When I was a kid, my friends and I would hurl ourselves off the playground swings as if we were flying. Today? Well, just last week, I sprained something stepping off the curb wrong.
Times sure change, don’t they? We just don’t bounce back the way we used to. And past a certain age, a fall isn’t just a recipe for a strain, sprain, or little bit of pain.
It could be a disaster.
A fall now that we’re no longer spring chickens could lead directly to a broken bone and time spent in a wheelchair, bed-bound, or even in a nursing home.
And that’s not even the worst of it. Some bone breaks, such as a cracked hip, could even raise your risk of DYING in the following months.
Well, my friend, it’s easy to blame all that on age. But new research reveals the TRUE villain here.
And it’s not all those hard-earned years you’ve wracked up. It’s your MEDS.
Risky meds can make you unsteady
About 20 years ago, experts uncovered a startling number. More than HALF of all seniors at the time were on at least one drug known to increase the risk of falls.
Now I’d like to report that everyone involved in medicine came together when we learned that shocking news. And that we all worked as one to bring that number down and protect older Americans.
But you and I both know that kind of cooperation is as rare as hen’s teeth, as my grandmother used to say. In other words, nothing was done about the risk.
In fact, the problem has only gotten worse…
It’s exploded to the point where nearly EVERY senior in America is on at least one medication with a known fall risk. By 2017, 94 percent of seniors were taking one or more of these dangerous medications.
Now, as you can probably guess, blood pressure meds are one of the most common culprits. They can make you feel light-headed and dizzy, especially when you first stand up. That can cause you to go right back down again… often not so gently.
Many seniors aren’t just taking one hypertension drug, either. They’re often taking two and sometimes more. Which, of course, sends their fall risk soaring,
And that’s a crying shame. Because when you follow the science, you’ll find that these drugs are often totally unnecessary. In many cases, you can get the same results… or even better ones… using natural and nutritional options instead.
For example, one study last year found that supplementing with the heart-friendly amino acid L-carnitine can cut nearly 8 points off your blood pressure. And a modest change like that can move someone with borderline hypertension right back into the Golden Zone.
Spot the FALL risk and ELIMINATE the culprits
The new study also names another common fall culprit: Antidepressants. The number of antidepressant prescriptions given to seniors jumped from 12 million in 1999 to 52 million by 2017. The newer drugs are supposed to be less risky than the old ones. But the truth is they can still literally knock you off your feet.
There are far safer ways to beat depression, including supplements of SAMe or 5HTP. And curcumin… a compound found in turmeric… actually MATCHED a popular antidepressant drug in one study, but without the same drug side effects.
The new study also names some other common meds given to seniors that are linked to falls, including…
- opioid painkillers
- sedatives and sleep aids
And they all have something else in common besides that fall risk. They’re often unnecessary since there are almost always better options.
If you’re on any of these meds, speak to a naturopathic or integrative medicine physician about your alternatives. Some are entirely inappropriate for seniors. And before filling ANY prescription in the future, be sure to ask these 4 critical questions.
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