Muscle pain, dizziness, nausea, anxiety, insomnia, coughing, hair loss, fluid retention, liver problems -- these are just a few of the side effects associated with some of the most popular prescription drugs. These prescriptions include medication for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, low thyroid function, and diabetes.
What's troubling to me is that side effects can happen when taking just one of the drugs. What happens when you're on multiple drugs? Some combinations we already know are dangerous. For example, taking warfarin (a blood thinner) and simvastatin (a cholesterol drug) can increase the risks of bleeding problems.
(2) Yet there are many combinations that haven't been studied and when you're on three or four medications; there's 100 percent drug interaction, and you have your own personal experiment.
Prescription drugs are powerful enough to change our physiology and for this reason should not be taken lightly. The good news is that in many cases, the drugs that are prescribed today are for health problems that could have been avoided.
Prescription Drugs Affect Your Whole Body
Let's face it. We all want a magic bullet to take our health problems away. But the expectation that a medication is going to simply fix one problem while leaving everything else in the body alone is not the reality. Drugs don't act in a vacuum -- they act system-wide -- which is why we have side effects. For example, the blood pressure drugs known as ACE inhibitors not only relax blood vessels to decrease pressure but constrict pupils, stimulate digestive secretions, and constrict the bronchi in the lungs (which can cause a cough).
And when we take prescriptions every day for years, the body has to constantly work to recalibrate in response. Though it may be lowering blood pressure or cholesterol, for example, these "helpful" changes can be perceived in the body as stress and lead to further health problems down the line, possibly leading to even more medication.