Health Predictions for Highlanders in 2021
What’s on the horizon in the world of health and wellbeing in 2021
When your priority is your customers health, and your team help locals get proactive about their wellbeing or manage existing conditions, or you’re there to lend an ear to someone dealing with a health challenge, you’re going to know a fair bit about what’s happening in the world of health and wellbeing, right?
We were keen to not only slam the door shut on 2020 (who isn’t??) but to also get on the front foot in regards to our health in 2021 – with this pesky pandemic hovering around, it makes sense to take the time to find out what we can do to help ourselves get stronger, smarter and focus on our own wellness journeys.
So, we chatted to pharmacist, Dickson Yan at Capital Chemist Bowral to find out what the future of health and wellbeing looks like in 2021. Here’s what he predicts will be popular next year.
1 // Getting in touch with your Microbiome
“There is an increasing amount of research focusing on the link between gut health and a range of health conditions, so keeping your gut microbiome in good shape is really important,” says Dickson.
A microbiome sounds VERY fancy! And VERY scientific. What actually is it?
“Your body is home to trillions of microbes which is mostly bacteria. These microbes live almost everywhere, from the lining of your gut to the surface of your skin,” Dickson explains.
“The largest and most diverse community of microbes live within your gut and are collectively known as the gut microbiome. The health of your gut microbiome impacts your overall health and wellbeing in many ways – physically AND mentally.”
So, how do your keep your gut microbiome healthy?
“Diet and nutrition is important. A plant-based diet helps, eating lots of vegetables, legumes, beans, fruit and fermented foods and avoiding sugar or artificial sweeteners,” Dickson says.
“Sometimes diet and nutrition can’t do it all or you might be on medication that impacts your microbiome negatively, so that’s where probiotics come in. Taking one probiotic a day will help enhance immune system function and promote healthy digestion.”
Capital Chemist Bowral Recommends // The Activated Probiotics Range, clinically proven and dairy free, and you don’t have to keep them in the fridge. Speak to the team in store for more info.
2 // Increased rollout of e-scripts
We learnt so many things in 2020. One of them was to not be so reliant on paper prescriptions,” says Dickson.
“Many of our customers struggled during lockdown when they couldn’t come in and hand us a script to fill. Of course, we worked our way around it with phone calls, SMSing photos of scripts and home deliveries, but it’s made us look at ways we can minimise paper scripts and help people manage the logistics of their medications.”
Enter stage right.....the medAdvisor app!
“People have the option to say goodbye to paper scripts completely and the medAdvisor app will help them manage it all online,” Dickson says.
With the medAdvisor app, you can order, pay for and arrange delivery of your prescriptions and other pharmacy items, without leaving the house. Perfect for keeping your social distance but still connecting with your health professional.
“Sometimes getting used to technology can be tricky, so our team are more than happy to show anyone how to download the app and use it.”
Capital Chemist Bowral Recommends // Downloading the FREE medAdvisor app to manage your prescriptions.
3 // Increased applications for TENS Machines
Now most of us (well, those of us who have gone into labour) would know what a TENS Machine is – a drug-free option to reduce labour pains when giving birth. But now, TENS Machines are being used for so much more.
“Many adults are now using TENS therapy to help with joint or muscle pain,” says Dickson.
Well, THAT sounds pretty darn good (helloooo crunchy netball knees). How does it work?
“A TENS unit delivers gentle massage-like pulses, which provides on the spot pain relief for acute pain. It can block the pain message from reaching the brain – it basically produces an electrical signal that is stronger than the pain signal the body produces,” Dickson explains.
“It can also help people with chronic pain, stiffness and numbness. You just run it at a lower frequency which helps the body release endorphins – the pain-killing chemicals produced naturally in the body.”
Capital Chemist Bowral Recommends // Coming in and chatting to the team about the various applications and drug-free pain relief options TENS therapy can assist with.
4 // Natural skin management and treatments
After so many decades of us being a little naïve about what goes in to the lotions and potions we put on our skin or in our hair, there’s been a shift in recent years to becoming more educated about what synthetics and chemicals exist in certain products, and shifting our consumer dollars to companies that focus on natural ingredients.
“It’s true. Our customers are definitely more educated and aware about what they’re putting on their body, and we’ve been stocking more of the products and ranges from companies who focus on natural ingredients and environmentally conscious packaging,” says Dickson.
But it’s not just about your night-time moisturiser or your skin cleanser you put on in the shower, is it?
“No, that’s right. We’re seeing the natural ingredient trend in all sorts of products – from sunscreen to deodorant, makeup ranges to haircare and more.”
Capital Chemist Bowral Recommends // The MooGoo Skincare Range and their Eczema & Psoriasis Cream for sufferers of these skin conditions.
5 // A focus on healthy living
A new year. A new you. It sounds good in theory but if you’re keen to up the healthy living ante in 2021, sometimes you need a bit of extra support.
“We’re seeing more customers focus on getting to or maintaining a healthy weight or focusing on a healthy diet which is so great. We think that will increase next year as people become more aware of the role their overall health plays in how strong their immune system is,” Dickson says.
“So that can mean looking at your health from a holistic point of view, rather than just one thing such as diet. Or exercise.”
So, where do you start?
“Data! There are scales on the market that can tell you everything about your body from your BMI to bone mass, metabolic age and the all-important visceral fat amount (that’s the fat around your organs which can be quite unhealthy if you have too much of it),” says Dickson.
“Taking your blood pressure also gives us a good idea of how well your heart is working.”
“Once you have the data, we can then help you work out a healthy approach to making the changes you want to make. Maybe it’s a change in diet, a meal replacement strategy, an increase in exercise or stress management strategies,” Dickson says.
“Our understanding of your health history, our experience and the products we have here in the store provide a great foundation for supporting you to get to that healthy weight or live the active life you want.”
Capital Chemist Bowral Recommends // BodiSure BBC100 Smart Body Composition Scales, the Impromy Scientifically Formulated Meal Replacement Diet and the range of self-check Omron Blood Pressure Machines.
6 // An increase in Sleep Apnoea diagnoses
Dickson has been seeing a worrying trend of mainly males being diagnosed with sleep apnoea this year.
“I see this trend continuing next year with an increased reliance on sleep apnoea management tools. What has been worrying is that the age at which mostly males are being diagnosed is getting younger,” he says.
Obstructive sleep apnoea is the most common form of this sleep disorder that occurs when throat muscles relax.
“A person can stop breathing for 1 – 60 seconds while they are sleeping,” Dickson explains.
Symptoms to look out for are loud snoring, gasping for air when you’re sleeping, morning headaches, waking up with a dry mouth, irritability and daytime fatigue.
“If you are experiencing those symptoms, come into the pharmacy to have a chat to us. We can help you source clinically validated, non-invasive home sleep test device. Results will then be sent to a sleep specialist," says Dickson.
“If you are diagnosed with sleep apnoea, we can then set up a trial of a CPAP machine which will help relieve the effects of sleep apnoea. You can test out a range of mask styles to make sure we get the right fit for you.”
“We can also monitor the results and help you out if the pressure or fit needs adjusting.”
One thing Dickson noted that we found interesting is that being male, and overweight are the two biggest risk factors, but also alcoholic consumption at night can contribute.
Capital Chemist Bowral Recommends // Coming in to see Dickson or Catherine if you're suffering from these symptoms, and to book in a home sleep test.
There you go! Good to know and smart to get on the front foot for 2021, right?
Chat to the team at Capital Chemist Bowral (they’re so lovely!) about how they can help support you on your future health and wellness journey.
Capital Chemist Bowral is dedicated to improving each person’s health and wellbeing by providing quality pharmaceutical and health services to the Southern Highlands community. Open 7 days a week. Find out more here, or pop in to say hello to the friendly team on Bong Bong Street.
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