Do you take meds? Lots of meds? Get a new Rx every time you go to the doctor? If so, you’re just one of the many. I would say that out of the average 20 or so reports I do on a daily basis, 100+ per week, at least two-thirds of those patients are on over TEN (10) meds. Hard-core, heavy duty, mess-up-your liver-kind of meds. Probably meds that they don’t really need (conditions could be improved with lifestyle modifications) or to treat side effects from other meds that they are taking (heartburn, constipation, etc.).
To me, this is incredibly scary. I think it’s a WAY bigger threat to our national health and “security” than having another plane fly into a skyscraper somewhere. But, on the whole, everyone just calmly accepts their doctor’s word to “take this medication and you’ll be better”. Yeah, right.
I’ll give you two examples, one from my work, and one from my own personal experience.
First – work. On Saturday I did a report on an older gent (60+) who came into the emergency room for a fall or some other accident (don’t remember exactly). Turns out, he had not been to a doctor in 20 years. Oh, my GOD, call the health police! He’s going to DIE. He’s not on MEDS! Dear Jesus, he’s a walking time bomb!
This man’s cholesterol (no docs, no MEDS) was 165. That’s like damn-near PERFECT. Hallelujah! and pass the butter beans. BUT, because his LDL (so-called “bad” cholesterol) was 88 instead of the “goal” of 70 (that “goal” used to be under 100, but since 100 is achieveable without MEDS, “they” lowered it), THEY PUT HIM ON A STATIN DRUG. Now, if you know ANYTHING about statins, you will know that they will destroy your liver. They also can cause intense and unexplained muscle pain (for which the doc will then prescribe some kind of heavy duty pain killer, which will make you constipated, and he’ll prescribe a high-strength laxitive, and on it goes…) and other serious “side effects”. I am CONVINCED that the short time my mother took statins took time off her life at the end. She took them only for a little while. They made her feel horrible, and she stopped taking them AMA (Against Medical Advice–call the cops!!). Then, she talked to one of the nurses in her doctor’s office, and this nurse said that she had done her own informal survey, and her findings were that for every point that the statin drugs lowered cholesterol in her experience, the incidence of CHF (congestive heart failure) went up. Which is what my mom had at the end.
Read Dr. Atkins. Read any number of diet books written by doctors. Cholesterol IS NOT THAT BAD! I would be WAY less worried about having high cholesterol than having high blood sugar.
So, here they have this pretty healthy man who has managed to stay out of the the grips of “modern medicine” (i.e. rampant drug prescribing) for 20 years, and now they’ve got him. If he’s lucky, he won’t be able to “afford” his prescription and he’ll toss it when he gets home. Or he’ll take one month’s worth and not return to the doctor. Otherwise, he’s probably going to be on a downward spiral and in a year or so he’ll be on 10 or more meds and wondering why he feels so horrible.
Second example: Me. Went to the doctor to have my foot looked at after I got home from Spain (October 2007). The PA was this girl about 30, weighed at least 15 pounds and when she took my BP it was high. Took it a 2nd time. It was high. “You, ” she pronounced, “have high blood pressure.” Umm, well, maybe TODAY I do. She had never seen me before, had hardly reviewed my chart (which BTW up to that day showed perfectly NORMAL [whatever that is] BPs). Nope, she just makes her pronouncement and then starts to say that she’s going to write a prescription. I stopped her right there. I told her flat out I would NOT take BP meds. NOT. There ensued a rather uncomfortable moment. She went on to look at my foot and asked how I hurt it. I went on to explain I had just walked 250 miles across Spain. She looked at me like I was from Mars. I wanted to say “Fat women can be active, too, you know!” But I figured I had done enough damage to whatever patient/PA “relationship” we would have, so I kept quiet. Then she went on to do a cursory exam. In the course of this she said something else about the BP, “…but since you’re not going to do anything about it…”
Oh no. She did NOT say that. But she did. This time I couldn’t keep quiet.
“No,” I said, “I did NOT say I wasn’t going to do anything about it. I SAID I would not take BP meds. They are two COMPLETELY different things.” After that, she just shut up and paid attention to my foot. Diagnosis: Metarsalgia, or “metatarsal pain”. Thanks, that’s a big help!
See, the pressure is SO STRONG to take these things. It’s not PEER pressure, it’s DOCTOR pressure and behind that is PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURER pressure. The drug companies push the docs and the docs push the meds and if the poor patient doesn’t have the strength of Samson (and some inside knowledge) they just roll over and swallow the poison. I mean, stand up to a DOCTOR??? DOCTORS know everything, don’t they? (Apologies to my doctor friends. I know you do fabulous jobs, but I’m on a rant here!)
Okay, yes, drugs have saved many, many lives in the case of infectious disease and similar situations. But restless LEGS? “Overactive” BLADDER? Those things are not life threatening and may even be MADE UP by the drug companies in order to sell the medications they have spent so much money on “tailoring”. Please.
Do some research. Figure out how to stay off the “maintenance” medications for cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Go for a walk. Do some yoga. Breathe. Remember that whatever “condition” they say you have, you didn’t get it over night, so a little pill isn’t going to fix it that quickly.
You have the power to heal yourself. We all do. Don’t turn that power over to people and companies whose main thoughts are how much money can be made off your compliance with a “medication regimen”.
Here endeth the rant.
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