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The Medicalization of Everyday Life

An introduction to the " Stuff You Should Know, But Don't...???" Page.

Everyday I am asked about medications. Its seems the person has failed this test or that, which is diagnosed as this or that, and is now prescribed a medication that they don't want to take. I am not a doctor, so it would not only be stupid to comment on, it would be against the law. Even to have an opinion on this matter is against the law. My replay is always the same, do what your doctor says or don't go. I suggest they go on the internet and look up the medication and its multiple sides effects. Maybe this article will help.

This is taken from the New York Times, January 2, 2007. "The biggest threat to the health of most Americans is the health care system itself". More and more people are being drawn into treatment as a result of an astonishing increase in diagnoses, and ever-expanding definitions of what constitutes a disease. "This actually places these patients in greater danger than if they were simply left alone".

"One problem is the medicalization of everyday life; everyday experiences such as insomnia, sadness, twitching muscles are now being diagnosed as sleep disorder, depression, or restless leg syndrome. Especially troublesome is the medicalization of childhood, where trouble reading becomes dyslexia or attention deficit and unhappiness deemed depression".

Another problem is the drive to diagnose and treat the named disease early. Illnesses are now being identified and labeled in those with no symptoms, but merely "at risk". Advanced technologies such as CT' scans, MRI, ultrasound, and PET scans can detect subtle flaws and differences in everyone that makes us all "at risk".

Meanwhile at the same time, the definitions of diseases are expanding, as the experts drop the thresholds for diagnosing diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, and obesity, The level of cholesterol deemed "normal" has dropped several times despite volumes of research proving cholesterol levels have little if anything to do with heart disease. In fact, 50% of heart attacks occur in people with low or normal cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Merely because of these changes in "deemed normal", more than half the entire US population is now diseased.

"This epidemic of diagnoses has in turn led to an epidemic of treatments. While not all treatments have benefits, almost all have negative side effects and have harmful overall results. While the benefits may outweigh the harms is the severely ill, they can be far worse than the disease for those with mild or no symptoms at all".

I am shocked at the stories I hear on a daily basis. I have seen countless people seeking alternative relief for symptoms such as pain, memory loss, sleeplessness, and depression all resulting from side effects of their medication. Unfortunately, we usually can't fix the problem till we stop the cause. I try to explain this phenomenon, but it always gets back to "how" to get off the medication. I am posting this "introduction to things I think you should know" to maybe get a few of you thinking. If I were on a drug that required a liver function test 3 times per year I would certainly want to know "why", and what happens when the liver no longer functions.

In conclusion, medicine should have no business in politics nor television. However, this is America and our conditioning has been geared to simply believe what we've been told. Government paying the bills can only increase the cost of services, testing, and treatment. Television is the mass media to manipulate our thoughts and opinions. I truly believe that healthcare will bankrupt the US within 10 years unless we begin to demand changes and begin to focus on health rather than disease. We simply aren't getting our moneys worth. We lead the world in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, alzheimers........how can that be? j
 

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