Every action causes a reaction, and that’s as true of what you put into your body as anything else. We all have questions about the side effects of commonly prescribed medication, so our goal this week is to learn a little bit more about them.

Supplements are well-trodden ground on Foodtrainers, but many of us still don’t know what to think about medicines. It’s time to examine the potential side effects, as well as natural alternatives and things we can take to complement any medication that we’re on.

NSAIDs

Whether taken daily or just occasionally, these are one of the most common forms of medication. An occasional Advil is fine, but it can become a problem when it forms a habit or even just something that we rely on, too heavily. They’re meant to treat inflammation and joint painjoint-pain and to lessen the symptoms of fever, so they have a significant impact on our body-chemistry. As such, they come with many potential side effectsside-effects, including:

  • Adverse gut health
  • Hormonal side effects

Potential supplement alternatives are:

 

PPIs (acid blockers)

These meds block the production of stomach acid to alleviate acid reflux. Heartburn or the sensation of reflux in the throat can be distressing, so taking these can often seem like a great idea, but it’s important to remember that stomach acid has important bodily important, bodily functions, so decreasing it can affect your ability to effectively absorb nutrients from food. PPIs aren’t intended for long-term use, but some people get so comfortable taking them that they become a staple part of their lives. That’s when this becomes a problem. PPIs treat the symptoms, but when it comes to acid reflux, we should strive to treat the cause. Common solutions include:

  • Losing weight
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Cutting back on caffeine or spicy foods

 

Additionally, doing the following can also help:

  • Chewing more, so that we aren’t trying to digest such large pieces of food
  • Digestive rest: giving our body a 2-3 hour break between meals (with no grazing!)
  • Taking magnesium supplements
  • Improving our overall gastrointestinal health

 

“The Pill” (Birth Control)

We are not here to say anyone should or shouldn’t take birth control, but people should be aware that doing so carries some serious side-effects, including higher risk of depression or suicide. If you are on any hormonal birth control methods, it’s important to supplement with:

 

Statins

One of the most prescribed (probably over-prescribed) meds out there are statins. These are meds like Lipitor and Crestor. Some of the more commonly known side-effects include severe muscle-pain and a risk of liver damage. If you exercise and take these, the impact on your muscles and levels of energy could significantly impact your work out, reducing the benefits you would normally see.

If you do take statins, these supplements can help offset the side effects:

  • CoQ-10
  • Vitamin-D

Just to reiterate: we are not anti-medication! We should never feel bad for taking medicine if we need it. It’s just important to know the risks and side effects  that can come with what we’re taking. That way, we’re able to make an informed decision and take steps to reduce, or even circumvent, and potential issues.

 

Resources:

 

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