Medical Mythbusters: The turkey made me do it!

There are a lot of traditions at Thanksgiving; turkey, pumpkin pie, football games, shopping, and of course “the nap”.   At my house dinner usually begins around two.  After the meal has been blessed, the football fanatics fill their plates and head to the family room to cheer on their favorite teams.  The non-football inclined take their plates to the table and kibitz.  About an hour or so later a quick glance into the family room usually reveals that the football fanatics have transitioned to “the nap”.

The fanatics, of course, would argue that the turkey made them sleepy.  Turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan.  Tryptophan helps the body produce the B-vitamin niacin which in turn helps the body produce serotonin.  Serotonin acts as a calming agent in the brain and plays a key role in sleep.  Hence the myth that turkey makes you sleepy.

But… tryptophan works best on an empty stomach and let’s face it, at Thanksgiving, no ones’ stomach is empty!  The turkey is competing with the potatoes, veggies, rolls, and deserts and only a small part actually makes it to the brain to produce serotonin.

The more likely culprit for the after dinner nap is a combination of things.  You have on a new fall sweater, dressed up for the relatives, which is making you a bit warm.  It’s the middle of the afternoon and the sun is shining through the windows causing you to squint a bit, i.e. close your eyes.  You’ve just consumed an enormous meal of 3000+ calories with significant carbs, and more than likely you’re a bit sleep deprived.  All of these together have the perfect makings of a nap!

So, don’t blame the turkey for that after dinner rest.  Instead, give thanks this Thanksgiving for the blessings of a wonderful meal eaten with family and friends and for the opportunity to catch up a little bit on your sleep.

Submitted by Tina Comston, M.Ed.

Migraines… Ouch!

Did You Know?

In the U.S., more than 38 million people suffer from migraines with 5 million of those being chronic migraine sufferers. Migraines occur most commonly in women, young to middle-aged adults, low income groups, and Caucasian people. Migraines can be quite debilitating and cause you to miss class or work which can then turn into additional financial, school, or emotional stress.

 

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is a recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by other bothersome symptoms. Migraines often last longer and are more painful than normal headaches. Some symptoms migraine sufferers may experience in addition to headaches are nausea, vomiting, light or sound sensitivity, fatigue, dizziness, vision changes, and aura.

 

What Triggers Migraines?

Migraines can be triggered by a number of things but the most common cause is stress or anxiety. Other triggers of migraines include hormonal changes in women, foods, overuse of medications, environmental changes, depression, or obesity.

 

How Can You Treat Migraines?

It is an awful feeling when you feel the start of a migraine coming on, especially when you have a big exam the next day that you need to study for. It is a good idea to take an over-the-counter medication when you feel a migraine starting. Some options include ibuprofen (Motrin® or Advil®), naproxen (Aleve®), acetaminophen (Tylenol®), or a combination medication containing acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine (Excedrin®). However, it is not a good idea to be taking these medications every day or else it can have a rebound effect and cause your migraines to be even worse (known as a medication overuse headache). Sometimes, a migraine will not be relieved by a medication over the counter in which case you would want to see your doctor. He or she may prescribe you a medicine to help treat or prevent your migraines. Some other ways to help treat migraine symptoms without medication include drinking plenty of water, laying down in a dark and quiet room, light massaging of the head and neck, and using pure grade essential oils.

 

How Can You Prevent Migraines?

If you have been suffering with migraines, it is important to keep a “headache journal” and log the severity and location of your migraine. You should also log what activities you were doing and what foods you were eating that day. It is also a good idea to log what you did, if anything, to help relieve symptoms of your migraine. Keeping a headache journal can help you and/or your doctor better understand the trends of your migraines and notice any triggers that cause them. If you notice a trend in triggers, it is a good idea to avoid those triggers. Since stress and anxiety are big triggers for migraines, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle with skills to practice stress management. Some ways you can manage stress include exercising daily, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated throughout the day, meditating or practicing yoga, or other activities that help release endorphins and relax your mind.

 

Lindsay Ecclestone, PharmD Candidate 2019

The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy

 

Resources

Migraine Statistics. https://migraine.com/migraine-statistics/

Essential Oils for Stress and Anxiety

Essential oils are commonly used for a variety of reasons, but is there really any benefit to aromatherapy? Studies have shown that certain smells can be associated with both negative and positive emotions and memories. For example, the smell of a dentist’s office can bring anxiety to some patients but may be overcome with use of essential oils to block the negative smell. Lavender, on the other hand, is a common essential oil used as a calming agent and its use has been studied in a number of patients experiencing different types of stress and anxiety with beneficial results.  These studies found that stress and anxiety and their associated effects were decreased with the use of lavender. Overall, people experienced better sleep, lower heart rate, and lower blood pressure when exposed to lavender aromatherapy.

It is recommended to use these oils via a diffuser rather than by mouth or inhalation. Some topical formulations are manufactured and are mostly safe when used as directed but stop use if any reaction occurs.  Overall, essential oils are associated with minimum side effects when used as directed and for short durations. They act quickly with no possibility of dependence, tolerance, or withdrawal.  If only diffused, these oils can be used in addition to prescribed medication with no interactions.  If you have any questions ask your primary care provider or pharmacist before using essential oils.

 

-Erin Coddington PharmD Candidate 2019

 

Malcolm BJ, Tallian K. Essential oil of lavender in anxiety disorders: Ready for prime time? The Mental Health Clinician. 2017;7(4):147-155. doi:10.9740/mhc.2017.07.147.

 

“I never get sick… I do not need the flu shot”

Are these your thoughts when asked if you will get the flu shot this year?

Everyone’s immune system works differently so some people get sick more often than others. Just because you “never” get sick does not mean you are invincible from getting the flu. Influenza is spread by respiratory droplets (from sneezing, coughing, or even just talking) which can directly or indirectly be spread from person to person. If an infected person sneezes and then touches a door handle, you are at risk of getting infected just from touching that same door handle. All it takes is one infected individual on campus to be able to spread it to many, many others.

 

Why should you get vaccinated against the flu?

Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death. Each flu season is different, and influenza can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year. Of those millions, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. An annual influenza vaccine is the best way to help protect yourself and others against the flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children.

 

How do flu vaccines work?

The flu vaccine contains dead strains of the influenza virus. When vaccinated, these injected dead viruses cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. Therefore, if you are exposed to the flu later in the season, your immune system will be ready to defend you from getting infected with the virus. A lot of people claim that they get sick right after receiving the vaccine. It is scientifically impossible to get the flu from the vaccine since dead viruses are injected and it takes two weeks for your body to develop antibodies. The reason some people may feel flu-like symptoms after getting the vaccine is because your body’s immune system is triggered when injected with the vaccine but that is a risk with any vaccine you receive.

 

Who should get vaccinated this season?

Every person over the age of 6 months old should get a flu vaccine every season. The reason you need to get a vaccine every year is because each year, the strains of viruses are a little bit different. Therefore, a new vaccine is created each year to protect you against the projected strains of influenza for that given year.

 

 When should you get vaccinated?

You should receive your flu vaccine before the flu begins spreading in your community since it takes two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies necessary to protect you. The CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October each year.

 

Where can you go to get vaccinated?

You can get your flu shot conveniently right on campus at the student health center! Flu shots are available at the pharmacy located on the ground floor. In addition, you can get your flu shot at your doctor’s office, clinics, health department, or at any retail pharmacy.

 

Lindsay M. Ecclestone, PharmD Candidate 

 

References

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm

 

Combatting the Freshman 15

Make healthy choices to avoid the Freshman 15

Make healthy choices to avoid the Freshman 15

Welcome to college! The next 4 years will be the best years of your life. There’s nothing like leaving home for the first time, jumping into the bliss of independence and making bad decisions. You’ll be able to stay up as late as you want, over sleep your alarm, and consume way too many empty calories while tailgating the football games. College seems amazing! You have access to all the food you want and no parental supervision….I mean come on who wouldn’t want to have a late night slice of pizza, three servings of ice cream at traditions or even a warm chocolate chip cookie when you’re finished with lunch. But if you’re not careful the dreaded freshman 15 can catch up to you real quick and those brand new jeans you just bought, to look good at the game next weekend, will no longer button. So here is some advice on how to avoid gaining those extra 15 pounds no one wants to admit to gaining.

  1. Hire someone to smack that cookie out of your hand you pick up at the dining hall after every meal.  Since most students have no self control over the delicious sweets that are put in front of them, you can put someone else in charge of keeping your diet more healthy.
  2. Set an alarm for 5 minutes before a huge exam. This way when you wake up late and freak out that you’re not going to make it to your exam on time it forces you to run to class. You’ll realize how out of shape you are and get yourself back into the gym.
  3. Speaking of the gym, you may join a club sport to play recreationally since you use to play in high school. After practice you’re going to want to sit down and eat with your friends. Remember starting left bench is not the same as actually playing in high school. You can’t expect to eat the same and lose weight.
  4. In high school you were probably use to your parents cooking you dinner every night, making sure it was somewhat healthy…well in college they’re not here to cook your meals. So if you live close enough, go home to have them feed you. That way you won’t have to worry about consuming 1,000 calories from a loaded potato pizza from the PAD.
  5. If you don’t live close enough, it’s time to start paying attention to what you are eating. Everything has calories. Maybe you should rethink your order of an asiago cheese bagel with cream cheese, a cookie and a large buckeye mocha latte. If you eat that every morning I can promise that you will not be able to button your pants in a couple of weeks.
  6. Dining halls have so much delicious carb heavy food. Who wouldn’t want to eat pasta, with broccoli cheese soup and churro cupcake every single day? I can tell you it feels really good walking around feeling extremely full and bloated…But maybe try adding some plants into your diet. A good fresh salad (not smothered in ranch, bacon and cheese) or a side of vegetables instead of french fries can taste delicious and help combat that disgusting bloat you’ve been feeling for the last 4 days.
  7. Remember that water is your best friend. The first sign of thirst is hunger. You may have no insight as to whether you’re hungry or thirsty. Next time your stomach is growling after you consumed gross take out Chinese, try drinking a full glass of water. You maybe more thirsty than hungry (since we all know Chinese food is filled with salt and MSG).
  8. Water is also essential for keeping our body healthy. Granted a nice refreshing pop or juice can taste delicious at times but depriving your body of water can do more harm than good. Water has this magical power to make you feel full, especially when bored. Try increasing your water intake to 8 glasses a day. Rule of thumb is you want your urine be light yellow to clear. So when you go to the bathroom next and your urine is bright to dark yellow, you know you’re not drinking enough water.
  9. It is inevitable to not feel stressed while taking 12 credits and going out every night. I mean why would you start studying for a test now when you can put it off until the night before and cram. Try to eliminate getting too stressed out. An increase in stress can lead to stress eating as well as increased hormones. This can ultimately lead to weight gain and acne you haven’t seen since you hit puberty.
  10. Make sure you are getting enough sleep to be productive. It may not be a good idea to go see “IT” if you know you’re not going to sleep for the next 10 days. Many times when you’re over exhausted you start grabbing for sugary substances to keep you awake. This does not help with trying to avoid gaining weight.
  11. But when you don’t sleep enough, energy drinks always sound like a great idea. Next time you grab one why don’t you flip the can around and look at the calories. With over 200 calories in a Monster energy drink, you may want to rethink grabbing those empty calories. Opt for some black coffee or tea. But if you have to have that energy drink maybe try grabbing for one of the sugar free or low calorie ones.
  12. When all else fails just go out and buy bigger clothes. Your student loans will really appreciate being spent on new clothing that one day you’ll have to payback at 5% interest.

Remember as a student it is really easy to fall into a bad routine since it’s a lot of people’s first time away from home. While many people joke about gaining the freshman 15, it happens to the best of us. Just be conscious about what you consume. You are probably not working out as vigorously as you did in high school, so you can’t eat the same way. College can be a stressful at times. Find ways to cope with stress whether it’s meditation, exercise or a hobby. It is best if you don’t turn to food during the stressful times. And if all else fails, go talk to someone about getting healthier. Take advantage of the registered dietitian at Student Health Services. They are here to help discuss your diet and encourage you to make the lifestyle changes you want to make. And if scheduling an appointment with the registered dietitian doesn’t fit into your schedule there are other options available on campus at the wellness center in the RPAC. You do not have to gain the freshman 15…it is up to you.

Dayna Gewolb, PharmD Candidate Class 2018

 

Want a better alternative to sports drinks? Try Pedialyte

Dehydrated from the weekend? We have good news for you! The Student Health Services Pharmacy is now carrying Pedialyte products. Both the liquid and powder packs will be kept on the shelves to help you recover.

How do you know if you’re dehydrated? Some signs of dehydration include dry mouth, thirst, dark colored pee, headache, and dry skin.

What does your body need when it’s dehydrated? Water of course! But plain water may not be enough for your body. That’s where something like Pedialyte may come in handy. These products contain the chloride, potassium, and sodium electrolytes that your body has lost. Sports drinks and juices may contain too much sugar (which can cause some diarrhea) so more balanced drinks like Pedialyte are recommended for rehydration.

What are some causes of dehydration?

Alcohol

It’s no secret that alcohol is dehydrating and can make you feel terrible. See a previous blogpost on hangovers here and visit http://partysmart.osu.edu/ for more information on responsible drinking and the effects of alcohol. So what you can do to help beat dehydration from alcohol use? Pre-hydrate with drinks like Pedialyte, and don’t forget to drink more before going to bed after a night out. 

Exercise

As you probably know, sweating from exercise can cause enough electrolyte and water loss to dehydrate you. If you feel tired, lightheaded, or notice any of the other symptoms above, make sure to get plenty of fluids in. 

Food Poisoning or Stomach Flu

Diarrhea and vomiting can both cause significant dehydration. After experiencing either of these symptoms, it is important to replace the electrolytes and fluid that is lost. If you think you can manage your symptoms on your own, be sure to only take small sips of Pedialyte at a time and eat a bland diet to not make your symptoms worse.

Contact your doctor if you are severely dehydrated, also have a fever > 101⁰F, experience diarrhea more than 6 times a day, have severe abdominal pain, are pregnant, notice any blood in your stool or vomit, or symptoms continue for over 24 hours. 

Heat

Spending a little too much time at Oval Beach? Sweating it out on the Oval or by the pool while you work on your tan may actually cause some dehydration. Bring fluids with you the next time you decide to lay out.

Travel

Believe it or not, travelling by plane can be very dehydrating. Moisture in the air decreases as you increase in altitude on a flight. You can stay hydrated and still comply with TSA liquid rules by bringing Pedialyte powder packs with you on any upcoming flights.

Stop by the Student Health Service Pharmacy to pick up some Pedialyte today! Our pharmacists are also available to answer any questions you may have about dehydration or the products we carry.

Allison Carr, PharmD Candidate 2019

References:

  1. Baugh CW, Graff L. Observation medicine and clinical decision units In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, editors. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine. Elsevier; 2018.
  2. Blumen IJ, Rinnert KJ. Altitude physiology and the stresses of flight. Air Med J. 1995;14(2):87-100. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10143549. Accessed June 8, 2018.
  3. Ferrari SP, Welch A. Nausea and vomiting In: Krinsky DL, Ferrari SP, Hume AL, Newton GD, Rollins CJ, et al., editors. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs: An Interactive Approach to Self-Care. Washington DC: American Pharmacists Association; 2015.
  4. Guttman J. Nausea and vomiting In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, editors. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine. Elsevier; 2018.
  5. Lazarciuc. Diarrhea In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, editors. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine. Elsevier; 2018.
  6. Oral rehydration solutions. Med Lett Drugs Ther. 1983;25(629):19-20.
  7. Walker PC. Diarrhea In: Krinsky DL, Ferrari SP, Hemstreet B, Hume AL, Newton GD, et al., editors. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs: An Interactive Approach to Self-Care. Washington DC: American Pharmacists Association; 2017.

From meal plan to apartment plan

Its apartment time!

You put in your dorm time, but now you are free.  Free to find an apartment and free from the food plan and you are certain this will save you money. Think carefully about what lies ahead in this department and ask yourself some questions.

Where is the closest

Adjusting from meal plan to apartment plan

full grocery store?

 

Do I know who much groceries cost?

How will I get there? Do I have a backup plan if the first one does not work?

Do I know how to menu plan so I can create a grocery list?

What, if anything, do I know how to cook from scratch or a box?

What will be my budget for food including groceries and eat out?

How big is the refrigerator and how will we divide the space?

Will my roommates and I keep food individual or will we make group meals?

Over the summer, before you move into that apartment, practice grocery shopping and acquire a sense for cost. Think about meal planning. Learn what to keep on hand in your college pantry. Practice packing lunches over summer if you will do that in the fall. Build a library of 15 minute meals for when you are pressured for time.  Research college friendly cooking.  Here’s a great book to get you started:

The $5 a Meal College Cookbook: Good Cheap Food for When You Need to Eat by Rhonda Lauret Parkinson, B.E. Horton.

Kristina Houser, LD

September is National Fruits and Veggies-More Matters Month

September is National Fruits and Veggies-More Matters Month. 90% of Americans do not eat the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended. There are many benefits to trying to include more in your diet including:

  • Increase variety and flavor to you diet
  • High in vitamins and minerals
  • High in fiber
  • May reduce diseases including heart diseases and some cancers
  • Easy to prepare

Try to consistently fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at every meal. Also, try to include them with your snacks. All forms of fruits and vegetables count toward your daily intake including fresh, frozen, dried, and canned. Consider trying a new fruit or vegetable to your diet each week.

Dr. Matthew Peters, MD

 

VOICES: A Herpes Support Group

First meeting: September 4, 2018

A diagnosis of Herpes can feel overwhelming and isolating, but it does not have to. Voices is a group designed to provide a safe, confidential space in which to:

 

  • share experiences
  • learn accurate information about transmission
  • explore treatment options
  • learn how to live with the virus
  • hear from a medical professional as well as others living with Herpes

VOICES is confidential and open to anyone:

  • all genders and ages
  • those living with Herpes
  • those simply wanting to learn factual information

VOICES is held:

  • first Tuesday of each month, 4pm – 5pm
  • Wilce Student Health Center, room 360
  • attendance is free, no registration required

Facilitated by Sarah Philip, CNP, Certified Nurse Practitioner, Student Life Student Health Services

What’s in your work out supplements?

It’s the start of 2018, which means the “new year, new me” resolutions are picking up some good momentum by now. Hitting the gym more often is definitely one of my resolutions, and if our resolutions are on the same page, then this post can be of some help to you!

Work out supplements… we see them advertised all over our social media pages, and if you are walking into your local GNC, or Vitamin Shoppe the selection can be intimidating. What I’ve learned so far is that there are supplements that you take as a pre-workout, and supplements that do just as they are named, supplement.

Pre-workout Supplements:

What’s the scoop? Boosting your performance is all part of the plan. Growing bigger muscles, having quicker gains, and hoping for an easy solution is something we all strive for. Most of us understand that easy isn’t necessarily so, and may not entirely be the correct way in doing something. Unlike medications, workout supplements are not as strictly regulated by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means dangerous ingredients may be incorporated without the knowledge of consumers. Some of the ingredients may actually have detrimental effects, and potentially cause death.

1, 3- dimethylamine, methylhexanamine or geranium extract—also known as DMAA is an ingredient that has been found illegally in some dietary supplements, where manufacturers mask the component as a “natural” stimulant. In 2013, a case report was published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, highlighting an incident where a 21- year old male suffered from cardiac arrest after ingesting a workout supplement containing DMAA. Structurally, DMAA is similarly related to amphetamine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. DMAA does not produce any type of stimulant similar to the mentioned substances, but if you are set to take a urine drug test for a new job, or professional program at The Ohio State University… heads up, you may fail.

Good news, DMAA has been banned by the FDA after the unfortunate incident that occurred in 2013, however, there are still some supplements through online purchase that may have the ingredient incorporated within the product, and I would recommend reading the back of the nutrition label before purchasing any type of supplement. The discontinued substance that contained DMAA was specifically the pre-workout supplement marketed as Jack3d made by USPLabs.

Regular Supplements:

First off, let me drink some protein.” Protein supplements are frequently consumed by athletes, as well as those who work out recreationally. There is much debate on the theory of amount of protein per day a person should intake and the timing of supplementation, and if you have any questions towards these matters PubMed.gov is a good source for you to do some more research about the topic.

Protein powders come in three common forms, those being—whey, soy and casein. A study by Kanda, A. et al in 2016, looked at the co-ingestion of all three substances and their effects on muscle protein synthesis after exercise in rats. The results of the study demonstrated a difference in peak time according to the type of protein ingestion, the authors concluded that whey protein was quicker to initiate the process compared to casein and soy.

Branched chained amino acids (BCAAs) especially leucine have been shown to increase muscle synthesis after exercise. Leucine is another component to keep an eye out for. Kanda, A et al. also noted that leucine displays a specific saturation point. The threshold described was around 43 mg of leucine, which means anything above this dose resulted in no further increase in the muscles anabolic response.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the types of supplements that are available commercially, the big take away from this blog is to get you use to looking at the nutrition label located on the back of the products up for purchase. Speaking to your healthcare providers about any of your concerns is a good thing to do, especially if some of the components of your supplements seem a bit off.

 

Justin Corpus

PharmD Candidate 2018

References:

  1. Kanda, A. et al. Effects of whey, caseinate, or milk protein ingestion on muscle protein synthesis after exercise. Nutrients. 2016 Jun; 8(6): 339.
  2. Lioudmila, K et al. Cardiac arrest in a 21-year old man after ingestion of 1,3 dmaa—containing workout supplement. Clin J Sport Med. 2015 Jan; 25 (1): 23-25