👉 Tip#1: Top 3 Drugs That Deplete Your Nutrients — Do you take medications (prescription or over the counter OTC) frequently? Are you on several drugs for chronic medical conditions? Do you drink alcohol with some frequency, say a few times a week? You may be at risk for medication-induced nutrient depletion.
Medications are important tools to manage illness. But what you may not know is that frequent or daily use can rob you of vital nutrients needed to stay healthy. This can be even worse if you are taking several medications at one time. Find out why this is a problem and check out the guide to see if you are on a nutrient robbing drug!
What’s the story with medications and nutrient depletion? Skip this section if you don’t really care WHY this happens — But if you want to get your geek on, read on.
Pharmaceutical drugs, just like chemicals, pollutants, hormones, toxins, alcohol, and other substances are not normally found in your body. Your body sees these things as poisons that need to be broken down to protect you from harm. There are 3 ways that frequent drug use can sap your nutrients:
- Your liver is working overtime to dismantle the drugs: Your liver is your master filter, your water purifier, your commander of detox. But detoxing uses up a lot of energy and nutrients, so if it is working 24-7 to get rid of these daily medications and the evening wine with dinner, you are likely heading for trouble.
- Your medications can block absorption of nutrients: This is at the gut level. There are plenty of ways for this to happen but the headline here is that your nutrients aren’t even getting into your system.
- The drug itself creates a HIGH demand for nutrients and minerals: As you know, medications are built to push your system to do things. Whether it’s to create more brain serotonin (hello Prozac) or force your kidney to pee out extra water (that’s you, diuretic!), you are now creating a nutrient demand that may exceed what you take in. Add that to our SAD (Standard American Diet) and we are pretty much screwed. File under, “why I shouldn’t have had a hundred ring dings as a kid.”
Here are My Top 3 Nutrient Robbing Drugs
Tylenol — Well that’s a bummer. As you may or may not know, in high doses, Tylenol can actual put you into liver failure. Can you imagine? And everyone has this stuff in their medicine cabinet. Tylenol knocks out that master ingredient needed to detoxify stuff in the liver: glutathione. This is no joke.
What to do: My recommendation is that if you take Tylenol, take some NAC (N-acetyl cysteine) to protect your liver 600 to 900mg at the same time and for a few days after. Better yet, if you need to take this pain reliever on a consistent basis (even a few times a month), find out WHY you are in pain so much and work on THAT. Work with a functional medicine practitioner to figure out the root cause.
Nexium or Prilosec (Omeprazole) and other PPI’s — Ah yes, the beloved little purple pill. This one’s a doozy. This blocks your ability to absorb B12, magnesium, calcium and iron. In case you are in the dark, prolonged use (more than 12 weeks) has been tied to osteoporosis, dementia, anemia, pneumonia, C.Diff diarrhea if on antibiotics, and some kidney disease. Say WHAT??.
What to do? Obviously, if you have been on this stuff for a while (12 weeks or longer) work with your doctor to check blood levels to see if your key nutrients are low. Oral supplementation may not work so well since you can’t absorb it while still taking the medication. There are ways around it. You can take magnesium as a topical gel or oil. You can get B12 shots. Personally, I’d IV drip these missing nutrients straight into my body if possible. Make sure to take a robust supplement and foods rich in B12, magnesium, calcium and iron. If you want to see about weaning off this stuff, DO NOT STOP COLD TURKEY. You will get a rebound acid burn that will knock your socks off. Work with someone knowledgeable to see how best to proceed. The problem with getting off of PPI’s is that you have to reverse the underlying cause of your symptoms or you will be back to where you started in the first place.
NSAIDS — these beloved pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can wreck your gut lining leading to inflammation and even ulcers. If you get minor bleeding and lose blood, your iron levels will drop. Also, these drugs can block folate-dependent enzymes from working properly. Is this important? Well, you know how when you are pregnant you are supposed to take extra folate to prevent birth defects? That’s because you need folate to run EVERYTHING in your body: taking out the trash (detox), regulating your hormones, exercising your body (metabolism), regenerating your cells (DNA synthesis), making you sane (neurotransmitter production), you know — the usual.
What to do: Not an easy fix, but depending on what you use this for I would try getting on a more natural anti-inflammatory regimen on a continuous basis. The natural stuff isn’t so helpful for immediate pain relief, but over the long term, it may do wonders or at least reduce your dependence on the NSAIDs. Look for these ingredients: Quercetin, Curcumin, FIsh oil, Resveratrol, Boswellia, Rutin, Ginger, enzyme blends. Certainly increase your folate intake (lots of leafy green veggies) and support iron if levels are low.
And now I’m “depleted” from talking about this. For more info, here’s a cool chart with a list of commonly used drugs and their nutrient robbing ways. Understand Nutrient Depletions Associated to Pharmaceuticals Chart
👉 Tip #2: My Mantra of the Day (aka my meditation hack) As you guys already know, I find meditation to be difficult. The more I need it, the less I want to do it. So, here’s the back door trick or “hack” into gaining the benefits of a meditation practice but not “meditating”. One hack is to simply recite a mantra.
Doing a simple SEVEN MINUTE loving-kindness meditation can make you feel more positive about both loved ones and total strangers, and more accepting toward yourself.
Get to the point woman and let’s get started, I don’t have all day!! That’s the attitude….
Sit quietly in a safe place. This isn’t really a “behind the wheel” or “while operating heavy machinery” (like a blow dryer) kind of activity.
Repeat the following words slowly and steadily. It doesn’t have to be these exact phrases — you can choose something that feels more genuine for you to say. While you say these phrases, allow yourself to sink into the words. I like to take an inhale and an exhale with each phrase to just slow it down and to give the words some depth. Here is an example..
May I be happy.
May I be well.
May I be safe.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
I’ve always glossed over the phrase “create the intention” during yoga practice. It just never meant much to me. Create the intention for me means this: You may think this is a bunch of malarkey (is that even how you spell malarkey?) but at least consider these words to be something you wish to try to create for yourself.
I mean, is it hard to believe that you may wish to be happy? or safe? or well? or at peace? Feel free to substitute in something that is more your style. Preferably not something like, “may I win the lottery” or “may I be 5 foot 7 and weight 110 pounds. ” Well, you could put in the lottery thing because, ya never know!
Now, spread the love. After a period of directing loving-kindness toward yourself, bring to mind someone in your life who has deeply cared for you or to whom you wish to bring kindness. Slowly repeat phrases of loving-kindness toward them:
May you be happy.
May you be well.
May you be safe.
May you be peaceful and at ease.
Try doing this for several minutes if possible. Slowly, peacefully, and mindfully. And now, Namaste.
As an aside, Namaste is more than a greeting. It is a message of deep respect and acknowledgement of the soul in one to the soul of another. Sort of puts our “Hey, how’s it going” to shame, no?
Please share these tips if you liked what you read. Share the Health!!! For more information about my wellness programs and my practice, check out my website www.drsadaty.com. Oh look! You are already here !
Ready for the legal disclaimer? Information offered here is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. As with any health recommendation, please contact your doctor to be sure any changes you wish to consider are safe for you!