December 2017

Welcome to our December newsletter!

This month we are focusing on fungal infections and Parkinson’s disease.

Fungal infections are common and are usually not very serious but can be spread quite easily. You are more likely to get an infection in the warmer weather over the summer.

Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating condition affecting 1 in 500 people and researchers across the world are constantly searching for new treatments. It is more common in older people, but about 10% of all people diagnosed with Parkinson’s are under 40 years old. Supporting loved ones with any long-term illness can be difficult, and it's normal to feel angry, depressed or discouraged at times.

Looking after your wellbeing is easier than you might think. Ask to speak to one of our pharmacists about this or any other health concerns. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Focus on long term condition: Parkinson’s disease

Parkinson's disease is a condition of the nervous system that affects movement. The condition develops gradually, over many years, often starting with a tremor in just one hand which is barely noticeable.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can vary greatly as everyone is affected differently, and will worsen as the condition progresses over time.

Some of the main symptoms include:

  • tremor - shaking in one hand or arm when it is resting, a back-and-forth rubbing of the thumb and forefinger
  • rigidity - muscle stiffness that limits movement and causes pain, making it difficult to turn in bed, get out of a chair, do up buttons, little or no facial expression
  • bradykinesia - slowed movement that affects repetitive limb movements, handwriting, dressing
  • loss of automatic movements - including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk
  • freezing - a sudden inability to move
  • stooped posture or balance problems causing a shuffling gait when walking
  • loss of interest in life
  • fatigue or extreme tiredness 
  • sleep disturbance - waking up frequently in the night, waking up early or falling asleep during the day
  • loss of sense of smell 
  • trouble swallowing or speaking - speaking softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking, monotone speech
  • constipation

What causes Parkinson’s disease?

The cause of Parkinson's disease is unknown. A number of factors appear to play a role in triggering the development of Parkinson’s, these include:

  • pesticides, toxins, chemicals – ongoing exposure may put you at a slightly increased risk
  • your genes - having a close relative with Parkinson's disease increases the chances that you'll develop the disease. However, your risks are still small unless you have many relatives in your family with Parkinson's disease.
  • head trauma

Can Parkinson’s disease be treated?

Parkinson's disease can't be cured, but the symptoms can be managed by a combination of medicines and support. Medicines can help you manage problems with walking, movement and tremor.

Lifestyle advice

Certain lifestyle changes can help to make living with Parkinson's disease easier,

  • have a healthy balanced diet, eat foods high in fibre and drink lots of fluids to prevent constipation
  • exercise is vital, it helps to keep your muscles strong and improve your balance
  • try not to move too quickly
  • aim for your heel to strike the floor first when you’re walking
  • avoid carrying things while you walk
  • avoid walking backwards

For more information on Parkinson’s disease visit www.parkinsons.org.nz.

Talk to us about getting the best results from your medicines, quit smoking and weight programmes, and if you have any questions on Parkinson’s disease.

Focus on common ailments: Fungal infections

Fungal infections are common and can affect anyone. Infections are common in warmer climates and summer months because the fungi grow in warm, damp environments and thrive in moist areas of the body. Tinea and candida are common fungal infections. Ringworm, athletes foot and jock itch are examples of tinea infections, while vaginal and oral thrush are examples of candida infections.  

Ringworm is common in children and is easily identified on the body because of its shape. Athletes foot is an infection in between the toes, and jock itch affects the groin, buttocks, and inner thighs. These types of fungal infections are often spread through person to person contact, from animals, or an infected object (eg, a towel). They are easily treated with antifungal creams from our pharmacy.

Vaginal and oral thrush are often triggered by antibiotics, stress, hormone imbalances, poor eating habits, diabetes, or a weakened immune system. Our pharmacists can recommend products to treat either of these conditions.

You can help prevent fungal infections by:

  • eating a healthy diet
  • avoiding walking barefoot in public showers or pools
  • wearing loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres
  • Rinsing your mouth out after using preventer inhalers

Knowing how to recognise a potential fungal infection early and what to do about it can minimise your misery. Come in and talk to one of our pharmacists for advice on how you can manage these conditions effectively.

Bureta Pharmacy  -  78 Bureta Road  - Otumoetai - Tauranga  3110 - ph 07 576 9600 -  sales@buretapharmacy.co.nz