Do I need to stay on my medications long term?
One of the clients in my 4 month coaching program asked me a great question recently that I’m answering here today. This client has Crohn’s disease, but after working together for a few months, she’s experiencing better digestion, no more stomach cramping, more energy, and feeling more in control of how to manage her symptoms - as well as a decrease in the incidence of flare-ups (#winning!).
This is wonderful because before we started working together, the path to healing felt like a mystery to her, and she didn’t know what would work and what wouldn’t. She had tried everything (many restrictive diets, the latest supplements, etc.) and felt like nothing was giving her sustainable results.
Now that she’s feeling so much better (after uncovering information about her specific needs and implementing some simple diet and lifestyle changes tailored specifically to her), she’s wondering whether or not she needs to stay on her pharmaceutical medications long term. This is a common question from my clients and one that I faced during my own healing journey.
Watch the video below or read on for my take on this important issue!
It’s Not All Or Nothing!
Many times when dealing with chronic illness, we think that we either need to go the all natural route (with diet, lifestyle, herbs, etc.) or we use pharmaceutical medications. But it doesn’t need to be one or the other. In fact, more often than not with chronic autoimmune disease, we actually need both!
As you go along and your symptoms change or improve, your need for medications might change as well. Remember that we’re all human beings in constant flux, and we need to be able to evaluate these things critically.
Come Prepared with Data
Many of my clients have concerns about effects of long-term use of their medications, so I suggest that they start a conversation with their doctor about the possibility of tapering off some or all of them if together they feel it’s appropriate. The best way that I’ve found to do this is to go to your doctor with DATA. Something that they can hold on to and understand, as opposed to you just telling them you’d like to get off your medications because you’re feeling better.
Going in with something like a symptom journal as well as any recent blood work or lab work can be very helpful. Starting a symptom journal is really easy to do, and yields powerful data and insight. You can download my free Food & Symptom journal here to get started.
Most doctors won’t suggest going off of your medications completely depending on your situation, but working together you can review any improvements or changes in your symptoms and come up with a plan based on that.
This is where the importance of being your own health advocate comes into play!
Everyone’s situation is very unique (even with the same diagnosis) so some people might need to be on a pharmaceutical medication for the rest of their life, and others might not. Getting clear on your needs, understanding your body and your symptoms, advocating for yourself, and starting a dialogue with your practitioner are all important steps in finding a plan that works best for you.
Are you dealing with symptoms of chronic fatigue, brain fog, autoimmune disease, pain or digestive issues?
You’ve gone to doctor after doctor. You’ve received some answers, have started on medications and notice some relief (thank goodness!) but are still left feeling exhausted, stressed, inflamed and not fully yourself?
Or maybe every test has come back “normal” and your practitioners have told you that there isn’t anything they can do, to come back when things get worse, or to simply manage your stress better?
If yes, then you are someone who would benefit form 1:1 holistic health coaching.
Health coaching is a necessary extension of the health care system in that together we have more time to uncover issues, implement strategies and assess outcomes together. Autoimmune disease is complex and to address it we need to come at it from all angles (pharmaceutical therapies from your doctor while also focusing on root cause factors like gut health, diet, sleep and stress). I offer accountability, a knowledgeable resource and most importantly support.
I always offer free 30-minute discovery sessions to get clear on your major health concerns and what’s standing in your way. Click the button below to set up your free consultation and we can create a plan of action specifically for you.