IS THE GOAL TREATING OR CURING DISEASE?

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As a patient, what is your intention when visiting your doctor? Do you want a diagnosis? Do you want to know what caused your condition? Do you want to know what measures you need to take to avoid the condition from returning or advancing? Finally, do you want a prescription? √√√ If you are not offered a prescription, do you feel your money was wasted on the visit?

If you said YES to wanting the prescription, what makes you think this adds value to the visit? Are you more interested in treating SYMPTOMS or CORRECTING UNDERLYING PROBLEMS? Do you believe most prescription medications FIX chronic problems or help MAINTAIN them? Do you care if the doctor intends to keep you on prescription medications for the rest of your life?

The reason I ask all these questions is because I have observed (as a physician) the average consumer’s way of living. They no longer concern themselves with the “details” and rely on licensed health care “professionals” to do what they believe is in their (the patient’s) “best interest.” There are NO CHECKS AND BALANCES in this relationship. The doctor says, “do it,” and the patient is expected to comply.

Since the prescription is perceived as the VALUE, let’s evaluate 1 drug (HUMIRA) and see if the same perception exists after I present the case from the DRUG COMPANY’S PERSPECTIVE AND EXPERIENCE.

At the end of this post is a commercial that is 61 seconds long. 26 seconds (42.62%) of this commercial is dedicated to expressing the damaging side effects this drug HAS CAUSED. Since the commercial goes by so fast, I will provide the 26 seconds for you:

“Humira can lower your ability to fight infections including Tuberculosis. Serious and sometimes fatal infections and cancers including lymphoma have happened as have blood, liver and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions and new or worsening heart failure. Tell your doctor if you’ve been to certain areas where fungal infections are common. If you’ve had Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B or are prone to infections or have flu like symptoms or sores, don’t start Humira if you have an infection.”

This drug is used to provide SYMPTOMATIC relief from rheumatoid arthritis. It works by reducing inflammation TEMPORARILY. Reducing inflammation slows down damage to the joints (a good thing.)

Let’s look at the RISK/REWARD scenario:

POSITIVES:

  1. Temporarily reduces inflammation and pain in the joints.

NEGATIVES:

  1. Lowers ability to fight everyday infections. This means you might be sick more frequently requiring additional prescriptions to treat those infections.

  2. This medication has also caused, “Serious and sometimes fatal infections and cancers including lymphoma.” This would require further medical evaluation including diagnostics, likely hospitalization as well as additional prescriptions. It would also likely affect the quality of living.

  3. It also has caused blood, liver and nervous system problems. This too, would require further medical evaluation including diagnostics, likely hospitalization as well as additional prescriptions.

  4. Allergic reactions. This would likely include emergency hospital or urgent care visits (outpatient) as well as additional prescription medications.

  5. New or worsening heart failure. This would entail hospitalization, new patient cardiology follow up, new prescription medications (likely lifetime) and a reduction in quality living.

Since rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune condition causing inflammation and connective tissue damage, removing inflammatory conditions from one’s life would simply make sense. This is why many people with this condition use tumeric, ginger and EPA/DHA omega 3 fish oil. These products naturally reduce systemic inflammation. They also change their diets to mediterranean or vegetarian style eating which also reduces inflammatory pathways in the body. Even John Hopkins recommends:

All individuals, and especially those with RA, should make efforts to consume a well-balanced diet, full of nutrient-dense foods and limited in additives and processed foods.”

The VALUE we place on pharmaceutical drugs in many cases is unjustified. In the case of Humira, the consumer doesn’t even believe the REAL DANGERS the drug causes. These dangers are real enough that the drug company’s spend 42.62% of their advertising dollars on the side effects ALONE in this commercial to protect themselves from liability.

This is just one of thousands of drugs I randomly chose to demonstrate the RISK/REWARD “VALUE.” It offers further proof the GOAL is “treating” rather than “curing” disease and other chronic health problems. New drugs are released on the market regularly, but society continues to LACK EVIDENCE of being healthier as a result.

Living longer does not mean living healthier.

.

Pharmaceuticals certainly have a place in health care, but the current system abuses this role by prescribing drugs for nearly every condition that walks into the doctor’s office. I hope this creates a new level of awareness the next time you decide to visit your doctor. Unless your condition is an emergency, pharmaceuticals are unlikely the best FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE.

I included the commercial for your viewing below. You will notice it portrays a “habitat for humanity” style video minimizing the viewers attention to the dangerous side effects I listed above.

Maybe it’s time to start regaining CONTROL of your health by looking for safer, healthier options you’re not being told exist!

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25 comments

  1. Amen, Doctor Jonathan. I feel the same way about the drugs that supposedly restore memory for seniors. The Previgen one is particularly bothersome. In the case of mental declines, the answer is so often exercise, something that is natural and makes no money for big pharma.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems in health care, if it doesn’t make money it is either discouraged or discredited frequently. Until the consumer is ready and willing to value their own lives; until they are willing to become ACTIVE participants and assume the responsibility needed for restoring and maintaining good health, the health care system will gladly provide PILLS for PROFIT as “solutions.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A thoughtful and thought provoking post. One of my favorite topics.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s one of my favorite topics too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve missed your writing, life has been crazy busy for me lately and I’m just getting time to catch up now. This article is the PERFECT first read for me to get back to. For the past 10 years I have had SERIOUS issues with general practitioners and their constant desire to prescribe a pill for any and all ailments.
    I have a perfect example: When I was in my late teens I was put on birth control pills to reduce my acne. Not long after I became seriously depressed and suicidal. I went to the doctor and he put me on antidepressants. After a couple of years I got tired of being on pills, and was extremely worried about their long term effects on my health. Without consulting my doctor (though I’m not necessarily advocating this) I took myself off both the birth control pills and the antidepressants. The result? Well I certainly wasn’t depressed, I was actually happier and felt far more lucid in my day to day life. A little while later I went back to my GP (on a unrelated matter) and told him about my experience. Only then did he decide to tell me that it was highly possible that the birth control pills he had prescribed me were causing my depressive state, seeing as now, without them, I was fine.
    This situation is what instigated my distrust in the current medical system. I started seeking out alternative medicine and visiting doctors of naturopathy and osteopathy as opposed to GP’s. It’s just a shame that these alternative therapies are not covered by your Health Care System (as a Canadian), and they end up being quite costly so unfortunately it’s not something that everyone has access to.
    Another fabulous article!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story. Comments on these articles are as important as the messages I share. They show the world the reality of people’s experiences and convert my “academic solutions” into REAL WORLD RESULTS. Using this form of social media, my goal is to share viable alternative solutions that do not necessarily conflict with budgetary concerns. Many answers can be found if a person makes the conscious decision to modify lifestyle choices. I provide (AT NO COST) information to challenge and consider for personal use. Those choosing to do so, overwhelmingly, have been pleased with the results. It comes down to the concept, “It’s All About Choices!”

      Like

  4. A great read, as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on disue.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am blessed to have a GP whose first priority is preventative medicine. (Diet and exercise first). Medications are prescribed if absolutely necessary (including antibiotics), and at the lowest dose possible. Dr. Patel has even mentioned in Wales, there were certain sicknesses they had you “fight through” for the immune systems sake.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like you found yourself a good doctor!
      “Germs” are NOT THE ENEMY! A HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM is designed to combat common germs we’re exposed to all the time. It is only when WE CREATE imbalances to weaken it (ex. poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, high stress levels, etc…) that opportunistic “germs” create symptomatic disease.

      As we address the ROOT CAUSES for this weakening of our immune systems, health is RESTORED. Even when antibiotics are indicated it must be understood they DO NOT restore health and function to our immune systems. Restoring a healthy microbiome to the “gut” as well as addressing the other vital components to achieving good health restores optimal immune function.

      Like

  7. I SO agree with this post! I have been saying for YEARS how insane our health system is. Practically any ailment that comes up,requires a prescription, or treatment that only treats the SYMPTOMS. People have been on the SAME medication for YEARS without ANY resolve…its pure insanity & GREED. They don’t want people to be cured, per then they wouldn’t make any money.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my opinion (as a physician) I truly believe doctors’ educations are so deeply ingrained in pharmaceutical intervention, they have lost the ability (in many cases) to objectively address challenges with conventional thinking. It would require them to dynamically GROW and discover NEW REALITIES to addressing HEALTH IMBALANCES. Slowly, more and more people are challenging the “DISEASE CARE MODEL” and are choosing viable healthier alternative approaches to restoring and maintaining GOOD HEALTH. In time, they will be forced to adapt and change.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your perspective on this post. From my personal experience, patients who ask questions are problematic or non-compliant. We are looked down upon for not having the level of education of the doctor. It is as if we are just suppose to shove those pills or injections in our bodies and not say a word. Reading your post helps restore some of my trust in doctors. I have been a patient and worked in healthcare for many years. My experiences have shown me more of an ugly side. Healthcare, in my opinion, is just a money driven industry. As for patients, it is as if we don’t want to assume any responsibility for OUR OWN HEALTH. I have family members and friends who are content with taking whatever prescription they are given and are not willing to change any aspect of their lives to correct the problem. It sometimes seems as if no one (doctor/ patient) is interested in treating the cause……which is usually a nutrient deficiency.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are not educated from a young enough age to truly understand the impact we have on our health by living unhealthy lifestyles. We are trained to go to doctors when we “break down” and take their drugs to “heal” us. This is the way our society views disease/dysfunction and healing. As you intuitively point out, this promulgates the business model in health care. It becomes a “revolving door.” The consumer lives a lifestyle of their own choosing, suffers the consequences and then seeks the “wisdom” of their physicians and their arsenal of prescription drugs to “fix” the problem. IT DOESN’T WORK! It temporarily BAND-AIDES problems while CREATING OTHERS. People need to learn that healthy lifestyle choices are ESSENTIAL and NOT DISCRETIONARY for GOOD HEALTH and QUALITY LIVING. There is NO DRUG that replaces this personal responsibility.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well said….thank you for sharing REAL and BENEFICIAL life saving information!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Always a pleasure.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on Sewloveable and commented:
    Is your doctor really interested in getting you well???

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this message!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I couldn’t agree more – great post as always Jonathan.

    Like

    1. This was the second comment from you that landed in the spam folder. I am so sorry this continues to happen. I hope you realize how much I appreciate you taking your time to read the articles I write. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Very interesting article. I wish, it was possible to get the usual doctors and the alternative ones to work more together. It would help us, who really need the help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Quality doctors (regardless of training and or specialty) typically have the same goal in mind. They want to make certain their patients achieve THEIR desired goals. Whether this means consulting with other practitioners or referring patients altogether, quality doctors do what’s right for the patient. Any doctor unwilling to place their patient’s interests above their own, isn’t worth having as a provider. Patients that (respectfully) explain this point of view quickly discern the GOOD from the BAD!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Long ago, I knew an RA sufferer who was bedridden in severe pain. That was before Humira AND before knowledge of the effects of diet on chronic inflammation. If (and ONLY if!) dietary adjustments fail to bring relief, somebody suffering now as much as my acquaintance did then might well decide that the benefits of something like Humira were worth the risks. As U so cogently argue, the Rx pad cannot substitute for an unhealthy lifestyle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly believe pharmaceutical medications have a role in the health care system. I also believe conflicts of interest have lead to abuses in practices resulting in unnecessary and over prescribing of medications.

      Liked by 1 person

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