My #1 suggestion for anyone thinking about getting organized is to start by getting healthy. If you aren’t feeling healthy, the last thing you want to tackle is a major decluttering/reorg of your life.
An important part of getting healthy is being really picky about everything you put in your body – including medications. Personally, meds don’t work well for me. I know for many, they seem to work well but are they good for you in the long run?
Consider this from an article published last Friday in the Washington Post.
- Doctor’s are trained to prescribe medicine. They are not trained to deprescribe medicine – so pretty much when you start taking meds, you just keep taking them. Doctors are incentivized by drug companies and insurance companies to prescribe medicine. There are no incentives to help wean you off medicine.
- Medicine is metabolized through your liver. Long-term use of certain meds can cause long-term damage. And as you age, you process chemicals slower – meaning medicine lingers longer in your system which can magnify the side effects.
- Some medicines, like heartburn medicines, were developed for short-term use only, but we get in the habit of taking them rather than changing important lifestyle habits.
- People outgrow medicines – “They change their lifestyle, and their diabetes, cholesterol or high blood pressure medications may not be needed anymore.” But we continue to take them because no one monitors us to let us know when to stop. Yikes!
- Many of us take more meds as we age and there are NO trials and tests that can possibly figure out how every mix of chemicals will react in your body. “Polypharmacy,” when you take five or more drugs, means you have five or more mixes of chemicals in your system, each one reacting with your body and with the other chemicals.
Many medicines need a weaning off period so don’t cut back on meds without the advice of a doctor. But have the conversation.
- Review why you started taking each particular med and discuss whether it’s still helpful.
- Ask for a full blood workup to see if your body chemistry requires a change in meds.
- Ask your doctor if there are any meds you can stop taking.
- Ask our doctor about alternative meds that have fewer side effects.
- Ask about taking lower dosages of the same meds.
- Consider natural ways to address issues you’ve addressed in the past with meds (i.e. yoga, massage, physical therapy, hot baths, change in diet, etc.)
Bottom line? Take responsibility for anything that goes into your body. And question everything. Doctors know so much but everybody’s body is different and it’s up to you to advocate for yourself to keep your body sound!
Here’s the full article from the Washington Post. It’s not long and it’s an excellent read!
Peace and love from the wilds of Maine.