QualityPrescriptionDrugs' Health Tips - April 2012 (Can't read this? click here)
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Do you know what the only thing better than two quality personal health articles is? Three quality articles—read them outside while enjoying the spring sunshine, or in the cool indoor shade. Regardless, stay tuned for important diabetes, acne, and drug complication news.

As usual, if you have any concerns, comments or questions? Feel free to send them to: [email protected]

Current Issue

Wake Up To Sleep Deprivation's Link to Diabetes

sleep deprived woman at work

The benefits of getting a good night's sleep have been much reported, and most people do not need the unpleasantries shift work reiterated. New studies, however, are linking sleeping patterns associated with shift work as being a determining factor in developing diabetes—and it is the disruption of circadian rhythms that is the blame more so than the guzzling of pop in the attempt to stay awake.

In a recent study researchers placed restrictions on sleep for a number of days in a three week period with the aim of mimicking a typical nightshift schedule. What scientists found was that the body's natural clock was disrupted; consequently, the insulin produced by the body was reduced. In fact, once normalized for body weight, long term shift work can account for up to 25% of an increased risk for diabetes.

“Glucose levels went much higher and stayed that way for several hours,” said neuroscientist Orfeu Buxton, Ph. D., the study's lead author. “This was because of decreased insulin released from the pancreas. Together these reflect an increased risk of diabetes.”

In fact, the stress was so severe that three of the healthy volunteers became pre-diabetic; fortunately after nine days of regular sleeping, these individuals reverted back to healthy conditions.

These findings stand in tandem with the widely reported evidence that points towards a lack of sleep as a key contributing factor towards weight gain, especially mid-section weight gain as manifested through an overproduction of cortisol, the hormone that is produced in the place of (the generally advantageous) testosterone when stress levels are high that signals for the conversation of fat cells.

So if you cannot avoid shift work, the following are some tips to keep your body as healthy as it can be during your excursion into the nocturnal depths of the workplace underworld:

  • Try make your daily clock as normal as possible—the more regularity you can exibit, the stronger the effects of having an established circadian rhythm can be benefited.
  • Get good sleep during the day—find a quiet, very dark room to sleep in; don't settle into the couch in front of the television.
  • Don’t eat big meals at a time when you feel your body clock is out of whack.
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    New Computer Algorithm Aids Doctors in Discovering Drug Complications

    woman eating burger

    As we age, it is not uncommon to be put on various prescribed and over the counter medications to help with ailments and diseases that come with age. The average 70-year old takes about seven different prescribed medications and many times those medicines can interact in a negative manner, causing mild or severe side effects that could potentially do more harm than good.

    For example, let’s say your doctor prescribes you Valium, an SSRI, and Diazepan for high blood pressure. You get home, take your medicines, and all of a sudden begin to feel dizzy and nauseous. Wouldn’t it be nice to know if those symptoms are the result of prescription drug complications?

    We trust out doctors and pharmacists to be on the lookout for dangerous drug interactions, but the truth is that sometimes their best intentions and research falls short. Clinical trials do in fact discover some of the side effects of drugs, but lack in finding how some drugs interact with each other in the body.

    There is interesting news concerning this right now because researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have created a computer algorithm that allows them to sift through millions of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s reports in regard to the side effects of prescribed and over the counter medications. Additionally, they found that this algorithm can identify potentially dangerous drug complications and interactions-especially SSRIs and blood pressure medications, which have been found to increase the risk of a fatal heart condition.

    Just recently, in the Science Translational Medicine, Russ Altman, MD, PhD, professor of bioengineering, genetics, and medicine at Stanford, noted that the FDA does not have a database to allow patients and physicians to report adverse drug side effects. He stated that patient’s conditions, histories, age, and gender vary so much that it is difficult to really gauge the information.

    A case control study was performed, in which groups of people who were similar, with the exception of one drug variable, were studied. If they happened to end up with the same side effect or adverse condition, they concluded that it was probably due to the medication. They also could discover the effects of certain drug interactions in the study.

    The researchers were able to confirm that 47 new drug interactions that were in the AERS study were in fact true when compared to the records of actual patients. In fact, it was found that when patients were taking SSRIs, such as Valium, and a blood pressure medicine called thiazides, they were 9.3 percent more likely to show prolonged QR intervals on an electrocardiogram then patients that just took either medication. The fact that prolonged QT intervals can increase the chances of spontaneous arrhythmias and sudden heart attacks is alarming.

    The database also helps with the identification of prescribed and over the counter medications with similar side effects. Diazepam (Valium) and Zolpidem (Ambien) have similar side effects and target some of the same proteins, but they are prescribed for different conditions.

    This type of research is important, as future prescription drug complications could be prevented with the right knowledge.

    Stress Causes Acne - But Do You Know Why?

    woman eating burger

    It is bad enough to have acne as a teenager, but when that acne returns as an adult, it can be quite disappointing. The latest research indicates that a major contributor to acne in adult women is stress at home or at the workplace. Even if a woman did not have acne as a teenager, stress can cause acne as an adult and cause them to begin looking into an affordable acne drug.

    The reason for a stress induced acne outbreak is because male hormones are released from the adrenal glands when stress is experienced. The hormones tend to cause an increase in oil production, which in turn blocks pores. The blocked pores are the culprit of acne

    With more and more women working and experience stress that can come from working, there is a higher percentage of grown women experiencing acne and looking for affordable acne medication.

    Research has found that adult acne is different than adolescent acne, as teens normally get acne on their forehead, nose, mouth, and chin. Adults normally get acne that is classified as more cystic and more difficult to treat. Difficult zones are the cheeks and the bottom of their face just before the neck.

    Researchers have also found that women suffer acne three times more than men. This could be due to the assumption that women’s skin is more sensitive to male hormones. Women also report that they experience more acne before and during their menstrual cycle due to various hormonal changes. Women’s hormones tend to change more than men’s, which is a firm indicator as to why more women experience acne.

    Smokers also tend to experience more acne because nicotine has been known to increase oily sebum. It decreases the supply of Vitamin E as well, which the skin needs for repair.

    Just as with adolescents, treatment for acne is possible. There are affordable acne medications available that can help clear up and prevent acne. Topical medications can easily keep acne away and is usually the preferred treatment for acne.