I take Nexium for heartburn and enalapril (Vasotec) for blood pressure. I’m losing my hearing and some of my hair. Now I have symptoms of an enlarged prostate so my doctor has prescribed Proscar. Will it interact with the other drugs that I’m already taking?”
–L.A., Denver Colorado
ANSWER: No, it won’t interact. But I have to tell you, your symptoms sound a lot like zinc deficiency. It used to only occur in underdeveloped countries, but today it occurs in regular folks who take ‘drug muggers’ of zinc (drugs that reduce zinc levels in the body). These include antacids, antibiotics birth control pills, hormone replacement drugs for hot flashes, acid blocking drugs (Nexium, Prilosec, Tagamet, Zantac, etc), furosemide, Lotensin, Enalapril, Atacand HCT, HCTZ (Hydrochlorothiazide) and cholestyramine (Questran). You take two of these meds.
Telltale signs of deficiency include frequent colds or infections because zinc is necessary to fight the germs. You may have cold hands and feet, foggy thinking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, brittle nails and worsening vision. You may not hear or smell things as well as you used to and you may be losing your hair. You may have skin problems like acne, psoriasis, eczema, boils or very slow wound healing.
Teenage boys may need a little extra zinc as they go through puberty to ensure fertility and produce healthy sperm in their reproductive years. Zinc is great for skin and it may get those acne breakouts under control. Low zinc can cause stunted growth, learning disabilities and mental retardation in severe cases.
Older men derive the most benefit from zinc because it helps prevent prostatitis, enlarged prostate (BPH), hair loss, hearing loss and high cholesterol. A deficiency of zinc could spell trouble in the bedroom too.
You could benefit from zinc if you:
Have conditions that affect the brain such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive
Have an eating disorder (anorexia or bulimia)
If you drink alcohol or coffee
If you feel symptoms of a cold or flu coming on, take it at the first sneeze!
If you fail to ovulate properly, or don’t get a regular period
If you have sickle cell anemia, Celiac disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Put this on your plate for more zinc: Oysters, seafood, ginger root, split peas, nuts, pumpkin, sunflower, egg yolks, whole wheat grain, and almonds. Or supplement with a good brand; zinc is found at health food stores and pharmacies nationwide. Don’t overdo the zinc because it will throw your copper out of balance. A safe dose is about 10 – 20 mg daily with food.
To My Readers: If this article was interesting to you, please learn more about the whole concept of drug mugging. There are hundreds of popular prescribed medications that rob vital nutrients from your body causing many side effects and in some cases, fatal outcomes (because of long-term nutrient depletion). This is also why you experience side effects in so many cases. Prescription drugs have an intended effect on the body but they may be reducing vital nutrients in your cells causing all sorts of annoying and dangerous side effects. For example, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs mug you of Coenzyme Q10, which powers your heart beat and protects your muscles. Estrogen-containing drugs mug you of certain nutrients, leaving you depressed and tired. Diabetic medications mug a certain B vitamin that protects you from stroke & heart attack. As a BONUS, this book includes a special chapter to help you buy the highest quality supplements, sharing secrets in the industry that you should know about. Protect yourself from side effects and potentially catastrophic health consequences with this amazing one-of-a-kind resource written by Suzy Cohen and her husband, Dr. Sam Cohen. Learn about absurdly inexpensive vitamins and minerals that can help you feel better and solve your problems once and for all.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.