(NaturalNews) This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Renegade Roundtable, which can be found at http://www.RenegadeHealth.com. In this excerpt, Suzy Cohen shares on a pharmacist journey to discovering the dangers and limitations of prescription drugs.
Renegade Roundtable with Suzy Cohen. Suzy Cohen has been a pharmacist for over 20 years. She's the author of "A 24-hour Pharmacist" and "Drug Muggers."
Kevin: This is going to be a great interview. I am absolutely positive of that. So Suzy, welcome to the call.
Suzy: Thank you, Kevin. It is an honor to be with you.
Kevin: I am thrilled to have you on-board. There are a few people on the call who do not know who you are. So why don't you give a little introduction about you, your story...
Suzy: Okay, sure. Well, I went to the University of Florida and graduated in 1989 as a pharmacist - Go Gators! I came out very gung-ho about medication. In pharmacy school that's what they train us to learn about, medication. They don't really talk about herbs or natural meds or remedies. In fact, those things are just looked down upon as something that isn't clinically tested and isn't worthy of consideration. Medications are the way.
So I came out like most pharmacists do, very gung-ho about medication. I practiced in retail settings and hospital settings, for many years. I realized little by little that people were not always getting better on the medications that I dispensed from the pharmacy. Sometimes they got worse. In fact, a lot of times they were sicker on the medicines than they were with the original problem that they came in for. So there was a slow metamorphosis that was going on within.
Then I worked for nursing homes and my job duties there included me going to the nursing home and checking each patient's chart and looking at all their medications and then going month to month to see how they did. Well, I did this for seven years. I noticed that there were a lot of people in the nursing homes that were very young and they were not all going home. It just did not make sense to me that some of these places were rehab facilities and yet people were getting sicker and sicker and sicker. So I started to realize that maybe the medicine wasn't helping them and one step further, maybe harming them, necessitating the need for more and more medicine.
It was this huge awakening and thought that there had to be a better way to reach people. Just because you have an illness doesn't mean that you necessarily have to take a drug. It's not like you're deficient in a drug. It's because there's some imbalance in a hormone or an enzyme or a vitamin in your body. These things need to be addressed naturally, not with drugs that fake your body out. So that all took some time.
Now 20 years later I'm very clear about what I think people should do. I think they should consider medication as a last resort only if diet and exercise and herbs and remedies and vitamins have not helped. I think after you've exhausted all those efforts and you're still not feeling well, then it's okay to consider medication. Some of them actually save lives. A lot of asthmatics require inhalers to stay alive, and people with seizure disorders, sometimes they can't go without their epileptic medicines. So certain drugs I think are fine. Painkillers I think are fine for people who live in chronic pain and just have no life. I have no problem with them taking what they need in order to have some quality of life. I am one of those rare pharmacists though because I think that healing is a pie and there is many slices to the pie. Some medications scare me and I think they are useless. I think that they are created just to generate money for the companies who make them. But there are other medications that are worthy. So I am just basically trying to approach medicine from a sensible standpoint, not to scare people away from it necessarily, but to open their eyes and let them see that there are other options available to them. It is not just a pill for every ill.
Kevin: How does it feel being traditionally trained as a pharmacist to start to realize this? What went through your mind when you said, "Wait a minute, some of this stuff is not working." How did that feel?
Suzy: It didn't feel so good. I'm a very sensitive individual and it didn't feel good to dispense medication and then have a phone call six hours later, the next day, saying, "This stuff is making me throw up, is that normal?" Well, yes, that can happen with this particular antibiotic. Yes, it can cause severe diarrhea. Yes, it can cause these horrible leg cramps or whatever. It was very disheartening because, again, I came out very gung-ho and I thought, "Medications are the way. I am going to cure the world." Then it was very disillusioning....
Suzy: ...The truth about your medicine but more than that truth about the natural remedies that can substitute for medication...
What is it? It is about drugs that mug your body of needed nutrients, nutrients and vitamins and minerals that you need to stay alive. When a drug does this then you start to feel very, very badly.
One common example of this is with statin cholesterol drugs - Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor. People know these names. These are multi-million dollar blockbuster drugs used to lower cholesterol. Well, they do an effective job at that, but they also reduce co-enzyme Q10. That is a powerful anti-oxidant that your body needs. You need that. You can make it in your own body. The medication robs your body of co-Q10 and if you do not supplement with it then these statin drugs can cause leg cramps and muscle cramps of all sorts, even in your heart. Your heart is a muscle, isn't it? It can cause muscle cramps. So it can make your heart go into arrhythmias and tachycardias and all sorts of heart problems, even heart failure. There are a lot of problems associated with a co-Q10 deficiency, including memory loss, shortness of breath, fatigue, leg cramps, arm cramps, muscle aches and cardiac arrhythmias and all sorts of heart problems. And a serious deficiency of co-Q10 can cause a heart attack because your heart loves, loves, loves co-Q10. These statin drugs are mugging your body of it. That is just one example.
...Nutrients are robbed. This is so important. Do you know why? Because if you don't know what nutrient is being stolen from your body you're going to go back to your doctor's office with a new symptom and he's going to give you a new drug, when all you needed to do was replenish what the drug mugger stole.
Kevin: What are some of the common things that are then prescribed once someone, say they are on Lipitor or something like that, what are some of the things that are prescribed for the muscle pain?
Suzy: If you are on a statin drug and you get this muscle pain they might prescribe Requip or Mirapex, which are two different drugs used for restless leg syndrome. So now you are diagnosed with this thing called restless leg syndrome, which in my day we used to just call leg cramps. But now you know how they invent diseases so that they can give you new drugs to treat your new diseases. Well, all you needed was the co-Q10.
When you lower your cholesterol so much with these drugs you can wind up depressed. It is proven fact. So what do they do? They give you Zoloft or Paxil. You run out of the memory molecules -- remember, your cholesterol is being lowered, right? So you are not able to produce, from a cholesterol, all these memory molecules and brain hormones that you need because cholesterol is their base molecule. So you run out of that. What does that mean? You wind up depressed. You wind up with anxiety. Memory loss is a big one. Then you are told you have Alzheimer's to go with your cardiac issues, leg cramps and low sex drive. Think about that. Again, you're lowering cholesterol; you can't make those sex hormones. So what? They'll give you Viagra. Before you know it you are on six drugs. All you had to do is replenish what the drug mugger stole.
We can harp about statin drugs because they are popular, but it is not just statins... One more example of this is those acid blockers. Don't you love those? The drugs like Zantac and Pepsid, Nexium, Prilosec, all of those. People need a pill to eat apparently. Well, I am just cross-eyed over here. You can't see it. [Laughter] But if you could my face is just contorted because I just can't believe we need a pill to eat. But anyway, let's just skip over that part for a minute.
Acid blockers are huge drug muggers of vitamin B12, amongst other B vitamins. In fact, they are drug muggers of all the B vitamins. But let's focus on B12 for a minute because B12 is needed for your nerves. What happens when you take an acid blocker for digestion, after a while you run out of B12. When you run out of B12 your nerves start to get messed up. You get pins and needles sensations in your fingers and toes. You might get neuropathies. B12 is needed for energy so you get very, very fatigued and you feel weak, especially in the arms and legs. You get these sores on your tongue and your mouth and you can't make probiotics anymore because you need the B vitamins to help generate your natural, normal flora. So you get digestion problems, even though you are taking these drugs for digestion. It's just completely whacked.
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