by Stephanie Chambers

iStock_000005676031 a woman taking pillsThe medical profession is doing their best in trying to keep us all healthy, and I am very glad that hospitals will be there if I ever have a major accident. But the pharmaceuticals prescribed are very costly and are often based on clinical research trials that are often far from complete. So, we end up being the guinea pigs ourselves, sometimes with dire consequences.

A lot of the research has been conducted on men, not women

Many clinical trials of medications and other treatments are conducted on men rather than women.

Alyson McGregor, in her TED talk, explained how many of the medicines we take, including common drugs like sedatives such as Zolpidem and painkillers like aspirin, were only ever tested on men (and before that, male rats and male cells). We don’t know if women might experience unknown side effects that could be serious or possibly even fatal.

A recent study showed that 80 percent of the drugs withdrawn from the market are due to side effects on women. So, they get to market without being tested on women, and then have to be withdrawn from sale because women have bad side effects when they take them.

Men and women have very different physiologies, different hormones and so on. But the scientists doing the research found it easier to just test males.

As Noel Bairey Merz pointed out in her TED talk, most research on heart disease has been conducted on men, not women, even though more women die of heart attacks than breast cancer. Women appear to have different heart attack symptoms than men and need different tests to identify them. If they just have the standard “men’s heart attack” tests at the hospital emergency ward, nothing shows up, and they often get sent home being told that it might just have been gas. Then, later, they have the second and fatal heart attack and die.

You may be interested to know that there are essential oils that have traditionally been used for high blood pressure and arrhythmia. See Essential Oils For High Blood Pressure and Essential Oils For Arrhythmia for more details.

More awareness of these gender differences is increasing, and hopefully future medical research won’t be so one-sided. Meanwhile, many medications that are currently for sale may not have been tested on your gender, if you are female.

They don’t know what will happen when you take more than one medication at a time

As Russ Altman explained in his recent TED talk, research by his team showed that taking one type of cholesterol medication with one type of anti-depressant caused a significant increase in blood glucose levels, and thus increased the risks associated with diabetes.

There are numerous combinations of other medications that have not been tested and probably never will be tested because they are too numerous to test. So every time you end up taking more than one medication, your risks of getting an unknown side effect substantially increases. And of course, each medication itself comes with a long list of possible side effects.

What Can You Do?

Natural treatments like herbs, aromatherapy and so on generally produce fewer side effects. If you are taking pharmaceutical medications, you have to check whether they can react with the natural treatments. Research hasn’t been conducted on many of the natural approaches because they don’t have large pharmaceutical industries behind them to help sponsor this research. Of course, the argument could be made that we also don’t know if there are any risks to using more than one natural treatment at a time either. This is true. So what can you do?

You have to learn the skill of being self-referral. You have to close your eyes and feel what is happening to your body and note if it changes depending on the treatment you are trying. This is also what we recommend you do when applying most Amrita Aromatherapy products like Headache Roll-On Relief and so on.

There are techniques you can use to help you in this endeavor. For example, you could learn to take your Ayurvedic pulse. This is different to the normal pulse, but instead refers to sensing Vata, Pitta and Kapha body types in the quality of your pulse under three fingers you hold on your wrist. It does take some time to master this skill, as the pulse changes depending on the time of day, whether you have just eaten, and so on. But once you have become used to it, you will notice changes after only a few moments of feeling your pulse. You can do this after you try various treatments, medical or alternative, and notice what happens to your pulse and whether it becomes more balanced or not.

What have your experiences been with medications? Have you noticed any differences because of your gender? Have you found being self-referral helped you to decide on the best treatment? Please share your comments below so all can benefit.


Disclaimer: The statements made on this page have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. If a condition persists, please contact your physician or healthcare provider. The information provided is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.