Posts Tagged ‘Doctors’
There is a warning out against the use of aspirin in healthy individuals for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. I find it funny that any healthy person would want to take medication needlessly anyway. I have a hard enough time trying to take a vitamin a day. And aspirin is not a benign drug.
Aspirin has been in use for ages. It’s a pain reliever, an anti-platelet and an anti-inflammatory agent. It became part of the regimen for those with heart disease and strokes to prevent further problems. However, there are some negatives attributes to this simple drug. It may cause ulcers. Therefore, when the risk of bleeding from ulcers is greater than the risk from heart attack and strokes, doctors are cautious about recommending aspirin.
So, it would make sense that in a normal, healthy adult, prophylactic use of aspirin is not indicated and, even worse, may be dangerous. Not just the risk of ulcers – not everyone is prone to ulcers from aspirin. But, because it is a blood thinner due to its anti-platelet effects, bleeding from anywhere is a risk. This includes a bleeding, or haemorrhagic, stroke after a fall.
It’s unclear why anyone would be taking aspirin regularly. Perhaps, they’ve heard that it prevents heart attacks and strokes and have taken it upon themselves to reduce their own risk. Perhaps, their doctor had mistakenly advised them to do so. I have heard of doctors regularly advising those older than 50 to take an aspirin a day, regardless of their risk factors. Perhaps, now, they will think twice about doing so. That is not to say that they can’t take it for pain once in a while.
Following on my issues about constipation. I remember a colleague called in the maintenance man because the toilet was plugged up and she couldn’t unplug it. He joked about the women in the office and suggested they added fiber to their diet. She countered with, “But that would make it worse!”
Strange isn’t it that they recommend fiber for constipation? There are reasons for it, but sometimes it seems counter-intuitive. I guess it really depends on what the constipation problem is. If someone produces large, hard stools, but has a hard time passing it, fiber might not be a good option. Fiber bulks up stool and helps the bowels move. However, if you already have bulky stools, you wouldn’t want to bulk it up some more. If you have small, hard stools, fiber might help.
If stools are hard, some use stool softeners. They are not laxatives in themselves, but because they sometimes soften stools too much, some people complain they get diarrhea. Perhaps, the best suggestion for some of these people may be to drink more water. Or even juices. Some people feel apple or grape juice can induce diarrhea. But, the one juice most people associate with bowel movements is prune juice. Prune juice is probably ideal because it contains fiber and liquid. However, it does not work for everyone, either. Of course, nothing is ever 100% guaranteed to work. I’ve tried prune juice and sometimes, it can cause cramping when it takes effect.
I know lots of people who resort to over-the-counter laxatives. Some people actually abuse them, because they wrongly assume they have constipation when it may not be. Then, there are those anorexics who abuse them for the sole purpose of remaining thin. However, you look at it, laxative abuse is dangerous. For that matter, many doctors hate it when people use laxatives, especially when they don’t inform their doctors about their use. It may interfere with other medications or cause other problems that may be misdiagnosed.
Regular exercise is also supposed to be good as it keeps the body fit and functioning properly. Yet, how to gauge the effect of exercise is difficult. I’m not a couch potato, but neither am I excessively active. But, summer is here, so I should make a conscious effort to engage in real exercise every day.
The internet is a very powerful tool. So powerful, in fact, that it can kill. I have read so many cases recently about deaths related to buying drugs online. I’m not referring to online legitimate pharmacies that require prescriptions from legally registered and practicing doctors. I’m referring to many websites that sell drugs, some that require prescriptions (but these websites do not ask for them) and some that are downright illegal. These illegal drugs include those that are proscribed from being sold online, those that are banned, and those that are unknown. “Unknown” are those that have not been studied, so their claims of safety and effectiveness are essentially unknown.
I have always cautioned people against using many over-the-counter herbal concoctions because many of them have not been tried and tested. However, they are available as “supplements” and government agencies eventually get around to investigating one or two once in a while. If they are sold in pharmacies, usually the pharmacists will have some idea of the safety of some of these herbals. But the internet bypasses these safety barriers by selling directly to consumers.
Despite the intelligence of most online consumers, for whatever reason, they are taken in by these drug websites. Perhaps, they feel that they are intelligent enough to self-diagnose and treat. Or, perhaps, they have already been diagnosed by a doctor but feel they can self-treat. Again, maybe they want to self-treat for a condition which they are uncomfortable discussing with a doctor. They are more comfortable sitting in front of a computer and ordering drugs that claim they can treat whatever condition the user is looking for.
The products are relatively inexpensive and the advertising looks great. When they receive the pills, they look, feel, smell harmless. They take a pill and suffer no consequences. But, unfortunately, it does not seem very effective either. So they decide to take more. Before you know it, they have overdosed. Or, even worse, they suffer adverse reactions so severe they have to be hospitalised. Though some have survived, others have suffered damage to the point that they are incapacitated, some have died.
There is no regulation of internet sales of drugs. That’s why consumers need to be wary of these online drugs. They are not worth risking your life for. There is a now old adage, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet”. This is especially true about drug claims. Never buy any medications online unless it is a legitimate pharmacy.