“If I have a heart attack it will be YOUR fault!”
I have a little anecdote for you. One that perfectly illustrates why I believe a lot of people get a false sense of security when taking medication.
If you take prescribed medication for any condition, you’re going to want to keep reading, this story might change your perspective!
Yesterday, during my pharmacy shift, a woman came to ask for her prescription of blood pressure medication. 💊
However, the last time she had bought her antihypertensive pills was in late 2018. Almost 2 years ago! So naturally, her prescription had expired.
The pharmacy technician who was helping her, told her that we can’t give her the medication without getting a new prescription from her doctor. That’s when the woman got upset, and asked to speak with the pharmacist.
So I had a short conversation with this woman. I asked her why she stopped her blood pressure medication 2 years ago… to which she simply answered that she “didn’t need them anymore”.
This isn’t very uncommon behaviour… People stop their medication without consulting their doctor for a bunch of similar reasons:
“I took the pills for a month and they fixed my blood pressure, so I didn’t need them anymore” “I feel fine, I don’t need these pills”
Unfortunately, you don’t take this kind of medication based on how you feel because most of the time, you can’t “feel” high blood pressure or high blood sugar. That’s why these conditions are dangerous… because they are so harmful for your health and it can take years before they are detected.
When you’re taking medication for conditions like high blood pressure or Type 2 diabetes, you can’t just stop taking your pills all of a sudden. Here’s why:
These pills don’t “fix” your high blood pressure or your diabetes for good. It’s not like taking antibiotics for 10 days and being done. High blood pressure or diabetes pills help improve your symptoms while you’re taking them only. They don’t fix the issue at its root cause.
You may have a rebound effect: if you suddenly stop taking your pills, your blood pressure / blood sugar levels can bounce back up very high, very fast.
If you read my newsletter and blog content regularly, you know that I’m not the kind of pharmacist who promotes taking medication for everything. I love encouraging people to find the root cause of their medical condition. And I love helping people to make lifestyle habit change so they can eventually get off their meds, gradually and safely.
Of course, I made sure to explain all this to the woman who wanted her blood pressure medication. I also mentioned that it would be a good idea to consult her doctor again for a check-up. Since she had stopped taking her pills 2 years ago, her doctor might decide to give her a different medication or a different dose this time.
As you may have guessed from the title of this blog post, this isn’t an anecdote that ends on a happy note… I’m not sure why, but sometimes people don’t believe that what I’m telling them is in their best interest. Fear? Stress? I can only assume… 🤷🏻♀️
All I know is this woman wasn't happy with my explanation. She got really angry at me for not giving her the medication and stormed out after loudly accusing me:
“If I have a heart attack tomorrow, it will be YOUR fault!”
As if taking 1 tablet of high blood pressure medication would prevent her from having a heart attack the next day! No medication on the planet can do that by the way. 😬
That’s what I mean when I say that taking medication gives people a false sense of security. Especially when we’re talking about medication for chronic conditions: high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol…
Sure, these meds can be an important part of your treatment. BUT, and this is very important, you should never entirely rely on them to fix all your health problems. Taking medication alone (without also making changes in your lifestyle habits) is NEVER enough.
Unfortunately, you can be taking all your medications as prescribed and still -one day- suffer from heart attacks, or diabetes complications.
That’s why it’s SO important to take control of your health and look for the root cause of your condition.
That’s why it’s SO important to understand how your body works.
And that’s why making changes to your lifestyle habits in the areas of nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress management is SO important.
As a pharmacist and healthcare professional, that’s my mission: helping you take control of your health so you don’t always rely on medication.
If you agree with me and you’re ready to take control of your health, you can start by better understanding how your body works with our free course: Outsmarting Type 2 diabetes.
The course will also give you the tools to start making healthy and sustainable changes to your eating habits.
👉 That’s how you can defeat Type 2 diabetes!!
So sign-up today!
Much love, Sara