“Medicines that Kill” By Dr. James L. Marcum

Book Cover Medicines That KillA caring physician, Dr. Marcum, wrote this book because of the  concern he has that many people swallow pills without knowing what is in them.  He suggests people need to educate themselves about the ingredients and side effects of all medications, both prescribed and over-the-counter.

The doctor is very concerned that people do not realize the dangerous side effects almost every drug has the possibility of causing. Also, some drugs could have side effects that have caused another medication to be prescribed.  That in turn has a side effect that has caused yet another medication to be taken.  He wants to break that chain if at all possible.

Good points are made that some people have been on drugs for a long time, way past the point of needing them.    The doctor suggests that as time passes, people may acquire many medications that are taken on a regular basis.  He wants everyone to review what is taken, why it is prescribed and question whether or not it is still needed.

He has a few basic steps that he would like everyone to try.  As a Christian, he would like everyone to start with getting in touch with God through prayer, Bible reading and meditation.  Water drinking, not other liquids, is something the doctor wants everyone to do daily as well as deep breathing, and starting some sort of movement program–that would hopefully turn into a regular exercise routine.  He also wants people to become partial or complete vegetarians.  Although he said he would like people to reduce their medications, it is clear he would like everyone to be completely off all medications, both prescription and over-the-counter.

I completely agree that people need to be aware of the ingredients and side effects of medications put into their bodies.  It is a very good idea to review what is being taken by themselves or other relatives to see if it is still needed.   Of course, everyone can do themselves some good by making healthier life choices.

However, my concern is that people with chronic or severe problems might try to quit taking something that is really helpful.  Unfortunately, some medications truly are needed.  For example, many people are faced with the choice every day of fighting debilitating pain or getting a small bit of relief.  Eating things high in fish oil and deep breathing have their place, but they cannot always substitute for pain medications or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  The author suggests that people might cut back medications, and endure more pain, in order to lessen the load on the body.  I don’t know how realistic that is for someone who is in enormous pain.

In my opinion, in today’s health care climate, everyone needs to be an advocate or have an advocate to help them question and check every medication and procedure a person might take.  I encourage everyone to attempt to add Dr. Marcum’s habits to their lives, but be aware after doing those things, you might not be able to become drug free.  However, if you are able to do at least one of the doctor’s suggestions, I believe that would make this book worth reading.  I think everyone should read this, and think about what the doctor says.  I give the book 4 stars.

The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through Tyndale Blog Network (Tyndale House Publishers) for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner. Despite my receiving the book free, it has not influenced my judgment, and I have given an honest opinion.

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