Monday, October 29, 2007

Lessons of Heart Disease, Learned and Ignored

A fascinating piece about heart disease not because the information is cutting edge, but rather because the failures in preventing future heart attacks are due to the inability for doctors to communicate to their patients about continuing their treatments consistently, regularly, and in most cases indefinitely. The article Lessons of Heart Disease, Learned and Ignored looks at an individual who proudly stopped taking his prescription medications after losing weight and exercising. He had his first heart attack nine years earlier and reasoned, incorrectly, that by changing his lifestyle that he could avoid taking medications altogether. Had he consulted his doctor before stopping his medications, he most likely would have avoided his second heart attack.

This is a common occurance in my experience as well. Many patients don't want to take medications that are potentially life saving because they aren't natural, yet when challenged to make significant lifestyle changes to lose unnaturally heavy weight and unhealthy habits they don't want to. Any patient should always consult with his doctor before stopping any prescription medications. If you are concerned that your doctor is simply writing medications and not working with you to keep you healthy, consider switching doctors. Realize, however, that there are situations that medications must be taken to keep you well. That perhaps is the most difficult idea for many patients to swallow.

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