Q. You recommended gentian violet for toenail fungus, and I tried it. Now my toenails are purple, and I can’t get it off. What can I do?
A. When we wrote about this old-fashioned topical antifungal treatment, we warned that it stains the skin and nails purple. The color will gradually dissipate, but it will take time for your toes to return to normal. There is no way to wash gentian violet off.
This bright-blue synthetic dye was created in 1861. During the early 20th century, doctors prescribed gentian violet for vaginal and oral yeast infections (thrush) as well as impetigo and pinworm. It has broad antimicrobial activity and is occasionally used to treat some antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Q. Ibuprofen is the pain reliever that always worked best for me. However, out of nowhere I began having episodes of atrial fibrillation.
I underwent an ablation and was on the heart rhythm regulating medications flecainide and metoprolol. Nothing seemed to help until one day I read about research in Europe to determine if there is a connection between NSAIDs and atrial fibrillation. They found convincing evidence that there is.
I immediately stopped taking ibuprofen and any other NSAIDs. Shortly thereafter, my AFib episodes ceased. I’m still on a strong dose of flecainide and very light dose of metoprolol — and ZERO NSAIDs.
A. Dutch investigators followed more than 8,000 adults for over a decade. They found that people who took NSAIDs such as ibuprofen were more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, abbreviated AF or AFib (BMJ Open, April 1, 2014). Other investigators have concluded, “These findings suggest that AF needs to be added to the cardiovascular risks to be considered when prescribing NSAIDs” (American Journal of Cardiology, Nov. 15, 2014).
Because the consequences of atrial fibrillation can include strokes, we think both doctors and patients should be aware of this potentially serious complication.
Q. I’ve had Type 1 diabetes for 36 years, and for the past five years, I have cut back on carbs and processed foods. I had struggled for years trying to keep my blood sugar from going to extremes despite being on an insulin pump or multiple daily injections.
When I went low-carb (25 grams or less per meal), it made such a difference in my control. I had spoken with my former endocrinologist about going low-carb, but she discouraged it. When I decided to try this anyway, she was absolutely furious with me and told me I was going to get sick. That was the last time I saw her.
My HbA1c measurements are lower, and my blood sugars are more controlled than they have ever been. I’ve not been sick, and I use less insulin. Cutting carbs may not work for everyone, but it certainly has been good for me.
A. A study published in the journal Pediatrics (May 2018) found that children and adults with Type 1 diabetes who followed a very-low-carb diet had exceptionally good blood sugar control. This flies in the face of conventional dietary recommendations.
You can learn more about how to follow a low-carbohydrate diet in our book “Quick & Handy Home Remedies.” It is available at www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. In it, you will learn which foods to avoid and which should be staples in such an eating plan.
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