The FDA, Soap, and Superbugs

December 6th, 2016

 

Washing of hands with soap under running water.

By Sarah-Catherine Formiller, Pharmacy Resident, Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock

Bacteria were first linked with disease in the 1870s. Soon after, hand washing was considered necessary as a means to stay healthy. In the 1950s and 1960s, triclosan was first introduced in hospitals. Triclosan is the ingredient that kills bacteria in most antimicrobial soaps we as consumers use on a daily basis.

In 1984, two men named David Poshi and Peter Divone filed for a patent for “antimicrobial soap.” They created the first modern day antimicrobial soap by adding the same ingredient that was introduced in the 1950s, triclosan. Today, antimicrobial soaps can be found in every household in America. There are currently many more different chemicals used in the US that give soaps antibacterial properties. Read the rest of this story »

Maintaining Appropriate Sodium Intake This Thanksgiving May be Worth its Salt

November 17th, 2016

Traditional glass salt cellar and spilled salt on a wood background

By Madison Schwartz, Pharmacy Resident, BHMC-Little Rock

Table salt, also known as sodium chloride, is a regular dinner guest at Thanksgiving. If this particular condiment is a highly featured ingredient in your Thanksgiving meal, it may be more than just your in-laws making your blood pressure rise.

When you eat a large amount of salt, the amount of sodium in your bloodstream increases, disturbing the balance of fluid throughout the body and blocking your kidneys’ ability to remove water from the body through urine.

The kidneys play a major role in managing the body’s blood pressure. When the kidneys fail to remove excess water from the body, the extra fluid and strain on the blood vessels leading to the kidneys causes the blood pressure to rise. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for other serious medical conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, or chronic high blood pressure, it is very important that you limit your salt intake to avoid dangerously high blood pressures.

Trying to limit your sodium intake at a Thanksgiving meal may seem like an impossible task, but there are simple ways to help you make smart eating decisions and still enjoy all your favorite holiday fixin’s. Read the rest of this story »

Can Getting the Flu Effect Your Heart?

November 16th, 2016

The words Get Flu Shot written on a Calendar

Dr. Anthony Fletcher, Cardiologist, Baptist Health Cardiology and Medicine

First of all the flu vaccine is something that we all should consider on a yearly basis, especially those individuals with chronic illnesses, such as chronic lung disease, history of known previous coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, the very young or very old.

The flu virus can play a role in the development of hardening of the arteries, arteriosclerosis and its complications. It does this in many ways:

  • it increases inflammation
  • it increases the potential of the blood to want to clot
  • it creates low oxygen levels called hypoxia
  • it can result in low blood pressure
  • it can result in the heart having an increased demand thereby putting it at risk for poor blood flow.

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