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Proposal for Care

Subject: The Choice between Food and Drugs

Millions of patients are prescribed and pay for their medications. Countless make the uneasy decision to reduce the medications, to go without food, not take the medication, do all three because the costs of medications exceed their financial means. Emergency rooms fill up daily because the proper amount or types of food were not taken with the prescription. Because the Food and Drugs are approved by an agency responsible for pharmaceuticals, it’s time that patient care and nutritional maintenance be part of the equation.
Doctors collect data on medications, but how many are regulating the foods taken with the medications being prescribed? Side effects may often be the result of nutritional interactions, but ingredients in foods are often unrecognizable when read on the labels.
A patient on hypertension medication may be drinking water from their faucets, unaware that the sodium content is too high and creating a constant hypertensive state. A child with asthma, may be experiencing an episode because the chlorine in the water is causing inflammation in the lungs, and still others are on medication and not eating enough only because they are not hungry or due to affordability.
One solution to this problem will be that the Food and Drug Administration mandate a protocol for the proper amount of nutrition for each medication prescribed. A patient may eat something with their pill, but it may not be enough to keep the pill from making them sick.
Another solution is for the pharmaceutical companies, using the FDA guidelines for the nutritional prescription protocol, to provide a voucher to cover the foods needed to properly consume the medications. If a daily pill requires milk, then patients are prescribed a voucher to cover the amount and expense for that milk and only for the patient. The same goes with food. If a medication has to be taken with large amounts of food, a determination of the amount of food for that patient on a specific medication needs to be calculated, and a voucher or card be prescribed to ensure the patient is eating and taking medication properly. Since FDA determines what drugs and what amounts are safe, then FDA should be accountable for ensuring which food containing specific ingredients are safe when taken with prescribed medications. Foods containing stimulants may render certain medications ineffective and result in hostile or violent behaviors, especially for children. A safe amount does not consider size of an individual or medications prescribed. That needs to be regulated.
I propose that legislation and the Surgeon General requires the FDA to provide a nutritional or food voucher along with each medication prescribed. If a patient is on 12 different medications, and each medication requires food, then the voucher must cover the expense including water, juice, or milk. Claims for incurred expenses and reimbursements will be filed with insurance providers as required.
I wear glasses. Everything needed for the care of eyewear is included. If I had a broken bone, I would have the bone reset, stabilized, be given adaptive equipment, and pain medication. For every condition requiring medication, provisions for ensuring safety and proper use need to be affordable and accessible. Without protocols in place, data collected in regard to prescriptions and patient success and failures are flawed. Unless something is done, emergency room visits will increase, the numbers of insurance claims will be elevated, and lawsuits against pharmaceuticals will increase. Food with drugs is a small price to pay. Thank you for your time,
W.B. Gunter

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The Social Gastrointestinal Love Affair

When you think about it, food has been a constant part of our lives. It’s loyal. Food makes a spectacular entrance at every luncheon, celebration, family gathering, and bon voyage. Let’s face it, food is the circle that binds friendships, it’s the economic determining socialite sublimely categorizing cliques. If you want to know about a person, watch what they eat. Wrong or right, you are judged by what you eat.
So, what happens when your appetite shifts? Maybe the dietary needs have changed, perhaps you’ve changed. No problem right? Wrong! There are some stages to exiting the gastrointestinal social lifestyle. First, the inquisition begins, followed by the sabotage, which in some instances can become quite dangerous especially to someone with medical issues. The choices are clear, your health or your food, your friends, traditions, family, culture, or your uncompromising dietary decision. Acceptance or denial, retreat, or move forward. You began to transition long before letting go of the foods you used to love, crave, covet, and dream of tasting. Honestly, food is the last thing to go. It’s been a loyal companion, our thick and thin, ride or die, good times, bad times, bored times, anytime crutch. And like all crutches, the time comes when you have to let go, renew, be strong, and maintain balance.

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