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Cancer can feel like a tornado at times. The cancer affects you and the treatment affects you. Your emotions are affected and your family is affected. And there you are, in the middle of it all! That’s why it’s crucial to do everything you can to look after yourself and boost your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being during this time. Here are four ways you can do just that.


The Role of Spirituality and Religion


The links between religion, spirituality and well-being in cancer patients are complex and personal. Cancer can awaken spirituality in some people, but cause others to question their beliefs. The specific nature of your beliefs seems to play a role. As this article in the Huffington Post points out, there seems to be a link between the belief in a benign God and positive well-being in people with cancer. However, the reverse is also true — spiritual distress is linked to lower well-being in cancer patients.


If you’re a religious person, you have existing support in the form of your faith leaders. If you define yourself as spiritual but do not belong to an organized group, practices like mindfulness meditation and yoga may be of some benefit in clarifying your thoughts. Your health care provider can also support your spiritual and religious needs during your treatment.


Create a Comfy Home


You don’t have to go on a cleaning spree — and you likely won’t have the physical or mental energy to do so anyway — but creating a comforting home atmosphere will be a boon to you during this heavy time. Ask a loved one to help you, or consider hiring a professional to come give your home a good purging and cleaning. Start by getting rid of things you no longer want or need; too much “stuff” not only clutters your home, but can actually drain you emotionally.


Once you’ve gotten rid of excess items, your cleaning helper can move on to dusting, vacuuming, and mopping, which will improve the health of your home and you. Don’t forget your air quality, either. Allergens like mold and smoke have a nasty habit of lingering in the air, which can be especially nauseating to cancer patients. Replacing your home’s air filter with one rated MERV 13 or higher will rid your air of these and 98 percent of other irritants in the air.


Maintain a Healthy Diet


Cancer treatment can affect your appetite, taste preferences and cause nausea — right at the time when good nutrition is most important. Everyone is affected differently, so adapt your schedule accordingly. If you only have an appetite in the mornings, eat your largest meal of the day at this time. You need to keep up your strength, so if you only feel like eating certain types of foods, then sticking to those is preferable over not eating. Meal-replacement powders or shakes can be a good way to get extra calories and protein when your appetite is low, and remember to stay hydrated. If you need more advice on nutrition, read the Eating Hints guide by the National Cancer Institute.


Start a Cancer Journal


A lot of our mental well-being stems from our thoughts. When we’re going through a difficult time, those thoughts can be fast, vague, and confusing. It can seem that no matter how much we think, we don’t get any clarity. That’s where a cancer journal comes in. Although journaling might seem like a simple exercise, it helps you build a narrative out of your thoughts and feelings, making them concrete and easier to deal with. You can write about your worries, your fears, things you’re thankful for, and things you hope for. It’s your journal, so do what you want with it.


Use Opioids Safely


If you have been prescribed opioids to help with your pain, use them exactly as prescribed by your doctor, and make sure your doctor is aware of all other medications, supplements, and over-the-counter medications you’re taking. Do not take a higher or lower dose than prescribed, as higher doses can cause more side effects and lower doses can cause withdrawal symptoms.


When it’s time to stop taking the medication, you’ll usually taper off your usage gradually over a few days or weeks. Opioids can cause drowsiness, so don’t drive or drink alcohol while you are taking them. If you notice any bothersome side effects, contact your doctor right away.


Cancer can undermine your emotional and physical health. Even if you’re not seeing the impact yet, it’s a good idea to get positive habits in place. This will make future stresses easier to deal with. However, if things start to get too difficult, it’s important to talk to your doctor as soon as you can.


Photo: Pixabay

As a female pharmacist specializing in women’s care, I often hear about women’s concerns regarding sexual dysfunction. According to statistics, 40 percent of women between the ages of 45-64, living in the US, have sexual concerns.

Even though sexual problems are common in women, it is a topic that can be very difficult to discuss both for you and your health care provider.

Oxytocin & Sexual Dysfunction

To address the concerns of many individuals with sexual dysfunction, we are always looking for different concoctions to help men and women with their sexuality.

Some helpful approaches may include addressing overall hormone balance, vaginal dryness, using arousal enhancing creams and compounded Testosterone and DHEA when appropriate. Another possible solution involves using a hormone called Oxytocin. You are probably familiar with the name since Oxytocin is used as a medication to facilitate childbirth. A recent study published in the journal Hormones and Behavior suggested that the intensity of orgasm and contentment after sexual intercourse were increased upon Oxytocin administration. That is why Oxytocin is also known as the “love hormone”. For women, Oxytocin levels increase one minute after orgasm but return close to normal within five minutes afterwards. For men, Oxytocin levels increase during sexual arousal and persist beyond ejaculation.

Sharzad Green, Pharm.D, is the Hormone Expert at Community Clinical Pharmacy -Having helped over 20,000 people with utilizing hormones to improve their quality of life. Passion, precision and experience, makes Community Clinical Pharmacy the most advanced technologies in Mesa, Arizona.
Oxytocin: The Love Hormone

There are additional benefits to using Oxytocin. This amazing hormone that is produced in the hypothalamus (part of the brain), can be a great pain reliever. It plays a role in social bonding, sexual reproduction in both sexes, and during and after childbirth. Furthermore, Oxytocin lowers serum cortisol which is often called “stress hormone”. That is why it can improve mood.  The “love hormone”, Oxytocin, is a hormone that can also promote feelings of intimacy. In recent years we have seen an increase in demand for compounding Oxytocin for many different medical conditions. At Community Clinical Pharmacy, we compound Oxytocin lozenges as well as nasal sprays. The lozenges can be made using the flavor of your choice. Some of the popular flavors are marshmallow, raspberry, banana and mint. Oxytocin lozenges are to be dissolved in the cheek or under the tongue 5-15 minutes prior to intimacy. Of course, sexual arousal and function in women is very complicated and not everyone would benefit from the same treatment. Therefore it is important to talk to an expert and discover what options may be appropriate for you. For more information and to set up a consultation appointment with me to discuss your options, please contact Community Clinical Pharmacy.

If you find yourself interested in treatments for sexual dysfunction or the utilization of Oxytocin, contact Sharzad Green Pharm.D at Community Clinical Pharmacy. We can answer all your questions about sexual health and work towards formulating a solution that works for you.
Contact us with comments, questions, or pharmacy
related topics you’d like to know more about. And, as always, stay healthy!


Is DHEA the magic bullet to boost your energy? In this day and age, so many of us talk about being tired. We have stressful and busy lives. Some of us have to work a full time job, run a business, take care of family, teenagers and elderly parents. Simply put, we are exhausted. One of the most frequent concerns that I hear from my patients is “I am tired. Can you give me something to boost my energy?”.  Looking at the wide array of supplements you can find online and on the shelves of pharmacies or health food stores, there seems to be plenty of choices. But do they actually work? Which one do we get? Are there any side effects?

One of these magical so called energy boosters is DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). Let’s take a closer look at some facts.

DHEA is a hormone produced by your ovaries and adrenal glands (located above your kidneys). DHEA blood levels are age dependent meaning that DHEA levels peak in your twenties and then decline with age They decrease to 20-30% of peak levels between 70 and 80 years of age.

DHEA helps to make other hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen. In your adrenal glands and liver, DHEA changes to DHEA-S (DHEA-sulfate). You will often see me check the DHEA-S level to determine whether your adrenal glands are working well.

High DHEA-S Levels in females can cause increased body and facial hair, no menstrual periods, acne, hair loss (scalp), fertility problems, deep voice, male pattern baldness, enlarged Adam’s apple, irritability and aggressiveness.

Research on DHEA for specific conditions includes:

Aging. Research hasn’t proved this to be true. In theory, DHEA supplements could slow the aging process, possibly improving well-being, cognitive function and body composition. In reality, there is no evidence of DHEA being effective in doing the above.

Depression. DHEA might be more effective at treating depression than placebo.

Osteoporosis. Some improvements in bone mineral density have been observed in elderly people with low DHEA. But these improvements were small compared with those seen after treatment with approved osteoporosis medications.

Vaginal atrophy. Limited research suggests that DHEA might improve vaginal dryness in postmenopausal women. We carry DHEA vaginal cubes at Community Clinical Pharmacy. They are over the counter and inexpensive. In addition, Prasterone (Intrarosa) vaginal inserts are FDA approved for vaginal atrophy and available by prescription.

Research on the effects of DHEA on body composition, energy and well-being has had mixed results. Most studies have shown no positive effect of DHEA on cognitive function or on muscle size or strength. However, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has banned DHEA use among athletes.

In my practice, I do not recommend taking DHEA pills without checking your level first. A very low or high level of DHEA-S may indicate adrenal insufficiency or adrenal fatigue. Once I know your level, and after assessing your symptoms, risk factors and other lab results, I may then recommend DHEA for you. There has been concerns about the consistency of DHEA content in OTC capsules in the past. Bottles of at least three brands of DHEA were tested by an independent laboratory and showed that they contained less of the potent hormone than they say they did.  For that reason, I recommend compounded prescription version of DHEA. Either way, I strongly discourage patients against taking DHEA without knowing your levels.

To find out if your low energy is related to adrenal fatigue and or low DHEA level, contact me at 480-264-7600. We can determine the health of your adrenal glands through a simple saliva test and take appropriate measures, which may include DHEA.


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