Isn't there a pill for this?
There's no quick fix for chronic pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia or inflammation. Those are all ways the body has to talk to you. Listen up and clean up.
LISTEN TO THE SESSION
If you can touch it, feel it, look it in the face, and talk about it—you can heal it. Today we’re talking about the thought pattern and emotional posture summed up in the phrase “Isn’t there a pill for this?”
Somewhere along the way, patients became impatient, a contradiction in terms, demanding all sorts of drugs for conditions that developed over a long period of time from doctors who were all too willing to write prescriptions as if there were no tomorrow—and no side effects. But there are serious side-effects, and we will talk about them in this session.
Today, hundreds of millions of people choose pills over self-care. People take pain pills to deal with chronic pain, antacids to deal with chronic indigestion, anti-anxiety pills to deal with chronic anxiety, anti-depression pills to deal with chronic depression, sleeping pills to deal with chronic insomnia, steroids to deal with chronic inflammation, and repeated rounds of antibiotics to deal with recurrent infections caused by weakened immunity. Some people mix some or all of the above. The problem should be easy to grasp. The organs of detoxification that have to metabolize and eliminate pharmaceutical drugs are the same organs already stressed by environmental toxins, poor nutrition and chronic dehydration.
The attachment to pills over self-care falls heavily on our old friends: liver and gallbladder, kidneys and bladder, colon and intestines. Chronically overusing pharmaceutical drugs is like throwing gasoline on a bonfire. Mixing multiple pharma drugs for years and years, even decades, can land you in adult diapers, not remembering how to turn on the stove. They can damage your intestines, causing absorption problems that can lead to fragile bones. They can damage your liver and kidneys. They can cause chronic constipation—a precursor to so many chronic illnesses.
Popping pharmaceutical drugs for long periods of time creates a vicious cycle, because the more these core organs lose the ability to eliminate toxins and waste effectively and efficiently, the more your overall health will decline. As a result, you suffer more symptoms, for which you may be tempted to take more drugs—both over-the-counter and prescription. We call this downward spiral the serpent eating its tail.
Detox creates a choice point when it comes to prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs. You have to choose. You can’t play it both ways. You can choose drugs that harm your organs of detoxification and elimination. Or you can choose natural remedies like herbs, nutritional therapies, oxygen therapies, homeopathy and detox that cleanse, nourish and restore those organs. The choice is yours, and it’s one of the most important choices you will make for your longterm health.
BTW, mixing pharma drugs and alcohol is a really bad idea.
Drug manufacturers clearly warn against mixing alcohol with pharmaceutical drugs. Take those warnings seriously. People may think they’re not mixing the two if they take them hours apart, but once the liver becomes overwhelmed and can’t filter, metabolize and eliminate the drugs fast enough, the drugs will be in the bloodstream much longer than they are meant to be. As a result, almost anytime you have a drink of alcohol, you are mixing alcohol and drugs, and poisoning your liver and kidneys even more. Alcohol is also dehydrating, causing the colon to be constipated, adding fuel to the fire and putting more stress on the heart, and increasing your risk of heart attack.
What if you don't drink alcohol or take pharma drugs?
If you’ve been listening patiently to this discussion of how pharmaceutical drugs can damage the kidneys, bladder, liver, intestines and colon, and you personally are free and clear of any pharmaceutical drug overuse or overuse of alcohol, good for you! But we want you to keep listening. Because you may need to make yourself available for any family or friends who aren’t free and clear. They may need a helping hand and a guiding light to kick a dependence on a pharmaceutical painkiller or sleeping pill, an anti-anxiety pill or antidepressant, or recurring use of antibiotics, antacids or steroids. And if someone you love is mixing drugs with alcohol, be prepared for a possible roller coaster ride when it’s time to come down. So we hope you’re feeling light enough and clear enough yourself to imagine ways to reach out and help.
Just asking could be the help needed to get things moving in a better direction. Being an empathetic witness can be the difference that makes a difference. If you are friend or family of someone addicted to narcotic painkillers, shift blame and shame to compassion and empathy and find resources for the person—quickly. Stay in contact and be present. Skip the judgment. It’s a waste of precious time. Focus on staying connected. Support their hydration and nutrition immediately, create a circle of supportive family and friends, and get help.
Be clear about your intentions to be present, awake, and compassionate without being judgmental or attached to a particular outcome. Listen more than talk. But speak up. Something you need to say? Follow your heart and intuition, speak your truth, share your concern. It could make a difference even if at first the offer of help is rejected. Stay connected by avoiding judgment, then challenge people you’re concerned about to detox. Don’t be put off if they say no. Just asking can start an internal process of introspection that can help them find their way later. Redundancy is always helpful for folks in a healing crisis. Lots of reassurance helps immensely. And education can be key. Talk about the functions of healthy liver, kidneys and colon. That’s a great place to start some worthy inquiry that can lead to healthy change. Share resources. Let them know they can call you any time to talk about getting off the pharma pills and getting on board with self-care, starting with hydration, nutritious food and basic colon cleansing.
The top 8 pharmaceutical drugs that can damage your organs of detoxification.
1. SLEEPING PILLS: Overuse of hypnotic sleeping pills like Ambien, Lunesta and Rozerem can cause behavioral changes that range from weird sexual escapades that aren’t remembered to sleepwalking off balconies or bridges. Mixing sleeping pills with alcohol makes these symptoms worse. In addition, sleeping pills affect the organs of elimination and detoxification. Side effects of Ambien include nausea, acidic stomach, constipation, diarrhea, frequent urination, bloody urine, bladder pain, puffiness in the face, and thoughts of killing oneself. Please be aware that kidney disease can cause sleep disorders. If you take sleeping pills for symptoms caused by kidney stress, you may be pouring fuel on a fire, because you’ll be stressing out your kidneys even more. Liver toxicity can also have you up in the middle of the night. The liver does its heavy lifting of cleaning the blood and metabolizing waste and toxins between the hours of 1 to 3am when the digestive system is at rest. Make sure you’re addressing the actual problem, not making it worse. If you’re having trouble sleeping, stop eating late at night and detox to cleanse and restore your kidney and liver function before you reach for a sleeping pill.
2. OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN RELIEVERS: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the most commonly used pain relievers. These drugs are NOT meant to be used frequently over long periods of time. In fact, overuse of acetaminophen (found in Tylenol) is the leading cause of acute liver failure! Overuse of ibuprofen (found in Advil) can cause kidney and bladder damage, and can damage the lining of the intestines, causing leaky gut. The list of side effects of NSAIDs is so long, you have to read them for yourself. The most serious side effects are ulcers, bleeding, kidney failure, and liver failure. Apply the knowledge you’ve learned so far in this book. A common cause of pain is dirty, dried out liver, kidneys and colon. Daily aches and pains are signs that it’s time to detoxify. Taking NSAIDs to relieve the pain of dirty and congested liver, kidneys and colon can in the long run create more pain. If you need pain relief, try a detox. Because a person with a healthy bodymind doesn’t experience chronic aches and pains.
3. STEROIDS: Symptoms of corticosteroids overuse (cortisone, hydrocortisone, prednisone) can include stomach irritation, ulcers, intestinal bleeding and weakened immunity. Overuse of anabolic steroids (athletes and bodybuilders) can cause severe kidney dysfunction and kidney disease. Steroids are often prescribed for chronic inflammation. If you have chronic inflammation, that’s a sign that your immune system is in overdrive. Since most of your immune system is in your gut, liver and kidneys, help yourself out with a detox to support natural immunity.
4. ANTACIDS: Overuse of alkalinizing antacids, whether over-the-counter like Tums or prescription like Nexium, can diminish stomach acid, reducing the ability to digest—and causing more indigestion! That’s a vicious cycle to avoid. Read the fine print about side effects in the patient information in order to assess benefits vs. risks. For example, read the Nexium Side Effects. Read to the bottom please; seriously, do some research. Side effects include nephritis (inflammation of kidney tissues) and Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea. Oh, and insomnia is on the list! Hopefully, you’re not taking sleeping pills to treat antacid-induced insomnia! You would be chasing symptoms created by pharmaceutical drugs with more pharmaceutical drugs. That could create a downward spiral.
5. ANTIBIOTICS: Overuse of antibiotics can kill off beneficial bacteria in the gut and end up culturing pathogenic bacteria, or even antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium-difficile (C-difficile), Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), and Lyme disease can cause difficult to treat infections that tend to rebound after antibiotic treatments. And when the infections come back, they’re often worse. The CDC explicitly warns against overusing antibiotics. Yet the problem is so pervasive we have new categories for antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria: highly resistant strains (HR), multiple resistant strains (MR) and even totally resistant strains (TR). If you run to your doctor every time you have a cold or flu to ask for antibiotics, you need to look at that behavior. Colds and flu are viral; they are caused by viruses. Antibiotics treat bacterial infections. If you’re wondering why medical doctors would prescribe antibiotics for a cold or flu, maybe it’s because you’re asking for them...or even demanding them? Likewise, if you struggle with recurrent sinus or bronchial infections for which you take repeated rounds of antibiotics, are you addressing the real problem or making it worse by killing off the beneficial bacteria in your gut where most of your immune system is?
6. ANTI-ANXIETY PILLS: If you understand that kidney stress and adrenal exhaustion cause anxiety and fear, you won’t want to take benzodiazepine anti-anxiety pills like Xanax, Ativan, Valium and Klonopin for anxiety. For one reason, you’ll find anxiety listed in the list of side-effects of Ativan. Huh? You’ll also find signs of kidney disease in the list—dark urine, decreased urine output and blood in urine. Watch out! You might just be creating more nephritis-induced anxiety by taking anti-anxiety pills. Remember, nephritis is chronic inflammation of the kidneys. Try a 10-day detox first before you go chasing the serpent’s tail. Black tarry stools and loss of memory don’t sound good either. A recent study in 2015 by the American Osteopathic Association showed that taking these anti-anxiety drugs for over 6 months can increase the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s by 84%. The American Geriatric Association in 2012 labeled the drugs inappropriate for treating agitation or insomnia because of those risks. Please protect elders who may be given a prescription.
7. ANTI-DEPRESSION PILLS: SSRIs (serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) are a common class of antidepressant drugs that have a long list of side effects. Some of these include erectile dysfunction and being non-orgasmic, as well as weight gain. Can we just say, WHAT? That sounds so depressing. Here’s another consideration. Depression can be caused by intestinal gut problems, particularly dysbiosis—an imbalance in beneficial gut bacteria that’s often caused by taking too many antibiotics. That sets you up to get too much fungus living in your gut, the excrement of which is—you guessed it—a neurotoxin. Foggy anyone? Can’t remember names? Feeling bloated? Gassy? Constipated? Drink some water! If you’re feeling all that, you might also be feeling rigid, unable to let go of things you should’ve a long time ago, and wanting to control things. Here are some other side-effects for us, where concern is damage to the detox and elimination organs: rash (liver), sleep disturbance (liver), daytime drowsiness (liver), migraines (liver), suicide (liver). Yes, we said suicide. That’s why it’s called live-r. If you’re having any of these symptoms, start to visualize life without anti-depressants.
8. NARCOTIC PAIN KILLERS: Opioid painkillers include drugs like OxyContin (oxycodone), Vicodin (acetaminophen/hydrocodone), Norco (hydrocodone/acetaminophen), and Percocet (acetaminophen/oxycodone). These pharma drugs can cause constipation, liver and kidney toxicity, and heart attack. Narcotic painkillers are highly addictive because the body quickly forms a tolerance that causes users to need more to achieve the same effect. That leads to a high risk of accidental overdose. Read the patient information on side effects to find your motivation to get off. These prescription narcotics were not designed to be taken over long periods of time for pain, and in fact, they cause more pain in the long run. Norco side effects include kidney damage, liver damage and constipation. Side effects of highly addictive OxyContin include constipation, liver damage, and myocardial infarction (heart attack). Side effects of Vicodin include liver damage, kidney damage, constipation, and difficulty urinating (bladder damage).
Don’t be surprised if friends and family members on narcotic painkillers come to you wanting to share the sense of total euphoria that makes opioid painkillers so seductive. Welcome that. It’s your chance to connect, keep a conversation going, and try to help. These drugs are dehydrating and constipating. They override hunger, encouraging malnutrition. Because highly addictive, users quickly need more to feel the same effect, because the body builds a tolerance. These drugs are extremely toxic to the liver and kidneys. So when the dose is gradually increased over time due to addiction, the liver and kidneys can be slowly poisoned, followed by a sudden collapse. As the liver, kidneys and colon lose function, the person is at greater risk of heart attack and accidental overdose. Be careful getting off and then getting back on, because once the body loses its tolerance you’re at a very high risk of accidental overdose.
Ok, what's the takeaway for this session? There's no pill for self-care!
I really want you to comprehend how people can jeopardize their overall health by chronically stressing their liver, kidneys, colon, intestines and bladder with pharmaceutical drugs. Imagine what’s going on internally in the background of your life. Embrace the complexity going on 24/7. Acknowledge there’s no pharmaceutical pill that can improve the native intelligence of your bodymind. Not painkillers. Not pain relievers. Not antibiotics. Not antacids. Not anti-depressants. Not sleeping pills. Not anti-anxiety pills. Not steroids. Those are temporary fixes. If you use them for more than 2 weeks, you may be causing more problems for yourself in the long run.
Notice the recurrence of the suffix “itis” in a variety of chronic illnesses. That suffix means inflammation—a sign your organs are in serious distress, your hormones are off balance, and your immune system is struggling with infections, allergens and toxins. Here’s the list: chronic inflammation of the intestines (colitis), of the appendix (appendicitis), of the colon (diverticulitis), of the kidneys (nephritis), of the liver (hepatitis), of the bladder (cystitis), of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and of the gallbladder (cholecystitis). Brain inflammation is an underlying cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, even schizophrenia. Remember that gut inflammation and brain inflammation go together. A healthy gut feeds a healthy brain, and makes neurotransmitters for healthy neurological function. Remember also that chronic inflammation is a precursor for every chronic disease.
The organs of detoxification and elimination have to break down, metabolize and eliminate pharma drugs. These are the same organs—colon, liver and kidneys— that are already stressed by environmental toxins, endocrine disruptors, and antibiotic-resistant pathogenic microbes. These are the same organs that suffer tremendously from chronic dehydration, chronic poor nutrition and chronic constipation or chronic diarrhea.
Avoid a downward spiral.
As these organs of detoxification become more and more nutrient-depleted, dried out, toxic and inflamed, you get more pain, more anxiety, more indigestion and bloating, more fear, more depression, more insomnia, more worry, more anger, more compulsive behaviors and more infections. Taking more and more pills that chase symptoms and add more poison to the toxic load can turn what starts as a nearly imperceptible slide into ill health into a sudden downward spiral. If this happens to you, know that it’s time to detox and up the ante on self-care. If you’re offered a prescription drug, read the Patient Information on each drug carefully; read it to the end. Typically, drug manufacturers list the less serious side effects first (typically called “Common Side Effects” or “Less Serious Side Effects”), and then later list the more serious side effects from longterm use. Read all the way to the bottom of the list and put 2 + 2 together.
In the list of more serious side-effects, look for words that really mean damage to liver, kidneys, colon, intestines and bladder. Some examples are bloody stool, constipation, frequent urination, difficulty urinating, decreased urine, dark urine, blood in urine, rash, yellow under eyes, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, bad stomach ache, throwing up blood, black or bloody bowel movements, fluid retention, anemia, headache and heartburn. Eventually if you keep reading you will see the key words that tell you where all these symptoms are leading: inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, kidney disease, stomach ulcer, bleeding in gastrointestinal tract, and high blood pressure.
Look at the things that can go wrong in the list of side effects, and decide for yourself if the drugs are worth the risk to your core health.
Here’s a list of medical drug-induced conditions we don’t hear much about in the media or from doctors prescribing lots of pharmaceutical meds: Medical drug-induced toxic hepatitis (liver inflammation caused by pharmaceutical drugs), drug-induced interstitial cystitis (bladder inflammation caused by pharmaceutical drugs), drug-induced nephrotoxicity (kidney toxicity caused by pharmaceutical drugs), drug-induced constipation (dehydrated compacted colon caused by pharmaceutical drugs), and drug-induced dysbiosis (damage to beneficial gut flora in the small intestine and/or colon caused by pharmaceutical antibiotics).
As the organs of detoxification and elimination decline and lose function—because you keep challenging them with poisonous drugs and don’t hydrate them, feed them, detox them, restore them and love them—guess what else can happen? Drug-induced congestive heart failure.
If you understand basic bodymind principles, you’ll know what’s happening. The drugs are poisoning and overwhelming you over time.
Ok, let's talk about the detox remedy.
We want people to realize that detox is often the remedy they’re really looking for. Detox is a tool to love, nourish and restore the organs that make up our core health. Detox is a natural remedy for pain, inflammation, insomnia, weak immunity and emotional imbalances. Most of what people are taking pills for, detox provides—if you have the discipline and wisdom to take care of yourself rather than chase pills for instant gratification.
Honestly, there is no pill for what ails us. In fact, some of the most popular pills that claim to help in pharmaceutical ads are actually known to stress and damage the organs of detoxification we are trying to nurture.
If you want guidance getting through a 10-day detox, check out the Superfeel Detox Challenge at thehealist.com. If you or someone you know is addicted to narcotic painkillers, see the chapter “Isn’t there a pill for it?” in the Superfeel Detox Challenge book for a review of safe alternative treatments. These include naltrexone and sacred plant medicines like ayahuasca and iboga. Get educated, if not for yourself, for someone you know who may need help.