I came across an interesting study that medical students submitted to the American Heart Association. They found that the more medications people were prescribed, the greater the chance of death. Medications do not make you healthy. They slow down the disease process without treating the underlying cause. If you want to die slower, lifestyle medicine will help!
Another way of looking at medications is through a harm-reduction perspective. The medication methadone is prescribed for people who are addicted to narcotics. Some people believe that the goal of this therapy is to replace the addictive drugs with methadone and then wean the person from this replacement. This rarely happens. Studies have shown that keeping some people on methadone is safer than slowly decreasing it. Safer, in this context, means that the patients live longer because they are less likely to use street drugs. This approach is known as harm reduction and can be applied to prescription medications. Without changing your lifestyle, medications are a harm-reducing strategy to deal with the underlying disease. To be fair, some medications cannot be reduced because of deficiencies in peoples’ bodies. However, most medications can be reduced or eliminated with lifestyle changes.
The study went one step further to look at the health behaviours of participants. Regardless of the number of medications, the more healthier behaviours people adopted, the longer the participants lived.
Reducing medications should only be done under supervision by an appropriate health care professional. Please contact me if you would like more information about how Lifestyle Medicine can help you replace medications with healthy lifestyle choices. I offer a complimentary 15-minute consultation by phone or Zoom. Thanks for reading! #lifestylemedicine #seniors #olderadults #deprescribing
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