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January 2, 2012

Time For A Fresh Start

Do you know that …

In the 20 years from 1988 to 2008, the number of Americans on prescription drugs in any given month has risen from 39.1% to 47.2%. Source

Broken down by categories, the number of Americans on prescription drugs in any given month …

— on at least 1 prescription drug

Under 18 – 25.3%
All women – 52.4%
65 and over – 90.1%

— on 3 or more prescription drugs

All people – 20.8%
65 and over – 65%

— on 5 or more prescription drugs

All people – 11%
65 and over – 36.7%

The most common drugs that people are taking

under 12 – for asthma, allergies, infections
12-19 – for ADD, asthma; antidepressants
20-59 – antidepressants, pain killers, cholesterol lowering drugs
60 and older – cholesterol lowering drugs, beta blockers, diuretics

The drug companies have been pushing hard to get more and more people on drugs, and they’re succeeding. Since all drugs have side effects, once you’re on one drug, there’s the risk of adverse reactions that will cause you to be prescribed more drugs. You receive additional drugs to treat the symptoms caused by drugs!

Did you know that …

Acetaminophen, aka Tylenol, a commonly used OTC drug has been shown to cause an increased risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis (allergic nasal congestion) and eczema in children.

Early use of antibiotics also causes an increased risk of asthma and allergies in children.

Is it any wonder that we are seeing so many more children with asthma and allergies these days?

The risk of side effects from acetaminophen is not limited to children. In anyone, it can also cause dizziness; drowsiness; dry mouth, nose, or throat; headache; nausea; nervousness; trouble sleeping, as well as severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); chest pain; dark urine or pale stools; difficulty urinating; hallucinations; high blood pressure; rapid pulse; severe nervousness; stomach pain; tremors; unusual fatigue; yellowing of the skin or eyes. Source

Antidepressant use is widespread. There are even studies that indicate that antidepressants may not treat depression. The risks associated with antidepressants include stroke, suicide, sexual dysfunction, recurrence of breast cancer, physical dependency and more.

I could go on and on, but I hope this is enough to show you that drugs are not the ultimate answer. Certainly, there are situations where they are indicated and may even be life-saving. But they are much overused today and are causing more and more health problems that can be prevented with some good health sense. Drugs should be a last resort rather than a first choice.

NOTE: If you are on prescription medication and you would like to get off, you need to work with your doctor. Do not take yourself off your medications without the supervision of your doctor.

Here are some things that you can do now to get your New Year off to a healthy start…

  • Eat probiotic-rich foods. They help balance your intestinal flora and improve the health of your immune system.
  • Avoid processed foods as much as possible, especially non-organic, which most likely contain genetically engineered ingredients, as well as heavy doses of pesticides, and multiple food additives, many of which cause harmful effects and are not adequately tested.
  • Read the ingredients list on every packaged food product you buy to make sure the ingredients are all healthy.
  • Use Your Personal Food Planner to find healthy foods you love and to change your eating habits so that you develop healthy eating habits that last a lifetime.
  • Get your kids involved. Help them to eat more healthfully when young so healthy eating is a habit that grows up with them.
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes, 3-5 days a week.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Take time to relax and have some fun!

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