Industry experts predict that spending on prescription medicines in the United States will reach $610 billion by 2021. Americans often rush — or get rushed — into taking drugs too quickly, say physicians who believe in trying lifestyle changes first in many health situations.
Very often, doctors diagnose their patients in "pre-disease" stages of a condition like mild bone loss or slightly elevated blood pressure or blood sugar levels, and immediately start treating them with drugs when simple steps are enough. And often, the side effects of these drugs may actually do more harm than good.
Suzy Cohen, RPH, often referred as "America's Most Trusted Pharmacist," tells Newsmax that as a pharmacist for over 25 years she's seen her share of the good, bad, and ugly side effects of prescription drugs.
"I know we need some of them, and I know that others are not useful, or worse, they are harmful," she says.
Here are Cohen's top natural remedies from head to toe:
- Headaches. Cohen says that taking 75 milligrams of butterbur twice daily helps reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. "You can take all the triptan drugs you want but these drugs like Imitrex and Zomig usually just reduce pain and sometimes abort a headache," the author of "Headache Free" asserts. "The butterbur may slash the number of attacks by half."
- Hypothyroidism. Good thyroid health is linked to the mineral selenium. Cohen, author of "Thyroid Healthy," says that adding selenium supplements along with iodine, B12, and ashwagandha will improve thyroid function.
- Heart failure. Niacin (vitamin B3) was found to reduce heart attack and stroke risk in a study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. "Since doses vary considerably, please consult with your physician before starting niacin therapy," says the pharmacist. Cohen also recommends raking CoQ10, which lowers blood pressure naturally.
- Digestive disorders. "My number one go-to supplement is probiotics," she says. "These improve digestion and support a healthy immune system and mood." For heartburn, Cohen recommends slippery elm or marshmallow root. As for nausea and vomiting, ginger tea is gentle and popular. It's a mild blood thinner, so be careful, she warns. Peppermint supplements can help with irritable bowel syndrome.
- Bone loss. In order to protect your bones, calcium needs its cousins, magnesium and vitamin D, in order to be absorbed. "Buy bone building supplements that offer the complete key minerals, not just calcium," she says.
- Painful knees. Losing weight can help reduce the amount of cartilage loss that can cause painful knees. Taking glucosamine sulfate helps promote cartilage formation. Collagen supplements have been found to be effective in reducing the knee joint pain of osteoarthritis sufferers.
- Toenail fungus. Cohen suggests applying tea tree oil and eliminating all sugars to help get rid of this condition. "You should also be checked for diabetes if you have recurrent toenail fungus," she adds.
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