Self Medication

Tread this path with caution

We all know our body well, we know what we are allergic to, how weather, food, clothing material affect us. This knowledge of being aware of ourselves can help us avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor or the hospital.

Many people not only self regulate their choice of food, clothing but also self medicate at home for minor ailments. Human history is replete with examples of home remedies that have been used and continued to be used to treat minor health issues. Nowadays most of us self medicate whether it is using grandmother’s home remedies to get rid of a headache, symptoms of cold and flu, or buying off-the-shelf Tylenol and Advil to treat the pains, fever, allergies, etc.

Self-medication is a good way to manage your health, but it is not ‘the’ way. This path of self-medication can be a tricky one. Experts have often warned of misdiagnosis, overdose, drug addiction, or dangerous drug interaction. Be very cautious if you prefer to self-medicate. Seek advise of your doctor if you are already on a treatment plan but would like to pursue some self-medication for common cold, headaches, or stomach issues.

Medical abuse or dependence on a drug without any regulation can cause serious ramifications for health especially when self-medicating a patient might not be aware of how a drug is affecting other body organs.

Pain relievers, anti-allergies, antacids, vitamins, and minerals taken without any balanced in-take plan can lead to increased drug resistance. The most dangerous scenario is the delay in getting proper medical attention if you are self-medicating. Taking antacids to fight acidity while ignoring a sinister underlying condition that is causing the frequent acid reflux condition can cause more complications in the future. Taking antibacterial drugs when you do not have a bacterial infection can create resistance to the drug, and if it is a viral infection, an antibiotic might just not work, but your symptoms might worsen.

Our fast on the go meals lifestyle encourages us to have supplements, especially vitamins. Can this lead to health issues? As elders say, extreme of everything is bad. High doses of Vitamin C can cause gastrointestinal issues. Some also experience migraines. High doses of Vitamin B3 can lead to high blood pressure and in extreme cases to liver damage. Vitamin D is good for us, but extreme doses can lead to organ damage, even the highly promoted and marketed Vitamin E can have some life-threatening side effects if taken in large doses or without a plan. So, what should you do? Self-medicate or not? Every individual must answer this question themselves. Self – medication might relieve symptoms temporarily but is not a replacement for expert medical advice. Be self-aware, be knowledgeable, and stay healthy.