‘Drug Muggers’: Understanding Pharmaceutical Side Effects

November 19, 2012

Raise your hand if you’ve ever taken the time to read a pharmaceutical label in total, which is to say, the pages-long pamphlet that warns you about potential side effects that could result from taking the prescribed medication. I’m betting that there are very few hands up, and if you’re one of them, congratulations – you’re ahead of the pack. The only problem, really, is that these listings are somewhat incomplete. Certainly your doctor or pharmacist can (and should) inform you of likely side effects that may occur from interactions with other medications you’re taking (either prescription or OTC). But what about the side effects pertaining to essential nutrients? While these drugs are busy providing you with some sort of benefit, you may not realize that they could also be causing irreparable damage through the depletion of nutrients that your body needs. And that is exactly what registered pharmacist Suzy Cohen wants to talk about in her audio book ‘Drug Muggers: Which Medications are Robbing Your Body of Essential Nutrients – and Natural Ways to Restore Them’.

Although this audio book is not a compendium of pharmaceuticals and their side effects, a wide range of synthetic drugs are discussed. The information is actually laid out not by specific medications or drug classes, but by the nutrients that are most commonly lost as a side effect of taking synthetic medications, such as vitamin A, C, E, the B-complex, zinc, potassium, and more. Cohen’s goal after more than 20 years as a pharmacist is not to tell people that they should stop taking man-made medications, but to raise awareness of the fact that pharmaceuticals can strip your body of vital nutrients, as well as stunt your inherent ability to create and process the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that keep you healthy and feeling great. In short, the benefits you receive may be greatly offset by the medications you take.

As Cohen addresses each nutrient, chapter by chapter, she discusses not only the drugs that can leach vitamins and minerals from your system or block their absorption, but also how you can help yourself when it comes to reaping the benefits of medication without succumbing to the side effects of nutrient depletion. In short, she wants to help you make the most of your pharmaceutical regimen by understanding how synthetic medications can make you uncomfortable or even ill and how you can use your diet and nutrient supplements to counteract these negative side effects so that you feel your best when using medication.

For example, did you that heartburn medication, something that many people take by prescription or over the counter, may deplete vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, and iron from your body (amongst other things)? These nutrients give you energy, protect your bones, and more. So when you’re losing them you might feel tired, but you could also be affecting your long-term health by losing bone density, and you might not even know it. The idea here is to raise awareness and give listeners the tools to make informed decisions when it comes to their medical regimen. You don’t necessarily need to enroll in the best online degree programs in alternative medicine to learn how to escape the side effects of synthetic pharmaceuticals. With the right knowledge at your fingertips you can gain the benefits of your current medications and avoid the nutritional deficiencies that go with them. The result is that you will feel better and protect your body from lasting damage, which everyone can agree is the best possible outcome.

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