Hello Overland Park!
I was sitting at lunch just the other day thinking, "How can I help my patients achieve optimal health?" I realized I need to listen more, even more than I already do. Patients will tell me their symptoms, what makes them better or worse, what they have tried in the past, what medications and or supplements they are on and what their health goals ultimately are. It is my job as their doctor to put all that information together in order to find the cause of their symptoms and how to decrease or ideally eliminate those symptoms.
As a Chiropractor and Internal Health Specialist I have a lot of diagnostic tools at my disposal to help me both diagnose and treat the whole patient, not just the symptoms. Recently, I found one aspect I had not being paying as much attention to as I should: the prescription medications my patients are on. It is not within my scope of practice to prescribe or to recommend that a patient stop taking their medications. However, it is a very valuable to know what medications my patients are on. You may be asking yourself, "Why would it matter?" I will be happy to explain why it actually matters a great deal.
I am sure when you are watching TV you see the commercials for prescription medications and like most people out there you say to yourself, " Wow, the side effects sound worse than the symptoms they are trying to treat!" Reminds me of the saying, "You are robbing Peter to pay Paul". In practice the most common prescription medications that patients tend to be on are; statins for lowering cholesterol,beta blockers or ace inhibitors for lowering blood pressure, heartburn medications and depression medications.
Common side effects of Statins:
-Constipation and/or Diarrhea
-Low back pain
Common Side effects of Blood pressure meds:
Common Side effects of Heartburn Medications
- Constipation and/or Diarrhea
Common Side effect of Depression Meds
-Ringing in the ears
Why do Chiropractors need to worry about prescription medications? Here is where I run into issues when patients are on those medications. As both a Chiropractor and an I.H.S those common side effects that I listed are common symptoms that patients frequently come into the office with.
I realized very recently that both my and my patient's frustration with their slow progress of relief of symptoms was not an improper diagnosis or lack of patient compliance, but rather an uphill battle with medication side effects.
Now having said all that, what can be done? First off, the doctor needs to be aware of what medications their patient is on. Second, the patient needs to be aware of the potential side effects and how the medications may be the source of the symptoms they are reporting and how in turn they may limit how much relief can be achieved. That is why monitoring a patient through a course of care is so valuable. "Ok doctor, what do I do if my medications are the cause of my symptoms?" That is a discussion you need to have with your prescribing physician, make them aware of your symptoms and if you and your doctor feel that you can safely go off or decrease the medications than that is your choice to make. Please be aware that the nutritional enzyme therapy that we do in our office can not only discover organ system stress before it shows up on lab work but also help your body regain its Optimal Health!!!
Here's to your health Kansas City,