Volume 4, Issue 26
June 30, 2011

Are doctors more deadly
than tornadoes?

This year has been a bad one for tornadoes. The local news just reported that in the first five months of this year alone, over 500 people have died in tornadoes. That’s a lot. But it’s a drop in the bucket when you compare tornadoes to doctors.

A very conservative estimate says that over 2,000-3,000 people die every week from the drugs that doctors give them. And I’m not talking about the incorrect misuse of drugs. I’m talking about the official FDA/AMA certified approved use of drugs. And most of the time these drugs are used, a safe, natural, non-pharmaceutical treatment would have been just as effective. But there's another side to drugs that you may not be aware of.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the startling paper published in 1991 entitled “Drug Induced Dementia.” That paper introduced to the medical community the startling fact that many cases of dementia are not Alzheimer’s, stroke, or hormone-deficiency related. The cause? Medications.

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And the only thing that has happened since then is that the problem has gotten worse. Today’s estimates are that anywhere from 10-30% of the elderly have cognitive impairment from the drugs their doctors give them.

To quote the authors of that paper, “The most common offenders in cases of cognitive disorders in the elderly are psychotropic drugs, drugs with anti-cholinergic properties, sedatives, anti-hypertensives, anti-convulsants, and cardiac drugs.”

A common example of anti-cholinergic drugs are the drugs that treat intestinal, bladder, and lung symptoms. All of these drugs are bad enough alone. But when used in combination with other drugs, they can be particularly problematic. And here’s the real kicker.

Since it’s the elderly who take these drugs, the fact that they are causing brain dysfunction usually goes ignored. “Of course, Gramma can’t remember what she’s doing. After all, she’s 80 years old. What do you expect?” This is particularly true of the statin drugs because they sneak up on you. They may not significantly decrease brain function until someone is on them for four to six months.

So if you know anyone who is suffering from dementia or the early signs of dementia, Google the drugs they are taking and see if it lists brain impairment as a side effect. The worst offenders in my experience are blood pressure pills, bladder pills, sedatives, antidepressants, and the statins. And the combined effect from a combination of these drugs is especially suspicious. If you’re on any of these and notice your memory slipping, talk to your doctor about safer ways to treat your health concerns.

Drugs aren’t the only cause of dementia, but they are a major cause. Next week, I’ll show you another surprising cause – and this one may be sitting in your pantry right now.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

REF: Lowenthal DT, Nadeau ST. Drug-Induced Dementia. Southern Medical Journal, May 1991 - Volume 84 - Issue 5 - pp 1S-32-1S-4.

Copyright 2011 Soundview Publishing, LLC

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