Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Full Disclosure

We’re all looking for ways to be healthier whether it be exercise, our diets or the supplements we take.  The problem, especially those facing a chronic or life-threatening illness is that supplements overall are not regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).  Like many over-the-counter medications it’s not always the active ingredients, but the inactive ingredients that make the difference.

If you go to the supermarket and pick up a brand name over-the-counter remedy, and then pick up the store brand of the same medication, look at the package and read the labels.  The active ingredients, the part that makes the medication work are the same, the inactive ingredients, the fillers may be very different so one thing to consider is that if you start on a generic stay with the generic and vise versa.

Supplements are helpful for many, but it’s important to get the advice of someone knowledgeable about the supplements.  Here’s the issue, most people don’t tell their doctors about the supplements they’re taking.  They feel that supplements are just a vitamin, etc. and can’t do any harm.  It’s not the supplement per se we’re concerned with, but the drug interactions with the other medications you taking that can be lethal.  Many are embarrassed to tell their doctors about their supplement intake for fear that the physician will get angry.  My experience with doctors is that they don’t get mad; they get concerned when we, the patient, tries to play doctor.

When I meet with clients in person, or when I begin my intake with clients I have them take a complete inventory of their medicine cabinet of both prescribed and unprescribed medications.  I encourage them to either bring them to the doctor on their visit, or schedule a consult with a pharmacist who can tell you the pharmacological interactions that can occur.  This is about avoiding disaster, not getting in the way of you trying to heal your body with alternative remedies.

Don’t take chances…full disclosure could save your life and that’s worth talking about!


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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