You Are NOT Ibuprofen Deficient

By Koby Taylor, PharmD

Just a few years ago, I found myself in a health crisis. To say I felt horrible would be an understatement. I not only felt horrible, I looked horrible, which was a true reflection of how I was feeling from the inside out. Yes, my life was busy, and yes, I certainly do know how to take care of myself. I am in the healthcare industry after all, so how could this happen to me?

I found myself with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and hair loss. Then all of the sudden, I was dealing with kidney stones. To be honest, I was scared.

Let me just summarize by saying that after several trips to the ER, and after visiting with six different health providers (which resulted in nine different medications), I still had no clear conclusion as to the root cause of my condition. Having these medications with my name on them gave me pause! Being a pharmacist with both traditional and compounding education, I am extremely well educated on medications—how they affect symptoms and how they interact with the body’s natural state.

Please note that I am not looking down on prescription meds. I absolutely know they can be extremely beneficial and even lifesaving, but I also know how they can lead to more medications and more ailments because of the side effects, especially when the root cause isn’t looked for.

With that in mind, I did have some information that I could use to do some investigating: my blood work panels from the past. Along with the standard-of-care blood draws for my symptoms, I had requested specific vitamin and mineral labs. I knew this information would be key to a diagnosis because my health declined quite quickly.

I discovered that some of my vital mineral and vitamin levels were low. In fact, I was so low on one mineral that, when deficient, would absolutely send me into cardiovascular distress!

This opened my eyes. At the time, I was doing all the right things; I was eating right and getting in some “me” time. But with my busy schedule, my self-care had fallen short. I found myself in crisis mode where my self-care was solely focused on digging out of the situation I was in and advocating for answers for myself.

Getting back to wellness can and does happen. No one loves your health more than you do. Take action and take charge.

The More You Learn about Yourself,
the More You Can Help Someone Else

This experience had me thinking about my patients, my family and friends, their family and friends, and so on. How would most people know they needed to keep an eye out for themselves and their nutrient numbers? How would most people know to ask for the same tests I did? How would they even know what to look for?

In a time of crisis, you are vulnerable, as vulnerable as you may ever be, and the things you desire the most are a magic pill, a smile, and someone telling you you’re going to be okay.

And you know what? You are going to be okay, and here’s why: I’m giving you permission to advocate for yourself. Start asking questions. Do your research, and if you don’t know who to ask, start with a pharmacist. For example, you are welcome to a free health and medication consultation from Fusion’s pharmacists and our board certified health coach. Or ask a family member or friend who has been through a health crisis and has come out on the other side well. Circle your wagons, so to speak. Keep your medical records. Grow your knowledge.

One Thing Is Certain:
You Are Not Ibuprofen or Prozac Deficient

If you find that you are taking more medication than you did one year ago, or that you’re suddenly not feeling well and chasing symptoms, or that you have a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions or over-the-counter meds, there could be a good chance that you are nutrient deficient in some way. First of all, we know for a fact that medications alter the chemistry in your gut. They also change your bowel movements, sleep patterns, exercise routines, eating habits, and even your brain’s chemistry. When your body is changed by medications, you will absorb nutrients differently. Conversely, being nutrient deficient can alter those aforementioned functions in your body without medications even being a factor.

What your body wants the most is to return to a state of homeostasis: a perfect balance. Your body is not deficient in ibuprofen if you are in a constant state of inflammation.

What Comes First, Chicken or Egg?

Backtrack to the onset of your illness and create a timeline. Don’t be afraid to take a good look at what was happening in your life at the time. What followed going in search of medical care, and how are you now?

Some of you may have been on life sustaining medication for years (like thyroid supplementation) and now find you are not well. Your nutrient depletion may have come on very slowly and is revealing itself as a whole new host of illnesses. On the other hand, you may have been someone who has not needed to take medication in the past but you now find you are taking meds for anxiety, depression, insomnia. Chances are your nutrient depletion has come on as symptoms of those things.

There is a way to find out the how and why, but you have to be willing to search outside the medication bottle, and you have to advocate for yourself.

Don’t Discount Your Instincts

As you embark on your self-advocating journey, be open to listening to opinions, but don’t discount your instincts. The more you investigate, the more aware you become and the easier it will be to approach decisions and have conversations with your providers, pharmacists, and so on. Seek out consultations, and be willing to be honest with how you feel.

Getting back to wellness can and does happen. No one loves your health more than you do. Take action and take charge.




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