You walk into your doctor’s office for a physical exam and step on the scale. Last year, the doctor said you were overweight. Now he says you are obese — at the same weight.
A nurse takes your blood pressure. You have hypertension — with the same previously healthy reading you’ve had for years.
The doctor scans your wrist bone. You have a condition called “osteopenia” — with the same bone density that was fine last time you were measured.
While you haven’t changed, the definitions of disease have – “thanks” to the companies that make the drugs for high blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis/osteopenia and diabetes.
In order to influence doctors to sell more drugs, the pharmaceutical industry has changed the definition of “normal.” Some doctors go along with it because they get kickbacks, but others blindly believe what they are told. It is no surprise that the physicians who set policy in the World Health Organization, the U.S. NIH, and other medical associations received large sums of money in “consulting” fees.
Every time the boundary of a disease is expanded — the hypertension threshold is lowered by 10 blood-pressure points, the guideline for obesity, by 5 pounds, etc. — the market for drugs expands by millions of consumers and billions of dollars.
The result? Skyrocketing sales of prescription drugs and soaring health-care costs. Worst of all, millions of people taking drugs that may carry a greater risk than the underlying condition. The treatment, in fact, may make them sick or even kill them.
One woman I read about was taking a medication to lower her blood pressure. When it was ineffective, the dose was doubled. This caused an allergic reaction which sent her to the hospital and could have been deadly. The same thing happened to a friend of mine, but he didn’t survive.
Even if your doctors are not corrupt, they may be listening to people who are – or reading medical journals that are a complete fraud. The medical journal publisher Springer has retracted almost 200 papers in the last two years because “the peer review process was compromised.”
To submit a fake review, doctors often provided false emails which came back to them or someone else they could trust to provide a great review and vouch for the accuracy of the paper. Many journals accept paid entries without doing the homework to find out anything about the person submitting the paper, or who allegedly peer-reviewed the piece.
Great Britain’s National Health Institute has begun discouraging doctors from treating patients with inexpensive natural medicines like herbs and homeopathic remedies. It’s no surprise that many of the doctors who made that decision do “consulting” work for the pharmaceutical industry.
Although sometimes necessary to save lives, drugs can cause serious side effects and harm. Many have not been studied long enough to be accurately labeled as safe. With the new definition of normal for hypertension and other conditions, drugs are being prescribed at younger ages – even to children – without considering long-term effects.
The bottom line is that we need to take our health into our own hands. Before blindly taking a drug, investigate the necessity, risks, and benefits of the medication. Research alternatives such as diet and natural therapies, or schedule an appointment with a functional medicine doctor for a second opinion. Take charge of your health!
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