Drugs – Will They Kill You or Cure You?
First, let’s address the drug issue, and then we’ll get back to Chuck.
Are Prescription Drugs Good or Bad For You?
The answer is “both.” They can cure… and they can kill. In fact, The Journal of the American Medical Association reports about 113,000 annual deaths due to drug medical errors and non-errors, and negative effects of drugs.
If you read Life Extension Express, you saw my opinion on drugs. Especially their chronic use to treat symptoms such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, headaches, weight gain, etc. One example, weight loss drugs, have the worst record of all in terms of side effects and success rate. In 1977, a research project showed a modified diet consisting of eight to ten servings a day of fruit and vegetables lowered blood pressure as well as drug therapy. Many things can be treated naturally or avoided altogether that doctors throw drugs at.
Do You Know How America’s Health Compares to Other Developed Countries?
Not too well. Yet we consume 50% of the world’s prescription drugs. The other 95% of the world’s population takes the rest. That would be a good testimonial for drugs if we led the world in health, longevity and aging. But we don’t. We lag behind almost every other developed country. In fact, we are ranked a pathetic forty-second in the world in longevity. Don’t buy into the story that you have to live on medications for lifestyle-related diseases. Statistic prove otherwise.
Symptom treating may mask and actually increase the underlying causes. In almost all cases, if you treat only a symptom you are going to make the disease worse. The symptom is there as your body‘s attempt to heal itself. Medication almost always causes an imbalance to your system. Most medicines are blunt instruments, and no one really knows what they’ll do once they’re inside of you. So, the deadly paradox of chronic drug use can often deceive you into thinking you are doing your body favors, when in fact you may be masking the cause and sabotaging your biochemistry. You could be playing with deadly medicine—short-term gratification that costs you long-term health and satisfaction.
Do you know how big a vested interest the medical and drug industries have in keeping you sick and keeping you on medications? Why do you think they spend twice as much on advertising as they do on research?
Drugs Can Be Life Savers
Drugs and nutrients can both cure and prevent disease. But only pharmaceuticals have government sanction. And Big Pharma protects its turf.
So, keep thinking “cause” and not treating “symptoms.” Take drugs when necessary. They can be life savers. But avoid chronic use unless you are well informed and well advised. The few hours you invest over time could reward you with revitalized health and extra years to appreciate it.
There may be times when you should thank your lucky stars that drugs are available though. Antibiotics used properly are a common example. In fact, if it weren’t for antibiotics, I would have been gone years ago. That’s what is so ironic about Chuck’s death. We shared a strong skepticism and distrust of many of Big Pharma’s products, but he was much more distrustful. So distrustful, in fact, that he ignored his doctor’s prescription for antibiotics when he was hospitalized for pulmonary fibrosis. His doctor also suspected pneumonia and gave Chuck antibiotics. He dismissed them and died the next day.
Would he be alive if he took his drugs? I don’t know. I do know there is a time to trust and a time to distrust Big Pharma, and those should always be informed decisions.
What Pain Meds Do NOT Do
Chuck and I bonded due to our personal spinal cord injuries. He was a smart guy, and his grandmother told him if he wanted to walk again, he’d have to figure out for himself how he was going to get cured. In 1979, he founded the Spinal Cord Society, a non-profit foundation dedicated to curing paralysis. I was one of the start-up donors and opened a local fundraising chapter where I invested most of my energy until I decided aging was a more important challenge.
One of the things Chuck and I shared was chronic pain as a side effect of our injuries. Recently, my pain medication stopped taking the edge off, and the pain got more severe. So, I visited a specialist who worked with a lot of spinal cord injury pain. He prescribed methadone, you know, the drug used to get addicts weaned off heroin. Yep, I said what you are thinking. I asked him if that wasn’t an awfully strong drug, was it addictive and what the side effects were. He assured me it is now the preferred drug for my neuropathic pain syndrome, that it blocks three separate pain receptors and that it is perfectly safe at the doses I would be taking.
Here’s what it DID NOT do:
- Relieve my pain
Here’s what it DID do:
- Made me sick to my stomach
- Made me weak
- Made me dizzy
- Slowed down my heartbeat dramatically
- Made me itch
- Decreased my appetite
It’s been a miserable month, especially the last week.
Sure, I checked the side effects before I took the medication methadone and read the long list that you see with nearly every drug. And even though I was encouraged by the doctor’s assurances that is was perfectly safe, I started at less than ½ dose and gradually worked my way up. As I increased dosage, I gradually started getting sick. When I really felt sick and weak, I checked the side effect list again. My symptoms jumped off the page, and I stopped taking it.
A Massive Amount of Drug Companies’ Marketing Budgets Target Physicians
They brainwash doctors. Then doctors give what they think is good advice, and lots of patients get better. But some get sicker with side effects, and some even die from their medications.
By the time we cure aging, science will deliver us personalized, targeted, safe and effective drugs. Until then, be careful.
Twenty years ago, when I suggested to Chuck that we should cure aging, he said “We’ll work on aging once we cure paralysis”. I’m sad he won’t be around to see either. Our paths slowly diverged when I founded Maximum Life Foundation. He set great examples as to how research should be managed, and that knowledge is now reinforcing the aging research agenda.