Another reason why I see a naturopath.
There was an interesting piece on the radio this morning called Doctors May Not Know Which Drug is Best. Here’s the summary:
Doctors prescribe specific drugs based on how well they think individual drugs actually work. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that in many cases, doctors don’t have enough information to know which drug is best.
You can listen to the story by clicking the link on the story name.
When you’re taking a large number of prescription drugs, as well as many supplements, and getting a huge dose of chemo/poison once a week it’s difficult to know how all that “stuff” floating through your system will interact.
[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=prescription+drugs&iid=307849″ src=”0304/0000304567.jpg?adImageId=11175313&imageId=307849″ width=”234″ height=”302″ /]For example, I’d love to take advantage of the new information about aspirin helping to reduce breast cancer recurrence, but one of the intravenous drugs I get is Zometa, and taking aspirin with Zometa can cause kidney failure. I asked the oncologist if I should be taking aspirin and if there would be a problem with any of the drugs he’d prescribed. He said I could go ahead and take it if I wanted and he didn’t know of any problems. The naturopath knew about the problems, but we’re still discussing a very low dose that might not have a bad effect on my kidneys.
I don’t think the the oncologist is ill informed within his specialty nor do I think he’s anything but very smart; instead, I think that his main focus and training is somewhere else and that his field changes so quickly that he needs to concentrate on keeping up with the latest in cancer research and how to treat patients with odd diagnoses (like me). That’s what I pay him for.
There are professionals who are trained to concentrate on drug and supplement interactions and what you need to watch out for. The naturopath is one great source. Another is a a pharmacist.
So, watch what you pop in your mouth. Take a warning from the many famous people who die of an “accidental drug overdose” these days. Sometimes this just a way to put a good face on a suicide, but others are because someone innocently took a combination of drugs that turned out to be lethal. Over-the-counter drugs and supplements, combined badly, can be just as much of a problem as prescription drugs.
Also keep in mind that certain people react to certain drugs and supplements in unexpected ways. For example, I can’t take a common anti-anxiety drug that many cancer patients take because it flattens me with stomach pains for days on end. After a bit of research and a quick discussion with a pharmacist I found out that this is an unusual reaction, but not one that has never been reported. If you have an odd reaction like that after taking a drug or supplement, call the pharmacist or talk with a naturopath if you’re seeing one.
This ends my public service announcement for the day.