Medication Detox: Rx For An Era Of Too Many Medications
Featuring Physician: Rachel Taylor, MD Rachel Taylor, MD, is a board-certified family medicine physician and member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. She advocates for improving our lifestyle with minimal or no medications. In her book "Medication Detox: How to Live Your Best Health, Simplified," Dr. Taylor discusses practical lifestyle changes and the role of medication in treating disease. There is a clear objective of decreasing the need for medications to lead a healthy life, a joint job for the patient and physician.
In the interview with myDoqter staff, Dr. Taylor proposes placing a high priority on preventative care, health education, and wellness strategies. She explains that science now backs up the importance of definite factors, such as diet, exercise, meditation, sleep, mood, etc., on physical health, not just mental health.
The role of medication in the healing process is pivotal in some cases. However, there is also a time and place for medicating at the lowest possible dose and for the least amount of time. The idea is to use medications to stabilize the patient and not use it as a crutch to avoid change. With little life changes, the patient will gradually gain confidence in their ability to ultimately manage their health and take charge of it.
Nevertheless, it is not easy for the patient to achieve medication detoxification safely if acting alone. It is crucial to work with a physician knowledgeable of the patient's condition. In this way, the physician will create a plan with the patient according to what the patient needs and what changes the patient is ready to make.
Another point brought to the discussion is that patients are often unaware of the side effects or adverse long-term medication effects. Unfortunately, people are exposed to direct consumer marketing and indiscriminate sale of medication. Also, many prescriptions are written by non-physicians, which leads to unnecessary prescribing and increasing numbers of side effects.
In terms of mind-body medicine, she supports the idea that mind and body are not just connected but are one and the same. For example, certain foods or exercising will change our mood and thoughts in the same sense that stress or anxiety can affect our physical health. Current studies on epigenetics support the idea that our DNA can change if exposed to certain states of mind, such as PTSD. And these changes can be potentially transmitted to future generations. We also know that stress is pro-inflammatory, aggravating chronic disease.
Dr. Taylor believes in self-healing, the power of the body to heal itself. For instance, when we get a cut, the body knows precisely what to do. The problem arises when we interfere in our own way because we mistrust our own capabilities to influence the healing process.
To read the full interview, click here.