Personal anecdote of the month: My own drug independence

In honor of the July 4th holiday, I’d like to share how I achieved my own type of independence three years ago…

Independence from drugs and other dangerous medications big pharma pushes.

Here’s how I did it…

It all started with a doctor I could trust.

I have a fantastic primary care/internal medicine physician who has been taking care of my family—first my in-laws, then myself and my own family—for 40 years and counting.

He’s open-minded, keeps up with the science, and respects his patients’ wishes and concerns. He listens and pays attention.

Throughout the years, we have discussed my concerns about statin drugs and the cholesterol/heart disease hypothesis. He has listened and read the scientific articles I’ve brought him (including some I’ve published myself).

We’ve discussed concerns about contamination of generic blood pressure drugs (like Losartan and the related class of drugs from China). We’ve never even considered the disastrous ACE inhibitors like Lisinopril.

But, of course, issues like high cholesterol and high blood pressure present a dilemma for honest, well-meaning, diligent doctors, just as they do for patients.

Certainly, true high blood pressure (that’s not resulting from the anxiety of being in the doctor’s office) does need to be managed.

Same with high blood sugar.

And as wonderful as metformin is for lowering blood sugar (probably by acting both inside the gastrointestinal [GI] tract and within the bloodstream), it interferes with vitamin B12 absorption.

(Insufficient vitamin B causes peripheral neuropathy. This typically creates ongoing numbness, pain, or weakness in the hands and feet. And, ironically, high blood sugar also causes it. So, if you’re taking metformin for high blood sugar, you can end up between the devil and the deep blue sea. Another drug dilemma, even for the best of drugs.)

Then, between one thing and another, I experienced an episode of persistent GI bleeding the weekend of July 4, 2019.

I’ve written before about how July is like a perfect storm of lapses in hospital practice, so I wasn’t about to go into the hospital for bleeding that weekend.

Instead, I hooked myself up to a blood pressure monitor to make sure it didn’t drop to dangerous levels from blood loss. Fortunately, I stayed in the normal range.

I also stopped taking all prescription drugs—because who knows if they were contributing to my GI bleeding.

I did continue taking my own Smart Science dietary supplement formulations that are right for me.

My bleeding soon stopped, and I continued to stay completely off prescription drugs for blood pressure and blood sugar. (I concentrated on taking my own formulations instead.)

The next time I saw my doctor, he reported my laboratory values were all completely normal (although there continued to be discussions about cholesterol, despite our concerns about statin drugs).

Fast forward to several months ago, I developed some stress-related health concerns (like so many people with all of the disruptions caused by COVID and other issues) together with the sudden deaths of very close family members.

My blood pressure went up a little (for my age), so I took just one half of a single dose of an old-standby generic blood pressure drug.  But my blood pressure plummeted to 100/70 mmHg—which was way too low. So, I quickly stopped that experiment.

Then, I went to see my wonderful doctor. I told him about my experiences.

He was respectful, but as a modern practicing physician, he was concerned about me not taking any of the standard prescriptions. (No blood pressure drugs, no blood sugar drugs, no statins.)

I told him I was managing my conditions through diet, weight loss (35 pounds down), and carefully following the science on botanical remedies, vitamins, and minerals. He then took a full battery of blood tests.

Every single reading was normal. Normal hemoglobin A1C (long-term measure of blood sugar). Normal liver tests. Normal kidney tests. Sufficient vitamin B and D levels.

And my “bad” cholesterol was a historic low, at 107—the biggest surprise of all!

Now, I don’t advise anyone to stop taking any prescription drug cold turkey. But I do offer the following…

Be careful about drugs. Be diligent, ask questions, and enlist the help of an experienced health professional before you tweak your regimen. It may be extra work, but in my view, it’s worth it.

After all, with the right diet, lifestyle, dietary supplements, and professional guidance, you too may be able to declare your own type of health independence this July 4th—and beyond.