Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Fear Based Medicine - Who is responsible for your health?

Just who knows your body best?

I'm guessing or rather hoping that the answer to that question is you - the reader.

Yet we are all too willing to hand over the power of what we should do with our bodies to our doctors. A person who never really knows us when we are well so making a comparison isn't easy for them and not all illnesses are obvious.
We go along and have the tests, and wait to see if they fit the 'normal range' - well that we didn't know before. You might always have been outside the normal range and perfectly healthy.
Your blood pressure gets checked, it may be the first time in years and again, what if normal for you, would be outside the 'normal range'
Now of course a doctor needs some guidelines to work within, but that is all they are - guidelines! They are not gospel and you, like many, could one that doesn't fit the norm.

This of course is all fine as long as you are then not coerced onto a medication route without discussion and with the understanding that there are other options that may work better or could run along side a medical route that would improve your health greatly. Plus the consideration that you are functioning well but outside the 'normal range' Normal for you.

It seems that more and more people are becoming fearful of the one person who should be there as a partner in your health improvement and not an ogre who will cast you aside if you don't comply.

As Dr Patrick Kingsley says, when you visit the doctor, don't ask the doctor what he can do for you, but ask him what can you do to help yourself.

So what happens when you visit your doctor?

I hope not the same as a case I heard recently which is just an example of the scenario I hear all to often.
Sadly it is arrogance and ego that get in the way of true medical support and I use the word support specifically.

If you see a doctor and want to know what the root cause of a problem is - is that unreasonable?

Is it ok to have just the symptoms treated forever, as is very often the case with back pain and many chronic illnesses.

The one thing for certain is that if you take the amount of pain killers needed every day to keep the pain under control, the stomach will need another pill to help the acid level and the liver will eventually need help as will the kidneys.

Pain is there for a reason - not to be masked but to alert the conscious body to a problem that needs fixing.

It is disturbing that when patients want to know more or question the treatment or suggest that they try a different route, then some doctors are showing their disapproval and implying that if the patient won't follow their advice then there is no point coming to see them.

Now to some extent, i can see where the doctor is coming from, but perhaps the issue is not so clear cut and if patients are asking about different routes to health, then perhaps it is time that doctors started to familiarise themselves with other routes to health and start to work in partnership with what patients want.
We are so conditioned to go to the doctor with health problems in the first instance, that we expect it to be our one stop shop, so perhaps patients feel they need the approval of their doctor before they seek help elsewhere - that is because we have been brought up with a cradle to grave mentality to the NHS and our health

So when you ask a doctor what else can be tried or investigated and they come back with amytriptaline, an addictive antidepressant and you don't want to take it - fear is instilled in you -

But we end up with more and more drugs - there are so many that far from being a pill for every ill, we are perhaps in the realms of an ill for every pill!

People worry what the doctor will say if they don't comply with the advice, but what when the advice doesn't sit comfortably with you? many feel worried to go back and ask the doctor again, they know doctors are busy so we tend to be passively accepting yet you are the keeper of your body and it has got to serve you and not the doctor.

If you find yourself unwell, unless it is a life threatening emergency of which our NHS are brilliant at, don't be rushed into a route, take time and consider what is best to achieve health and not just squash symptoms, don't be rushed into something through fear.

If a body gets sick, we have to find what caused that to happen and only then can we start to change the body back to health.

CAM therapists are fortunate in that they have longer with patients to determine the root cause and work up from the problem, not 10 mins to make a diagnosis, what ever form of treatment you take,  don't make a decision on a fear base.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Do We Really Need This Vaccine?

By the age of one, your child will have had a possible 25 vaccines and thank goodness none are compulsory!

That is well worth remembering as today we read of yet another vaccine that your small baby can get.

By September 2013, the vaccine for the Rotavirus will be available to you..well aren't we lucky!

I know I have blogged before on vaccinations, and it never fails to surprise me how accepting we are when yet another is offered up to us.

Slipped in the news amidst American elections and BBC internal disasters, was the news on yet another vaccine.

Well what is the Rotavirus and what is the history behind this vaccine.

The Rotavirus is something that all children will very likely get and that we as children all probably had as well, the great thing is that after the first bout of it, your own immunity offers a good deal of protection to the second bout and therefore it is less severe and as we move into adult hood, our own immunity has us virtually covered for it - perfect!! just as it should be, a healthy immune system that has developed its own defence to this virus and the cases of it occurring in adult hood are rare.

So what are the symptoms of this virus and what should we do if our children get it?
First it is a sickness and diarrhoea bug with a possible fever. Well, children get these symptoms quite often and can come from all manner of viruses, so are we going to vaccinate them for all of them eventually?
This is a virus that can so easily be prevented by good hygiene, such as hand washing after going to the toilet, washing hands before eating and being careful in general cleanliness between children - do we really need a vaccine to replace general basic hygiene?
Well the rotavirus like most of these viruses are quite contagious and any illness between children can spread quickly, but that is the beauty of getting childhood illnesses and having them over and done with so we become healthier and stronger adults.

The NHS website states that only 1.5% of children that get gastroenteritis require hospitalisation and that is due to the child being allowed to get dehydrated. This site infers that this is a mild condition that can in the majority be managed very easily
When anyone suffers diarrhoea , dehydration is a possibility and so it is important to keep fluids up and the sugar/salt balance in the body stable with rehydration solutions. Fluids are more important than food at this point and my favourite solution for sickness and diarrhoea is a small amount of Coca Cola with a pinch of good sea salt for older children and for babies, there are numerous preparations that you can get from your chemist that mimic this.
It gives a good salt/sugar balance and is the best use of this drink that in usual circumstances I wouldn't touch.
Keep the communal areas well sanitised, so handles and toilets and towels etc should all be kept clean and minimise the cross infection. Washing of toys as the germs can live on toys for a bit longer.
So are we to vaccinate for the absence of basic hygiene and good parenting and risk all that vaccines can do to our children.
Fever is a natural response in the body and so again good parenting to manage the fever by watching to make sure it doesn't make your child delirious or risk a fit, but can be allowed to do its job in the body, keeping it under control by sponging down with warm water and not reaching for the tablets or for the Imodium.
Roughly 4 children a year die from this virus, and of course no death is acceptable, but do we ban cars that cause many more children's deaths a year, or smoking that causes the NHS to spend far more on treating the effects of this unnecessary activity - of course not, but why not?

In June 2007 there was a call for a vaccine to prevent this virus and of course drug companies were only too willing to oblige as yet another way for them to make money. But this first attempt at the vaccine was withdrawn as it caused intussusception, which is when the bowel folds in on itself and cause obstruction - the exact opposite to the Rotavirus then!

Why did the vaccine effect the bowel in this way?  What has changed? Well when it comes to getting your baby vaccinated with this little number, ask your Dr what went wrong with the first one and why it would have done that and what possibly can go wrong with this one, after all they didn't put the last vaccine out thinking it would do that now did they?
So we don't want to go from symptoms that we as parents can manage to a problem we can not or that can lead to further problems for our children's health later in life with this mass of vaccines and the accumulative effect of vaccine adjuvents.
Drugs can not be tested on children, so it really is 'guess work' to some extent, how these things will pan out in our children's bodies.

This virus is a bigger problem in developing nations where clean drinking water and sanitation are not possible, but to give a vaccine is still not the answer, in fact from the study carried out on a group of 8000 Bangladeshi Children and was published in the British Medical Journal, we ourselves could learn something for our children.

This was a very thorough study that was given much praise in the way it was carried out.
Basically it looked to see if zinc would shorten the length of the condition and prevent less hospital admission and improve both morbidity and mortality.
One group was given just the Oral Rehydration Solution and the other group were given both the ORS and just 20mg of zinc!
The combination technique using the zinc very significantly lowered the rates of morbidity and mortality.It also cut the use of antibiotics!
The overall conclusion was that this therapy had substantial benefits from a simple and inexpensive treatment.

Now the World Health Organisation (WHO) reviewed the findings of Abdullah Baqui from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and concluded that zinc supplements are efficacious in reducing the severity and duration of the illness, however it said further research was needed to ascertain whether the use of zinc was practical in the developing world.

Just 20mg of zinc per person as opposed to a vaccine that will be costing more than zinc. Zinc being a safer method also.

Unbelievable - so what might be the real reason WHO wouldn't want to go for a cost effective option that had such a well controlled study backing it, the kind they put so much store behind.
Actually who wouldn't want to go for a cost effective option?

How powerful are the drug companies?

No patent on zinc of course so no money to be made.

Don't forget that zinc could help your child's condition too - seek the help of  an expert in vitamins and minerals which is not, in most cases, your Dr, I hasten to add

Please ask your doctor or nurse to tell you what is in the vaccines you are letting your children have. You don't just want to be told that its nothing that isn't safe, that is not the same answer. If they can't tell you - come back when they can and that you are satisfied you know the ingredients.

Supermarkets sell many products that we make decisions on not to buy because of their ingredients, do the same for vaccines.

Don't be a sheep - be a parent.

Taking some time off work to look after our children when they are sick should be acceptable in a civilised country and sticking yet another jab into these little bodies is not the answer - it is creating a bigger problem.

At anyone vaccine appointment with a nurse, your child could be vaccinated for several conditions all at once. Nature doesn't give us all these diseases in one go, she knows our bodies couldn't cope with it, so what do we think we are doing?

Remember that none of these can be tested on children, that is unethical!  not unethical to give them once someone has deemed them ok though - but how can that arise?

I have left lots of questions hanging in the air - that i did deliberately as these are the questions we should have the answers to before we agree to this.

Remember vaccines are not compulsory and don't fall victim to peer pressure or assume they are safe.

As it is said, to assume makes an ass out of you and me and how very true that can be.