Are drugs always the answer?
One of my favorite daily activities is to glance through the newspaper looking for health-related articles. Over the last few months, I’ve been clipping newspaper articles about drugs. Here are a few of the headlines I found: “Osteoporosis drugs a concern over time.” “Diabetes drug Avandia harms heart, reports say.” “Study raises more doubts about cholesterol drugs Zetia, Vytorian.” “FDA says millions got unapproved heart pills.” “Study finds aspirin not cure-all for heart risks.” “Breast-cancer drug may lose FDA’s OK.” “Alzheimer’s drugs double death risk in elderly.” “Diabetes heart treatments (using drugs) may cause harm.”
Do you get the feeling that drugs might not be the best answer to treating chronic diseases? In fact, each year over 100,000 Americans die from properly prescribed prescription drugs. Although I am not against the appropriate use of medications – many of them are life-saving -Americans rely far too much on their use. The average American takes home 12 prescription drugs a year.
When faced with the decision to use a drug or undergo a treatment recommended by your physician, you may want to ask your doctor some questions first. In other words, be an educated consumer. Find out if the drug is effective in doing what it’s supposed to do, or whether the recommended procedure has shown to be effective. According to the Institute for Medicine, only 4% of treatments offered by doctors and in hospitals are supported with studies proving evidence of efficacy. That means that 96% are either ineffective or at least haven’t been shown to be effective.
Fortunately, you often do have other options. If you are healthy, work at staying that way. If you have developed a degenerative condition or other ailment, work at restoring your health by identifying the cause rather than treating the symptoms with drugs. Often an optimal plant-based diet will do wonders to restore your health. And eating apples, broccoli, carrots, beans, and rice have no harmful side effects!
Listen to the ancient wisdom of Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.
Melody Petersen, Our Daily Meds, 2008
T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. and T.M. Campbell II, The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health, 2004.