Hey everyone! I hope that you are having a great Friday!
As promised earlier today in my morning post, I’m back to chat a little about medications. But before I get to the ‘meat’ of the topic, I need to state that the message contained in this post is not (nor should it be taken as) medical advice. Always consult with your health care provider before adjusting medications. What I am recounting here is my personal experience and I am sharing it as food for thought.
So with that said, on to the post…
Hollywood headlines about tragedies like the accidental deaths of Brittany Murphy and Heath Ledger bring to light how easily prescription meds can accidentally be mixed with terrible, and even fatal, consequence. And after each of these tragedies, the media talked a lot about all of the medications found in their homes. When Heath Ledger’s toxicology results came back, detailing the prescription drugs in his system that reacted poorly with one another to cause him to stop breathing, I was a little taken aback because I had a lot of those same prescriptions in my own home and had been taking them as directed but without a lot of thought to what might happen if some of them were taken together. It also got me thinking about the sheer volume of meds that were in my house and heaven forbid something should happen to MSP and I, people would see all this in our home and maybe get the wrong idea.
Almost a year ago I woke up one day, went for a run, and then out of the blue could hardly breathe. I went to my regular doc to see if this might have been due to my anemia. Later that same week I ended up in urgent care because it had gotten so bad that I started to feel like I was going to pass out from not being able to get a full breath. This went on for weeks as I was passed around from doctor to doctor to specialist and back, with each one running more tests and each one writing prescriptions for “something to try” that might help. This came at a time when I was also working with a few different health care professionals in an effort to figure out why I had been unable to sleep for the prior 2 years.
I took a picture last weekend of all the prescription meds in my house with just my name on them. Sleeping pills, antidepressants, anti-anxiety, estrogen, progesterone, thyroid, nasal sprays, syrups. It’s actually kind of scary when you think about it. Not to mention EXPENSIVE. Especially when a doc has you “try” something to see if it works, and that something cost you $40. I have a lot of those “somethings”!
Now to get to my point: since April 1 of 2009 I have been on NOTHING. I currently take NO prescription medications of any kind (and as you can see I was on a lot – a large portion of what you see in that shoebox above.) I haven’t had any over-the-counter products either, like ibuprofen. And as a weight lifter and runner, Advil used to be an every day thing in my life. Headache? No problem, pop an Advil. Menstrual cramps? Eh, pop an Advil.
I won’t get on my soapbox here about how great my experience was with acupuncture and alternative medicine. But I will say that it propelled me onto a different path, one that included listening to my body signals and not just throwing a pill at them as a band-aid. I learned how to eat better to care first for my liver, then my digestion, and then for my body as a whole. This path included educating myself on the power of nutrition to allow my body to heal.
When I get a headache now, I think back a day or two and determine what might have caused it, and adjust my ‘course’. I think back to see if I might be dehydrated, etc. What I don’t do is reach for a pill to make it better.
And don’t think that I’m just picking on prescriptions and Advil. Really learn about the chemicals and additives in the things you are putting in your body. You’d be surprised the ‘garbage’ you will find in many foods. Things like the sodium nitrates/nitrites in processed deli meats (in the lean turkey breast I used to eat every day) or the BHT/BHA found in many cereals. All the high fructose corn syrup, transfatty acids, artificial sweeteners… the list goes on and on. All that stuff can disrupt the sensitive hormonal balance, your pH levels and much much more.
The body is an AMAZING instrument. It has an abundant ability to heal itself and get back to balance – if you treat it properly.
As I mentioned above, I’m not saying you should stop taking any meds you might be on (please don’t do that!) I am saying that you should work with your health care professional to determine what you might be able to do to lessen your need for those things by taking better care of your body. And if your health care professional doesn’t know a lot about nutrition and the power it holds, do some research and find one that does.
I encourage you to delve deeper and learn a little more about just HOW powerful good nutrition can be.
Here are just a couple of books that teach about turning health around with food:
Today’s discussion: have you had an experience where you’ve been able to stop taking a medication by improving your nutrition and health? I’d LOVE to hear about your experience.
Have a beautiful Friday evening friends! See you next time!
– Shari B. =)