Taking 5+ meds a day and having excessive belly fat is common with aging. But it's not normal. Here's why.

Priscilla Barnes

Your body is meant to function in the perfection that it was created.

Telling yourself symptoms are “normal” is only keeping you from doing what’s necessary to achieve the health and body that you desire.

One of my least favorite terms in the health and wellness industry is, “That’s just a part of aging.”

Newsflash: Just because something is common, does not mean it is normal.

Here are two things that are common as people get older, but let me be a source of truth in your mind that is flooded with lies daily: These things aren’t normal. Nor do they lead to optimal health.

1. Polypharmacy: the use of multiple medications to treat symptoms, and in many cases taking 5 or more medications.

Between 1988 and 2010 prescription medication use doubled. (1.)

“Well, that’s just because people are more sick today than they were back then.”

You got that right! You know what’s not helping?

Taking too many medications.

Nearly 20% of aging adults take ten or more medications a day. Everyday 750 people aged 65 or older are hospitalized due to serious side effects from medication. (2.)

Have you ever paused to wonder, “Why are there so many commercials for medication on TV?”

Because it is a business.

Ironically, during the last 2 decades (the same time frame that the intake of medications among the elderly has doubled), the pharmaceutical industry has noticed significant growth. Shocking!!

Worldwide the pharmaceutical industry is a trillion dollar business. Trillion.

Every time you get medication that you need, someone gets paid.

The more you need medication, the sicker you are, the more money someone makes.

So, it makes you wonder, who actually benefits if you are optimally healthy? Who benefits and makes money if your body functions in the perfection it was created?

Think about it.

Does that mean you should never take medication? Absolutely not!! Thank God for medication!

But, you deserve to understand the reality.

This isn’t a charitable offering of pharmaceutical companies giving away medicine. This is a business.

And who is most at risk? Those who are weak, scared, and suffering the most: aging individuals.

Don’t be like everyone else. Understand side effects to medications you can be prescribed. I’m sure you might need them, but you may not also.

On a personal note, during my dad’s most recent hospitalization, after reviewing the list of meds my dad was on, the ER doctor explained to me why it made no sense for him to be on atorvastatin. (He’s on multiple medications due to an ischemic stroke he suffered years ago and grand mal seizures he has had.)

I’m so thankful for the time and education that doctor gave me. Basically, atorvastatin was an extra medication that he really didn’t need. Given his age and state, it wasn’t worth it, and we were able to discontinue the use of an unnecessary medication.Do you know the side effects of all the medications you are on?

2. Excessive belly fat.

This is something I hear on repeat from clients. 

“I can’t get rid of this belly.”

There are so many ways to dissect that, and it really depends on many aspects of your current age, state, and nutrition, BUT, it isn’t normal.

Here is what is common, though.

The average person, as they age, increases their state of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is also known as pre-diabetes.

As people age, they lose muscle, become more sedentary, don’t eat enough protein, and increase inflammation. All of these things compound to allow them to develop insulin resistance, or, even, Type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance and blood sugar imbalances lead to abdominal weight gain.

But, remember, what’s common, isn’t normal.

You don’t have to sit back and accept that. Change things.

Insulin resistance is reversible with diet and lifestyle.

Did you know that? What’s wrong, you thought you needed more meds? You wanted to be like so many celebrities and people who are not diabetic, but take diabetic medications to lose weight instead of changing their habits? Thus leaving less of the medication for those diabetics who really need it?!?

Anyway, belly fat. It’s a side effect of insulin resistance. So if you don’t want to grow your belly as you age you must do what isn’t common.

You must accept first that it is a result of your actions, not only aging. (and understand that increasing waist circumference is associated with an increase risk for disease, read here.)

If you really want to change, and you’re like my clients, here’s what you must do:

Change nutrition to balance blood sugar and support nutrient deficiencies, increase movement, build muscle, manage stress, and prioritize lifestyle changes like good sleep and time outside.

Meanwhile, the typical American spends more time in front of the TV, more time not moving, more time not building muscle, more time eating food lacking nutrients, and yet…belly fat is just a part of aging…

These are only two small examples of the ocean of lies being fed to aging individuals daily.

Your body speaks to you. Your body was designed to function optimally. No matter your age. 

Whatever health issue, ailment, or concern you might be facing, you might need medication. But, you also, without fail will need nutrition, movement, and lifestyle changes to help, as well. If you’re willing to do so.

Need help? Apply to join Wellness in Bloom today.

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