by Katie Suleta

John, a hypothetical middle-aged man, is told at his job about a new workplace wellness initiative that, among other things, offers two free sessions with a health coach. John immediately jumps at the chance — his primary care doctor had even suggested he consider working with a health coach. The health coach recommends a litany of lifestyle changes including diet, exercise, and supplements, which John conscientiously implements.

Everything is going well — until he suddenly experiences shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and sudden perspiration. He goes to the emergency room, where they immediately ask him about the medications and supplements he’s taking. It turns out that one of the supplements recommended by the health coach has adverse reactions with a medication prescribed by his doctor. The health coach never asked John about his medications.

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