Day 13 – Medication Reset

Unlike my humorous quote above, America has a real drug problem, with about half of our population taking prescription drugs regularly. According to nerdwallet.com, Americans spend about $374 billion on prescription drugs every year. The number one revenue-generating drug in America in 2014 was Sovaldi (for treating hepatitis C), which sold a whopping $7.9 billion. Close on Sovaldi’s heels is Abilify, which clocked in at $7.8 billion. Ironically, Abilify is a drug that supports other antidepressant drugs. Sovaldi leads in sales dollars, perhaps because it costs $84,000 for a twelve-week course of treatment.

Data firm IMS Health has forecast that the pharmaceutical industry’s annual global sales will top $1.8 trillion by 2024. That is a staggering number, my friend.

The drug that leads the pack for the number of prescriptions is the synthetic thyroid medication Synthroid with a whopping 22.6 million prescriptions per year. Close on its heels is Crestor, the drug used to treat high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. Crestor boasted 22.5-million prescriptions between July 2013 and June 2014. That is a lot of prescriptions to treat something that can, in my opinion, be rectified using diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle.
But prescription drugs are not the only drugs Americans turn to every day of their lives.

Americans spend billions of dollars every year on over-the-counter medications that are designed to make us feel better, poop better, smell better, and look better. In my opinion and experience, the remedies listed below are not needed by a person following a healthy
diet, such as the diet I have outlined in this book.

Skip the Quick Fix
Apparently, very few Americans are pooping properly, evidenced by the $1.3 billion that was spent on laxatives in 2017. Americans are also in pain and lots of it. We are sick, toxic, bloated, constipated, fatigued, and smell bad. Basic statistics easily support these statements.

In 2017, according to chpa.com, Americans spent the following on over-the-counter meds and body deodorizers:

Acne remedies $605 million
Analgesics (pain killers) $2.93 billion
Antidiarrhea relief $263 million
Antismoking products $39 million
Cough and cold remedies $8.68 billion
Deodorant sales $2.99 billion
Heartburn and gas $2.65 billion
Laxatives $1.3 billion
Oral antiseptics $1.45 billion

Shaken, Not Stirred
Alcohol can appear as a glamorous drug when James Bond orders his martini “shaken, not stirred,” but alcohol is just another drug that some Americans turn to for temporal relief from fear, anxiety, depression, and aches and pains of life. According to a February 7, 2017, article in Fortune magazine, Americans spent just over $25 billion on alcoholic beverages in 2016.

Nicotine Fiend
Tobacco companies spent a whopping $9.5 billion in 2016 on marketing and advertising expenses in the US alone according to the CDC. This amounts to about $26 million each day, or more than $1 million every hour. The addictive nature of tobacco, coupled with a massive marketing budget, keeps 18 percent of American adults smoking cigarettes.

The Caffeine Scene
Americans are also very tired, evidenced by the massive amount of coffee and caffeine-laced beverages we consume. In 2017, Americans spent about $18 billion on coffee. Coffee is only one fraction of the caffeine industry that includes pills, energy drinks, tea, and soft drinks.

The Drugging Begins at Birth
From birth on, we are often taught that we need drugs to cope with life. Immunization is often the baby’s first introduction to the pharmaceutical world. Next comes antibiotics if the baby or infant should get a chest, sinus, or ear infection. As the child grows in age, he or she often witnesses Mom and Dad popping aspirin, ibuprofen, and other painkillers, which are taken for headaches, backaches, joint pain, and pain in general.

If the child gets a cold, the parents visit the drugstore and often bring home brightly colored liquid medicines that the child can drink to help induce sleep and/or help decongest his or her lungs. As the child gets older and begins to experience headaches and pain, he or she will do
what Mom and Dad do: Take pain-relieving pills. If the child gets an upset tummy, he or she can pop an antacid. If they are low on energy, a double latte, a soda, or a caffeine-laced energy drink may be their choice to conquer fatigue. Or, they may have witnessed Mom and Dad drinking
coffee, so at a young age, they begin visiting their local coffee shop.

As the child gets older, they may have trouble sleeping, and guess what? They discover there are pills for this. They may have trouble losing weight and discover there are pills for this, too. If they develop acne, there are pills and potions for this, too! The child may also experience constipation from time to time. And guess what? There are pills for this also. If an over-the-counter remedy is not enough for the child or young adult to overcome their pain or problem, off to the doctor he or she goes.  After being examined, the doctor will quite often prescribe a pill to help ease the symptoms.

As the child becomes a young adult, he or she may feel the pressures of socialization and turn to alcohol, pot, or perhaps harder drugs, such as cocaine, opioids, heroin, or meth. Most kids only go through this phase for a short time and do not become addicted to drugs. Others don’t make it through and develop a drug problem. Others bypass the illegal drugs and settle for alcohol (or pot in the states it is legal).

As a child becomes an adult, he or she really has no clue as to why he or she gets sick or why he or she may have trouble sleeping, pooping, or coping. Nobody along the way ever took him or her aside and asked these basic questions: “What caused this headache? What caused this
cold or illness? What caused your constipation? What is the reason why you can’t sleep at night? What is causing your depression? Why do you have anxiety? Why have you developed type 2 diabetes?”

Why don’t we ask these basic questions? The answer is simple. We are not in enough pain to seek the real answer. It is easier to deaden the pain with a pill. Yes, instant pain relief via a pill is the reason why we no longer seek the real cause of our health problems. If Americans took two weeks and went off all over-the-counter medications (not prescription drugs) and legal stimulants like caffeine, what would happen? I hypothesize that there would be a lot of people walking around tired, constipated, full of gas, unable to sleep, and in pain. I would also imagine millions of people would miss work due to this pain and discomfort.

Now imagine if everyone stopped using all drugs. What would happen? In my opinion, we would be forced to face reality. We would be forced to understand why we are tired, have headaches, upset tummies, gas, anxiety, and body aches. We would be forced to know what causes type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and all other maladies. It would force us to examine our daily diet and lifestyle.

Pain: A Motivator for Change
My friend, as long as you can take a pill to avoid pain, you may never face the truth. Pain is a strong motivator for change. If you take away the pain, you will continue to do what you are doing, even though it is making you very ill. No pain, no change.

If you stick your hand over an open flame, you will feel the heat and pull your hand away before it gets burned. If you deadened the feeling in your hand through painkillers then put your hand over an open flame, you may not pull your hand away in time and then you could seriously injure your hand. That is what you may be doing day after day by using drugs to dull the pain and pep you up. Being tired is painful in a way, so caffeine is really just a way to deaden the pain of fatigue.

Imagine that there are no pain pills, no stimulants, no alcohol, and nowhere to run and hide from the pain caused by a poor diet and lifestyle. Now you must face the pain head-on. There was a time, not long ago, when we had no dentists who could fill cavities in our teeth. If you got a cavity, it would eat all the way to the nerve and cause excruciating pain. Before penicillin was discovered, if you got a chest infection, ear infection, throat infection, or pneumonia, you suffered severely with pain, and your illness often became life-threatening. You could not tolerate a diet high in refined sugar, fast food, candy bars, ice cream, cookies, and junk food if you had no dentists, doctors, or drugs to fall back on.

This pain is what we all need. This is the pain that I have used for most of my life to motivate me to change. If I get a headache, I don’t run to get an aspirin. Instead, I sit down and examine my diet and lifestyle. What did I eat to cause this headache? Am I dehydrated? What did I eat for my last meal? Am I getting a sinus infection from too much food and lack of rest? My pain inspires me to change. In short, let pain be your motivator. Stop the urge to deaden the pain. Instead, face your own actions and change. The pain won’t go away naturally until you change the behavior that has created it.

About six months ago, I started getting very painful headaches off and on. I questioned my diet, but could not connect any dots there because the pain was so random and spotty. It was an odd pain. And by the way, I almost NEVER get a headache, so getting periodic and painful headaches really got my attention. About six months ago, I had gotten a diffusor for my office—a place I call “The Hippie Hut” because large peace signs are painted on the walls, peace, and love are written in every room, sunshine and sunbeams are painted on the walls and the lower half of the walls are painted bright green like grass (the kind you walk on, not the fun kind, lol).

In my diffusor, I put in drops of essential oils, especially lemongrass and orange oil. The use of my diffusor keeps the entire office smelling lemony fresh and orange alive, kind of like living in a citrus grove! One day I rearrange my office and my diffuser got moved to a new place in my office and I stopped using it for several weeks. It was during those two weeks that I noticed my headaches disappeared completely!

They were odd headaches, which only were felt when I bent down to pick up something from the floor. It felt like I had a sinus infection, but I didn’t. I theorized that the essential oils were diffused into the air and were breathed deep inside my sinus cavities from daily exposure. Either I am sensitive to the oils or the oils themselves are irritating to the delicate lining of my sinus cavity. Either way, once removed from the air, my freaky sinus headaches went bye-bye-bye. And I don’t miss those headaches a bit! The moral of the story is this. Don’t just reach for a pill to deaden the pain or cover up the affliction. Instead, dig deep, pay attention, be aware, examine your diet, and question everything, always seeking the discover the root of your problem. Oftentimes, it is something very simple.

Having a rough day? Instead of reaching for alcoholic relief, try meditation or a quiet walk. Feeling bloated after your last meal? Try fasting for one day then start eating better as I suggest with my Hang Loose Diet. Coming down with a cold and sore throat? Take one or two grams of lysine, some extra vitamin C, rest more, drink more water, and eat better to make your immune system stronger in the future.

The next time you can’t sleep at night, review your day and vow to no longer take any stimulants that can interrupt your ability to sleep. Instead of taking a sleeping pill, meditate, read a book, listen to my Mind Reset audio recording, or just be quiet. You can recharge your batteries almost as well as deep sleep by meditating. Remember this, if you are not stimulated, you will naturally become tired when it is appropriate to be tired, and natural sleep will be the result.

My “no pain, no change” principle is a powerful means for motivating yourself to make positive changes in your life. Use this principle daily and watch how quickly and easily you discover the truth about all of your aches and pains and how to remedy these problems. In my opinion, 95 percent of what ails you is diet-related. Excess sugar and junk food are usually at the root of your problems. Detox and nourish your mind, body, and life by facing pain and avoiding medications, whenever possible. Soon you will discover that good health is painless. And when you eat properly, you should not need to wear glasses or need to use deodorant, plus you should no longer get cavities. Your blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels should all fall within normal ranges, too.

YOUR ASSIGNMENT FOR DAY 13

ONE
Make a list of any medications you currently use. Make it a goal in your life to know the cause of your pain or health issues so you are no longer (or never become) dependent on any drugs or stimulants to mask the problem or pain or fatigue. This includes the consumption of coffee, tea, caffeinated beverages, and energy drinks. If you smoke cigarettes, quit. Using a drug, alcohol, or a stimulant for fun or periodic use is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about a chronic dependency on pain meds, alcohol, cigarettes, or any substance that has become habitual due to a problem (mental or physical) you are masking.

TWO
If you are currently taking prescription medications, work closely with your doctor, and do your best to get off any and all medications. If you are currently not taking any medications. Keep up the good work!

ONE
Make a list of any medications you currently use. Make it a goal in your life to know the cause of your pain or health issues so you are no longer (or never become) dependent on any drugs or stimulants to mask the problem or pain or fatigue. This includes the consumption of coffee, tea, caffeinated beverages, and energy drinks. If you smoke cigarettes, quit. Using a drug, alcohol, or a stimulant for fun or for periodic use is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about a chronic dependency on pain meds, alcohol, cigarettes, or any substance that has become habitual due to a problem (mental or physical) you are masking.

TWO
If you are currently taking prescription medications, work closely with your doctor, and do your best to get off any and all medications. If you are currently not taking any medications. Keep up the good work!