Congratulations, America: we’re living longer than ever before!
Life expectancy in the United States rose to 78.8 years in 2014 — the highest on record. Many things factor into our increasing longevity: fewer cases of heart disease, cancer and stroke; decreased infant mortality rate; and improved medical care to name a few.
Prescriptions drugs also deserve a place on that list — they help millions of people live healthier, happier lives.
But there’s no doubt in my mind that American society today is WILDLY over-medicated.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, roughly 60 percent of the U.S. population — that’s 182 million people — are taking prescription drugs.
And these drugs frequently come with serious, even deadly, side effects. In fact, Harvard University reports that 2.74 million people are hospitalized each year due to complications with their prescriptions.
This makes prescription drugs a dangerously overlooked problem that deserves more exposure: complications from prescription drugs ties stroke as the 4th leading cause of death in America! (1)
Should you completely swear off prescription drugs? Not necessarily. But it concerns me that so many conventional doctors hand out prescription drugs like they’re handing out Tic Tacs.
Natural alternatives to prescriptions do exist. Many of them are every bit as effective as a prescription… without the side effects or risks. Here are 5 natural cures you should consider discussing with your doctor.
3 Natural Cures More Powerful Than Prescriptions
1. Aches & Pains? Try This
Acetaminophen — the active ingredient in pain relievers like Tylenol and Vicodin — is the most common drug ingredient in America. 24.6 billion doses were sold in 2008 alone.
The National Institutes of Health estimates that accidental acetaminophen-overdoses account for about 78,000 emergency room visits per year. And acetaminophen-induced poisoning is the #1 cause of acute liver failure in America.
If you use Tylenol to soothe aches, pains, or a splitting headache, try this natural cure instead:
Turmeric is a yellow spice that gives Indian curry it’s distinctive golden hue. For more than 3,000 years, traditional Ayurvedic healers have used turmeric to treat pain, sore joints, fever, and dozens of other maladies.
Modern science has confirmed the ancient wisdom on turmeric’s healing properties:
And unlike painkillers that contain acetaminophen, turmeric is gentle on your liver and does not come with potentially deadly side effects.
Related Content: Turmeric — More Effective Than Modern Medicine?
2. High Cholesterol? Try This
Millions of Americans take statins to manage cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. Doctors write up more than 45 million prescriptions per year for Lipitor alone.
Statins are potentially life-saving drugs, but like all drugs they come weighed down with serious risks.
The FDA warns that statin use increases your risk for liver injury; can cause memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion; can raise blood sugar levels and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes; and can also increase risk of muscle damage. (4)
If you’re looking for a healthier way to manage your cholesterol levels, try this:
Change Your Diet
One reason so many Americans are on statins like Lipitor is simply because we eat too many cholesterol-raising foods and not nearly enough heart-healthy foods.
Certain foods — like oats, garlic, olive oil, and red wine — have been shown to reduce chronic inflammation: a condition that doctors believe raises cholesterol levels and damages your heart.
Even better, anti-inflammatory foods like the ones mentioned above have been proven to naturally lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels.
Want to know what else you can do to soothe chronic inflammation and lower your risk for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and a host of other serious health problems? Then click HERE for our special report on 10 delicious foods that fight inflammation.
3. High Blood Pressure? Try This
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. It claimed 614,438 lives in 2015, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Pharmacies fill 144 million prescriptions every year for blood pressure meds like Zestril and Norvasc.
And these powerful drugs can trigger serious complications: dizziness and head pain are common; fever, rash, chest pains, diarrhea, low energy, weakness and cramps are infrequent but still a major concern.
Severe side effects to the most common blood pressure drugs include everything from acute renal failure to diabetes to, ironically, heart attack.
If you want a less risky way to manage your blood pressure, try this:
The potassium in a ripe banana (about 422 mg in a medium-size banana) is effective at lowering blood pressure in most people.
Your body depends on potassium to help control the electrical balance of the heart — a necessity for maintaining a healthy heartbeat and blood pressure levels.
Go HERE for an easy-to-read article from Harvard Health Publications on the importance of potassium and heart health.
Prescription Drugs: Worth The Risk?
Today, millions of Americans take prescription drugs, and many benefit from these drugs. But there is a dark side to our reliance on prescription drugs that can’t be ignored.
Did you know that new prescription drugs have a 1 in 5 chance of causing serious reactions after they’ve been approved? (5)
Every year, 128,000 people die from drugs prescribed to them.
That does not mean you should completely dismiss prescription drugs. Nothing in this article is intended as medical advice.
But with the known risks of so many prescription drugs, and with so many natural alternatives available, I do urge caution. Talk to your doctor about ALL of your treatment options if you’re trying to manage any of the conditions above.
Do you worry about the health risks associated with prescription drugs? Have you tried any natural cures? Let us know in the comments section.
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