Modern medicine has advanced our society in numerous ways. Diseases and conditions that existed decades ago have been effectively treated or in some cases cured due to our advancement in medicine and science. One factor that is still being discovered with our advanced medicine is long-term effect. We still don’t quite know exactly the long-term effect of these drugs on patients that take them over a long period of time.
Recently, doctors found a link from insomnia and anxiety drugs to Dementia. The study finds that seniors who take these type of drugs known as benzodiazepines (e.g. Ambien, Halcion, Klonopin, Restoril, Valium, and Xanax) run the risk of developing Dementia. The intent of these drugs is for short-term use. The problem is that many of them can become habit-forming, causing long-term use.
It’s important to point out that these studies found an association and not a cause. Most experts agree that these drugs are probably safe to take for a short period of time but warns seniors should try to avoid them at all cost. The group of seniors that were studied, found that 32% had measurable memory loss and difficulty thinking. Doctors did take into account other factors that cause reduced brain function in seniors such as age, living alone, depression, diabetes, etc.
Doctors are advising for elderly people with sleeping problems or depression to seek alternatives to benzodiazepines. I think that these studies put an even brighter spotlight on monitored healthcare. It’s important to be properly diagnosed and treated but it’s equally important to monitor and observe during the treatments. All to often healthcare in our society tends to be like a drive through window at a fast food restaurant. People want their medicine and they want it fast. I believe that it’s important to take time and find the underlying causes for problems and if they cannot be solved without medicine then and only then look at drug options.
If you are seeking solutions to your healthcare issues, you should find a trustworthy physician that has your best interest in mind. Do your homework. Find out about your doctor. Interview your doctor. Ask about their philosophy on diagnosis, treatment, and medicine. This is your life and your health at stake. Leave no stone unturned.
If you need a doctor in Nashville, TN to review your overall health, don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment with our office online.
Here’s to your health
Dr. K. Bennett