As a society, we have become comfortable with this cozy, crazy idea that medicine delivery is pharmaceuticals. We think health care means drugs. And we think drugs are safe.

We are more comfortable with getting meds to solve our problems than we are at looking at our lifestyles, food choices, or using nutrients and herbs. In other words, we are more relaxed about putting foreign molecules into our own and our kids’ bodies than we are with common sense.

We are medicalized sheep.

Yet every drug rinses out certain nutrients. Take birth control pills, for example. These pills, used by multiple millions around the globe, rinse B vitamins, zinc, and vitamin C out of the female physiology. Synthetic birth control (all of it is synthetic) is linked with migraines, depression, and inflammatory bowel disease, partly due to creating deficiencies in these nutrients that are critical in protecting diverse tissues throughout the human body. However, women are pretty much never reminded to supplement or replete themselves with these affected nutrients while they are taking birth control measures.

Many medications cause downstream health issues. This phenomenon is called iatrogenia. A commonly prescribed class of meds heads the iatrogenia most wanted list. These are statins.

Statin use has been clearly linked to a statically increased risk of getting Type-2 diabetes, dementia, muscles disorders, fatigue, and now there’s yet one more serious issue to add to this list!

In a large observational study of insured people in the military and their family members, statin use was associated with increasing risk of spinal diseases. These serious back disorders include spondylosis, intervertebral disc disorders, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis. In other words, statins can wallop your spine!

This study, published online May 1, 2017 as a research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that for every 17 individuals who were prescribed a statin, one person developed one of these serious back issues. And if they remained on statins, the duration of these back problems lengthened!

In this analysis, a person on statins had an increased risk of 30% for back disorders, which increased up to 47% in those taking high-intensity statins. While on statins, the duration for how long your back issues keep driving you crazy increased up to 59% if the patient was on statins for over 4 years. The longer you are on statins, the stronger the statins are, the more your risk of ongoing back pain!

Instead of promoting and studying drug-less health care systems like functional medicine, naturopathy, chiropractic, herbs, and other natural answers, straight medicine goes straight for the meds. That’s where the money is. But you, the patient, are often the person who loses out.

Dr. David Brownstein is a colleague and dear friend of mine. Last year he shared on his blog how his board certification exam for his family practice certification was 9 solid hours of testing—mainly on medications. Very little on anything else.

Dr. Brownstein said that he may not keep up his board certification as his functional medicine practice focuses on getting people well with hormones, nutrients, nutrition, and common sense. Not just drugs.

Be bold. Be courageous. Use meds sparingly if you need to use them, with the goal of figuring out the “root cause” of why you are ill in the first place. Aim at eventually getting off the meds once they have served their purpose. Staying on meds for life gives you the false perception that there is nothing else you can do but keep paying for and popping those pills, while the pockets of the Big Pharma get fat.

Knowledge is power. Arm yourself with options and facts to keep you healthy.

As the “repeal and replace” act was passed by the House, there are real concerns, debates, and confusion over health insurance and how it all plays out. And how you will be covered. But the best protection is to keep yourself the healthiest you can, which usually, not always, means keeping yourself off as many pharmaceuticals as possible in the long run.

Also, here’s a huge irony. Intimacy is now proven to be a critical pillar of health. Regular and satisfying intimacy reduces the risk of stroke, heart attack, cancer, and depression. But if your back is hurting, it’s hard to look happily bedroom-ward.  You may be on statins to protect your heart, but the statins may be dinging your back and your intimacy life, which might have more powerfully protected your heart! Check out for free gifts and how to buy my new book – SEXY BRAIN.


JAMA Intern Med. Published online May 1, 2017. Association of Statin Use With Risk of Back Disorder Diagnoses, doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.1068