You may have heard me say “why wasn’t THAT news on the front page of the paper?” (Or the TV news or your phone news feed or whatever.) I think that all the time! It seems that what makes health news is mainly what supports a big money interest or best protects the establishment. There is very little fresh thinking, investigative reporting, consideration of alternate views or any rightfully skeptical challenge to whatever drivel is spewed out from press releases and medical journals.
Medical journals used to be trustworthy. Now, many studies and whistle blowers confirm that they have been corrupted by pharmaceutical money. We must use common sense and keep a historical perspective because, as it turns out, there are many ways even well-intentioned studies can miss the mark. Dr. Ronald Hoffman wrote an excellent piece, “13 reasons why most health studies are wrong.” (In more recent work he has increased that number to 15.)
Here are some recent headlines and indented, my alternate version:
“350 Die – Congress holds hearings on the Boeing 737 Max” Two recent crashes of that type plane caused tragic fatalities. For sure, the feds better button up the holes in the safety approval process. But, just for comparison with my point below, on a yearly basis, those deaths average fewer than 1 per day.
“Well over 1,000 die per day from pharmaceutical side effects and medical errors.” The numbers are staggering when we add up documented deaths from the side effects of drugs given in the hospital, side effects of meds taken at home, medical errors, hospital-acquired infections, and so on. And then there is the growing problem of errors in pharmacies because of under-staffing. How about you look into that, Congress? And review the actual literature on natural remedies instead of just taking the AMA’s word for it that there is no proof of effectiveness. Time for a lot more investment in prevention which is the only real solution to the disease care crisis.
“Cancer patient awarded millions” It is good news that the courts are compensating select victims and punishing Monsanto (now owned by Bayer) for the cancer-causing effects of their weed killer, Roundup. We can hope the patient lives to see the money after the inevitable delays and appeal of the verdict.
“All citizens being poisoned with Roundup” The smart (but, In my opinion, movie-plot-worthy evil) chemical giant, Monsanto has made their weed killer and the associated GMO crops so ubiquitous, that traces of Roundup are found all over the grocery store now. Eat organic as much as you can and avoid GMO crops.
“FDA approves drug for treatment of postpartum depression” This medicine costs $34,000, for treatment, requires hospitalization and has potentially deadly side effects.
“Nutrients and natural therapies for postpartum depression” A study showed that the mineral magnesium was superior to medication for depression. And it has hundreds of fringe benefits. There are many natural remedies for depression after childbirth. And the report on the new drug said it acts like something from progesterone…so why not use natural progesterone cream ($25)?
“Subscription creep” This was about how folks gradually accumulate more streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime and how those prices keep going up. (People only have so much disposable income and I hope that doesn’t cut into their nutrition budgets.)
“Prescription creep” I’d love to see more attention in the media to the fact that especially seniors are being prescribed an unreasonable number of drugs which ALL have side effects and have not been studied together. Too often drugs are from specialists who do not compare notes with the patient’s other doctors and do not give the person a clue when to stop the med. Read this story if you think the government can’t get pretty pushy about giving medications whether you want them or not. (Armed Arizona police busted into a home to grab an un-vaccinated child that they thought should have gone to the emergency room for treatment. Oops, the child’s fever had broken after the visit to the doctor and there was no need.)