“Always remember that medicine is a business first.”
Steve Carney, Five Big Medical Lies
Maybe like you I was for many years of my life a medical patient. A serial medical patient for all sorts of reasons. It took over thirty years of research to figure out why I’ve been a medical guinea pig most of my life while my brother was not (until he was killed by Vioxx, made by Merck and Co. – the ultimate in pain killers – after it takes full effect you never feel another thing).
For most of my life, if I thought about it at all, I assumed that my problems were my problems and that I was just unlucky. It wasn’t until I was on vacation in Trinidad at twenty nine years old, bending over a toilet horking up black blood that I finally had to come to terms with the fact that despite my following doctor’s orders for the first decades of my life, I appeared to be dying for no reason I could think of.
If, despite following doctor’s orders I could end up in this state – in virtual paradise – yet dying, it was time to take charge and responsibility for my own health. Surely I couldn’t do any worse than the doctors had done so far. And if I did, well, I was dying anyway so I had nothing to lose.
After that bout in the washroom; as chance would have it, our next door neighbours were sharing coconuts from the pygmy coconut tree in their backyard. After three expert whacks with a cutlass (machete) I was handed the biggest one and that saved my life. It had about a quart of coconut water in it. I chugged the whole thing and asked for more. That was a turning point.
I learned years later that I was bringing up black blood because my electrolytes were way down. At the time I’d never heard of electrolytes but coconut water is loaded with electrolytes so the perfect cure was there completely by accident right as I really needed it. That was luck. I never told any of them, not even my wife, what had just happened before I downed that coconut.
Within months of my return to Canada, I had a second lucky break when I came across a booklet about Iridology titled The Eyes Have It while I was changing into a swimsuit in a friend of a friend’s house trailer. In it was a description of the relationship between food, constipation, colds, headaches, health in general and the patterns we see in our irises when we examine our eyes closely in the mirror. There was also a diagram of each eye showing body parts in the irises so you could compare the geography of your own irises to the diagrams and start to learn about the state of your own body in surprising detail.
That booklet set me off on a search for more complete information. Back then in 1978, there was no internet where you could go and look things up. Libraries and book stores didn’t carry books containing the information I was looking for. At the time I had no idea how profoundly finding this booklet would shape my future. It became apparent only gradually.
Prior to the internet, medical knowledge was not much removed from witchdoctors and voodoo for the average person. Any family health information you might have was really based on rumour and experience, but not science. Some things worked, some didn’t. Even now that family knowledge base is still being explored, verified by science or debunked.
I did finally find an amazing book store. It was called the Fifth Kingdom Book Store and it was located on Harbord Street in Toronto near the University of Toronto campus. It was in those days a radical alternative book store that carried books on all sorts of new age material that most people would call airy fairy.
Virtually none of the books they carried would be found in a normal bookstore of the day. For example the Fifth Kingdom Bookstore carried Diet for a Small Planet, still a relevant book and one of the first recipe/diet books that discussed how to eat properly. It was full of recipes that were heresy compared to other cook books. In 1979 there was still no public concept of eating a healthy balanced diet even though it was talked about and most people thought they knew what such a diet was. They didn’t. All food was good. There was no such thing as junk food although parents did warn us about eating too much candy and drinking too much pop.
Food could not hurt you other than cause cavities in your teeth. There were no dieticians, no nutritionists and no one made their living as a personal trainer serving the public. Even trainers who worked with professional athletes knew almost nothing about health concepts compared to trainers today. When professional hockey players showed up for training camp in September most were out of shape and didn’t get into playing shape until November when the season was almost half over. If players did that now, they’d be out of a job.
Of course some members of the medical profession knew differently but they weren’t talking. Even today, doctors who write self-help medical books normally become pariahs within the medical community. They think they’re penning a game-changing book but once published, they’re shunned by the medical community. The people you don’t see in the medical self-help sections of bookstores are doctors, nurses and food scientists. Because of this, these days you can easily teach yourself more about certain conditions than your doctor knows.
For years Hypoglycemia was one of those conditions doctors were so ignorant about they thought people with the condition were faking. Even today the condition I discovered known as intermittent hypoglycemia is unknown in medical circles even though it’s a major cause of traffic and industrial injuries and fatalities. The professionals that suffer most from this condition are the police. For them more than any others, it’s fatal.
The medical profession says it’s a public awareness issue that is the responsibility of the police. The police say it’s the responsibility of the medical profession and that it’s a training and a public health issue that needs to be made public. The insurance industry says it only ever comes up in the case of a fatality and that is rare because when it does, the afflicted person is considered impaired and their insurance is declined. Politicians simply do not want to know about it because it’s too complicated to talk about without the doctors and police joining the conversation. Police don’t want to talk because they would lose their insurance in the event of an accident. Doctors don’t drive much so they aren’t exposed to the public health threat. It doesn’t show up in the news because reporters have never heard of this issue.
There are plenty of medical issues like this that.
Individual doctors were and still are nutritionally incompetent and as a profession including nurses, have the highest premature death rate due to food related causes. They receive almost zero nutritional education in med school. You can check this yourself by reviewing the curriculums for any medical university. Yet doctors, since they were in business first and for no other reason, have the last word on what sort of nutritional care you receive to help you deal with whatever ails you.
Nutritionists and dieticians spend years learning their trade. By the time they graduate they have impressive skills and knowledge. Yet as a professional body, their voice is silenced and their mouths are zipped shut by virtue of the fact that they cannot tell it like it is because they are beholden to medical doctors whose nutritional education can be measured in minutes rather than years. The consequences of this abysmal hierarchal structure within our health care system are invisible to the public yet devastating and often fatal to those members of the public whose continued existence depends on sound nutritional guidance and supervision.
The medical sector where this is most obvious is the mental health sector where people are routinely abused by omission. That is they aren’t taught what they need to know so they can regain their mental and physical health.
In the medical sector the tail wags the dog.
The thirty-five years I’ve spent researching how to recover and maintain my own health has led me to the understanding that most people can manage their own health far better than the medical community can do it for them.
When a doctor says, “Let’s try this.” That is your cue that the doctor has left the realm of the known and entered the realm of his personal unknown. You are now a lab rat at no risk to the doctor but very high risk to you. That’s how modern medicine has become the number three killer in the USA.