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February 16, 2014

Doubting Current Medical Practice may be Good for Your Health

A recent report examined 363 medical studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine over a 10-year period. About 40% of these studies examined a current medical practice.  It turned out that about 30% of these reports contradicted the original published findings suggesting that the original practice was less effective than originally reported.

There are many examples in medicine, from treating women with hormones to later find out that the hormones were causing more problems than they were relieving, to anti-depressants that at times cause so many side effects, like weight gain and loss of sexual interest, that the cost vs. benefit may need to be very carefully considered.  We live in a medically dominated culture, and many people do not question the authority of their doctor.  However, even the best doctor has only pills and medical procedures at his disposal, and of course 15 min to find a solution to your problem.

It may be a cautious and sensible approach to get information about all available treatments and start with less intrusive ones first, before committing to intrusive medical interventions.  Every pill has treatment effects and unwanted side effects; pharmacology, in most situations, suppresses symptoms, healing still has to occur through the active pursuit of health by the patient.

 

 

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