Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Why Shouldn’t I Take Natural Supplements? - Natural Herbal Remedies Are Safe or Not

Why Shouldn’t I Take Natural Supplements?

Nutrition supplements and herbal remedies are advertised on the television, the radio, and the Internet, as well as in magazines and newspapers. Many advertisers claim that their products are safe because they are 100% natural. And people invest substantial amounts of money in the natural supplements industry because they:
·       Enjoy the opportunity to make their own healthcare choices.
·       Assume the products are safe.
·       Hope to find a cure for whatever ails them.

Buyer Beware
You need to exercise caution when buying and taking natural supplements that are available without a prescription. These products include:
·       Medications and other products you buy in the drugstore to relieve symptoms of a cold or headache
·       Products you buy from a health-food supplier to improve your mood.
·       Vitamins or herbs you might take to prevent a case of the flu.

The major reason for not taking these types of products is that many of them have not been rigorously studied to prove their safety and effectiveness.

Natural Herbal Remedies

Before You Start Taking Natural Supplements
Here are some questions to ask before you start taking nutrition supplements or herbal remedies.
·       Are They Safe?
To find out about the safety record of a non-prescription product, do your homework. Ask your pharmacist or healthcare provider what side-effects you might experience while taking this product. Also ask for a reliable source where you can learn more about the product.

·       Are They Effective?
Make sure that the product will do what the manufacturer says it will! For example, a company that manufactures supplements for improved blood circulation is allowed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to say that the product may help you to have better circulation. This statement is not the same as one that says it will improve circulation.

·       There may be no scientific evidence that shows the product works, so find out from the supplement company about studies they have conducted that show effectiveness of the product for a specific condition. Prescription medications, on the other hand, must pass rigorous tests before the FDA will allow manufacturers to claim that their products are effective.

·       What Are the Long-term Effects?
The long-term effects of many natural supplements are not known because scientific studies have not been conducted for them. What scientists do know is that the recommended quantities of many nutrients are often found in a balanced diet.

·       Some people assume that if this little bit is good for them, then a large amount must be really good for them! However, this assumption is not always based on fact, especially when a nutrient, which has been separated from the food in which it appears naturally, is packaged in pill form and taken in large quantities.

For example, during the manufacturing process of a nutrient supplement such as vitamin E from vegetable oil, the vitamin is separated from surrounding substances called phytochemicals. When vitamin E is consumed in the form of wheat germ, the phytochemicals work together with vitamin E in maintaining proper body functions.

However, if you take vitamin E as a nutrition supplement in pill form, you may upset the balance of ALL nutrients in your body. And if your body equilibrium is disrupted for a long period, you may experience harmful consequences, although those consequences may not become apparent for a while.

Therefore, make sure you use the product as your healthcare provider and the manufacturer recommend. And become aware of the possible outcomes of long-term use.

·       Do They Act Like Medications?
Many prescription medications that we use today are made from substances that were originally found in plants, and supplements derived from those same plants could have similar medicinal effects. Licorice, for example, works like a diuretic, or water pill.

·       So if you take a nutrition supplement containing licorice along with a prescription diuretic, such as Lasix, you could have problems with dehydration and abnormal heart rhythms. Try to avoid duplicating your therapy in this way, so you can avoid causing an adverse reaction.

·       Do They Interact With My Prescription Medication?
Since many non-prescription health products have effects similar to those produced by prescription medications, you need to be aware of the way the two types of products interact. For example, if you take the prescription medication Coumadin (warfarin), which is a blood thinner, and you also take vitamin E, you could increase your risk for abnormal bleeding.
·       Other products, such as Siberian ginseng and Saint John’s wort, can increase the level of Lanoxin (digoxin) in your body to dangerous levels and cause serious side effects. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider about possible interactions before adding a non-prescription product to your treatment regimen.

Be an Active Team Player
One out of three Americans who sees a healthcare provider takes herbal products, but more than half of these patients neglect to tell their healthcare provider about these products. In order to prevent drug interactions and to decrease the risk of having adverse reactions, you need to take the initiative. Tell the members of your healthcare team about any non-prescription products you are using. Together you can plan a strategy to optimize your therapy!

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