Children on Prescription Drugs

Healthy Lifestyle First, Drugs Last!

Some childhood illnesses, such as earache and gastrointestinal distress, respond well to chiropractic care. Claudia Anrig is a Fresno chiropractor who specializes in pediatric chiropractic.  Kudos to her for pulling together the following information about children on prescription drugs.  She cites a Wall Street Journal article from December 2010, which reported about one in four children, and 30 percent of adolescents are taking medication for a chronic condition in the United States.  The most commonly prescribed drugs are for non-insulin-dependent diabetes and high cholesterol.  There was also a great increase in the number of children being prescribed treatments for heartburn and acid reflux disease.

Are you thinking what I am thinking?  That maybe these kids aren’t being given an adequate diet full of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich whole grains?  I agree, but there is more to it.   The side-effects of some of these newly popular drugs are worse than the original problem.  For example, Seroquel, an antidepressant newly approved by the FDA for prescribing to children, lists side effects which include “large or rapid weight gain” and “signs of diabetes.”   What we are seeing here is a model for health care in which some children (those whose parents acquiesce and allow their child to be prescribed medications heretofore untested on the pediatric population) are going to arrive into adulthood in very poor shape.    Once into adulthood, the number of Americans on prescription drugs rises to 48 percent of the population, making prescription drugs a $300 billion a year industry.

Nobody is saying that chiropractic care alone can normalize a child’s weight, cholesterol or blood sugar.  But responsible chiropractors like Claudia Anrig  help people conceptualize building a healthier lifestyle through good diet, exercise, bodywork, and family and community ties.  For more pediatric articles by her, go to her website. Prescriptions should be a last resort, not the first thing that comes to mind when we think of childhood.

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