Dr. Weil's Pill-Free Solutions

Find out how you can treat a variety of common conditions without pills.

Dr. Weil's Pill-Free Solutions

Modern medications have revolutionized health care and dramatically improved the quality of health and life for billions of people around the world. But sometimes we’re a little too quick to jump to pills when natural remedies might work just as well. Here are a few “no-pill” solutions to common health problems.

Indigestion

With the widespread over-the-counter availability of antacids, Americans are more medicated for their acid reflux than ever before. But the decreased stomach acid can lead to problems absorbing certain nutrients. Try two cups of ginger tea after eating to stimulate saliva production and help to settle your stomach.

Your Parent Has Dementia: What to Talk to Their Doctor About

Make sure all their doctors are aware of all the medications she is taking.

Q: My mom is 94 and has dementia. She is taking a whole medicine cabinet-full of medications and I think they actually make her fuzzier. How should I talk to her various doctors about what she is taking and if she can get off some of the meds? — Gary R., Denver, Colorado

A: Many dementia patients are taking what docs call a "polypharmacy" — three or more medications that affect their central nervous system. And we really don't know how that mixture truly affects each individual person.

A new study in JAMA Network that looked at more than 1 million Medicare patients found almost 14% of them were taking a potentially harmful mix of antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics, benzodiazepines such as Valium and Ativan, nonbenzodiazepine benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics such as Ambien or Sonata, and opioids. And almost a third of those folks were taking five or more such medications. The most common medication combination included an antidepressant, an antiepileptic, and an antipsychotic. Gabapentin was the most common medication — often for off-label uses, such as to ease chronic pain or treat psychiatric disorders, according to the researchers from the University of Michigan.

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