Yep! That’s the solution. Whatever ails you is fixable by a pill. This assumption is confirmed repeatedly on television, in print, on social media, among friends and family, and in your doctor’s office.
Many patients I work with are taking thirty or forty pills a day, sometimes more. It’s called polypharmacy. And it’s pervasive throughout our fine country. If prescription medications aren’t enough of a problem, then over-the-counter medications and supplements add more layers.
Another option? Establish a routine inquiry: ask about other options prior to adding a new medication. This can be done with your physician, friends, even social media. The options for non-medication solutions abound.
While some conditions have no alternative to standard medication, many do. It has been said that living a healthy lifestyle can eliminate 80% of medication. The two most powerful components of this magic bullet are what most know: diet and exercise. And I’m not talking about extremes, just consistency.
If you want to keep yourself from the grips of polypharmacy, give it a try. Thirty minutes a day or three hours per week is required for exercise to be therapeutic. Can you do that? Would it be worth your time? Food for thought.
That brings us to food. Nothing extreme like so many of you have done from time to time. Starvation diets. Extreme diets. Huge fluctuations in your weight and mood. What makes a difference is decreasing sugar and fat, eating more fresh food and less processed products.
In working with the elderly, I’m constantly reminded of the slippery slope of polypharmacy. Because of side effects of medications, more drugs are added to negate the unwanted effects. The vicious cycle continues. Truth is, the vast majority of type two diabetes can be eliminated through diet and exercise. Heart disease and high blood pressure can take a dramatic turn in the right direction through healthy lifestyle. The same holds true for a whole host of conditions.
How can this magic work? By starting early, before the damage is done to your body. Start now, today. Think of how much you’ll save at the pharmacy!