Melinda When the Cure Is Worse Than the Disease

You might think that "iatrogenic disease" is some sort of rare condition. But the term actually refers to any illness caused by a physician or treatment. And it's surprisingly common. In a typical year, more than a hundred thousand hospitalized patients die from medications they had been prescribed, and more than 2 million others suffer severe side effects. Incredibly, no one knows the number of serious adverse reactions and deaths from drugs related to over-the-counter medications.

When Melinda was in her midthirties, she sought more aggressive medical treatment of her allergies and asthma, as well as of her increasingly stiff joints. Up to this point, she had used either over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines for her allergies, nasal corticosteroid hormones for her asthma, and ibuprofen (an NSAID, or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug) for her rheumatoid arthritis.

Melinda's physician put her on prednisone, a hormone treatment for allergies and arthritis, and a potent prescription-strength NSAID. Side effects from the prednisone included a seventy-pound weight gain, weakened bones, and increased susceptibility to colds and flus, which left

Melinda feeling tired much of the time. The NSAID caused a painful gastric ulcer, which was treated by a drug to reduce stomach acid.

The medications and Melinda's weight gain substantially increased her risk of heart disease and, particularly, heart failure (a catastrophic weakening of the heart muscle). Melinda's physician tried to head off the damage, but he relied solely on pharmaceutical treatment and never discussed nutrition or an anti-inflammatory diet with her. Two years later, after a battery of laboratory tests, he noted that her C-reactive protein levels were elevated, a sign of serious inflammation, so he prescribed a cholesterol-lowering "statin" drug to reduce her risk of heart disease.

The statin drug lowered Melinda's cholesterol, but it also reduced her body's production of coenzyme Q10, a vitaminlike substance needed for normal heart function. Both the statin and the NSAID increased her risk of heart failure. As Melinda's heart function declined, her physician prescribed one more drug to stimulate the heart.

Sadly, her downward spiral could not be stopped. Melinda died of heart failure at age thirty-nine, even though her symptoms could have been reversed by diet and safe nutritional supplements.

With dozens of over-the-counter and prescription anti-inflammatory drugs on the market, you might think that the cure for your aches and pains is as near as the corner pharmacy. Many of these drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, provide relief to millions of people around the world. But these and other drugs have a dark side that, perhaps in the majority of cases, outweighs their benefits. In this chapter we will look at the hazards of several classes of anti-inflammatory drugs.

Arthritis Relief Now

Arthritis Relief Now

When you hear the word arthritis, images of painful hands and joints comes into play. Few people fully understand arthritis and this guide is dedicated to anyone suffering with this chronic condition and wants relief now.

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