Taking medicines with food

taking medicines with food

I have written previously about why some medicines should be taken with food and some should be taken without.  In this article I will give some examples of medicines that should be taken with food.

 

Why medicines should be taken with food

To recap, the main reasons why some medicines should be taken with food are

  • that the medicine is absorbed into your body better so that it works effectively
  • there is less chance of the medicine upsetting your stomach

See the post ‘Should I take my medicine with food or not?’ for more information

 

Take these medicines with food

The following medicines are best taken a few minutes before eating, while eating or a few minutes after eating.

  • ACE Inhibitors (used for blood pressure) eg ramipril, perindopril, enalapril, fosinopril, quinapril, trandolapril, lisinopril, captopril
  • Codeine and other opioids such as tramadol. Food reduces nausea with these.
  • Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, aspirin, diclofenac. Food reduces stomach irritation with these medicines.
  • All types are best taken with food to reduce nausea.
  • Diabetes medicines. Metformin (and combinations of metformin with other medicines), Amaryl and Byetta are best taken/used with food to minimise nausea.
  • Medicines with oestrogen eg HRT and oral contraceptives
  • Epilepsy medicines eg sodium valproate, gabapentin, phenytoin
  • Some antibiotics can irritate the stomach and even though they work better without food it is best to take them with food for this reason eg amoxycillin with clavulanate, doxycycline, erythromycin, metronidazole, cephalexin, cefaclor

 

There are many other medicines that are best taken with food but it’s impossible to list them all.  Ask you Pharmacist or consult the Consumer Medicine Information to see if your medicines should be taken with food or not.

Magnesium

Magnesium

Magnesium has been my best friend over recent months.  It has helped with muscle pain and mood and has so many more benefits for the whole body!

 

Effects of low magnesium

Low levels of magnesium can cause muscle pain and spasm.  This can show as leg cramps, general body tenderness, migraines, insomnia, twitching, asthma and irregular heart beat.

Low magnesium has also been linked to PMS, mood swings, ADHD, anxiety and depression.

 

Magnesium has many benefits

Following on from the effects of low magnesium it makes sense that increasing magnesium can reduce or eliminate the above problems.

Magnesium has helped me with muscle cramps due to my increased exercise levels.  I also feel that it has helped me with improved mood also.

Magnesium is prescribed in those with the heart condition atrial fibrillation to prevent heart muscle spasms.  Magnesium may also help lung muscle spasm preventing symptoms of asthma.

It has been shown in studies that significant numbers of children diagnosed with ADHD had low magnesium levels and that symptoms improved when magnesium supplements were given.

Magnesium helps many parts of our body to relax.  It is so good that it can soak through our skin and into our bodies to ease muscle soreness when we add Epsom salts to a bath.

 

Increasing magnesium levels

Magnesium levels are low in many people due to the way food is processed and farmed.

Magnesium levels can be increased through diet though supplementation is often needed to bring levels up, especially if a medical condition is being treated.

Foods that contain magnesium include; spinach, chocolate(!), broccoli, brown rice, oats, legumes and tomatoes.

There are many kinds of magnesium supplements and the main difference is the molecule that is attached to the magnesium to allow it to be absorbed in the body.

If you see magnesium written as magnesium glycinate, amino acid chelate or aspartate these are good, well absorbed forms (and there are others).

Cheap magnesium supplements often contain magnesium oxide which is not very well absorbed and can cause diarrhea.

There are many good magnesium supplements that can be used for adults and children. It is important to consult your health practitioner before commencing a supplement to make sure that it is right for you and that you are taking the right dose.  Magnesium levels can increase too much in your body if you have liver or kidney problems or if you take thyroid medication or lithium.

 

Getting back on track

Getting back on track

School holidays are over and some much enjoyed time off work is over for me also.  The break coincided with the end of an 8 week gym challenge.  At the end of this I was the fittest and healthiest I have ever been!  And now I’m slightly less so…..and that’s ok.

 

It’s ok to get off track

To err is human and I don’t need to forgive myself as I had a great holiday and a great Easter.  It’s easy to feel bad about ourselves if we have been going well with clean eating, exercising or other positive changes and have gotten off track.  It’s important however to make sure that feeling is short lasting.  No-one can do exactly the right thing all the time and that’s ok.  What matters is that we have begun the positive changes to our lives and that we acknowledge our slip ups and get back on track.

 

How to get back on track

Get organised

Whether it comes to getting your workout gear together the night before or preparing meals for several days in advance it’s important to get organised.  This is the number one factor for me in sticking with positive changes.

Be accountable to someone

Meeting someone at the gym at a specified time makes you more likely to go!  You don’t want to let the other person down by not getting out of bed when the alarm goes off.

Do what you can

Making what changes you can is better than not making any changes at all.  If you can’t afford to go to the gym use one of the many free online exercise programs that are available.  If you can’t exercise every day or can’t do a complete workout do what you can with what time you have.

 

Change isn’t easy

It’s important to acknowledge that change isn’t easy and even a small step in the right direction is great.

 

 

End of Challenge 1!

End of Challenge 1

Challenge number 1 for this year is complete!

I did it!

Was it easy?

No! However I did not miss one gym session in 8 weeks!

That’s right, you read correctly, I trained every weekday for 8 weeks- 40 sessions!!!!!!!

Was it hard?

Yes! It was not as hard as I had told myself it would be (which is why I had avoided doing it up until now).

Did I get results?

Absolutely! I lost weight and I built muscle. I was most pleased about the amount of visceral fat I lost.  Visceral fat is the fat around our abdominal organs and is the worst type of fat for our health.  Losing fat means my clothes fit better. I feel better in myself. I am sleeping better and my mind is functioning more clearly.

Am I happy?

Definitely! And it has motivated me to continue this path of wellness.

That’s the short version. Here is how I actually did it;

The first thing I did was make myself accountable. I told you, my readers. I told my family, I told my friends and workmates and I completed it with my partner. By making myself accountable I couldn’t take shortcuts. At morning tea time at work no-one brought me cake as I wasn’t going to eat it!  In the end I didn’t want to skip a session or grab that unhealthy snack, or to my surprise I didn’t want that glass of wine!

I changed my habits.

I went to bed earlier than I ever have as an adult. I also got up earlier than I feel is natural but I feel better for it. Our shopping was healthier because of our food planning and preparation.

I kept active.

The first week was tough.   None of the sessions were easy but I pushed myself without overdoing it. Regular training made me feel like being more active in general and it helped me to encourage myself to do more with the kids. We spent more time together walking, bike riding and swimming at the beach.

What I would like to get across to everyone is that you don’t have to do this training as it isn’t for everyone. I would like you all to just do a bit more than you are. Countless studies have been done regarding activity and longevity. The more healthily active we keep our bodies and our minds, the more we increase our chances of a longer, healthier and happier life. Move it or lose it. Do something different to your normal routine every day and you’ll notice an improvement. It takes time but you will notice it and so will others around you.

As for me, I know the next 8 week challenge starts in 4 weeks. I’m going to continue my training in the meantime but reduce the number of sessions. I’m going to enjoy a chocolate or a glass of wine by allowing myself a day off or a cheat day. I am realistic.  I know what I like and I know that enjoying my life means having some of these less than healthy treats but they are the exception now rather than the rule.

Hopefully I can motivate you! I am looking forward to the next challenge and sharing the results with you again.

Thanks for reading and please share your success stories with me!

 

Back pain

Back pain

Back pain is very common.  It’s also an issue that has ‘flared’ this week in our household.  For most people back pain goes away after a few weeks but for some it can last months and years.

 

What is back pain?

Our backs are complex structures and quite literally hold us up.  The spine itself is usually not the cause of pain but rather the connective tissues, joints and muscles surrounding it can become damaged and cause pain.

 

What causes back pain?

Medical conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis can cause back pain.

Other causes include lifting objects that are too heavy or using poor technique, sudden unusual movements, being overweight, being inactive and stress/extreme tension.

 

What should I do if I hurt my back?

Proper assessment by your Doctor or allied health professional such as an osteopath or physiotherapist is vital so that the correct plan can be put in place for treatment and recovery.

 

Treatment of back pain

Staying mobile is an important part of back pain treatment.  Your health professional will show you what exercises are safe to do relevant to your injury.

Anti-inflammatories can be effective in oral and topical forms however precaution should be taken with their use in people with certain medical conditions and medications.  Always ask your Pharmacist or Doctor before taking new medications.

Some people with back pain that lasts a short time are at risk of pain occurring again and thus should take care with certain activities.

Some people have back pain that is ongoing.  Medication, exercises, weight reduction, relaxation and sometimes seeing a psychologist are important aspects of ongoing back pain care.