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Doctors Run When They See Me Coming

I take two medications. One is Armour Thyroid, as I can’t tolerate the usual thyroid medication. The other addresses symptoms of a neuroimmune disease I’ve had for years—allowing me to endure sound and light and stopping the minor seizures I had when I was subjected to those two things. Those meds help me, and I am grateful for them. But the problem is that I can tolerate almost no other medication that doctors have suggested.

Two immunologists have diagnosed me with multiple chemical sensitivity, including to odors and chemicals in most homes. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an exercise in terror, since I can manage to take only a couple of short term, low-dose UTI meds. Other pills make me throw up, break out in hives or rashes, and so on. I drive new specialists crazy, since medications are how they treat things.

Recently, I needed to start taking pancreatic enzymes, since my pancreas has atrophied. The gastroenterologist gave me a sample med with the enzymes in it. I got a fall-to-my-knees headache. I searched the internet for the requisite enzymes in a gelatin capsule—the same enzymes, but with no other chemicals like the usual pills. No problem. The gastroenterologist was thrilled when I next saw him; he wrote down the name of the capsules I’d found, saying some of his other patients could use them, too.

But my questions are these: Why are so many unneeded chemicals added to meds? Why don’t doctors search for alternatives on their own, like my current immunologist does? And worst of all, why do doctors usually not believe me and push me into “just trying” some new pill? It never works. I have to get the symptoms first.

Pris Campbell
Lake Worth, Florida


3 thoughts on “Doctors Run When They See Me Coming”

  1. An additional problem is drug companies don’t want to reveal the “non-active” ingredients in the their pills. It’s proprietary information. That leaves people with sensitivities to certain ingredients at risk, because the fillers used (read: non active ingredients) can include gluten or other allergenic substances. Sometimes the insurance company will only pay for the formulation that includes an ingredient to which a patient is allergic or has a non-allergic bad reaction to. As one patient said “the medication which I have to take to save my life is killing me.” He meant it literally.

    I hope you manage to find doctors and drug companies willing and able to help you. Keep publicizing the problem to help make more medical professionals aware of the problem.

    1. Absolutely. The ingredients are a secret, leaving you in many cases to think you can’t take a med when you’re reacting to the chemicals it’s smothered it. What can we do? I wish I knew.

  2. “Why are so many unneeded chemicals added to meds?” Preach! My daughter is allergic to red dye. Every time she needs either prescription or OTC medicines, this ubiquitous dye crops up, limiting her options.

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