Our featured pharmacist discusses mens health topics including pain management and exercise.

Q: Should men be concerned if they routinely have to take painkillers or medication after strenuous physical activity?

A: When we experience pain, our body is raising a red flag that something is out of sync. Painkillers turn off the body’s natural feedback system, and serious injury can result if an underlying issue is present. Anti-inflammatory painkillers are good for acute injuries and some medical conditions, but chronic use of these drugs can lead to stomach ulcers, increases in blood pressure and cardiovascular problems.

Q: Why are steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs considered unsafe?

A: The most common performance enhancers used by men are anabolic steroids, over-the-counter stimulants and growth hormone. All of these enhancing agents are risky and should be avoided. Abusing anabolic steroids can lead to various health problems, such as low natural testosterone levels, baldness, acne and enlargement of the breasts.

Q: What risks are associated with other forms of stimulants?

A:Stimulants usually contain large amounts of caffeine and other activating substances that can be detrimental to the heart. Growth hormone in excess can lead to abnormal growth of the body and vital organs, joint swelling and diabetes.

Q: What are some safe medical options to increase exercise results?

A: Eating right while exercising is essential to see results. Exercise breaks down muscle, which needs protein to grow. After a workout, taking a protein supplement such as whey isolate is a good idea. Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and lean protein is also great to promote muscle growth. Protein-dense foods low in cholesterol include chicken, turkey, fish (salmon, tuna), egg whites, legumes, quinoa and brown rice.

Pharmacy Tip
Two commonly used classes of drugs prescribed for an enlarged prostate are alpha-blockers and 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, which can also be used together.

Q: How can a pharmacist help you maintain your overall health?

A: Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before adding any supplements to your medicine regimen in order to avoid any drug interactions. Any recurring family history of health problems should be discussed with a physician. A pharmacist can help by giving advice on medications used to treat specific problems, as well as giving tips on how to manage symptoms.

To get the most from your prescription and over-the-counter medications, be sure you know the following:

Name of your medication
Why you are taking it
How it might make you feel
Whether it conflicts with anything else you take

Regardless of where you had them filled, you can bring all of your prescriptions into Sams Club for a free prescription checkup to identify potential drug interactions.

Would you like to share an experience you had at the Sams Club Pharmacy?Send us comments or feedback at hlms@samsclub.com, or write to us at: Healthy Living Made Simple, 1703 Phyllis St., Suite 202, Bentonville, AR 72712.