Chronic constipation has been a problem for me for as long as I can remember. I have tried extra fiber, but it makes me feel bloated and causes gas. I drink lots of water, but that makes me urinate a lot. Is there a laxative I can take regularly that would be safe?
Doctors discourage people from using strong laxatives on a daily basis because the digestive tract gives up and becomes lazy. This results in dependency on chemical stimulation and a vicious cycle of constipation.
Will taking turmeric for arthritis affect the warfarin I must take daily to prevent blood clots?
Warfarin (Coumadin) can interact with many other medications, foods and herbs. One reader experienced a potentially dangerous interaction between turmeric and warfarin. The INR (a measure of blood clotting ability) was very elevated, indicating a risk of hemorrhage. Turmeric could be hazardous for you.
Do blueberries have any bad side effects for cardiac patients?
Blueberries are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Rats fed a diet rich in blueberries had better blood vessel function, so that bodes well for heart patients (Journal of Medicinal Food, Spring 2005).
Joe Graedon, a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon, an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition, can be reached at http://www.peoplespharmacy.com or care of this newspaper.