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December 2012

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Q. I heard about eating coconut macaroons to help with irritable bowel syndrome on your radio program. Our dog was having trouble with recurrent bouts of diarrhea and the vet could not find a reason. I gave her coconut flakes... (Read More)
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Q. Can you offer me any ideas of how I can ease my withdrawal from Pristiq? My brain is cloudy, I am having brain zaps and I am agitated. I should have never tried it out. Please help! A. You... (Read More)
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Q. Now that I'm nearing divorce court (in large part due to sexual difficulties), I was dismayed by the response to a person inquiring about finasteride (Proscar). I have every single side effect in your answer. I have not taken... (Read More)
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Q. I had a full hysterectomy at age 49. My health is excellent otherwise, with no smoking, regular exercise and alcohol in moderation. My gynecologist put me on Estratest. I felt great on this but my skin became extremely oily... (Read More)
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Q. What effect do cortisone shots have on the body? In order to keep playing tennis I have received shots in my hip, knees and shoulders over the last few years. I have read that oral prednisone can lead to... (Read More)

Dumb Idea Pays Off

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Q. Using soap for muscle cramps was the stupidest idea I'd heard in a long while. I tried drinking tonic water for the quinine, eating lots of bananas for the extra potassium and anything else I had heard about, but... (Read More)
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Q. When the recall of Ranbaxy atorvastatin was announced because of glass particles in the pills, I had 30 left of a 90-day supply. The pharmacist said he had no way of tracing the lot number of my prescription. He... (Read More)
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When the FDA determines that a drug has a really serious side effect, it requires the company to highlight the problem in bold type with a black border at the top of the prescribing information. This "black box warning" is... (Read More)
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For decades, mothers and grandmothers in northern climates dosed children with cod liver oil during the winter. They had no scientific studies to support their belief that there was something in that foul-tasting oil that was good for people. Nevertheless,... (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: We often think of vulnerability as a weakness, but being open and vulnerable... (Read More)
Buy This Show on CD or MP3
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Perhaps there was an MP3 player or smart phone under your tree this week. Though you don't need that equipment to listen to podcasts, it certainly makes it more convenient. It's a great opportunity to listen to The People's Pharmacy... (Read More)
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This Week's Radio Show: 886 Finding Courage to Connect in 2013
Take The People's Pharmacy with You!
Dry Skin Misery Needs Oolong Tea
Will Bilberry Prevent Eye Problems in Diabetes?
Is Vicks Dangerous Against Hemorrhoids?
Blood Pressure Pills and Broken Hips
Soy Supplements Fail to Foil Hot Flashes
Is Autism Linked to Sunshine?
Higher Risk of Tumors among Junk Food Junkies
Too Much Tylenol in the Hospital (Read More)
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Q. I am suffering terribly with eczema, aka atopic dermatitis. That's what my dermatologist calls my dry, red, itchy nasty skin. The doctor thought I might have an infection as well, and I have tried Bactroban antibiotic ointment as well... (Read More)
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Q. My eye doctor suggested I take bilberry. Will it cause any complications for my diabetes? A. Bilberry, an herb related to blueberry, is rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins that give the berries their deep purple color. Bilberry was traditionally... (Read More)
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When elderly patients start taking blood pressure medication, their risk of falls and fractures goes up significantly. Canadian researchers analyzed data from more than 300,000 senior citizens newly diagnosed with hypertension. Following the first six weeks after receiving a medication... (Read More)
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Soy-based products have long been promoted for easing menopausal symptoms, especially hot flashes. Part of the reason is that soy doesn't pose the same risks as prescription hormone replacement therapy. A new study involving almost 400 menopausal women for two... (Read More)
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The prevalence of autism varies by geographic area. A new analysis indicates that autism is half as common in areas where there is more sunshine in the summer and fall. In states with the least sunshine, African Americans had a... (Read More)
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People with a family history of colon cancer benefit from cleaning up their diets. Dutch investigators followed nearly 500 individuals with Lynch syndrome, a genetic quirk that greatly increases the risk of colon cancer. As many as 70 percent of... (Read More)
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Tylenol is one of the most familiar and trusted brand names in America. In fact, commercials for the popular pain reliever used to proclaim: "Trust Tylenol. The pain reliever hospitals use most." A new study suggests that hospitals sometimes use... (Read More)
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Q. I read a message on your website about someone who put Vicks VapoRub on his hemorrhoids. He complained that "Vicks on his hemorrhoids felt like napalm" and described the sensation as "spontaneous combustion that made me feel like I... (Read More)
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Listen To Our Podcast: 885 Is Your Sofa Toxic?
Did Coconut Save Man's Life?
Blood Pressure Control, Naturally
Looking for Natural Relief from Head Pain
Surgical Errors Are Tip of the Iceberg
Natural Treatments for Nerve Pain
Are Two Aspirin Tablets Too Risky?
How Effective Are Flu Shots? (Read More)
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Q. I heard that a man with Crohn's disease got relief from diarrhea by eating coconut. My husband had been having diarrhea almost every day since 2004. We never knew what caused it and the gastro doctor could not cure... (Read More)
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Q. I suffer terribly from ear pain when flying. I take the decongestant pseudoephedrine, chew gum and blow my nose but none of these strategies is working any more to relieve the pressure. Do you have any recommendations? A. Over... (Read More)
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Q. My blood pressure has steadily been rising during the last year. I'm 27, fit, slim and don't eat junk food. The doctor says we need to watch my blood pressure and possibly treat it with medication. I'm quite averse... (Read More)
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Q. My husband has suffered unbearable headaches for over 40 years. The doctors have not found a cause. The headaches can come in cycles that last for weeks. A few are so severe he cannot stand any noise or light... (Read More)
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Doctors call them "never events" because they are never supposed to happen. In surgery this term applies to things like leaving an instrument or a sponge inside the patient, operating on the wrong side or part of the body, or... (Read More)
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Q. Are there any natural approaches for the pain of neuropathy? A. There are two possibilities. One is alpha lipoic acid. A meta-analysis of 15 randomized controlled trials demonstrated that it is safe and probably effective for treating diabetic nerve... (Read More)
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Q. My 70-year-old husband is taking two full-size aspirins a day to prevent heart problems. There are no heart problems in his family. He doesn't believe me when I tell him this is too much. Your take? A. Long-term aspirin... (Read More)
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A hundred years ago doctors practiced experience-based medicine. That is, they relied on the wisdom of past practices and what they observed with their own patients. There weren't many scientifically proven remedies for common ailments like colds or flu. These... (Read More)

885 Is Your Sofa Toxic?

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Did you enjoy this radio show? Average rating: 4.3/5 (49 votes)
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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: We think of our homes as safe sanctuaries. Sometimes, however, in an effort... (Read More)
Buy This Show on CD or MP3