Monday, 19 February 2007

Just say NO to drugs...

Do you know what the Number One killer is in this country? It's not heart disease or cancer or car accidents - it's pharmaceutical drugs. Thousands of people die from taking their medication - it might be the wrong one for them, they may have been prescribed the wrong dosage, they may be taking two or more that interact dangerously, they may have misread the tiny print on the label...

Just in the last couple of weeks, my aunt and my mother-in-law have been in hospital in the UK. My aunt collapsed, managed to call an ambulance, and while in the hospital had her medication dose halved. My mother-in-law had a virus, then started vomiting even after liquids, was taken to hospital where they changed her medication because it was causing more problems than it solved. After 5 days she was sent home, but is still in bed, "listless" according to her husband.

I used to joke that my mother-in-law rattled - when she'd come for a visit, she'd be taking pills for high blood pressure, diuretic pills, aspirin to "thin her blood" and god knows what else. Unfortunately, it's no joke.

Have you seen those ads in magazines where they tell you about a new miracle drug that'll "cure" some symptom - which is followed by two pages of miniscule print telling you all the side effects that you MIGHT suffer if you take that drug. In my opinion, it's not worth the risk.

Why do people put so much faith in doctors? They go to the doctor, complain about a symptom, the doctor gives them a pill. They take the pill, the symptom goes away and they think they are cured. Ah, but then they start suffering from something else, and they need another pill. There's one major problem with this - the pill only covers up the symptom and doesn't treat the underlying cause.

My father is another example. He had "high blood pressure" for which he was prescribed a drug to lower his blood pressure. Years later, he is told he is diabetic - and that the drugs he's been taking are now known to CAUSE diabetes.

The only way to get well is to find out WHY you're ill in the first place. Do doctors spend time with you asking lots of questions about your lifestyle? NO. They just give you drugs.

Last year, I went to see a naturopath. I was having some mid-cycle bleeding that was becoming a concern. I was asked to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire and she spent an HOUR with me talking about my health. A liver cleanse was suggested, so I spent a month taking herbal capsules and eating a raw food diet and I haven't had any such bleeding since. What would a GP have recommended in the five minutes he or she would have spent with me? Probably something drastic that involved drugs or surgery.

We HAVE to take responsibility for our own health. If we put crap in our bodies, then we're going to feel like crap. If we drink soda or chlorinated or fluoridated water, eat white bread, white sugar, fried foods, candy, artificial additives and the other packaged garbage that passes for food these days, we're going to get sick. If your body is telling you that something is wrong, start with the obvious. Think about what you eat and drink, do something about your stress, and get active. Going to the doctor would be, for me, A LAST RESORT.


Katherine said...

Yikes! Pretty scary experiences with the meds. I hope your family members are okay. Unfortunately, I know of similar cases. I agree in taking responsibility for our own bodies and in treating the cause of sickness (be it bad diet, toxic environment etc.) rather than just the result. I also know that without help from the medical profession at the time I needed it - my son and I would be dead. Medicine has its place, but should not be seen as the "magic wand". In my opinion, as individuals, its up to us to pay attention to how we take care of our bodies; which means learning and then living healthy behaviours rather than looking for a pill to fix us up so we can continue to abuse the body with unhealthy practices.

Nicola said...

My rant obviously applies to long term abuse of our bodies and wanting the quick fix, not to emergency care following an accident for example.

K said...

Hi Nicola- I am a homeschooler- Think we live close. This post of your was an eye opener.. For personal reasons, it made me stop and think. Thanks for that.

Im at

Samantha said...

My issue isn't really with the doctors, because I've come into contact with some really great ones who spend as much time with me as I need without making me feeled rushed and who offer alternatives instead of pills.

I wish people would educate themselves more on the different choices they may have to treat various ailments. However, most people just seem to want the doctor to give them a quick fix. They don't want to hear that their diet or lack of exercise is causing them harm.

I've had surgery, and my husband has had surgery, and it definitely wasn't a decision we took lightly.

I have had experience with a pill-pushing, chiro-hating, appointment-rushing doctor and my advice to anyone who is experiencing this is to get another doctor!!

K said...

thanks for the comment Nicola- hope to meet up at a meeting soon. Yes, my daughter is obsessed with Redwall. She owns every book, all 3 dvd's from England and we just listened to masttimeo on tape this morning. She is also doing a redwall study!

Andrea said...

And it is all so fear based. From the Dr who has bought into the need for these drugs and the dire consequences that will follow if not used to the patients and family members... Great post, Nicola!