Many of us have taken medication in our day. Some of us take it only occasionally for a specific ailment, while some of us take them for chronic issues.
And while medicine is designed to keep you healthy, it can sometimes be dulled, or worse, by the other choices we make while taking it.
Obviously, side effects are listed along with any prescription, as are warnings about what not to do while on a certain type of medication. And even then, sometimes the side effects can be downright scary, like the asthma medication that inspired suicidal thoughts in a four-year-old.
But did you know that everyday foods can also have an effect on your medication and on your body?
It turns out that certain foods can have unexpected effects when they interact with certain medications inside your body.
And we’re not just talking about junk food, either. This can happen with food that is normally very good for you!
As always, talk to your doctor if any of the below information applies to you and see what they have to say, and if they can come up with a solution that works best for you. It’s always a good idea to consult a professional before making major changes to your diet!
If You Take Blood Pressure Medication…
These medications can increase the amount of potassium in your body.
Normally, potassium is good for you, but if there’s too much of it, it can actually cause more heart complications, including irregular heartbeat and heart palpitations.
Other foods that are high in potassium include leafy greens, oranges, and salt substitutes.
If You Take Cholesterol Medication…
…Avoid Grapefruit And Grapefruit Juice
Grapefruit juice can cause the levels of these medications to increase in your bloodstream, which makes you more susceptible to their side effects, most notable leg pain.
Grapefruit can complicate other types of medication, too, so if you enjoy them and are on medication, talk to your doctor.
If You Take Heart Failure Medication…
…Avoid Black Licorice
Black licorice contains a chemical called glycyrrhizin (we have a hard time pronouncing that, too), which can cause an irregular heartbeat when combined with digoxin, sometimes with serious complications.
Licorice also inhibits the effectiveness of some drugs, including blood pressure meds, blood thinners, pain relievers, and birth control.
If You Take Anticoagulants…
…Avoid Cranberry Juice
Some studies have shown that patients who drink cranberry juice while taking anticoagulants showed dramatic thinning of the blood, which can lead to complications.
If You’re Taking Blood Thinners…
Spinach and other leafy greens containing Vitamin K can interfere with thinners and anticoagulants, making them less effective and increasing the risk of clotting. Kale, broccoli, and other dark green vegetables should be avoided, too.
If You Take Tetracycline Antibiotics…
Dairy’s calcium content can prevent your body from absorbing the antibiotics correctly and, as a result, make them less effective.
In fact, you should take these medications an hour or two before eating to give your body time to absorb everything.
If You Take Medication For Bacterial Infections…
…Avoid Cured Meats
Taking these medications while eating food containing the amino acid tyramine can cause unsafe spikes in blood pressure.
This amino acid is found in food that’s smoked, cured, or fermented, like salami, dry sausage, and processed cheeses.
You can also find it in bananas, avocados, chocolate, and alcohol.
If You Take Thyroid Medication…
Walnuts, along with other high-fiber foods, like soybean flour, can prevent your body from absorbing these drugs properly.
In fact, most doctors recommend taking thyroid medications before bed, so your body has ample time to absorb the chemicals.
As always, every body is different and will react differently, so always talk to your doctor about any effects you may experience, and they can help you personalize your medication intake in a way that’s beneficial for you.
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