Sixteen home remedies for canker sores
Q. I was having a serious bout of canker sores, with two deep ones on my tongue and several new ones. I could hardly eat.
I read the suggestions in your "Home and Herbal Remedies" book, but I had none of the items mentioned. The discussion got me thinking, though, and I tried swishing Pepto-Bismol around in my mouth before going to bed.
The result was unbelievable. I had no pain the next day; the sores were almost healed. I swished one more time, and now they're gone. I thought your readers might like to know.
A. Thank you for sharing this new treatment. We have heard about a wide range of remedies, from applying alum or instant tea powder to the sore to avoiding toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Some readers have found relief swishing maple syrup, molasses, sauerkraut juice, buttermilk or a baking-soda solution in the mouth.
Your Pepto-Bismol remedy resembles one we heard about years ago: swishing a mouthful of Mylanta around for a few minutes.
Many readers report that taking L-lysine tablets or vitamin B-12 can prevent canker sores, while others have had success taking Prelief or eating canned green beans, banana or kiwi fruit.
Q. After my doctor prescribed the diuretic Lasix to keep fluid levels under control, I developed ringing in the ears, high uric-acid levels and prediabetes. No one warned me about such side effects. Now that I have type 2 diabetes, what can I do to control my blood sugar?
A. Diuretics like furosemide (Lasix) and hydrochlorothiazide (HCT or HCTZ) can raise uric-acid levels as well as blood sugar. Dozens of other medications, from statins to steroids like prednisone, also can boost circulating glucose.
If your doctor cannot change your prescription, you may want to explore some of our nondrug approaches for helping control blood sugar. They include following a low-carb diet, exercising (especially with friends), managing stress, enjoying coffee and adding cinnamon to some favorite foods.
We are sending you our Guide to Diabetes so that you can have all the details on these and other approaches. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (No. 10), stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope to: Graedons' People's Pharmacy, No. DM-11, P.O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027. It also can be downloaded for $2 from our website: www.peoplespharmacy.com.
In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them via their website: www.PeoplesPharmacy.com. Their newest book is "Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them."