If You’re Not Taking Control of Your Health, Who Is?
You may not think about it this way, but if you are not taking control of your health, someone else is. And that someone else is likely to be a large corporation whose main interest is improving profitability — not ensuring that you live a long, healthy life.
For example, perhaps you are one of the 23.5 million Americans who, through a combination of genetic predispositions and years of letting your weight and eating habits slide, have now developed type II diabetes. Your doctor tells you your blood sugar is too high and that this is very dangerous, and you passively sit there as he writes the prescription for the drug that will fix the problem. Maybe you make a few changes to the way you eat and try to get some more exercise, but things pretty much stay the same.
Fast forward two years to the morning you wake up with gripping chest pain and you dreadfully realize that this could be the day you die. These could be the last moments you spend with your loved ones, and possibly the last time you feel warm sunshine on your face or see the beauty of a sunset. It’s not because your type II diabetes has destroyed your heart, it’s because the medication that you were prescribed two years ago poses a serious risk to your heart. Unfortunately, you or your doctor never knew this, because as it turns out the pharmaceutical company that developed the drug hid the research which showed that increased risk of heart attack was a real ramification of taking their drug. They buried it, threatened and intimidated doctors who wanted to bring it to light, and made sure the public never found out because that drug brought in 1.2 to 6 billion dollars annually.
Does the story sound too far fetched? Unfortunately, it’s not. This is the real story of Avandia, one of the most commonly prescribed medications for type II diabetes. A Senate Finance Committee investigation showed that GlaxoSmithKline intentionally hid reliable scientific data clearly showing that Avandia significantly increases the risk of heart attack.
You may say, “This is just one drug out of thousands, most of them are safe.” Perhaps you forgot about Vioxx, and about the antidepressant story. In 2004, GlaxoSmithKline was implicated in another scandal for suppressing data that showed antidepressants given to children and young adults increased rates of suicide. They were sued by the attorney general of New York and now have to list it on the box of all antidepressants they make. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but just imagine if you were one of the parents that lost a child to suicide after the doctor suggested you start them on an antidepressant because of some anxiety related to school or family trouble.
My point is that pharmaceutical companies don’t care about your health. They care about making money as any business would. They invest billions of dollars in research and expect billions of dollars in return, and they will apparently do whatever it takes to make that happen.
You may say, “Well, how about the FDA?” Yes, it is the Food and Drug Administration’s job to regulate these issues and make sure these private companies are making products safe for Americans. At this point, the FDA has shown a severe lack of ability to control these issues. The pharmaceutical companies and the FDA have way to close of a relationship for things to remain unbiased.
It is a common practice for former heads of pharmaceutical divisions to take high offices in the FDA. Conversely, many policy makers in the FDA are given jobs at pharmaceutical companies once their government-appointed positions are up. It is a classic case of “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.” Over the past few years, there has been wide public concern over that atmosphere in the FDA that severely frowns upon any criticism of pharmaceuticals.
Still not convinced to take your health into your own hands? Maybe you should also consider that 48,000 people die each year of hospital-related infections. And that death from medical intervention (correctly done and mistakes combined) ranks somewhere between the third and fifth leading cause of death in the United States.
How do you take health into your own hands? Start working with doctors and health care practitioners who will teach you the tools you need for healthy living. Understanding the foundational principles of a healthy lifestyle — proper diet and supplementation, how to develop an appropriate exercise regimen and how to maintain an ideal body mass index — is key for keeping your body healthy.
Science has proven that habits related to improving diet, lifestyle and body mass index can significantly reduce the incidence of many of the most common diseases that threaten the lives of Americans including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. The foundational principles of natural health and wellness are truly the keys to living a healthier — and possibly longer — life. They may or may not add years to your life, but they will certainly add life to your years.
Dr. Passero completed four years of post-graduate medical education at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Colorado. Dr. Passero has trained with some of the nation’s leading doctors in the field of natural medicine. In his practice, Dr. Passero focuses on restoring harmony to both the body and mind using advanced protocols that incorporate herbal therapy, homeopathy, vitamin therapy and nutritional programs. Through education and guidance patients are able to unlock the natural healing power contained within each one of us. For more information, visit his website, Green Healing Wellness, or follow him on Facebook.