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PEOPLE'S PHARMACY : A topical use as well?

November 16, 2009|Joe Graedon; Teresa Graedon

Milk of magnesia is great for blemishes. I started using it six months ago, and it really helped clear up my skin. It was better than the things my dermatologist prescribed. I apply it every night before bed and leave it on all night.

There are no studies of topical milk of magnesia for acne, but a letter in the Archives of Dermatology (January 1975) did mention this approach. Many readers also have shared their success with milk of magnesia to counteract blemishes.

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My husband is threatening to stop his four blood pressure medications. The diuretic has him getting up at night to urinate. Some of the others have had a negative impact on our sex life (loss of desire plus erectile dysfunction). He is fighting depression for the first time. His doctor says the drugs can cause these side effects, but he has no alternatives.

Your husband should not have to suffer side effects such as depression or impotence to control his high blood pressure. Beta blockers (atenolol, propranolol, etc.) have been linked to dizziness, depression, fatigue and sexual dysfunction. A 2009 review in the Journal of Internal Medicine suggests such drugs should not be first-line hypertension treatments.

There are blood pressure medications that are less likely to cause sexual problems or depression. Your husband may also try losing weight; exercising; following a special DASH diet; drinking beet, pomegranate and grape juice; and avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers. He should not stop his blood pressure drugs suddenly. That could jeopardize his health.

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Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition.

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www.peoples pharmacy.com

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