I am often speaking to my patients about their pharmaceutical medications as it is part of my case history taking and it is essential for me as an osteopath and naturopath to know what these drugs do and, to some degree, how they do it. And also if they could potentially have some interaction to treatment I give. In reality there are very few interactions between medications and osteopathy and healthy eating.
I want to share with you my thoughts on pharmaceuticals and nutritional products and also give you a really fantastic table of all the nutrient deficiencies that are KNOWN to happen from taking pharmaceutical medications. You would NOT have been told about these I am sure!
Pharmaceutical medications are powerful. They force the body to do what they are designed to do, however, very often with side effects that can be severe. They are SYMPTOM based, not CAUSE based. They most often work by blocking some action in the body. For example, a statin blocks the production of cholesterol.
Unfortunately, statins also block the production of CoEnzyme Q10. This is where many of the side effects of statins originate from, the blocking of CoEnzyme Q10. The fact that statins block this nutrient is absolutely 100% known.
If you are on a statin have you been told to take CoQ10?
I very much doubt it, no patient I have ever seen has been. The well known side effects of statins are muscle aches and pains, tiredness / fatigue and memory loss.
Because medications are so strong and work so well it is possible to overdose on them. Obviously we want medications to work when we are in hospital and in desperate need of them! They essentially FORCE the body to do what they want it to do or what the doctor wants to do. They give your body no choice. They are a man made chemical substance that the body doesn’t completely recognise, another reason they have side effects.
The difference with nutritional supplements is that the body recognises them and has control over what it does with them. It is very unlikely you can overdose on a supplement. Vitamin C is a nice example. A normal Vitamin C capsule is 500 mg. You could take 20 of these safely and the worst side effect you would probably get is visiting the loo in a rush.
Nutritional supplements usually assist the body in correcting itself rather than blocking it. So you pour more good stuff into the body to make some chemical pathway have more ingredients to work better. The good news is, if you over do it your body simply says “I don’t need all of that and it gets rid of it”.
A really nice example of this is with acid reflux. The medications for this are antacids which BLOCK the production of acid. They help the symptom of acid pain in the throat. But what happens is you now have lower acid in the stomach to digest food so you get side effects. These include food allergies as you aren’t digesting the food correctly now. Also, because your digestive acid is blocked you don’t get the good stuff out your food (vitamins and minerals) and you don’t kill off baddies in food so well, like bacteria, viruses or candida, which leaves your gut more prone to infections.
The naturopathic view point is totally opposite!
I would give a patient digestive enzymes to take with meals to HELP and WORK WITH the patients body to digest their food better. With better digestion the food doesn’t churn away for ages in the stomach and reflux back up causing the acid burn. This absolutely 100% works! It is one of the most common problems I see and patients are over the moon to not have the reflux and not need medication. Click here to download an infograph of pharmaceutical medication types and the vitamin and minerals deficiencies that are associated with taking them. This is an amazing chart to have and to share with anyone you know that takes medication as it could really help them.
Many of the side effects of medications could be simply down to deficiencies in these nutrients that can be eased by taking a multi vitamin and mineral.
Some of the medications are known to deplete Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to nearly every disease of the modern world, including multiple sclerosis, auto-immune disease and even cancer!
Personally, I wouldn’t simply take a specific nutrient that is listed, I would recommend you take a multi vitamin and mineral as a catch all for all the other nutrients too. It would also be better value.
In the clinic I use supplements from a fantastic & reputable company called Nutri, you can call them on 0800 212 742. It’s possible to buy direct from them or we have stock at The Perrymount. I can highly recommend the following that I have mentioned in this post:
Nutri Mens 1 a day multi - 1 a day
Nutri Women’s 1 a day multi - 1 a day
Co Enzyme Q10 100mg - 1 a day
“Similase” enzymes to help with acid reflux - 2 with each meal
These supplements are all “off the shelf” and you could buy lower quality ones on the high street if you choose. However, if you have more issues that you would like help with then I’d love to see you in a full nutritional consultation using my Avatar health scanner. You can read more about that here.