There’s a sad fact most doctors prefer you not to know. Because so many drugs have side effects, there’s as much money spent on drugs intended to be treatment, as in physicians’ time and other treatments spent to counter those side effects. As a country, this would not be so bad except for one small detail. Almost half the population of the US is taking at least one prescription drug. About one-fifth are taking three or more drugs. The result of this overmedication is a significant number of people are walking around suffering from adverse side effects. One of the more common of these side effects is the loss of nutrients essential to the smooth operation of your body. For example, if one drug on its own or in combination with others reduces the amount of magnesium, zinc and potassium, this can increase your blood pressure, cause your heart rhythm to become erratic, and leave you feeling unusually tired and depressed. Doctors not familiar with this effect will tell you this is part of the development of your disease or, simply, that you’re getting old. Some will prescribe something new as a tonic, often making the problem worse.
Nutrients are essential to the continued metabolic health of all cells. As they are used up through our everyday activity, they should be replaced from the food we eat. Let’s think about how this loss of essential nutrients comes about. Many drugs can reduce your appetite. This may be intended as in the weight loss drugs, or unintended as in the drugs used to treat attention deficient disorder. Either way, if you eat less, you may be taking in less of the essential nutrients. Indeed, some weight-loss drugs and statins bind to the fat in your diet and prevent you from absorbing any nutrients from them. The more powerful antidepressants and steroids cause problems with the metabolic system. This can produce cravings for unhealthy, sugar-rich foods and skew your diet. In some cases involving stimulants and Prednisone steroid or another, the metabolic rate speed ups and the essential minerals in the cells are used up faster. Worse, some drugs to treat the more serious problems falling under the heading of heartburn reduce the amount of stomach acid which limits the amount of goodness extracted from food as it passes through. This can cause malnutrition in seniors.
Rather than continue to list all the different ways in which your store of nutrients may be used up, let’s cut to the important part of this message. If you are taking any drugs over a period of time and you find your symptoms changing and your general health declining, you should talk to your doctor. It’s entirely possible your disease or disorder is worsening, but if your new problems are related to the side effects of your drugs, you should discuss either changing the drugs or their dosage. In addition, it may be helpful to take a multivitamin mineral formula. This will allow the drugs like Prednisone to continue their good work without your body losing essential nutrients.