I was recently given the opportunity to receive a copy of Ross Pelton's book, The Pill Problem, to read and review. As a former user of birth control pills, I was curious to read what he had to say on the subject. All pharmaceuticals go through rigorous testing and tight controls, and the pill is no exception. Sometimes it is only after years of use do side effects come to light. This driving force behind this book was to share these side effects and how they can be corrected. I was surprised by some of the side effects Mr. Pelton discusses, while some were of no shock to me.I used various oral contraceptives for 20 years and experienced many of them firsthand, including one that he does not address in his book.
The Pill Problem is a well written book that is easy to read and understand as it addresses the many side effects of oral contraceptives. Some of these problems, such as migraines and blood clots, are fairly well known. Others, such as depression and birth defects, are not as well publicized. While most of the side effects of the pill are well known, we are rarely told what the actual cause of the problem may be. We are also never told what we can do, as women, to combat these problems. Mr. Pelton delves into the causes of these side effects and provides us with the knowledge needed to take control of our health. Surprisingly, the root cause of many of the side effects of taking the pill is simply nutrient depletion. For example, blood clots are a well known side effect of pill usage but how many of us know why? Those of you "in the know" realize it is magnesium depletion, but most of us don't know the root cause of the problem. Mr. Pelton's advice for combating them is to increase magnesium intake, especially if you are already taking calcium supplements. Numerous other side effects are discussed throughout the book, including:
- Fatigue/low energy/anemia
- Blood clots
- Birth defects
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Cancer, specifically breast, uterine and colon cancers
- Weakened immune system
- Sleep disorders
- Yeast infections
- Fluid retention/weight gain
- Sexual issues
- Free radical damage/accelerated aging
While the list of side effects is extensive, it is important to realize that not all women will suffer from all effects and the severity will vary from person to person. Mt. Pelton advises that all women taking birth control pills eat a diet rich in whole grains, non-processed carbohydrates and healthy protein (pasture raised beef, cage free chicken), take a high potency nutritional supplement and add additional supplements as needed. Active folic acid, B6, B12, C, magnesium, selenium, zinc, coenzyme Q10 are especially important.
I found this book to be a very eye opening read and highly recommend it to every woman who is taking the pill, whether she is suffering from any noticeable side effects or not. The information provided by Mr. Pelton is easy to understand and can help put us in control of our lives again instead of silently suffering. I only have two complaints regarding this book: the author does not approach the side effect of cyclical vomiting syndrome (a relatively rare condition and one that has many causes) and he does not offer healthier birth control options for women who decide to discontinue use of the pill after reading his book.
About the Author
Ross Pelton has 30 years of experience in the fields of health and nutrition. He is a pharmacist, clinical nutritionist, health educator and author. He has written ten books and is believed to be the leading authority on drug induced nutrient depletion and its side effects.