Drug Robbers

At Welltopia, we divide the pharmacy into zones. The green zone is filled with natural herbs and professional supplements, the white zone is where personalized medications are compounded, and the grey zone contains commercially available drugs.

Let’s focus on the grey zone with its drug robbers, which are drugs that deplete our bodies from natural stores of vitamins, minerals and hormones causing unpleasant, uncomfortable and unexplained side effects. The list of drug robbers is long. Organized below into five groups, some drug robbers are repeated, but each group is unified by its robbing effect of five key nutrients: Vitamin B, glutathione, magnesium, zinc and ubiquinone.

On top of my list are female hormones used for birth control and to relieve symptoms of menopause, antacids like Pepcid, ulcer medications like omeprazole, and diabetes drugs such as metformin. This group of medications can rob the body of one or more B vitamins which potentially can cause weight gain, depression, fatigue, anemia, nerve pain, depression and/or a sensation of pins and needles.

Secondly, Tylenol, generically known as acetaminophen, is a medication that some of us take on a daily basis. It is even safe to take during pregnancy. However, taking acetaminophen on a daily basis is tied to low glutathione, the powerful antioxidant needed to get rid of poisons inside the cells. Low glutathione can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, liver problems and/or high levels of the heart attack promoting substance homocysteine. My third group contains diuretics like thiazides and Lasix, female hormones (again), anti-inflammatories and aspirin. All these drugs can cause deficiency of the mineral magnesium which can contribute to depression, osteoporosis and/or an irregular heartbeat.

My fourth group contains repeated convicts: estrogen drugs used for birth control, ulcer and heartburn medications, and anti inflammatories. All can cause a deficiency in the mineral zinc, causing bald patches, loss of taste or smell, erectile dysfunction and/or chronic diarrhea.

My final group contains the hero of anti-cholesterol drugs, the statin drugs such as Lipitor and Crestor. Also included in this group is the hero of diabetes drugs, metformin. These medications among others, may cause deficiency of CoQ10 (ubiquinone) which can result in leg cramps, muscle spasms, memory loss and/or fatigue.

Vitamin B complex, magnesium, glutathione, zinc and CoQ10 can be taken as over-the-counter (OTC) supplements. But the choices are overwhelming with so many companies promoting their products. Therefore, it is very important to remember to ask more questions the next time you purchase OTC medications or pick up a prescription from your pharmacy.

This article was originally published in the Mequon Beacon, March 2018 edition. You can download it HERE.