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Poll: What’s your position on medication and supplements?

May 27, 2009

Last month’s poll

The question that 31 of us answered a month ago was about how adventurous we are when it comes to eating exotic food when we’re traveling in a foreign country. I’m happy to report that 0% of people polled head straight for McDonald’s! Always nice to hear. 42% like trying anything new, 52% will try some of the new stuff but avoid really unusual foods, and 6% prefer to stick to their regular healthy fare.

My experiences in Cambodia with the food have been really exciting. I was lucky enough to go to a cooking class and learn how to cook some Khmer food, and there are all kinds of cuisines available so I went all-out trying different kinds of dishes. I was really looking forward to buying food from the street vendors- particularly the snails- but after I got sick twice and have been feeling rather queasy on and off ever since, I’ve decided that this sensitive stomach of mine would really appreciate it if I avoided those things. Sometimes our bodies and our minds just don’t agree! Which brings me to…

This month’s poll

Drugs, medications, and supplements really aren’t my “thing”. But sometimes, as I discovered during my travels when I fell ill a few times, medication is the only way to help our immune systems recover and build up again. Some people also swear by supplementation and vitamins, saying that they are essential to maintaining a good health, but I’m wary of those too. It’s a controversial subject and one which I have never been satisfied with the various conclusions obtained from research that is floating around out there. But perhaps in instances when we are too sick for healthy eating and bed rest alone to do the job, a little bit of medication or supplementation can go a long way.

What’s your position on the great drug/medication/supplement debate?

22 comments

  1. I avoid medication, except when my life is in immediate danger (which hasn’t happened, thank goodness!) We don’t even have headache tablets in our house.

    As for supplementation, I take barley grass juice, Spirulina and flax seed oil. I’m very much against artificial supplements and supplementation of specific vitamins and minerals, as they strain the body and have side-effects.

    My main tool for attaining and maintaining good health remains a superior diet and a healthy lifestyle.


  2. Awesome question.

    Up until a little over a month ago I was on birth control but after reading Master Your Metabolism (jillian michaels) and many other factors I decided to go off of it. I take a multi and a calcium supplement though. I do NOT like prescription drugs but I think that supplements can actually be really good.

    I never took antibiotics as a kid because my mom didn’t approve of them… and I’m really glad.


  3. I don’t take medicine… you literally would have to find me on a bed in the hospital to be drugged up! Nor do I supplement. I try to assess what I’m lacking by how I feel and then supplement through food instead. It may be stupid, but I hate putting chemicals into my body!

    Funny Story– I was talking to a friend who mentioned that when he was traveling through Cambodia, the only thing he wouldn’t try was the fried tarantulas because he’s deathly afraid of spiders and he thought that if he ate them, it was bad karma and they would all be after him. haha (I thought of you 🙂


  4. I take a multivitamin and a biotin supplement. It’s not something I’m exactly happy about, but I’d prefer it to being bald. 🙂 Hopefully, my body will soon adjust to life without an extra 100 pounds, and I’ll be able to discontinue both.


  5. Oh I wish you’d separated supplements from meds! I do take the former daily (just a D, a fish oil and a prenatal) but I avoid the latter like the plague. I haven’t even had an ibuprofen in years.


  6. I think the older one gets, the more our bodies need help. A vitamin is useful when the amount needed isn’t met by just food alone.


  7. That’s Dr. J spelled D O C T O R! LOL!!

    Drugs are my life, no? Well, no. However, as a doctor, I understand the usefulness of appropriate medication use, as well as appropriate non-medication use, or so I think.

    I take vitamin supplements.


  8. I take a blood pressure medicine, although I don’t have high blood pressure, it was prescribed to prevent long term diabetes problems – other than that, its just my insulin and a vitamin.


  9. I have been treated for my allergies with shots and antihistamines since 1959. Without them, and without the thyroid medication since 1967, my life would consist of lying in bed trying to get past the pain and get some sleep. (That’s what it has been like for parts of my twenties and thirties, even so.)
    Due to my dietary restrictions, it has seldom been possible for me to get all my vitamin and mineral needs by eating, so I take supplements, especially calcium. I read the labels. “Vitamin C from rose hips” sounds delightfully natural–unfortunately I was so allergic to rose hips that I couldn’t breath through my nose for a week.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky


  10. Nutritional supplements are a big part of my training/education i.e. fish oils, vitamin D, lipoic acid, B vitamins, anti-oxidants, CoQ10, probiotics, multi-minerals etc, etc, etc. I believe supplements from highly reputable nutraceutical companies (not Walmart/drug stores or multi-level companies) can have valuable benefits and are often worth taking!

    It’s a shame that ephedra, hydroxy cut, muscle enhancement stuff is thought of “supplements”. They give the reputable nutritional industry a bad name and they are NOT one in the same.

    I don’t take pharmaceutical meds on a regular basis, however, I am grateful for them when needed. Sometimes an antibiotic can be a life saver (years ago when I had a kidney infection I felt the relief of the antibiotic within 30 minutes, and I would have been in big trouble without it!)

    In the end I have no problem with high quality nutritional supplements (I just don’t think we get everything in our food these days…) I’m grateful for the pharmaceutical options if/when I choose them and I don’t like energy enhancement, muscle building, steroid, multi-level stuff that gives the quality nutrition supplement industry a bad name!


  11. What an interesting discussion! I DO take medications a few supplements (fish oil, vit D, and niacin) – but sparingly and I try to do it intelligently. I rarely take medications or supplements unless I feel that they’re absolutely necessary, but at the same time, if I found an allergy medicine that would help me through allergy season without nasty personal side effects, I would take it daily without issue.


  12. I agree with Rupal on both the medicine and supplements. Actually, I don’t think it is necessary to get supplements for optimum health, because there really is no such thing and our bodies are very resilient and quite individual as to their needs. Plus vitamins from pills don’t get absorbed very easily compared to that found in food anyway – that’s why the doses are so high. I’d prefer to just eat well…because I love doing that!


  13. I take a multi vitamin, calcium, and glucosamine and chondrotin. But not into supplements like powders and such. Try to keep life as simple as possible.


  14. Hanlie- SO WITH YOU on the superior diet and healthy lifestyle.

    Maggie- I’m thoroughly convinced that I’ve managed to sustain a pretty good immune system over the years BECAUSE of the lack of medications I took as a kid!

    Rupal- that’s so funny about the spiders! And I feel the same way about eating healthy food to stay healthy. It just makes sense.

    Cammy- that’s a pretty good reason 😉

    Charlotte- aahh hindsight is 20/20. Here I go lumping things together 🙂

    Tom- VERY good point. Our bodies definitely change over the years.

    Dr. J- I think my mum the vet would agree with you!

    biz319 & Mary Anne- it’s good to be safe.

    Jolene- gah, ephedra et al… hate those things.

    Cathy- doing it intelligently is key, I think. We need to do our own research.

    Spring Girl- we are of the same mind 🙂


  15. Hi Sagan,
    I really take very little medication (only if absolutely necessary). Beyond that, though – a multivitamin and fish oil are regulars for me.


  16. YAY for no McDs!!!!!!!!!!! My body violently rejects anything from the Golden Arches! My stomach cramps just thinking about it!
    On vitamins: I have to take prescribed meds every day, on top of that, I take all naturals vitamins and supplements every day as well. Hahaha I pop over 10 pills a day! It’s not for everyone, but it works for me. I manage ED and I know that I do not get enough nutrients through my diet, so it gives me piece of mind to know that I’m maxing out the requirements for some of the most key needs. But I’m a special case, I guess. For any “normal” person, I think it’s best to have to most nutrient-rich diet possible.


  17. I’m somewhere in the middle. While I don’t think it is good to overuse medication, I believe there are times when in can help and even be necessary. And I do take Vitamin D and a Calcium-Magnesium supplement daily.


  18. ANNOUNCEMENT: Sagan is home in Canada (Winnipeg) after 24 hours of travelling. I just dropped her off at her apartment. Wait until you hear her “a funny thing happened on the way from Hong Kong to Vancouver” story (and that is “funny sheesh/yuck” not “funny ha-ha”). Give her a day or two to recover from her travels and she’ll be back blogging in no time. Welcome home youngest daughter 😉

    p.s. I supplement with Omega 3’s, Co-Q-10, Glucosamine, MIlk Thistle, Antioxidants, Vit D (and chocolate!)…after losing both parents to cancer I am trying to be proactive in prevention; and we all know chocolate is good for whatever ails you.


  19. […] Don’t forget to answer this month’s poll regarding medication and supplements! […]


  20. I’ve had lots of complications with medication, but have always had great results with the natural form of remedy.

    I know there’s a cure for every illness in nature. All drugs are derived from some natural ingredient.

    Don’t get me wrong. If it wasn’t for modern medicine i wouldn’t be able to walk. I just believe in doing my personal best to educate and take care of myself before popping an Tylenol =)


  21. I take supplements – multiple ones on a daily basis. I also take medication only when needed, and unfortunately, that happened recently. There is really no natural cure for “drug eruptions” – steroids was what was needed to keep from being hospitalized. Other than that, I dont even take aspirin.


  22. […] Last month we discussed our differing opinions regarding taking medication and/or supplements. Of 40 voters, 3% take drugs as soon as they get the sniffles, 30% take them because they’ve been prescribed something special by a doctor, 48% only take them when they’re very seriously ill, and 20% take all-natural supplements or vitamins on a regular basis. I thought that many more would say that they take meds or supplements regularly, but it’s good to know that we’re mostly relying on food as our sources of nutrition. I firmly believe that diet alone can make a drastic difference in our immune system- it won’t be able to do it every time, but the majority of the time, what you eat is going to have a huge impact on your state of health. […]



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