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Is Western medicine truly useless?

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It would be extremely difficult not to notice the anti drug sentiment on this forum, but I notice it also extends to other classes of drugs as well as psychiatric medications. From PPIs to Opoids, people are reporting horrific side effects and withdrawal effects, so I'm left asking the question - are all classes of Pharmaceutical drugs equally as useless in treating illnesses? Are their side effects worse than the original conditions?


What about the diagnoses themselves? I've lost count of the number of people misdiagnosed with relatively minor conditions only for those cases to turn out sinister (most frequently Cancer).


Is Western Medicine truly useless?

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No... Like everything in life, medicine is complicated and full of nuance. Does western medicine need to evolve further to integrate a more holistic approach to wellness? Absolutely. Is modern psychiatry in particular a disaster? Without a doubt. But the last few hundreds years has brought humanity to a place of health that was previously unimaginable. If you doubt this, you only need to look to impoverished counties and cultures that rely on folk medicine.. Or read about "healthcare" in the 19th century. It's not a pretty sight.


Growing up with a physician father and studying neurobiology in college showed me just how far modern science has taken us, from something as routine but essential as antibiotics and vaccines, to highly sophisticated medication that treats horrible disorders.

The problem IMO arises when you attempt to use a reductionist model of the brain to treat psychological symptoms with medication -- to say nothing of the fact that most psychotropics weren't even intentionally designed, just experimental compounds which were found to have certain psychological effects. Perhaps someday modern neuroscience will be sophisticated enough to understand psychological disorders and lead to safe and effective treatments. But far too often the basic things like diet, exercise, intestinal flora, stress, meditation, nutritional supplementation, therapy, etc are ignored and the sole treatment focus is the all-too-common psychotropic drug merry-go-round.


If I were able to go back to my adolescent days and do it all over again, I would put all of my focus on diet, exercise, meditation and CBT for OCD/anxiety and never touch an SSRI or benzo.


That said, there is promising research with glutamate dysfunction for OCD/anxiety/depression. Perhaps one day there will actually be a safe and effective alternative to the cornucopia of dangerous pharmaceuticals currently being peddled for those who truly cannot function without medication.

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Probably it's the certainty and absolutism "Doctor knows best" that some doctors hold that is the biggest problem.  And we as consumers/patients have bought into that and accepted it as truth. 


I recall reading an article that discussed M&M (mortality and morbidity) reviews in hospital. One of the doctors interviewed said something akin to "People don't realize that medicine is a learning profession."


It would be good for us all -- doctors and the people who consult them -- to remember that science hasn't discovered everything about the human body.  Who knows what common practice in 2016 will be viewed in 100 years as barbaric and ill-informed, "How could they think THAT would help?"

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YES .we all carry bagage and instead of trying to understand it ,we can bury it deep  down in our soul ,but it eventually seeps out ,then the doctors prescribe the drugs  and big pharma are laughing all the way to the bank.

check out DR gabor mate on youtube ,he is amazing at explaining trauma of any kind and how it affects us.

It will take a long time for the world to cop on .

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I think the key word for me with this is:  Homeostasis.


You take a PPI, your body compensates for it.


Like with insulin, your body develops a tolerance, and requires more.  Additionally, there are flow on effects to other systems.  The PPI hampers your ability to metabolize B-vitamins, for example, which has more flow on effects.


This is true of opoids, psych drugs, and I might even hazard cholesterol drugs.  It's true of my hubby's CPAP machine - he has to adjust it up every few years, because his body adjusts to the pressure.


I think that drugs given for certain "markers" - like cholesterol - might be mistakes.


I think that drugs given for blood pressure - it's certainly scary - but that depends on the patient's willingness to take charge of themselves.  The patient is as responsible as the medical model.  People go to the doc's, with "feel crook, help me," and they just want the doc to intervene. 


They don't want the doc to tell them to leave a toxic relationship, or find a more sustainable job (that's a big ask), or manage their stress or system insults, or change their food, or when they watch TV, or how they sleep, or to turn off the cell phone.  If they would do this, they might not need the docs at all.


And in the absence of the ability to manage stress, diet, exercise (for a myriad of reasons) - the pill is given.  The docs are trained (by pharma) to believe that this is the best solution, given that the "patient" will not make the life changes necessary to address the root problem.


It's become systemic, now Western Medicine assumes that the patient is unwilling, and so the pill is the first port of call, instead of the last port of call.  I remember a number of times in the 70's, the doctors would tell my parents of their risk of heart disease (for example) and recommend more fresh veggies, and after a few months of that, come in and we'll check again.  That model is no longer there.


So until Western Medicine stops "squelching" symptoms to "shut the patient up," it is a bit of a hotbed of abuse.


I still haven't decided what I would do if the cancer word came up.  Do I believe that toxic chemo is the way to go?  More people are surviving cancer now than ever before - or so they tell us.  But they don't tell us that a course of toxic chemo might only add a short time onto your life, and then, only in a minority of the cases.  Is it worth it?  I don't know.


The vaccine question is another one.  I checked my baby book - I received something like 13 vaccines by the age of 5.  Now, children receive between 30-60, and some of the insults are bundled.  Surely, the decrease (if not elimination) of Tuberculosis and Polio are major accomplishments.  But if you scratch the surface and look deeper - 


and see that you don't have the right to sue a company for toxic reaction to a vaccine (as you would in malpractice) - you have to go to a special "vaccines court" which is run by the industry.  There's something amiss about that.


Kelly Brogan doesn't seem to think that vaccines - as they are presented today - should be automatic.  Again, I don't have a child, and I'm glad that I don't have to actually decide these things in the body of my child.  If I were, I would be agonizing over that punishing vaccine schedule, and fighting to stretch it out, and maybe even thin it out if I could.


I think that one of the main advances of Western Medicine is in trauma care.  Someone falls down a cliff and breaks a zillion bones, and yet they can be put back together again.  A gunshot or knife wound is not longer an automatic death sentence.  A car crash, internal injuries, and while the person may feel pain for the rest of their life - they will live through it.  Heart attacks, the heart can be repaired or replaced!


(though, as someone who has had a few too many surgeries, I'm in no hurry to go under the knife for "prevention and maintenance")


Western Medicine's skill does not seem to be focused on maintenance.  Right now, there are corporate interests involved, so that even the diet information given out by doctors is influenced by industry.  There was an Australian doctor suspended here for recommending a modest low carb diet to his patients - because he was a surgeon who did amputations for diabetics, and he wanted to save the limb instead of cutting it off.    As long as there is profit involved, there is conflict for me.  Corporate medicine focuses on share price, not "patients served" or better - "patients saved."


I like the Chinese model:  I pay the doctor to keep me well.  If I get sick, I do not pay the doctor.  The profits are on the wellness side of the equation, not on the disaster / trauma side of it.


I recently watched the Patch Adams movie.  In an opening scene, the head of the medical school tells the students that he will take all the humanity out of them and make doctors of them.  In a way, this does happen.  But what if - as Patch wants to do - the humanity was practiced right alongside the medicine?  He has a waiting list of doctors who want to practice in his facility - who want to do it for passion and caring - not for profit.


Here he is speaking at the Mayo Clinic:

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