Pills, pills, pills (should Destiny’s Child decide they’d like to regroup, I think I’ve found their next single.) It is with increasing regularity that I come across an article in a fave rag about pills or prescriptions or concern for too many pills and prescriptions. The most recent article I found in the April 2011 Shape Issue of Vogue (yes, I’m that far behind. Hopefully I’ll get caught up before the September issue hits the stands?) The article, “Bitter Pills,” by Ginny Graves, discusses the alarming increase in drug prescriptions and the rather thrilling developments that food could be a natural alternative.
I do not like to take pills. I will go out of my way to not take them; I won’t even take Ibuprofen. Ok, I took a couple last weekend after a particularly tequila-drenched evening, but whatevs, it was Fiction and Copy Editor Aubrey Brobt’s birthday, and that Ibuprofen was the only thing keeping my head attached to my body the next day. My reluctance to make poppin’ pills a regular part of my routine is only strengthened after reading about patients getting put on anti-anxiety meds, then they have trouble sleeping so they take another pill for that, then their libido is shot so they take another pill for that, until eventually their breakfast plate looks like a Skittles explosion, and that doesn’t even include the side effects. However, there comes a time in our lives when some kind of prescription comes highly recommended from the doc and we’ve got to suck it up and chase ‘em down.
One such time in my life happened this week when Dr. G wanted to discuss certain anxieties cropping up as of late (moving can be stressful, especially moving away from the ocean.) I had fortunately just read Graves’s article that very morning and mentioned the nutrient-based alternative. I was pleased when Dr. G was as down for this approach as I was and immediately started telling me about cortisol, which is apparently your stress hormone, and how to keep it at a manageable level. Dr. G reiterated what I had read in Graves’s article, that without certain nutrients, the body can’t produce mood-boosting neurotransmitters. She told me (she actually wrote it on a prescription slip) to get at least three cups of fruits and vegetables a day and it wouldn’t hurt to take some fatty acids, like omega-3s, to keep the brain functioning properly, as it is made mostly of fat (which almost made me gag.)
Graves discusses various mental or emotional issues patients deal with, and the nutrients that aim to fix them, rather than treat the symptoms. The research is still very much in the early stages, and some issues do need an actual medication, but for now I’m stoked to swap my Prozac for pomegranates and Lexapro for legumes. While I’m waiting to see if it works, I can at least feel good about the fact that I’m doing my part to fix this fatty mass inside my head (gag) instead of settling for the quick fix.
What do you think, Denver? Anyone out there have a natural-remedy success story? What’s your favorite way to get more yummy fruits and veggies in your life?