I have encountered many patients through the years who have unwittingly demonstrated to me the dangers of overmedication. They are usually very sick and have chronic illness.

The record number I encountered was a poorly woman fading away from life on 17 different drugs. I suggested to her that if I took those 17 drugs that day I would become very poorly. However, she looked through me. The doctor had told her to take them and take them she would!

It seems that the dangers of overmedication were quite simply not apparent to this poorly patient.

If 17 drugs would make a reasonably healthy man sick, how on earth will they make a poorly person well? Can a medical professional come and tell me please. I'm here waiting at my clinic on Garstang High Street. Please explain the logic behind such over medication.

The dangers of overmedication. A picture of lots of different tablets and capsules.

Don’t get me wrong, if I have an accident or a sudden collapse take me to hospital. The medical system has amazing acute medicine and care that can save my life. It has made advances bordering on miraculous but in everyday ‘health’ care it has fallen way behind.

Omeprazole can cause osteoporosis.

But there are now lots of patients who have osteoporosis caused by taking omeprazole for 20 years. Wouldn't it be better to give them advice about diet first?

There are patients who do not know what joy is in life because of antidepressants. When exercise, meditation, dietary changes and social connections could change their life profoundly.

There are people with weak or damaged muscles because of statins. They end up buying a bungalow because they cannot manage the stairs anymore. There is no realisation that it’s the side effects of their medication, not their age, that has caused this problem.

Can no one see the dangers of overmedication just because a medical doctor has prescribed them?

I could go on. It is now rare to see a patient past the age of 65 who does not take some form of medication. What a powerful message to send to us all – that as we age we must take drugs.

Would you buy 17 different products from my shop without question?

Can you imagine if you walked into my store and walked away with 17 different tubs of tablets and pills. One lot for your gut. Another for your brain. Something for your sore ankle, a hormone balancing oil, things to take ‘just in case’ and on and on.

You would think you’d been ripped off and you’d be right.

Taking too much of a good thing can be just as bad as too much of a bad thing! I asked an artificial intelligence website about the dangers of overmedication. What can happen with overmedicating and here are just a few of its answers.

Symptoms of overmedication

Overmedication may cause depression, anxiety, and mood swings, cognitive impairment and confusion. The body may develop a tolerance to certain medications, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effect. Medications, when taken in excess, can cause organ damage. Especially to the liver and kidneys. Overmedicating may temporarily alleviate symptoms but might not address the root cause of the medical condition.

When I trained as an osteopath, if I could not say ‘why’ a patient had a problem I failed exams. It is when we know why there is a problem that we can address it. We can correct the cause and restore good health.

You can find good health at any age.

Therefore, if your health is not where you’d like it to be, the first thing to ask yourself is ‘why’. This may require you to look in the mirror and face some hard truths. That might not be easy but it is not a reason to despair. At any age, if you ask your body to find good health with healthy behaviour it will do so.

If you cannot find the answers, please come and talk to people who are interested in creating good health. It is not complicated, even if the chaotic health advice in the tabloids makes you think it is.

Welcome to our natural health blog!

We not only sell high quality vitamins and supplements but work alongside Garstang Natural Health treatment rooms. This means that we have a wealth of knowledge from the team of therapists there to complement our highly trained and experienced staff in the shop. Keep an eye on our blog where we will cover all manner of natural health topics. Given the time of year and the fact we are all up to our eyeballs in tasks to do and not enough time to do do them in we thought we would start with a look at how to beat high blood pressure naturally.

Beat blood pressure problems naturally

If you speak to consultant geriatricians and cardiovascular experts the vast majority would admit that most problems involving high blood pressure can be rectified with simple lifestyle changes.

So if that is the case, why do we start popping pills instead? Because it is quicker, easier and requires precious little effort on our part…heaven forbid we actually make an effort to be healthier eh?

In my experience as an osteopath I meet countless patients who want to be better, who want to improve their health without medication but are not sure where to start.

So let us begin with our blood pressure problems. Firstly, get up from your sofa or desk and start moving. Walking is a profoundly good thing to do. Our body is a moving machine and thrives when we use it, so get up and walk. Thirty minutes every day! If it is raining outside then pace your room, get a step and step up and step down and repeat. Obviously being out in the fresh air brings more benefits but I cannot stress enough the importance in lots of slow movement every day….a rolling stone gathers no moss!

There have been some interesting experiments that have shown certain foods can influence our blood pressure. If you are a liquorice fan then beware, it can raise your blood pressure (so if you have blood pressure that is too low it may help you!)

Three particular foods have been shown to be beneficial:

Beetroot, watermelon and garlic. Each has a different chemical which helps our blood vessels to dilate, thus reducing our blood pressure.

Beetroot and watermelon influence levels of nitric oxide via nitrates which encourages this dilation. Interestingly many green vegetables do this too – celery, watercress, rocket, spinach, broccoli amongst others.

Nature’s Aid do an excellent Beetroot supplement for blood pressure problems that I have seen work wonders.

Garlic works by having an active ingredient called allicin which works in a different way but has a similar affect on our arteries. Unfortunately the allicin in garlic is unstable so must be consumed very quickly after it has been chopped. The finer it is chopped the more allicin is released. The alternative is to get a fabulous supplement called Allicin from a good health food shop. This has been made so that the crushed garlic is preserved within seconds of it being crushed thus making it very potent and effective. It is also very good for boosting your immune system. It has the added benefit of not making you reek of garlic.

To get the most from your vegetables eat them raw. Or make soup, the nitrate lost in the water will remain in the soup. Steam vegetables rather than boil them and use water from cooking vegetables in soups and stews.

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