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Dangers of Prednisone, and How to Avoid Them

November 05, 2003 | 59,623 views
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By Dr. Joseph Mercola
     with Rachael Droege

Millions of people are taking prednisone, the corticosteroid drug that is widely prescribed for conditions such as asthma, emphysema, allergies, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, herniated spinal discs, acute muscular pain syndromes, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and to reduce inflammation from a variety of medical problems.

This immunosuppressive drug, though necessary in some cases, is associated with serious long-term side effects such as cataracts, bone loss, weakening of the immune system, and many others. One of the most serious complications from prednisone is the risk of osteoporosis, which occurs from the bone loss.

As I said earlier, prednisone is indeed occasionally needed and can actually be life saving. It is, though--like most all drugs--nearly always a poor choice to use for the long term. Prednisone will cover up the disease, but it is the underlying dysfunction--the cause of the disease--that must be repaired. While the specifics on how to do this vary from patient to patient, in a very general sense the same approach would have prevented the disease in the first place.

As many newsletter readers know, the focus in the traditional model of medicine is to wait until you get a disease and then treat it with drugs like prednisone. But the need for this and all drugs can be dramatically reduced over the course of anyone's life if they adopt a healthy diet and take a host of other preventive measures such as:

Eliminating all excess sugars and grains is a very important step to optimizing your diet and preventing disease. Also important is to be sure you are eating the correct amount of macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) for your nutritional type. Most people don’t realize that there is a specific amount of macronutrients that they should be eating according to their body's specific nutritional type.

If you are following a diet plan you are probably following a one-size-fits-all approach. But in the same way people look and act different on the outside, their insides, down to the genetic level, are different and we all require different amounts of nutrients to feel our best. Eating the proper amount of macronutrients according to nutritional type is a crucial step in optimizing the body's ability to fight the diseases that are treated with prednisone.

Meanwhile, emotional traumas and barriers are a major, but often ignored, factor in fostering and maintaining physical disease. In my experience, bioenergetic techniques, such as EFT, that address the emotional traumas tend to be the most effective at restoring the body's innate ability to restore itself back to health. While traditional cognitive therapies are useful for insights, they are rarely effective at normalizing one's physiology and reversing autoimmune disease.

When the underlying causes of a disease are addressed, the body is also more likely to repair and recover from the negative influences of the prednisone itself. Generally, the earlier you start implementing the approaches mentioned above, the more effective your recovery will be.

I have used these natural-focused approaches to address underlying causes of illness for over 10 years and have treated many hundreds of patients on steroids like prednisone. It is the rare person I have seen who has not been able to significantly reduce their reliance on these dangerous medications through my approach.

You will likely be able to get off of the prednisone and have the disease go into remission. However, individuals should NOT take themselves off of prednisone without guidance from a health care professional. Doing so could cause a severe exacerbation of the underlying problem and/or cause the adrenal glands to go into failure if done improperly.

The key is to find a trained health care professional who understands and practices the techniques I mentioned. Usually no single professional has all the tools, so you may need to do some searching. A good first step would be to find an outstanding nutritionist who focuses on food rather than supplements, and reviewing Dr. Patricia Carrington’s guidelines on how to find an EFT practitioner near you.

In the meantime, there are some aspects you can begin on your own, such as cleaning up your diet. Check out my nutrition plan and you’ll be off to a great start.

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