I have to laugh sometimes because it keeps me from crying. Have you ever seen the meme of a woman talking on the phone and the caption reads, “I eat fast food, drink neon colored energy drinks and take all my prescriptions but I need to research it before I try lavender essential oil.”
There was a time when people understood the simple things; like a couple of drops of lavender essential oil diluted in a carrier oil will calm a cranky baby when placed on the soles of his/her feet; or you can make a “spring tonic” from the roots of dandelions in April or May to help you detox from a winter eating preserved foods. It seems we have moved so far away from the natural ways that were second nature to our ancestors.
To illustrate what I am saying, here is a typical phone consultation:
: Hello, The Healing Path, this is Lori speaking.
: Hi….I saw your website and I was interested in your Endocrine Strengthener but I was concerned about its safety. Are there any side effects?
: Endocrine Strengthener is formulated from very safe but effective herbs (as are all my tinctures). Yes there are side effects but they are not negative as you might think. I created Endocrine Strengthener for autoimmune disorders for its anti-inflammatory effects on the body; but you will probably notice that you have more energy and fewer colds. Plus it is made from herbs that help the skin, digestion and circulation.
: Will it interfere with my medications?
: Herbs function more like a food, in that they supply you with nutrients that support your bodily functions. Medications are chemicals that that override the body's innate intelligence, forcing the body to perform a specific function. Since pharmaceuticals are often petroleum based, your body is not able to assimilate these compounds as well as phyto-nutrients (plant nutrients). In fact medications are more likely to interfere with the herbs than visa-versa. Perhaps you could tell me what medications you are taking.
: Metformin for diabetes, Imodium, Prevacid and now I’m taking Celexa.
: Have you read the inserts to learn about the side effects of these drugs or talked to your pharmacist?
: No, I haven’t read them but the doctor prescribed it so I just figured they are ok.
So this client has no idea that he is taking the Prevacid and Imodium to mask the abdominal discomfort and diarrhea caused by the Metformin. After feeling lousy for so long he is depressed and so the doc puts him on Celexa. Now we have just upped the ante on the side effects
to mental confusion, irregular heartbeat, agitation, decreased libido and poor coordination. Sigh….
By the way, I always recommend discussing meds with your pharmacist because a pharmacist is much more knowledgeable about Rx drugs. Most of your doctor’s information about drugs come from the pharmaceutical representatives who visit the office on a weekly or even daily basis. Their job is to increase sales.
All this could have been avoided if he was informed that he could control his diabetes by limiting his carbohydrates to 30-40 grams per meal. If this isn’t madness then what is?
I’m not foolish enough to think that everyone will be willing or able to change his or her diet to stay healthy but shouldn’t they at least be given that information first? In that light, I believe few would argue that many doctors today are too quick to write a prescription and many do so without fully evaluating the risks of toxicity and interactions.
It seems that the more money we spend on pharmaceuticals, the sicker we get. 70% of Americans take prescription drugs. This number is alarming especially when you pair it up with the stats that 106,000 people die a year from the "prescribed" use of prescription drugs
(not drug abuse). The CDC estimates that in 2012 there were 41,502 deaths due to drug poisoning
. When the FDA factors in medical errors the numbers get much worse.
The marketing of pharmaceuticals is designed to convince us that we need them. Direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs has been legal in the USA since 1985, but only really took off in 1997 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) eased up on a rule obliging companies to offer a detailed
list of side effects in their infomercials. Now they even advise you what to tell your doctor so that he will prescribe their targeted drug for you.
Those of us who are old enough can remember the days when a television ad for a drug exclaiming that it had side effects that included "inappropriate thoughts, anal leakage, clouded judgment or sudden death" would have had mothers clutching their pearls, kids erupting in laughter and fathers leaping out of their seats to change the channel.
Perhaps it’s time to ask ourselves, “What has happened to make us so gullible?” How can we be told in plain words about these unwelcome and devastating side effects and yet regard it as acceptable?