Can Your Diet Affect Your Medication?
Last Edited: April 2nd, 2012

There is no debating the power our diets have on our health. From eating the wrong foods that lead to weight gain to eating antioxidant-rich foods that can protect us against cancer, what we eat is a primary factor in how healthy or unhealthy we are.

Millions of Americans take medication because of weight-related health issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. But when it comes to taking medication, there are a few foods that can reduce or increase the efficacy of the active ingredients in the drug.

One for instance is grapefruit. Loaded with Vitamin C and a good source of fiber, Vitamin A and potassium, grapefruit is a highly nutritious fruit. But when this citrus super star is taken in conjunction with certain medications, the drug can build up in your system leading to a possible overdose. Medications that carry this risk are some statin medications, certain sedatives, antihistamines and other heart medications. Birth control pills can also have a similar effect.

In addition, when coffee or espresso is taken with some thyroid medications, it can lead to reduced absorption of the medication. The effect though can be avoided by simply taking your medication at least one hour apart from enjoying your morning coffee.

Individuals who take certain weight loss medications are also advised to avoid from eating high fat foods. Eating a greasy meal can lead to a number of uncomfortable digestion problems.

If you are concerned about your diet and its effect on your medication, speak to your doctor or pharmacist. For the most accurate evaluation, consider keeping a food journal for a few days so that your medical provider can get a feel from what your normal diet looks like, and can then make recommendations based upon your regular eating habits.

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