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Boggios: A healthy choice for your whole life

Category Archives: Detox

Unfortunately mixing alcohol with certain types of prescription medications can be dangerous.  Alcohol can increase the risk of severe CNS depression when taken with opioids, benzodiazepines and barbituates.  Alcohol can also affect drug metabolism (breakdown to active components), or the absorption of some drugs. Chronic alcohol intake can also cause problems with certain medications because of the effect it has on the liver and specific drug metabolizing enzymes.

Chronic alcohol use increases acetaminophen (Tylenol) metabolism increasing its conversion to metabolites toxic to the liver.  It is always best not to exceed four grams of acetaminophen a day, especially if you are a heavy or binge drinker because of the damage it can due to your liver.

Chronic alcohol use along with NSAIDS (Ibuprofen) or aspirin can increase the risk of GI bleeds.  However, an occasional drink with NSAID use is not likely an issue.

If you are a patient on warfarin alcohol can inhibit warfarin metabolism and increase your INR.  If you change your usual alcohol intake you should have your INR checked.

Certain antibiotics, and in particular metronidazole, has the potential when mixed with alcohol to make people quite ill.  When taken to together a patient may experience low blood pressure, shortness of breath, facial flushing, and nausea.

Diabetic patients taking hypoglycemics such as Glyburide or insulin are at risk of severe hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when they drink alcohol.  These patients should limit alcohol to an occasional single drink.

Any patient on medication for sleeping should be careful of alcohol consumption because of the additive affects of drowsiness and respiratory depression.    Patients have been known to aspirate their own vomit and die from intoxication.  This could be more likely to happen if a person mixes alcohol with their sleep medication.

This same problem could exist when patients mix alcohol and opiates.

It is always wise to consult your pharmacist or physician if you receive a new prescription and intend to have a few alcoholic beverages.  Also please notify your physician or pharmacist if you are a chronic drinker.  Even if you are not planning to drink while taking your prescription previous liver damage could affect how well you metabolize your medication.  This could result in too high, or too low a dose for you.

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People often come to the store looking for products that will cleanse their colon, or detoxify their system.  They have heard that regular colon or liver cleansing and other methods of detoxification can rid the body of pollutants, aid in weight loss, and prevent cancer.

The theory that over time the body can accumulate harmful toxins such as metals and pesticides is often perpetuated by the media and other advertisers.  Proponents believe special treatments including herbals or supplements given orally, or as enemas, or special diets, can remove these toxins from the body.

Unfortunately there is no proof to support any of these claims.  There is no special product or method that can rid the body of toxins.

The body is an amazing machine equipped with liver and kidneys that are responsible for filtering and eliminating toxins from the body.

Detoxification programs can actually be dangerous.  They often include laxatives that can cause significant diarrhea resulting in fluid loss, and electrolyte imbalances.  Some laxatives can worsen heart failure or cause kidney failure in people who have kidney disease.

Enemas and colonics can also lead to electrolyte imbalances and can even cause a perforated rectum.  Some deaths have actually been reported with the use of coffee enemas.

For patients who want to optimize their health there are some simple much safer steps that can be taken.  The first step for overweight patients is to lose weight by eating more fruits and vegetables and less refined sugar.  Secondly, drinking a few glasses of water can help with weight loss and general health.  However, it is not necessary to over do water intake either.  The body closely regulates the amount of water in your system through homeostasis and your kidneys.  Drinking too much can force you to the bathroom with increased frequency and not provide you with any other additional “health” benefit.  Simple exercise like walking and some daily fresh air can improve mood and aid in weight loss as well.

For patients who want to take a supplement, there are some that can improve your health.  Vitamin D, and Omega 3’s have shown significant health benefits.  Adults should take at least 1000 IU of vitamin D a day for bone health and cancer prevention.  Omega 3’s (EPA and DHA) have shown benefits for heart and brain health.  An aspirin a day is also promoted for heart and stroke protection.  Finally naturally occurring antioxidants that come in berries, green tea, and other naturally occurring sources can help with general overall health.

If you want to improve your health, it is best to avoid colon and liver cleanses and stick to the above mentioned strategies.  Speak to your family physician or pharmacist if you would like to add in a supplement, and for advice on the best way for you to “get healthy”.