Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better—and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own

Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better—and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own

Too many Americans are taking too many drugs—and it's costing us our health, happiness, and lives.Prescription drug use in America has increased tenfold in the past 50 years, and over-the-counter drug use has risen just as dramatically. In addition to the dozens of medications we take to treat serious illnesses, we take drugs to help us sleep, to keep us awake, to keep our...

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Title:Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better—and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own
Author:Andrew Weil
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Edition Language:English

Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better—and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own Reviews

  • Marjorie

    This book has a very simple message – medications are being over-prescribed by doctors and the patients are suffering for it. Not only are doctors handing out too many prescriptions but patients are expecting it and don’t feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth if they walk out of the doctor’s office without a prescription in their hands. Dr. Weil uses stories of real-life patients to stress his points. He covers such diseases as diabetes and hypertension and how meds are being given too freely

    This book has a very simple message – medications are being over-prescribed by doctors and the patients are suffering for it. Not only are doctors handing out too many prescriptions but patients are expecting it and don’t feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth if they walk out of the doctor’s office without a prescription in their hands. Dr. Weil uses stories of real-life patients to stress his points. He covers such diseases as diabetes and hypertension and how meds are being given too freely to mask chronic pain without getting to the source of the pain. He details what doctors are being taught, what they’re prescribing, the effects on the body of those prescriptions and how often change of diet and life style can do so much more than a pill can. There are also chapters on over-medication of children and the elderly.

    I’ve always been an admirer of Dr. Weil and have several of his books. This one will be often referenced in the future as health issues arise. It’s a strong endorsement of alternative medicine. Dr. Weil makes a wonderful point that I, too, long for when he says that someday alternative medicine will no longer be called such as it will be the only medicine being used and there will be nothing alternative about it.

    Highly recommended.

    This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  • Linden

    A thorough examination of medications which are commonly prescribed—both how they should be used to best advantage and how many are over-prescribed. Weil and his colleagues present an excellent and useful overview of antibiotics, statins, medications for GERD, sleep aids, steroids, NSAIDS, psychiatric drugs for both children and adults, ADHD drugs, opioids, and drugs for diabetes, hypertension, and osteopenia. Other helpful chapters cover over-medication of both children and the elderly. Written

    A thorough examination of medications which are commonly prescribed—both how they should be used to best advantage and how many are over-prescribed. Weil and his colleagues present an excellent and useful overview of antibiotics, statins, medications for GERD, sleep aids, steroids, NSAIDS, psychiatric drugs for both children and adults, ADHD drugs, opioids, and drugs for diabetes, hypertension, and osteopenia. Other helpful chapters cover over-medication of both children and the elderly. Written in easily understood language, this book is highly recommended for all readers.

  • Bam cooks the books ;-)

    I have read Dr Andrew Weil's books over the years for advice on healthy living and eating. Quite possibly as a result, I currently take no prescription drugs on a regular basis but my husband takes several for various health problems.

    When I saw Dr Weil's latest book on medications was available for request on NetGalley, I jumped at the opportunity to educate both of us about the drugs that are frequently prescribed and their side effects. Great information for making informed choices! Many

    I have read Dr Andrew Weil's books over the years for advice on healthy living and eating. Quite possibly as a result, I currently take no prescription drugs on a regular basis but my husband takes several for various health problems.

    When I saw Dr Weil's latest book on medications was available for request on NetGalley, I jumped at the opportunity to educate both of us about the drugs that are frequently prescribed and their side effects. Great information for making informed choices! Many thanks to Dr Weil, the publisher and NetGalley for granting my request.

    Too Many Meds: The Problem--and the Solution

    1. Antibiotics: Overuse has contributed to drug-resistant 'superbug' bacteria.

    Synopsis of advice: Reserve antibiotics for treatment of severe bacterial infections. Chose organic foods or those certified free of antibiotics. Build natural immunities through adequate exercise, rest, etc. Try using natural products for minor infections.

    2. Statins: "Medication alone affords only limited protection against heart disease." There should be equal emphasis on lifestyle changes.

    3. Medications for GERD: "Addressing the root causes of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) with lifestyle changes and safe and effective alternative remedies is a much better approach." Dr Weil gives several suggestions in this chapter.

    I was very interested in this information because my husband takes medication for acid reflux with mixed results.

    4. Antihistamines: "Like other long-term suppressive medications, they tend to perpetuate the problem they are meant to treat." Dr Weil suggests some integrative medicine approaches to try.

    5. Medications for the Common Cold and Flu: Consider using herbal remedies and supplements that he suggests rather than OTC medications which may have adverse side effects. And NEVER pressure your doctor for antibiotics for cold and flu symptoms which are viral and not bacterial infections.

    6. Sleep Aids: Be wary of all these medications. Dr Weil has some integrative medicine approaches to manage insomnia instead.

    7. Steroids: "Save these powerful drugs for serious medical conditions and try to wean off them once improvement occurs by instituting other measures to keep symptoms at bay."

    8. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): These OTC pain relievers are NOT perfectly safe, and Dr Weil has some suggestions for other ways to relieve pain.

    9. Psychiatric Medications for Adults: Big Pharma spends some big money on advertising for these types of drugs. Dr Weil feels they should not be used 'as first-line interventions for the most common mental/emotional health problems' and has some alternative suggestions for managing mood disorders.

    10. Psychiatric Medications for Children and Adolescents: "Investment in the well-being of children is key to the future of our world. We are doing a vast experiment with our children in maintaining so many of them on psychiatric medications."

    11. Medications for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): "ADHD is highly over diagnosed. Children with learning or behavioral difficulties should be carefully evaluated before being labeled with the disorder. For those who do have ADHD, medication can be a viable option but should be just one component of an integrative treatment plan."

    12. Opioids and the Treatment of Chronic Pain: "Chronic pain is fundamentally different from acute pain and cannot be managed successfully with medication alone." Dr Weil has several recommendations for an integrative medicine approach to chronic pain, such as: exercise, acupuncture and manipulative therapies, along with standard drug treatments.

    13. Antihypertensive drugs: Dr Weil discusses the drugs used to treat hypertension, then lists some ways to try to control blood pressure through diet, exercise, relaxation techniques and supplements.

    14. Medications for Diabetes: "Medications for diabetes will always be needed, but they bring with them a burden of side effects and cost that could be avoided with appropriate changes in lifestyle."

    15. Medications for Osteopenia and Other Preconditions: "Our health care system has a pill for every ill. Drugs are prescribed for full-blown diseases as well as for conditions that are not yet diseases but might, or might not, someday become them."

    16. Overmedication of Children: "The prevalence of medication use in children, along with the unpredictability of individual response and high risk of overdose, add up to powerful argument for the role of integrative medicine in young patients."

    17. Overmedication of the Elderly: "Too many older people are on too many medications, putting them at risk for serious adverse reactions and drug interactions. If you have an elderly relative or friend on multiple medications, urge that person to consult a pharmacist for a medication therapy management review."

    18. Over-Reliance on Medications: a Pharmacist's View--

    "It is important for every patient who is on five or more drugs to have an MTM (see above) session with a pharmacist, because the risk of an adverse drug reaction or drug interaction goes up exponentially when more than that number are prescribed. It is imperative for patients over the age of sixty-five to have this done." Include any OTC meds or supplements you may be taking when you see the pharmacist for consultation.

    Last words: this section is a wrap-up of why Dr Weil feels that it is in everyone's interest to reduce overmedication in our society.

    Resources: This section gives a link to help find an Integrative Health Professional in your area, his website, and other books and sources.

    I would also recommend various videos by Dr Weil which are available on youtube. The more you know, the better choices you can make.

  • Autumn

    Truly integrative. I appreciate Dr. Weil's philosophy of medicine AND the stinging nettles capsules have done wonders for my seasonal allergies! A good reference book to keep on hand.

  • Vannessa Anderson

    What I liked about the quote is it confirms how doctors no longer practice or are even trained in the

    doctrine because they have now become drug dealers and drug pushers! Until doctors are trained in nutritional and botanical medicine, they will not be effective in treating patients.

    I learned

    1. Many health conditions can be managed without drugs or with integrative treatment plans that use fewer of them or less potent ones or lower dosages of them in combination with other methods.

    2. We can developed allergic reactions to antibiotic residues in food because their presence is not noted on product labels

    3. Children exposed to bleach-cleaned environments had higher rates of respiratory tract infections, including influenza, bronchitis, and tonsillitis… children who grow up in too-clean environments have higher rates of allergy and asthma and may be more susceptible to infection than children who have pets, are raised on farms, or play in the dirt.

    4. Never take an antibiotic for an upper respiratory infection…unless a throat culture or other test indicates the presence of pathogenic bacteria.

    5. Statins could be a contributor to diabetic or pre-diabetic.

    is an informative read for those who are

    i. Addicted to prescription drugs and who want to break that addiction

    ii. Invested in their heath

    iii. Want to be informed

    iv. Need information on how to help a love one

  • Millie

    Very insightful. Made me rethink my entire approach to health. I imagine I'll be making a few lifestyle changes from what I learned, and 'm considering buying it for my collection to consult if/when I encounter some of these health problems.

    Main take-aways: Proper diet and nutrition and an active lifestyle are essential to overall health--eat as naturally as possible, lean proteins, whole grains, emphasis on fruits and vegetables (basically, just follow the Word of Wisdom), exercise regularly.

    Very insightful. Made me rethink my entire approach to health. I imagine I'll be making a few lifestyle changes from what I learned, and 'm considering buying it for my collection to consult if/when I encounter some of these health problems.

    Main take-aways: Proper diet and nutrition and an active lifestyle are essential to overall health--eat as naturally as possible, lean proteins, whole grains, emphasis on fruits and vegetables (basically, just follow the Word of Wisdom), exercise regularly. Whenever possible, AVOID prescription and over-the-counter drugs--explore natural and herbal remedies before these alternatives. EDUCATE YOURSELF on all medications, prescribed or OTC, before starting them. Learn their benefits and potential side effects and consult your doctor/pharmacist to learn if there are any natural alternatives before starting something. Great read. Worth your time and study.

  • Jeanne

    Great reference book for alternatives to popular medicines. The base of all his medical advice is always diet and exercise, which is probably good advice.

  • Sheri

    Interesting read about the overuse of medications. I think many of us have certainly weighed the pros vs cons when it comes to medicine. Just watch any pharmaceutical commercial and the list of potential side effects sounds way worse then the problem itself. This would pair well with a book that goes more in depth about alternative treatments.

  • Alexandra Scarborough

    As someone who takes five of the medications Weil discusses, I was interested to learn his position on their efficacy/value. My meds are of course prescribed by my doctor, but if there are natural replacements with fewer side effects that I can choose instead, it would be worth it to share his findings with her. I have followed Weil's writing and research for a couple of decades, as I appreciate the integrative approach he has to medicine. He's not just about the "woo" of "alternative medicine";

    As someone who takes five of the medications Weil discusses, I was interested to learn his position on their efficacy/value. My meds are of course prescribed by my doctor, but if there are natural replacements with fewer side effects that I can choose instead, it would be worth it to share his findings with her. I have followed Weil's writing and research for a couple of decades, as I appreciate the integrative approach he has to medicine. He's not just about the "woo" of "alternative medicine"; instead, he is both a licensed MD and someone who is trained in botany, so he approaches health issues from a reasoned, comprehensive and cautious perspective.

    I certainly was surprised to learn of the unhealthy feedback loop that both GERD meds and Fosomax can create; I intend to bring up those findings with my PCP to determine my best course of action, going forward. And I appreciate the ever-present suggestion of lifestyle changes that accentuate all of Weil's works, as a reminder to slow down a bit and not to rely so much on pharmaceuticals for an "easy fix."

    The book blazes little new territory for me, but then again, I have read nearly all of his works. Nonetheless, Mind over Meds does aggregate useful info in a way that could effect significant reduction in blindly subsidizing the pharmaceutical industry through our unconscious willingness to remain uniformed. We just need to take the actions Dr. Weil suggests.

  • aylen

    very informative and well researched book on different medications and the epidemic of overprescribing in america. integrative medicine is the future of medicine, or as dr weil says “will one day be known as simply good medicine”

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