Living here in paradise, we have a lot of older people living around us. Issues like medical adherence & compliance have become such a big issue that we have programs in place to accept old and no longer needed meds. They can be a real problem when they end up in the water supply or in the wrong hands during an emergency situation, and lots of drugs get turned in each time. If you have loved ones getting older, it’s important to make sure they stick with their recommended medications for their own health. And if they won’t find out what the root of the problem is.

When it comes to everyday illnesses and conditions such as colds, allergies or diaper rashes – natural remedies can be an efficient and cost-effective solution. But the same is often not true when you develop serious and chronic illnesses, like hypertension, heart disease, or an autoimmune disorder.

Most chronic and serious illnesses have some type of medication and treatment protocol, for someone believes strongly living naturally and avoiding man-made chemicals (including pharmaceuticals), those protocols could conflict with your lifestyle. It may be tempting to go against your doctor’s orders and rely on natural remedies to treat your condition, believing the natural methods are more effective (or, at least, less dangerous). The truth is that not following your medical protocol can have dangerous consequences.

photo credit: psyberartist via photopin cc

photo credit: psyberartist via photopin cc

Medical Adherence and Compliance

When we talk about following your medical protocol, we are really talking about two distinct actions: medical adherence, and medical compliance.

  • Medical adherence is essentially showing up at the appointed time. It’s filling your prescriptions when given, and refilling them on time. It’s going to every scheduled appointment, and making follow-up appointments when required.
  • Medical compliance is actually doing the work. It’s actually taking your medication, as directed by your doctor. It’s doing the exercises, or taking the supplements, or removing certain supplements, or anything else that your doctor recommends.

Medical adherence is often the easier of the two, because once you have talked the talk, you might not have anyone following up to see if you have actually walked the walk. Although, a lot of that is changing. Because of compliance and adherence issues, more doctors are turning to companies like USHealth Group Private to create medication monitoring compliancy programs within their offices.

You may be wondering why medication compliance is such a big deal. After all, if you have a natural program that works, what does it matter if you don’t always take your doctor-prescribed medication, or opt to take other medications instead?


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The Importance of Compliance

One of the biggest problems is that, while it may appear that an alternative is working, that may not actually be the case. For example, if you have a cardiovascular disease, natural remedies may relive some of your symptoms. But they might not effectively treat the actual disease. The fact that your symptoms have decreased could mask the fact that your disease is getting worse.

Not taking your prescribed medication can lead to more frequent, and longer, hospital stays and additional office visits. If your physician in unaware of your non-compliance, it may also cause him to make unnecessary medication changes in an effort to treat your condition.

For these reasons, and many others, it’s important for you to follow your doctor’s orders. However, this does not mean that you are completely powerless.


Your Options

While you should listen to your doctor, your doctor should also listen to you.

If you have reservations about taking a prescription because you prefer natural remedies, you should voice your concerns to your doctor. You might find that your doctor is familiar with different remedies, and may be willing to try the alternative, if your condition is mild enough.

For example, if you have the beginnings of type 2 diabetes, and your blood sugar levels are low enough, you might be able to convince your doctor to let you try managing your condition with diet and exercise for a period of months, before starting drug therapy.

The same holds true if you have unpleasant side effect, or you feel like the drugs aren’t making a difference. If you talk to your doctor, he may be able to resolve the issue by prescribing a different medication, or even working with you to incorporate more natural remedies into your treatment plan.

Also, if your doctor is not willing to work with you, you can find another doctor who will.

The bottom line is that you do have options and, whatever the case, if you have issues with your medication or treatment protocol, you should always try to work with your doctor before you decide to stop complying.