Discussions about Holistic Health and Alternative Medicine.
I think the "negative" to it all happens when the Pharma culture starts taking on the mantel of street drug dealer, seeking to create a codependency factor in the people using their products. Ambien for an example, is supposed to be taken nightly, at the same time, etc. etc. I have a dear friend that follows those exact procedures who can no longer get sleep without the drug... he's so psychologically dependent (convinced) that this is the only way he can sleep that the limited physiological affect is all that he requires to become paranoid and reacting just as any addict would, needing his fix. I've seen similar attitudes and reactions by other people when it comes to a variety of treatments, including something as simple as taking an aspirin (or similar) OTC treatment (including vitamins).
Fact is, the U.S. (specifically) has been turned into a hypochondriac nation; even if we think we're ok various ads on the tube convince us that we have some kind of health challenge -- presentations that are questionable when it comes to ethics/morality perspectives... but then, I've not seen many lines that advertisers aren't willing to cross when it comes to pushing ANY sort of product, good or bad (just look at the tobacco industry).
YES, because of medicine and the advancements in all of medical work we are now living much longer than ever (see: Gail Sheehy's book "New Passages" and it's a bit out of date). But I believe this and related successes has given that same culture a "bottom line" sense of incentive when it comes to hustling the consumer and doctor alike; the focus has become more about profits and stock holders than actually helping folks. One massive proof to this is how one can actually find treatments and literal "cures" for numerous forms of cancer as well as other chronic conditions that are not allowed in the U.S. simply because the AMA don't want it here due to loss revenue and so the FDA doesn't get the "bribes" other drugs do... the political games and lobbying don't get played for these drugs that we find on the "less effective" and on-going "treatment" system way of doing things.
Another side of this same FDA shell game is how certain, previously non-approved drugs and even "dietary supplements" get recycled and then approved; often as a kind of writer to the approval of another treatment, kind of how congressmen & senators create pork in D.C.
Can it all get "fixed"?
Doubtful... that would require the public themselves getting a pair and choosing to live a healthy life vs. believing they have some sort of illness upon which to be co-dependant...
INSERT: Personal Anecdote...
Some years ago, as the AIDs epidemic was first hitting the country (1983-84) I was living in Hollywood and volunteering for the L.A. Center for Living, a kind of day-time drop-n for persons dealing with all forms of chronic as well as mortal illnesses where they could get FREE counseling, meals, physical therapy, etc.
Long story short, I sat in on a group session one day at the encouragement of the counselor leading the group; everyone attending was in the ARC stages of AIDs if not further along.
The counselor started the session by placing a simple Tic-Tac breath mint in the hand of each attendee gathered about the room, informing them that "This is it... the cure for AIDs! If you take this miracle pill you will no longer be dealing with the lethargy, nausea, lesions, and other conditions associated with HIV; you will be healthy and "normal", fully capable of getting on with life...
"Before you take this miracle cure however, consider everything you have right now at your disposal and ponder if you are willing to give all that up; the free transportation, free show tickets, free massages, free food, free therapy -- you'll have to give up all of these advantages, go back to work, start paying full rent again, buying and preparing your own food, keeping your apartment clean and fit on your own... you will have all the responsibilities and obligations every other functioning human being has..."
A near deafening silence filled the room as the realization took hold on everyone present -- just how addicted and dependent they were on the illness itself; how it had become a thing of advantage vs. the grotesque negative rife with high drama they kept envisioning.
This was a priceless demonstration as to how, especially in this country, people "need" to be ill and why. It is something the money chasers of the medical industry have known for decades and have, in the past 30 years, become exceptional aggressive over, when it comes to exploiting said syndrome for the sake of stock-holder benefit. This is the common denominator few pay attention to when in this kind of discussion and one that helps pale the would-be predatory antics of the Pharma industry to some degree. They are, after all, supplying what the public demands.. .though they are likewise inventing excuses for the public to demand this or that... it's quite an interesting cycle
Assuming you are someone who has had something thats progressively worsened - hence the question above - what exactly are you meant to do if the current technology doesn't allow for a diagnosis to treat it ?
Furthermore how do rarer disorders get funding , as a result of that , if there is so much more money to be made in more common ailments that still haven't been cured ? ( 35 yrs for Cancer and counting last time I heard )
Where are the ethics or human rights for those people who could ,and will, suffer and be persecuted by the medical profession for a problem, that they , Medical Profession themselves have created in the first place by perusing ventures that give them financial gain ,instead of progress ?
There are many health issues that cant be physically seen or measured - thus a window of opportunity for PseudoSkeptic , but what there isnt , as far as I can see, is any way of dealing it .
I am not talking about mental illness itself ( which I have mixed views on ) but those have problems that leave them physically affected and disabled - not only from themselves but others who cant understand it - and thus persecuted for having it.
This is esp true in the case of those who problems are even rarer ( at least to the doctor ) or who are predisposed to judging someone purely on what they cans see , without physically being able to see the real cause of it themselves i.e. shrinks.
What incentive is there then for future researchers to peruse these other neglected areas ,and for new discoveries to be made if the all the big funding , and consequent lack of progress, is coming from an industry monopolized by pharmaceutical companies and their greed instead ?
Welcome to the forum apopgymaturk-
That is an excellent question, to which I may have a not so excellent response. While I have had my share of medical maladies, that at the time have stumped a doc or two, I am amazed that I am still alive and kicking. For me, nothing has progressively worsened but that's because I have questioned the so called cures before starting them. I have three problems that can't be cured, only controlled and if I had gone with the standard treatment I would probably be in much worse shape than I am.
IMO, with a rare disorder you tend to be at the mercy of your doctor. If you've got a good one, you're in good shape. If you've got a bad one, you're shit out of luck. Heck, with anything health related, that statement applies. I was once on a treatment that cost me $12,000 a week. It was for lyme disease back in the late 80s before they knew anything about it. It took 2 years and who knows how many doctors to misdiagnose it. I was progressivly going downhill for two years until I saw a poster in my kids school saying "Fight the bite" with a picture of the bullseye rash that not one doc could identitfy. Once I found a doc that even knew what the disease was, it was 'months of being a guinea pig in a half assed attempt to treat me.
In my case, it seems that financial gain was the main idea with they lyme treatment. I requested an itemized bill to find that I was charged over $300 for a large box of bandaids. You see, this disease was not treated by any medical professional. I had a shunt put into my arm and boxes and boxes of medical supplies were shipped to my home for me to deal with. Twice a day I had to give myself 3 different injections and hook myself up to an IV drip. Try doing that while you're getting two kids off to school every morning when you can barely move. The side effects of the antibiotic were also a major problem. It seems that this doctor was doing this with everyone with a stiff neck to advanced lyme symptoms and a few decided to sue. I didn't have to pay a dime. I am also lucky that he didn't kill me in the process.
Back in the day you had people who had a driving force to find cures such as Louis Pasteur, Jonas Salk, et al who considered research more important. I'm sure that there are a few out there who have this same driving force to find cures but they are probably at the disposal of big pharma.
If you have a rare disease these days, you have to form a support group and create your own funding through donations and volunteering. The families of children with Cystic Fibrosis have done a fabulous job of this. They are very organized and many advances have been made in treating this disease. (It is more than a bit unnerving to me to know that I will very likely outlive the youngest son of the family next door. He is in his early 20's and roughly half way through his life expectancy.)
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
Thanks for the welcome,
What happens then if you have a scenario where there is no one else with the same symptoms , or you have a health issue ( Perhaps anomaly would be a better word ) that started of perhaps normal but evolved into something else , for example affecting other areas of the body in ways not medically deemed possible ?
Furthermore how can that be empirically tested by any hypothesis that the patient or doctor has about how this started fairly when no technology available to test it , or others with it as evidence ?
If that is the case, then according to Western Medicine you are on your own. It is time to explore alternative methods. This can be as simple as dietary changes and exercise, or you could get into homeopathy, naturopathy or something along those lines.
A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are for.
There's huge money in the fundraising face of this game. I remember "charity organizers" stepping in on some of the early AIDS projects and taking over 60% of the proceeds generated plus what they billed us in man-hours, etc. The actual charity ending up with less than 20% of said funds. This crap happens far too much and is 100% legal . . . 100% unethical and immoral, but legal nonetheless.
My step-daughter has a rare skin disease common to 5% of women who have a Mediterranean ancestry. Quite literally tissue dies and has to be removed surgically; her first procedure removing some 15 lbs of mass. Of all the people that were involved in medical research on this disease Uri Geller reached out, offering Madina an all expenses paid treatment, being able to stay in his home and everything else, once the R&D was ready for human testing. Few realize the Uri has made many investments into medical research involving rare illnesses; we're talking about legit science stuff not PSI & Crystals. The other person that was involved in these efforts was Claudia Schrieffer because several of her modeling chums were dealing with the same disease.
The problem is, because this is a condition that affects a very small minority of people in the world (all of them female and dark complected) less than a million a year comes from any kind of government funds on the research & treatment end of things. More insulting is the fact that this condition is related to Acne of all things and so getting state/federal aid for treatment is nearly impossible even though the condition is lethal, usually within a 15-20 year period.
I'm do no think that corrupt or control is an accurate description. I do believe that medical practices are influenced.
Think of it this way. A pharm rep shows up and tells a group of doctor over dinner about the products that are offered and provides a clear and concise description of the uses and limitations of a set of drugs. That makes it pretty easy to use. Reps are well skilled at providing a wealth of information on drugs they sell from the benefits and the contradictions. I know. I have been to many dinner and evening booze cruises sponsored by drug companies. I know reps as well. They are good at what they do.
Corruption would suggest to me more like selling drugs known to be dangerous, or selling ineffective drugs. That's the realm of the snake oil salesman or the person selling supplements that do nothing or might shorten your lifespan.
If people have not looked him up you might want to learn about John Brinkley. He implanted goat testicles into men to rejuvenate them. He eventually owned a powerful radio station in Mexico broadcasting his message across the USA. That's corrupt.
Scimitars were not available - beware January 19, 2038 is upon us.
Not that long ago those "dinners" you speak of cost the pharma company between $20,000.00 and $50,000.00 on a regular basis with the really big hype & pitch game running easily into the mid and high six digit budget level thanks to the type of foods served, the "wait" staff, the entertainment (take that as you will) and let's not forget the "gifts" -- some very expensive spiffs that ranged from product samples, to "award" plaques, pen sets, etc. Doctors, especially those involved with Hospital management, were seriously wined & dined until Federal Laws came into play that won't allow big Pharma to even give them a bic pen with their contact details on it.
I did dozens of shows for Elly Lilly and its affiliates, paid thousands of dollars for each gig and I wasn't even one of the big money winners when it came to the show biz folk. It really wasn't unusual to see top name recording stars at these dinners as part of the night's entertainment. . . you're talking about $25k or more for these people for a single evening.
Though the "gifting" side of the game has been seriously curtailed, doctors are still bombarded by sales reps and quietly awarded bonus gifts here and there. As such, they will encourage patients to use one particular treatment over the other vs. looking at the research.
I have major prostate issues but because I'm on Medicare and State Insurance I'm not allowed to use actual Flow Max but rather the generic form. After six months of arguing with my insurance and other such peanut counters I'm finally going back on the name brand which really does affect me differently on several points. (Not having to stand for five minutes and waiting for something to happen being one of the more important points )
Get rid of all the lawyers and peanut counters and allow the Medical Establishment go back to actually practicing medicine vs. business; put a heart & soul back into the equation and a good 90% of the big problems around westernized pharmaceutical treatment will begin to vanish and public health will actually improve.
Craig, an interesting problem I heard about today was that so much of the pharmaceutical process is out sourced to India and China, that it could become possible for the US medical establishment to fail due to a lack of drugs should China or India decide to hold back or if someone attacked and destroyed the overseas manufacturing capability.
That is pretty alarming to hear. It was on NPR.
Scimitars were not available - beware January 19, 2038 is upon us.
I've known of that for some time; Elly Lilly is owned by a Japanese conglomerate.
The U.S. Corporate world has sold the nation's soul for the sake of quick profit. Their leap in this direction was very short-sighted and not thought through when it came to longevity but hey, U.S. companies to pay Jose and Pedro as much a month as it cost to pay American Auto Workers weekly. . . very weakly if you ask them. Same applies to most every other industry including government contracts which are now handed out to the low cost labor groups in other nations vs. preserving the U.S. economy and working public.
We do need to remember that it was the Republicans, starting with St. Roni the Raygun who initiated this process, given the the present situation in this country and how it has affected the world. . . and our chance to make certain changes over the next 12+ months.
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