This last week, I was asked if I could pick up a prescription for my neighbor. As I was standing in line at the local pharmacy, waiting for my turn to pick up the medications, this is what I saw. I couldn’t help but laugh.
Candy bars? Really? York Peppermint Patties, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, M&M’s Plain, Almond Joys, Butterfingers, Milky Way, Snickers, Hershey Chocolate, Kit Kat Bars. And last, but not least, my personal nemesis, M&M Peanuts.
Top 10 Medications Prescribed in the USA
A few years back I had seen a list of the top 50 medications prescribed here in the United States. Unfortunately, I can’t find my handout, so I Googled the following search term,
Here is the list that I found, taken from WebMD.com.
- Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) – Used for treating pain.
- Simvastatin (Generic for Zocor) – Is used for treating high cholesterol.
- Lisinopril (Generic for Prinivil or Zestril) – For treating high blood pressure.
- Levothyroxine (generic for Synthroid) – a Man-made version of thyroid hormone.
- Azithromycin (generic for Zithromax, Z-PAK) – Antibiotic for killing germs.
- Metformin (generic for Glucophage) – Used for treating type 2 diabetes.
- Lipitor (atorvastatin) – Is used for treating high cholesterol.
- Amlodipine (generic for Norvasc) – For treating high blood pressure.
- Amoxicillin – Antibiotic for killing germs.
- Hydrochlorothiazide – Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic (water pill) used alone or combined with other drugs for treating high blood pressure.
Next time you’re at the pharmacy, and you see all those candy bars, I want you to think of the above list, and especially what I have highlighted in pink.
You may be wondering if I am suggesting that candy bars are a contributing factor to the problem. Is white sugar that bad? I know I’m going to sound like a nut, but my answer is yes.
I want to make this article upbeat. Once you’re on these medications, can you ever get off them? I think there are many cases where if you can get rid of the underlying problem, you can get off these medications. There is hope. Allow me to outline a plan on how I would approach the problem.
Let me start out by saying that if your physician has prescribed these medications, there is a good reason for it. There is a serious underlying problem, and in many cases, if the problem is left untreated, it can kill you. So here is my outline.
No white sugar in any of your foods.
1. Check in with your physician. Inform them that if at all possible, you would like to get off these medications.
2. Give it a month. Eat right. No white sugar in any of your foods. Play with the idea that you’re going to eat lots of garden foods. Broccoli, spinach, green beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, kale, etc. We get a box from North Branch Farm twice a month with garden grown fresh seasonal vegetables. Delicious!
How about not eating out for the month? That will help. Stop eating preprocessed foods. If it comes in a box, or in a cellophane wrapper, stop and reevaluate your options. Probably my favorite book for this would be The South Beach Diet Good Fats/Good Carbs Guide. Press on the link, and you can get the book for $4.00. You can think of the book as a dictionary of sugars found in foods, good vs. bad. It’s a fascinating read. The whole idea behind the book is to help you control the amount of sugar you consume daily. You may not agree with everything in the book, but in my opinion, it is the best.
3. Stick to your guns, no cheating on the food stuff.
3. Go back to your physician and have the numbers checked again. Hopefully, all the numbers will start to improve. Not only the blood work, but you’ll see your weight go down as well. And remember, what you eat does matter.
We at Seasons of Smiles Dental not only wish and hope for our neighbor’s healthy smiles but full healthy lives as well.
Norman Medina DDS, graduated from Loma Linda University Dental School in 1994. He has been practicing dentistry in Midcoast Maine since 1994. He and his wife Lanita have four children.