The People's Pharmacy Radio Program Everything from home remedies to the latest breakthrough drugs are discussed on The People's Pharmacy. Pharmacologist Joe Graedon and medical anthropologist Terry Graedon talk to leading experts to discuss issues relating to drugs, herbs, home remedies, vitamins and related health topics.
The People's Pharmacy Radio Program

The People's Pharmacy Radio Program

From North Carolina Public Radio

Everything from home remedies to the latest breakthrough drugs are discussed on The People's Pharmacy. Pharmacologist Joe Graedon and medical anthropologist Terry Graedon talk to leading experts to discuss issues relating to drugs, herbs, home remedies, vitamins and related health topics.More from The People's Pharmacy Radio Program »

Most Recent Episodes

Show 1097: What Can Be Done to Help When the Prognosis Is Poor

Although lifespans have been increasing, so has the burden of chronic disease. When a person is diagnosed with a serious illness such as cancer, cirrhosis, kidney disease, heart failure or Parkinson's, medical science may not have a cure. But doctors shouldn't say, there's nothing more we can do. Instead, they should ask, how can we help this patient live better, if not longer? That is the goal of palliative care. What Is Palliative Care? Many people imagine that palliative care is strictly for the very end of life. But they are underestimating its usefulness in so many other situations. Helping patients focus on what is most important to them can help them live better, whether their prognosis is for a few months or for a number of years. When expected life span is limited, it may make sense for doctors to discontinue drugs that are intended to help keep patients healthy in the long run and to maintain the medicines that help people feel better, including pain medications. What Should Patients Ask After the Diagnosis? Many people presented with a frightening diagnosis want to know how long they can expect to live, as well as what symptoms to anticipate. Dr. Pantilat urges patients to ask questions about this, and to be as explicit as possible. Patients may also need to ask for help achieving their most important goals, such as attending a child's wedding. If doctors are asked explicitly, they may be able to indicate which goals are unrealistic and which might be reached through modifying current plans. This Week's Guest: Steven Pantilat, MD, is professor of medicine in the department of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He is the Kates-Burnard and Hellman Distinguished Professor in Palliative Care and the founding director of the UCSF Palliative Care Program. In 2007, this program received a Circle of Life Award in recognition of excellence and innovation from the American Hospital Association. His book is Life After the Diagnosis: Expert Advice on Living Well with Serious Illness for Patients and Their Caregivers. His website is www.lifeafterthediagnosis.com Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD

Show 1096: What You Need to Know About Treating Thyroid Disease

An estimated 20 million Americans have trouble with their thyroid glands. Doctors have become accustomed to making the diagnosis of hypothyroidism based on a single blood test. Often they prescribe just one medication for treating thyroid disease. But does that work equally well for everyone? Genetic Variations That Make a Difference: New research shows that some people have a gene variant that makes their bodies less efficient at converting the circulating hormone levothyroxine (T4) into the active hormone triiodothyronine (T3). As a result, the usual treatment may not be completely effective at helping them overcome their symptoms. Find out what else they might need for treating thyroid disease. Taking Your Medicine: When and how you take your thyroid medicine can affect how well it works. Did you know that coffee can interfere with the absorption of levothyroxine? Soy products may also pose problems. Find out the best ways for thyroid patients to work with their doctors in treating thyroid disease. This Week's Guests: Dr. Antonio Bianco Antonio Bianco, MD, PhD, is the Charles Arthur Weaver Professor of Cancer Research in the Department of Internal Medicine. He is the president of Rush University Medical Group and vice dean for clinical affairs in Rush Medical College. Dr. Bianco's research focuses on understanding the deiodinase enzymes D1, D2 and D3 and their effect on thyroid hormone action. He was co-author of a Seminar paper on hypothyroidism published in The Lancet, March 20, 2017. Here are some links explaining his research: https://www.rush.edu/news/far-reaching-thyroid-expertise https://www.rush.edu/news/press-releases/hypothyroidism-symptoms-linger-despite-medication-use-normal-blood-tests https://www.rush.edu/news/press-releases/rush-researchers-gain-new-insights-treatment-hypothyroidism https://rushinperson.rush.edu/2017/01/16/lingering-hypothyroid-symptoms-not-in-their-heads/ You can listen to Dr. Bianco's extended interview: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/wp-content/uploads/BiancoThyroid2017Full.mp3 Mary Shomon Patient advocate and author Mary Shomon transformed her 1995 thyroid diagnosis into a mission to educate and empower others struggling with thyroid and hormonal conditions. She is a nationally-known patient advocate and activist, and founder of Thyroid-Info.com. She is the author of New York Times bestseller The Thyroid Diet Revolution: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss and a number of other books on thyroid disease, hormone health, and weight loss. Her most recent book, written with Dana Trentini, is Your Healthy Pregnancy with Thyroid Disease. Mary is a leading force on hormonal and thyroid health in social media, with her hundreds of thousands of community members at: Thyroid Support/Facebook, with Mary Shomon Thyroid Diet/Facebook, with Mary Shomon Twitter: @thyroidmary The photo is of Mary Shomon. You can listen to Mary Shomon's extended interview: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/wp-content/uploads/ShomonThyroid2017Full.mp3 Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD Download the mp3

Show 1095: How Do You Cope with Changing Recommendations?

Heart Disease and Inflammation: Is cholesterol the main problem leading to clogged arteries and heart attacks? It certainly is important, but a brand-new study suggests that inflammation may also be critical. The study was called CANTOS (for Canakinumab Antiinflammatory Thrombosis Outcome Study). Canakinumab (Ilaris) is a medication that is approved for treating inflammatory diseases such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Although it has no impact on cholesterol, it reduced heart attacks and strokes. Lead author Paul Ridker, MD, explains the findings. Should You Cut Back on Salt? We've long been told to cut back on salt. But should you really throw out your salt shaker and eat only low-sodium food? One researcher urges us not to go overboard. Sodium is an essential nutrient, and a stringent low-salt diet can have some unexpected complications. What Do You Do About Changing Recommendations? The advice on salt is not the only health guideline that may be under revision. Changing recommendations can be confusing. Do they drive you crazy? New research suggests that saturated fat, for example, is not the dietary demon that doctors used to imagine. Instead, refined carbohydrates and sugar may be more dangerous. Is there enough evidence to consider changing recommendations on what we eat for good health? Your Calls Are Welcome: To share your pet peeve about changing recommendations from health experts or to ask Joe & Terry a question, tune in Saturday, September 23, 2017, from 7 to 8 AM EDT or call 1-888-472-3366. You can also reach us through email (radio@peoplespharmacy.com) or Twitter @peoplespharmacy. This Week's Guests: Paul M. Ridker, MD, is the Eugene Braunwald Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. With a formal background in cardiovascular medicine and epidemiology, Dr. Ridker directs the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. That is a translational research unit at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He is the primary investigator of the CANTOS trial, a large multicenter, randomized controlled trial testing the inflammation hypothesis for treating atherosclerosis. The paper was published in The New England Journal of Medicine on September 21, 2017. You can learn more about his research here and here. The photo is of Dr. Ridker. James DiNicolantonio, PharmD, is a cardiovascular research scientist at St. Luke Mid-American Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO. He is also associate editor of the cardiology journal BMJ Open Heart. His article on salt, "The History of the Salt Wars," was published in the American Journal of Medicine in September 2017. He is author of The Salt Fix, and his website is: thesaltfix.com Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD Download the mp3

Show 1094: Does It Matter When You Eat?

For decades, epidemiologists have noted that people who eat breakfast seem to weigh less and live longer. But it hasn't been clear if eating breakfast helps people stay healthy, or if healthy people tend to eat breakfast. How much does that matter when people in the US appear to have switched from eating three meals every day to eating or snacking multiple times a day? Does when you eat affect your health? When You Eat and How That Affects Your Health: Our guest, Dr. Marie-Pierre St-Onge, studies the effects of meal timing on our health. She has found that sleep disruption is also linked to dietary disturbances. Our internal clocks appear to respond to food intake in ways we might not intend. Changes in when you eat may affect how your hormones behave. For example, eating late in the evening tends to increase insulin resistance so that you don't utilize the energy as efficiently. What you eat matters as well. Apparently, consuming a lot of sugar could put you at risk of developing a fatty liver. Is Fasting Helpful? Some studies have compared alternate day fasting to everyday calorie restriction as weight control strategies. They appear to lead to very similar weight loss. And weight does matter: losing as little as 5% of body weight can improve glucose tolerance, reduce inflammation and tune up the lipid profile. Learn how to create a healthful cycle with adequate sleep, regular exercise and a smart diet. Find out which functional foods can be helpful, and why, if you choose to eat chocolate (yum), you should make sure it is high-quality chocolate! This Week's Guest: Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, FAHA, is Associate Professor of Nutritional Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. She is on the faculty of the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center and the Institute of Human Nutrition of the College of Physicians & Surgeons of Columbia University. Photo by © ASCO/Todd Buchanan 2016 The AHA Scientific Statement issued by a committee that Dr. St-Onge chaired was published in Circulation on January 30, 2017. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD

Show 1093: How to Keep Your Bones Strong

Osteoporosis, weakened bones, affects about 10 million Americans. But low bone density is even more common. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, about half of adults over 50 are at risk for a fracture. How can you minimize your risk and keep your bones strong? Preventing Osteoporosis: Some of the factors that lead to osteoporosis can't be avoided. Genetics is chief among these. If your grandparents and parents suffered from weak bones and fractures, your chances of osteoporosis are higher than average. Beyond Genetics to Many Risk Factors: That doesn't mean there is nothing you can do, however. It just may mean you'll have to try harder to keep your bones strong. Getting adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium is important. Not smoking-or quitting if you do smoke-is just as critical. Exercise throughout our lives sends crucial signals to our bones that we need them and helps keep them strong. To get the best benefit from exercise, it should be something in which the foot hits the ground: walking, skipping, jumping, dancing, tennis, etc. Other forms of exercise such as swimming or biking are also good for your health, but they do less to keep your bones strong. Learn how doctors detect osteoporosis with DXA technology, and how they treat it if they discover you have it. You'll also find out why men too need to be concerned about bone health. This Week's Guest: Abby G. Abelson, MD, FACR, is Chair of the Department of Rheumatic and Immunologic Diseases of the Orthopaedic and Rheumatology Institute and Education Program Director in the Department of Rheumatologic and Immunologic Diseases at Cleveland Clinic. Her book is The Cleveland Clinic Guide to Osteoporosis. Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD or use the dropdown menu to download the mp3.

Show 961: Botanical Treatments in Dermatology (Archive)

Do home remedies have a role in skin care? Dan Siegel, MD, says that dermatologists can find a lot of medicinal uses for botanical products, and that helpful home remedies are great. Hemp Oil for the Skin: Find out about the benefits of hemp oil. Although it is related to marijuana, this product is not psychotropic. It is, however, an excellent moisturizer, as are other botanical products such as olive oil, jojoba oil and shea butter. Fighting Fungus with Home Remedies: Fungus and yeast can often cause skin problems. How can home remedies such as oil of thyme be used to heal such infections? Speaking of fungus, certain mushrooms in the diet appear to give the immune system a significant boost. Itches are another common skin symptom. Whether caused by insect bites or poison ivy, itches may yield to home care such as hot water or an oat powder bath. Natural Care for Psoriasis: Could natural treatments benefit psoriasis? Dr. Siegel says yes indeed, and relates soaking in the Dead Sea to certain Bible stories as well as to modern dermatology. Turmeric could also be beneficial for several skin problems, including psoriasis and warts. This Week's Guest: Daniel Mark Siegel, MD, MS, Clinical Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate and Director of the Procedural Dermatology Fellowship. His website is http://www.liskincancer.com Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD Download the mp3

Show 1092: How Can You Overcome Alzheimer Disease?

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer disease and are gradually losing their abilities to think and remember. Most of the medications that are available to treat this degenerative condition are unimpressive at best. Is there any way to overcome Alzheimer disease? The Shortcomings of Medication for Alzheimer Disease: Most of the medicines that doctors prescribe for their patients with Alzheimer disease are designed to reduce the amount of beta-amyloid plaque that builds up in the brain. But what if beta-amyloid is not the cause of Alzheimer degeneration, but the result of the brain trying to protect itself from inflammation? Research indicates that Amyloid Precursor Protein, or APP, becomes beta-amyloid when there is inflammation or infection in the brain. Beyond Genetics to Many Risk Factors: Many people are aware that there is a genetic component to this type of dementia. People with two copies of the Apoe4 variant of the gene are far more likely to develop cognitive problems than those with only one copy of this variant, or those who have different variants. Until now, knowing your genetic risk was useless; you couldn't do anything about it. Now, however, there are a number of risk factors that can be addressed. Dr. Dale Bredesen suggests that we think of a person suffering from Alzheimer disease as a house with a leaky roof. He and his colleagues have identified 36 significant risk factors that may contribute to the problem. That's like having 36 holes in the roof. Fixing just one probably won't stop the leaks. But getting all 36 plugged should make a difference. Fixing all of the risk factors at the same time, to the extent possible, greatly lowers the risk of dementia. It may even allow people to overcome Alzheimer disease. Which Changes Will Help You Overcome Alzheimer Disease? Identifying the specific factors that are relevant for each individual means putting precision medicine to work. Dr. Bredesen describes several cases of individuals who followed the protocol, each addressing the weaknesses in their own makeup and medical history. Instead of a single silver bullet, he offers listeners silver buckshot. This Week's Guest: Dale Bredesen, MD, is an internationally recognized expert in aging and neurodegenerative diseases. He is Professor of Neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles and founding President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Dr. Bredesen is also the Co-founder of MPI Cognition and author of The End of Alzheimer's, The First Program to Prevent and Reverse Cognitive Decline. https://www.drbredesen.com Listen to the Podcast: The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99. Buy the CD Download the mp3 Learn More: Our interview with Dr. Bredesen was too long to broadcast in its entirety. If you would like to listen to the entire interview, with all the details, here it is: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/wp-content/uploads/Bredesen-Alzheimers-2017-Extended-Interview.mp3 Be sure to check out our combination offer of a CD of the broadcast interview and Dr. Dale Bredesen's book. Learn more when you listen AND read!

Show 1091: Unexpected Remedies to Soothe Your Summertime Woes

Summer is a great time to enjoy being outdoors. But vacation travel and playing in the back yard both offer potential hazards, such as sunburn, bug bites, poison ivy or blisters. How do you handle such everyday problems? We'll take your calls and questions about common summertime troubles and home remedies that can help ease [...]

Show 1090: How Intense Exercise Benefits Parkinson Patients

Parkinson's disease makes it difficult for people to move. In addition to tremors or twitches, people with Parkinson's often feel stiff and find it difficult to walk easily. Their handwriting shrinks, and their voice may become hoarse or soft. How Intense Exercise Affects Symptoms: While there are medications to treat Parkinson's disease, recent research suggests [...]

Show 1089: How Plants Can Improve Your Sex Life

People around the world have learned how to use the plants in their vicinity to heal themselves and make life better. Not surprisingly, many cultures have found plants that can improve your sex life. What are they? The Medicine Hunter: Our guest is Chris Kilham, known as the Medicine Hunter. He travels to remote locations [...]

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