August 02, 2020
Self-medication should only be used for the treatment of mild symptoms. If the discomfort persists for several days, it is necessary to see the doctor.
Dr. Julio Cachay, Internist at the Clínica Ricardo Palma, remembers one of his patients of over 50 years old who was hard to recognize after not seeing him for several years. He had lost noticeable weight, but what stood out the most was that he no longer needed to take the medications he used to take for a long time to control his cholesterol and triglycerides levels: he was a healthier person. His secret during this period: a healthy diet and constant exercise.
Self-care is the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent diseases, and combat them, with or without the assistance of a specialist. According to Cachay, healthy habits and well-informed actions can help prevent 80% and 90% of chronic non-transmissible diseases, such as cardiovascular or respiratory problems, cancer, and diabetes. It is well known that not drinking alcohol, not smoking, eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and maintaining hygiene are essential parts of self-care, but this concept covers more points. One of them is responsible self-medication, which should not be confused with self-prescription.
Self-care implies being well informed. You must be very careful with the use of medications to avoid their abuse. “Currently there is a bombardment of therapeutic options that have not been proven or evidenced, and even the drugs that are effective have their indications. As part of self-care, one must be informed about the benefits and risks of various treatments. Any drug, even the least dangerous like panadol, has the potential to cause side effects. For example, a dose of six 500-milligram paracetamol tablets per day can be toxic”, points out the specialist.
Dr. Julio Cachay
Internist at the Clínica Ricardo Palma,