Americans are taking more pills than ever before. Last year we shelled out more than $400 billion for prescription drugs alone. Over-the-counter medicines are also extremely popular. But all those drugs also carry some risks. Around half a million people suffer serious adverse drug reactions every year. Are there drug-free alternatives that would help many common conditions?
What Are the Alternatives for the Medicines You Are Taking?
There are, of course, times when drugs save lives. But for chronic conditions, changes in lifestyle may be equally effective and far less dangerous. Adopting a healthier diet, finding ways to manage stress, incorporating regular exercise into our lives and using mind-body techniques and supplements when they are appropriate can alleviate pain and inflammation. Such approaches are useful in managing many conditions for which people would otherwise take medications.
Integrative Medicine Has Other Ways to Manage Many Problems:
Our guest is renowned integrative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil. He covers the impact of direct-to-consumer drug advertising as well as the difficulties of stopping certain medicines. According to Dr. Weil, ads and the media often exaggerate the benefits and downplay the risks of many medicines. Why not find other ways of dealing with common conditions?
Type 2 Diabetes:
People with type 2 diabetes, for example, may benefit from a number of significant changes in lifestyle. In some instances, these alternatives can make medication unnecessary. We didn’t have time to include this in the broadcast interview, but you can listen here:
This Week’s Guest:
Andrew Weil, MD, is a pioneer in integrative medicine. He is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. He has written a number of books, including his most recent, Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better-And When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own. Previous books include True Food, Fast Food Good Food, Spontaneous Happiness and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health. https://www.drweil.com/
Listen to the Podcast:
The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. Read Terry's Full Bio.
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