Over 1.5 million Australians suffer an adverse event from medications each year, resulting in at least 400,000 visits to GP’s, 190,000 hospital admissions and, in severe cases, death.
Approximately 2-3% of all hospital admissions are medication-related and, of those, approximately 50% are preventable.
Now – why do we not hear about this on the news??? But if someone gets a belly-ache from taking 20 times the recommended dosage of a herb, it makes headlines.
There is a word in the English language that means ‘an illness caused by a medical treatment’ – iatrogenic (you can go and Google it). Often, more medications are prescribed in an attempt to address side effects that come from the original drug.
The most common medications prescribed in this country are cholesterol-lowering drugs, drugs for heartburn/acid reflux, painkillers, blood-pressure lowering drugs, and drugs for Type 2 Diabetes. Many of these drugs are capable of depleting certain nutrients in the body.
I’m not for a minute suggesting that certain medications or medical procedures aren’t necessary and some do a great job. Personally, I have two children who wouldn’t be alive today if it weren’t for the wonders of modern medicine, so I am certainly not, and never will be, a ‘doctor-basher’ by any stretch of the imagination. But our current medical model is set up to deal with acute illnesses (broken arms, accidents etc) and chronic disease is now the dominant health problem – and one our current medical model is struggling to deal with.
Properly prescribed natural medicines (despite what you may hear in the media) are evidence-based, well-researched, and have a good safety record in the hands of a properly trained practitioner, who will be aware of any interactions around medications being taken. In addition, a naturopathic approach focuses on the finding and addressing the causes of disease, not simply masking symptoms.