Do you ever wonder why when when you see a drug advertisement that they always end the advert to consult your doctor, if symptoms persist or to get the prescription?
Or do you ever wonder when there is a public campaign for men, to ‘get healthy’ the advice is to see your doctor for a checkup?
What if this advice may be something that will make you sicker rather than healthier or prevent disease.
There is a new study out that shows that the over diagnosis of healthy individuals is becoming more of a health epidemic than many other diseases.
Ray Moynihan, senior research fellow at Bond University and author of Selling Sickness and Sex, Lies and Pharmaceuticals says that over diagnosis of healthy individuals in the US wastes nearly $200 billion a year.
Research suggests one-third of people diagnosed with asthma may not have the condition, up to one in three breast cancers detected through screening may never have led to symptoms and some women at low risk of breaking bones are being harmed by osteoporosis treatment.
Contrary to popular notions that cancers are universally harmful and ultimately fatal. Some cancers can regress, fail to progress or grow so slowly they will not cause harm before the individual dies from other causes. Such cancers include prostate, breast and thyroid cancer, the bulk of which will never harm. The over diagnosis trend is being driven by the cultural belief in early detection and fed by a deep faith in medical technology. Vested interests are also to blame, along with legal and health systems that punish under diagnosis or punish parents for not following medical advice.
The biggest selling drug in history is Lipitor (cholesterol lowering drug). Just 17 years ago only 4.7% of the Australian population over the age of 45 was on this medication. Now more than 30% over the age 45 are now taking cholesterol lowering drugs. These drugs have many side effects including muscle wasting, sexual dysfunction, dementia and diabetes.
This jump in prescriptions was mainly due to the fact that diagnostic criteria changed and the upper limit of so called “safe cholesterol levels’ was lowered bringing into the net more people who required this so called ‘life saving’ medication.
Fear mongering by some doctors telling people with cholesterol levels over 6.18mmol/dl that they will die the next day from a heart attack, causes haste to get you on medications and important questions are not asked regarding cholesterol levels. Here are some that I’ve come up with to ask your doctor and yourself before you even considering taking medications with such horrific side effects and no proof that they extend life and quality of life.
The quality of your health will be matched by the quality of your questions to your doctor and yourself?
- Is high cholesterol proven to be a bad indicator of total health?
- Do our cholesterol levels change from day to day week to week?
- It there really such a thing as good and bad cholesterol, or is it a homeostatic mechanism in the body?
- Do you live longer using statin drugs or does it just lower your cholesterol?
- Is cholesterol really an indicator of cardio-vascular disease?
- What percentage of people with heart disease have low cholesterol?
- Does the body need high cholesterol levels in times of stress?
- Does the cholesterol we eat make any difference to blood cholesterol?
- How much cholesterol will the body make if I eat no cholesterol?
- Is there another reason why cholesterol might be high?
- Is the body really that black and white – high cholesterol – heart disease, low cholesterol – no heart disease?
- If my brain is 80% cholesterol then why is cholesterol bad?
- Are there side effects to Statin Drugs – if so what is the complete list?
- Can you guarantee that if I don’t take the medications that I will die tomorrow of a heart attack or are you just scaring me with fear?
- Ask your doctor whether they would take the medications?
- Would diet help?
- Would a traditional hunter gatherer diet make a significant difference?
- Do I need my thyroid tested, could that have something to do with why my cholesterol is high?
- Could it be an iron and copper deficiency that is causing my cholesterol to be high?
- Perhaps it is the lack of antioxidants in my diet that may be causing my LDL to oxidise, therefore staying in my blood longer?
- Should I try a diet high in antioxidants before I use the medication?
In order to ask these questions some knowledge about the intelligence of your body and the health crisis is at hand is required. Any ailment you have should have a list of questions to ask in order to make sure that you are doing the right thing. After all you have only one body, and respect should be shown to it at all times.
Let’s do another scenario this time it may be a joint that you have that is hurting or several sore joints and you go to your doctor, he offers anti-inflammatories or a reconstruction. You’re in pain or you really don’t know what to do, you put your trust in their protocol and go with the flow? But questions should be asked?
“Diagnosis in and of itself is an interesting word. When you break down the root meaning of it – you get to see how words can subtly play with you. In Latin Di means “two” and agnostic means “unknown”, “don’t know”. So really diagnosis means two people who don’t know”.
If you are interested in improving your health. Firstly become informed, ask the right questions, and take control of your life and responsibility. Make small habit changes, start with improving your lifestyle, sleep more, eat real foods from nature, take a daily walk, drink more water, spend less time in front of screens and generally seek out activities that are less stressful.