In the April 2008 issue of the Harvard Health Letter, researchers explained how seven common conditions can be managed without medication. In many cases, the nonpharmacological approach can do as much or more than pills.
Arthritis: Combine weight loss with exercise, and you may have less pain and more mobility -- especially if the exercise that doesn't put any load on the joints, such as swimming, reduces pain.
Cholesterol: Adding soluble fiber to your diet can reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
Cognitive decline: Memory training can help you stay sharp, and physical exercise can do even more.
Depression: Regular physical activity has a potent antidepressant effect.
Diabetes: Exercise makes muscle more receptive to the insulin, and eating fewer sweets and simple carbohydrates helps control blood sugar levels.
High blood pressure: Lose weight, get more exercise, and eat less sodium.
Osteoporosis: Weight-bearing exercise causes bone tissue to get stronger and denser. Extra vitamin D and calcium are key for your diet.
* Live Science March 25, 2008