My son has anger issues along with depression so he takes Wellbutrin (bupropion). He has high blood pressure so he takes metoprolol. He doesn’t sleep well now, so he uses Ambien. He’s only 28, and I’m worried that he’s already on so much medicine. His diet is very unhealthy and he doesn’t believe in “rabbit food.” Please help me advise my son.” –C.W., Boise, Idaho
ANSWER: I vote for more “rabbit food” because it won’t clog up his arteries the way processed fatty foods do. Besides, fruits and veggies won’t embed his body with more “anger” the way animal foods might. Pharmacies frequently dispense the trio of drugs your son takes— antidepressant, sleep aid and blood pressure pill. Unfortunately, too many Americans have come to think it’s normal to take various prescriptions for multiple ‘conditions,’ which I suspect stem from nutritional deficiencies in some cases.
Bupropion (Wellbutrin) improves mood by lifting two brain chemicals, dopamine and norepinephrine. In this country, antidepressants have to carry a “black box warning” because these drugs sometimes increase suicidal thoughts in patients younger than 25. His blood pressure pill is a drug mugger of melatonin (a sleep hormone) and so it could be worsening his insomnia.
Between his medicine, and diet, it’s not a surprise that your son needs Ambien to sleep. The lack of healthy foods in his diet has caused atherosclerosis and inflammation in his body, hence the blood pressure medicine. In a few months, he’ll need medicine for acid reflux and high cholesterol. In a couple of years, he’ll be on diabetic drugs and pain pills. See where he’s headed with this? If you would like natural solutions to these problems, refer to my book, The 24-Hour Pharmacist as I have chapters on how to get off these medications once and for all.
You’re a kind and loving mom, that’s clear. But you can’t make your son choose health over sickness. He has to make that decision, and soon. If he won’t eat better, maybe he’d consider dietary supplements. For example, the mineral magnesium. It occurs naturally in dark green leafy vegetables like salads, broccoli, chard, kale and other green “rabbit food” that your son doesn’t eat. So it shouldn’t come as a shock to learn that magnesium helps normalize blood pressure, improve mood and sleep. Without enough magnesium, a person could develop depression, irritability, insomnia, high blood pressure (sound familiar?) and PMS, panic attacks, OCD, phobias, muscle pain, cramps and tics.
I like “rabbit food” because it’s a good source of other minerals, plus all the B vitamins. Amazing but true, the Bs also happen to reduce blood pressure, inflammation and heart attack risk. They help your brain produce happy brain chemicals and fewer angry ones. Just remind your son that medicine may mask his symptoms temporarily, but his decline will progress if he doesn’t start grazing on greens like hares do. He needs to replenish some missing, essential nutrients. If he’s up for a second opinion, seek a naturopath, holistic physician or nutritionist to shed more light on the subject.
Did You Know?
Some blood pressure meds are ‘drug muggers’ of melatonin, leading to insomnia: Atenolol, metoprolol, pindolol, propranolol, labetolol, etc.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.