Have you ever begun researching or looking for information on something, and it leads to more research ad infinitum? Well, that has happened to me over the course of the last six weeks. It’s all good stuff and I’m super excited to begin sharing it with you all, but first I have to get it unpacked properly from my brain. I love learning and uncovering new information…. it makes my heart go pitter patter, even if it does at some point begin to give me blurry vision and in need of a map as I return from the warren of learning I’m being steeped in.
The gopher hole (yes, I know the cuties above are actually prairie dogs!) I went down began with a simple question that had been ping ponging about in my brain for several months. I am a holistically minded pharmacist as you may well know, and I LOVE to help people realize feasible ways prevent dis-ease, restore function, and become optimally healthy. In a word: Not just surviving, but thriving!
There ARE times when medication is necessary and Western medicine needs to work its magic thru intervention, but really….. this needs to be reserved for emergent care, when holistic measures have failed, or when genetics simply deal us a challenging hand.
Unfortunately, we have become an immediate gratification society, and the ‘grab and go’ healthcare system has capitalized on that. It’s much easier to take a pill for a symptom than it is to identify the root cause and work towards fixing what’s actually ‘broken’…..but taking a pill (or having an elective surgery) will ALWAYS have a consequence, and frequently, it may have more than one consequence. Often, the consequence will simply replace the original symptom (dysfunction), but occasionally, it can open a can of worms that was bigger than the first problem. I’ve seen this scenario happen too many times to count in my career.
“We” (ie: our current worldview) tend to discount risk versus immediate benefit in lieu of the desire for an immediate ‘fix’. When the immediate need is resolved, the focus of our attention is removed from the problem (or dysfunction)…. we’ve moved on to the next thing. Meanwhile, the risk may have slowly and quietly slipped thru the cracked door, and we fail to notice the correlation….. benign neglect, innocent ignorance of our own bodies, willingly handing over the ‘care and feeding of us’ to a Third Party who has little or no vested interest in our optimal health….. regardless of the reason(s)….. secondary dysfunction has crept in on padded feet.
Here is but one example:
Statins are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States for high cholesterol. Nearly 30% of adults over 40 are on them. Impressive stat for Big Pharma, right?
But let’s go over another set of stats on the statins. Statins work by blocking a VIP enzyme called HMG-CoA. When this enzyme is blocked…. it blocks the production of cholesterol, but it also blocks the production of a nutrient called CoQ10. (Blocking the production of cholesterol is a post unto itself, that I will tackle next week and unpack for you…. cholesterol has been demonized when in actuality, it is an absolutely vital component to our well being)CoQ10 is critically important, and it can be supplemented to offset potential problems. Unfortunately, in my experience, most doctors never tell their patients this when they hand them a statin prescription. The doctor ‘might’ tell them to let them know if they have unusual soreness or cramping in their legs (a warning sign of something called rhabdomyolysis). This is a common ‘side effect’ of statin use…. but the reality is that it’s a sign of a secondary deficiency that crept thru the door that statin use opened. Other signs of CoQ10 deficiency include:
- cardiac arrhythmia or palpitations, which could land you on medication. (Low CoQ10 is found in nearly all patients with heart failure. Read into that what you will…..)
- depression or memory loss (meds for this too)
- fatigue (you may live with this, or begin self medicating with caffeine or other stimulants)
- Impotence or decreased libido (ugh!)
- High blood sugar (setting you up for diabetes OR making your current diabetic state harder to manage or regulate….. don’t even get me started!)In 2014, the American Diabetes Association actually made the recommendation that all adults over the age of 40 take statins. (I’ll speak more to this when I write that cholesterol post)
Does this worry you? It should. And this is but one class of medications that causes a deficiency of CoQ10.
Now, I’m not a doctor, and please….. do not take my words (or anyone’s words) as gospel. I am all about self study and whole truth… which is not always easy to come by in the healthcare industry. (Remember, there are billions of dollars at stake here.) I encourage all of you to become the best advocate of you that you can be. Nobody knows you better than you, right? Self study can be a little confusing if you aren’t used to it. Talk to your healthcare provider. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions….. and above all, be armed with knowledge that you yourself have found. Do not be afraid to shake the dust off your shoes and move on if your doctor doesn’t take full consideration of your concerns.
If this post has rattled your cage a little, so be it. That is my job as a pharmacist…. to point out some things that are important for a body to stay healthy, and it’s your choice whether to keep your head in the sand or be on the lookout for danger. We (pharmacists) are trained to counsel on side effects, but we need to be taking it a step further …..counseling on the causes of those side effects as well as potential ways to mitigate them, and to teach our tribe how to not just avoid deficiency, but to have optimal health in the process.
This is but one of the reasons I believe proper supplementation is so absolutely critical to living well, but especially if you are one of the millions who are on (and may need to remain on) a medication. Because statin use is also now being linked to probable Vitamin D deficiency, I recommend both MindWise and OmegaGize3 as being stellar products in the supplement industry… for everyone. Don’t wait for a deficiency to actually happen. It’s much harder to fix than it is to prevent, right?
If these products are new to you, I encourage you to learn more about Young Living and why I’ve chosen them as my supplement company of choice. You can learn more about the company and how to receive discounted pricing by returning to my home page, or if you’d like to chat, please reach out to me. That’s why I’m here.
Be well, and have a glorious day!
Hugs and Love, Liz