“How can I cut get off of [or cut back on] my medications?”

Time and time again, I hear patients request to have their medications reduced, but it is nearly always met with a blank, uninterested stare when I give them the answer.

Most of these individuals are on numerous medications for the problems associated with metabolic syndrome: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes. Since these are all major risk factors for heart disease and heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, the medical profession takes them very seriously. Presumably, patients do, too, or they wouldn’t have sought help or agreed to take a medication in the first place.

Believe me, I don’t want to put people on any more medicine than they absolutely need – it exposes the patient to more potential problems and me to more potential liability, not to mention the time demands of discussing the ins and outs of the medication and handling refills, etc.

So . . . what’s the solution?

Pretty simple, really – FITNESS. It’s the fix-all for a multitude of conditions. All of the above-mentioned medical conditions are deeply-rooted in inactivity, obesity, etc. Our bodies require that we lead fairly active lifestyles, especially to balance the poor nutrition habits of so many. I know it’s easier to be inactive than to embark on an exercise regimen (I’ve done both).

Unfortunately, medications don’t “cure” any of these chronic conditions – they merely alter the conditions of our bodies to simulate a more normal state of being. The body needs to be re-trained on how to handle glucose (sugar), cholesterol, or blood pressure. Exercise can be free, proper diet can be cheaper than a poor diet, and the lifelong benefits outweigh the hassle of making such a lifestyle change.

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