My guest today is Pamela Seefeld, R.Ph, a registered pharmacist who prefers to dispense medicinal plants and other natural substances instead of prescription drugs. We’ll be talking about commonly prescribed medications that have mental health side effects, which often go unnoticed by medical professionals. These side effects include memory loss, confusion, black outs, panic attacks, and more. Pamela is a 1990 graduate of the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, where she studied Pharmacognosy (the study of medicines derived from plants and other natural sources). She has worked as an integrative pharmacist teaching physicians, pharmacists and the general public about the proper use of botanicals. She is also a grant reviewer for NIH in Washington D.C. and the owner of Botanical Resource and Botanical Resource Med Spa in Clearwater, Florida. www.botanicalresource.com
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TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Hidden Mental Dangers in Common Drugs
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Pamela Seefeld
Date of Broadcast: March 11, 2015
DEBRA: Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world and live toxic free.
It is Wednesday, March 11th, 2015. I just actually was on another radio show this morning, on the Woman’s Radio Network, I think it was.
As I was talking – it was only for eight minutes – as I was talking, I was talking about detoxing our bodies and that we have toxic chemicals in our bodies and that we especially need to have a good source of water so that we can drink enough water and flush those toxic chemicals out.
I was talking about using Pure Body Liquid Zeolite in order to immediately, within 46 hours, start pulling those heavy metals and radiation and toxic chemicals out.
As I was talking to the host, I realized that you know what? There really isn’t anybody else talking about this. There are people talking about detox as cleaning out your intestines or something or getting off of drugs or getting off of alcohol. I’m talking about removing toxic chemicals from the body.
I can’t think of another website. I’m researching this stuff all the time. I can’t think of another website where so many options for removing different types of toxic chemicals were laid out and so many options for not putting toxic chemicals in your body in the first place by using toxic-free product.
There’s no other radio show like this. So you’re all very fortunate. You’re all very fortunate to be in the right place to getting this information because it really is the thing that is underlying all the health problems in the world today. It’s exposure to toxic chemicals.
My guest today is Pamela Seefeld. She’s a registered pharmacist and she’s on every other Wednesday. I have her on so much because she knows all about the health danger of drugs, pharmaceuticals and their addictive quality and the side effects.
I always have to smile to myself except that it’s so sad when I’m watching television. You can’t watch television for an hour without seeing how many drug commercials and they show you beautiful pictures and have nice music playing in the background and a very soothing voice tone and saying how they’re going to relieve your symptoms. It’s always about the symptoms.
They’re going to relieve your symptoms and then they start giving you the whole list of side effects. “By the way, it will damage your liver and you can die.” But all of this is going on with music playing in the background.
There’s just so much harm that can come from drugs and so much we can talk about that I’m just having Pamela on every other week so that she can really educate us.
And also, if you have been listening for a while, you know that my brother recently died from drugs, prescription drugs, not recreational drugs. So I think it’s one of the most important toxic exposures we can talk about.
Today, we’re going to be talking about some of those hidden things that can happen that you guys are taking drugs for symptoms with side effects. And we’re specifically going to talk about mental health dangers, mental health side effects that can be going on that you don’t even realize from taking these synthetic drugs.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Hey. It’s great to be here.
DEBRA: Thank you. I gave just a long introduction today, but you’re the one that must talk.
Anyway, I’ll just tell you that Pamela is a registered pharmacist. But instead of dispensing drugs – she has a pharmacy, a natural pharmacy called Botanical Resource where she dispenses other kinds of things made from natural ingredients, medicines made from natural ingredients.
Pamela, tell us a little bit about your background on that so the people can understand the difference between a drug like a prescription drug and what you’re doing.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Okay. Yes. My training originally was in Basic Pharmacology. I’m a clinical pharmacist here in Florida.
At the University of Florida, I also studied Pharmacognosy which is Plant Science. Actually, they don’t offer that anymore. So it’s basically the study of medicinal plants and the pharmacological properties.
It’s a little bit more than just Herbalism. It’s talking about where in the body they work in different receptors and the dosage and where the plants are found and what parts of the plant we’re using. They have specific indications.
My pharmacy here really concentrates on saying to people that prescription medications are now what we’re using here. I know this very, very well. I work still full time as a pharmacist in a hospital. I know all the IV drugs. I know all the chemo drugs. I know all the medicines and all the drugs as well.
So if someone’s taking a medicine for hypertension or for sleep or whatever they’re doing, I can suggest a homeopathic or a vitamin alternative because the products we use here are really medical grade homeopathic products that you’re not going to necessarily find at the health food store.
I can customize a regimen for you, free of charge. We keep the charge here for you. It’s very professional. I really would like to serve you and your family if there would be questions about medications that you want to get off of or avoiding them.
I also can look at your blood work and decide if there are maybe prescriptions that are lurking in the future that you don’t want to be on. And I can just honestly tell you where we can go with that with homeopathy at a very modest price.
DEBRA: And she’s very good and very well-respected. All the doctors around can know her. I said to my MD, “Pamela told me to take this.” And he said, “Take it.”
PAMELA SEEFELD: Yeah. It’s great.
DEBRA: Okay. So we’re going to be talking today about different drugs that are very common drugs and their hidden mental health dangers.
So I’ll just let you start.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Okay, good. When we’re thinking about what would be most logical to discuss about these hidden dangers in some of the medications?
I wanted to talk about the hidden dangers in the mental health realm of commonly used medications that in some case, the side effects of these medicines might be misconstrued as being a new onset development to some disease or problem.
These are things that the doctor probably won’t catch and maybe even the pharmacist won’t catch because you just have a keen eye to look at maybe these are what are causing the problem.
So I made a little list and Debra and I have talked about this. I really want to go through some of these because this is very, very important for yourself, maybe an elderly relative. You need to know that these are very, very prominent problems.
I wanted to start with the statin medications. Those are the cholesterol-lowering medications that are very commonly prescribed. I would imagine 25% of the population. A lot of people are on this.
What we’re seeing is that they’re given – we know about the liver problems and that’s associated with that. And that was called Rhabdomyolysis where you get muscle damage.
But what we’re going to talk about is the mental health realm of these medicines. And memory loss is actually a black box warning, which is a very severe warning that’s on the package insert for these medicines.
If you’re taking a medication to lower your cholesterol and you notice that all of a sudden, you’re starting to have some memory problems, these medicines may very much be the problem, especially in elderly people. I’ve seen this quite frequently.
When they put on a cholesterol-lowering medicine, they start showing some signs of memory loss. The relatives and the doctor think it’s because the person’s getting older and they’re having some cognitive decline.
Once the person gets what’s called – we call it drug holiday where you go off the medicine for a few weeks, all of a sudden, they start perking up and acting like themselves. This is very, very important.
Do not misconstrue people having memory problems and elderly people showing more fragility and cognitive decline. And if they’re on statin medication, somebody needs to really look at that.
DEBRA: Pamela, one of the things that came to mind when you were talking just now is you’re talking about that this is a symptom that is on the little insert in the package. I immediately thought, how many people actually read those?
PAMELA SEEFELD: People don’t. You’re not given that when you go and have your prescription.
Basically, you get a little flyer of some side effects. They’re not telling you that memory loss is really one of them. It’s probably buried in there someplace.
But it’s not something – most people aren’t going to read that. The healthcare practitioner and very astute family members need to catch this because especially like I say in elderly people.
I have even seen that in people. I had a client of mine that was probably mid-50s. He was a computer programmer and he came to me. He was telling me, “I need something for my memory. I’m having some trouble remembering things.” He writes codes at the computer, so he really needs to have his mind sharp.
I realized he was on statin medication. I looked at his med list. I said, “This is what’s causing the problem. You need to go off this for a few weeks and see if it improves.”
And sure enough, he came back and said, “You know what? My memory is better.” This is in a younger person.
So I’m more concerned too about these elderly people that are in maybe a nursing home. Maybe they’re in assisted living. If you have an elderly relative and they’re on these medicines, you need to be really, really careful that memory problems that you’re treating with medicines are not from the drug.
DEBRA: Well, it just seems like such a thing that – memory loss. No.
PAMELA SEEFELD: It’s terrible really, right?
DEBRA: No, I was going to say – I was just having memory loss. No.
It’s just a thing that it seems like memory loss is so common as people got older. So we don’t think twice about it.
People stop in midsentence. I hear people stopping in midsentence and they can’t remember what they were saying.
And then they go, “Senior moment.” And we all just laugh.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Exactly.
DEBRA: So you’re not on the lookout for this. It’s not like your nose is bleeding or something like that. It’s just something that people accept those, “That’s the way it is.” But it could be a response to this drug.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Yeah. That is my key concern. If we have elderly people that most of the time the people around them, the practitioner, the family member, maybe the little nurse’s aide that’s coming in to help, you either really look and see how the medicine is causing this problem.
Another medicine that’s pretty commonly prescribed and can cause some more problems is beta blockers. A beta blocker is for hypertension. There’s metropolol, atenolol, nadolol. There’s a bunch of them. And propranolol.
These drugs have been prescribed I would guess 50 years. Beta blockers have been around forever, but if you look at most people that have a little bit of hypertension – they’re using some newer drugs now, but a lot of these elderly people are on beta blockers.
And beta blockers block the beta cell or the beta receptor in the heart. They slow the heart rate down. They slow the blood pressure down.
So a lot of times, people use beta blockers if they have some mild hypertension. These are very, very commonly prescribed. I see this stuff all the time.
But they can cause confusion, memory loss and in some cases, I’ve seen where someone’s medication hasn’t been adjusted appropriately. This is pretty common.
The beta blockers can cause blackouts. So if somebody’s fainting, having their blood pressure goes to low, that can happen with people taking these things. They feel lightheaded and dizzy.
Especially in an elderly person, if they are on these medications and they’re having dizziness and lightheadedness, they’re going to be at risk for fall. And what do we think about falls when somebody’s having lightheadedness and having confusion? Fractures, right? Hip replacement, surgeries.
And then I can say this. When people are elderly and they have falls and they break bones, there’s a high morbidity in mortality associated with that because they’re elderly. They have had surgeries, then they go to the rehab, then they get an infection – you know what I’m talking about. There’s a whole thing that cascades along.
These things are avoidable. So if somebody that you know is on a beta blocker, they need to keep track of what their blood pressure and their heart rate are. And the doctor’s office can do that if they’re elderly and they’re having someone coming in to nurse.
But knowing where your blood pressure is, especially if it’s running on the low side and you’re on this beta blocker, they need to adjust it. That’s very, very important. But from a mental standpoint, we know that confusion can be other things.
Imagine, which is a very common scenario, a person in her 80s that’s on a statin medication and a beta blocker – I’m telling you it happens all the time. And they come in to the hospital. Altered mental status, they’re confused, they’re tired. And then they work these people up for all this stuff. And really it’s the medicine.
DEBRA: But they don’t – when these people come in, they don’t look and check and say, “It’s the medicine.” They put them through all these other things and maybe give them another drug.
PAMELA SEEFELD: That’s exactly right. It just depends if someone’s really on top of things. Most of the time, they’re not going –
This is what happens. Dr. X prescribed this medicine. Now, they go to the hospital and they have somebody else there. So they’re not going to check what somebody else’s medicines are. They usually leave those alone.
They just start looking and saying, “Why are they showing confusion? Why are they showing lethargy?”
And when they take their blood pressure, they might say, “Okay. Their blood pressure is a little low, but maybe that’s how they normally run.”
This is what’s really important. You need to be aware of your own body habitus. You need to be aware of what your blood pressure normally runs.
These are little things that you can probably find out even if you go to the Publix and put your arm in the blood pressure machine if you don’t know. But you should know what your normal results are so that if something looks strange or if you’re being placed on a medicine, you know where your baseline is.
Doesn’t that make sense?
DEBRA: It does make sense. First I want to say for people who don’t live in Florida, the Publix that Pamela just mentioned is a supermarket.
PAMELA SEEFELD: I’m sorry. It’s a grocery store. It’s a grocery store, correct. So whatever grocery store or the pharmacy, they have a little blood pressure machine.
DEBRA: You can go to the pharmacy. They usually have a blood pressure machine.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Correct. Yes.
DEBRA: But the other thing that I’m thinking about is that there really – this whole thing about side effects. We’re talking about mental health side effects today. But the whole thing about side effects is so widespread with these drugs.
I started setting toxic chemicals because of toxic chemicals in consumer products. I didn’t start setting them because of drugs.
But drugs are made – most of them are synthetic. They’re made out of the same coal tar and crude oil that all the toxic chemicals are made of. It’s all made in the lab, the same way that they make the toxic chemicals in consumer products.
It’s just like you’re taking – we have things called Poison Control Centers. But all these drugs are just like taking poisons. They’re taking poisons.
Pretty much every drug you can find, here’s a whole list of health effects. I think that if I were taking drugs like these – there are so many online resources that if you don’t –
I know at the pharmacy, the pharmacists, they give a little pamphlet or something about the drug and make sure that you understand I guess how to use it. But maybe you don’t always get the health effects.
You can go online and look up any drug. It will tell you the health effects.
For me, if I was taking multiple drugs, I would just write down all the health effects for taking five drugs, which I wouldn’t do. But some people do.
I would write down – memory loss, memory loss, memory loss. I’d write down all the health effects and I’d see which ones cause the same health effects like memory loss. And I’d also really know what to be looking for that if I start having symptoms, I would already know if I made a list.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Exactly. And just knowing that – we were talking about the statin medication. We’re talking about the high percentage of medications, the beta blockers.
In place of a statin medication, you can use Pantethine. I did it quite a bit. I have a medical grade Pantethine. It will lower your cholesterol about 20 points a month.
So why would you take a chance using a statin medication with the memory problem, the muscle damage, the liver disease, all these different things?
It’s the same thing with hypertension medications, the beta blockers that we’re talking about. I use a homeopathic product called Crataegus Complex. That will lower the heart rate and will lower the blood pressure. It’s pretty consistent.
I’ve used it extensively. It’s homeopathic. There are no side effects, but it contains homeopathic versions of Cardiac glycosides which have these effects on the heart, which are very advantageous for someone that got some mild hypertension, even severe hypertension. It can help augment the use of additional medication.
There are solutions to these instead of having these and taking a risk with your memory.
Also, I wanted to really talk a little bit about benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are these anxiety drugs like Xanax, Ativan, Clonazepam, Valium. These medicines are highly prescribed.
If you work in a retail pharmacy and you’re a pharmacist, they are fast movers. We have a name for that. They’re in huge, huge container. They just put the bottle underneath it and they fall in there.
They put a number, 100 or whatever they want. They set it in a computer. They don’t even have timeouts anymore because there are so many that they dispense. This is really widespread. We’re talking about these mental health implications and what are some of the side effects of these.
If you put somebody in the benzodiazepine, this works in the brain. It was called the benzodiazepine receptor and it causes this Coleman effect. But the problem with that is that you get what’s called tolerance and dependence. So you need more medicine.
Take the same effect over a period of time and you become dependent on it. There’s psychological and physical dependence. So you think you need the medicine and physically, you start craving the medicine.
The problem with this in the mental health realm is that these medicines can lead to panic attacks. They can lead to confusion of the elderly and falls. And we were talking about elderly people fall.
It’s a high chance that they might have a very negative outcome as a result to those because they’re frail. They have to undergo the surgery. They have to go to rehab. There are a lot of secondary infections that happen.
It’s not easy pass for these people, even for younger people if this would be the case. So the impairment and the panic, if the person is not taking them consistently – they’re taking the medicine twice a day and they forget to take it or they need more medicine and they haven’t gone to the doctor increasing the prescription because now they’re dependent on it.
Panic attacks happen with these medicines quite frequently and that can be very dangerous. Can you imagine a person having a panic attack while they’re driving a car?
DEBRA: I wouldn’t want to be in a car around them.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Exactly. These are hidden dangers of these medicines that I think people need to realize.
When you start taking these even just temporarily for sleep or for anxiety, you’re on a long term path of some problems.
That’s the danger with these.
Passionflower is a partial agonist to this receptor. It has no tolerance, no dependence. It’s very effective as an anxielitic without having these side effects. So really when you…
DEBRA: I need to interrupt you because we missed the last break. Didn’t that seem like a long one?
PAMELA SEEFELD: Okay.
DEBRA: So let’s take a break. I was listening to you and I completely forgot to look at the time.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Sorry.
DEBRA: Anyway, listeners. This is what it’s like when Pamela and I get together. We just talk and talk.
Anyway, you’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Pamela Seefeld, registered pharmacist who prefers to dispense medicinal plants and other natural substances instead of prescription drugs.
When we come back, we’ll give you her phone number and you can call her up to [inaudible 00:21:49]. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd.
My guest today is Pamela Seefeld. She dispenses medicines based on plants and other natural sources. She has her own pharmacy called Botanical Resource in Clearwater, Florida.
Pamela, give us your phone number because Pamela will talk to you for free on the phone and help you figure out the drugs that you’re taking and suggest some natural remedies if you’d like her to do that.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Yes. You can call me here at my pharmacy. It’s (727) 442-4955.
And I would be very honored to help you and your family get off any medication that you need to get off of or also avoiding medication. If you have any health issues or concerns, I’m very well-versed in all these different problems.
DEBRA: And she really is. She’s been doing this for more than 20 years. She’s very well-respected in our medical and alternative community here in Clearwater, Florida.
Okay. So tell us more about hidden dangers in medications commonly prescribed, hidden mental dangers in medications commonly prescribed.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Correct. So we were talking a little bit about the benzos, how the benzodiazepines have this affinity for causing problems with confusion, with panic attacks, all these kinds of things that can result via the dependency on the medicine.
DEBRA: What are some common names for those drugs?
PAMELA SEEFELD: Ativan, Xanax, Valium, those are the ones that most people are on. They’re the most commonly used ones.
What I should tell people is that many times when you’re given these medicines, initially that discussion about dependence and tolerance never comes up. The doctor doesn’t hand this to you and say, “By the way, there’s dependence and tolerance with these. So there might be some problems down the road that you might become dependent on.” That’s not in the conversation. I think that’s pretty bad.
DEBRA: I think so too. So it shouldn’t – we recommend that if people are being given drugs that they should ask their doctor since they’re not going to be told. Ask their doctor about if they could become dependent on that drug.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Absolutely. Really you can look case in point the opiate addiction epidemic in this country, how you have a huge percentage of the patients on narcotics, long term.
When their initial – the new study shows, especially for back problems, that if you treat them with anti-inflammatory, physical therapy and maybe a low dose of steroids, you don’t need narcotics at all.
But I don’t think the conversation is really brought up to people when they have an injury that the narcotics after a short period of time, many people can be left in 10 days, that they already start becoming dependent on it.
So we need to really look at a very frank discussion before we start any of these medicines about some things that we can do in place of using these medications. Most people I don’t think really realize or maybe don’t grasp that these can be some long term problems.
And especially for the memory, you think about what’s the most important thing in your body. You want your health, but if you don’t have your memory and you can’t concentrate, it’s going to be very hard to go to your job and just do your activities in daily living and maybe you enjoy reading. All these things are going to go out the window. This is going to be very, very bad.
So you need to really think about what you’re doing. Nothing comes without a price. Isn’t that true?
DEBRA: Yes. I’ll just give you just some example from my life with regard to this question. I take thyroid supplement. I take natural Armour Thyroid Supplement.
But the reason that I’m taking it now is not because I decided in recent history to take it. It’s because when I was – how old was I? I think I was about 29 or something like that.
Of all people who you think would be natural, my chiropractor said, “I think you could use a little thyroid, just a little thyroid supplement that would help you.”
She didn’t really know me. I had just gone to her just because I have a little thing going on in my neck. Right at the first visit, she says, “I think you could use a little thyroid.”
And she sent me off to an endocrinologist who put me on Synthroid. Now Synthroid is the thyroid supplement that leads to people taking psych drugs because it gets them such mental health symptoms.
My brother who we’ve talked about before, who died recently, he was taking half a dozen drugs including some of these.
He ended up in a psych ward after taking Synthroid. This is just a thyroid medication, thyroid medication.
Here I am 25 years later or something, I’m still taking thyroid because once you started – I never took those psych drugs. They wanted to give them to me, but I wouldn’t take them.
What I did was I moved from Synthroid to a natural thyroid because once you start taking it, you can’t stop taking it for the rest of your life.
And my chiropractor, very sweet woman, very natural-oriented, she sent me off to the endocrinologist to get synthetic thyroid medication, which I now have to take for the rest of my life. There was a time period when – I’m watching the clock.
There was a time period when I couldn’t get my Armour Thyroid. There was a supply problem. I almost went into a coma. It’s like you get…
PAMELA SEEFELD: You’re right. No. No.
DEBRA: I mean this is a real life story. And I can’t choose to not take it. I think we need to be extremely careful when doctors or chiropractors or anybody are recommending taking drugs because you need to find out what are the long term things that are going to happen.
PAMELA SEEFELD: That’s exactly right. Knowing what’s going on and understanding that there are long term implications with anything.
I mean I have a stereotype, but a lot of Americans – we really want it easy to fix everything. I understand. We get impatient because we’re so used to everything just running so perfect. So we want a pill to solve every problem.
But really homeopathic things or vitamins that can mimic medications without having all those side effects, they really need to be embraced in a large scale operation so to speak. Maybe that’s not going to happen in this country. I’m okay with that. In Europe, a lot of people really embraced alternative medicine, maybe more so than here.
But this is really coming of age. You see a lot of people do spend a lot of money on supplements and want information.
I’m very busy because people don’t want to be taking all these. The awareness about the side effects is becoming more obvious now.
You’re right about the thyroid. The thyroid – they don’t tell you when they first put you on thyroid. If your thyroid is running a little bit low, you’re going to be on it for the rest of your life. They’re never going to take you off of it.
DEBRA: And every increasing doses too.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Exactly. That’s exactly right.
DEBRA: People don’t know how much dose they’re going to take. But I have to go in and get a blood test every three months.
Anyway, we need to go to break. But I wanted to tell that story. When we come back, we will talk more about the hidden health dangers and hidden mental health dangers in common drugs.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Pamela Seefeld.
And quickly, what’s your phone number?
PAMELA SEEFELD: (727) 442-4955.
DEBRA: Okay, good. We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guest today is Pamela Seefeld, registered pharmacist.
She mentioned at the beginning that she studied Pharmacognosy. I love that word. It’s a study of medicines derived from plants and other natural sources.
The first time she was on, I looked up that the root of that word is pharma. Pharma is medicine. And cognosy is information and intelligence.
So it really is – Pamela, tell us the difference between a medicine that comes from a living source versus a synthetic source.
PAMELA SEEFELD: That’s very true. And when you think about it, two-thirds of all the medicines we have originally came from natural sources that they tested, the plants and so forth. They figured out that these compounds had activity.
When we look at it, it comes from a natural source. But the good part about it is that it’s more homogenous with our body because it’s not made in chemistry in a factory. These things the body recognizes and uses, I would say it more effectively medicates the system than the prescription medication. That’s the beauty of it.
A lot of people study Energetics and how things have energy in themselves and implicitly. But we know that something that’s coming from a plant will be highly effective and maybe even more advantageous for the individual and also you really see this a lot with animals.
With people, we have so much going on in our head that we many times don’t recognize the subtle nuisances. But with animals, they respond tremendously better to homeopathic medicine. And because things from plants, I think their energy is much different than people themselves.
DEBRA: Yes. I think so too. It’s the world that we’re designed to be in. Synthetic products come from digging up crude oil from under the ground where Mother Nature put it.
And of course there are places like the La Brea Tar Pits in LA where you can go and see it bubbling up out of the ground.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Exactly.
DEBRA: Usually, it’s underground. If you look at non-industrial people before we have all these industrial machines that can dig it up, they didn’t use crude oil unless it was bubbling up. If you see…
PAMELA SEEFELD: I got the point.
DEBRA: Yeah. If you see where it is in the world, how many locations have crude oil bubbling up at the surface? Not many.
So I don’t think it’s really – nature didn’t intend this to be rubbing in our skin and eating it and drinking it and taking it as drugs.
Anyway, we have some more drugs to talk about.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Yes, absolutely. I’m going to talk a little bit about the Diuretics. Diuretics are commonly used – Lasix, Hydrochlorothiazide, you have a lot of people on these medications to remove fluid off the body.
Diuretics many times, they lead to dehydration. People don’t realize it, but of course it’s removing fluid off the body. As we get older, a sense of thirst changes significantly. So we don’t realize when we’re thirsty.
And then these people that have kidney problems or blood pressure problems, the doctor is like, “We don’t want too much fluid. We want to take this out of the body.”
So what happens is removing the fluids off the body is going to be a problem because if somebody is dehydrated as a result of it, that can lead to confusion. So this can also be another course of someone having falls, someone having issues where all of a sudden, they’re losing their sense of direction, memory loss, things like that.
Dehydration, if you think about – have you been dehydrated before? It’s significant and it can cause mental problems.
If somebody is elderly or if they’re on new onset and they’re in diuretic and they can’t figure out why their memory is shaky, they’re having some trouble with just remembering things, they need to check and see. Are they being over [inaudible 00:42:57] or they’re having dehydration setting in. That can be a problem too.
So you’d be surprised how many people are on a statin medication, a beta blocker and a diuretic at the same time. It’s a lot.
DEBRA: Wow. You would know because you’re dispensing these drugs in the hospital.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Exactly. Exactly. So this combination of medications is pretty commonly used, even with the benzos if you think about it. So all these medicines together, if your grandmother or your mother all of a sudden is looking particularly frail, she’s falling, she’s having memory lapses, she’s not remembering simple ordinary things, maybe forgetting people’s names, you need to look and see. Are these medicines causing the problem? I’m telling you, this is a very common issue where people are missing this very, very often.
Another medicine I was going to talk about is Lariam. This is a medicine that not so many people are going to go on, but I really want to mention them a little bit. It’s something that they use to protect against malaria. And if you go out of the country to an area, like when I went to India, there are times they recommend you take this before you go and while you’re there and for a short period of time afterwards.
So if you’re going to do any international traveling and there are areas that they’re endemic with malaria, this is something that they commonly prescribe.
Lariam can cause severe psychosis. This is something that you’re not going to be told about. So if someone is doing any international traveling and they’re considering going on this, you need to realize that the mental health problems that are associated with this medication are very significant. I don’t think they’re really relayed to the patients very often.
Have you ever traveled overseas that you were near with malaria?
DEBRA: I’ve traveled to Europe, but I haven’t ever traveled to Asia or South America or places like that where malaria would be something to watch out for.
PAMELA SEEFELD: I mean this is off to being passed, but I think it’s important to mention because it just depends.
You have a very diverse crowd that’s going to be listening to the show people all over the country. And there are people who are…
DEBRA: All over the world actually.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Exactly. Exactly, very well put. So this is something that you really need to look at.
If you’re starting to have some mental health changes as a result of going on the medicine, you need to realize that it’s the Lariam. This is highly documented.
So it’s one of these things that maybe, we call it – in pharmacy, we call it an orphan drug. It’s not used a lot. But it’s something that if you’re going to do any traveling to areas where malaria is a problem, they will recommend that you go on some prevention.
And the other medicines really aren’t working as well anymore. This is the problem because we resist it and so forth.
But that’s just a side note. I just thought I would bring that up.
The things that really are going to be important the people that are listening today and in the future who are still listening to the show, are look at these commonly prescribed medicines that you have probably a good quarter of the population on, any of these at anyone’s time and look to see are these really the focus of the problem. Are the reasons why the person is having some memory loss?
And especially, may I say for the people that have relatives that are elderly or they may be the elderly themselves? Realize that it’s not your fault and it’s not your bodies declining that are causing these problems. Many times, it could be the medicines.
What we need to do is say, “Maybe they need to be stopped for a short period of time and see if the person improves.”
In many case, I have seen improvements in people when they just took a small period of time away from some of these medicines that were causing the problem.
These are common problems that you’re going to see. But like I said, it can be misconstrued as the person just having some frailty and becoming more elderly. Do you see what I’m saying?
PAMELA SEEFELD: And I think it’s important for people to realize…
DEBRA: Okay. Let me ask you. Is there any danger in – if somebody’s listening or they’re making notes or they’re going to read the transcript and they know say a parent or relative or themselves are on these medications, they say, “Let me just try not taking them and see if my memory comes back.”
Is there any danger of just stopping your medicine? I mean people are on medicines because there’s something wrong with them in the first place.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Yes. That’s a good point. I mean I can give people direction or they can tell to their doctor and ask them, “Do you think this may be causing some memory problems?”
The easiest one to stop for a short period of time would be the cholesterol lowering medicine because two weeks of no cholesterol lowering medicine, that’s not going to make a big difference. That might be enough for you just to see a difference and then go back on it.
But I would suggest is that these things if they are having some problems or if it’s a new onset, there are things that are showing up with the medicine being initiated, maybe they use some homeopathic or some alternative. Especially if they’re monitoring their blood pressure, use some homeopathics.
I’m not saying that they just stop everything and don’t take anything at all. You would want to gradually switch over to some homeopathy or some homeopathic medical products and see how your blood pressure is working, but also see how your memory is improving.
The cholesterol would be the easiest because you’re only stopping it for a short period of time. It wouldn’t be threatening your life. It wouldn’t be a danger for a short period of time to take a drug holiday from that.
So yeah, it’s important that you don’t want to just be stopping things. And medicines aren’t the big evil person here. But it’s to say that maybe these problems that are showing up for the person are very much related to the combination of medicines or even just one of these medicines.
I don’t think that this conversation is really held quite frequently because I see quite a lot of people are very educated coming here on these things and they had no idea that this might be part of the problem. It’s pretty established.
There are a lot of new studies that show that things that I was talking about today are highly correlated with these medicines. This is important.
I’m more concerned about the elderly person that might be on these and they don’t really know how to voice what’s going on. But if you are a family member and you start seeing some changes in them, don’t think it’s just because they’re getting older. That’s my big take-home message today for people.
It’s not because it’s a senior moment like you were saying. It’s not a senior moment. Maybe it’s the medicine. And we need to rule that out before we decide that it’s just because you’re getting older. We’re all getting older.
But that’s really important. What if this is robbing this person of some real quality time in their life?
DEBRA: Yeah. Well, I do know that a lot of toxic chemicals that we’re exposed to in consumer products can also cause all kinds of mental effects including memory loss and not thinking clearly and depression and confusion and such. So it makes sense to me that these drugs will too.
We’re almost out of time. So thank you so much again for being on. Pamela will be on again two weeks from today.
And there is a whole list of shows from the past that you could listen to as well. Just go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com. I don’t have time to explain it.
Thank you so much.
PAMELA SEEFELD: Thank you.
DEBRA: I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. Be well.