When I returned to town on Sunday night, I found on my doorstep an excellent article from Wednesday’s Chicago Tribune. It outlined a study from the University of Chicago Medical Center that found that “At least 2.2 million older adults in the U.S. take medicine in combinations that could trigger dangerous drug interactions, causing gastrointestinal bleeding, muscle breakdown, disruption in heart rhythm and other serious problems. Overall, 1 in 25 older adults risked serious drug interactions, the study found. For men ages 75 to 85, it was as high as 1 in 10.” Study author Dr. Stacy Tessler Lindau said risks might be even higher because the research focused only on major interactions among the 20 most common drugs and dietary supplements.
This study confirms what we talk about so often in our office: It is vitally important that you take as few medications as possible. And we’re not just talking about prescription medications, the study states that half of the negative interactions involved over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin. Your chances of adverse interactions increase exponentially with each drug you take, this is the reason that reactions to correctly prescribed medications is one of the top four causes of death in this country. (Lindau said the analysis did not find people taking drug combinations that should not occur under any circumstances. This indicates that the medication was correctly prescribed, yet serious interactions occurred anyway!)
How can you decrease or eliminate medications? Most medications we take are for lifestyle conditions – conditions caused directly by our lifestyle. To get off of these drugs we must address the lifestyle that causes the conditions. Chiropractic directly plays a role in this. We all know that chiropractic care helps remove the need for pain medication – even if that isn’t our major goal, but did you know that studies show that it can help remove the need for other types of medications as well? For example a recent study done in conjunction with University of Chicago’s Blood Pressure Center showed upper cervical chiropractic adjustments effective in lowering blood pressure.
Our goal with all of our patients is for you to be on as few medications as possible. We want to show you how by making lifestyle change you can remove the need for many drugs, and we want to work with your medical doctor in helping you remove the danger of these medications from your life. (Remember, never stop taking a prescription medication with consulting with your medical doctor first.) Together we can work to put you on a path to health and wellness, drug free!