TURNING POINT: Maintenance

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 13 June) – Now I understand why the meds the seniors take for their hypertension, arthritis, diabetes, asthma and other bodily aches and discomforts are called maintenance medication. The drugs they are taking do not cure but simply manage the disease, if not sustain it.

The toll of long term taking of maintenance drugs complicates body ailments. The drugs have side effects – they damage the kidneys, the liver and some brain cells, or cause insomnia, nausea, swelling of arms and legs, constipation, diarrhea, and other bodily woes and mental issues like anxiety and life-threatening depression, that require more and more drugs to address them.

That is why the retirees among them exhaust their modicum pension in going back and forth to their doctors to secure the prescription for the previous and new additional drugs. Thus, in the remaining years of their twilight years, they keep on going to the drugstores, enriching the big pharma in the process with their collective behavior – their forced slavery or addiction to legal drugs.

Our healthcare system ought to promote prevention of diseases, a way of life from childhood to old age that will avoid drug dependency in securing our health and general well-being. Nothing beats, for instance, proper diets and regular exercise in maintaining a well-functioning body.

In time past, people who ate the produce of their farm and enjoyed the bounty of a healthy environment and walk, rather than ride to their destination, generally lived long.

We may still live longer minus or with lesser aches if the body is regularly cleansed and maintained like a car engine. Of course, the pollution around us may factor in.

Suffice it to say that holistic health education is vital in securing a drug-free life.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)