Opinion: Awkward questions you don’t want to ask your pharmacist but should

Discussing certain conditions or concerns with a pharmacist can be an uncomfortable ordeal, going into a pharmacy to remedy it may feel even more awkward. Rest assured they’ve heard it all, and when you talk to a pharmacist, you are getting advice from a highly trained medical professional.

For many Albertans, the pandemic has caused decreased activity; 62 per cent of Canadians say their movement has decreased since the pandemic began and many attribute this change to an increase in stress. As a result, many Canadians may find they are developing unwanted physical consequences including weight gain, constipation, or even hemorrhoids. While many find it easy to discuss other common ailments with their pharmacist, those experiencing uncomfortable conditions or embarrassing side effects may be less open to seeking advice.

As a pharmacist, I’m here to reassure you that all questions are welcome, including the questions you may be embarrassed to ask – no appointment necessary. I’m sharing a few of the common “awkward” questions that I get to remind your you’re not alone so you can get back to feeling your best.

l Hemorrhoids: Dealing with hemorrhoids? Pharmacists can help you find relief fast by tailoring a treatment plan to your symptoms. Hemorrhoids aren’t fun, but you don’t need to suffer in silence. Whether you need a prescription, ointment, or require dietary support, we’ll find the right approach for you.

l Can’t go?: Constipation is unpleasant, but we’ve all experienced it at one point. Your pharmacist can identify why you’re constipated and can also help you find a remedy quickly. Depending on the cause, this could include a diet adjustment, medication change, or you may just need some over-the-counter support to help get things moving.

l Maintaining a healthy weight: 74 per cent of Canadians say that the pandemic has affected their eating habits and 58 per cent have gained weight. You may be hesitant to talk to your pharmacist about maintaining a healthy weight, but we’re here to offer the advice, tools and resources you need. Shoppers Drug Mart also offers virtual dietitian services; a registered dietitian works with you like a personal coach to build a plan that helps empower you to create life-long changes and healthier eating habits.

Pharmacists are here to help you navigate your health, that includes answering questions that might feel awkward or uncomfortable. Visit your local pharmacist with all your health and lifestyle questions so we can get you back to feeling your best this summer.

Todd Prochnau is the pharmacist and owner of Shoppers Drug Mart in Sylvan Lake.