The October, 2009 issue of AARP bulletin listed the 50 most prescribed drugs in the U.S. in 2008. At first look, one might scroll through the list and see where the prescriptions that they take fall in the line-up. As I was reading through the list, I saw a pattern emerging; a very disturbing one. I totalled the numbers for prescriptions for the same ailments and came up with the four leading ones:
#4 – The number of prescriptions written for Type II Diabetes 40.1 million! = 1.78 billion dollars in pharmaceutical sales.
#3 – Americans must be in a lot of pain, because doctors wrote 214.7 million prescriptions for pain medications; another 1.78 billion dollars.
#2 – Apparently we needed 238 million prescriptions for depression and/or anxiety, for a cool 2.4 billion dollars for the drug industry.
#1 – And, I’ll bet you can guess what the doctors were busy scribbling on their prescription pads. You got it! 3 billion dollars were spent on meds to treat hypertension or better known as high blood pressure.
America is sick! And you know what the saddest fact about it is? All four of these diseases could be avoided or controlled with an active lifestyle, regular exercise, healthy eating, rest, and de-stressing. Now, before you jump all over me, let me say that I recognize that prescription medications are absolutely necessary in many situations. I don’t have a thyroid, so I have to take Synthroid the rest of my life. I am a Fibromyalgia sufferer, so without medication, my body will not function. But, there are many meds that doctors have tried to force on me that I don’t need and refuse to take. Others are pre-disposed, by genetics, to certain diseases. So, I do know there are those of us who require medication. My furor and passion rests with the meds that we don’t need, and the fact that by living healthier many could be avoided. This is what gets me riled!
For twenty plus years, I have preached, encouraged, cajoled, and begged people to adopt these principles of healthy living. I’m tired of it! I’m tired of spending my hard earned tax dollars on people who don’t help themselves. None of us can whine or pound our fists over healthcare reform. We’ve already spoken…loud and clear…with the state of our health! We’re LAZY, LAZY, LAZY! In my opinion, if we aren’t personally doing anything to improve our health, we can’t expect the government to bail us out of our illness.
Just look at the billions of dollars we are spending to fund an industry that consistently rapes us. The pharmaceutical industry spends millions of dollars per year to provide meals and other niceties to our physicians, who in turn write their prescriptions, and pass out their samples, with little or no knowledge of what that poison can ultimately do to our bodies. Without question, we accept it.
A couple of years ago, I went to my doctor. I told her that I wanted to come off some medication that had been prescribed a few years earlier, for menopausal symptoms and fibromyalgia. Instead, she wanted to add two new meds! I questioned her and refused the meds. I had already researched those particular meds and wasn’t having anything to do with them. I took myself off the meds and went to a natural approach. I’m doing great!
Lower blood pressure is a walk-in-the-park, literally. Exercise helps to decrease blood pressure. It decreases the risk of Type II Diabetes, and if you already have it, it will decrease your need for medications. Exercise boosts endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain killer. Exercise improves mood, lessens feelings of depression, and decreases symptoms of pre and post-menopause. You’ll sleep better, look better, and feel better about yourself if you will exercise.
Seventy percent of all illness is caused by stress. De-stress! Practice deep breathing and relaxation. Do yoga, Pilates, go for a walk, stretch, light those candles, soak in the tub, go to a movie, dance…whatever it takes to relieve stress, do it!
Take time for your spiritual health. My mother used to sing a song, “Whisper a prayer in the morning. Whisper a prayer at noon. Whisper a prayer in the evening. It will keep your heart in tune.”
I didn’t set out to get my preach-on , but if that’s what it takes to get you to the altar of repentance from sick habits, then it’s worth you getting upset with me. I care about you!
I realize there is illness that we must take medications for, but I do believe that there are many ways we can avoid them. Determine right this minute that you will make a concerted effort to do your part to get healthier by adopting a healthier lifestyle. Think of what we could do with those billions of dollars we would save on medications. We could pay for healthcare for those who really need it. We could pay off some of our national debt. We could…..