Monday, September 6, 2010

Doc Google

Have you ever had strange symptoms and turned to google rather than a doctor? I've read studies reporting that more and more people are turning to google and medical message boards when faced with medical symptoms. WebMD doesn't survive on information alone. I am sure it is funded by the pharmaceutical ads blinking in the corners.

What has gone wrong with our medical care that we are more comfortable turning to the internet for answers? I would be willing to bet that the majority of people that turn to the internet fall into one of a couple categories. Perhaps they have no insurance to pay for a doctor visit and are trying some home remedies first in an effort to save the cost of an office visit. Perhaps they have been to doctor after doctor only to be no closer to a diagnosis and are turning to the internet for the elusive diagnosis. If they are turning to a message board, maybe they just want someone to actually listen to them and sympathize.

Our medical care in the US has gotten so frustratingly reliant on the newest drug available that doctors have stopped trying to figure out what is truly wrong. Rather than figure out what is wrong, they medicate the symptoms and shove us out the door. For years I complained of hormonal problems. I went to doctor after doctor, only to be told time and again that I needed either birth control pills or antidepressants. At my wits end, I settled for a hysterectomy hoping to avoid the horrendous side effects of medication. I am not one that handles medication well. I tend to have all the side effects listed on the bottle and some that doctors refuse to believe (like the all over itching caused by birth control pills). So surgery solved the pain but didn't solve my hormonal imbalance.

I've had a similar experience with my digestive tract. When the tests came back negative, and everything appeared normal, they offered to medicate the symptoms. Yet again, I do not handle medication well so the medication is worse than the symptoms. After years of no help, I took matters into my own hands and did a food journal and an elimination diet only to find that there were several foods that made me particularly ill. Eliminating them not only helped my digestive tract, it did wonders for my skin.

My sis-in-law has fought most of her life with doctors only to find that she has been battling lyme disease for years and years. The doctors didn't know the answers so they assumed it must be mental. At one point, her kidneys were not retaining any fluid. She was very sick and went to a kidney doctor for help. He accused her of being anorexic and offered no help. I guess he didn't have a drug to medicate the symptom and felt threatened.

What have we done to our health? We poison our foods and our environment. We cram our bodies full of half tested drugs with numerous side effects. I really think the link to cancer is our environment, our food supply, our medical care, and our lifestyle. Obesity is a growing epidemic even though they keep trying to find the magic pill to fix it. Stress has fallen on the youngest of elementary kids as they try not to be left behind. We don't eat real food. We don't exercise and we don't get out in the fresh air. Perhaps if we fought to prevent disease, the doctors wouldn't be so reliant on drugs to fix us.

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