I am slowly but surely learning that one of the worse things you can do for your health is not take your medications regularly and as prescribed.
I am not talking about antibiotics or pain relievers here, although those may also be important.
I have Hashimoto’s. It’s a disease in which the body attacks the thyroid, which happens to be a major player in how well–or poorly–you feel. For this ailment, I have been prescribed 100 micrograms of Levothyroxjne each morning at least one hour before I eat.
I have also been diagnosed with GERD. I have horrid acid reflux, not unlike my mama’s, and hers put her in ICU and nearly killed her over a decade ago. For this, I take over-the-counter Nexium.
I have also been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. What I probably have is actually bile acid malabsorption, which occurs sometimes after a gallbladder removal. I have been prescribed 625 mg Welchol for this problem, at least once a day.
The two latter medications interfere with the absorption of my Levothyroxine, so my endocrinologist suggests I space them out.
But . . . let’s be honest. Sometimes I forget. Actually, I just get busy.
And when I do, I pay for it. With a burning sensation, chest pains, and hoarseness and phlegm from the GERD (if you’ve watched me on Facebook Live in my Facebook group, you have probably noticed the hoarseness). With extreme fatigue if I don’t take my Levothyroxine. With digestive issues if I don’t take the Welchol.
So take the meds I must. Fortunately, my former endocrinologist stressed the importance of spacing out these medications. However, no one explained to me that 1) all of my meds should be taken at the same time every single day or 2) that I should take my Nexium before dinner and my Welchol at night. But after I read this article from the AARP, I changed my practices and started taking my medications on a schedule and so much more religiously.
And guess what? I feel better. Go figure!
Talk to your doctor about when you should take medications. Then take them as prescribed.
Make a List . . .
One final thought: Create a medication list, and post it somewhere conspicuous just in case you ever have an emergency at your home–my husband, who is a former paramedic, recommends your refrigerator. I’d also recommend keeping a digital copy on Dropbox on your phone just in case. (More about that later!) When you go to visit a doctor, give him or her a printed copy of the list. And make sure you keep it updated.