Well, my good intentions for posting at least once a week (and really shooting for 2-3) have gone out the window. I am sorry—my life has been so crazy that I just haven’t had time to sit down and write. Top that off with a myriad of computer issues, and my blogging has gone completely by the wayside. I am really hoping things are going to slow up soon and I can have more time to devote to this site.
Here is Part Deux of my medical health journey. In Part One, I talked about being “raised on the pharm,” and how pharmaceuticals were such an integral part of my life for almost four decades. Medications were such a way of life for me that it didn’t occur to me that there was any other way, or that anything else could help me with my medical needs, even in spite of all the multiple side-effects that I had experienced from drugs over the years. But when the medications I was taking stopped working for me altogether, I started to question whether I was on the right path at all.
I was taking “prescription strength” Claritin for my allergies per my allergy doc (which amounted to twice the normal amount each day) and using a nasal steroid twice a day, and still had many days when my nasal allergies would rage out of control to the point that they were debilitating. I was even taking allergy shots every week, which did not make a bit of difference, even after continuing this immunotherapy for over 2 years. I continued to get many sinus infections; in fact, while under the care of my allergist, I had one that lasted over 4 months. Several rounds of antibiotics, a round of steroids, and tons of Mucinex and other OTC meds didn’t even touch it. At that point, I not only still had the sinus infection, but I was also suffering from a myriad of nasty side effects from all the meds I took for it. It was terrible. Nexium wasn’t helping my GERD issues either. In fact, my heartburn actually got worse instead of better after I started taking it. My thyroid meds were not working for me at all either—my blood work showed my numbers in the acceptable range, but I continued to have multiple symptoms, and felt horrible all the time. It was basically ruling and ruining my life. I went to my doctors to try and seek out their help, and in every case, I was told that there wasn’t anything else they could do to help me beyond the medications they had already prescribed. They told me that I would just have to learn to live with the debilitating symptoms. Nothing more could be done—I would have to just accept things the way they were and try to make the best of them. I had a lot of trouble with that. At that point, I estimate that I had bad days about 85-90% of the time, with the good days making up only 10-15%. I was miserable. My quality of life was suffering and I was in a state of deep depression.
I started looking for some answers, still wondering if there wasn’t something else out there, something my doctors just didn’t know about, that could help me. The first thing that struck me when I started doing my research were the reports and studies of the effects of taking the drugs I was taking, and especially taking them long-term. I did NOT like what I read. Taking synthetic thyroid hormones can actually worsen thyroid disease because your body starts relying so heavily on the medication that it slows down its own natural production of thyroid hormones. I could see that happening in my own body already, as I was continually having to increase the dosage, every few months, to keep my thyroid levels steady. Besides that, I found that simply taking medication doesn’t address the root cause of thyroid issues at all, which can often be reversed, meaning you don’t have to be on drugs for the rest of your life! Steroid use of any kind is not good, especially long-term, and I was on an asthma and a nasal steroid. Doctors don’t really tell you about the negative effects of those (except for the warning I got about the glaucoma risk). I guess they figure that the benefits of taking them outweigh the problems down the road so they’d rather keep the uglies a secret. Nexium has horrible effects on the body and, in fact, isn’t even meant to be taken for more than six weeks at a time, or for anything less than serious esophageal deterioration or ulcers! But doctors don’t tell you that either—they’ll prescribe it for heartburn like it’s no big deal. And, the information I found regarding the long-term damage to bodily organs that taking Ibuprofen, Tylenol, allergy and cold medicines can cause was, well, a bitter pill to swallow (pun intended). These things bothered me a LOT, but I still wasn’t sure where to turn to seek alternatives, practically speaking. At the same time however, I saw glimmers of hope here and there for my own situation: that there WERE options out there that could potentially help me. I started looking into these alternatives and a new determination came over me.
The fact is that most doctors seriously don’t know there are alternatives. Conventional MDs are trained in pharmaceuticals during their extensive schooling, and they are taught that drugs are the ONLY way to treat illnesses and health problems. In fact, many of their classes in med school are taught by none other than pharmaceutical companies! (I first read about this in the book How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor, but have seen many more references to this since.) And of course those folks are only going to recommend drugs because it’s a gazillion dollar industry and they don’t want anyone or anything else infringing on their bottom line! So when doctors have exhausted their list of drugs that they have been told will help with a specific health concern, most of them are basically useless. It’s at that point, they will tell you, “I’m sorry, but there is nothing more that we can do.” That is a true statement—there is certainly nothing more that they can do. Things have gone beyond their area or level of expertise. What often isn’t true is when they say, “There is nothing more that can be done.” From what I have discovered, that is incorrect in almost every case.
Now don’t get me wrong…I fully acknowledge the fact that pharmaceuticals are a good thing for some people in some situations. I know plenty of people whose lives have been saved by medicines, and in life and death situations, I think there is often no better alternative. But I also know that for many people, myself included, long-term drug use (and I am, of course, talking about the kind that is doctor-recommended and endorsed) is wreaking all kinds of havoc on our health and longevity and causing more problems than they are fixing. Overuse of pharmaceuticals is rampant in our country and our healthcare system. Studies are showing more and more that conventional/allopathic medicine is actually the number 3 cause of death in the U.S. with close to half (and likely even more than are reported) of those deaths being from what they call “nonerror, adverse effects of medications.”
So what is a person to do when drugs are the “end all, be all” of healthcare, and yet they are not only NOT delivering on their promises, but they are literally killing people? In my next post, I will tell you what I did, and how it has made a huge difference in my life. I hope you’ll join me.
(The Amazon link included in this post is an affiliate link.)