When you’re prescribed a daily drug or vitamin to treat your symptoms, it’s only natural that you’ll feel encouraged to take it regularly. After all, isn’t taking medication an indication of health? While it’s true that pharmaceuticals can play an important role in our lives, the benefits are often overshadowed by the side effects. The sooner you realize that there are other, healthier ways to cope with your issues, the better.
The Dangers Of Taking Drugs
In recent years, Big Pharma has discovered the wonderful (and lucrative) world of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and sleep aids. Not surprisingly, pharmaceutical companies have developed countless faddish products that claim to be the answer to all of your problems. What is more, the Food and Drug Administration has enthusiastically approved many “miracle” diets and weight loss products that promote sickness and addiction. If you’re looking for a quick fix, you’re in the right place. Take a look at the side effects of some of these drugs and you’ll soon realize that they’re not worth it.
According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the side effects of prescription drugs and dietary supplements are usually grouped under five main headings:
- Cardiovascular effects
- Neurological effects
- Gastrointestinal effects
- Respiratory effects
- Genital effects
Of these, cardiovascular effects (such as cardiac arrest or a severe decrease in blood pressure) are probably the most dangerous. The same association reports that between 1996 and 2005, there were 2,600 deaths in the U.S. annually as a result of adverse drug reactions. In recent years, this figure has risen to between 3,700 and 5,400 deaths annually.
If you’re concerned about the risks associated with pharmaceuticals, there are alternatives. You may want to try one of the many natural products that have been shown to be as potent (and often more so) as their synthetic counterparts. Furthermore, there are alternative medicines that have been proven to be extremely safe and effective. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few pointers.
Reduce Your Reliance On Medicine
Just because your physician prescribed a medication or vitamin supplement doesn’t mean that it’s the best choice for you. You might be better off without it. Some of the side effects of these substances can be downright dangerous. For instance, blood pressure–lowering medication has been known to be associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Similarly, vitamin E is often added to food products and antioxidant supplements to help combat the effects of aging and free radicals (cancer-causing toxins). While supplementation may be necessary in some cases, the long-term effects of taking substances such as these are unknown.
If you’re concerned about the risks of pharmaceuticals, it’s time to take a closer look at your health. Are you experiencing symptoms that could be alleviated by medication? Have you tried medication in the past and experienced problems? Chances are, the answer to these questions is yes, and now you’re faced with the dilemma of whether or not to continue taking it. On one hand, medication can play a key role in your search for relief. On the other, it might be doing more harm than good. Before you make a decision, make sure that you’re aware of the risks associated with taking these substances.
Choose Alternative Remedies
If you’re not sure what alternative remedies are available for your medical condition, ask your physician or pharmacist. Depending on your particular health issue, you might be able to find natural products or supplements that can help, or at least point you in the right direction. For example, if you’re looking for a natural remedy for anxiety or depression, you can consult your pharmacist or physician for advice. They may be able to recommend products that can help.
Ignorance Is No Excuse
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you’re already aware of the risks associated with pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements. Still, you may be under the impression that there’s no alternative to modern medicine, especially if your physician or pharmacist recommends the use of these substances for your condition. This couldn’t be further from the truth. While pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements can be essential in some cases, there are many others where alternative remedies exist and may be better suited for your body’s needs.
In some instances, alternative medicines may work just as well (and sometimes even better) than their synthetic counterparts. Considering how dangerous and intrusive some pharmaceuticals can be, consider whether or not it’s worth the risk to take them when there are less toxic alternatives available. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few pointers.
Start A Routine
If you’re determined to find an alternative to medication, the first thing you should do is establish a routine. Just because your physician or pharmacist suggested a certain course of action for your condition doesn’t mean that you have to follow it without question. Before you start taking any sort of medicine or vitamin, it’s important to get a prescription from your physician or pharmacist. Doing so ensures that you’ll know what products are available for your use and that you’re taking the right medication for your needs. Once you’ve started taking medication, establish a routine for its use. This will help ensure that you don’t take more than you need and that you follow the proper dosage regimen.
Know Your Limitations
In some cases, especially with chronic illnesses such as cancer or heart disease, medication can be necessary for the whole remainder of your life. In other cases, however, alternative remedies might be able to help with your condition, bringing with it a sense of hope that there are alternatives other than medication. It’s important to remember that just because a product can’t be manufactured by a pharmaceutical company doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have risk associated with it. Knowing what your limitations are will help ensure that you don’t overexpose yourself to risk.
Consider Your Body’s Reaction
Just because a product isn’t manufactured by a pharmaceutical company doesn’t mean that it’s automatically safe for everybody. Some people may experience adverse effects when taking certain medications or vitamin supplements. If you’ve had an allergic reaction in the past to a similar substance, you may be at risk of having another reaction if you take it. As with any other product, it’s important to consider what your body’s reaction will be before you take it.
Find A Way To Reduce Stress
There are numerous reasons why you may be under a lot of stress at the moment. You might be anticipating a major change in your life, which could be causing you stress. Perhaps you’ve recently been through a traumatic event and are feeling overwhelmed by what has happened. Whatever the reason, it’s important to find a way to reduce stress. You should try to make time for yourself and take breaks when you need them. Try to stay relaxed and keep your body in good condition, which will help you reduce your stress levels. When you’re not feeling overwhelmed, you’re able to make better decisions and live a more enjoyable life.
Seek Help From Relatives Or Friends
If you’re looking for an alternative to medication, relatives or friends might be able to help. They may have encountered similar situations and know of products that can improve or alleviate your condition. It’s always best to seek advice from more than one source, as different people may have different ideas about what can help you. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few pointers.