Something To Think About

So this morning as I went through my Google Reader I found this snippet with the infographic below.

I’ll give you a moment to scan through that….

Overmedicated America
Created by: Medical Billing and Coding Online

Cool! Did you get through that?

Now, I don’t know about you, but personally I find this pinpoints one of the biggest flaws in current western medicine.  There is a hugely disproportionate emphasis on medicating to cover up symptoms, illnesses, etc instead of actually finding a fundamental solution to treat the issue.  Just search “Paula Deen and diabetes” on Google if you want to see what I mean.

Today, the population is arguably more ill than it has ever been before with increasing rates of diabetes, obesity, and associated diseases. Admittedly there are genetic factors (1, 2) involved in development of these disease, but I’d say it’s safe to say lifestyle choices play a huge role.  Just because you are genetically predisposed does not mean the war is over.

Sometimes I feel that the American population gives up too easily on their own problems and have become so accustomed to instant gratification that they would rather be handed a pill to alleviate symptoms instead of trying to make a real change to solve the actual problem.  In my opinion fighting for your health is a battle worth fighting for. Perhaps, this is just me though as my grandfather always placed an individuals health as the most precious thing in life, because if you don’t have your health you can’t really enjoy the other important things such as family, friends, or experiences.  I don’t know about you, but that seems like pretty good logic to me.

Getting back to my point, I believe if a change is going to happen there needs to be more emphasis on prevention of these illnesses and not waiting until it’s too late.  As human beings all of our fuel and the nutrients we need come from what we put into our body and how we treat it.  Shoveling Cheetos, pizza, and hostess cupcakes into your mouth while you park it on the couch is not exactly VIP treatment.  If you think about how an architect designs a high-rise they are not haphazardly drawing squiggles for the foundation, but rather really thinking about what would make the most structurally sound building blocks so the finished product doesn’t collapse because of a little wind.  So instead, I’d say let’s eat real, clean, unprocessed food and get your blood flowing with a little exercise to give our bodies the best foundation to build ourselves on.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a pretty good alternative to popping 5 plus pills a day and still feeling sick.

What do you think?

*Also just as disclaimer, I’m not health professional, nutritionist, or anything of that nature.  This is purely my opinion and is not any type of professional advice.

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2 thoughts on “Something To Think About

  1. I agree with the thrust of your argument, but that infographic makes me a little uneasy. The rise in the number of pills people are taking can probably be attributed to overprescription in some cases. However, the increasing pill burden is also a result of legitimate new therapies coming out. I’m working at a liver transplant clinic right now, and the amount of pills patients are taking to treat their hepatitis C has increased compared to 5 years ago because of new antiviral therapies and protocols.The graphic seems to be saying that the rise in the amount of pills people are taking is all bad and unnecessary, when it’s probably more of a mixed bag (I’m assuming that the statistics quoted are referring to all medications, not just the ones for psychiatric use). Also, the “50% of doctors admitted to routinely prescribing treatments that won’t help” seems a little too high for me…but then again, I have no hard facts to back up that perception.

    Despite my uneasiness with the arguments in that infographic, I do agree with their end message. Patients should definitely educate themselves about whatever condition they’re suffering from and the posible treatment options. And as you mentioned, healthy lifestyle changes are a must for anyone.

    Thanks for the post!

    • Thanks for the input Nik!

      I actually don’t disagree with you that the info graphic might make someone uneasy and by all means I don’t take it without a grain of salt given that it is an info graphic and they are designed to make things look a certain way. Also, you bring up a good point that it probably generalizes all drugs and I apologize for not clarifying the fact that I’m not trying to say people shouldn’t be medicating when they have cancer or some other type of terminal illness. I meant to focus more on the over eagerness to deal with diet related diseases such as cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, etc through popping a pill instead of lifestyle changes.

      Thanks for keeping me on my toes. I’ll be more careful to clarify my stance next time : )

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