Medication is a wonderful thing; it saves lives and improves chronic disease.
In most cases, this is the difference between living and existing.
However, there are well-documented cases where the drugs that are supposed to help end up causing very serious problems. I’m not just talking about allergic reactions to certain medications.
The term discussed in this column is drug toxicity. Most drugs are eliminated from the body through the kidneys and liver, but from the fourth decade of life we ââbegin to accumulate fat and lose muscle mass, accompanied by a gradual decline in capacity. of our kidneys and our liver to process and eliminate drugs.
All of this makes us more prone to drug toxicity.
Despite the well-established link between aging and drug toxicity, doctors sometimes fail to equate patients’ symptoms with an adverse drug reaction, instead attributing them to a new medical condition.
Doctors see a lot of patients who come in with a general “I’m not feeling well” complaint, or maybe they are confused and dehydrated, and they attribute it to a viral illness, when in reality it is. is caused at least in part by the drugs they are taking.
Some doctors tend to prescribe medication for every symptom, and not all symptoms require medication. The more drugs a patient takes, the more likely one of them is to reach toxic levels, experts say.
Finally, patients often see more than one doctor and often do not disclose all the medications they take to all the doctors they see and end up being prescribed similar medications – which when combined can reach levels toxic.
The medical community is tackling this problem by asking you to bring ALL the medications you are taking, every time you see every doctor.
It’s not uncommon to see an elderly person show up to the doctor’s office with a tote bag full of prescription vials and let’s not forget about the over-the-counter medications you’re taking. You should remember to bring whatever you eat, this way your doctor or NP can monitor your intake.
As the consumer and guardian of your body, it is your responsibility to read and learn BEFORE you introduce any new medicine into your body.
The side effects always seem scary and in most cases they are very mild and the body adapts after a few doses. But many medications have side effects that can get worse over a few days, to the point of damaging your life.
Read it all, there is so much great information on the internet. Remember, however, that pharmaceutical companies release a lot of the information about their products.
Search the Internet for PATIENT reviews. This is where you will get the practical information.
Read a lot, not a few.
Get a good sample and if you see any complications that reflect what you are going through, see your doctor immediately and discuss your concerns.
If you are close to someone who may be having problems, talk to them or their caretaker about what you have noticed. They may not realize what is happening to them.
Be aware, read and learn, talk and take care of yourself.
Jody Holton writes on health for Port Arthur Newsmedia. She can be reached at [email protected]