Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Spotting diabetes early

We have recently had a young girl who attends the pharmacy diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. She is coping brilliantly with her diagnosis and daily insulin injections and her mum is so proud of her.

I was shocked to read that a quarter of type 1 diabetics are not diagnosed until they have reached diabetic ketoacidosis (KA) - a life-threatening condition that requires urgent medical attention. For younger children this figure is even higher.

Diabetes Uk are raising awareness of the early signs of type 1 diabetes - known as the 4 Ts.


What are the 4 Ts?

  • ToiletGoing to the toilet a lot, bed wetting by a previously dry child or heavier nappies in babies
  • Thirsty
    Being really thirsty and not being able to quench the thirst
  • Tired
    Feeling more tired than usual
  • Thinner
    Losing weight or looking thinner than usual
If you are at all worried about your child having any or some of these signs, please get them checked out at with their doctor.

    Thursday, 11 April 2013

    School trips and and travel tips

    Is your daughter heading to Honduras on a geography field trip or maybe your son is doing his gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
    Is it just me or are school trips a bit different these days? I remember a day trip to the Lake of Mentieth some 20 plus years ago in the name of geography!

    Wondering what you can do to help them pack for the trip? We can help!

    We now stock a wide range of travel products from Life Systems who are the recommended stockist on the DEA "kit list".

    So if you need a knife fork and spoon set, a whistle, compact towel or a water bottle - we have them in stock.

    We also have midge repellent - essential for summer in Scotland and tick removers!!

    If your kids are off somewhere more exotic, Leanne and Sally can advise you on vaccinations and malaria tablets for you trip. We use the most up to date information from the National Travel Health Network and Centre and will discuss each person's trip individually.

    Any vaccines needed can be given on site and without you needing a prescription or coming back at a later date.

    Each consultations lasts about 30 minutes and will cost £15 but this will be deducted from any vaccines, tablets or travel products bought.

    Give us a call on 0131 339 3449 to arrange an appointment with the travel clinic. We ask you to bring an up to date vaccination history (available from your GP) and allow about 6 weeks before travel. Remember some vaccinations need more than one injection to complete the course. However, even if you are leaving very soon, it is better to start a course of vaccination and have some protection than none at all.

    Monday, 8 April 2013

    Souvenaid: A new approach in early Alzheimer's

    I have blogged about Dementia before and it is a topic I feel strongly about. We have a number of patients with Alzheimer's Disease in who, along with their families and carers we look after on a daily basis. We probably have many more patients living in our community either undiagnosed or with the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. The extent of this problem will be revealed over the next decade.

    I was therefore quite excited about the launch of a new product hailed to help early Alzheimer's disease. It has, however, taken me a long time to get my head around this. There has been very little fanfare - an article in the Daily Mail - and indeed there has been some opposition for patient groups. I notice that there is some debate on the dementia forums online, though

    Souvenaid came out at the beginning of 2013 and is only available after consultation with a
    pharmacist, specialist nurse or GP. I have done a training course and Barnton Pharmacy is now"accredited" to sell Souvenaid.

    It is a drink (strawberry and vanilla) which is recommended to be taken daily and contains a unique combination of nutrients which required to make new brain connections, called synapses. The loss of synapses is one of the key features of Alzheimer's disease .

    Brilliant! There is something available which can slow the loss of synapses!  Surely we should be jumping up and down with glee and recommending it to everyone in or neighbourhood? NO? Why not?

    Firstly, the cost. At £3.50 one milkshake aday will end up costing £1200 a year and constinued use is recommended for most benefit. That's fine if you can afford it but perhaps there are other things we should be recommending our older folk spend there money on.

    Secondly, Souvenaid has been launched as a "food for special medical purposes". It is not a drug. This means it has not undergone the same trial required by drugs before they come to market. This does not mean there is no truth in the claims and health benefits, it just needs to be put into perspective.

    So now you see my dilemma. I think there is real potential in Souvenaid and I think there is probably a market. So far, three months in, I have not yet been asked about it by anyone in Barnton.

    I would be delighted to discuss the product with you if you want to know more about it fr yourself or a friend or family member.