By Damilola Faustino
It is typical in Nigeria to feel your temperature and prescribe a drug for yourself. In fact, most Nigerian mums are natural doctors and nurses. They always know the drug to attack every symptom, including heartbreak! But here’s how to know when not to self-medicate:
Dangerous to your health
When you self-medicate, the only objective is to feel better in the moment. As a result, you may not be aware of the dangers associated with the consumption of certain substances. Both legal and illegal drugs can have dangerous side effects and long-term consequences to your health.
Many of the substances that people use to self-medicate are addictive. Even substances that are not physically addictive may cause a psychological dependence. For example, many of those who use painkillers to self-medicate ultimately become dependent on it whenever they have a headache.
Causes eating disorders and obesity
Some people self-medicate with food. This is a temptation for those that feel better after eating comfort foods such as ice cream and other sweets or may simply feel emotionally satisfied by eating large meals. This is a potentially unhealthy and dangerous habit. Most of the foods people consume to feel better emotionally are fattening and unhealthy.
Masking of a severe illness
Popping in pills to deal with symptoms could mask signs of a more severe condition, thus delaying appropriate treatment and in some cases spelling irreversible damage.
You may not get the dose right
A certain amount of dose is necessary for a particular illness and you may not know the right dose because the drug is not recommended. A wrong dose may lead to complications and may also lead to prolonged recovery. Overdose also carries with it the dangers of the internal organs getting affected.
You become immune
When you abuse antibiotics, chances are that your body becomes immune to them, which means they no longer work for the illnesses they used to work for and so your simple problems escalate into bigger ones where the Doctor has to find an uncommon solution to your common problem.
So stay away from self prescription. Just call a doctor or a pharmacist!
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