Polypharmacy Q&A


Dear Dr. Chartrand:
What is Polypharmacy and how does that fit into today's healthcare scheme?

Dr. Chartrand:
When this author came into the health field in the 1970s, it was a rare individual who was taking prescription drugs on a long-term basis. In those days, the prevalence of diabetes and just about every category of chronic disease was about one tenth or less of what it is today. Likewise, we find tens of millions of people today--from 3 year old toddlers forced to take psychostimulants (known as poor man's cocaine on the street) to older adults now given 11, 12, 15 powerful side-effect laden drugs in a single day. Most of the latter medications were prescribed to offset the dastardly side-effects of the handful they really needed. When consumers report these side-effects the most common response is, "Let's try another drug". Hence, these largely untested/under-tested poisons we call medications for symptoms we call diseases are too often given like vitamin pills. But I've yet to meet the person who was born with a drug deficiency (except those whose mothers were addicted to drugs!) However, not a day goes by that I do not meet many who have a multitude of nutritional deficiencies.

Since the market approval of statin drugs in 1997, there has been more than a five-fold increase in cardiovascular incidents in the population, especially among females. Besides weakening one's muscle mass and liver, statins also block the production and secretion of Co-enzyme Q10, a vitamin charged with the protection of the mitochondria in every cell in the human body--especially the heart muscle. The implications of CoQ10 deficiency ranges from Parkinsonian symptoms to weakened heart muscle to a host of myopathies and eventual breakdown of the liver. In fact, the citric acid cycle spoken of previously cannot is not complete without. But statin drugs block both its production and absorption!

Another much over-promoted class of drugs known variously as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI/SNRIs), has brought the population--young and old--escalating levels of suicide and suicide ideation, birth defects, obesity, muscle breakdown, and depression! Likewise, one of the principle side-effects of the popular sleep medications is...you guessed it, sleeplessness and insomnia!

Hospital admissions and deaths caused by side/interaction/ withdrawal effects from prescription medications across all age groups have exploded...for every case that ends up in an emergency room there are hundreds of lesser shades-of-gray cases where the victims suffer quietly. To get one past stroke, cardiovascular event, injury, or trauma, yes, most of these can be lifesavers. After the crisis is over, however, if you stop taking many of these drugs cold turkey, you will find out just how artificial the positive effects are over time! If the drugs were really designed for long-term healing, they would come with complete chains of amino acids and enzymes, and natural forms of nutrients. The body would not gain weight, and one's immunology would not weaken. In fact, such well-designed medications would be nutrients instead of drugs. Hence, medications designed and tested for acute episodes in the short-term are too bullying to heal and nurture chronic disease in the long-term.

Worse still, new medications are routinely fast-tracked with no more than 4 to 6 week human trials before being prescribed to humans for years at a time. Reports that begin as mild, rare side-effects, eventually start showing up as cascading, life-debilitating effects as one chronic condition leads to another and another--as pH heads down its downward track. How does this madness continue?

It's called vested interests, and hundreds of millions of dollars are expended each year to influence prescribing trends, and turn a blind eye to the underlying causes of disease. Those trends rarely lead to healing. Is it any wonder that the word "healing" has largely left the healing professions, and the key objective, said out loud, is merely "managing" disease?

Managing diabetes type 2 with 24/7 insulin stimulation (causing weight gain, neuropathies, and early dementias) does not bring good health. Insulin is a hormone meant to be in the bloodstream for only short periods of time, but acidosis states and diabetes medications keep in one's system 24/7. Research indicates that the vast majority of diabetic mellitus 2 cases can be reversed. They can be healed, not just managed. But that is not the goal of today's current diabetic treatment---it merely hooks sufferers into a never-ending cycle of dependency that only gets worse over time!

Managing acid reflux with medications blocks absorption of vitamin B-12, folic acid, and causes proliferation of homocystiene, causing neuropathies of all kinds. Underlying the neuropathies is loss of myelin sheath and glial cells, whose role it is to protect neurons in the brain. Obviously, controlling for symptoms of an interrupted citric acid cycle (indigestion and acid reflux) is not healing. It is superficially managing one set of symptoms to create worse ones. In most cases, the body is lacking citric acid.

Managing Alzheimer's, early Parkinsons, and a host of other neurolopathies, is unnecessary, when such conditions are caused more often than not by neural inflammation, loss of myelin, and chronic acidosis. Acidosis and inflammation can be healed, but not with any of the currently prescribed medications.

It is time to stop managing, and to start healing by raising one's pH to 7.4. Further into this publication, we will explore how we raise pH. It is not difficult, nor all that complex. But it requires that we want to get well enough to address contributing factors and underlying causes of disease rather than merely managing symptoms.