The Drug Culture

      148 Comments on The Drug Culture

I’ve mentioned before that when doctors or nurses ask me what prescription drugs I’m taking and I answer “none,” they seem surprised.  A couple of you made the same observation in comments.  That got me wondering what percent of people, say, over the age of 50 are taking some kind of prescription medication on a regular basis.

It took a little more digging than I expected to find an answer.  The first source that popped up in my Google search was a CDC report on what percent of Americans have taken at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days.  The answer was nearly half, but that’s a useless bit of data for answering my question.  I’m taking a prescription drug right now to treat an infection, but I don’t take one on a regular basis.

The same CDC report also suffered from useless statistical groupings.  For example, it grouped the population by age like this:

0-11
12-19
20-59
60 and over

Going from the 20-59 group to the 60 and over group, prescription drug use in the past 30 days jumped from 48% to 88%.  Wow … we must really fall apart after we turn 60, right?

No, of course not.  Lumping 57-year-olds together with 22-year-olds is ridiculous when it comes to reporting on prescription drug use.  The people I know who take prescription drugs on a regular basis started doing so sometime after age 40.

I finally found relevant data about regular drug use in US News article and in a report published by the AARP.  It isn’t a pretty picture.  As US News reported:

Today, a full 61 percent of adults use at least one drug to treat a chronic health problem, a nearly 15 percent rise since 2001.  More than 1 in 4 seniors gulp down at least five medications daily.

An adult, of course, is anyone over the age of 18.  That doesn’t narrow it down much.  AARP had better figures for people in my age bracket, i.e., adults over the age of 50:

The vast majority of Americans age 50+ (85%) say they have taken a prescription drug in the past five years, and three-fourths (76%) say they are currently taking at least one prescription drug on a regular basis.

So yes, those of who make it past age 50 without taking at least one prescription drug on a regular basis are in the minority, if not exactly unusual.  That’s sad.  The figures are even more depressing for the over-65 group:

Americans age 65+ (87%) are even more likely to say they take a prescription drug on a regular basis than those between the ages of 50-64 years (67%).

Yee-ikes.  Gather up a group of 10 retirees, and the odds are that nine of them are taking some kind of drug every day.  I plan to the one who doesn’t.

Those who say they are currently taking prescription drugs regularly say they take on average four different prescriptions drugs daily.

Scratch what I said above.  Gather up a group of 10 retirees, and the odds are the most of them are taking several drugs every day.

Overmedicating is a particular problem for seniors, more than half of whom take three or more medications per day. “The drug-drug interactions can be worse than the disease,” says John Morley, director of geriatric medicine at the St. Louis VA Medical Center. And too often, he adds, “doctors seem to suspend common sense” when devising a treatment plan. For example, they prescribe Aricept for Alzheimer’s patients and then treat a frequent side effect, urinary incontinence, with an anticholinergic like Enablex or Ditropan whose side effects include delirium, confusion, and memory loss. A current concern among public health experts is the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes to treat anxiety, confusion, and irritability, all frequently triggered by other medications.

Yup, people are taking drugs to treat the side effects of taking drugs.  Here’s one the US News article didn’t mention:  nearly 45% of Americans over the age of 60 are on a statin.  How many of those people are also on a painkiller to treat muscle and joint pain that their doctors haven’t traced to the statin?  I don’t have data on that, but my guess is that it’s rather a lot.

You could make a credible argument that statins are beneficial for one particular group of people:  men under the age of 65 who already have heart disease.  (And then I’d argue in reply that most of those men could achieve greater benefits with a change in diet.)  But there’s no way on God’s Green Earth that 45% of the people over age 60 are benefiting from beating down their cholesterol.  Most are wasting money at best, and paying to suffer needless side effects at worst.

Many medications serve an important purpose, as I was reminded this week.  If you’ve got a bacterial infection, an antibiotic is a blessing.  Some people will require drugs to control high blood pressure, high glucose, pain, seizures, etc.  no matter which diet they adopt.

But when nearly nine out of 10 seniors are taking prescription drugs, that’s not a blessing.  That’s a medical system treating lipid panels instead of heart disease.  That’s a medical system largely treating the effects of sugars, grains and processed seed oils in our diets — not the natural effects of living for more than 65 years.


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148 thoughts on “The Drug Culture

  1. Marilyn

    Funny story: Years ago, I knew a very elderly woman who was living alone in a little house on her son’s farm. She would take her prescriptions home and dump the pills into a bowl on the table. Every once in a while, she’d pick one out and take it. I don’t know how long this went on before they discovered it, but she seemed to be none the worse for it.

    I don’t know why, but that’s a funny image, picking one from the bowl.

    Reply
  2. Anne

    Well, I am one of those old people who are on prescription meds. I had cardiac bypass about 12 yrs ago and still take two low dose heart meds. Also take thyroid med. Now just maybe if I had known about the diet health link years ago I would not be using those meds. Too many sugary crap foods in my past. I am happy that I have to take only those 3.

    Some people develop ailments that require drugs even if they’re on a great diet. The problem these days is that too many people are taking drugs for ailments that could be avoided.

    Reply
  3. Jan's Sushi Bar

    I don’t remember where it was or who said it, but awhile back I read a statement made by a doctor that senior citizens should be taking at least one prescription medication for each decade they’ve been alive. Not might be, but SHOULD be. I was just amazed.

    I’m like you; I have to have something seriously wrong for me to take prescription medications – any medication, really. And sometimes, the drug is almost as bad as the illness. I’m “recovering” (and I used that word lightly) from bronchitis that turned into pneumonia. The antibiotics I’m all right with, even though they can seriously mess with your gut flora (now that I’m finished with the course, I’m eating fermented foods every day to help restore the microbial balance of my digestive tract), but the steroids I was prescribed – and was VERY vocal about not wanting to take – are horrible. How the heck am I supposed to get the rest I need to recover from this if I can’t sleep because I’m just about to jump out of my skin?

    I had to take a steroid for a serious ear infection a few years ago. I was awake for two days.

    Reply
  4. KC

    My father made it to 99 and the only prescription drug he was on was eye drops for Glaucoma. Every time his blood pressure was taken the doctors would comment that he had the blood pressure of a teenager. For most of his life he would have 3 scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast 6 days a week and one day week have waffles. He also tended to have a lot of salads for lunch, or soup. He didn’t follow any specific type of diet just pretty much ate what he wanted. Even though he never smoked he ended up getting lung cancer

    Unfortunately, that happens. My grandfather died of lung cancer despite not being a smoker.

    Reply
  5. Paula Seldes

    Tom,
    I’m 57 years old, and I too take no prescriptions drugs on a regular basis now that I have lost weight and my blood pressure is normal. This article just confirms the majority of the medical industry puts making money first, rather than our health.

    That’s why it’s an industry. They treat sickness more than they promote wellness.

    Reply
  6. AndreaLynnette

    Yikes. You see this stuff in microcosm, but you don’t really see the NUMBER of older people taking piles of pills every day. I’m thinking about my mom, my granmother and grandfather, several coworkers older than I, and a couple of older friends. I personally know 8 people who have so much medicine to take that they have to carry a messenger bag around with them full of pill bottles.

    When I think about friends in my age bracket, most of them are taking something. Unfortunately two are taking statins.

    Reply
  7. Tammy

    Guess my Grandma is one of the statistics, she’s 89, still lives by herself and gets along fine but she does take 1 prescription med for high BP. She is old school and does not want to take any meds even for the high BP.

    I’m 43 and I do take a bunch of vitamins everyday, but I don’t count those as meds. I’ve gotten the same way where if I get a headache or something, I just ride it out rather than take OTC meds. Haven’t had heartburn or even a headcold since I quit eating wheat two years ago, go figure.

    I take a few vitamins as well. I don’t consider them drugs. The primary side effect seems to be enhanced health.

    Reply
  8. Pierce

    I fully believe that it’s only a matter of time before the statin debacle is, as several posters mentioned, dwarved by the use of psychiatric drugs on children. The idea of giving things like SSRIs, which honest doctors will admit are not fully understood (leaving aside the questionable efficiacy in adults) in terms of their effects on brain chemistry to children with developing brains and on whom the drugs have not been subjected to long term tests is outrageous. It is truly truly sad.

    On a related note, I was very lucky growing up to have the pediatrician I did during an era when Ritalin et al were getting popular. My pre-kintergarden teacher advised my parents that I was rowdy and might benefit from medication. My doctor’s response was “Really? Have her call me.” We never heard a peep from that teacher again.

    I know some people whose lives would have been better if they’d had your pediatrician.

    Reply
  9. Claude

    The question is how do you determine when a drug is a drug and when it isn’t. My understanding is that the article refers to prescription drugs only and not OTC drugs or food supplements. Otherwise the percentage of people over 40 taking any kind of medicine on a daily basis would easily top 95% since we will then need to tally the percentage of people taking a daily aspirin, vitamin or rubbing some regain on their scalp as well.

    Speaking for myself, I’m more concerned about the growing percentage of children on Ritalin than those over 40 on statins.

    After reading “Anatomy of an Epidemic,” I totally agree. We’re setting those kids up for some serious issues later in life. I’ve seen it happen.

    Reply
  10. FrankG

    Thank Tom 😉

    This underlines one of the many issues I have with the widespread use of drugs such as statins — and the guidelines issued for such drugs by the health authorities — that is: there does not seem to be any built-in review date, let alone an end date for this drug… in other words, once you are prescribed a statin it seems implicit that you will be taking it FOR LIFE!

    Good business if you can get it I guess.

    That’s the business model they created. It’s working … for them.

    Reply
  11. Angele

    Soon to be age 72 and no drugs or medication or doctor. I was raised by a mother who was called a “health nut’ and “food fanatic” meaning she educated herself on eating healthy. She told me I could take care of myself and it has worked so far except for an emergency such as a broken arm. She always thought it was funny when people asked her what her doctor said? When she told them she did not have one they thought she was not telling the truth.

    I feel blessed for my good health and I work at it. Thank you for your website info.

    Your grandma sounds like a wise woman.

    Reply
  12. Carolyn Gillham

    My Father-in-Law made it into his 80s before he started taking medications. What finally got him: diabetes.

    My Dad, he was told he had high cholesterol and was put on meds for it. When statins came along, they put my Dad on them. The interesting thing about this, my Dad was considered in good health. Doctors even told him his health was of a man 10 years younger. He did not start having major medical issues until he started taking statins. I warned him about meds and their side effects, but my parents are of a generation that trust their doctors.

    My Mom was put on a med for what, I cannot remember and she started having heart problems so they put her on more meds. Turns out the first drug caused the heart problems. Once my brother figured it out he suggested my Mom see if the they could stop the med. The doctor who saw my Mom, told her she should not have been put on the first drug. What a mess, what a nightmare.

    I was hospitalized at 15 because my Mom gave me an aspirin when I had the flu. In my 20s I was on birth control pills. Ended up in the ER after a seizure caused by a thrombosis that was probably caused by the birth control. Because of the thrombosis, I had to take a anti-seizure med and a blood thinner.

    After that episode, my husband and I went from hectic lives to living in a small relaxed rural community. One of the best decisions we ever made. Another great decision: make sure we need a medication and research the side effects before we take it.

    When we get headaches, we figure out what caused the headache and solve it that way: dehydration – drink water, fatigue- go to bed and get some rest, stress – take a long hot shower, go on a walk, caffeine headache – drink water, grumpy and headache – check the last time they ate a good meal and feed them. Pain from sports – cold or heat.

    Meds are the absolutely last solution around here. Unfortunately some of us suffer seasonal allergies. My husband has the worst rag weed allergy. I suffer through the allergies and take nothing. My son gets sinus infections if we do stay on top of his. Our solution for him, lots of showers and keeping his nose cleaned out. If it gets bad we do have to use Sudafed. My husband has to take Zyrtec or he ends up on antibiotics for major sinus infections. I have changed my husband’s diet. Less sugar, no wheat, and less starch. He can’t resist water melon though so he will be on the Zyrtec, but I hope the diet change lessens the severity of the allergy.

    You’ve got the right attitude: drugs are the last resort. I received lots of angry responses a couple of years ago when I mentioned we treated Sara’s apparent bout with swine flu by giving her a megadose of vitamin D, but guess what? She was over it within a few days. If she hadn’t gotten better, of course I would have taken her to a doctor and given her pills if need be.

    Reply
  13. Christine Davis

    To be on several prescriptions regularly, to “eat less and move more” and still be overweight and hungry, to have lap band surgery, to spend hundreds monthly on drops and starvation diets and personal trainers, all that is part of a normal conversation. Finally, while everyone is nodding their heads and agreeing with eachother about avoiding putting butter on baked potatoes, after telling yourself you won’t bring up low carb, you just can’t help yourself, and mention that you traded bread for bacon and now are healthier, and I swear, everyone really pounces on you and accuses you of being personally responsible to anyone hooked up to a machine in a hospital. I used to not be militant and would eat a carb laden snack if offered to me. Now, I refuse and tell them I don’t eat that kind of junk.

    Well, you’ve got to admit, it’s kind of amusing when people who are on prescription drugs for various ailments tell you how unhealthy your diet is.

    Reply
  14. Marilyn

    @Jan’s Sushi Bar: One additional pill for each decade of life? Good grief! At that rate, I should be on seven! I can’t imagine what I would have that would require even one pill, much less seven! (I’m grateful my doctor is reasonable about my 232 cholesterol number.) I do know a couple of people who are on lots of pills — one on 32/day and another says she takes a whole teacup full at breakfast. I’m sure there must be a market for those four-story, 28-bin pill boxes they sell in the old people’s catalogs, because they keep showing up year after year.

    It’s too bad medicine has spun so crazy out of control and out of usefulness. Basic medicine as it has developed really has made our lives better.

    I’m surprised some people have room for breakfast after the pills.

    Reply
  15. Marilyn

    Funny story: Years ago, I knew a very elderly woman who was living alone in a little house on her son’s farm. She would take her prescriptions home and dump the pills into a bowl on the table. Every once in a while, she’d pick one out and take it. I don’t know how long this went on before they discovered it, but she seemed to be none the worse for it.

    I don’t know why, but that’s a funny image, picking one from the bowl.

    Reply
  16. Anne

    Well, I am one of those old people who are on prescription meds. I had cardiac bypass about 12 yrs ago and still take two low dose heart meds. Also take thyroid med. Now just maybe if I had known about the diet health link years ago I would not be using those meds. Too many sugary crap foods in my past. I am happy that I have to take only those 3.

    Some people develop ailments that require drugs even if they’re on a great diet. The problem these days is that too many people are taking drugs for ailments that could be avoided.

    Reply
  17. KC

    My father made it to 99 and the only prescription drug he was on was eye drops for Glaucoma. Every time his blood pressure was taken the doctors would comment that he had the blood pressure of a teenager. For most of his life he would have 3 scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast 6 days a week and one day week have waffles. He also tended to have a lot of salads for lunch, or soup. He didn’t follow any specific type of diet just pretty much ate what he wanted. Even though he never smoked he ended up getting lung cancer

    Unfortunately, that happens. My grandfather died of lung cancer despite not being a smoker.

    Reply
  18. Angel

    My dad stopped taking almost all his meds a few months ago because they interfered with his drinking. After a few weeks of detox (from the meds – the drinking never stopped), he started feeling better than he has in years. Ironically, he doesn’t get quite the buzz now that he used to get, because his liver is not as overtaxed as it was with all the meds – it can handle the alcohol better now.

    Although he’s still eating junk, he does have an increased appetite and some reviving taste buds, so he occasionally wants decent food instead of the usual junk.

    I hope that doesn’t mean he’s drinking more to get the buzz.

    Reply
  19. Tammy

    Guess my Grandma is one of the statistics, she’s 89, still lives by herself and gets along fine but she does take 1 prescription med for high BP. She is old school and does not want to take any meds even for the high BP.

    I’m 43 and I do take a bunch of vitamins everyday, but I don’t count those as meds. I’ve gotten the same way where if I get a headache or something, I just ride it out rather than take OTC meds. Haven’t had heartburn or even a headcold since I quit eating wheat two years ago, go figure.

    I take a few vitamins as well. I don’t consider them drugs. The primary side effect seems to be enhanced health.

    Reply
  20. Pierce

    I fully believe that it’s only a matter of time before the statin debacle is, as several posters mentioned, dwarved by the use of psychiatric drugs on children. The idea of giving things like SSRIs, which honest doctors will admit are not fully understood (leaving aside the questionable efficiacy in adults) in terms of their effects on brain chemistry to children with developing brains and on whom the drugs have not been subjected to long term tests is outrageous. It is truly truly sad.

    On a related note, I was very lucky growing up to have the pediatrician I did during an era when Ritalin et al were getting popular. My pre-kintergarden teacher advised my parents that I was rowdy and might benefit from medication. My doctor’s response was “Really? Have her call me.” We never heard a peep from that teacher again.

    I know some people whose lives would have been better if they’d had your pediatrician.

    Reply
  21. Angele

    Soon to be age 72 and no drugs or medication or doctor. I was raised by a mother who was called a “health nut’ and “food fanatic” meaning she educated herself on eating healthy. She told me I could take care of myself and it has worked so far except for an emergency such as a broken arm. She always thought it was funny when people asked her what her doctor said? When she told them she did not have one they thought she was not telling the truth.

    I feel blessed for my good health and I work at it. Thank you for your website info.

    Your grandma sounds like a wise woman.

    Reply
  22. Ellen

    My 75 year old mother just threw away an anti inflammatory prescribed to her after the pharamacist warned her about the bad combination it would make with the blood thinner she’s taking (the same doctor prescribed both!). Thank god she hates taking medicine, she has allergic reactions to many of them. The blood thinner is for blood clots she had after knee replacement and she hopes to be off it soon too.

    Then there’s my mother-in-law who I just brought home today after breaking her arm from a fall – severe osteoporosis. She takes handfulls of pills every day and asked me to get her some sweet tea and powdered doughnuts. Ugh!!! She tells me how lean I’ve become and I try to explain to her about low carb, but she’s too addicted to carbs and won’t change her diet.

    Sweet tea and donuts aren’t going to help with the pain from that broken arm.

    Reply
  23. Deranged Viking

    I just saw a news report here in Springfield, IL talking about the cutbacks in Medicaid for seniors. They interviewed an upper-60’s (my guess at age) woman who had 15 prescriptions that she took daily.

    The thought that went thru my head was – I’m certain that there are some potnetial bad drug interactions in that mix, and most certainly some of the drugs she is taking are countering the effects of others.

    The funny thing is she looked relatively healthy. Wonder what would happen is she just randomly stopped taking one.. then another…

    Reply
  24. Deranged Viking

    By the way, I have sworn off ALL medications too. NO more meds or vitamins.
    Unless I get sick or stung by something like you did recently!

    I wouldn’t necessarily swear off the vitamins.

    Reply
  25. smgj

    And what about birth control? In Norway (and most countries in Europe) BC pills is prescription only….

    I doubt that’s an issue for the over-50 crowd.

    Reply
  26. Galina L.

    My son told me that some (probably many) student on campus take Ritalin by prescription or buy it from people who take it legally during test period or they are unable to study.

    Good grief.

    Reply
  27. Marilyn

    Tom wrote: “I’m surprised some people have room for breakfast after the pills.”

    They must have stomachs lined inside with zink! The very thought of taking all those pills makes me nauseous.

    Reply
  28. Angel

    My dad stopped taking almost all his meds a few months ago because they interfered with his drinking. After a few weeks of detox (from the meds – the drinking never stopped), he started feeling better than he has in years. Ironically, he doesn’t get quite the buzz now that he used to get, because his liver is not as overtaxed as it was with all the meds – it can handle the alcohol better now.

    Although he’s still eating junk, he does have an increased appetite and some reviving taste buds, so he occasionally wants decent food instead of the usual junk.

    I hope that doesn’t mean he’s drinking more to get the buzz.

    Reply
  29. Katy

    Re: young people on blood pressure meds, remember that the numbers that used to be “normal” have been reclassified as “high.” More customers for the BP meds by a stroke of the pen.

    True, but since fructose can drive high blood pressure, it wouldn’t surprise me if the average numbers have gone up.

    Reply
  30. Deranged Viking

    I just saw a news report here in Springfield, IL talking about the cutbacks in Medicaid for seniors. They interviewed an upper-60’s (my guess at age) woman who had 15 prescriptions that she took daily.

    The thought that went thru my head was – I’m certain that there are some potnetial bad drug interactions in that mix, and most certainly some of the drugs she is taking are countering the effects of others.

    The funny thing is she looked relatively healthy. Wonder what would happen is she just randomly stopped taking one.. then another…

    Reply
  31. Deranged Viking

    By the way, I have sworn off ALL medications too. NO more meds or vitamins.
    Unless I get sick or stung by something like you did recently!

    I wouldn’t necessarily swear off the vitamins.

    Reply
  32. Galina L.

    My son told me that some (probably many) student on campus take Ritalin by prescription or buy it from people who take it legally during test period or they are unable to study.

    Good grief.

    Reply
  33. Cec

    I help my niece with a wild flower garden and every year would come home with massive chigger bites. Then I read that chiggers do not like lavender so last week sprayed with lavender water and voila – only one chigger bite. Also next time you get a bug bite of any kind, try and use coconut oil on it. Greatest anti-bacterial ever made.

    If Chareva doesn’t mind me smelling like a dandy, I’ll try the lavender.

    Reply
  34. LaurieLM

    The stat about 45% of over 60s taking a statin is a horror. They have been approved for kids as young as 8, and a few docs have recommended testing kids’ cholesterol levels as young as 5?**!!! I wouldn’t say it’s a hard and fast rule, but I am a cynic and skeptic about almost everything that is advertised- ‘Corn sugar’, Lipitor and ‘healthywholegrains’ and anything ‘low-fat’ are at the top of my hit list there.
    Before Taubes, BT and Before Fat Head, BFH, I became autoimmune ‘healthywholegrains’-induced hypothyroid. I take inexpensive, effective Levoxyl, 44 micrograms/day. Along with the hypothyroid I was developing a dose of metabolic syndrome. I have stopped that in its tracks with my AT AFH new low-carb, high animal fat, protein and cholesterol diet, and I don’t worry too much about my treated thyroid problems.
    Mentioned this before and also by others. You just gotta read Yoseph’s “How Statin Drugs Really Lower Cholesterol, And Kill you One Cell At a Time”.

    I’m putting it on my list.

    Reply
  35. LeeAnn

    I was in an elevator, speaking with a co-worker, who was commenting how healthy I was looking. I mentioned to her that I went sugarless/wheatless after watching FATHEAD; it simply made sense. She said that she had diabetes; I told her that HF/LC would help her diabetes, that it’s the sugar that people consume that messes everything up. There was a morbidly obese woman on the elevator, who turned to us and said, “I rather take my insulin so I can eat whatever I want’.

    My mouth dropped. I simply didn’t know what to say…..

    On the bright side, I have almost convinced my 74 year old mother to at least TRY HF/LC. Also have a friend who is younger than me, quite large, and just diagnosed as having diabetes. I’m spreading the ‘Fathead” word….now hopefully they will at least TRY it!

    I guess the woman in the elevator believes taking insulin to control blood sugar is the same as not producing high blood sugar. Oh well, if that’s her choice …

    Reply
  36. Cec

    I help my niece with a wild flower garden and every year would come home with massive chigger bites. Then I read that chiggers do not like lavender so last week sprayed with lavender water and voila – only one chigger bite. Also next time you get a bug bite of any kind, try and use coconut oil on it. Greatest anti-bacterial ever made.

    If Chareva doesn’t mind me smelling like a dandy, I’ll try the lavender.

    Reply
  37. LaurieLM

    The stat about 45% of over 60s taking a statin is a horror. They have been approved for kids as young as 8, and a few docs have recommended testing kids’ cholesterol levels as young as 5?**!!! I wouldn’t say it’s a hard and fast rule, but I am a cynic and skeptic about almost everything that is advertised- ‘Corn sugar’, Lipitor and ‘healthywholegrains’ and anything ‘low-fat’ are at the top of my hit list there.
    Before Taubes, BT and Before Fat Head, BFH, I became autoimmune ‘healthywholegrains’-induced hypothyroid. I take inexpensive, effective Levoxyl, 44 micrograms/day. Along with the hypothyroid I was developing a dose of metabolic syndrome. I have stopped that in its tracks with my AT AFH new low-carb, high animal fat, protein and cholesterol diet, and I don’t worry too much about my treated thyroid problems.
    Mentioned this before and also by others. You just gotta read Yoseph’s “How Statin Drugs Really Lower Cholesterol, And Kill you One Cell At a Time”.

    I’m putting it on my list.

    Reply
  38. Don in Arkansas

    I guess I’m running behind on the ‘1 per decade’ stat. I’m 66 and I take only 1 prescription med plus some supplements. I used to take 4 OTC ibuprofen 3 times/day at my doc’s suggestion to control the arthritis pain in my hands. I went grain free in August 2011 (along with sugar and starches) and within a month had stopped having to take any meds to control the pain. My wife quit grains/sugar/starch at the same time and has experienced similar results along with a 50 lb. weight loss.

    Wow, that was a lot of ibuprofen. So glad you went grain-free instead of continuing that insult to your liver.

    Reply
  39. LeeAnn

    I was in an elevator, speaking with a co-worker, who was commenting how healthy I was looking. I mentioned to her that I went sugarless/wheatless after watching FATHEAD; it simply made sense. She said that she had diabetes; I told her that HF/LC would help her diabetes, that it’s the sugar that people consume that messes everything up. There was a morbidly obese woman on the elevator, who turned to us and said, “I rather take my insulin so I can eat whatever I want’.

    My mouth dropped. I simply didn’t know what to say…..

    On the bright side, I have almost convinced my 74 year old mother to at least TRY HF/LC. Also have a friend who is younger than me, quite large, and just diagnosed as having diabetes. I’m spreading the ‘Fathead” word….now hopefully they will at least TRY it!

    I guess the woman in the elevator believes taking insulin to control blood sugar is the same as not producing high blood sugar. Oh well, if that’s her choice …

    Reply
  40. deMuralist

    I have read (and it may have been here) that the US and New Zealand are the only countries where advertising drugs is legal and two countries with the most expensive health care. Saw and ad on tv the other day for a drug that just a couple of weeks earlier was advertised for a different ailment!

    My DD’s doc just told her that her cholesterol numbers are borderline! DD is 18, very energetic (ie moves a lot), and has a pretty decent diet for a college student (more sweets than I think is good, but still less than most). I wondered what the doc wanted her to do…luckily just ‘watch her diet’ and keep an eye on the numbers. eeek. I told her that I would not allow her to medicate for it, and she whole heartedly agreed.

    She’s lucky you know about the dangers of statins.

    Reply
  41. Susan

    Speaking of drugs . . . Has anyone recently seen a commercial for Fosamax or Boniva lately? I am only asking because I have not seen one in quite a while, and I used to see them just about every day.

    Reply
  42. Linda

    And the beat goes on………….a new drug just approved for obesity, with a lovely list of side effects.

    “Side effects from Belviq include serotonin syndrome – a potentially life-threatening drug reaction that causes the body to produce too much serotonin and causes symptoms of agitation, diarrhea, heavy sweating, fever, muscle spasms, tremors or mental health changes. People taking antidepressants or migraine drugs that increase serotonin levels may be at an increased risk for this side effect. The drug may also cause “disturbances in attention or memory,” the FDA said.”

    Good grief!

    Of course the patient will also receive counseling, diet info and exercise recommendations that work so well, as we all know.

    Ugh. I’d rather be fat.

    Reply
  43. Don in Arkansas

    I guess I’m running behind on the ‘1 per decade’ stat. I’m 66 and I take only 1 prescription med plus some supplements. I used to take 4 OTC ibuprofen 3 times/day at my doc’s suggestion to control the arthritis pain in my hands. I went grain free in August 2011 (along with sugar and starches) and within a month had stopped having to take any meds to control the pain. My wife quit grains/sugar/starch at the same time and has experienced similar results along with a 50 lb. weight loss.

    Wow, that was a lot of ibuprofen. So glad you went grain-free instead of continuing that insult to your liver.

    Reply
  44. Marilyn

    @ Deranged Viking: Wouldn’t it be nice it the cutbacks to Medicaid encouraged doctors to prescribe only the most necessary drugs?

    Reply
  45. deMuralist

    I have read (and it may have been here) that the US and New Zealand are the only countries where advertising drugs is legal and two countries with the most expensive health care. Saw and ad on tv the other day for a drug that just a couple of weeks earlier was advertised for a different ailment!

    My DD’s doc just told her that her cholesterol numbers are borderline! DD is 18, very energetic (ie moves a lot), and has a pretty decent diet for a college student (more sweets than I think is good, but still less than most). I wondered what the doc wanted her to do…luckily just ‘watch her diet’ and keep an eye on the numbers. eeek. I told her that I would not allow her to medicate for it, and she whole heartedly agreed.

    She’s lucky you know about the dangers of statins.

    Reply
  46. Susan

    Speaking of drugs . . . Has anyone recently seen a commercial for Fosamax or Boniva lately? I am only asking because I have not seen one in quite a while, and I used to see them just about every day.

    Reply

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