“I want to get off of my medications.”
Many people come to me wanting to discontinue their pharmaceutical medications either because they are experiencing unpleasant side effects or because they “just don’t like the idea of taking medications.” I often support people in getting off of medications but sometimes I talk people into staying on those medications because they may be the very best treatment. In other words, some medications are prescribed unnecessarily and others are life-saving treatments.
Restore Balance to Eliminate Need for Medications
I generally do not prescribe something to directly substitute a medication. Substituting herbs for a medication or treating symptoms is also known as a “green band aid.” Instead, I investigate why you needed that medication in the first place. We work to address those underlying causes, restore balance to your body and eliminate the need for medications. Here are some examples:
- Lisa’s blood pressure has been gradually climbing for the past few years. Her primary care provider
prescribed Lisinopril but she has not started taking it yet. She had a promotion three years ago that meant increased responsibility and stress. With the increased stress, she has been buying her lunch more and she “hasn’t had time for exercise.” I prescribed some herbs and nutrients that help to lower blood pressure but also helped her find ways to pack a healthy lunch and schedule a walk so that she can work towards not requiring a medication to regulate her blood pressure.
- Glen was recently prescribed omeprazole because he had heartburn. The heartburn pain went away but he has noticed lots of joint pain since starting the omeprazole. I helped Glen find out what his triggers for heartburn are by discussing common triggers that include not only spicy or fatty foods but also caffeine and alcohol. We also created a food log where he tracks his heartburn symptoms and the foods he eats. While investigating food triggers, I prescribed melatonin that strengthens the sphincter that keeps food in the stomach and deglycyrrhizinated licorice that protects and heals the lining of the esophagus and stomach.
As you can see, many of these treatments require more dedication on the part of the patient. The benefit of these treatments is that the side effects include feeling great and losing excess weight. I am continually amazed at how making small, sustainable changes has such dramatic, long-term health benefits.
Dr. Gwenn Rosenberg