digestive disorders and their accompanying symptoms, you have many options. A wide selection of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements have been found to be very effective at supporting the digestive system without side effects commonly seen with prescription drugs.

Beneficial “good” bacteria from probiotic pharmaceutical-grade supplements – using the proper intestinal strains and therapeutic amounts of acidophilus, Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus – can help the body absorb all of the nutrients in food and supplements.

A few other well-researched supplement recommendations include:

  • Digestive enzymes – this supplement combines protease, lipase and amylase, which break down protein, fats and carbohydrates into fine particles, so the body can absorb what it needs.
  • Ginger – this well-known herb has many properties for healing but can be very helpful for improved digestion. It can also reduce inflammation.
  • Zinc – this trace mineral is vital for the health of the entire GI system.
  • Glutamine – this is an amino acid that is one of the most essential nutrients for the digestive tract. It has been found to help with ulcers, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, and all forms of intestinal repair.
  • A comprehensive blend of probiotics, digestive enzymes, amino acids, and a mucosal barrier for optimal digestive health.

By making necessary lifestyle changes and adding targeted nutritional supplements, your digestive system can respond by decreasing or eliminating symptoms and improving your overall health. Be sure to discuss your lifestyle changes and nutritional supplements with a qualified health care professional, doctor or pharmacist, especially if you take prescription medications.

Cypress Pharmacy hires Olivia Simmons as assistant pharmacy manager

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Olivia Simmons Smiling Inside of Pharmacy

Cypress Pharmacy has hired Olivia Simmons, PharmD, as the assistant pharmacy manager, responsible for overseeing daily operations of the store and pharmacy in addition to providing customer service and patient care. 

Prior to joining Cypress Pharmacy, Simmons gained five years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry, serving as assistant pharmacy manager and staff pharmacist for multiple chain pharmacies in the region. In her previous positions, she assisted with the pharmacy’s daily operations and services, which include filling, dispensing and assessing prescriptions, supervising pharmacy technicians, administering immunizations, providing specialized patient care and counseling patients on over-the-counter recommendations, like CBD. She also provided counsel on dosages, drug interactions and allergies as well as care for those with diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure and for smoking cessation. 

“Olivia shares our commitment to taking a personalized approach to health, and we are very excited for her to join our team at Cypress Pharmacy,” said Chris DePaola, vice president of Cypress Pharmacy. “From counseling on formula selection to comprehensive medication management, her knowledge will be a great asset in providing our customers with a variety of wellness solutions.”  

Before moving to Southwest Florida, Simmons earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree in Tampa from the University of South Florida (USF) in 2020. She also received her Bachelor of Science in biomedical science and minored in public health and leadership at USF in 2016. She is also a member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists.  

For more information about Cypress Pharmacy, call 239-481-7322 or visit CypressPharmacy.com. 

About Cypress Pharmacy 

Cypress Pharmacy has been providing pharmaceutical and health care services in Fort Myers for more than 40 years and offers free local delivery, immunizations, medication synchronization and therapy management, customized compounding for patients and pets, personalized patient consultations, flu and strep throat testing, cholesterol and glucose screening, lab testing, Medicare Part D plan reviews, a broad selection of over-the-counter products, a full line of professional-grade vitamins and supplements including CBD oil, and free vitamins for children and adults 50 and up. Cypress Pharmacy also offers Cypress Packs, a medication packaging option that makes it easier to manage and take multiple medications on a precise schedule. Medication refills can be requested in person, over the phone, online and using the RxLocal App. Cypress Pharmacy accepts most insurance plans and Medicare Part D. The entire staff, including pharmacists Justin Ceravolo and Olivia Simmons and Natural Health Consultant Dr. Stan Headley, are dedicated to providing the best possible service to every customer. Cypress Pharmacy is located at 9451 Cypress Lake Drive in Fort Myers, Florida and is open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Optimal Aging

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optimal aging

One of the most popular areas of medicine today is anti-aging medicine or functional medicine. Anti-aging/functional medicine attempts to keep individuals healthy and functioning regardless of their age. Most of us want to live as long as we possibly can. However, do we want to add years to our life or life to our years? Life is an accumulation of thousands of events and decisions. The small decisions that we make every hour of every day can impact the quality of our life for years to come. As Americans, we plan for so many occurrences in life. But few of us plan for our inevitable aging.

So how do we assess how well we are aging? Many researchers are looking at the length of our telomeres, the strands at the end of chromosomes, to correlate our chronological age with our biological age. Others are looking at our genetics and the role our genes play in our aging. Still, others are looking at how well our bodies function metabolically in such areas as methylation. Finally, we also look at our levels of wear and tear, commonly referred to as “oxidative stress.” Formulations of nutrients known as antioxidants, like Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), can help to protect against oxidative stress and slow down aging.

ALA is unique among biological antioxidants because it is soluble in both water and fats. This allows ALA to neutralize free radicals both inside and outside the cells. Because ALA is involved in so many different functions in the body, it has been called the “universal scavenger.” Besides being a powerful antioxidant in its own right, ALA can also recharge other essential antioxidant systems throughout the body. ALA provides tremendous value as a daily supplement.

The overall goal of any anti-aging supplement is the prevention of disease and the maintenance of overall health. In this regard, Berberine would be an excellent choice. Two of the challenges that face us as we age are high blood sugar and elevated blood lipids. High blood sugar is known to bring about diabetes. And the elevated insulin levels produced in response to high blood sugar are thought to have an influence on the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. Berberine has been shown to help lower blood glucose levels for better blood sugar management.

Studies have shown that Berberine can also help with the management of blood lipids. And Berberine provides a relaxation role in the blood vessels, thus lowering elevated blood pressure. But always remember when optimal aging is the goal, a healthy diet, adequate exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are the best way to maintain your body function for years to come.

Learn More: Healthy Aging: Body, Mind, and Spirit

Safeguarding Our Children’s Health

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children's nutrition

Nowhere are the adverse effects of the Standard American Diet (SAD) more visible than in the current nutritional status of American children. Poor nutritional intake beginning in the womb, followed by a diet of highly processed, refined, high-fat, high-sugar, low-fiber “foods” has led to a generation of children who are often nutritionally deficient in essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. As parents, we need to remember that children are not just little adults. They are developing human beings. And as developing human beings, we know that nutritional deficiencies occurring in the early stages of that development will create long-term health issues later in life.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the most abundant essential fatty acid in the brain and is essential for normal, healthy brain structure and function. Studies in babies and children demonstrate that higher DHA levels help to support learning and cognitive function. Similar results are seen in adolescents, where DHA also supports higher learning skills. Given the poor, high-fat diet which most children consume, DHA supplementation in the range of 400-600 mg per day should be recommended for most children.

This same Standard American Diet often leads to poor gastrointestinal (GI) health and poor immune health. When this situation is accompanied by the usage of antibiotics, a common practice in children, it can result in a compromised situation for the essential healthy bacteria normally found in the gut. The healthy bacteria in the gut are essential for suppressing the growth of harmful bacteria, helping to support the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients, and helping to support healthy immune function. The bacterial strains found in Children’s Chewable Vitamin with Acidophilus can help provide support for immune health.‡ And the unique formulation found in Aller-Calm Complex can help to support children who suffer from chronic and seasonal allergy and asthma challenges.‡

Children’s Chewable Vitamin with Acidophilus is a solid recommendation for daily nutritional support. It is a pleasant-tasting, chewable multiple vitamin/mineral formulation of nutrients shown to be essential for the healthy development of children‡. Lactobacillus acidophilus is also included in the product to help support GI and immune health‡. Vitamin C supports numerous biological functions in the body, not the least of which is immune function. Vitamin C 500 mg Orange Chewable helps to support immune function in children and protect them during times of stress or exposure to colds and flu.‡

A sound, protein-based start for the day has been shown to enhance the learning and alertness of children in school. A breakfast “smoothie” consisting of Perfect Protein Powder along with whole foods, such as berries and greens, is a much healthier beginning for the day than our typical carbohydrate-laden breakfasts. These smoothies are an excellent means to provide proper nutrition so that children can do their best‡.

‡The statements contained have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Sleep Support – Natural Options

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sleep

Insomnia is a condition in which an individual can have a difficult time falling asleep, staying asleep or both. Over 40 percent of Americans report having sleep issues each year. When these issues last longer than one month, they are classified as chronic sleep disorders. While scientists do not know the exact mechanism for why we sleep, they do know that a lack of it can affect our mood, our physical wellness, and our overall happiness. Rapid eye movement, or REM sleep, is the time when we tend to dream. We should have several episodes of REM each night. Failure to reach REM will create a negative effect on regenerative hormones.

The ability to fall asleep at bedtime is influenced by factors that occur from the time we arise in the morning. For many individuals who face stress during the day, elevated cortisol levels produced by the adrenal gland can interfere with the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. L-theanine, an amino acid that down-regulates cortisol produced during the day, can help effectively set the stage for improved sleep at bedtime when taken during the day.‡ Combination products such as Relaxation Formula and GABA Calm, when taken during the day, can help set the stage for improved sleep, without causing sedation during the day.‡ Besides the presence of stress during the day, another lifestyle change that needs to be considered is the amount and timing of stimulants consumed during the day, such as caffeine and alcohol. Exposure to computer screens, video games, and television in the evening too close to bedtime can also adversely affect sleep. Extended exposure to these light-emitting sources prior to bedtime can interfere with the production of our natural sleep hormone, melatonin.

Melatonin is secreted at night when darkness is approaching. It causes us to become sleepy and also lowers our body temperature. Many prescription medications, even medications prescribed for insomnia, can block the production of melatonin. Ask your pharmacist if the medications you are taking may be depleting melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep. Melatonin 3 mg Sustained Release and Melatonin Liposomal Spray are two means to increase melatonin levels.‡ Learn why melatonin alone is not the best solution.

Many individuals turn to prescription medications to attempt to address sleep disorders. However, these medications can become problematic as they can adversely affect the normal sleep cycle, especially the REM cycle. After using a daytime product to help control elevated cortisol levels, we recommend using a quality supplement to help restore the natural rhythm. Magnesium is a mineral that acts as a calmative and helps our muscles relax, helping us to fall asleep more easily. Combinations of natural sleep-inducing ingredients, such as those found in Sleep Perfect Formula or Sleep Support, can induce a natural sleep onset.‡ For those who are still plagued by early morning awakening, the use of rapid-acting Melatonin Liposomal Spray can help individuals return for those remaining valuable hours of sleep.‡

‡The statements contained have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Sports Nutrition

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Since the time of the most ancient civilizations, athletes have attempted to enhance their athletic performance with various nutritional approaches. However, as our knowledge of athletic metabolic physiology increases, we have learned that recovery from intense exercise is just as important as actual athletic performance in the athlete’s total training program. When an athlete is able to recover faster, they can train harder and perform at a higher level. The enhancement of athletic recovery is the basis of sports nutrition.

In assessing sports nutrition and supplements, it is important to remember that not all athletes are the same. There are marked differences in nutritional needs between endurance athletes and strength athletes, between conditioned athletes versus re-conditioned athletes, between male and female athletes, and other individual challenges and predispositions which point out the individuality of each athlete. Intense athletic exercise can be a major stressor for an athlete and can jeopardize immune health and performance over time. That is why a solid recovery program is essential for any athlete at any level. Proper sports nutrition includes a foundational healthy diet, nutritional supplementation (both basic and sports-specific), appropriate rest time, and, of course, ample water and hydration.

Supplement Products Supporting Athletic Recovery

Certainly one of the key building blocks in an athlete’s diet is protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle. Perfect Protein Powder is an excellent choice for protein supplementation. Its liquid consistency provides for greater absorption of essential nutrients and amino acids.‡ While it is a complete amino acid composition in itself, Perfect Protein Powder can be enhanced further with the addition of singular amino acids, such as L-arginine, L-carnitine, and glutamine.‡ Essential nutrients such as magnesium, coenzyme Q-10, and multivitamin supplements also can be added to supercharge the basic amino acid composition of Perfect Protein Powder.‡ Athletes participating in intense exercise need to recognize that they will require vitamin supplementation above that of the recommended daily allowance (RDA), given their increased metabolic expenditure.

Given the high level of interest in sports nutrition today, certain products have been developed which will help the athlete with both performance and recovery. Nitric Oxide Formula is a combination of ingredients, including L-arginine and L-citrulline, designed to support healthy nitric oxide levels and to support the integrity and vascular health of the blood vessel wall, resulting in enhanced blood flow, stamina, performance, and recovery‡. High-dose magnesium, can be very helpful in preventing muscle cramping and pain. Fruits and Greens Energy Drink is an easy-to-mix, nutrient-rich superfood formula with whole food concentrates designed to provide synergistic phytonutrient nutrition and increased energy.t Finally, Ultimate Joint Complex will help to minimize joint deterioration secondary to overuse, and help to re-establish collagen levels in stressed joints.‡

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‡The statements contained have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Arthritis Tips

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Arthritis

With so many individuals suffering from arthritis, it is challenging to navigate treatments and home remedies that work. This is why Cypress Pharmacy would like to highlight and tips for those who have arthritis. We believe that bringing awareness to triggers, treatments, and symptoms may help those who struggle to get their pain under control.

Before treating your arthritis, it is crucial to know which type of arthritis you may be suffering from. There are more than one hundred types of arthritis! But the three most common ones are Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), and Gout.

  • Osteoarthritis is when the joints are overused, affecting those older in age. The joints most susceptible are the ones that bear weight, such as hips, feet, knees, and the spine. With the loss of cartilage comes inflammation, thus making daily movements and tasks painful to complete. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder that may get worse over time. As it is difficult to separate progression from flare, it is advised to track or journal your daily movements and activities to see which tasks could be taking a toll on your arthritis. Keep a lookout for over-activity such as gardening or exercise, as this could cause trauma to the joint. Bone spurs, repetitive motions (cooking, stirring tea or a pot of food, writing, typing), cold weather, change in barometric pressure, and weight gain could all be contributing to your inflammation.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis, on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks itself, specifically the body’s joints. The causes of RA are still unknown, but the effects are well recorded. With a gradual or sudden sensation of stiffness, pain, and swelling, RA flares can vary in intensity, duration, and frequency. Flare-ups can occur when treatments are stopped or tapered. Overexertion, stress, infection, poor sleep, general sickness like a cold or flu are more likely to occur in patients that suffer from RA. Symptoms of RA include stiffness in the joints, especially after waking from sleep.
  • Gout is a form of arthritis described as a sudden attack of pain, swelling, and redness in the joints and most commonly in the big toe. Uncontrolled uric acid levels trigger crystals to form in and around the joints, causing inflammation. A sudden attack could wake you up in the middle of the night, with your big toe swollen, red and tender. High purine foods like shellfish or beer, dehydration, or local trauma to a joint may cause a flare-up.

Plans for a Flare-Up

  • Flare triggers are different for different types of arthritis. A flare is a period of increased disease activity or worsening symptoms- a time where your medications might not work.
  • Knowing your symptoms and arthritis will help you better track when a flare-up could occur. Whether it be the change in weather or recent inactivity, make an effort to track and keep a log of your pain and the changes in your environment that may be causing your flare-up. Common treatments include having a wrist brace on hand, keeping over-the-counter Voltaren or CBD on hand.
  • It is helpful to incorporate turmeric into your diet, as this will help decrease inflammation.
  • Treatments for flare-ups may help include steroids injections in the knee (administered by a doctor/health professional) and topicals like prescribed diclofenac gel.
  • Over-the-counter professional-grade CBD, both oral and topical, is often helpful.
  • Listen to your body- if you lack the energy to perform tasks, don’t.
  • Rest is essential, so find time for a nap and perhaps try arthritis gloves.
  • Attempt to meditate- there are many easy-to-use apps on most smartphones (Headspace, Mindfulness, or Calm app, for example)

Foods to Avoid

  • Sugary beverages significantly increase your risk of a flare-up
  • Sugars found in soda, candy, ice cream, condiments like ketchup and BBQ sauce increase inflammation
  • Opt for sugar-free pastries and desserts
  • Trans fats often found in processed foods have also been shown to trigger systemic inflammation.
  • Limit foods high in salt like canned soups, french fries, pizza, fast food
  • Processed and red meats contain high inflammatory markers
  • Try gluten-free products
  • Instead of refined grains, try whole grains
  • Reduce your alcohol intake
  • “Nightshade” vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers are thought by some to cause inflammation, although there is much debate.  Learn more: Nightshades, Inflammation, and Chronic Pain

Supplements may help to decrease your inflammation and help relieve your pain

  • Vitamin C
  • L-proline
  • Manganese
  • Herbal preparations of turmeric, grape seed extract, ginger, and quercetin contain potent antioxidants that may reduce free radicals found in inflamed joints and contribute to cartilage degradation.
  • Cypress Pharmacy Joint Health Support provides key nutraceuticals to help support a healthy inflammatory response, facilitate cartilage synthesis and provide antioxidant support. To help support the structural integrity of joint cartilage, glucosamine and chondroitin offer significant benefits. Glucosamine sulfate helps to support the production of cartilage in your joint tissue.
  • Cypress Pharmacy InflamMove is a blend of botanical extracts and enzymes that work together to help the body’s natural inflammatory responses.

 

The Path to Detoxification

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How a whole-body detoxification can help you feel your best – By Emily Benson

If you’re feeling sluggish, like you’re constantly fighting off colds or allergies, or your stomach is on the fritz, toxins may be the culprit.

Toxins can enter the body through many sources, including environmental toxins such as pollution or everyday cleaning products, lifestyle toxins such as processed foods or excess alcohol, and internal toxins such as bacteria, high stress or unresolved trauma.

Dr. Stan Headley, the natural health consultant at Cypress Pharmacy in Fort Myers, says that over time, these toxins begin to overload the body, leading to damaging impacts.

“There’s a clear correlation between toxins and their harmful effects on the body, such as poor health and chronic conditions,” Headley says. “While toxins are nearly impossible to avoid, you can boost your body’s ability to eliminate them from your system.”

The body is made to detox naturally, with the liver working to remove toxins that we encounter. Yet, when the liver is not functioning properly and incoming toxins surpass its ability to remove them, these toxins begin to build up. When a toxic burden occurs, every other system in the body is compromised, including the heart, brain, kidneys and skin.

“It’s important to periodically restore the body’s ability to eliminate toxins and maintain optimal liver function,” Headley says. “In turn, the body as a whole is able to operate at its best.”

Headley has seen the benefits that well-designed detoxification can provide in promoting optimal health and wellness, including better digestion, improved metabolism and ability to manage weight, clearer mental thinking, better energy, enhanced blood sugar and blood pressure control, and improved lab blood results.

  • Take a whole-body approach: Achieving overall wellness requires maintaining a healthy balance between your mind, body and spirit. Kick-off your journey to better health by making lasting lifestyle changes.
  • Seek supervision: A medical professional or pharmacist can help determine a detox program that is suitable for your health needs and current prescriptions while holding you accountable.
  • Look for pharmaceutical-grade products: The quality of the products you intake are key to success. Pharmaceutical-grade products are manufactured under strict quality control and validated for purity and potency.
  • Incorporate vitamins and supplements: Antioxidants such as vitamin B, C, E and beta-carotene are known for cleansing the liver. Herbal supplements like milk thistle also have benefits. Probiotics and special formulas for alcohol detox and colon health may also support this process.
  • Healthful diet: Eat mindfully to eliminate problematic foods in your diet and decrease the toxic burden.
  • Exercise: Studies show that exercise helps your body become more efficient in detoxing naturally.
  • Track results: Use a scoring system to compare results. This allows you to visually appreciate the improvements throughout the body.

“The path to detoxification is different for everyone,” Headley says. “A high-quality cleansing frees your body of harmful toxins and puts you in the driver’s seat to better health.”

The 2021 pollen-pocalypse: How to stay protected during allergy season in Southwest Florida

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By: Justin Ceravolo, PharmD, pharmacist at Cypress Pharmacy

It’s that time of year again – the sniffling, sneezing and suffering of allergy season caused by the telltale yellow dust that blankets Southwest Florida for months.

With longer and warmer seasons each year, the spring and fall pollen is literally and figuratively growing worse. Right now, the biggest offenders like tree pollen, grass pollen and ragweed pollen are blowing through our breezy coastal region.

These tiny airborne allergens easily get inside your body, and when they do, your immune system goes into defense mode. To combat these intruding allergens, your body releases a chemical, called histamine, which triggers a familiar response you might recognize: sneezing, itchy throat, runny nose or teary eyes.

If you are an allergy sufferer, you are not alone. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundations of America, more than 50 million people struggle with it every year.

In its latest 2021 Allergy Capitals report, AAFA placed a Southwest Florida region on its top 50 list of most challenging places to live with seasonal allergies. Cape Coral was ranked No. 33 for allergies during spring season and No. 35 for the months during fall.

So, what can you do if you struggle with seasonal allergies and Southwest Florida is your home? A few proactive steps to recognize, prevent and manage symptoms will bring hope to those with the seasonal stuffy blues.

Reduce Your Exposure

  • Before planning your day, check local news or the Internet for the area’s pollen count forecast.
  • Keep doors and windows shut to avoid pollen from coming indoors.
  • Delegate outdoor chores, such as mowing the lawn and gardening.
  • Keep floors cleaned and maintain air filters inside the home.
  • Avoid air-drying clothes and bedding outside where pollen can stick to it.

Prevent Spread & Symptoms

  • If high pollen counts are forecasted, take allergy medication before symptoms start.
  • After outdoor activities, change into clean clothes and shower to rinse pollen from skin and hair.
  • Remove shoes, jackets and hats at the front door.
  • Wipe pets down with a towel after playing outdoors.
  • Wear a pollen or dust mask for outdoor activities.

Nonprescription Medication & Remedies

  • Oral antihistamines can help relieve sneezing, itching and runny noses.
  • Antihistamine eye drops can reduce itching and redness.
  • Specially formulated supplements may support healthy respiratory and immune systems.
  • Nasal rinse devices, such as a Neti pot, can flush out inhaled pollen and alleviate congestion.
  • Oral and nasal decongestants can offer temporary relief to help with nasal stuffiness.
  • Cromolyn sodium nasal sprays can help treat and prevent allergy symptoms.

When stubborn symptoms persist, your pharmacist or physician can identify which over-the-counter medicines are best suited to alleviate your symptoms. They can also help you navigate your options when more severe conditions must be addressed.

Treatment options to manage allergies can range from immunotherapy, such as shots, to prescription-strength antihistamines, decongestants and combination allergy drugs.

In addition, rescue inhalers and other medications can be prescribed for people diagnosed with allergy-induced asthma.

Amid the pandemic, a case of the sniffles, or hay fever, is the last thing you want to stress over. While allergies can’t be cured, they can certainly be managed. Having a seasonal action plan that attacks allergies first is a good place to start, and will keep you from playing catch-up once symptoms arise.

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