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Are we an overmedicated nation? Some might say so, considering the fact that Americans spent $300 billion per year on prescription drugs in 2011. Prescription drugs can definitely save lives, but sometimes our overuse of medications can merely cover up the symptoms of a real health problem that can be resolved with other natural remedies. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, author of the book Real Cause, Real Cure advocates for the use of natural remedies to help heal some of the most common problems.

  1. You might not be surprised to learn that doctors wrote the most prescriptions for pain medications in 2011–131 million to be exact. Pain is serious, but pain medications can be addictive and some, with continued use, can cause liver damage. Instead of covering up the pain, consider turning to a chiropractor or acupuncturist to get at the root of the problem. Scientists also support the claim that chiropractic help can relieve pain, since studies show that people with lower back pain who received 4 chiropractic treatments in 2 weeks showed greater improvement in pain compared to those who received usual care.
  2. A total of 53.4 million prescriptions were written for Prilosec in 2010. Acid reflux is a bothersome problem, but taking medications like Prilosec may exacerbate stomach problems in the long-run. For example, Prilosec blocks the protective hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which can lead to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines. Ultimately, this bacterial overgrowth leads to mineral deficiencies because the body is unable to asorb nutrients. Instead of relying on Prilosec, some doctors suggest herbal remedies like Slippery Elm lozenges from the local health food store that will help to coat the stomach and intestines, among other benefits. Also, consider avoiding foods that you know will exacerbate your acid reflux.

These are just two examples where you could swamp out other natural remedies for your prescription medications. However, it's always important to talk to your doctor before stopping, starting, or changing your prescription medication routine. Read about more alternative remedies

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