2% have great med regimens

Are you part of the 2% with a perfect medication regimen? I hope so!

2% have great med regimens
Are you in the 2% with a perfect med regimen or part of the 98% with room for improvement?

After thousands of patients and over 20 years of collecting data, I consistently find that 2% of the patients I see don’t need any medication change.   I hope you are in this esteemed 2%. It means your medication regimen is safe, effective, dosed correctly, and working just as expected for you. You have no unmet health needs. You are doing the things you want to do in your life with no limitations posed by medicine.

A full 2% understand their medications and take them correctly.

How do you know if you’re part of the other 98%?

A medication use specialist reviewing your health plan might uncover any of these things:

  • Your medication is causing a side effect that is impacting your day
  • There is another medication that could have the same benefit without the disruptive side effect
  • Your dose is too low to completely do what it is intended to do
  • Your dose is too high for what you need
  • Your kidneys or liver have changed, so your dose needs to change
  • A medication for one purpose is making another medical condition worse
  • You have a problem that could be treated and no treatment has been started
  • You are not taking the medication that has been prescribed and have not told your healthcare team (doctor)
  • The medication is so expensive you are having to make decisions about what to purchase each month
  • Your medication is not covered by your insurance; another safe and effective option is covered
  • You take your medicine at a time of day that will limit its effect
  • You take your medicine with other medicine or food that will change its effect
  • Your medication is making your dizzy or otherwise increasing your chance for falls
  • Your memory is changing because of your medication
  • The time of day you take your medication is limiting its effectiveness
  • You don’t remember which medication is for which indication
  • You have your medications confused
  • You pick and choose each day which medication to take (when maybe it only works if taken regularly)
  • You are taking a medicine that you no longer need
  • Medications, supplements, vitamins, over-the-counter items, and other things you take aren’t known by your healthcare team, are causing issues or are making you better such that you no longer need some of your prescriptions

What if you’re part of the 98%?

That’s why I do what I do!

The key elements of a Meds MASH health review:

  • Talk about your health goals and hopes
  • Review your health records
  • Review all of your medications exactly as you use them
  • Assess all of your supplements, herbals, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and the things you take just once in awhile
  • Evaluate your falls risk (helpful even if you are an athlete)
  • Evaluate your heart disease risk
  • Evaluate your memory
  • Assess your depression, anxiety, stress levels
  • Prepare you to get the most out of all healthcare visits with your doctor, therapist, or other providers
  • With your permission, share our findings and recommendations with your doctor and healthcare team
  • If you prefer, coach you to share our findings and recommendations with your doctor and healthcare team
  • Help your doctor with prioritizing items and medication titration (very gradually, carefully monitoring changes)

Contacting Meds MASH

A full 98% of people have room for improvement or education with their medications. Nearly ¾ need an actual medication or dose change. Even after I have worked with people for years, about ½ of the time, there is more work to be done. I never make changes all at once. Your health is too important.  Any changes, agreed to by you and your doctor, are made one at a time while we carefully monitor your response.

If you want to know if you are in the 98%, contact Meds MASH today at www.medsmash.com/contact or by calling 410-472-5078 or e-mailing michelle@medsmash.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

This health blog was about the fact that most people have some room for improvement in their medication use.

Isn’t the same true in our life? I know I have a lot of room for improvement!

The sermon at my church today was about patience. I will readily admit that is not my strong suit. God has taught me a lot on this subject throughout my life so far. Like most of you, events have happened that absolutely stopped me in my tracks. All of my plans were out the window. The future was completely unclear. These are the times when we choose to shut down, take over our own planning, or give it all to God’s plan.

Solomon was the king blessed with great wisdom.  He was well aware of the value of waiting on God’s plan.

Proverbs 16:9 ESV

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Proverbs 19:21 ESV

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

As hard as we try to control these things ourselves, we can’t create, accumulate, or lead to the magnificent degree possible through Christ.

You are loved! God wants to guide you through your life according to HIS plan.

Throughout the Bible we have examples of God’s plan going beyond what we can even fathom. Even in terrible times, when people find themselves in dire situations, God has repeatedly demonstrated how He can turn things around.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 ESV

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.

Jesus addressed our tendency to stress out, worry, and try to assume control.

Matthew 6:25-34 ESV

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. …

Ephesians 2:10 ESV

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

How can you improve your life by turning it over more fully to God? He loves you! He has great plans for you! How can you be 100% committed to God and his plan in your life?

Blessings,

Michelle

 

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Triggers – Asthma and COPD

inhaler imageThere are so many things that can bring on an asthma attack making it hard to breath. Some examples are:

  • Perfume
  • Smoke
  • Dust
  • Weeds
  • Pollen
  • Foods
  • Pets
  • Exercise
  • Cool, damp air

People with asthma can go from feeling fine to struggling for breath in just a few minutes.

The same thing can happen to some people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema or chronic bronchitis). Not all people with COPD have an asthma-like component, but some do.

There are medications that can help PREVENT these sudden attacks.   There are also medications that can reopen the airways to TREAT these attacks.

The medications used most often are given by inhalers. This allows the medication to go to the lungs where it is needed without having such a big impact on the rest of the body. This cuts down on side effects.

If you are prescribed inhalers, it is important to take them regularly and as prescribed, especially the ones taken one to times per day.   They are intended to PREVENT these attacks. They will not be helpful if only taken once in awhile during attacks. They need to be taken every single day.

The ones you take as needed should be taken with careful technique. They won’t work if they aren’t used properly. This is harder than it sounds. Be sure your doctor or your pharmacist has shown you step by step how to use your inhalers. Then, show them how you use them to be sure your technique is correct.

One more thing, be sure to always rinse out your mouth and spit out the water after using a steroid inhaler. These inhalers are very effective at preventing attacks, but they can also make it easy to get an infection in your mouth that is painful. Rinsing your mouth after EACH use cuts way down on the risk of this mouth infection.

Inhalers save lives. But they must be taken at the right times and with the right technique.

For more information, contact us at www.medsmash.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Not only are there triggers for asthma attacks, we often have triggers that get us off track on our day and in our spiritual walk. These can be things that distract us, things that confuse us, and often things that make us angry.

What are those topics that you feel so strongly about you just have to chime in to conversations about them? Maybe you can ignore some things and let them slide on by. But, what are the things that you just have to participate in the discussion?

What are the things that make you really angry? What are your hot button triggers that send you into a rage?

We all have them. It’s the way we are ‘wired’. Just as there are medications that can prevent the sudden reaction to asthma triggers, there are steps we can take to reduce our reaction to our life triggers.

First, throughout the Bible we are reminded that anger should be contained.

Ephesians 4:26-27

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.

James 1:19-20 ESV

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Proverbs 29:11 ESV

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Proverbs 19:11 ESV

Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.

Proverbs 15:1 ESV

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 15:18 ESV

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.

There are at least 60 verses in the Bible dealing with anger management. James sums up the instruction well:

James 4:1-2 NIV

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.

Take time to consider and identify your triggers. Again, we all have them. Then, take them to God to help you avoid them or handle them with grace rather than anger.

Blessings,

Michelle

Image credit: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services