Monthly Archives: July 2017

The Side Effects of Prescription Drugs: Its Sink or Swim

The Side Effects of Prescription Drugs: Its Sink or Swim

A friend said to me the other day that when pharmaceutical companies name a new drug, they either put the letter X, Y or Z in the name… He said it now sounds scientific and complicated and it must be able to do wonderful things!

This was said in a tongue-in-cheek manner, but then I saw a picture on Facebook related to this and it did make me wonder.

I recently read that over 50% of US citizens are taking some form prescriptive drug, amazing!

Do you fit into this percentage? Could you be doing more to look after your health?

People complain that they are run down and often unwell, yet they never really look beyond quick fixes to resolve the underlying issue. I understand everyone’s circumstances are different, and pharmaceuticals can be of benefit in some cases… but where’s the line?

Naturopath Tania Flack wrote a great article, The future of Australian health care and the stats seems to show that we have a habit of only valuing our health once it’s gone. Sounds true… right?


There’s an analogy I often use during my health seminars… Think of a goldfish swimming around in its goldfish bowl (let’s name him ‘Spike’), and the water is dirty and Spike isn’t looking too great. In fact, Spike’s looking pretty limp and he’s just about getting by (know anyone like this?).

If Spike was yours, how would you treat him?

No matter how much we treated Spike with whatever illness he’s developed, if we did not change the water I wouldn’t fancy his chances. He might kick on for a while longer from the treatment, but what about his quality of life?

Naturally we would want to take preventative measures. If Spike was really struggling we’d change the water and treat him at the same time. We could then stay on top of it and change the water once a week, feed him well and Spike would probably have a swimmingly good time in there.

I often get asked ‘what’s the key to good health’ like there’s a magical and mystical secret formula only the very few and privileged know of.

From working in the health & fitness industry there’s been a few common denominators that have stood out for me when it comes to great health. The main one is this:


Sexy I know! So what are the basics? Search the blog and I cover most of them. But here’s a few…

*NO SUGAR! (This is a must, and cuts out most supermarket foods).

*Cut out processed foods (Yes, breakfast cereals and tomato ketchup too) and avoid most white foods (flour, rice, pasta etc).

*Avoid chemicals in food as much as possible… Yep, that means most bread is gone too (Because you’ve now cut out sugar, flour and preservatives/chemicals).

*Check the ingredients of everything you buy. If you don’t recognize them, don’t eat it.

*Eat more like your grandparents would have when they were young.

*Support your local businesses like the butcher etc. instead of buying packaged processed low grade meats. Local veggie shop instead of raiding the long isles in the supermarkets! Fresh fish, fresh eggs, fresh is best.

*Cook your own food from scratch! Actually get to know what you are eating.

*Eat veggies like they are going out of fashion (Yes even for breakfast if you have time).

*Natural fats are your friends

*Avoid low fat normally means high sugar.

*Don’t binge drink alcohol. In fact, don’t binge anything. If you want to treat yourself, earn it first. Keep it 80/20.

*Move and exercise daily.

*Don’t take it all too seriously and laugh a lot. (Life’s too short!).


I’ve probably missed a few things but you get the idea… Keep it simple.

Surely a little investment daily is required as our health is at stake? Quality food and some exercise far outweigh the cost of your health and medications that harbor side affects like the T-shirt cleverly points out… So if you are in Spikes shoes, is it sink or swim?

The Side Effects of Prescription Drugs: Its Sink or Swim

Pharmaceutical Drugs and Their Side Effects – Do You Know Them?

The side effects of statin drugs that most don’t know about and the medical profession won’t tell. While the psychological side effects and of the serious problems drugs can bring on is seldom talked about or any warning given by the medical profession. There is a strong link between statins violence and aggression. Even to the likelihood for some statin users to have a higher homicidal behavior including death from suicides or accidents. The use of drugs is everyone’s own choice but it is important to understand the effects of pharmaceutical drug use, both immediate and long-term. Gambling and sex addiction can as well be included in side effects from the medicine that’s destroying lives. There were other instances of compulsive eating, smoking and hyper sexuality.

A woman in here fifties comes out and said, my medication makes me gamble. Checking on here past, she never been a gambler, there was no history of addiction in her family. She lost hundreds of thousands of dollars including all her family heirlooms. She was taking a medication called DOPAMINE AGONIST, often prescribed to people with Parkinson’s and restless leg syndrome, which made people have compulsive behaviors. The woman finished up being bankrupt, she died several years later of health complications.

Other incidents besides of compulsive gambling were compulsive eating, smoking, hyper sexuality. A woman was driving at 200 KM an hour, another is shoplifting compulsively, another one had compulsive creativity, she wasn’t eating or sleeping, all she did was create artwork. These people were in an ongoing cycle; their compulsive behaviors were adding to their stress. As this cycle continued, they took more medication which added more to their behaviors. What makes matters even worse, their doctors didn’t know of all the side effects, because the pharmaceutical companies hadn’t told them.

According to studies there was a strong link between the medication and compulsive behavior. Because of strong evidence a class action has been taken, the drug company paying millions of dollars in damages, and the medication now must have a warning on the box.

Some other common side effects of any prescription drugs are often constipation, diarrhoea, gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea. Any of these drugs will go through the digestive system and being absorbed which can cause pain, drowsiness, and skin reactions. Another drug often prescribed for cholesterol known as PCSK 9 that can lower the LDL level to an unheard dangerous low. Such a low level can increase the risk of many diseases and as well kill a person.

Scientific studies have proven that violence and death was more common in people with low cholesterol levels. This brings us to the point: One of the greatest myths of modern medicine is that cholesterol is bad and evil. The fact is: Good cholesterol is made by the body and none of us could survive without it. Our body needs it and it plays an important role in its many functions. Drugs work by blocking a substance your blood needs to make cholesterol, which is interfering with the natural function of the body to make good cholesterol.

There are a record number of patients suffering or even dying as a result of prescription drug site effects.

Nearly all medications, both over the counter and prescription have dangerous after effects, anything from muscle aches, pain and even death. Each year in America alone, almost five million people visit their doctor or any emergency services because of adverse prescription side effects. Prescription drugs are supposed to undergo stringent testing and clinical trials and yet it still happens? Only in rare cases, some of the drugs being recalled or removed from the market, usually only than when drugs have been known to cause either slow or immediate death.

Over the counter medicines are just as harmful and often the cause of overdose. Any common laxatives, pain-killer or sleeping pills can have serious side effects. Just the misuse of laxatives or taking too many of them can cause dehydration, kidney damage and heart problems. Pain killers and sleeping pills, people are of the opinion because they are readily available over the counter they are safe to take, not so.

Most pharmaceutical drugs are only treating the symptoms, as opposed to addressing the underlying problem. Taking any type of medicine it is important being vigilant about it. Read the fine print on the packaging, ask lots of questions, and make sure you get all the answers. The manufacturer who makes it, the doctor who recommends it and the person who sells it, they are not affected by it, you are. It goes into your body not theirs. They are making the profit. Keep in mind: Every drug you take has a risk factor!

Relieve Your Chronic Pain – All About Pain Management

There are several methods of treating your chronic pain, from over the counter and prescription medications, to acupuncture and other more natural methods of pain management. It is important to realize, however, that no single method of pain management should be expected to be your cure-all. It is better to adopt a combination of different methods to effectively treat your chronic pain.

If you have mild to moderate pain, this can usually be relieved with over the counter drugs. There are also a wide variety of topical creams that you can use that can be easily applied on your skin, which will help relieve your pain, from arthritis to common muscle cramps. These are a good option for some people who don’t like to take pills. The creams are said to work very well. There are no side effects such as diarrhea or upset stomach because you do not ingest the topical creams. They may not be as strong as the pills but in some cases such as arthritis it can help reduce the pain significantly.

Capsaicin is one of them; the way it works is that the cream is set to block the pain that is in transit to a substance called substance P to the brain. Capsaicin is also found naturally in hot peppers, which are said to help with some pain. Other forms of topical creams are brands like Camphor that contain menthol and eucalyptus, both of which are great for aches and pains of the body and can be found in such products as Icy Hot. Other products you may have seen in the drug store are Ben Gay, Flexall and Aspercreme. These are good for mild-to-moderate pain but they don’t work on severe pain.

If you don’t have any luck relieving your pain with over the counter medications or creams, consult your doctor. He’ll be able to advise and prescribe stronger pain relieving drugs. Drugs like Hydrocodone and Oxycontin are very good at relieving pain, but can sometimes lead to addiction. Patients take more and more, since the effect dwindles over-time.

Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy, especially if your chronic pain is injury related. Physical therapists can manage a lot of pain related ailments, such as chronic neck and back pain, spine and joint problems, sporting related injuries, and more. If prescription medication and physical therapy are ineffective in treating your chronic pain, you may need surgery or in severe cases surgical implants that constantly deliver your body pain medication.

Many people and doctors believe that drugs and medicines are the answer to easing or managing your pain. But many herbalists believe that you don’t need medications to help with the pain. They believe that alternate methods like acupuncture may be able to help. Acupuncture is great for people who are under a lot of stress and after they have a treatment they swear by it. The needles may throw you off because it looks like it hurts but they are trained professionals and they know how to insert the pins as not to hurt you.

Here’s 3 easy ways you start managing your chronic pain now:

1. Consume plenty of Vitamin D. Studies have shown that Vitamin D helps build stronger bones and muscles and help with chronic pain.

2. Get good nights sleep each and every night. The body heals itself during our sleep, and not getting enough good sleep can bother painful conditions.

3. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Avoid foods with sugars and bad carbs, these kinds of foods cause inflammation and pain.

10 Best Solutions Fo Pain Self-Management

Have you heard the line, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting more of what you’ve always gotten?” It’s absolutely true, so you might want to try something. I have 10 good intentions for you, as a pain patient.

Ten different pieces of advice intended to help reduce your pain. In any case, they will definitely ensure that you feel more comfortable and that will make your life easier.

What’s there to lose, anyway? Why not give it a try at least.

Resolution 1:

Get an endorphin rush: more action and exercise!

Maybe you move less because you’re worried that this will result in your pain. You may not do any exercise at all for this same reason.

This is not good because it decreases your muscle strength, resulting in more pain. Lots of research has shown that keeping moving really is extremely important and is almost never the cause of more pain. So make sure that you go walking or cycling at least half an hour every day, preferably in the open air. Also regularly swimming or doing exercises in the water (aqua-gym) is good for your strength, conditioning and general wellbeing.

Caution: don’t overdo it. If you jump in and start exercising like crazy in January, the chances are that you will over-exert yourself and cause an injury. That will give you an excellent excuse to stop right away but that’s not the easy way out you’re searching for, is it?

Better to ask your doctor or physical therapist what exercises you can do. When you’re mobile enough, sure you can work out in a gym. Get yourself a good coach for starters, preferably a personal trainer or a physiotherapist.

In the meantime you can also do simple exercises at home. Start off easy, and build up. Repeat each exercise a few times, then increase the number of repetitions as the exercise gets easier, and add more, slightly heavier exercises to your routine. If your exercise material varies, it is even more effective. It shouldn’t make any difference whether you have a good or bad day. Try the exercises and activities on an equal level each day.

By moving and exercising, endorphins will be produced by your nervous system. The principle function of endorphins is to inhibit the transmission of pain signals; they may also produce a feeling of euphoria very similar to that produced by other opioids. So in simple words: endorphins are brain chemicals that help improve your mood while also blocking pain signals.

Resolution 2:

Customize scheduled relaxation in your life.

It seems so obvious, but very few pain patients take or find the time to consciously relax now and then. Breathing and relaxation exercises or meditation can help you to calm your mind and body. Also yoga and mindfulness can help. Ask your GP or people around you where you can follow a good course.

If you prefer to just get up and do it at home, try this:

Create a peaceful environment, so no TV, roommates, mobile phones or iPads in the room. If you like to have some music in the background then buy something like an ocean sounds CD, or twittering birds in the gardens. Go easy: lie in a position that produces as little pain as possible. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. Then, go to all the individual body parts, first tightening, and then relaxing them. Start with your left foot and work your way up to your head. Make sure you keep breathing quietly and regularly. If you have done this a number of times, it takes less and less effort and eventually you will be able to relax even under less soothing conditions. Try to apply this technique at times when you have a lot of pain or your body is tense and/or your mind is stressed. You will notice that the relaxation and quiet breathing you already know, can give pain relief.

In addition to these exercises you can relax by reading a book, listening to music, walking, or doing something fun with family and friends.

Resolution 3:

Cut back on alcohol, especially in the late evening.

Pain makes sleep difficult, and alcohol can make sleep problems worse. If you’re living with chronic pain, drinking less or no alcohol can improve your quality of life.

You need a good night’s sleep to make the stress on your body and mind, that is provoked by the pain, disappear. Yes, it’s true that alcohol makes you fall asleep easier, but it is not a ‘good’ sleep. With alcohol in your blood you have fewer and shorter REM phases and your sleep is lighter, so you may wake up in the middle of night and have trouble getting back to sleep. You will not be fresh and energetic after such a night. I have read studies showing that ensuring a good night’s sleep is the very first important step towards improvement of chronic pain. Therefore, do everything you can to optimize your sleep. So no alcohol, especially before bed.

Also, I know ‘Sleep Well Tea’ is not the first alternative you might think of, but give it a try for a few evenings, and you may be surprised by the outcome.

Resolution 4:

Make it easier for your doctor to help you.

Keep a log or journal of your daily ‘pain score’ to help you track your pain. Get started today. Give the pain of the day a rating between 1-10 (1 being no pain at all, and 10 being the most severe, intolerable pain you can imagine). Each evening, write this figure down in your notebook, together with the activities that you’ve had that day and note the result for your body.

The next time you go to your family doctor or specialist, take your booklet and discuss what you have listed with her or him. Your doctor may be able to draw conclusions from your notes and give you a more targeted, effective medication or prescribe treatment.

In any case, it is a good idea to keep a daily diary for yourself, if only to write things down regularly. Studies have shown that it helps to reduce your stress and anxiety, and as you know, stress, anxiety and fear are closely related to pain.

For three years now, I myself have used the booklet: ‘ One line a day – a five-year memory book ‘. I write down every night in a few lines what I want to remember from that day. The great thing about it is that I can always read back what happened or what I did on that same day, 1, 2, and 3 years ago. Sometimes I write about very common things when I had ‘just another day in the house’, but often I find myself writing down beautiful and comforting things. It also helps put things in perspective now and then.

I have given this book to so many friends as a present, and everybody just loves it. And it gets better every year you’ll be using it!

Resolution 5:

Finally quit smoking!

Many chronic pain patients light up a cigarette to put out the misery of their pain. Ironically, it has been found that smoking is counter-productive. The harmful chemicals in a cigarette result in worse blood circulation, as well as a slower healing process and an increased risk of degeneration of the intervertebral discs (a frequently mentioned cause of lower back pain), so you’re only worsening your pain with that cigarette. You might think: “That cigarette is the only thing I can still enjoy in life”, but I dare say that is not true. I’m sure you can enjoy many more things. If quitting smoking gives you the reward of less pain, then you have much more to enjoy anyway. And find out how to find other things to enjoy in Resolution number 8. Really, if you needed a good reason to quit smoking, you have it now. Quitting smoking can have a positive influence on your pain. This is certainly true for chronic back pain and fibromyalgia. Ask your doctor for help in stopping.

Resolution 6:

Eat better and healthier

Give your body a boost and eat healthier. If you have to deal with pain every day, surely you want to do everything it takes to reduce that pain rather than make things worse? Really, one of the best ways to get a strong body is to eat healthy foods. A balanced diet improves your blood glucose levels, helps you to come/stay at a good weight, reduces the risk of heart failure and makes it easier for your body to digest food. I’m not saying that you should totally dive in the hype of ‘superfoods’, like quinoa, wheat grass, Acai berries, kale juice and Chia seeds right away, but if you make sure that whole grains, fish, fresh vegetables and fruit, and low-fat proteins are on your menu, you are well on the way.

Foods that are often said to have a positive effect on chronic pain are: ginger, olive oil (especially the extra virgin), salmon and other fish with lots of omega-3, red grapes, thyme, cherries and the most often mentioned smasher: Turmeric (Kurkuma)! The latter is really getting put forward again and again as the very best nutritional element against chronic pain. You can easily use it as a herb on just about everything, and you can also buy it in pill form. Make sure you always combine it with some fats in your meal (like olive oil) and preferably also with black pepper. In that way, your body will absorb the maximum amount of turmeric.

Foods that may have a negative impact on your pain are: tomatoes, potatoes, gluten and all sweeteners except stevia.

Resolution 7:

Respect your limitations and alternate your activity and rest.

You can manage your pain better when you take good care of yourself. Alternate your activity with rest breaks. To do this, use the Salami technique of Dr. Frits Winter or the spoon theory of Christine Miserando (read it here ). Do not wait until your body indicates that you need a break. Often you may have stepped over your limits by that time. Divide your tasks during the day.

Lie down; do not sit when you take a rest. Sitting is much more of a physical burden than lying down is, and even more than standing. Recently I even read: “sitting is the new smoking”.

For the last couple of years, I always lie down when I take a coffee break (at least when I’m in my own home), when I read a magazine or book, when I’m using my iPad for emailing and surfing on the web, when I am watching TV, and certainly when I write. I’m convinced that the fact that I am functioning a lot better and have less back pains than I did three years ago is partly due to this new habit.

Learn to say ‘no’ and ask for help. Forget about a shine clean house and get out of the habit of wanting to finish a task before you take a break. It will be too late most of the time and the damage will already be done. It might be a good idea to keep a weekly schedule for your activities (and make sure you keep to it!)

Resolution 8:

Find ways to distract yourself from the pain so you enjoy life more and get out of your comfort zone.

Zooming in on pain only makes that pain grow. Try to focus on this misery as little as possible. Of course, you can’t be derived 24/7, but you have probably noticed that the pain seemed better when you were watching that exciting episode of CSI or that time when you and your friend were having such good laughs together. Use that knowledge and look for activities that you like or find interesting. Perhaps it is finally time for that cooking course, for learning Spanish online, or getting a little pussycat or dog.

If you think you can no longer do all the things you once liked, due to the pain, it is about time to get out of your comfort zone and search for activities that you had never considered before. Ask the people around you to think along with you. Maybe you are a very creative person and you would enjoy designing jewelry, writing poems or painting. Or prove you’re a languages wonder and you can get started as a translator. That can all be done from the sofa or your bed. Check out all the opportunities that are offered on an online platform like

If anyone had told me five years ago that I would have written two books, by the end of 2014, one of which would be translated into English and sold around the world, and that I would be giving presentations in The Netherlands and Belgium, I would probably have called them crazy. Out-of-the-box thinking, and good computer support, made it all possible for me, so why wouldn’t it for you?

Resolution 9:

Make sure that you know everything about your medication.

It is important that you know exactly what medications you take, exactly what they are prescribed for and what side effects they have for you.

Also, find out if there are any alternatives. I assume you prefer to have a clear mind in the daytime and to have the highest possible energy level. When you’re drowsy until the afternoon due to your pain reliever and you cannot put one leg in front of the other, then ask to your doctor whether there is a better medicine for you. Don’t just go on with the same medication when it does more bad than good, but also don’t just stop without getting in touch with the doctor about it. Medication can affect everyone differently, and sometimes you will benefit more from another med, and have fewer side effects. It may take some experimenting before your doctor and you know the best way to go.

Monitor this yourself. You are co-responsible for the treatment of your pain. Pull the alarm when medications do not help or if the remedy is worse than the disease.

In addition to consultation with your doctor it may also be very productive to have a conversation with a pharmacist. They often have a better overview of your medication, especially when your medication has been prescribed by different doctors.

Resolution 10

You’re not alone!

Did you know that as many as one in five adults in the western world has to deal with chronic pain? And even though this is unknown to a large part of the population, you must know that you are not the only one.

One of the most important things for you to do is to communicate about your pain. Tell your family members and friends about how you feel and what it means to have to cope with pain day in and day out. If you don’t tell them and explain it to them, you can’t expect them to understand what you’re going through and what you need. Ask them for support and help. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness!

Make sure you know exactly how you’re medically standing and share that with the people around you. If you have great difficulty with telling them feel free to use the Letter to a friend on the website of Support for chronic pain.

Natural and Alternative Ways to Manage Muscles Pain

Q. I have been suffering from fibromyalgia for some years. I’ve been prescribed l0mg of amitriptylline at night to relax the muscles, which helps somewhat. I am also having acupuncture and take a cocktail of vitamins. I have tried many alternative therapies but am now looking for a way to manage this in the long term. I do not want to be taking medication for ever and would welcome any advice about diet, vitamins, lifestyle.

A. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, rather than a disease with a definite cause, which means that it is a condition characterised by a collection of symptoms which may or may not be related. Fibromyalgia means literally pain (algia) in the fibres (fibro) of the muscles (myos). The pain occurs in distinct areas, unlike the generalised aching muscles that you find with, san flu, chronic fatigue syndrome or calcium deficiency.

Massage therapists call the sore lumpy spots on the muscles ‘knots’, which they unravel by pressing and rubbing. Usually there is one knot per group of muscles. Sometimes the pain spots are found in tendons and ligaments but these do not form knots as these tissues cant shrivel and roll up into a ball.

There are various pathways to fibromyalgia. Muscles that are repeatedly strained due to constant use (eg, during jogging, tennis, domestic chores) often get sore. This is primarily due to accumulation of a waste product called lactic acid. This occurs in the following way. Normally the energy you need to contract muscles is released when glucose burns with oxygen to product carbon dioxide and water in the muscles. But if the muscles overwork the oxygen supply from the heart and lungs cannot speed up enough to match the demand. The result is that the glucose is not fully oxidised and, together with the limited oxygen supply, forms lactic acid. It’s this that makes muscles cramp. You will have seen marathon runners brought to a halt because of this. After rest and massage, the oxygen supply is restored, the lumps and cramps disappear and the pain fades away.

Slow’ strenuous work, such as carrying, lifting or long hours at a computer can also be a culprit triggering prolonged accumulation of lactic acid and muscle spasm. Lactic acid also causes inflammation in these muscles. In defense, the body deposits fibrous tissue in the sore areas, to harden them so that the muscles can function again. Bug although the area is encased in scar tissue, the inflammation remains, and when the area is touched or moved, it hurts. When you’re resting however, with nothing pressing on the sore spots, there’s no pain.

People who do desk jobs, or have bad posture, usually have sore spots on top of the shoulder blades (on the trapezius muscle). Fibromyalgia also occurs wherever muscles are likely to suffer repetitive strain injury, including the buttocks, lower back calves, biceps, hands and wrists.

Conventional medicine focuses on managing the pain of fibromyalgia with painkillers, steroidal drugs and antidepressants. My approach is directed towards reducing the inflammation through diet and massaging with oil to ease the sore spots by improving blood flow to the area. Stress should be avoided because it often provokes insomnia and the pain threshold is then lowered.

These are my suggestions
* Good things to eat include turmeric, ginger, chicken broth and marrowbone soup.
* Avoid citrus or acidic fruit, including oranges, grapefruits, lemons, pineapples, kiwis, mangoes and excessive amounts of summer berries: they slow the healing of inflammation and the pain actually increases.
* Control stomach acid by avoiding hot, spicy and deep-fried foods, nuts, white wine, champagne, brandy, neat spirits, vinegar, canned products using citric acid as a preservative, and more than 500g vitamin C daily.
* It is important to avoid being constipated as it impairs calcium absorption in the colon: calcium deficiency can cause muscular spasm and subsequent pain. Drink one and a half to two liters of still, pure water daily, and, if constipation is a problem, take Qurs Mullayan: one at bedtime for two months.

* Ease inflammation with my formulation of herbal oils, Joint Oil. Find the sore spots and massage them with a little oil until it is absorbed. Do this daily for a month. lf you cant reach the area, ask a partner or friend to do it.

* Practise therapeutic Iyengar yoga, to stretch the muscles and relax you. The most useful postures for the spine, where the pain is usually located, are the cobra, semi bridge and boat. If you are practising at home, always remember to warm up first.

Diet Detox

If you’re considering a Detox Diet, be very careful. Many of these diets will do more harm to your body than help it. Talk to your Doctor before any attempt to go on a Detox Diet. There are many of these diets out there but make sure other people have tried it and there are a lot of positive feedback and comments.