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Q: I cut my salt intake many years ago, just for good health. Now I have low sodium in my blood and suffer from low blood pressure and fainting spells.

The maker of Vicks VapoRub is very clear that the product is for external use only.

Q: You have sometimes written about ways to treat athlete’s foot, but you haven’t mentioned the best one – bleach. On the rare occasion that I get a toe fissure or itchy sole, I just pour several glugs of bleach into the shower and slosh about in it for a minute before I turn on the water.

Some people who react to mango skin also react badly to latex, as well as to poison ivy, oak and sumac.

Q: I got stung by yellow jackets last week and reacted terribly. I swelled up and broke out in hives all over my body. It was so unbearable, I had to go to the emergency room for treatment.

Q: When I was training for triathlons, I was told to mix a solution of alcohol, vinegar and glycerin in a squirt bottle. After swimming, I would shake the bottle and apply a few drops in each ear, letting it sit for a moment or two, then tilting my head to allow the mixture to run out onto a paper towel.

Infectious-disease experts are adamant that washing hands (and cleaning stethoscopes) before each examination is essential.

Sweating, nausea, dizziness, irritability and electric shock-like sensations (brain zaps) all have been reported as withdrawal symptoms from Duloxetine (Cymbalta).

Q: I have been experiencing an embarrassing anal itch for two months. My physician doesn’t seem interested beyond prescribing lotions that don’t do much after the first few minutes.

Q: I am writing to tell you how your advice helped solve a near tragedy. My husband and I were recently on a trip to Mongolia in a very remote location when he hit his leg on the sharp corner of a metal wood stove. He takes the anticoagulant warfarin, so the bleeding was horrific.

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Joe and Terry Graedon
Joe and Terry Graedon are authors of The People's Pharmacy book and host an award-winning health talk show on public radio.
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