January 2012

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Listen To Our Podcast: 844 Overcoming Obsessions
Mango Skin Allergy Mimics Poison Ivy
Vitamin D Deficiency and Osteoporosis
Bidet Alleviates Itchy Bottom
Finding Alternatives to Prescription Drug Treatment
Zithromax Helped Reader Breathe Easier
Cayenne Pepper Cured Heartburn
No More Free Lunches?
Anxiety & Stopping Alprazolam & Atenolol Side Effects (Read More)
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Q. After eating prepared mangos over the holidays, I bought some to peel and slice myself. I even chewed on the seed. Bad mistake! By the next day, I was itching under my chin. This became swelling around my mouth... (Read More)
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Q. I am 55 and was diagnosed with osteoporosis last April. I just learned that I am deficient in vitamin D. I have felt fatigued and mentally foggy as long as I can remember. Could I have been vitamin D... (Read More)
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Q. I have been diagnosed with pruritus ani, itching around the anal area. This condition causes itching so intense that it can keep me up at night. My doctor ruled out hemorrhoids and other causes. I was told to stay... (Read More)
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Q. My aging parents belong to a generation that never questions anything a doctor says. They both take so many medications they can barely keep track of everything. Here is just a partial list: amlodipine, diclofenac, pravastatin, furosemide, atenolol, amiodarone,... (Read More)
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Q. I have had COPD for decades. After taking azithromycin for about 15 weeks I am feeling well for the first time in over 20 years. A. A placebo-controlled study found that the antibiotic azithromycin can reduce flare-ups associated with... (Read More)
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Q. I used to have heartburn and took drugs to treat it for several years. I later learned that hot peppers could help, so I purchased a bottle of cayenne pepper capsules. I take just one a day with food.... (Read More)

No More Free Lunches?

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As the adage goes, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." This phrase dates back to the 19th century when bars would offer their patrons a "free lunch" so long as they bought something to drink. The meals were... (Read More)
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Q. I have a long history of anxiety and panic attacks. I am also a performing musician, which can often cause performance anxiety. I have been prescribed Xanax (alprazolam) off and on over the years along with a myriad of... (Read More)
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Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here's what it's about: Washing your hands may be a good way to avoid catching colds, but... (Read More)
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This Week's Radio Show: 844 Overcoming Obsessions
Sauerkraut Cured Disastrous Diarrhea
Mustard on Eggs Eliminates Gas
Celebrex May Cause Breast Tenderness
Common Chemicals Dampen Immune Response
Iodine-Containing Contrast May Harm Thyroid
Avastin Helpful for Some Breast Tumors
Exercise to Fight Depression (Read More)
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At The People's Pharmacy, we learn many wonderful remedies from our readers. When we come across something especially surprising or helpful, we love to share it. We recently received this testimonial from a visitor: "In March of 2000 I fell... (Read More)
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Q. I read in one of your columns that yellow mustard might help relieve heartburn. That article caught my attention. I have found that eating more than one hard-boiled egg produces bloating and gas with an unpleasant sulphurous odor. Adding... (Read More)
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Common household chemicals may be gumming up the immune response. Perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, are found in food packaging, in microwave popcorn, in stain repellents for clothing and furniture as well as non-stick cookware. They are ubiquitous in the environment... (Read More)
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Iodide contrast used to sharpen some diagnostic images seem to have an unrecognized dark side. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine was based on 20-year follow-up data of nearly 2,000 people who had undergone CT scans, cardiac... (Read More)
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Women with a specific type of breast cancer may benefit from adding Avastin to the chemotherapy regimen. The research included more than 1,200 patients who were randomly assigned to receive Avastin or placebo in addition to Taxotere and other medications.... (Read More)
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Chronic illness such as diabetes or heart disease often goes hand-in-hand with depression. What's more, depression makes the outcomes of such chronic conditions worse. Now a new analysis shows that exercise can be an effective treatment for the depression associated... (Read More)
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Q. I need a past article from you about Celebrex (celicoxib). Someone had complained that it made her nipples hard or something like that. I had a similar problem so I cut my dose from 200 to 100 and my... (Read More)
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One form of exercise that may be especially beneficial for older people is swimming. It is easy on sore joints and may have an unexpected benefit for those with high blood pressure. A small study found that swimming three or... (Read More)
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Listen To Our Podcast: 843 New Visions for Health Care
Leave BPA at the Supermarket
Pharmacy Mistakes Could Be Deadly
Shift Work Disrupts Sleep
Urinating on Feet Not Necessary
Can Lecithin Keep Arteries Clean?
Coffee May Help Ease Asthma in the Air
Coconut Cookies Eased Crohn's Symptoms
Drug for Pain Triggered Fainting (Read More)
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Q. I was alarmed to read that eating canned soup can raise body levels of BPA. If this is true for canned soups, wouldn't it follow that other canned foods would pose the same problem? A. Bisphenol A (BPA) is... (Read More)
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The modern pharmacy is big and busy. Hundreds of prescriptions are filled daily in a typical chain drugstore. Everyone is in a hurry. Pharmacists and technicians work at maximum speed with limited time for lunch or bathroom breaks. Drive-through windows... (Read More)
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Q. I have a question about natural herbal supplements to help me sleep. I am in law enforcement and work shifts, so I don't have a regular pattern of sleep. Is there anything that can help me get better sleep... (Read More)
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Q. My skin turns to sandpaper in the winter. I get all sorts of cracks, just like a paper cut, and they can be incredibly painful. They are worst on my fingertips, knuckles and thumbs. The heels of my feet... (Read More)
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Q. I am 70 years old and have been taking lecithin for over 35 years. When the doctor viewed images of my arteries, he was amazed to find no plaque or calcification deposits of any kind. He said I had... (Read More)
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Q. I am an international flight attendant. I was pleased to read in your column that coffee might be used for asthma in an emergency. I think we have some kind of asthma medication in our enhanced medical kit, but... (Read More)
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Q. My niece has Crohn's disease and has suffered from unremitting diarrhea for months. She started eating homemade macaroon cookies (1 per day, 12.5 grams of dried coconut per macaroon). As a result, she had a dramatic improvement in her... (Read More)
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Q. My father has atrial fibrillation and is treated with a pacemaker and digoxin. His heart doctor ordered amitriptyline because of a burning sensation in his feet. He had fainting spells within two weeks of starting on the amitriptyline. With... (Read More)
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Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here's what it's about: The Veterans Health Administration is an enormous bureaucracy, but it is striving to... (Read More)
Buy This Show on CD or MP3
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This Week's Radio Show: 843 New Visions for Health Care
Can St. John's Wort Beat the Blues?
Peppermint Solves Digestive Distress
Taking Your Child to the ER: Tips for Making It Less Traumatic
Are Antiperspirants Linked to Breast Cancer?
Drug Company Payments to Doctors Must Be Revealed
New Alzheimer's Drug Dropped
Vitamin D No Panacea for Lung Condition
Magnesium May Minimize Stroke Risk
Aspirin Benefits vs Risks (Read More)