February 21, 2017

Medication Matters: When The Cure Is Worse Than The Disease

Looking after your health can easily feel like a full-time job. In many ways it is, really, as you’re never 100% off the clock. Even when you’re indulging yourself with a treat, you know there are red lines not to cross. But it’s when you have an existing health issue that it becomes indispensable to maintain a laser focus. Not only do you have the condition, you also need to manage the treatment.

This can be straightforward with some conditions, where the primary form of treatment may be to refrain from doing the wrong things. If all you have to do is cut out a certain food, drink or behavior, it’s not easy but is simple. But with some conditions, the treatment takes its own toll. And that can feel bitterly ironic. “The cure is worse than the disease” is a phrase with a long history.

Cancer Sufferers: How Chemotherapy Can Become Intolerable

There is a standard image most of us have in our heads when we think of cancer patients. Emaciated, exhausted and sometimes bald. And while cancer can be an aggressive illness and needs to be chased, that look may often have more to do with chemotherapy. A treatment that involves bombarding both the illness and the whole body with drugs? That’s going to have a toll.

chemotherapy systemImage from Pixabay

To deal with these side effects, which include nausea, fatigue and sores, you really need to speak to a doctor. Nausea can be limited by drinking ginger tea, but most of the other side effects need more targeted intervention.

Digestive Illness Treatment: How PPIs Have Taken A Toll

For people who suffer from heartburn and excess acid, Protein Pump Inhibitors have played a major part in lessening symptoms. There is no doubt that stomach acid can be a very real problem and its symptoms debilitating. Although we can look at managing the condition, a doctor will often prescribe a Proton Pump Inhibitor to limit symptoms.

violet pillsImage from Flickr

The drawback to this is that long-term use can cause problems that are worse than the condition. Many people who have used medication such as Lansoprazole or Omeprazole have gone on to suffer kidney complaints. If you can manage a heartburn-type condition by dietary changes, do. If not, talk about your options with your doctor.

Mental Health Conditions: Beware Of Swapping One Problem For Another

Today, more people than ever before are reporting symptoms of mental health issues. This has even led to some people having skeptical views on how real the conditions are. The truth is, they are very real. That they were not reported to the same extent before has more to do with their symptoms being unseen. However, this has also meant that their treatments are often at best speculative.

students sleeping in the classroomImage from Wikipedia

People who are prescribed anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication report a range of side effects. These can range from lethargy to insomnia, lack of appetite and excessive appetite. It can take a long time to find the right treatment for you – do not be afraid to request a change in medication if your side effects are severe.

The human body and brain are amazingly powerful things, and capable of so much. This does mean that when something goes wrong, it can have a profound impact. Putting it right can take time, trial and error. Always be ready to discuss side effects with any treatment. If the toll of a medication is worse than the condition it treats, it’s not worth it.

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