To Your Health!

“Truth passes three stages.  First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed.  Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860

‘Tis the Season to be Merry.  After a week of over-indulgence, stress and a hectic schedule trying to fit everything in before the holidays, I found myself becoming quite ill.  A fever and much discomfort told me that I was suffering from some type of infection.  My first inclination was to run to the doctor.  However, a friend referred me to an expert in ancient Chinese medicine.  Instead of antibiotics, I started drinking water, recommended herbal teas, began taking a regimen of herbal tinctures plus a series of probiotics.  I was advised that my system was both overloaded and over-worked from years of poor eating habits and as a result, was shutting down.   I was also told that my blood type indicated I should be a vegetarian and that my medical history indicated a weakness in certain internal organs.  I was surprized when the consultant asked if I had experienced anxiety as a child.  Indeed, anxiety was a major issue for me while growing up.  According to ancient Chinese medicine, the anxiety was a result of my diet and sensitivities.  The result:  Overnight, I have once again become a vegetarian eating only fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-gluten grains like millet and buckwheat.

An article by Helke Ferrie in the December 2012 edition of Vitality reported that on November 22, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of a 30 year review by Drs Bleyer and Welch on the effect of mammography on cancer incidence.  The results:  At least 31% of all cancer diagnoses were found to be false positives that resulted in unnecessary surgery, chemo, and radiation.  In 2008 alone, 700,000 women were treated for cancers they didn’t have.  What this NEJM article did not discuss is the increased risk of developing breast caused by the radiation exposure from having regular mammograms.

The article mentions how the research of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss (1818-1865) revealed that maternal deaths were reduced ten-fold when doctors washed their hands before delivering babies.  Regardless, he was opposed by gynecologist, Charles D. Meigs, who dismissed hand-washing because “doctors are gentlemen, and gentlemen’s hands are clean.”

The article goes on to say how the British Medical Journal informed readers that only 11% of all current medical treatments used in North America and Europe can be shown to be beneficial – the rest is likely to lead to harm accounting for the roughly 200,000 annual deaths from properly prescribed drugs in American hospitals; and the additional 1.4 million patients who are seriously harmed by pharmaceuticals in the U.S. alone.  Altogether more than three million deaths are known to be related to prescription drugs, properly taken as prescribed.  A statistical analysis in 2009 showed that in the U.S., deaths from pharmaceutical drugs now annually exceed those from traffic-related accidents.

Between 1978 and 1989, only 34 (15.6%) of the drugs on the market were judged by independent investigators to be of therapeutic usefulness.

Of the billions in revenue generated by Big Pharma, only 1.3% of the revenue goes to research and development.  Much of it goes to marketing ($4billion annually just in free samples and gifts to doctors who get about $20,000 per patient they enroll in drug trials.

The actual cost of searching for new drugs is borne almost entirely by the taxpayer.  So huge amounts of our tax dollars go towards the development of drugs that neither cure nor prevent death and are actually the cause of thousands of deaths annually – in fact we pay for our own leading cause of death.

On October 18, 2012 MacLean’s Magazine reported on Oakville MP Terence Young’s address to the Canadian Senate.  He described the situation in Canada like this:  at least 20,000 die annually in hospitals from properly prescribed and administered drugs; and another 150,000 are victims of serious side effects from the 4,852 prescription drugs Health Canada allows on the market.  In 1997 Big Pharma replaced Canadian citizens as the “client” of Health Canada which is now mandated to “protect trade secrets”.  Therefore, with perverse logic, the Health Protection Branch changed its name in 2000 to Marketed Health Products Directorate.

Instead of running to the doctor, I’ll stick to my ‘natural’ antibiotics and plant-based food.  When I think of eating meat again, I’ll simply watch the movie “Forks over Knives”  which documents the research behind the China study. Here’s a summary:

Enjoy safety, happiness and good health this Christmas!