A while back, we talked about how the United States has become a nation of pill poppers, with many Americans taking at least one prescription drug daily. Now, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have decided to tweak the treatment guidelines doctors are supposed to follow, which will likely double the number of people who will need to take cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Going to the doctor has always been a numbers game: your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels all have to fall within mandated guidelines, or else you are deemed a ticking time bomb. Now, according to recent press, you can flush the numbers, because your doctor will be assessing your health via risk factors instead of numbers. Going forward, it is expected that doctors will be writing mountains of new prescriptions for statin drugs, since many more people will be “at risk” for heart attacks and strokes. This all bodes well for the drug manufacturers who have been making billions of dollars in profits off the worldwide sale of statin drugs to people who may or may not need to take them. If you happen to be a conspiracy theorist, you’re thinking this is all just a money-making ploy for the pharmaceutical industry; if you’re a hypochondriac, you’ve already made an appointment to see your doctor.
So, do we, or don’t we need to worry? That remains to be seen. On November 17, more information was released, saying that the brand-new cholesterol risk calculator might be flawed, and we shouldn’t be in any hurry to recalculate our risk factors. What are we supposed to do in the meantime? The dreaded lifestyle changes probably make the most sense.
Many of us have no problems popping a few pills to treat our health issues, but have you ever stopped to think about what those drugs are doing to your body? There is no such thing as a side effect-free treatment for anything; treating your high cholesterol with medication does come with certain risks. Eliminating unhealthy habits from your life is a much safer option.
If you’re not sure where to begin living a healthier lifestyle, help is close at hand. Coggno has a comprehensive library of health and wellness courses that can help you avoid the pitfalls of medication. All the courses are suitable for business or personal use, and are especially helpful for employers who want to encourage their employees to get healthy. The New Year is right around the corner, so now is the perfect time to being making those resolutions, instead of planning your next trip to the pharmacy.
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