Saturday, June 30, 2012

I Trust My Doctor Too Much...

Back in the wintertime, I had a cough which was sometimes uncontrollable. I went to the GP and then killed all the bacteria in my body. But the cough continued. Finally it was diagnosed as reflux and burning of the esophagus. The doctor who made that diagnosis is a very kind doctor, and I was excited to get a diagnosis and totally failed to think through about the medication I was taking. The pill worked very well, but as I was reading The Acid Reflux Solution I realized that I should have done a lot more homework on Nexium.

I thought Nexium was a wonder drug -- it took care of my cough and seemed to be healing my esophagus. I didn't realize it's also prohibiting my stomach from producing acid, the thing which my stomach needs to do to help me digest foods. I don't feel heartburn with the reflux because it seems to just irritate my throat; for that, the pill has been great. But I've also experienced extreme tiredness and stomach irritation and bloating. Makes sense, since my stomach can't really digest foods. But I also didn't know that use of reflux medications (even Tums) can make you more susceptible to deficiencies in iron and calcium; lower levels of red blood cells would make me more tired. So I'm going to try some natural remedies of slippery elm and perhaps marshmallow!

Though medications is not what I normally talk about, it was a reminder to me to look for natural solutions too. The prescription drug industry is a piece of work. (As I was trying to find information, I read about the controversy about Nexium and Prilosec, both essentially the same medication made by the same company, but the "newer" edition marketed to be better -- much like the way I think about university courses and their various newer editions of textbooks)

Now this does not make me anti-medication -- I can raise my hand to another epidural if that time comes. But I need to make sure I brainstorm about multiple options instead of so quickly taking pills.