Do I have to take drugs?

One of the most common things I get asked is:  ‘Do I have to take drugs?’

It is an understandable question as medications can have side effects. It is natural to not want to take strong drugs with potential for side effects.

I understand this. If there were an option in health care that did not involve the risk of side effects that was guaranteed to keep me healthy, I would be considering that favourably.

In appreciation of this, I have searched far and wide for things that can support the body when there are Rheumatological conditions. However, what I have found is that there is nothing that supports the body as well as medication when you have a condition such as inflammatory arthritis or an autoimmune connective tissue disorder. Of course other things can certainly additionally support the body’s health such as diet, supplements and lifestyle changes, but

what I have found is that when the condition is serious, such as with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Lupus, medications are needed as the best possible support for the body.

If there was a guaranteed cure for arthritis or autoimmune connective tissue diseases that did not involve medications with a need for regular blood test monitoring and risk of side effects, I guarantee you that I would be packing up my shingle as a Rheumatologist and offering whatever it is that worked better!

As I have not found that, I continue to provide Rheumatological services. I see that what we offer really helps people with their physical conditions.

That said, there is always a choice when it comes to taking medications and there is never a ‘have to’.

There is always the choice:

  • To do something – i.e take the medication
  • To do nothing – i.e do not take the medication
  • To do something different i.e not take the medication and explore other avenues.

You are under absolutely no obligation to follow your doctors ‘orders’.

Doctors are there to offer our expertise, and our experience, and professional wisdom, to provide you with information to support you in your decision making. We are your ‘consultants’ who have gathered expertise in our fields in order to be able to give you the best possible advice and information and guidance in your health care, but after that, the choice is always yours what you do with that information.

The choice is yours.

I recommend considering things, reading about the medications and having a talk with your Rheumatologist, your GP and whoever else you feel that you need to support you in your decision making.

Its important to make sure that the choice to take medications is what you want to do.