The All Natural Argument

9:25 PM Posted In Edit This 2 Comments »
Today has been a tad bit on the frustrating side. I just needed to get a hold of my labs that I got done a few weeks back. My primary care physician wanted me to come in this coming week. She also had apparently made some notes about some more supplements I should be taking. Here's what gets my goat... I'm all for nutritional supplements, but there is a key word "supplements." They are the whole deal, they help to compliment your body and the life style you lead. Can they fix every ailment? No. Will they cure a bacterial infection? No. Might they be able to lower my resting pulse? Probably not. Can a supplement force my stomach to digest food? Not in this lifetime. But I'm all for a little bit of "natural" assistance every now and again.

Maybe I'm old fashioned but I prefer those chemically complex pills that come in the orange bottle. First of all, those little pills are regulated by the FDA. Sometimes the FDA does screw up, but more often than not they do a fairly decent job with prescription medications. Plus you can't blame everything on the FDA, I always research a medication before I take it. That way I'm completely aware of all of the benefits and risks that each medication has. Secondly, those little pills in the cute orange bottles tend to be partially covered by insurance. It's better for my pocket book if it's a generic medication too! Nutritional supplements are not covered by insurance and it's extremely frustrating when someone keeps trying to force their brand on me. Let me decide which brand is right for me, allow me to do my research please.

I'm sorry but herbal supplements are not going to drastically change my blood work. Most of the issues that my body has can basically only be controlled with prescription medication. Carefully timed doses keep me from getting sicker than I already am. I do have my flares where nothing seems to help, but without my prescriptions I would be a heck of a lot sicker. Another thing, people say "Oh herbal supplements are all natural, that means they are good for you!" Would you go outside, stick your face in the ground, and start chewing on some grass like a cow? Seriously? I don't think you would. The grass in your back yard is all natural though, but it's probably not very good for you. Bugs are all natural, would you chew a grass hopper instead of taking some acetaminophen for your headache? I doubt it.

People forget that the lovely medications in the orange bottles are not just some recent invention. Most medications have been researched for many, many years before they actually hit the market. They are tested, tested, and tested again to make sure that they work in the way they are supposed to. It's not like the pharmaceutical companies came up with new medications last week and put them on the market this week. All natural herbal medications are not regulated, the labels can say whatever they want, they could leave out an ingredient if they wanted too! They could over embellish their "facts" claiming that their supplement can do something that it actually cannot. And if you actually read the label it says something along the lines of "This supplement is not regulated by the FDA." I do trust certain brands for supplements though. My rule of thumb is if you can only order it from that company's website, it's probably a not worth it.

I also cannot stress enough to inform your doctor of every single medication you take, whether it is prescription, over the counter, or an all natural supplement. There is always a chance for a medical reaction. Sometimes it may be as simple as reducing the effectiveness of a medication. But it could also cause a life threatening reaction and without the complete list of medications, the doctors could be missing an important clue. You may also be thinking that your pharmacist checks for reactions. They check for reactions based on the list of prescription medications you take.

Remember, you have to be your own advocate and sometimes that means you have to buckle down and do some research. It's your health and you are the first person in charge, doctors come second. You know your body better than anyone else ever will. And if you don't know your body, get to know it. Listen to what it tells you and you will be better off for it. Pay attention to those feelings you get when something is and isn't right. I've gotten so good at paying attention to my body that I can tell what is going to happen 30 minutes before it happens. It's nice to have that reaction time buffer!

Oh and my results from my upper GI endoscopy biopsy came back today. I'm in the clear, go me!

Loverly Lupie Me


Anonymous said...

Amen sister!!! I would be dead if it weren't for those little hard-to-open orange bottles. I have an argument to make though. If you take prescription medication, it is a good idea to know which medications you can't take. When I was getting prescribed a new medication once, the doctor wanted to give me something that I can't have because it would probably give me a heart attack. Luckily, I knew that I couldn't have this medication and had to teach the doctor why. If I had been uneducated about my own health, I could be dead now. And if you're allergic to any medications, know if they are closely related to any other meds to prevent taking something that could send you into anaphylactic shock. Trust me, some docs are just so rushed to get you in and out of the office, they do miss things.

Loverly Lupie Me said...

I know what medications I'm allergic to as well. All of them cause my heart to go "THUDUDUDDUDUDUUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUDUD" Along with a side of Linda Blair's infamous green pea soup. Not to mention I look like a piece of bacon frying in a pan twitching and shaking all around.

I meant to type what you wrote but I think my brain got side tracked. Oops! But thanks for being my little editor friend.