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Hidden Disruptions In Metabolic Syndrome: Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion As A Pathway To Accelerated Pathophysiology Of Metabolic Syndrome

drug-induced nutrient depletions

James B. LaValle, RPh, MS, ND, CCN / One of the potential challenges facing healthcare professionals today is the problem of drug- induced disease. With polypharmacy prescribing occurring in younger and younger populations, it is becoming increasingly important to assess nutrient depletion risks as they relate to future symptoms, conditions, or progression of disease.

One of the most significant issues facing healthcare in the United States today is the epidemic of individuals with diagnosed obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease or who are exhibiting an increased risk of developing any combination of the 3. Combinations of prediabetic conditions such as elevated blood glucose or fasting insulin levels combined with at-risk lipid profiles, increased blood pressure, and increased waist:hip ratios have been labeled metabolic syndrome or Syndrome X.

Members of the medical community are debating whether this syndrome should exist as its own diagnosis or it is simply a cluster of co-morbid symptoms that are presenting in the population.1 Regardless, the risks to individuals displaying these clusters of symptoms are very real, even if the terminology or classification of the symptoms as a syndrome is yet to be determined. For simplicity, we will refer to the cluster of symptoms as metabolic syndrome, which undeniably is an epidemic in the United States. The American Heart Association estimates that more than 50 million Americans exhibit the constellation of symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Pharmacists are increasingly being called upon not only to streamline pharmaceutical use in patients, they are being asked to participate in the management of diabetes and lipid management as well as other conditions. Part of this management is assessing the overall nutritional status of the patient. In assessing individuals for possible drug-induced nutrient depletions, the prescribed medications may have no known nutrient depletions, but signs and
symptoms of nutrient deficiencies should always be assessed regardless, because many lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking, can contribute to nutrient depletions.
Addressing nutritional deficiencies is not only a foundation to good healthcare, but in a healthcare environment where prevention is increasingly being mandated because of out-of control healthcare costs, it is also a cost-effective way to improve the overall health and well-being of the patient and prevent further co-morbidities.
Read more of Jim Lavalle’s assessment of common nutrient depletions caused by medications and lifestyle, such as magnesium, CoQ10, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid and Melatonin.

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