drugs;

Immune System and Drugs

Immune System and Drugs

Your Immune System and the Drugs You Take

How do drugs, both prescribed (legal) and street drugs affect your immune system?  Long term side effects and short term side effects?

How does this affect the overall health of people in the USA and Canada. The United States of America comes 37th on a list of healthiest countries in the world.  Behind many third world countries.  Per capita, the USA spends more than any other country in the world on Health Care.  What part do drugs play in this scenario?

According to Wallstreet.com:

"America makes up about 5% of the world’s population – but accounts for approximately 27 percent of the world’s drug overdose deaths, according to Vox. The culprit? Prescription opioids like Oxycontin, tramadol, methadone, morphine, fentanyl or Vicodin."

I was speaking to my son recently about vaccines.  I said to him that there was some evidence that vaccines might adversely affect the immune system; that there may be a relationship with vaccines and the rapid increase of the incidence of autism over the last 30 years.  He allowed for that but pointed out the whole co-relation/cause thing.  He point out the increase of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs, and the like, over the same period of time.  He thought that these types of drugs could just as easily, or even more likely, be the cause.  Part of the issue here is that the people that might do the testing or studies to establish cause/effect here appear to not want to know!

How many women took Ritalin growing up in 80s and 90s and then had children?  Did Ritalin, and later drugs like Prozac, Zoloft and others, affect their immune systems and then the immune systems of their newborns?   Studies have proven that even drugs like marijuana can lessen sperm count in men.  What other reproductive issues can a drug like this cause? 

When I grew up only movie stars took anti depressants?

Per the CDC

“During 2015–2018, 13.2% of adults used antidepressants in the past 30 days (Figure 1). Use was higher among women (17.7%) than men (8.4%).”

This is huge! How many of these women were taking these drugs when they were pregnant?  Or breast feeding?  How are the immune systems of the babies affected by these drugs?

Oxycontin and Other Pain Relievers

The use of pain relievers (legal) has at least doubled in the last 40 years.  The intake of SSRIs doubled from 1998 to 2010.

Since 1990, 450,000 people have died from opioid overdoses.  How many users are there that don’t die? This from both prescribed and street use of various opioids.  How do these drugs affect one’s immune system?  Short term? Long term?

I know people that eat Tylenol like candy.  In both the USA and in the United Kingdom Tylenol is the biggest cause of liver failure.

“acetaminophen* overdose is the leading cause [of Acute liver failure] in the United States”  NCBI Liver Failure

(*acetaminophen: an analgesic drug used to relieve mild or chronic pain and to reduce fever, often as an alternative to aspirin. Proprietary names include Tylenol.)

The Liver?

How does this extensive damage to the liver affect one’s immune system?

“The liver is a key, frontline immune tissue. Ideally positioned to detect pathogens entering the body via the gut, the liver appears designed to detect, capture, and clear bacteria, viruses, and macromolecules.”  The Liver and Immune System

Other medicines can affect one’s liver and thus the immune system:

“Some drugs, such as statins** (used to treat high cholesterol levels), can increase the levels of liver enzymes and cause liver damage (usually minor) but no symptoms.”
Merck Liver Disorders

(**Statin: “any of a group of drugs that act to reduce levels of fats, including triglycerides and cholesterol, in the blood.”)

Study Drugs

College and University students are known to use drugs like Ritalin and Adderall to help concentrate and stay awake to study.

These commonly used drugs such as Adderall can severely affect the health of the liver.  Adderall is an amphetamine. This from an article at NCBI on amphetamines and the liver.

“More importantly, several amphetamines have been associated with clinically apparent and sometimes severe or even fatal instances of acute liver injury. These cases typically follow intravenous use, particularly when given in an excessive single dose. The synthetic amphetamine methylenedioxymetamphetamine (MDMA, but known familiarly as “ecstasy”) has been implicated in the largest number of cases, many of which were severe and led to acute liver failure and death.”

Much evidence has come to light over the last 20-30 years as to how antibiotics have affected the immune system.  A necessary evil sometimes.  The problem with antibiotics is that they kill good bacteria as well as bad. 

From JAMA Pediatrics

“This study found that all commonly prescribed antibiotics during infancy are associated with subsequent diagnosis of allergic disease.

Administration of more than 1 class of antibiotic was associated with increased risk, most notably for asthma and allergic rhinitis. This association persisted even after adjusting for the total days of antibiotics supplied.”  JAMA Pediatrics

So, ask your doctor questions.  Your doctor is not infallible.  Find out the short and long term affects of the drugs he prescribes.  Do your own homework; it is pretty easy to find side effects of pretty much any drug online. 

Street drugs, even marijuana, well, that’s a little trickier.  Opioids, (Oxy for example), that you buy on the street will not likely have a list of ingredients, telling you how much fentanyl is in it.  Even so called medical marijuana has been found to have mold which can shut down your liver.  Caution your children on the use  of study drugs such as Adderall and Ritalin.  Instruct them on how these drugs can affect one’s immune system over a short or long period of time. 

Good health is your best defence!

Posted by admin in Blog, 1 comment
Depression – no fun at all!

Depression – no fun at all!

As  with physical pain, drugs can mask an underlying cause. Many psychologists, doctors and psychiatrists will tell you that the drug is bringing an abnormal or chemical imbalance back to a more natural state. When asked to do a test for this as one would do for a physical ailment, no test can be produced; there never has been one.
 
So, you are struggling with your depression and want some kind of relief, anything just to be unstuck from this awful cloying mass and feeling that is with you every minute of the day. The Doctor offers you you a pill or a bottle of pills like Xanax or some such promising relief. Offering one kind of hell for another; for now you are in a chemical straight jacket as when the effects of the drug wear off here comes your funk again.
 
In 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's depression as a 'disease was pretty much unheard of. The folks that would make money from your illness would have you believe that half you school class back in those days were just hiding a constant horribleness. I have spoken to hundreds and hundreds of people from these earlier eras and this is just not true.  Unless I was only able to find those who were not constantly dogged by depression. Certainly many voiced that they were some times troubled and sad; life as a teen can be horrible at times but any that I spoke with were able to come out of it without drugs.
 
There is this idea purported by the medical industry that this particular day and age, this society is more stressful than earlier times. They would have us believe that this the only era where anyone had difficulty with their parents or children.
 
I know that you think that your situation is special and different. Believe me it is. But at the same time it isn't.
 
So what did people do before drugs were the answer. Do you want a quick fix? Something that will mask the symptoms? Or do you want to fix it? I do honestly know that it feels like it is something that cannot be fixed.  But believe me you and the human race are made of sterner stuff than that. You may not think that now but it is the truth.
 
I read this book years ago by a psychiatrist named Sydney Walker Jr. The book was called A Dose Of Sanity.  It was about the mood altering drug Prozac. One of the things that he said repeatedly in the book was that he could invariably find out the underlying physical cause of some mental difficulty.  He gave examples ranging from allergies to brain tumours where Prozac had been prescribed nearly causing deaths if Dr. Walker had not intervened.
 
I am not entirely convinced,though, that every person that is depressed has some physical problem. I have seen too many people resolve their depression in other ways. I have this friend at the gym. He was prescribed drugs as a solution to his depression by his doctor. His uncle got a hold of him and took him to a martial arts class and he never looked back, never took any of the drugs, he didn't need them anymore once started training.
 
This may not be the solution for everybody and may be more difficult for you to start something to change. Also, some in the medical industry would argue that he was not really depressed if it was that easy; that a little exercise is not going to resolve something of this depth. If you listen to his story, it was not that easy, but he was able to persist with help of his uncle.
 
Sometime that is what is needed. Someone to help you get from here to there. The majority of time the solutions to the most complex situations are ver, very simple! (I know there is no way you are going to believe that when you terribly depressed.)
 
A couple of things to try and hold onto when you are feeling the worst: firstly, it is not, no matter what you think, you!  And two: it can get better - there is something that you can do about it.
Posted by greymouser in Depression