Sunday, April 1, 2012

Insanity: Managing Symptoms and expecting a cure…

We all fool ourselves from time to time in order to keep our thoughts and beliefs consistent with what we have already done or decided.  This is called the consistency principle.  Once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision.  “managing symptoms” never cured any underlying cause…

How doctors fool themselves

The consistency principle is hardwired into us as a valued social trait. A high degree of personal consistency is associated with personal and intellectual strength.  Lack of consistency is often perceived as indecisiveness, confused, two-facedness, and even untrustworthy.  Consistency makes life easier.  Once we navigate our way through an issue, stubborn consistency allows us to "not think about the issue" anymore.  We no longer have to sort through information or weigh pros and cons. We simply act consistent with our earlier decision and expend our energy thinking about "new" things and most of the time this actually works quite well for us.

It only becomes a problem when we stubbornly lock into an erroneous position.  Here is 1 of MANY examples:

Statin drugs
Statin drugs are a great myth that doctors buy into en masse even when conclusive data proves they don't work except in very limited circumstances.  What's worse is they are nowhere near as safe as promoted.  For a long time, scientists have known that cholesterol-regulating drugs can cause structural damage to muscles.  They were convinced it only affected a small number of people. Maybe 10-15% of patients develop muscle pain and weakness, but after they stop using the drugs, only one in 50 report continual or debilitating pain.

This is the "rare but serious muscle side effect" that is quickly mentioned at the end of Lipitor ads.  More recent studies have found these side effects are anything but rare. A 2009 Canadian Medical Association Journal study found that the standard CPK test used by doctors to establish muscle damage is highly inaccurate and dramatically underestimates the scope of the problem.  This study found that more than half of all people who use statin drugs show structural damage to muscles when more accurate biopsy analysis is used.   50% does not qualify as "rare." According to a 2006 study published in the Journal of Pathology, virtually all patients who take statin drugs experience muscle damage, even if they don't have pain.

And yet doctors continue to hold onto the myth that statin drugs are relatively free of side effects.  As a side note, supplementing with CoQ10 will eliminate most of the muscle damage.  If your doctor recommends using statin drugs and does not insist that you also supplement with CoQ10; consider finding another doctor.

But muscle damage is not the biggest problem with statin drugs -- nor connected with the biggest myth doctors have bought into.  A study sponsored by Merck and Schering-Plough, the manufacturer of Vytorin, found that after several years on two types of cholesterol-lowering medications, patients reduced their cholesterol levels, but they reaped no significant health benefit at all unless they already had heart disease. The bottom line is unless you’ve had a heart attack, statin drugs will not provide a single health benefit; they will not extend your life one single day.

Doctors continue to prescribe Statins like candy.  In 2010, AstraZeneca received permission from the FDA to sell Crestor as a "preventative" measure to an additional 6.5 million people -- none of whom actually have cholesterol or heart problems. That's right, the FDA authorized doctors to pitch you a solution that doesn't work, that causes muscle damage to virtually everyone using it -- just as a preventative…that doesn't actually prevent anything. And the medical community accuses the alternative health community of not being science based!!??

What can be done about it?

We could go on and on. While the list of examples is not endless, it certainly is large. The purpose of this is not to beat up on mainstream medicine but to offer insight as to why so many of the untenable health positions they maintain are so hard to let go of.  Also, that given that awareness, you will be able to apply a mental speed bump before automatically giving in to the advice of authority figures.  Just because doctors rank high on the pecking order of “Authority Figures”; it does not necessarily make their positions correct. As we have seen, they are very human and can hold onto absurdity in the service of consistency. In fact, they are more likely to do so than most because admitting a mistake would undermine that authority.

H2Blockers and Antacids cure nothing; they stop you from producing acid which is critical to optimal health.  GERD or acid-reflux is not a disease; it’s a symptom.  You don’t have too much acid, you have too little.  How can we prove that?  INCREASE your acid level when you experience GERD, Heartburn or acid-reflux and see what happens.  The sensation evaporates.  Big Pharma is in the business of being a “legal” drug pusher and they don’t sell cures for anything.  They sell pills to manage symptoms.  If they had a pill that “cured” anything then it would have to cost a fortune as they would only sell you one and you would be cured.  When your physician has run the course of what they know to do from a diagnostic standpoint and they haven’t found the “Cause” of your symptoms then they do what they have done consistently: put you on pills to manage your symptoms.

It is up to you to break that program automatically running in your head with respect to your wellbeing that grants them a wisdom in "all things" related to health that they do not necessarily warrant. Use your discrimination and only accept what you're told when the evidence truly warrants it.  If it "feels" wrong, it probably is wrong no matter how many authorities say otherwise.  Do your own research and seek out your own answers being ever mindful of the motivations of the people providing the information.  Remember, “managing symptoms” never cured any underlying cause…

Management Revenue Group, LLC
“Large enough to serve; Small enough to care!”™

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