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Wearing a mask, maintaining a safe distance from others and washing your hands frequently are going remain important in 2021. But don’t forget to prioritize a healthy lifestyle that improves your overall health and quality of life, and helps prevent cancer.

Eat a healthy diet and watch your weight. For cancer prevention, the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society recommend maintaining a healthy weight, staying active and eating a healthy diet.

That’s one rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruit and beans, with a minimum of red and processed meats, fast food and processed foods high in fat, starches or sugars. Avoid sugary drinks.

Cutting out alcohol lowers the risk of many cancers, including breast cancer and exercise regularly. It has many benefits for physical and mental well-being.

Current guidelines recommend at least 150 to 300 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 to 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. Muscle-strengthening activities should also be included. Sitting for a long time watching TV or using the computer is discouraged.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. Quitting smoking will lower the risk for many cancers, including those of the lungs, mouth, throat, blood, bladder, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas and kidneys. Getting preventive care is an important step to manage your health. This includes cancer screenings, which can detect cancer before it spreads.

The following tips are practical as well as important on how to be healthy daily:

Follow a Healthy Eating Plan

– You do not need to starve in order to eat healthier. You can still eat food you enjoy as long as you include plenty of healthy, not-too- processed foods. Such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, seafood, beans, and nuts.

Make Water & Tea your Default Drink – Many people drink soda or sugar coffee drinks all day. This is not necessary for a healthy or enjoyable life. Water can become your favorite drink, and unsweetened tea can be very healthy.

Wash you Fruits and Vegetable – They could be contaminated with harmful bacteria from the water or soil in which the produce was grown. Rinse fruits or scrub them well under running water. Even if you peel your vegetables and fruits, you should wash them beforehand — the more careful you are, the fewer your chances are of getting food poisoning.

Cook your Food Thoroughly – Fully cooking meat, eggs and seafood kills bacteria and helps eliminate the risk of catching food-borne illnesses, like salmonella or shigella, that are not only unpleasant but can also be downright dangerous — even life-threatening — if they become complicated.

Drink Red Wine – One or two glasses of red wine can be very healthy, and can add some pleasure to your new healthy lifeyle.

Start taking Vitamins – Many people lack of vitamins simply because they do not eat what is necessary for them. For example people who are not fond of fruits might need vitamin C. Furthermore people that are lactose intolerance need vitamin B.


Related Product: Vital Multivitamin

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can look different in different people. It’s a developmental disability that affects the way people communicate, behave, or interact with others. There’s no single cause for it, and symptoms can be very mild or very severe.

Some children who are on the spectrum start showing signs as young as a few months old. Others seem to have normal development for the first few months or years of their lives and then they start showing symptoms.

Autism is not a disability it is a different ability

But up to half of parents of children with ASD noticed issues by the time their child reached 12 months, and between 80% and 90% noticed problems by 2 years. Children with ASD will have symptoms throughout their lives, but it’s possible for them to get better as they get older.

The autism spectrum is very wide. Some people might have very noticeable issues, others might not. The common thread is differences in social skills, communication, and behaviour compared with people who aren’t on the spectrum.

If your child is on the spectrum, they might show some social symptoms by the time they’re 8 to 10 months old. These may include any of the following: They don’t respond to their name by their first birthday; Playing, sharing, or talking with other people doesn’t interest them; They prefer to be alone; They avoid or reject physical contact; They avoid eye contact; When they’re upset, they don’t like to be comforted; They don’t understand emotions — their own or others’; They may not stretch out their arms to be picked up or guided with walking.

About 40% of children with autism spectrum disorders don’t talk at all, and between 25% and 30% develop some language skills during infancy but then lose them later. Some children with ASD start talking later in life. Spotting Signs and Symptoms The earlier treatment for autism spectrum disorder begins, the more like it is to be effective. That’s why knowing how to identify the signs and symptoms is so important.

Make an appointment with your child’s paediatrician if they don’t meet these specific developmental milestones, or if they meet but lose them later on: Smiles by 6 months; Imitates facial expressions or sounds by 9 months; Coos or babbles by 12 months; Gestures (points or waves) by 14 months; Speaks with single words by 16 months and uses phrases of two words or more by 24 months; Plays pretend or “make-believe” by 18 months

Source: KK Publishers

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TUBERCULOSIS – the painful truth

A total of 1.4 million people died from Tuberculosis last year (including 208 000 people with HIV). Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause from a single infectious agent (above HIV/AIDS). In 2019, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) worldwide. 5.6 million men, 3.2 million women and 1.2 million children. TB is present in all countries and age groups. But TB is curable and preventable. In 2019, 1.2 million children fell ill with TB globally. Child and adolescent TB is often overlooked by health providers and can be difficult to diagnose and treat.

In 2019, the 30 high TB burden countries accounted for 87% of new TB cases. Eight countries account for two thirds of the total, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh and South Africa.

Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) remains a public health crisis and a health security threat. A global total of 206 030 people with multidrug- or rifampicin-resistant TB (MDR/RR-TB) were detected and notified in 2019, a 10% increase from 186 883 in 2018. An estimated 60 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2019.

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria

Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs. Tuberculosis is curable and preventable. TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. A person needs to inhale only a few of these germs to become infected.

About one-quarter of the world’s population has a TB infection, which means people have been infected by TB bacteria but are not (yet) ill with the disease and cannot transmit it. People infected with TB bacteria have a 5–15% lifetime risk of falling ill with TB. Those with compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV, malnutrition or diabetes, or people who use tobacco, have a higher risk of falling ill.

When a person develops active TB disease, the symptoms (such as cough, fever, night sweats, or weight loss) may be mild for many months. This can lead to delays in seeking care, and results in transmission of the bacteria to others. People with active TB can infect 5–15 other people through close contact over the course of a year. Without proper treatment, 45% of HIV-negative people with TB on average and nearly all HIV-positive people with TB will die.

People who are infected with HIV are 18 times more likely to develop active TB (see TB and HIV section below). The risk of active TB is also greater in persons suffering from other conditions that impair the immune system. People with undernutrition are 3 times more at risk. Globally in 2019, there were 2.2 million new TB cases in 2018 that were attributable to undernutrition.

TB is a treatable and curable disease. Active, drug-susceptible TB disease is treated with a standard 6-month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer. Without such support, treatment adherence is more difficult. Since 2000, an estimated 63 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment. People living with HIV are 18 (15-21) times more likely to develop active TB disease than people without HIV.

The spread of Tuberculosis

Source: KK Publishers

Ask your Friendly RingPharm Pharmacist

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What Is Heartburn? 3 important facts you need to know.

What Is Heartburn?

Heartburn is an irritation of the oesophagus — the tube that connects your throat and stomach. It’s caused by stomach acid. This leads to a burning discomfort in your upper belly or below your breastbone.

Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart.

But some of the symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack or heart disease: a burning sensation behind your sternum, or breastbone, in the middle of your chest.

You might also feel it in your throat. You may also feel pain in your chest when you bend over or lie down, or have a hot, acidic, bitter, or salty taste in the back of your throat.

What Is Heartburn?

Heartburn tips

Heartburn symptoms can start up because of a problem with a muscular valve called the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). It’s located where the oesophagus meets the stomach — below the rib cage and slightly left of centre.

Normally, with the help of gravity, the LES keeps stomach acid right where it should be — in your stomach. When it’s working right, the LES opens to allow food into your stomach or to let you belch, then closes again. But if the LES opens too often or doesn’t close tightly enough, stomach acid can seep into the oesophagus and cause a burning sensation.

If your LES doesn’t tighten as it should, there are often two things that contribute to the problem. One is overeating, which puts too much food in your stomach. Another is too much pressure on your stomach, often due to obesity, pregnancy, or constipation.

Certain foods can relax your LES or increase stomach acid, including: Tomatoes; Citrus fruits; Garlic and onions; Chocolate; Coffee or caffeinated products; Alcohol; Peppermint.

Meals high in fats and oils (animal or vegetable) often lead to heartburn, as do certain medications. Stress and lack of sleep can raise how much acid your stomach makes and can cause heartburn.

Ask your pharmacisit for advice.

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Source: KK Publishers.

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6 Tips to Avoid a Festive Season Over Indulge

6 Tips to Avoid a Festive Season Over Indulge

‘Tis the season to be jolly – and eat everything in sight. When it comes to Christmas and New Year, to over indulge is all too easy, and with the amount of food piled high in every home, numerous parties  and catered lunch around, finding balance can be tricky.

Check out our 6 tips to avoid the festive season over-indulgence and start 2019 off without the resolution to lose those festive season kilos.

6 Tips to Avoid a Festive Season Over Indulge

Tips to avoid a feastive season over indulge

1. There will always be a health (ier) option: Look past the table full of salty snacks, pavlova and lollies and you’ll find a range of lean meats, seafood, salads and fresh fruit. Now all you need is a little portion control and you’re set for a healthy party feast.

2. Treat yourself, don’t stuff yourself: Keep in mind that you don’t need to force down that extra serve of dessert or handful of chips in the name of social festivity as you will have to deal with the consequences of a feastive over indulge. Stuffing yourself with more food than you usually consume will leave you lethargic and low on motivation. It’s all about finding the balance between treating yourself and binging.

3. Go easy on the drinks: Christmas and New Year parties, alcohol and soft drinks are a dangerous mix – especially for your waistline. Keep hydrated (yes, with water) and try to space out your refills with a glass or two of water in between.

4. Maintain your exercise routine: Whether you have guests or are heading away for the hilidays, an exercise routine can be difficult to maintain – but overindulgence isn’t just what you put in your mouth. Lazing about over the Christmas and New Year period can have damaging consequences, so make sure you’re making a conscious effort to get your usual amount of exercise in each day.

5. Eat before you party: You may not be sitting and feasting, but even an invitation to drinks can make it hard to pass on the canapés – and you’d be surprised at how quickly they add up. Before you head out to party, make sure you’ve had a wholesome snack to keep you full and fuelled – think vegetable soup, toast and peanut butter or banana and a handful of almonds.

6. Freeze your leftovers: As tempting as it is to leave your pile of party leftovers in the fridge to snack on over the proceeding few days, why not freeze them? That way, you can consume everything fresh – e.g. leftover salad and seafood – while extending the life of others – e.g. lasagne and pudding.

Ask your pharmacisit for advice.

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Source: KK Publishers.

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Summer 2020 – Avoid Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion

Avoid Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion

But before heading for the great outdoors, whether a walk in the park or a family camping trip, make sure you are protected against some common summer hazards.

In hot weather, it is crucial to drink plenty of water, and to replenish all the fluids that are lost through perspiration.

Drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine are not effective against dehydration. They can increase fluid output, making it harder to be properly hydrated.

Avoid Dehydration and Heat Exhaustion

Signs of dehydration include:

Dry mouth




•Little or no urination


•Muscle cramps.

Hot weather and dehydration can also cause heat exhaustion – with these symptoms:

•Cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat

•Heavy sweating


•Dizziness, nausea, and headache


• Weak, rapid pulse and low blood pressure on standing

•Muscle cramps


Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke, which can be fatal. Anyone who experiences symptoms of heat exhaustion should stop and rest in a cool place, and to drink water or sports drinks. Heat stroke occurs when body temperature rises dangerously high, and it can no longer cool itself. It is a medical emergency, because it can be fatal.

Wearing lightweight clothing, avoiding direct sunlight, using air conditioning, drinking water, and avoiding heavy meals can help to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney failure, coma, and death.

Ask your pharmacisit for advice.

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Source: KK Publishers.

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5 Tips to help you give up Smoking

Giving up smoking with nicorette

“It’s easy to quit smoking; I’ve done it hundreds of times.” — Mark Twain

 There are many different ways to give up smoking. Some experts advocate using pharmacological products to help wean you off nicotine, others say all you need is a good counselor and support group, or an organized program.

One thing most experts agree on is that a combination works best. For example, nicotine replacement therapy on its own, or counseling on its own is not as effective as a combination of the two.

 If you feel you are severely addicted to smoking, you may wish to consider nicotine replacement products so your body gradually gets used to living without nicotine: always talk to your pharmacist first before using these drugs.

Giving up smoking with Nicorette

Advide to stop smoking

Advice and support can help you become more self-aware, identify your triggers and when moments of weakness may occur, develop strategies and contigencies, keep you realistically grounded and on track with your plan, and prevent relapse. Examples include one-to-one or in-person counseling, telephone counseling, internet programs, group support, mentoring, and coaching.

To help you see in black and white how much you smoke, how much it costs you, how much you could save; also keeping a journal of your quitting journey.

Read the science, talk to experts, and learn for yourself how smoking damages your health and the health of those around you. Learn how others tackled the challenge.

There are more than 4,000 harmful chemicals in tobacco. Nicotine is the one that makes you addicted to smoking. The idea of nicotine replacement products is to help you gradually wean yourself off nicotine. They deliver a small amount of nicotine to relieve the symptoms of withdrawal. Giving up the replacement product is easier than giving up smoking.

Aim to be free of both cigarettes and the nicotine replacement product within three to six months.

Ask your pharmacisit for advice.

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Source: KK Publishers.

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Stay Sun Smart with these 5 tips because skin health is important

Sun Smart

What does sun smart really mean?

Spending the entire day in the direct sunlight seems like a good idea until you get home, look in the mirror, and realize that your skin resembles that of an overripe tomato. Staying sun smart should be a top priority for each person during summer times.

Nursing your sunburned skin back to health is a painful journey that requires copious amounts of aloe vera jelly.

Practicing safe sun is imperative as prolonged unprotected exposure can lead to skin and eye damage, heatstroke, and other unpleasant ailments.

This year, avoid getting a dreaded sunburn, heat exhaustion, or even dehydration by following these five sun safety tips.

Sun Smart Tips

Summer Sun Smart Tips

1. Be diligent with sunscreen

The sun’s rays are strongest from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., so if you’re unable to take shelter in the shade between these hours, be sure that you’re reapplying sunscreen frequently. To avoid burning, use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply after sweating or swimming. Make sure you cover all exposed skin evenly so you don’t have certain spots that will be exposed and result in burnt skin.

2. Wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible

When you aren’t jumping in and out of the pool, try to cover most of your skin with clothing to limit sun exposure. Wearing breathable clothing will keep you cool but very little light should be able to penetrate the fabric—you can test this by holding the garment up to the sun. Denim pants and a jean jacket will protect your sensitive skin from getting a blistering burn and be sun smart.

3. Invest in a fashionable wide-brimmed hat

Bucket hats have confidently made a comeback this season so you can be trendy and sun-safe at the exact same time. A wide-brimmed hat will shade your face, ears, head, and back of your neck from the sun’s strong UVA and UVB rays. Repeatedly spending too much time unprotected in the direct sun can cause damage that could later cause coarse wrinkles and skin cancers. So be sure that you pack the biggest hat in your closet! You will thank yourself in one day as your skin will remain healthier for longer.

4. Always wear sunglasses

We rely on our eyes to see the world around us, which is why we need to protect them at all costs. You should look for sunglasses or prescription lenses with full UVA and UVB protection to be sun smart. These sunglasses will have labels that say “UV400” or “100% UV protection”. By not wearing protective sunglasses, you could experience a retinal burn that may lead to vision loss. You may not experience the implication immediately but over a period of time you will start to feel the difference.

5. Drink lots of water

It’s important to replenish the fluids lost from perspiration while spending time outdoors. Always opt for a chilled glass of water instead of an alcoholic beverage or sugary soft drink. Neglecting your water intake while in the sun can lead to dehydration, which will make you feel dizzy and extremely fatigued. In order to stay healthy and hydrated, one should be drinking six to eight glasses of water on a daily basis, especially on extra warm days. So make sure you constantly have a full bottle of water closeby because it’s the sun smart thing to do!

When we are young we believe that it is very important to have nice bronze skin during the summertime. However, over time that ‘summer glow’ may impact your skin health much more than you thought. Over time the sun will leave blemishes, pigmentation, and wrinkles on your skin if you do not take the necessary precautions and stay sun smart.

Source: KK Publishers

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Type 2 diabetes – stay up to date


Type 2 diabetes develops when the body becomes resistant to insulin or when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin.

Exactly why this happens is unknown, although genetics and environmental factors, such as being overweight and inactive, seem to be contributing factors.

This is a chronic condition that affects the way your body metabolizes sugar (glucose) — an important source of fuel for your body.


More on Type 2 Diabetes

With this disease, your body either resists the effects of insulin — a hormone that regulates the movement of sugar into your cells — or doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal glucose levels.

This used to be known as adult-onset diabetes, but today more children are being diagnosed with the disorder, probably due to the rise in childhood obesity. There’s no cure, but losing weight, eating well and exercising can help manage the disease. If diet and exercise aren’t enough to manage your blood sugar well, you may also need diabetes medications or insulin therapy.

Signs and symptoms of type 2 often develop slowly. In fact, you can have it for years and not know it. Look for:

  • Increased thirst;
  • Frequent urination;
  • Increased hunger;
  • Unintended weight loss;
  • Fatigue;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Slow-healing sores;
  • Frequent infections;
  • Areas of darkened skin, usually in the armpits and neck. 

See your doctor if you notice these symptoms.

Source: KK Publishers

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11 Foods for a Healthy Gut

Foods for a healthy gut

Confused about what to eat and what not to eat for a good gut health?

With so much information online about healthy eating, it can be tricky to be sure about what’s best for a healthy gut. Here are some food suggestions to assist you in having a healthy gut.

Healhy Gut

Healthy gut foods:

1. Yoghurt: Live yoghurt is an excellent source of so-called friendly bacteria, also known as probiotics. Look out for sugar-free, full-fat versions and add your own fruit for a tasty breakfast. Yoghurt drinks can contain high numbers of bacteria that are good for the gut, far more than you would find in a normal yoghurt.  Do be mindful though as they can have a high sugar content.

2. Sauerkraut: This is finely chopped cabbage that has been fermented. This great source of probiotics, fibre and vitamins is best known as a German dish, but versions exist in Eastern and Central Europe. Choose a product that has not been pickled in vinegar, as that doesn’t have the same benefits. It’s delicious served with sausages, and can be cheap and easy to make at home.

3. Sourdough: This is very fashionable at the moment, but there’s a good reason for that. Made by fermenting the dough, it’s more digestible than regular bread and its energy releases slowly. It makes fantastic toast too.

4. Almonds: These have good probiotic properties, which means they are a treat for your gut bacteria – high in fibre, and full of fatty acids and polyphenols. A handful of almonds makes an excellent snack when you’re feeling peckish.

5. Olive oil: Gut bacteria and microbes like a diet of fatty acids and polyphenols. These are found in olive oil. Studies have shown that it helps reduce gut inflammation. Use it for salad dressing or drizzle it over cooked vegetables. Some studies have also found olive oil to be beneficial in easing indigestion problems and can also benefit your pancreas through lowering its requirement to produce digestive enzymes.

6. Peas: Gut bacteria need fibre to flourish, so the more fruit and vegetables you consume the better. Peas are full of soluble and insoluble fibre to help keep your system in balance. Add peas to stir-fries, soups or salads.

7. Brussels sprouts: Much more than a festive staple, they contain the kinds of fibre that good bacteria like and sulphur compounds which help combat unhealthy bacteria such as H pylori. Stir-fry with garlic and bacon for a delicious side dish.

8. Bananas: One of nature’s handiest and healthiest snacks, bananas are full of the kind of fibre that good bacteria enjoy. They also contain healthy minerals and help you feel fuller for longer.

9. Roquefort cheese: Live, runny, smelly French cheese will give your gut bacteria a boost – but it’s important to eat it in moderation. Add it to salads or spread it on your sourdough. Whilst we cannot be ensured that all of the bacteria survive digestion to be beneficial it is believed that other properties help preserve some bacteria during digestion.   

10. Garlic: Garlic, with its antibacterial and antifungal properties, can help keep “bad” gut bacteria under control and help balance yeast in the gut. Use it as a flavouring for savoury dishes. The properties within garlic act as a fuel source to allow the bacteria to do their job better which overall improves gut function.

11. Ginger: Fresh ginger can help in the production of stomach acid and it stimulates the digestive system to keep food moving through the gut. Add fresh grated ginger to soups, stews, smoothies or stir-fries. Pour boiling water on grated ginger to make refreshing ginger tea.

Source: KK Publishers

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