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.
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.