How to Get Off Prescription Drugs

Understand You’re Only Treating Symptoms

It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing multiple doctors for health problems that just keep getting worse. I made this mistake myself.

Over ten years ago, I was seeing 5 different specialists, and taking a handful of prescription drugs for with my acid reflux, abdominal pain, chest pain, joint pain, back pain, sinusitis, and numerous other symptoms. Although I believed I “needed” my medications, none of them were actually working.

Eventually, I experienced a resistant case of pneumonia and prediabetes and that was my wake-up call, prompting me to change my diet and lifestyle. I focused on low fat whole food plant-based foods and that decision changed my life. This eliminated all of my pain and reversed my prediabetes allowing me to get off all of my prescription drugs. The impact of food is obvious to me now. However, many individuals-and their doctors-never reach this understanding in time to make a difference.

Anticipate The Cost Of Staying Where You Are

I was talking to a woman experiencing high blood pressure and diabetes for many years. In the past she was reasonably satisfied with the health insurance she had from her employer. The insurance covered her medications for about $30 a month. She accepted her situation, assuming things didn’t get worse.

She decided not to worry much about taking the medicine, even as the pills began to add up. We have a naturally tendency to get complacent when something feels easy and cheap. However, as time passed, the insurer began changing which drugs were covered or not. The coverage got so bad, she had to switch medication over and over to keep from paying for her medications out of pocket. The final indignity was the day she turned 65, enrolled in Medicare, and her drug costs (for exact same medications) skyrocketed to nearly $400 per month.

This story is not uncommon. Consumer reports surveys found that costly prescription drugs are forcing many individuals to cut back on groceries to pay for their medicines [Ref 1]. Ironically, fresh fruits and vegetables are proven to help people get off their prescription drugs by reversing common conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Take Control Of Your Own Health

Most doctors and hospitals focus on stabilizing acutely ill people and treating the symptoms of sickness. Wellness is not usually the main objective. For this reason, the American health care system is referred to as “sickness care”.

Many individuals experiencing chronic diseases feel frustrated as their condition gets progressively worse. On the other hand, you don’t need to feel discouraged. If you want to be well, you have to decide to take back control of your health. Through diet and lifestyle choices, you can reduce your dependence on prescription drugs and thrive.


Ref 1. Too Many Meds? America’s Love Affair with Prescription Medication. Consumer Reports Website. Accessed February 20, 2019.
By |2019-05-29T14:24:23-05:00February 25th, 2019|Recommendations & Thoughts|0 Comments

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About the Author:

Dr. Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a certified integrative health coach, speaker, and corporate wellness consultant. She helps busy people develop healthier lifestyle habits and use plant-based nutrition so they can heal themselves. She provides educational information through her health coaching services and an online course on diabetes. In addition she is an engaging speaker on the subject of plant-based food and healthy lifestyle habits that improve health, energy and productivity. In her prior career she practiced anesthesiology for 21 years. In the midst of that career she overcame personal health challenges by adopting a plant-based lifestyle. Also, she observed that most of her patients were suffering from preventable complications of chronic lifestyle diseases. From those experiences she is motivated to teach people how to take full control of their health through better eating and lifestyle habits.

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