To Pill or Not to Pill 

 February 5, 2016

By  Steve Hoffman

We have become a “pill” culture. Pharmaceutical companies are making record profits and using those profits to influence legislation so that they can make more profits. Western health care providers have very little else to offer patients (besides surgery). And you know what? We are sicker than ever before. Part of the problem is that many of these medications only address the symptom and do not address the underlying cause of the disease. Taking medication for Type II diabetes? Yes, it will help control your blood sugar levels (on an increasingly less effective basis) but the problem is that you are still sick! Do you know what the label on Nexium (a popular acid reflux medication) says? “Do not take for longer than 14 days” Really, what you supposed to do then?? The medication has not cured anything and in most cases, coming off of the medication will cause a rebound effect and cause things to be worse! What does this prompt you to do? Take more! This sounds suspiciously like getting the patient hooked on something. And now a study has shown that these proton-pump inhibitors (PPI’s) have been linked to an increased risk of kidney disease. Actually, now it sounds criminal. Clinical trials for these medications (mostly set up or paid for by the very companies that are producing the medications) are performed on a very small group of people, usually in the hundreds, to demonstrate safety and efficacy. The trials are done for a short period of time and by the way, efficacy is demonstrated by showing benefit above placebo (which has a 40% success rate). The scary truth is that no one knows how the general population (and more importantly, YOU) will react to the medication and what side effects will show up after years of taking these medications. Add to this the fact that a many people are taking more than one type of medicine (and often several at once, prescribed by different specialists) and you really have a recipe for disaster.

So what can you do. The best thing you can do is act proactively to prevent disease or illness from taking hold. Diet and exercise are key and you know what, you don’t have to pay anyone a penny to exercise or eat right. You are paying money for your food now, you just need to learn how to eat right for your body. It costs you nothing to walk, get a yoga DVD from the library and practice, learn some simple meditation. If you insist on spending money, you can find places to exercise for pennies a day. The other thing that you can do is have a team of wellness professionals (beyond your allopathic practitioner) to help you navigate and keep you on a path of optimal health. Acupuncture excels at preventative medicine, Chiropractors, Homeopaths and other holistic practitioners can help you not only prevent disease and illness, but can help you live your life to its fullest potential. The decisions that you make right now, every day will affect how you live your later years. Do you want to spend your time managing a bunch of different medications, being a guinea pig for the pharmaceutical industry to see what side effects are discovered years later. Or do you want to live a healthy, fulfilled life. The choice is yours. Already dealing with heartburn or pain or increasing blood sugar levels? You can manage and eliminate these problems. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine has track record for safety and efficacy going back thousands of years for these and many other conditions. Call today to find out how we can help you, thats free too!

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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