Why you should take responsibility for your own health... the crusades that some doctors do while riding their high horses

in #health3 years ago (edited)

This is a reply and an addition to this article by @snowpea

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It seems like most people´s views nowadays are either pitch black or bright white, meaning that in a polarized world, everybody has an extreme opinion about some issues and since most people can´t even consider looking at things from the other side, no deep reflection is made, and the truth is usually lost somewhere in between those extreme viewpoints. On one side, there are anti vaxxers everywhere, most of which seem to believe that every drug or vaccine by a mainstream laboratory is made with the oversight of Satan. On the other side, there are true believers in the "pharma-heaven", in which every little disorder or chemical inbalance can and should fixed with the help of a barrage of drugs, mainly pills.
Should I say there is some truth to the extremes, but, all extremes are usually fundamentally wrong. There are some instances in which laboratories fuck up, vaccines get contaminated or a bad batch is released, some people get sick. I won´t bash on you if you´re an anti vaxxer, but know that to believe that all pharma companies are fundamentally evil henchmen of governments and are out there to get us in the long run, is extreme, and not in a good way. Modern medicine got us to the life expectancy we currently have(over 80 in some countries), and thanks to it we had the huge population boom that filled the earth to the brim. You don´t trust governments or laboratories? Fine, invent a process of independent oversight that can check the quality of vaccines and medications truthfully and transparently so that there are no sub-par or contaminated batches and then make it popular.(Do I sense a new blockchain project idea forming? ;) ), but don´t diss out basic science or even the useful tools that vaccines are!
On the other hand, if you´re a pill lover, let me break this down to you. Despite the pharmaceutical industry efforts to present all medications as inocuous, the truth is that every medication is essentially a drug, which is a powerful tool to be used in moderation with less side effects(on most cases) than any illegal recreational drug. A clinical doctor/specialist doctor/psychiatrist is supposed to know you better than yourself, but usually most of them are overworked and can´t even remember your case in detail without looking at your clinical history. To that, add the fact that most pharma companies give a lot of monetary incentives to doctors for prescribing their drugs, which leads to over-prescribing in even the most mild cases. Also, there are some fanatical doctors, which to make it worse, are often truly well respected and top in their fields, which are truly bent on fixing every little imbalance of a person with a pill. We don´t have even a fraction of the knowledge about the human body that an average doctor has, so we defer to their judgement. But what´s being questioned here is not their knowledge, it´s their hubris and their sense of moderation.
Let me exemplify with a metaphor. Let´s suppose that a great millitary general has an exemplary vast knowledge of tactics, he´s condecorated, battle proven, and he´s one of the best in turning desperate situations around for the better. But he´s so fanatical into defeating the enemy his way, he has no regard for the delicate political balance of the world, which would in turn have lead to another world war. I got briefly out of topic here, but I´m talking about general McArthur getting relieved of his post during the Korean War to prevent another world war(let me know if you want an article about that one). The point of this metaphor is that sometimes the wisest, bravest, and most intelligent people can also be vitims of their hubris and get fanatical. After all, we are all humans. We should look at the doctor that is treating us as someone who´s knowledge is far greater than ours, but also never believe him/her to be infallible. Humans also tend to lose sight of the big picture quite often, and this universal flaw is also sometimes reflected by the physicians treating us.
And about my personal experience with doctor hubris, let me tell you friends. Once my doctor gave me an asthma medication that didn´t quite do the job, while a friend of mine recommended me another. I tried both, and the second one is what did the trick. When I went back to my doctor, I told him, but he was fixated on that it woulnd´t do much for me and that I shouldn´t take it and take the one he gave me instead, and that he wouldn´t prescribe it to me, even though it was empirically the best medication I´ve ever taken. I left that doctor and went to another who actually told me that my choice of medication is actually the better one, so I switched doctors and stayed with the med my friend(and my new doctor) recommended. I´ve been using it for 2 years now, and I barely have asthma anymore, but, why shouldn´t I challenge my former doctor about his decision? I mean, doctors already know that different people sometimes react differently to the same medication, but some doctors act as If they always know what´s better for us, and when they don´t, hubris prevent them from acknowledging their mistake. So, if I empirically test that the second medication is many times better for me, why shouldn´t I be able to speak up and tell him without him taking offense? Even if their knowledge is miles above ours, I want a health advisor, not a dictator technician who makes all decisions about my health by himself and treats them as irrevocable. That´s my beef with doctor hubris. I can´t stand "closed source" medicine... that´s a metaphor btw, I also can´t stand windows 10 making a huge load of decisions for the user without actually telling the user, fucking up oh so very often. If you didn´t guess, I´m the computer technician here(and also a fan of history) guys, If I was the user I´d be way more pissed. Aaaand that is why I´m an avid linux user.
Anyway, don´t wanna drift again here... So, if we were to take a moderate useful position for approaching health care, what could it be like?
  • Maybe we can recognize the healing value and potential of modern medicine without taking everything big pharma tries to shove us for profit at face value.
  • Maybe we can trust our physician, respect that his knowledge is vastly superior to ours, but also acknowledge that he´s human and humans sometimes make errors of judgment or can be monetarily biased.
  • Maybe we can take an active part in spotting unwanted side effects in any medication we take, and own to ourselves to inform our physician, and also to decide if its benefits are worth its side effects. After all, its our body, isnt it?
  • Maybe we can start to openly discuss our treatments, in a respectful way, and if our doctor doesn´t allow for a healthy, open discussion about our treatment, find a new one that does.

What do you guys/girls/trans/asexuals/pansexuals/intelligent AIs think about it?(note: this is not me making fun of different sexual orientations, but rather trying to use inclusive language and failing at it, and then making a joke about it)


I agree people should be careful, educated consumers when it comes to medicine, which is why I wouldn't even vaccinate my dog.

I have also learned to respect my doctors experience especially when it comes to diagnoses.

Modern medicine got us to the life expectancy we currently have(over 80 in some countries)

I think hygiene, refrigeration, sanitation and improved nutrition are the biggest factors.

Indeed... but you´re omitting the biggest one: antibiotics. In ancient times, the flu, pneumonia, chicken pox, typhoid fever, Malaria and Measles could all kill you very fastly and unchallenged. All of them curable diseases nowadays.

There is an interesting article about it here complete with ancient depictions of piles of corpses caused by these diseases.

Thanks for your comment man! You´re the first!

All of them are treatable not curable and out of the list you provided only bacterial pneumonia and typhoid fever are treatable(and curable) with antibiotics. Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella bacteria something preventable with proper food hygiene.

My point is that modern medicine and modern treatments as a whole are the reason that humans have it so easy nowadays. In the old ages, most diseases could kill you. Can you find counter examples of effective treatments before modern medicine? You bet. But... can you deny that diseases that are easily cured nowadays often ravaged towns back then and left heaps of bodies in their wake?

But... can you deny that diseases that are easily cured nowadays often ravaged towns back then and left heaps of bodies in their wake?

The fact is that most of those diseases that used to ravage towns such as Scarlet Fever were never treated by modern medicine but disappeared because of better nutrition.

Typhoid fever caused by lice, no lice no typhoid fever.

Tetanus transmitted through horse faeces, horses not used for transportation, no Tetanus.

Giardiasis, Amoebic dysentery and Cholera all caused by improper sewage disposal, dispose of sewage properly none of these diseases will be a problem.

Acute disease is better treated now and there are certainly some improvements but the narrative that modern medicine is the major factor in the great improvement in quality of life is false.

Of course when modern doctors finally learned hygiene that certainly saved a lot of people, from them.

I´m puzzled about if you´re trying to demonstrate the importance of nutrition, hygiene and the overall quality of life or trying to minimize the importance of modern medicine on treating diseases, especially infectious ones.

Lemme tell you a little story. Last winter I arrived at the hospital with a heavy asthma attack. I couldn´t breathe and my skin color was blueish. A direct injection of Corticosteroids is what saved my life back then. I was in ICU for a day and I´m 100% sure that I would have died during the middle ages.

While I value your opinion, if you´re trying to sell me that I would be better off(or most people in general) without modern medicine, I´m not buying. The good news is that nobody can force you to use it, and that there is no need to impose a way of thinking to anyone. Since there is freedom of thought so we can respectfully agree to disagree.

Natural medicine(as in natural herbs and treatments) works. We´ve been using it for thousands of years sucessfully. It is less toxic but not that advanced, and in some cases it falls short. For example, when my asthma hit hard that day, for 6 hours I tried to use inhalations of medicinal eucalyptus to breathe better. Usually, it worked to some degree, but that day didn´t, the effect was too mild, too little, too late.

Don't get me wrong I think if something is wrong you should go to your doctor first, I just think that the historical myth that their "science"(I use parenthesis because of the book Bad Medicine written by a pro-western medicine doctor claims that [with cited research] %80 of medicine practiced is not scientifically proven) is not authoritative truth because in some areas of medicine we are poking around in the dark, such as our understanding of the immune/inflammatory system. Not to criticize them, sometimes an educated guess is good enough or at least better than no help.
In other areas there is amazing competency that you are right has improved our lives greatly such fixing broken bones, sewing up wounds, diagnosing illness(not always but what they understand they have a lot of experience with) among many others like your acute situation.
Drink stinging nettle tea regularly for asthma ;]

I personally have no use for off-label prescriptions, vaccines, tylenol kills quite a few people by poisoning your liver and the other NSAIDS if taken regularly will cause a stomach rupture( happened to my friend).
Unfortunately with herbal medicine there are a lot of differing opinions, differing quality among other problems.

I will always answer herbal medicine questions.

Whenever I or my family has needed medicine no matter what kind I ended up using I definitely had to use all my brainpower as a careful and inquisitive consumer of medicine and many times it has been a difficult choice with serious consequences should I have been wrong.

So far so good though, I feel that realistically weighing side-effects vs potential benefit has served me well. Quite often I have chosen the doctors way and been well satisfied.

Ah, now I understand where you´re coming from! Yeah, weighing side effects vs potential benefit is what I do as well. Also, for non-serious chronic illnesses, I often try natural medicine first instead. I didn´t know about nettle tea. I will do some research and I will probably try it soon. Thanks!

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