Am I taking too many medications?
You may not even remember how it got to this point. The pile of daily pills in your hand didn’t used to be so overwhelming. The reason you are taking too many medications is not likely intentional but due to a prescription cascade. A prescription cascade is when a perfectly reasonable prescription medication to treat a health concern leads to a side effect that triggers the prescription of another medication and so on. For example, the doctor prescribes you a medication to lower your blood pressure. A while later, you are struggling with swollen ankles so the physician sends you home with a diuretic. Eventually, the diuretic causes a potassium deficiency so you’re prescribed a medication to help with your low potassium. That triggers nausea and that is treated with yet another drug. Suddenly, you’re left staring at a handful of pills thinking, “I’m taking too many medications.”
How to stop taking too many medications
First and foremost, it is important that you do not suddenly stop taking a prescribed medication – there could be serious side effects. Here are some tips if you feel you are taking too many medications:
- Keep an accurate, up to date list of your medications.
- Discuss that list with each physician you see so you understand why you are taking it.
- Discuss the possibility of simplifying your medication regime.
- Periodically check to see if there are any medications you could do without.
Healthier alternatives to medications
It is far better to treat ills caused largely by poor diet and inactivity with a better diet and exercise than more drugs and surgeries.
Take Scott H., from Los Angeles, as an example. When the side effects of his blood pressure medications started to impact Scott’s life, he wondered if there were healthier alternatives to high blood pressure medication. He wanted his life back. He got it back by making lifestyle and healthy eating changes he learned at the Pritikin health resort. You can read more about his journey here.
In more than 100 studies published in medical journals, the Pritikin Program has been found to lower blood pressure naturally. In fact, a meta-analysis of 1,117 hypertensive guests at the Pritikin Center found that after 3 weeks in the program 55% of those taking pills for hypertension left the centre pill-free. Similar results are seen among 864 type 2 diabetics; of those on oral medication, 74% of left Pritikin free of these medications while the majority of the others had their dosages reduced. Pritikin’s Medical Director, Dr. Danine Fruge, notes, “I have clients who have been healthier in their 50s than when I saw them when they were 30…it’s common for clients to say ‘I didn’t know I could still feel this good at my age’.”
Pritkin’s team of health experts take a team approach to your health. It’s not an isolated approach. “People who don’t get it all in one place have to deal with a lot of controversy and conflicting information,” notes Fruge. “We have many people with hypertension who come to the Pritkin Longevity Center and within three days, many have blood pressures that have dropped so low we need to reduce their medications or take them off their pills altogether.” If you begin a healthy lifestyle like the Pritkin Program, be prepared for results to happen quickly – keep in touch with your doctor to monitor your medication needs.