General Questions

What is INR?
The International Normalized Ratio (INR) is a blood test used to monitor warfarin therapy. Warfarin is a blood thinning medication. Some of the more common uses of warfarin therapy include Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pulmonary Embolism (PE), Atrial Fibrillation (AF), Artificial Heart Valves, and some causes of Heart Failure.

Initially, the INR is checked frequently, but as treatment is stabilized, it may be done less often, usually every four weeks. Using the INR blood test, a healthcare provider can recommend the correct warfarin dosage to keep the patient in the therapeutic range (usually between 2.0 and 3.0).

Mitchell Medical Pharmacy offers an In-Home and In-Pharmacy INR Testing program.
What are low-glycemic index foods and why are they important?

The glycemic index classifies carbohydrate-containing foods according to their potential to raise your blood sugar level. Low-glycemic foods keep your blood sugar and energy levels more stable. According to recent studies, low-glycemic diets are more effective than low-fat diets in treating obesity, insulin resistance, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 Diabetes.

What are medical foods?

Medical foods are specifically formulated for dietary management of diseases or conditions with distinctive nutritional needs that cannot be met by diet alone. Medical foods are like a hybrid between prescription drugs and dietary supplements. They are intended to be used under medical supervision for people with health conditions.

What are dietary supplements?
Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs or other plants, amino acids, or parts of these substances. They can be in pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid form. Dietary supplements provide targeted nutritional support for specific functions, such as healthy blood cholesterol or blood sugar levels, joint function and mobility, or healthy hormone metabolism. They do not need to be used under medical supervision.

Mitchell Medical Pharmacy carries a variety of high-quality supplements including AOR, Metagenics and Natural Factors brands.
What is special about AOR supplements?

As Canada’s most progressive supplement formulator and manufacturer, Advanced Orthomolecular Research (AOR) provides high-quality, research-backed vitamins and dietary supplements. Their superior natural health products have been studied and distributed worldwide including Europe, Japan, USA, as well as Canada.

What is Metagenics?

Metagenics is an American company that produces science-based medical foods for the management of specific health conditions and supplements for healthier living. The company also created FirstLine Therapy Lifestyle Medicine Programs which offer scientifically evaluated medical food programs that provide an effective and safe approach to managing some of today’s toughest chronic illnesses and risk factors.

What is FirstLine Therapy?

FirstLine Therapy is a series of healthy lifestyle programs created by Metagenics. These scientifically based programs help you lose weight, balance your hormones, decrease stress, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and manage you blood sugar. Choose from the Metabolic Syndrome Program, or Clear Change Metabolic Detoxification Program.

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

What are bioidentical hormones?
Bioidentical hormones are produced from plants and are pharmaceutically processed to make them indistinguishable from the hormones created in the body. For a replacement hormone to function as effectively as hormones produced naturally in the human body, the chemical structure must exactly match the original. Bioidentical hormones can be created for a specific person with custom compounding. They usually result in fewer side effects than mass-produced, synthetic hormones.

Most commonly, bioidentical hormones are applied to the skin in a cream form.
What is Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) uses bioidentical rather than synthetic hormones. Hormone deficiencies are identified through a personal medical history/symptom questionnaire and saliva test. If BHRT is recommended, the compounding pharmacist will consult with your doctor to obtain a prescription that will address your individual hormone imbalance.

How long does it take to notice results from BHRT?

Some people begin to notice results within a few weeks while most experience benefits between about three and six months. Lifestyle factors including stress level, diet, sleep patterns, exercise habits, other health conditions, and which types/doses of hormones are being used, etc. can impact results.

What is the average duration for using bioidentical hormones?

In general, it is best to use hormones at the lowest possible dose for you and for the shortest possible duration. A key factor in determining the length of your treatment is symptom management. If you stop using your hormone therapy and symptoms are still present, therapy may need to be continued. Once your hormones are balanced, you may be able to gradually decrease your dosage and discontinue therapy.