Part 2: Explore options to modern medicine
The title of this second installment of my 5-part series “5 Things You Must Do To Avoid An Early Death” may have surprised you a bit. Explore options to modern medicine? Why? Aren’t doctors supposed to be experts in health?
In theory, yes, but that’s not exactly true in practice.
In fact, with the exceptions of acute and emergency care, modern medicine has been an epic FAILURE.
If you doubt what I’m saying then consider these startling realities: Despite our advances in new treatments and medications, and the fact that we spend more per capita on health care than any other nation in the world, we are anything BUT healthy!
Currently, 8 out of 10 of us take at least one medication each day, 7 out of 10 people have a chronic sickness or disease, 75 percent of us are overweight or obese, and shockingly, over half of our children also suffer from one or more chronic conditions.
How in the world can modern medicine possibly be considered a “success” with results like that?
Before I get into viable alternatives to modern medicine, let’s take a look at how we got here to begin with.
The history of modern medicine
Here is an intriguing quote from a health expert of the ancient past. See if you can guess who said it:
“Leave your drugs in the chemist’s pot if you can heal the patient with food.”
Know who said it?
Hippocrates. The Father of Modern Medicine who lived from 460 BC – 370 BC.
As a physician, Hippocrates recognized that a wholesome diet of real foods was paramount to good health, and he helped his patients recover from illness safely and naturally by first stressing the importance of a healthy diet.
Although pharmaceutical drugs existed at the time, they were only used on rare occasions.
We’ve done a complete 180
Unfortunately, "Modern Medicine" has done a complete 180.
Now 2,000 years after Hippocrates died, we are living in an age where diet is largely ignored by most doctors, we are told that pharmaceuticals (including medications and vaccines) are the ONLY acceptable treatment options, and anyone that dares to question the modern medicine narrative or explore natural measures is seen as a crackpot or spreading “misinformation.”
And so many people are like well-behaved “Sheeple” lining up at the pharmacy, popping their daily meds, getting sicker and fatter and wondering why.
Hippocrates is probably rolling over in his grave.
So where did this shift come from?
Surprisingly enough, our move away from thousands of years of natural healing to an exclusive focus on pharmaceuticals came from the oil industry!
Around the beginning of the 20th century, oil magnate John D. Rockefeller initiated a shift in the medical industry toward using oil-derived pharmaceuticals. What better way to expand his revenue stream?
After he established the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in 1901, an extensive report on the state of the medical system—the “Flexner Report”—was written in 1910 which dismissed natural remedies as quackery and stressed that only drug-based medicine should be taken seriously.
Then the Rockefeller Foundation began showering the medical industry with research dollars to produce studies that promoted their oil-based drugs as the cure. (Sounds a lot like our modern-day drug companies.)
And joint efforts by Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan financed surgery, radiation and drugs, ensuring that they became the indisputable standards of care.
Symptom management is all they offer
The interesting thing about medications is that, aside from antibiotics that kill bacteria (both bad and good!), they don’t “cure” a thing! All they do is mask symptoms by interfering with one or more of your body’s innate functions or processes.
And as they hinder your body’s functioning, that’s when the inevitable side effects emerge. You can’t play around with Mother Nature and not expect to pay the price.
For example, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) ease heartburn by raising your stomach’s pH and shutting down its production of acid. But you need acid to digest proteins! So in the long run, PPIs impair your digestion and subsequently your absorption of nutrients.
Some of the common side effects of PPIs include gas, bloating and constipation, and that is the direct result of ruined digestion. They also increase your risk of fractures (due to reduced absorption of bone-building vitamins and minerals), lead to low energy levels and metabolism (a result of impaired Vitamin B12 absorption) and make you more susceptible to food poisoning (since stomach acid kills dangerous microbes in your food).
Please tell me what is “healthy” about any of this.
So, since medications do not cure anything, what our modern medical community is providing is not “health care”—it is symptom management!
Very lucrative symptom management, I might add. So it’s no wonder that nutrition is disregarded in our modern health care system—lots of money would be lost if people got healthier by eating better.
Plus you can’t teach what you don’t know. Most mainstream doctors take only one basic nutrition course in 4 years of medical school. So why would it even occur to them to talk about diet as a solution to your health problems?
And don’t even talk to me about disease prevention—what a joke that is!
Part of the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take upon completion of medical school states: “I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.”
Sorry, but I don’t see a lot of doctors dolling out advice on how to prevent disease.
Sure, there are tests like mammograms, colonoscopies, MRIs, x-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, etc. that detect a health issue AFTER it has occurred. We’re great at finding disease!
But abysmal at preventing it.
Things had better change…or we’re doomed
We are now at a point in our existence where we are the sickest we have ever been.
The vast majority of us are overweight, chronically ill and medicated, and that includes our kids.
It’s time to wake up and realize that our modern healthcare system is ineffective and broken, and if we don’t do something about it, we’re doomed to be walking disciples of pharmaceutical companies.
A shift needs to take place from symptom management to disease prevention and the creation of health!
The promising news is some doctors are on board already and have pursued additional training and education in integrative medicine, natural healing measures and nutrition.
But even if your doctor is not as forward-thinking, or if perhaps your choices are limited because of insurance or whatever, there is still a lot you can do to push the envelope towards the creation of health.
Here’s what I mean:
It starts with you!
Although doctors bear a good amount of the responsibility for our lack of health, that doesn’t get you off the hook, my friend, because you do your part too.
So if you want to start turning that around, here are 4 places you can start:
1) Eat real food
If you are sickly and overweight, your diet is most assuredly one of the primary reasons why.
Aim to construct the majority of your meals to include proteins (meat, poultry, wild-caught fish and eggs), fresh vegetables (other than potatoes and corn) and healthy fats (including real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado and lard).
On the flip side, stay far away from processed foods (aka anything in a package with ingredients you can’t pronounce), soda, fast food and refined carbohydrates (including breads, pastries, cookies, crackers, pasta and grains).
2) Get regular exercise
Exercise can take many forms, and you just need to find the one that works for you.
There are countless gyms out there, many of which provide instruction and guidance if you are a novice.
There are also classes, home DVDs or TV programs that take you through a workout, or even home exercise equipment if you are disciplined enough.
Even walking around your neighborhood counts!
3) Challenge your doctor with alternatives to medications
In many cases, there are safe, natural alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs that are just as effective, and it’s time to have a conversation with your doctor about them.
If the thought of that makes you hesitate or scares you, remember that your doctor works for you—not the other way around.
Note that if your doctor refuses to have a conversation with you or dismisses your concerns, take that as sign that you should get a new doctor.
Here are some examples:
Instead of medication for high blood pressure or cholesterol, how about fish oil and regular exercise? Plus grapefruit has been shown to help lower blood pressure too!
If you are on acid reducers (Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, etc.), start by changing your diet like I described above—I bet your heartburn decreases dramatically. Also helpful are herbs like mastic gum and ginger—see if your doctor is willing to let you try those.
Are you frequently constipated? Instead of MiraLAX or stool softeners, balancing your microbiome with probiotics can help turn that around, plus you’ll be supporting sound immune function too. Also make sure you’re drinking enough water.
And if you have elevated blood glucose and/or insulin resistance, ask about turmeric as an alternative to Metformin. A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism has shown that curcumin (the compound that gives turmeric its golden color) can lower blood glucose levels and inflammation, stimulate pancreatic function, and reduce insulin resistance.
4) Explore “alternative” treatments
There is a good number of alternative treatment options, many of which have been around a lot longer than our current “healthcare” and are equally or even more effective than what modern medicine has to offer, so they should be considered.
I’m living proof of this. I injured my right shoulder in karate 15 years ago and suffered from severe pain and limited range of motion. The orthopedist I consulted prescribed anti-inflammatories and pain medication.
After seeing little to no improvement and feeling loopy from the pain relievers, I discontinued the medications and began ultrasound therapy with my chiropractor, as well as physical therapy. Within a couple months I was fine (and have been since then).
In addition to chiropractic and physical therapy, other alternative options to consider include:
- Nutritional counseling
- Massage therapy
Our healthcare system desperately needs to change, but you can be the source of some of that change.
So get going, start creating health, don’t be afraid to ask questions of your doctor and begin to explore other alternatives.
To your health,