GFM Network News


Hot flashes occur in approximately 75 to 80 per cent of women.

Guide Health: Menopause and hot flashes

Keeping fit and watching your weight can curb menopause symptoms, but three-quarters of women will still get hot flashes

Reading Time: 2 minutes While menopause affects all women, its symptoms and timing vary greatly. With age there is a cessation of ovarian function, but it is not a sudden stop. Rather it is a waning over an average of two to 10 years. Menopause occurs anywhere from age 40 to 60 with the average age of 51. (Obviously […] Read more

Guide Health: Benzodiazepines and your health

These medications can be helpful, but they should only be used for a short period of time

Reading Time: 2 minutes Discovered in the 1930s and with the first agent, chlordiazepoxide, marketed in the 1950s, benzodiazepines have been part of drug therapy for decades. Until benzodiazepines were introduced, barbiturates were the drugs used to treat anxiety and sleeplessness. But barbiturates were a worry with their narrow therapeutic margin (that is, their small or narrow difference between […] Read more


Glaucoma develops slowly over time, and you may not notice it until you lose some of your peripheral vision.

Guide Health: Guarding your eyesight against glaucoma

An estimated half of patients with eye drops don’t remember to use them, or don’t use them correctly

Reading Time: 3 minutes If you’re young, glaucoma may not even make it on to the list of health conditions that you’re at all concerned about. As you age, however, your thinking will change, especially if you experience the eyesight loss associated with glaucoma! Worldwide, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness, and according to CNIB about 250,000 Canadians […] Read more

It’s a good idea to periodically check expiration dates on the medications in your home and safely dispose of them if they’ve expired.

Guide Health: Prescription drugs and expiration dates

Hmmm… you’ve got a headache, but your only bottle of acetaminophen is expired

Reading Time: 2 minutes An expiry date is the date after which you should no longer use a product, whether that product is a drug, a grocery store item or anything else. The product can no longer be guaranteed as fresh, stable, safe or, very importantly, 100 per cent potent.  Drug expiry dates are carefully calculated by drug manufacturers […] Read more


Hydrocortisone and betamethasone creams and ointments are two common examples of topical corticosteroids.

Guide Health: Steroids – essential for life

We’ve all heard about anabolic steroids and sports, but what are corticosteroids?

Reading Time: 2 minutes Steroids are a group of organic compounds that we produce in our bodies, just like many other species. As molecules, steroids are similar in their structure. Specifically, each steroid consists of a group of four chemical rings with various side chains. In the body, steroids have a variety of functions. They help to regulate your […] Read more

The human bowel contains between 10 and 100 trillion micro-organisms that protect against harmful bacteria, promote good bowel function, and are involved in your immune system.

Guide Health: Your bowel – don’t take it for granted

Yes, your bowel habits are very personal, but get your symptoms checked sooner, not later

Reading Time: 2 minutes You don’t really think about your bowel until something goes wrong like constipation or diarrhea. Your digestive tract includes everything from your mouth to your rectum, but often the word “bowel” is meant to be your small and large intestine. The small intestine is made up of three parts, specifically the duodenum, jejunum and ileum, […] Read more


A nasal spray may help you breathe better, but make sure you can sniff air before using it.

Guide Health: Take care of your nose. It’s nothing to sniff at

Abrupt loss of smell can be related to trauma, tumours, polyps or diseases like COVID-19

Reading Time: 3 minutes You probably take your nose for granted. You breathe through it and you don’t even need to think about it. Breathing is an autonomic nervous system function; it just happens. And, of course you use your nose for smelling, which you do notice, even though sometimes you wish you didn’t have to! Your nose is […] Read more

Cannabidiol (CDB) is considered the “therapeutic” option as it does not cause intoxication and euphoria as does cannabis which contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Guide Health: The scoop on cannabis

Check with your health care providers before using cannabis for any medical condition

Reading Time: 2 minutes We all know by now that cannabis is legal for recreational use in Canada. We also know there are still a number of restrictions and limitations on its use, and we know how to find out exactly what these are. However, we also hear claims about therapeutic uses for cannabis and about its effectiveness and […] Read more


Alcohol-based hand sanitizer contains 70 per cent alcohol and is the recommended option when washing your hands is not possible.

Guide Health: Antiseptics and disinfectants

Always let your hand sanitizer evaporate on your skin. That’s how it works!

Reading Time: 2 minutes Antiseptics and disinfectants both slow or stop the growth of micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi, but with one difference. Antiseptics are intended for human use, while disinfectants are used to clean inanimate objects like table tops, counters and sinks. Sometimes the same product can be used for both, but the disinfectant may be […] Read more

Guide Health: Dealing with migraines

Migraines often have a trigger, whether it be environmental or lifestyle

Reading Time: 2 minutes The excruciatingly painful headaches classed as migraines are considered to be the most common type of headache. About 25 per cent of women and nine per cent of men are affected with between four and six work days lost per year for each sufferer. Migraines are thought to involve a nervous system dysfunction which results […] Read more