The words translated “First do no harm” have been attributed to Hippocrates but there has been much debate as to whether this quote came from him, from his “Hippocratic Oath” or from some other source. Quite frankly, as a Wellness professional, it matters very little to me when, where or who spoke the words. The concept is sound. And it is for that reason I am a proponent of Holistic wellness, natural and integrative approaches to health care.
Most prescription pharmaceuticals and OTC (over the counter) products have a host of side effects and contraindications while taking the drugs and another set that may occur as you try to wean yourself from them. Some cause symptoms that may require you to take yet another drug to deal with the symptoms caused by the first drug.
Dr. Mercola’s website lists these 26 “terrifying” side effects:
- Drainage, crusting, or oozing of your eyes or eyelids
- Swollen, black, or “hairy” tongue
- Changes in the shape or location of body fat
- Decrease in testicle size
- Sores or swelling in your rectal or genital area
- Blue lips or fingernails
- Purple spots on your skin
- White patches or sores inside your mouth or on your lips
- Irregular back-and- forth movements of your eyes
- Enlarged breasts in males.
- Unusual risk-taking behavior, no fear of danger
- Extreme fear
- Hallucinations, fainting, coma
- Fussiness, irritability, crying for an hour or longer
- Thoracic Hematoma (bleeding into your chest)
- A blood clot in your lung
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- A lump in your breast
- Decreased bone marrow function
- Congestive heart failure
- Nerve pain lasting for several weeks or months
- Bleeding that will not stop
- Coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds
Let’s take depression for example. This is a condition that is becoming more commonplace in our fast-paced and stressful lives. Most folk feel a little blue now and again and some suffer from depression. Many doctors will prescribe depression meds for what may be relatively mild cases. A common drug prescribed is Cymbalta®. Possible side effects from the drug are:
Worsening depression, other psychiatric conditions, suicidal thoughts or actions, panic attacks, trouble sleeping, irritability, hostile actions, impulsivity, severe restlessness.
Admittedly depression can be very debilitating and it isn’t something anyone would want to deal with in the long term. It can be a chronic condition not just an occasional mood disturbance. We are talking about more than the blues. And in many cases an allopathic medical intervention is called for but there are much more natural, holistic approaches that can be considered to lessen the need for or the amount of medication taken.
- Exercise is a tremendous help and it doesn’t have to be strenuous Iron man type training. Regular aerobic type for 20 minutes per day at least 3 times per week will do the trick.
- Meditation activities including Tai Chi, guided or mindful meditation, yoga or repetitive prayer.
- A personal spiritual practice has been found to reduce stress that may cause or exacerbate depression.