A recent issue of the British Medical Journal revealed that a medication commonly given to Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes to reduce agitation is actually making the Alzheimer’s progress faster.
The drug with this effect is quetiapine (brand name Seroquel) is one of a handful of anti-psychotic medications given to patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia.The study found that those given quetiapine experienced cognative decline twice as rapidly as those given a placebo.
It is tragic to discover that a drug used to treat one symptom actually causes a disease to get worse. However, an honest appraisal of drugs commonly used in the conventional medical world would find that this is the rule, rather than the exception.
The vast majority of medications have side effects: they cause symptoms in the body in addition to (hopefully) helping to relieve the symptoms being treated. To call them side effects, though, is misleading. These symptoms created by the medication are effects, new imbalances in the body created by the drug that leads to new symptoms.
The known side effects of a given medication are only part of the problem, though. Drug trials can last for anywhere from a few months to a few years, so negative health consequences of the drug that don’t show up in that time period remain as unknown side effects. And there is good reason to think that every medication has many, many unknown side effects.
For example, drugs to inhibit acid production in the stomach such as Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix and others are are commonly given not only for ulcers, but for indigestion generally. The list of side effects of Nexium includes at least 30 different physical symptoms that could be caused by the drug, plus a dozen alterations in blood chemistry.These side effects were recorded in studies that lasted as long as 12 months.
Stomach acid plays an important role in proper protein digestion, in vitamin and mineral absorption, in inhibition of microbial overgrowth in the digestive tract, and in many other processes. The consequences of these may not show up within a 12-month study, but could take years to develop.
When medications interfere with one or more processes in the body, there will be consequences. It is likely that most of those consequences are not as dramatic as the one found in the Alzheimer’s patients given Seroquel. But true health care should enhance vitality and overall well-being, not narrowly suppress a symptom while creating others.
The physicians at Nature Cures Clinic create comprehensive treatment plans for patients. Rather than targeting individual symptoms, the goal is to reestablish balance within the body though nutrition, herbs, targeted supplements, body work, acupuncture, hypnosis or other appropriate therapies. After all, symptoms are the body’s way of telling us that something is out of balance.
If you or someone you know would like to get out of the cycle of medications and try a different approach to relieving your symptoms, just visit our New Appointments Page. Our clinic will contact you to schedule your visit.
Medications used to put out one fire will often start other fires in the process. A comprehensive naturopathic treatment plan, though, takes away the fuel for the fires so they go out on their own.