As we age, our metabolism slows. We all know that. But what we may not realize is the potentially disastrous impact of that slowing upon our intake of drugs.
As a consequence of that slowing rhythm, our bodies becomes less and less able to use, or remove, whatever we put into them. This is especially so for those who exercise less and less, typical for the elderly among us.
So, what does all this have to do with medications?
The impact of any med can be exaggerated with age. The elderly retain the meds longer, and the side effects of the meds may cause symptoms, which ironically and sadly, can cause still other meds to be prescribed, to treat those symptoms.
For example, say, a person is given a drug for pain. This drug also diminishes the discomfort response of their bladder, and colon, so they do not relieve themselves as regularly and they retain fluid, which may cause infections and other issues.
Here is the downward spiral's beginning. More drugs are prescribed to treat those issues. And so on and on and on. Each drug a reaction to the last.
Within time a person may be taking a dozen or more meds daily, sometimes prescribed by different doctors who may never look at the overall list of meds--- each physician often only concerned with the complaint being treated by that office.
Eventually the elderly patient is so full of drugs that a great tolerance is built up, and also, a vicious lassitude may set in.
People begin to sleep during the day, more and more. Then 'mood-enchancing' drugs are prescribed, to 'perk them up'.
And if that person becomes agitated, then "mood-compliant' drugs are given, to "calm them down." (Sometimes used wholly for the convenience of staff who bathe or feed clients!)
So, here is today's point--- everyone taking pharma should have one physician who looks at the big picture. many of the drugs may actually be working against each other, and sometimes are dangerous in combination.
Make sure you, or someone you love, doesn't fall into this trap, and spiral downwards.
Aging need not be a downward spiral of drugs, and many medications are of enormous benefit to patients with terrible health problems.
So--- if you, or anyone you care for, is on a number of medications, make certain that a single physician is looking at the big picture!