What The Heck Has Happened To Medicine?


I was chatting with an M.D. woman friend, and told her my medications and my natural supplements and herbs and my “numbers” — my blood sugar and my blood pressure — when I still was convinced that I had those things.

My blood sugar was 120 mg/dL. My blood pressure with medications was around 140/85.

She surprised me with her reaction.

“You’re doing something right.  You probably don’t need the medicine, although you might want to watch your blood pressure for a bit.”

She went on to tell me that people had realized there were side effects to treating illnesses, so they didn’t in general want to “overtreat.”

She told me people just did not use medications as easily as when I must have been diagnosed.

It felt as if she had been talking about the stone age.

I have reversed my diabetes, gone off my blood pressure pills so I take nothing for that, either.

My blood sugar was 60 mg./DL.  My blood pressure is 123/70.  As a matter of fact, my pulse was 72.

Any blood sugar below 126 is generally considered non-diabetic.  Many have suggested in the past that anything below 100 mg./dL is non-diabetic.  Up until a couple years ago People cheeringly dispensed metformin, generally considered a first line treatment for diabetes, to people with “metabolic syndrome or “prediabetes” to prevent becoming diabetic.

Not a move I would endorse.

In our barren rural part of California, I found a patient to whom metformin had been prescribed “off-label” for weight loss for 5 years without having lost a pound.

The only thing that managed to do was make this woman want to scream very loudly. The drug has never been tested for weight loss, certainly is not approved for weightloss, and most of all — doesn’t even work for weight loss!

As for my blood pressure, it has not been this low since my induction into the U.S. Army about 30 years ago, and the pulse has been high 80’s to low 90’s.

Several people have told me the only way to bring it down was with athletic training.

And here I am, still a computer keyboard pounding physician.

Dr. Mary Vernon, a bariatric physician from Lawrence, KS tells people to tell their their doctors they are doing an experiment with an “n of 1” (n being the number of people enrolled in a clinical trial).  Whether they haven’t read or heard of the scientific research to endorse the benefits of a low carbohydrate high fat diet, a research study with data and only one subject can have a great deal of validity.

I just became an “n of 1”.

So I am thinking of my womanfriend-doctor, who told me I didn’t sound as if I needed my medicines back then, many months ago.

I guess most doctors are going by the “guidelines, So I checked some out.

I would really like to see more about the quality and kind of research behind these guidelines.

I like this one better, from those lovable Brits, whom I have come to cherish.
Our own “American Family Physician” seems to like them, too.

As far as I am concerned, the British are inching closer to the ideal of evidence based medicine.

I’ve been following the Cochrane Reviews for years..They seem to have grown in importance and power since they started.

I love the (British) Journal of Evidence Based Medicine:

As I scan the field, I see that there are many illnesses that may have alternative non-drug treatments.  I do not see how they will get funded.

Not in ,a, world where the American Heart Association appears to have been “founded” by Procter and Gamble, who were trying to sell Crisco at the time.

The American Heart Association issues lots of guidelines. If doctors do not follow the guidelines (i.e. low fat-high carb diets) they can be labeled as “not following best practices, which can affect their employement, university affliliations and worst of all — their insurance payments.  After all, who wants to have a doctor who is trying to them (what the government and the industrial consensus claims) a heart attack?

They are still anti-fat, after all this research and all this data to the contrary.

I am not the only researcher, with my little “n=1” research project of me.

I have tried to leave conspiracy theories for pundits in other spheres.

All I can tell you right now is that I am questioning all guidelines, everywhere.  Asking how other folks, especially the Europeans, feel about therapies in our guidelines.  Going beyond, looking at animal research, research from other countries.

I really do love Americans best.  I mean, I was in the military, putting my life on the line…

Now, I am in the process of trying to get to the truth.

There is something scary and exhilarating about my role.

Reminds me of the book by that great poet, Anne Sexton, “The Awful Rowing Toward God.”

So read all your informed consents for prescription drugs, check on treatments for what you have in other countries.

And know that the Renegade Doctor is working the best she can.

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