Why I Don’t Take Prescription Drugs
Last updated: June 2018
Before I go into this article, I want to apologize to anyone that I might offend. These are simply my opinions and I don’t intend to discourage anyone from their course of health. By all means, you have every right to choose any route that works best for you, and so do I.
Most of my life, whenever I would suffer from a sickness or infection, I’d be given either a prescription or an over-the-counter medication. When I was a kid, and still to this day, as soon as I mentioned a headache, or back pain, I was quickly told to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Back then, I had no idea what these medications consisted of, but I did what I was told. When I would take said medication, many times I would hardly feel any relief and would end up having to take more than the recommended dose just to find the alleviation I wanted. Little did I know that kind of practiced behavior could have led to addiction or, worse, overdose. Regardless of the side effects, I thought it was a norm to always consume medication for illnesses or pain because that’s what I was conditioned to do since I was a child.
When I started dealing with IBS, I remember having a shopping bag full of prescribed medicine that I eventually ended up throwing out. I had prescription for muscle spasms, depression, anxiety, GERD, bacterial infections, spastic colon, I mean, I had (and still have) issues. When I realized how much medication I was consuming just to try and manage my symptoms, I was appalled for the simple fact that I was allowed so much. Not because I was untrustworthy or addicted to drugs, but because I didn’t understand why it was taking so many to fulfill a single purpose. I was given medication that was meant to relieve a certain symptom of the problem, not the source or the problem as a whole. So while I was taking medication for diarrhea, I still had stomach pain, distention, and anxiety that also needed to be treated. Sometimes the prescribed medication would have side effects that added on to the pile of symptoms I was already dealing with.
A great example of a drug that has severe side effects was one created for irritable bowel syndrome. It is known as Alosetron, or the market name, Lotronex. According to Dr. Mark Pimentel, in his book A New IBS Solution– Bacteria – The Missing Link In Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome, referring to Lotronex, “For one thing, it worked not by slowing down gut movement but by shutting off much of movement altogether… Shutting down gut movement led to severe constipation in up to 30 percent of IBS patients taking the drug…in some cases, side effects were severe enough that colon removal was needed, and even severe enough that patients died.” (p.24-25) Needless to say, the drug creates a potential problem I certainly don’t want to face. We’ve all known that every drug comes with side effects, but some are more fatal than others.
I’ve had my fair share of undesired side effects. For example, when I would take Omeprazole for my GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), or even Amoxicillin to treat my stomach infection, I would always feel nauseous. In fact, so nauseous that I barely would want to eat anything in fear of making my nausea worse, and I certainly did not feel up to being a part of “regular life.” This type of scenario would happen to me with almost every prescribed medication I took. Eventually, I began looking at prescribed medicine (for my IBS) as a sense of false hope, but also as something to fear. How do I know if they aren’t going to cause long term effects? It was too stressful to deal with, so I simply had to stop taking them, and I did.
My preferred method of managing my IBS right now is through a natural approach, such as dieting, exercise, and herbal remedies (i.e. teas). I’d rather figure out natural ways to cope with it, rather than feed my body unnecessary chemicals that aren’t going to heal me properly. I also feel like it’s more important to treat the source of the problem, which might be bacteria-related as opposed to just treating the symptoms. There are definitely antibiotics in the market used to kill the bad bacteria in our gut, but they only work for so long. Therefore, more research needs to be done in this area, and it is being done, so there’s hope for the future. Since choosing the natural approach to dealing with my symptoms and listening to my body, I find that it brings me more peace of mind and an actual sense of well-being. I still have my flare-ups and occasional depressive episodes - don’t get me wrong, this is IBS we’re dealing with. However, doing the best that I can with my natural approach is what works best for me. Everyone has a right to their own method of controlling their illness, so for my IBS, for the time being I choose not to take prescription drugs.
What are your thoughts on prescription drugs?
Do you suffer from IBS-C, IBS-D, or IBS-Mixed/Alternating?