What Are Side Effects?
When your doctor prescribes a medicine for a specific purpose he might give you an information sheet about what it is meant to do and what else it could do. If he doesn’t give you an information sheet you should ask for it. This sheet will provide you with information about what the medicine will do for your condition, what active ingredients are at work and what other things could happen apart from the medicine doing what you are expecting it to do. These other things are referred to as side effects.
When the medicine is submitted to the authorities for testing it is in the purest form possible to evaluate the benefit vs potential harm in order to enhance the probability of approval. Once approval has been given, it is more cost effective to produce the medicine in bulk without the stringent requirement for purity. The ingredients other than the actual pure medicine are evaluated to produce a list of possible ‘side effects’ that the finished product may cause.
There is also a possibility of side effects from taking multiple medications. Chemistry is complex and knowing what could happen when you are taking two or more medicines at once is not easy to figure out. There is no way to test whether a medicine will react in combination with every other medicine before approval is given. This is where your doctor will keep a close eye but only if you let him. You must stay in close touch with your doctor whatever medicine you are prescribed. You must also keep a close eye out for anything that might indicate the development of side effects.
Side effects can be the unexpected effects of the things we do or change for a purpose like the ones from multiple medications. They can also be the inevitable effects of things we change for a purpose. For example, giving up coffee has it’s expected side effects. Many people who give up coffee experience headaches they call withdrawal symptoms. So a person giving up coffee would typically expect to develop a possibly severe headache by the end of the first day. Some will even give in and have a coffee to relieve the pain.
Lack of nutrition and lack of sleep, too much of the wrong food or drink or even too much sleep can have side effects too. These side effects are more predictable as there have been many studies related to these aspects of lifestyle. Our bodies can handle a certain degree of these lifestyle habits but eventually the side effects will get the better of us. Often this can be the beginning of something the doctor will end up prescribing medicine for. It’s important to be aware of what is best for your body because if you end up taking a prescribed medicine for the side effects of bad lifestyle habits the chances of having side effects of the medicine are higher than if you are healthy.
Of course if you have a healthy lifestyle you are less likely to need the medicine in the first place. However, if you do need medicine it’s probably a good idea to make sure you reinforce healthy lifestyle habits to reduce the likelihood of side effects.
Good Side Effects.
There is such a thing as good side effects. Doctor Stanley Burroughs devised a way to naturally treat digestive ulcers. I comprised of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper with lots of water. It was dubbed the Lemonade Diet. The unexpected happened. Reports from his patients claimed that many other good effects resulted from this simple treatment. Subsequently the name was changed to Master Cleanse.
This is a classic example of good side effects. Other examples of good side effects can be achieved when using known natural remedies for certain conditions and receiving benefits for other conditions at the same time. Like when you drink enough water to hydrate your body and keep you skin looking good, you may just end up with side effects such as enhanced digestion, easier elimination, less headaches and perhaps even less pain in general. I would call these pretty good side effects!
Can harmful side effects be minimised?
In a word, yes. If you know everything about the medicine you are taking and what it does for you, there may be ways you can help the medicine to work better. If you also know how the medicine could possibly harm you, there may be ways to help your body cope with these effects.
The content in the pages attached to this post will explore individual benefits and side effects of medicines, supplements, lifestyle components and alternatives. This information is to promote awareness and not to prescribe or diagnose. If you have any of the side effects outlined in these pages please consult your health care professional.
Obviously there are many topics to cover and I will be tackling one at a time. Please comment below if there is a topic you would like covered and I will add it to the list. Then come back often to see the new information.