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Archive for the ‘Incontinence’ Category

Are You A Responder?

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

We are amazingly unique individuals when it comes to taking medicines and supplements. A dose of medicine that barely affects one person can totally overwhelm someone else.

In one of the hospitals I worked at, we in the pharmacy were responsible for storing and delivering special pumps called PCA (Patient Controlled Analgesia) pumps. They delivered pain medicine through an intravenous (IV) line to patients after surgery. With a PCA pump a patient gives themselves a dose of pain medicine whenever they were uncomfortable just by pushing a button attached to their pump, instead of having to request one from the busy nurse and wait.

Once in a while I’d notice that a patient didn’t seem to get any pain relief from the pain medicine in their PCA, even after getting multiple doses from both the machine and the nurse.  It was as if the medicine didn’t work for them. Seeing them moan and thrash about, I would call the surgeon to suggest trying another pain medicine, and we would switch it. After just one dose of the new analgesic, when I peeked in on them an hour later they were relaxed and sleeping.

No medicine works the same in everyone. Like the pain medicine in that PCA pump, medicines and supplements will work just fine for some people but not at all for others.  I call the people who get a good result from a medicine “responders”.

When a doctor prescribes a medicine, they have a plan that it should do something to help you. Some people who take supplements are not sure what results to expect from them. And since no medicine or supplement works for everyone, how can you tell if a particular supplement is helping you?

I suggest that a symptom diary will help you answer this question http://www.olders.ca/items/kamagra-canada.html.

A symptom diary is a “before” and “after” description of how you feel or the symptoms that you have BEFORE you start a new medicine or supplement. What is taking it supposed to do for you? How will you know if it is working?

I suggest you write down how you are doing NOW (the “before”) by using a scale of 1-5 or just describing the symptoms that bother you the most. The key here is to WRITE DOWN your symptoms or what you want to change, BEFORE you make the actual change, such as starting a supplement. If you wait until AFTER you are taking a supplement to recall how you were doing before you started it your description will not be as accurate.  In the words of a Chinese proverb, “The palest ink is better than the best memory.”

Our ability to recall what happened before a particular event is not nearly as complete or accurate as we think it is, and in the world of human research studies is called “Recall Bias”.  The discrepancy that memory can create between a description of “how I felt before” when done before an event compared to afterwards can be startling.

With a symptom diary, you can compare your written “before” description of your symptoms or energy level to how you are doing “after” you start a new medicine or supplement. This eliminates the discrepancy that trying to remember it later and  will help you decide if you are experiencing a benefit from taking it. Because not everyone responds to every medicine or supplement, why continue to spend money on something that isn’t helping you?

If you are considering trying a new medicine or supplement, such as a drug for bladder control, doing a symptom diary for a few days before you actually start it can help determine if you are a “responder”.  A clear idea of what you expect it to do for you, and written “before” and “after” descriptions of how you are doing on it will help you judge for yourself whether it is worth continuing…or not.

It Takes One To Know One

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Last month I had a screening colonoscopy done, my very first. According to the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, if you leave out skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in women, after breast cancer and lung cancer.

Colorectal cancer also is more common in those folks over age 50… as in yours truly. I finally convinced myself last month that it was time to quit stalling and get that screening colonoscopy my family doctor had been recommending.

When I arrived at my pre-procedure appointment, the nice nurse Wanda explained what I needed to do before and after my procedure. Because I was taking naproxen every day for a medical condition, I was instructed to hold that medicine 3 days before, and then NO VEGGIES or high fiber foods for 3 days before. And NO red or purple colored foods or drinks, either. But bland, starchy foods were ok. Ughh.

Then the day before my procedure the fun REALLY began. After more than 20 years of dispensing hundreds of gallons of the electrolyte (intestinal flush) called Go-Lightly or Co-Lyte, it was my turn. Uh…yummm?

My "Golightly" colonoscopy prep


Nowadays, we have more options for flavoring this gallon of weird-tasting stuff. You can add any flavor of Crystal Light you like–as long as it isn’t red or purple. I picked lemon and lime. There are dried lemon and lime crystals available now, called True Lemon and True Lime download photoshop cs5 portable. They covered up the salty taste reasonably well, but boy is that a lot to drink of ANYTHING.

After I mixed up my gallon of Go-Lightly I divided it up so I could do more than just one flavor. Professionally, I advise folks NOT to pick their favorite flavor to add to the whole thing, because by the time you are done drinking a gallon of that stuff, it won’t be your favorite flavor any more…

The day that I was to start drinking that stuff was a LONG day! The only thing that made it bearable was watching the DVD The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Betty White (Betty was such a HOOT in this flick!) with my daughter Maureen, who brought it over for us to watch, with of course some strategic pauses for me to use the facilities.

You can talk all you want about being an expert, but there is no substitute for personal experience!!!

And when you add personal experience to professional knowledge, you’ve got a pretty potent combination. I do a much better job now explaining HOW to take Go-Lighty than I ever did before my own colonoscopy experience.

It’s the same with dealing with bladder problems. There’s really NO SUBSTITUTE for having BOTH professional expertise AND personal experience. That’s what makes the Bladder Bliss system different. You get the benefit of my own personal experience of suffering from bladder leakage and the my expertise in explaining how to beat it.

It’s been over 5 years since I overcame my urinary incontinence and I am still CONFIDENTLY sneezing, coughing, dancing and jumping. And all without having wear pads or take any pills. The best part? No more of having to choose between risking embarrassment or suffering with dry mouth and constipation!!!

If you or someone you know is ready to pitch the pills and get back into life, you’ll find out how at www.bladderbliss.com.

Warm Regards,
Louise Achey

Drugs Available for Overactive Bladder Symptoms

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Yesterday evening I was putting together an updated list of drugs that are currently available for overactive bladder (also called urge incontinence), when the phone rang. It was my newlywed daughter; we visited for a while and then she had to get going. As I looked down at my list again, I was struck by 3 facts:

FACT No. 1: There are only 3 drugs on the list–out of 11 drugs that are marketed for bladder control– that are available as a generic medication. The rest are only available as the brand name product.

FACT No. 2: All 3 of the medicines that are available as a generic have the exact same ingredient: oxybutynin.

FACT No. 3: Except for the generic form of oxybutynin available as 5mg tablets (Note: I am NOT talking about the extended release 5mg tablet) or as the syrup viagra indiaWow! Are these drugs EXPENSIVE!

Oxybutynin is an old, old drug that still is used for bladder spasms and urge incontinence. Urge incontinence, also called OAB (or an overactive bladder), is a type of urinary incontinence when you have to go but can’t hold it long enough to get to a bathroom in time.

Even with generic extended release oxybutynin you’ll experience some shock at these prices unless you are lucky enough to have insurance that covers brand name drugs. But even then, your copay may be over $50 per month.

I finished the list and it’s ready to share with you. Click here to get it as a PDF: Drugs Available for Overactive Bladder Symptoms (PDF), then stop back by and tell me what you think about it.
Warm Regards,
Dr. Louise



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