4 minutes reading time (833 words)
42% of US adults take more than 5 medications per day
Did You Know?
- 42% of US adults take more than 5 medications per day.
- 15%-30% of senior hospital admissions are secondary to medication problems.
- 60% of older adults take their medication improperly and approximately 140,000 die as a result.
There is a word used to describe a person who takes 5 or more medications daily and that word is polypharmacy.
How does polypharmacy happen? Let me explain.
- He starts taking ibuprofen for back pain.
- Unable to work out, Bill gains about 20 lbs.
- Now he needs an antacid for stomach irritation from daily ibuprofen use.
- His blood pressure goes up because of weight gain, pain, and Ibuprofen.
- He now takes Amlodipine for hypertension.
- Add a stool softener for constipation from Amlodipine.
- Now he needs a diuretic for the swelling caused by the Amlodipine. Add Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).
- The ibuprofen is no longer working so Bill starts taking Norco for the back pain. His constipation gets worse.
- Bill turns to "comfort foods" and gains 10 more lbs.
- Now he has sleep apnea and needs a CPAP machine.
- His sugars start to go up and he starts taking Metformin. Then Glipizide and Januvia, but his sugars keep climbing.
- He is started on insulin to control the sugars and he gains 20 more lbs as a result (worsening insulin resistance).
- Now Bill is diabetic and is placed on a statin drug, baby aspirin, and an ACE-Inhibitor to meet medical guidelines.
- Bill has gained 20 more pounds as a result of the insulin.
- His insulin dose is increasing to try to get the sugars down.
- Now Bill has diabetic complications that could continue, leading to cardiovascular disease, amputations, dialysis, and blindness.
- Bill can't sleep and is now taking a sleeping pill.
Bill's Now On …
- Ibuprofen for pain
- Nexium for gastritis
- Amlodipine for hypertension
- HCTZ for swelling/hypertension
- Lipitor for Lipids/Diabetes
- Colace for constipation
- Miralax for constipation
- Ambien for insomnia
- Lexapro for depression/pain
- Metformin for diabetes
- Januvia and glipizide for diabetes
- Insulin for diabetes
- Norco for pain
- Lisinopril for hypertension/diabetes
- Lasix and potassium for leg swelling (edema)
- Baby Aspirin for heart protection
- Supplements/OTC meds
- CPAP Machine for sleep apnea
- Wheelchair for back pain/diabetes complications
- Eventually wound care for diabetic ulcers
- Cardiac cath/stents/CABG
Total med count: 18 plus supplements
And that is how polypharmacy happens.
~ Thomas Fuller
"Health is not valued until sickness comes."
The healthcare field has become a sickness industry. Every ill is given a pill. Doctors are taught to treat individual symptoms with medication or surgery.
- They are not taught to look for the root cause.
- They are not taught how to encourage lifestyle changes to improve health or prevent chronic disease.
- Heck, doctors receive less than 12 hours of nutrition education in all of their years of medical school & residency.
Working together we can:
- Prevent chronic disease for those not yet diagnosed
- For those who have been diagnosed, we can improve your quality of life by addressing the root cause and reversing many of those conditions. Your life doesn't have to be about disease management
- Reduce your medication bill (or prevent you from having one)
- Improve your health
- Give yourself the opportunity to enjoy your later years without weight gain, joint pain, fatigue, chronic disease, or dependence on medication.
These are only a few of the goals we can work on when we work together.
BOTTOM LINE: 93% of the US population has been diagnosed with at least one chronic disease. Millions of people are taking daily medications, spending billions of dollars annually to mask a symptom. Let's find the root cause. Let's improve your health and your quality of life today and into the future. As my good friend Sarah tells me often … "Spend a little I'money now, to save a lot later."
I'm curious ... what does "being healthy" look like to you?
If you don't make time for your health,by Author
you'll be forced to make time for your illness.
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