Suzy is a graduate of the University of Florida and have been a licensed pharmacist for nearly 20 years. People call her "America's Most ...

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Suzy Cohen

Suzy Cohen

Dear Pharmacist

Dear Pharmacist: 4 ways to fight cold, flu

Dear Pharmacist: 4 ways to fight cold, flu

February 8, 2016

I think I am a real germaphobe because I get very conscious when someone sitting next to me starts coughing — especially if the person doesn't cover his or her mouth. I'll let the first time slide, but if it happens again, I am apt to leave or hand the person a tissue. Cover it! Is it just me, or are you that way, too? If you feel like you're coming down with something, here are four things you can try.

  • Dear Pharmacist: 3 options for menopause relief

    January 25, 2016

    The dreaded hot flashes of menopause often are more than just a nuisance. They can disrupt your life day and night.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Why I threw out my multivitamin

    January 14, 2016

    I used to think multivitamins filled a nutritional gap, but today I think differently. There's no way that 1.7 milligrams of any B vitamin will boost energy, or that 20 milligrams of magnesium will improve mood. I'm beginning to think that multivitamins are an absolute joke. It would be funny except that the joke is on us, because you spend good money on them.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Why your hair is falling out - and what to do about it

    December 28, 2015

    I recently saw several women buying expensive hair serums and shampoos intended for hair loss issues, but I didn't want to be off-putting and approach them with better alternatives. Instead, I decided to make this the topic of today's article.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Natural collagen for joint pain

    December 14, 2015

    When we think of joint pain, we often assume glucosamine can help. Not everyone gets better on that, though. Some people can't tolerate it because it is usually fish-derived.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Magnesium can help with irritability, attention span

    December 1, 2015

    A teacher emailed me saying she couldn't wait for her classroom to be dismissed because of a student's inattention, disrespect and general hyperactive behavior. He's only 7! And she said he is not the only one, that it is fairly routine.

  • Dear Pharmacist: What's a telomere - and why's it important to aging?

    November 12, 2015

    Do you ever wonder why some people are blessed with long lives compared to others? Without going into philosophical, sociological and spiritual questions, there is a very interesting part of your body that provides insight into longevity. It's called a telomere.

  • Dear Pharmacist: How luteolin and quercetin can help

    November 3, 2015

    Brain inflammation occurs in young and old alike. In some case, it can be so mild that your symptoms are dismissed. In other cases, it is severe enough to cause symptoms and it correlates with Lyme disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease or schizophrenia. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often have low-level brain inflammation.

  • Dear Pharmacist: How probiotics can improve bone strength

    October 19, 2015

    Did you hear the recent report about calcium? The British Medical Journal announced the results of a major study, concluding that "dietary calcium intake is not associated with risk of fracture, and there is no clinical trial evidence that increasing calcium intake from dietary sources prevents fractures."

  • Dear Pharmacist: Histamine, autoimmunity and your genes

    October 7, 2015

    A food allergy causes an almost immediate reaction to what you just ate. With food intolerance, a reaction occurs later. Why later? Because the blood levels of histamine need to spike for the reaction to take place. You are reacting to histamine, not the food itself. See the difference?

  • Dear Pharmacist: Stressed? Tulsi tea may help

    September 21, 2015

    I have favorite teas. Tulsi with a little lemon and ginger is one of those great teas that help me de-stress when I feel overwhelmed. Commonly known as holy basil, tulsi is a sacred and medicinal plant of India. It's known to ease pain, improve breathing (like for asthma) and reduce inflammation. It is a strong antioxidant, too.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Do foods cause snoring, kids' earaches?

    September 9, 2015

    Do you know someone who snores all night? Don't let snoring ruin your relationship or cause sleep deprivation. Snoring may be controllable.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Protect yourself from side effects of acetaminophen

    August 25, 2015

    Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, is one of the leading pain relievers in the world. It's probably in every medicine cabinet, including mine, right next to the ibuprofen. Most people know ibuprofen can hurt the gut, whereas acetaminophen can hurt the liver.

  • Dear Pharmacist: How to relieve joint pain without ibuprofen

    August 15, 2015

    Many people have aches and pains that require ibuprofen. No one would begrudge you for taking this pill for an acute migraine or severe pre-menstrual cramps. I've been asked if I believe in ibuprofen and I do, but only for occasional use. I've even recommended a 200-milligram tablet of ibuprofen be taken along with a cup of coffee to enhance effect, but that's only for a select type of headache pain, or for mild post-operative pain. It may sound crazy but combining caffeine with ibuprofen can provide pain relief better than the ibuprofen alone. A recent article discussing this was published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

  • Dear Pharmacist: The relationship between green tea and your bladder

    August 10, 2015

    There is always some kind of tea in my house, including green tea, which millions of people drink every day. Known botanically as Camellia sinensis, green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which provides powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-fibrosis and cell protective benefits. It is well-known for its anti-cancer effects.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Feel lightheaded when you stand up? Look into choline

    August 3, 2015

    POTS is the acronym for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, which can make you feel dizzy and lightheaded when you first stand up. It's really common. My article on POTS is one of the most well-trafficked on my website.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Natural iodine is essential

    July 30, 2015

    Iodine is essential for your thyroid, but is used all over your body, in all of your organs especially your breasts and prostate. Trillions of cells have a receptor site for iodine and need it. It is as natural (and needed) as other minerals like magnesium, lithium, potassium, selenium, etc. But many people wrongly assume it is radioactive.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Babesia infection caused by ticks

    July 24, 2015

    Babesiosis is the name of an infection caused by Babesia, a co-infection that usually comes from a tick bite, along with Lyme disease. They go together. Symptoms range in severity, and may include temperature regulation difficulties, drenching night or day sweats, headaches, nervous system abnormalities, disequilibrium, dysnpea or air hunger, anxiety, déjà vu and much more.

  • Dear Pharmacist: How DHEA optimizes health, improves fertility

    July 13, 2015

    Infertility is becoming widespread these days. In the early 1900s, families with five children or more were commonplace. A century later, we now have fertility clinics available for those trying to have at least one child. Infertility treatment is expensive and painful for women or couples who often become desperate after years of failed treatments.

  • Dear Pharmacist: How to make natural mosquito repellent

    July 6, 2015

    It's that time of year ... buzz, swat, slap … it's mosquito season. Chances are you live in an area that has a thriving population of mosquitoes or other nuisance insect biters. These pesky, irritating insects can pose a health concern. The bites can cause itchy allergic reactions, and some of them spread disease like West Nile virus, malaria, Lyme or Chikungunya.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Tips on dealing with skin conditions

    June 29, 2015

    We need to keep our skin beautiful and healthy. Here are possible solutions for some common skin conditions.

  • Dear Pharmacist: The risks of vitamin B12 deficiency

    June 23, 2015

    In the past few years, there has been information about epigenetics and methylation defects associated with the enzyme called MTHFR.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Stopped enjoying life? It could mean low dopamine

    June 17, 2015

    Some people feel so bad they want to die, but they don't follow through because they lack motivation.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Learn nutritional effects of gastric bypass

    June 9, 2015

    Shrink your stomach and you will lose weight. The idea is perpetuated in our country, and complications such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and bladder concerns make it feel necessary to undergo a drastic procedure such as gastric bypass.

  • Dear Pharmacist: How to take dietary supplements and medications

    June 1, 2015

    Though we are better off getting our nutrients from healthy foods and beverages, dietary supplements can fill a nutritional gap. But it can be confusing to know when you should take certain nutrients, especially minerals that can bind, or chelate, with many medications. It also can be difficult to time your supplements around meals and medications.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Natural remedies that can help from head to toe

    May 25, 2015

    I've been a pharmacist for 25 years. Let's face it, I know the good, the bad and the ugly drugs. I know we need some of them, and I know that others are not useful, or worse, can be harmful. So I've decided to share the best natural remedies that can provide help from head to toe.

  • Dear Pharmacist: If you think Lyme disease is bad, meet Babesia

    May 18, 2015

    Would you tell a friend or colleague you think she may have an infection that's almost impossible to cure?

  • Dear Pharmacist: Making that dental visit less terrifying

    May 9, 2015

    Many of you are skittish about dental work. I can't say I am. However, I've come close. I think the sound of drilling and other noises is the hardest part.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Why glutathione is important

    May 4, 2015

    If you have chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, depression, psoriasis, lupus, cancer or any other complex chronic illness, today's column could be a huge game-changer for you.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Green apples and your brain

    April 28, 2015

    When I was chopping green apples to put into my chicken salad the other day, I wondered two things:

  • Dear Pharmacist: Genes, methylation and your health

    April 21, 2015

    SNPs (pronounced "snips") make up your genetic personality. They are part of your DNA strand from Mom and Dad and determine genetic traits and personalities.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Easy solutions for your dry eyes

    April 14, 2015

    Gritty, scratchy, irritated, burning eyes, excess watering and/or blurred vision are all symptoms of dry eyes. Today I'm outlining some causes, as well as simple and affordable solutions.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Have low blood pressure? Crave salt? Listen up

    April 4, 2015

    "There is nothing to be concerned about."

  • Dear Pharmacist: The link between H. pylori, probiotics and autoimmune disease

    March 28, 2015

    A lot of you suffer with disturbing problems such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, belching, bloating, nausea, reflux, esophagitis, stomach ulcers and fatigue related to anemia. These symptoms might be tied to Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), the ulcer bug.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Certain drugs may deplete the nutrients you need to be happy

    March 24, 2015

    What makes one person depressed and another happy? Certain conditions are commonly associated with depression such as hypothyroidism, Crohn's disease or colitis, migraines, diabetes, chronic infections and cancer. Lifestyle factors such as drinking alcohol and smoking are correlated, and the biggest secret of all is drug mugging.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Is there a link between statins, diabetes?

    March 16, 2015

    Did you get diagnosed with diabetes after starting a statin drug?

  • Dear Pharmacist: New research shows coconut water may help diabetics

    March 9, 2015

    Here's a surprise: Brand-new research published in the February 2015 Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that coconut water helps improve diabetes. The catch is that the research was done with a rat study, not a human study. Nevertheless, many animal model studies extrapolate to humans, so don't dismiss the research.

  • Dear Pharmacist: Taking statins for cholesterol? Take note

    March 2, 2015

    Sometimes blind faith leads to a disaster. Sometimes to a miracle. Where will you end up? If you're one of the millions of people diagnosed with high cholesterol, you will more than likely be given a prescription "statin" pill. These work well to reduce cholesterol: lovastatin for Mevacor, atorvastatin for Lipitor, pravastatin for Pravachol, fluvastatin for Lescol, simvastatin for Zocor, pitavastatin for Livalo, and rosuvastatin for Crestor.

  • Dear Pharmacist: How to improve your memory

    February 23, 2015

    You don't get alarmed when you lose your keys, but what if you were constantly forgetting what you had been trying to say a few seconds before? Full-blown dementia and Alzheimer's disease are disabling and difficult on family members. Today, I am offering suggestions from my Functional Medicine standpoint, to help you protect your brain and regain memory molecules.

  • Dear Pharmacist: A natural route to bone health?

    February 9, 2015

    Many of you take bisphosphonate drugs for bone loss and you write to me with complaints. Lawyers handle cases now due to reports of reactions like osteonecrosis or femur fractures. It's a terrible irony.

  • Suzy Cohen: Natural vitamin E helps with memory, cholesterol

    January 31, 2015

    We are all afraid of losing our minds and our memories. It's scary to forget what you were just saying or where you put your glasses. No one is clear about what causes memory loss or neurodegenerative brain disorders, but we know fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E support brain health. Vitamin E is Superman for your brain.

  • Suzy Cohen: Help for cold sores, herpes infections

    January 27, 2015

    Are you worried about painful cold sores? They are highly contagious. If you kiss someone with a cold sore, or drink from that person's cup, you could get it too.

  • Suzy Cohen: Reduce pain with nature's 'Pac-Man'

    January 20, 2015

    Have you ever had a sore throat, been stung by a bee, or twisted your ankle? Do you have arthritis, back pain or headaches? Whenever you are in pain, your body makes compounds in response to the injury, which causes temporary redness, heat and swelling. Then naturally produced enzymes in your body eat up these inflammatory compounds, and you notice the swelling goes down, the pain is relieved, and the redness or stiffness recedes.

  • Suzy Cohen: Alcohol, smoking can deplete thiamine level

    January 9, 2015

    Thiamine or vitamin B1 functions in hundreds of biochemical reactions. Your brain cells die without it. We must get thiamine every day from our foods. Unfortunately, most foods have minute amounts unless you like organ meats and molasses.

  • Suzy Cohen: Berberine may offer hope against diabetes, herpes and brain injuries

    January 3, 2015

    I'm a foodie and would never want to give up traditional desserts and pasta, bagels and muffins. That said, if my blood sugar was elevated, I would be highly motivated to alter my diet and try natural remedies before prescription drugs or shots. In the United States, 29 million people have Type 2 diabetes, and one in three adults have pre-diabetes — blood sugar levels higher than "normal," but not quite high enough to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

  • Suzy Cohen: Want to quit smoking? Look into dietary supplements

    January 2, 2015

    I overheard a family talking at a table next to mine. The son, who looked about 35 years old, snapped, "Cut me some slack, I only smoke three cigarettes a day!" I debated about whether to intrude on their conversation, and eventually decided not to. Everything I wanted to tell him, I shall now tell you.

  • Interesting meds approved in 2014

    December 19, 2014

    Dear Readers: Here are interesting new medications that hit the market in 2014. Happy holidays! Love, Suzy

  • Suzy Cohen: Three Kings' frankincense and myrrh are still wise gifts today

    December 15, 2014

    According to the Christmas story, the wise men brought gifts of frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus. Today, perfumes, incense and candles often are infused with their wonderful aromas. Both frankincense and myrrh have medicinal properties, so holistic practitioners suggest them for patients as dietary supplements and essential oils for various ailments.

  • Suzy Cohen: Supplementing with spices can be beneficial

    December 8, 2014

    Let's talk curry today. Penang, red or green curry, it's all good with me! Curry powder is a blend of spices, including turmeric.

  • Some meds can affect methylation

    December 1, 2014

    You're methylating right now! This means you're turning folate (vitamin B9) from your food into something called SAMe. The process is called methylation, and SAMe is your body's head honcho — the CEO, if you will.

  • LDN may help auto immune conditions

    November 24, 2014

    Dear Readers: Low-dose naltrexone, or LDN, is the prescription medication that every doctor has heard of, but rarely prescribes. Regular naltrexone (not low dose) is used for heroin addicts, alcoholics and opiate withdrawal. The low-dose version of the same drug has applications for autoimmune conditions, chronic infections and pain syndromes. Consider it an affordable adjunct especially because Remicade, Imuran, prednisone and other immune drugs come with hefty side effects and hefty price tags.

  • Healing depression takes time

    November 17, 2014

    Dear Readers: There are natural alternatives to antidepressants that you may want to consider. If you have severe depression, it's ideal to get information and/or track your progress. Here's how:

  • Delicious spices with added health benefits

    November 10, 2014

    Dear Readers: I'm one of those cooks who combine whatever I find in the fridge or pantry without a plan. I'll throw spices and foods together like a mad scientist. Recently, I went to my first cooking class on the secrets of Indian cuisine at Sur La Table.

  • Dealing with joint pain, stiffness

    November 5, 2014

    Dear Readers: Joint stiffness and pain are no laughing matter. About 52.5 million adults in the United States were told by their doctor that they have some form of arthritis, whether it is rheumatoid arthritis, gout, lupus, or fibromyalgia.

  • Schizandra is my new favorite supplement

    October 21, 2014

    Dear Readers: I cannot tell you how frequently people write to me saying they are tired and frustrated with ineffective medicine. I believe adrenal exhaustion is at the root of pretty much everyone's misery, and there isn't a drug that nurtures your precious adrenal glands. If you cry easily, have a short fuse, or people call you "cranky," then you might have insufficient adrenal function. We live in such a fast-paced world with too much stress, too many emails and too many perceived obligations — it's easy to burn your adrenals out.

  • Get the full picture on vitamin D

    October 16, 2014

    Dear Readers: Vitamin D is good for more than preventing rickets. This time of year, it also helps with depression and immune function.

  • Suzy Cohen: How pills, plastic affect your health

    October 11, 2014

    Dear Readers: Drinking from plastic water bottles or taking the pill can cause hypothyroidism by raising your body's levels of estrogen hormone. The same can be said about menopause drugs.

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