Often patients come into our office and bring with them a long list of prescribed medications that they are currently on. Many want to be free of them because they are concerned with being “reliant” on them and or “dealing with their side effects”. Here are a few main ones that we often see.
1) Prednisone or Cortisone
Some of the potential side effects, as listed in the Physician's Desk Reference, are as follows: High blood pressure, fuid retention, potassium loss, muscle weakness, osteoporosis (including fracture of long bones and broken vertebrae), peptic ulcers, intestinal bleeding, thin fragile skin (including increased bruising), moon faces, poor wound healing, diabetic cataracts, reduced resistance to infection. What has been studied is that if you use it over a two-week period people become particularly vulnerable to the above side effects.
Supplements such as omega 3s, Enzymes, Amino Acids, may help. It depends on the person and their situation.
2) Cholesterol Lowering Drugs
Research shows that you may actually increase your risk of stroke since your body utilizes cholesterol to maintain cardiovascular health. According to the Physician's Desk Reference these drugs have known side effects of liver toxicity, muscle inflammation, gastrointestinal symptoms and eye problems, including cataracts.
A preventive approach of a diet high in enzymes, antioxidants, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, folic acid and B-12 would predictably lower the risk of heart disease substantially and certainly far more than Statin drugs without the side effects.
Niacin is particularly helpful in lowering LDL levels and raising HDL levels. Please only take these supplements with the guidance of health care professional.
3) Prozac and other “Anti Depressants”
Most of the many drugs prescribed for depression are not only harmful, but are also highly addictive. Prozac (fluoxetite kydroclozloride) is currently used by more than 6 million Americans and 12 million worldwide. What is often overlooked is that depression can be a normal natural response to certain life events such as the loss of a loved one. It does not always need treatment.
It is well known that certain prescription drugs like beta-blockers, steroids, birth control pills and tranquilizers actually induce depression in many people. Chronic diseases are often accompanied by a depressed mood, which often lifts once the underlying problem is rectified. Food allergies and other dietary factors, such as an excess of refined carbohydrates, alcohol, tobacco, aspartame, essential fatty acids and B complex deficiencies play a large role in depression.
4) Diabetes Drugs
The oral drugs, Micronase, Glucotrol and Tolinase should only be used temporarily until another regimen can be started. They have numerous side effects, such as hypoglycemia, headache, gastrointestinal complaints, fatigue and liver damage. The most significant side effect is increased risk of death from heart attack and blood vessel disease. If you are using one of these medications, speak to your doctor immediately. Solicit his or her help in instituting a more natural regimen and then stick to it.
What is needed is a broad based therapeutic regimen that incorporates an appropriate diet, prescribed exercise and, specific nutritional supplements. GLA, Biotin, chromium and other vitamins and minerals help to lower blood glucose. Please speak to a health care professional about these.
5) Arthritis drugs
The main cause of arthritis has been found to be an infection of a cell wall deficient microorganism called mycoplasma arthritis. When these invade the joints and connective tissues the immune system launches an all out frontal attack on the invaders. Because the pathogens cannot be specifically identified by the white cells, the T-cells emit huge amounts of hydrogen peroxidase causing chemical erosion of the joints and tissue.
If you have arthritis, your physician most likely prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Motrin (ibuprofen), Clinoril, Vicodin, Celebrex and Naproxen. Initially, these drugs will take care of the pain, however, the problems that these products cause is a good example of what happens when medication is administered to eliminate pain rather than deal with the underlying problem. NSAIDs are responsible for such side effects as gastrointestinal upset and bleeding, kidney and liver damage and water and sodium retention.
This is why we recommend things such as the antinflamatiory diet and probiotics.
6) Beta Blockers and Calcium channel Blockers
These are used to lower blood pressure. Typical side effects include: loss of libido, impotence, fatigue and worsening of blood lipids. Long-term use of beta-blockers can induce: shortness of breath, cold extremities, palpitations, congestive heart failure and hypertension.
Calcium is an essential component in a variety of cardiovascular functions. The contractile processes of the heart and smooth muscle, initiation of action potentials in cardiac conducting cells and the storage and use of energy in the myocardium are all dependent upon the presence of calcium. Calcium blockers accomplish the desired effect of lowering high blood pressure by blocking the essential functions of the heart and blood vessel cells.
The bottom line is that taking these long term (which will alter your natural body functions) can be really dangerous. High blood pressure is a situation that you can reverse and control without the need for medications. A simple natural approach is not only safer but likely more effective in the long term.If you are taking one of these drugs, work with your physician to gradually come off it. You will be rewarded with your persistence.
Magnesium is nature's calcium channel blocker and actually functions in much the same way. It relaxes your arteries and calms your nerves. Amino acids L-Carnitine, L-Taurine, Co-Q10 is also helpful.
This information is aimed at informing people and I am in no way asking you to stop taking your medications. Please come see us for guidance on how to proceed.