Common prescription and over-the-counter medications can deplete your body of vital nutrients which are essential to your health, and this drug-induced nutrient depletion (DIND) can be life-threatening.
Nutrient depletion can lead to fatigue, anxiety, depression and insomnia. And even worse – widely-prescribed statins, which are used to reduce cholesterol, deplete coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), and lack of CoQ10 can weaken the heart and lead to left ventricular failure. To treat this problem, drugs known as beta-blockers are prescribed, which can cause more adverse effects. This is an example of how DIND is often not considered as a cause of a symptom or side effect, and therefore instead of treating the nutrient deficiency, more drugs are prescribed.
Here are other common examples of DIND:
- Diuretics used to treat high blood pressure can drain deplete water-soluble nutrients, including B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, sodium, potassium and zinc.
- Metformin is prescribed to lower blood sugar in people with diabetes, but it also reduces levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid.
- Antacids, histamine-2 receptor antagonists (H2 blockers) and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly prescribed for treating heartburn, gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and peptic ulcers reduction of stomach acid impairs the breakdown of the ingested food into its component nutrients.
Now the GOOD NEWS! With accurate information (which may require laboratory testing for certain minerals) and quality supplements, you can avoid nutrient depletion and the resulting side effects. And you may be able to control or reduce your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis! Don’t randomly start taking supplements – seek professional advice from our knowledgeable pharmacist.
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