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I hope you enjoy these articles from my syndicated column, “Dear Pharmacist.” If you’d like to receive newly released articles in your inbox for FREE, be sure to sign up for the newsletter!

Cancer and Your “QR” Pathway

Dear Pharmacist,
I read one of your previous articles about breast cancer and you talked about a pathway in the body that could be activated, and how certain natural supplements can help. Can you tell us which supplements? -H.B., Bellevue, Washington

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Fight to Find Out What is Causing Your Fibromyalgia

Dear Suzy,
I’ve had fibromyalgia for the last 8 years, and I take Lyrica, Hydrocodone and citalopram for medicine. My local pharmacist said those are used to treat pain and depression but I want to make sure with you. And also, I’d like to know what natural alternatives I have. —S.D., Gainesville, Florida

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Your Tongue Tells a Story

Dear Pharmacist,
Sometimes my tongue gets bald, red patches, or thick yellowish coatings on it. I can’t figure out why this happens, or what it means. My tongue looks nasty. Suzy, I don’t know who else to ask since it’s very embarrassing. My doctor says that it’s nothing to worry about. Do you agree? – A.P., Ocala, Florida
 

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Confession From A Pharmacist: Some Medications Scare Me

Dear Pharmacist,
I just became a pharmacist and started reading your syndicated column. Your emphasis is usually centered around the benefits of vitamins, minerals or alternative treatments, as compared to prescription medications. Why don’t you recommend more of our gold standard pharmaceuticals which are FDA approved, unlike nutritional supplements? –JK, Gainesville, Florida
 

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Pain Relief for Tendonitis, Sprains and Strains

Dear Pharmacist,
After years of hiking without many problems, I began experiencing pain near my ankle and heel. My doctor diagnosed “Achilles tendonitis” and prescribed medicine which did reduce pain and swelling. I’m still worried I’ll not be able to hike again. What natural remedies keep this at bay? – J.S. Boulder, CO
 

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Fist bump vs Handshake? "Fist bumping” transmits significantly fewer bacteria than either
handshaking or high‐fiving, while still addressing the cultural expectation of hand‐to‐hand contact according to a study.
In this experiment, a greeter immersed a
sterile‐gloved hand into a container of germs. Once the glove was dry, the greeter exchanged a handshake, fist bump, or high‐five with a sterile‐gloved recipient. Exchanges randomly varied in duration
and intensity of contact.
After the exchange, the receiving gloves were immersed in a solution to count the number of bacteria
transferred during contact. Nearly twice as many bacteria were transferred during a handshake
compared to the high‐five, and significantly fewer bacteria were transferred during a fist bump than a
high‐five. In all three forms of greeting, a longer duration of contact and stronger grips were further
associated with increased bacterial transmission.
“Adoption of the fist bump as a greeting could substantially reduce the transmission of infectious
diseases between individuals,” said corresponding author, David Whitworth, PhD.
(August issue of the American
Journal of Infection Control)
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