Half of Doctors Routinely Prescribe Drugs They Know Won’t Work

by Sarah Healthy LivingComments: 62

Not sure if this will surprise you or not. I was actually rather taken aback.

Almost HALF of Americans are on some sort of prescription drug.

Right now. This very minute!

This includes children by the way, it’s not just adults.

Americans are truly a drugged up nation yet thorough examination of the situation reveals that most prescription drugs only work for 30% of the people for which they are originally intended!

The most popular drug prescribed by doctors is by far antidepressants although these drugs work no better than a placebo.  Even “talk therapy” was found to work 20% more effectively than antidepressants in clinical trials.

Why are half of doctors (by their own admission) routinely prescribing drugs they know won’t work and despite the fact that 85% of new drugs hitting the market have been found through research to provide little to no benefit to their patients?

Follow the almighty dollar.

Psychiatrists, for example, earn twice as much when they prescribe drugs instead of therapy for their patients.

It’s easy to point the finger at Big Pharma and corporate greed in general as the cause of America’s drug woes.  The fact is that many doctors are complicit and just as guilty.  If doctors refused to go along with the drug companies’ shenanigans, the game would be over tomorrow.

Big Pharma has your doc’s back though.  $7 Billion was paid out by the pharmaceutical industry between 2007 and 2010 for lawsuits where doctors were actually paid to prescribe drugs for unapproved uses.

Insist on the 10 Year Rule

The best way to protect yourself from falling victim to unnecessary prescription use is to question when a doctor writes you a script rather than dutifully filling it without a second thought which is what most people do.

Do you really need this drug? Would wiser lifestyle choices result in a better outcome long term? Would herbs or natural therapies produce the same improvements without any risk of toxic side effects?

If you do feel that you need the drug for whatever reason, be sure to research it yourself and determine whether it is really as effective as marketed.   A good rule of thumb is to insist that your doctor only prescribe you a drug that has been on the market for at least 10 years.  This is the rule my father used when prescribing for his patients and he never felt like he was being overcautious in his approach.

By using the 10 year rule, he knew it was highly unlikely his patients would turn out to be guinea pigs for the drug companies and that the drugs his patients did take under his guidance would most likely work as he anticipated given that they had been on the market for awhile.

What is your doctor’s drug prescribing philosophy?   It might be worth your while to ask a few questions and find out.

You just might be surprised.

Hint:  If they don’t have one, run!


Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Source:  We Pop Way Too Many Pills and They Don’t Even Work

Picture Credit

Comments (62)

  • Kay

    I am so angry at all of my Doctors. They have neglected their Duty of Care and my health has suffered as a result. A lot of this has been avoidable if only the doctor had made a suggestion
    I started getting a sore throat a year ago. This just got worse with time. I saw doctor after doctor and received pill after pill. Even when I saw the specialist they simply prescribed Anti-biotics, nasal sprays, anti-inflammatory medications, anti depressants (lexapro 10mg every time) and many more.
    Never once did someone ask me what I was eating, how often I exercised or about any of the stresses potentially impacting on my health. They only asked if I smoked or drank. (Which is just about the worst thing you can do – it’s all made by the government and packed full of toxic chemicals)
    I figured it out on my own without any degree.
    My throat started hurting all the time, the pain was beginning to be unbearable and it was consuming my every waking moment.
    It was the gift of a blender and a small quote saying I needed to get rid of something I didn’t want to let go of.
    So I cut back on the processed, additive and preservative filled drinks and snacks I had been over-indulging in and started eating lots of raw fruits and vegetables.
    I blended them all up as well to make it easier to eat all that healthy stuff. And I made sure I got enough sleep, rested and worked out a little each day. I stopped smoking that one cigarette a day and removed the small amount of alcohol I was consuming. And I scrapped the anti-depressants that were zombifying me.
    The first sip of my fruit smoothie was the first one I’d had in weeks without being in pain, and still today it’s the only drink I can drink freely without any pain sneaking up on me.
    These blended up fruits and veg may have just saved my life.
    The pain is just about gone and it’s only been a week.
    I am so angry that no one ever bothered to ask me these questions or even in an off hand comment recommend to eat a little healthier.
    And it’s all so they can make more money.
    My health, my life; it means little to nothing to them and you’ll all be a lot healthier (and happier) :) when you stop relying on them and their drugs and start making basic lifestyle changes.

    November 14th, 2014 1:45 am Reply
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  • Orthomol

    функции витаминов

    November 15th, 2013 10:25 pm Reply
  • Andy

    I was prescribed high blood pressure pills after blood pressure was 155/90, when I told him I was smoking and drinking alot of caffeine, The pills made me sick, and was surprise why didn’t he just tell me to make a healthy change, and now I quit smoking and been exercising and now my blood pressure is 112/78.

    February 28th, 2013 8:58 pm Reply
  • Stacey

    HELLO??! Are you aware that you posted a pic of a bottle of prescription meds with a person’s name clearly being shown to everyone reading your blog. Irresponsible behavior from you at the very least. SMDH.

    October 19th, 2012 12:25 pm Reply
  • Heather

    Drugs have their place. They are necessary for some people, even life-savers. Diet and exercise are of course important, but do not cure *everything*. Some medical issues go beyond dietary sensitivities etc.

    The problem is not the existence of drugs themselves, but their *overuse*. When they are prescribed for off-label purposes. When they are prescribed because a patient asked for it after seeing an ad, whether or not it’s appropriate for them. When the target audience is ignored. Eg — anti-depressants are found to be very effective in people with *severe* depression, not so much in people with *mild* depression.

    Another problem could be that people may see a certain drug that “works” for a portion of the population (the ones who truly need it) and think ‘hey, that might help me’ even though their case is very mild, treatable with diet, a different case altogether, etc. This is partly the case with Ritalin and other stimulant drugs over-prescribed for ADHD. My son is one of those who NEEDS medication in order to *function*. Not in order to ‘sit still in school’ — at age 14 he has in fact never been to school, we work at home around his needs. But until we started meds at age 12, he was quite literally unable to even function, couldn’t even do the things he wanted to do, floated around in a fidgety fog, literally throwing himself against the walls, perpetually upside-down, and was just not mentally *present*. When he started meds, the fog lifted and he said “I finally feel like myself.” And he finally started to blossom and discover his talents and passions.

    And yes, we tried all the ‘natural’ and dietary treatments first. I do honestly believe that there’s something misfiring in his brain that requires extra sensation in order to ‘feel normal’, and the meds provide that for him so that he doesn’t have to expend all his mental energy on providing self-stimulation. There are side effects, but we’ve carefully evaluated everything and believe that yes, this is better, at least at this point in time, than not taking the meds.

    The problem becomes that parents and teachers look at the kids who legitimately need ADHD treatment, see the meds helping, and then say “hey, let’s try it for this kid who’s a bit hyper” — when perhaps all that kid needs is a change in educational approach, more time outside, or a different diet. Maybe there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with that kid at all!

    In my own case, I’ve been struggling with rising blood pressure, which runs in my family. It is ‘essential hypertension’, NOT affected by any lifestyle choices. I went on a medication last year and by golly it worked great. I experienced one minor side effect, so we tried something else that didn’t work at ALL. I went off the meds completely and for the past half-year or so I’ve been trying to regulate it again through natural means… (various supplements, etc etc) with NO success whatsoever. It continues to rise, I’m feeling the effects of it, and I’ve reached the point where I believe it’s best that I go back on the first medication. It’s a very, very difficult decision.

    August 26th, 2012 11:43 am Reply
  • click here

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    August 18th, 2012 4:59 am Reply
  • maggie

    I just figured Out HOW to fix my Body after 3 months of Following the Docs Perscribed Meds for a Rectol Polyp…..the First Lie was Myralax…” It just sits in your intestines & doesnt absorb keeping it Moist”…its a Laxitive…hense the term Lax in its name!…….there were 3 more…but the worst was colace…It litterally stripped my intestines of all Nutriants and whatever Oil its made out of must be horribly hydrogenated…It gave me a Migrain….at 47 I had never had one before…..I went off for 5 days & tried it again…same responce…the ONLY thing that fixed it ….A prenatal Vitamine 2x a Day with Coconut Oil………The Kicker..I went for my follow up……Hubby Got the Chart Before we went so we would finally KNOW what it said….So I asked the question…can you exsplain my Lower GI information to me..were there any more Polyps..remember I am Holding My Chart & I am Unisured….She said …You didnt have a Lower GI…Im looking at the Lower Gi results in My hand….when I finally sat down at home I discovered the worst Lie came from the doctor I trusted the Most……my red blood cells were a 4 count when they checked me in to figure out what was wrong with me…..a month later they said they were fine…..In the Chart it list them at a level 7 & I was told they need to be a 12

    August 5th, 2012 7:44 pm Reply
  • EC

    Argh! This post hits close to home for me as a natural healthcare provider. I see patients every day that are on a dozen or more medications and have no idea what they are for. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely a time and place for prescription medications, and I absolutely have referred patients back to their PCPs or other specialists for pain medication to get them through a particularly acute situation. Most people have absolutely no idea the actual efficacy of their prescriptions or that their prescriptions have never been studied in combination with the other drugs they are taking.

    On the other hand, as some commenters have noted, it is frustrating to work with patients that just want a quick fix. They want you to snap your fingers and magically all the damage they’ve been doing to their bodies with years of unhealthy habits, poor diet, no exercise, etc. will be gone. There are some people who don’t want to work at it themselves. I absolutely love, love, love to advise patients who want to hear it about lifestyle choices, whole foods, exercise, strategies they can use to help themselves stay well because the ones that are diligent about these types of things tend to see big improvements.

    February 21st, 2012 7:19 pm Reply
  • AmandaLP

    Did a research paper on psychiatric drugs, specifically the expensive new ones coming out. I found that the government (through Medicare/caid) paid for around 90% of these drugs.

    For the vast majority of psychiatric disorders, exercise works so much better than any pill.

    February 16th, 2012 9:48 pm Reply
  • Chris Schilke

    Somebody much wiser than I said something to the effect that we should let food be our medicine and medicine be our food. Something close to this effect. If we put the right things in our mouths our bodies will have the proper materials to make repairs and we won’t need worthless or worse, dangerous drugs. Eat right stay healthy. Nothing better than a good surgeon when we get hurt and need to be put back together but, we only need the right foods for the rest of our degenerative diseases

    February 16th, 2012 1:48 pm Reply
  • Chris Schilke

    You may not be religious but, you still might find this to be interesting. Somebody a long time ago knew what modern man would be facing today.
    Rev 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceriesG5331 were all nations deceived.
    From G5332; medication (“pharmacy”), that is, (by extension) magic (literal or figurative): – sorcery, witchcraft.

    February 16th, 2012 1:42 pm Reply
  • Kathryn

    I’m not surprised by this, but then i read John Abramson’s Overdosed America long ago. What did surprise me was your statement that the drugs work on 30% of the population. Then i re-read it: work for 30% of the people for which they are originally intended Most drugs have been far expanded beyond the original intent. Statins are one example. There is a tiny group of people for which this drug is appropriate. But the drug companies were instrumental in getting the “safe cholesterol” number lowered, and now hundreds of thousands of folks fall into the “unsafe” category for which this drug is targeted. But it is still only helpful for about 1 person in 5,000 for which it is prescribed.

    We tend to think that our drugs are rigorously tested. “The gold standard study” is highly regarded. However, when i worked hospital, i saw these “gold standard” studies performed, and there was room for the data to be manipulated at every step on the road.

    I used to believe in medical science. I took the (legally prescribed) drugs. I ruined my health by trusting in medical science. I may never recover, tho i’m working hard at it with nutrition, supplements, and as healthy a lifestyle as i can manage. I work very hard a living 100% drug free. It is my goal to NEVER take another prescription drug again, and to come very close to the same in regard to OTC. (I’ve used Excedrin twice in the last year for migraine.) I try to use natural methods to deal with pain and illness.

    February 15th, 2012 2:15 pm Reply
  • Louise Brown via Facebook

    I would add, if the health care system got away from rewarding doctors for this behavior and rewarded them for caring for patients, there would be no incentive to grab the ever-present RX pad.

    February 15th, 2012 7:59 am Reply
  • Lisa Griffiths via Facebook

    It would be interesting if we all asked our doctors this question – even if we never got an answer. And thanks for the tip Anita.

    February 15th, 2012 3:32 am Reply
  • Anita Messenger via Facebook

    Speaking of prescription drugs…our family knows SIX couples in our family and our close friends here recently who have had one spouse suddenly file for divorce and leave the marriage after at least 14 years of marriage (and up to 31 years). In all of them, the other spouse was blindsided by this action and did not want the divorce. In every couple, the one leaving had or is taking anti-depressants and their uncharacteristic behavior happened after they started taking them. All of these people who left their marriages were loved by us and their families. In every case, the spouse being left had done nothing wrong to cause the other to feel they had a right to divorce. On top of this, our oldest son’s fiance died of prescription drug overdose four years ago and one of the drugs she was taking was an anti-depressant (she had lupus). She had overdosed several times in three years and it finally got her. She was not overdosing on purpose. She was taking Ambien to sleep and she was getting up and taking more pills when she thought she was sleeping. One doctor in the ER told me, Don’t ever let someone you love take Ambien. Once you take one pill, you don’t know what you are doing.

    February 15th, 2012 1:33 am Reply
  • Liz H

    I’m speaking up for the providers here because I am one.
    First, let me say that I believe that diet changes, especially a gluten free, low sugar, low refined carb diet, can help immensely for things such as fibromyalgia, many autoimmune diseases, diabetes, acne, allergies, and more. Personally I have battled for years with symptoms and had my own providers give me prescriptions for ridiculous amounts of controlled substances, antidepressants, anxiolytics, antibiotics, and more. Turns out, I have Celiac disease and I basically did the diagnosing myself but it is confirmed with blood work and endoscopy.
    Another friend of mine was being treated for Fibromyalgia with potent medications and gained 30 pounds and really didn’t feel any better. Turns out, she has an allergy to casein and if she avoids it, she’s fine!
    The problem is that not everyone is motivated to try an elimination diet or go to physical therapy to even research their symptoms. They come in and say I have such and such a pain, I’m tired all the time, I’ve tried “EVERYTHING” and NOTHING works. Now, I work in a specialty office so for many of them, this is true. We deal with autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, and fibromyalgia. Usually we need to prescribe potent medications in order to prevent the ravages of these diseases. But when I tell someone who smokes that they need to quit because the smoke from the cigarettes interferes with the medication, essentially making it ineffective, I get a song and a dance about why they are smoking (usually stress-I had one woman tell me she started smoking again when her husband lost his job. Isn’t that counterproductive? A pack of cigarettes is at least $8!!) and some outright refuse to quit. But they want the medication anyway. And when it doesn’t work that well, we have to add another, even more potent medication. All because they won’t quit smoking!
    I tell my “fibro” patients to try an elimination diet because many people feel better off certain foods. I also recommend this to my RA and psoriatic arthritis patients, even those with Lupus. Most of them ignore the advice. But they come back to get their meds.
    I tell them to try warm Epsom salt baths, yoga, stretching, walking and melatonin. They come back asking for more vicodin and ambien or worse.
    I have basically stopped prescribing narcotics to any one with fibromyalgia because I know it is not an effective treatment and people just get hooked and won’t take care of themselves.
    I can’t cure anyone in a 15 minute office visit, just like my own providers couldn’t figure me out. I had to do it myself for the most part. I was fortunate to find a provider who dabbles in complementary medicine as well and she supports taking supplements. We have a few of those here locally and many others are catching on but there is still a battle to be waged on the medical front.
    Medical schools don’t teach this stuff. The old timers think it’s hokey. Even many nurses don’t believe in the stuff and that’s really unfortunate. Even our office manager questioned my giving out samples of OTC probiotics and coupons for them. I told her that well, we’re tearing up their stomachs with the meds we order, we might as well also help heal the damage we’re causing! There is a lot of education still to be done. For both the providers and the patients.
    I know personally that motivation is a huge factor in whether someone follows through on the advice I give. It was for me and I can see that in other people. But when they want it bad enough and are willing to do the work, 9 times out of 10 it helps. I had a woman come in the other day and tell me that I was a miracle worker. All I had done was tell her to take Vitamin D and a B Complex! But she did it and didn’t just come back after taking it twice and tell me it didn’t work. But I also have others who take the meds after having the less toxic stuff not work and they have come back feeling much better too. Hopefully for them, the meds are not a forever thing and once they feel better they can start exploring more gentler ways to heal.
    I’d say that if you go to any random medical office expecting them to tell you what herbal preparation or supplement to take, that you are likely barking up the wrong tree. Get a recommendation instead. Call and ask questions ahead of time. See a naturopath first. But sometimes, the more mainstream medical practice is where you need to be. At least for a while. Hopefully more and more of us will start working better with complementary practices and educating ourselves. And in the meantime, you do your homework too. What the people demand, we will provide!

    February 14th, 2012 11:38 pm Reply
    • Kathryn

      I’m sure being a medical provider right now must be very frustrating. Even if you have good answers, so many people don’t want to do the work. Instead they want a “quick fix” pill that will set them up and send them on their way. Most people really don’t understand that the “quick fix” pill has long term consequences.

      Best wishes for your good practice.

      February 15th, 2012 2:27 pm Reply
    • Marty Hosking

      Liz H–I am a provider too. I provide professional advice and negotiation for people who want to sell their homes—the largest investment of their lives. I agree that the best way to get good service from a medical professional—just like a real estate professional–is by referral and recommendation. Effective and successful work with a client from any industry, like medicine, requires 1. a relationship 2. of trust 3. based upon a motivated client. A good referral naturally will provide what is needed for #1. and will have #2. Motivation is the final element that must be tested—for the good of the CLIENT as well as the provider. The provider’s motivation ought to be, compensation aside, what is in the best interest of the client. If my motivation is right as a provider but is not met by an equal amount of cooperation (trust) and motivation from the client then it is wrong for me to continue to work with that client. Why? Because I will compromise my values, money will become my only motivation, and any failure that may be due to the clients’ lack of the necessary elements for effective service puts me at risk for being blamed, “thrown under the bus.” There are only so many ways to be human and even fewer—I would say TWO–ways to be a provider: Either you have authority to lead the client to the successful end that they are paying your for or you lack that authority. My contention that any profession that is compensated by money—especially any profession providing basic human necessities like health and, in my case, shelter– to be ethically conducted must do so with a high level of professionally. This means that I cannot “cave” or acquiesce to my clients’ wishes when they are uninformed and incorrect in my professional opinion. If I get to the point in my business/profession that I “cave” to my clients fears or misinformation than I must assume that I am allowing this–risking this–in order for short-term gain. The question I must ask my self—and I think doctors must ask themselves–am I willing to forgo the financial gain of (and take on the risk) of working with client like that where I compromise my professional belief and, out of respect for them, let them work with another doctor. (But not work with them myself unless they are willing “do it my way”) So, my reason for including this comment here is that I believe that the medical profession–just like the real estate profession—has many providers who do not trust that they will make enough money if they are honest and consistent with their clients—and instead tolerate a client who they know will not be able to have a successful outcome —endure the pain of lack of client motivation, anger and blame, being the nag for them in order to “get paid.” I refuse to work with clients who will not receive and trust my advice. (I have truly regretted the times that I did) An example of this is my mother’s doctor’s care around her high blood pressure. Her doctor simply allowed her to be non-compliant with the other life and death factors of stroke prevention aside from taking high blood pressure mediation: diet and exercise. (I am assuming that he actually directed her to attend to these). Yet, he collected compensation for at least 7 years for seeing her even though he knew as a professional she was living quite dangerously. ( I would like to know what “charge” level this doctor labelled the visits for Medicare compensation. ) I believe this is 1. bad business practice that restrict good business growth and development for the long term and 2. unethical in its treatment of patients. By condoning, allowing or overlooking key factors for a healthy, lower-mortality risk life, the doctor gave my mom false security. She died because there was not a whole-person treatment of the risk factors for a stroke. This didn’t need to happen. I was not surprised that this doctor did not call the ICU, visit or attend her funeral.

      December 28th, 2013 1:20 am Reply
  • Renee

    Think also about all the pharmaceutical ads on TV. They are geared toward possible patients, not doctors. And people are suckered by the ads and go in to the doctor asking for these meds (and they may not even really have the condition it supposedly helps). The doctors are receiving an ad campaign from their end (in the medical journals/trainings/magazines and have reams of new information from a variety of sources every week. It is a lot of information to absorb and when they have an article in a journal on one hand, and a patient specifically requesting a med – they are probably going to try it with that patient.

    February 14th, 2012 11:27 pm Reply
  • Allyson McQuinn

    You’re so right, Sarah. Chemical prescription drugs are the number one killer in North America as per Dr. Mercola. Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson are just cases substantiating this point. As Doctors of Natural Medicine, we always know what law of cure were prescribing on and on the basis of what principle. I wrote a juicy article a while back regarding the ethical physician. It sounds like your Dad also tried to live more in this camp.

    February 14th, 2012 10:39 pm Reply
  • Eva Popek

    This was a wonderful article. Being a pharmacist over 20 years I new this information. I no longer practice pharmacy in the “traditional setting”. I now have a company called JesusRx. please see our product at http://www.Jesusrx.com
    It’s important to treat the whole person! check us out on facebook too! Thanks for the article.

    February 14th, 2012 9:23 pm Reply
    • Krisy

      Eva, what a wonderful thing… I love it

      July 10th, 2012 1:02 pm Reply
  • Howard C. Gray via Facebook

    Not surprised. It’s how they make an part of their income.

    February 14th, 2012 7:47 pm Reply
  • Julie

    My kids’ pediatrician used to facetiously refer to Tylenol as “Vitamin T” because his colleagues prescribed it for just about everything. Not surprisingly, he left that practice and opened his own.

    February 14th, 2012 7:39 pm Reply
  • Flavia Sordelet via Facebook

    Good advice on the 10 year rule. Doctors should not be allowed kick-backs from drup company reps, or they should at least by law be required to publically report who doctors are getting kick-backs from.

    February 14th, 2012 6:58 pm Reply
  • Laura Kay Moretti via Facebook

    I had to share it …thanks!

    February 14th, 2012 6:53 pm Reply
  • ladyscott

    On another note, I know far too many people who would rather just pop pills than make any lifestyle and/or dietary changes. I also heard docs write scripts to cover their own butts from a lawsuit for not doing enough.

    February 14th, 2012 6:35 pm Reply
  • Yolanda

    I have osteoporosis. A few years ago, after I had tried Fosomax and Actonel and they caused extreme stomach pain, my doctor was urging me to take Boniva. I told him no, I didn’t want to. The next time I went, he told me that he had found out they have to treat 85 women with Boniva to prevent ONE hip fracture! He said that a year after a woman starts taking Boniva, she will show an increase in bone density, but that whatever is going on doesn’t prevent fractures. Now, Boniva has full page ads in magazines pretty much admitting that it is next to useless. I felt that if I could take ONE pill a month and it was going to strengthen my bones, what ELSE would it be doing to my body? No thank you! Now, I drink raw milk, eat the WAPF way and lift weights. I hope it will be enough, but even if not, I am not going to take those drugs.

    On the other hand, I take Sertraline every day (Zoloft) and have for several years. I have had 4 severe episodes of anxiety/depression, (the last one brought on by a case of influenza) and Sertraline keeps me safe. For me, it’s not a choice. My mental health issues are physical… something amiss with my brain chemicals. I am exceedingly grateful for the medication.

    Each person needs to keep their eyes wide open and ask questions and, as you suggest, do all in their power to enhance their own health. Sometimes, medications are life savers. Sometimes they take lives. We need to not just be sheep and assume our doctors know everything. They don’t, but they also can be a wonderful help.

    February 14th, 2012 6:32 pm Reply
  • Fiona

    I avoid doctors as much as possible. In fact, I don’t recall the last time I saw a doctor for an illness. In fact, given that my mum was a doctor… I don’t think I ever have ;). Mostly if I was sick mum would just send me to bed!

    My own kids don’t see the doctor either unless they’re really sick. Really the only child I’ve had a problem with is my daughter who suffers from ear infections. I tried to treat them naturally (using home remedies) but unfortunately it really didn’t solve the problem and I took her to the doctor and got ear drops prescribed. The “normal” antibiotic drops don’t work (I’ve had other doctors prescribe them even when I tell them they DON’T WORK, and when I saw the last doctor he prescribed different drops that worked straight away).

    I do see my daughter as an example of why it is SOMETIMES important to see a doctor, and why prescription medication is SOMETIMES the best choice, but you need to be careful and ensure the doctor listens to you!! I was sooo frustrated by the doctors who kept giving me antibiotics that just didn’t work, even when I told them that they’d do nothing.

    February 14th, 2012 5:32 pm Reply
    • Patt

      Fiona, (in case of minor sicknesses) along with the suggestion/order to go to bed usually came the Vicks and a chest rub and a really warm towel on the top; it felt so good, and a cup of tea with lemon. Having to stay in bed, not up running around, honest resting, was a great incentive to get better.

      I was never a rebel as a child in the usual way. Today I am WAY more of a rebel priding myself in taking care without a Dr.’s care when ever possible. I also have learned to listen to my enter self and that gut feeling that tells me, if the doctor isn’t smarter than me, I don’t need him, and since I’m NOT the brightest bulb on the tree, this relationship is in a world of hurt.

      I get smarter by researching no matter what the topic especially on people to people forums. I learned a whole bunch when I thought I had hypothyroidism and the number one site was http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/ which taught me a lot, patient to patient. Later, I realized I never had a problem. Keep up the good work everyone, you never know who you might be educating.

      February 14th, 2012 6:57 pm Reply
  • Laura

    Rose, a teaspoon or so of apple cider vinegar works wonders for acid reflux without the side effects of a prescription.
    I have worked in a doctor’s office and prescriptions are pushed way too much and too often.
    Truth is…most patients would rather swallow a pill than change their lifestyle or try a healthier alternative.

    February 14th, 2012 3:59 pm Reply
  • Tiffany A.

    I think another part of the problem is the expectation a lot of people have (though I’m sure none of the people here!) that when they go to the doctor they will leave with a script for something that will “fix” whatever their problem is. Our society has become reliant on these quick fixes and I think many doctors do feel pressured to do something immediately to help their patients. I bet many people would be irked if their doctor told them to eat better and exercise and didn’t offer up some medication. It really is a whole cultural problem that is fed by the greed of big pharma and doctors but is definitely re-enforced then by patient’s expectations of their physician’s abilities (and the denial of their own role in their healthcare.)

    February 14th, 2012 1:46 pm Reply
    • Molly


      February 14th, 2012 3:21 pm Reply
  • J M

    Any thoughts on natural remedies for cronic UTI in a 9yr old when we’ve tried EVERYTHING we know. I’m fed up with having to give her antibiotics yet again. Yes, she knows how to properly clean herself, no she doesn’t take bubble baths etc. I’m looking for someone or something that’s different than what every pediatrician and urologist tells you.

    February 14th, 2012 1:20 pm Reply
    • Molly

      GAPS diet is what comes to my mind. I have reoccuring UTI’s because of a Candida problem. It was raging but it is coming along slowly with coconut oil and diet. If your daughters gut is comprimised, the GAPS will help and will beat down the Candida infestation.

      February 14th, 2012 3:20 pm Reply
    • Laurie

      Have her checked for diabetes and thyroid – both can cause chronic UTI as can some other immune issues. A clean no sugar diet helps immensely. You can also take D-mannose rather than antibiotics. It works great!

      February 14th, 2012 5:07 pm Reply
    • Kristie

      Suzanne Somer’s book “Breakthrough” has a interview with a doctor who says there is a natural substance called D-mannose that cures bladder infections. I think it is supposed to work on urinary tract infections also. He explains the science in the book. (Basically the bacteria love the D-mannose and stick to it and exit the body, and do not build up to cause infection.) He says it is completely safe, and I think as long as the person takes it the bacteria will not build up. Maybe that would be something to look into.

      February 14th, 2012 7:38 pm Reply
    • Helen T.

      Found this comment online recently – it could help:

      “I know for me I didn’t know for years I had an Oxalate issue. I have had IC and Vaginits for over 18+ years in HORRIBLE Pain. No Doctor seemed to beable to help inthe first few years. I then Got rid of all the Specialist……. I went to school. I became an Iridologist under Dr. Jensen. I learned about nutrition. went to other Herbal classes in seattle, did all RAW foods which made me worse. I couldn’t figure it out I was cleaning,Raw food,Organic I did everything I learned!! Still peeing Razor Blades and vaginal issues were bad, there would be few times they were good. So I figured it was how I had to live for the rest of my life in Horrible pain.
      I am in good health. 5’5 120lbs never sick except Bladder and vaginal pain.
      Over 3 years ago I learned about Oxalates in food. I had to turn all of my eating around. I found The Vp Foundation, ordered all there info. I then found the Low Oxalate Group, I started Low Oxalate Diet. in a week I noticed a differance in 3 weeks my bladder was 1/2 the pain. I then started taking calcium citrate before I ate……. WOW is all I can say. in 3 weeks all my pain was GONE!!!! I could sleep. I didn’t have to get up and pee 10x at night. I was so happy I cried. All the pain after all those years GONE!!!!
      See I never knew I had an issue with Oxalates I am so glad I experimented and found out that is what all my pain was from. I am leading a great life! I have a NEW lease on life now
      Hope this helps someone find health out there.”

      February 14th, 2012 8:19 pm Reply
    • Kathryn

      Have you looked into D-Mannose? It treats and prevents UTIs. Also, when she is having the pain from the UTI, have her sip 1/2 tsp baking soda in 8-10 oz of water. This does not cure a UTI, but will help eliminate the pain. Colloidal Silver might be helpful too, but this is one i would not use daily (D-Mannose can be used daily without problems) but only when the UTI is flaring. Best of luck. :)

      February 15th, 2012 2:54 am Reply
  • Erika

    Sarah, do you know of any good doctors in the Tampa area? I live in Valrico and it is hard to find a good doctor that one can really trust.

    February 14th, 2012 1:15 pm Reply
    • Paula

      My husband recently switched and has been very pleased with a Dr. Steven Noseworthy, you can check out his site here http://www.drnoseworthy.com/

      February 14th, 2012 2:38 pm Reply
  • PKJ

    Why would you post a picture of a pill bottle with someone’s name on it in your post?

    February 14th, 2012 12:59 pm Reply
  • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

    I don’t even have a doctor for myself or my husband. Except the chiropractor, and an acunpuncturist. No “normal” doctor.

    The kids do see a pediatrician, but at their last visit he said “There’s this book I recommend, it tells you about all the natural and homeopathic treatments for common illnesses, and also tells you when to worry and call.” He knows what GAPS is and recommends it for children who need it. Doesn’t even mention vaccines. Takes 30 minutes per child per appointment to get a thorough history. Umm…yeah, we’re lucky. :)

    February 14th, 2012 11:39 am Reply
    • jan

      Please tell me what the book is.
      Most of my treatment at this stage is supplements and I am very thankful for that. I did have to depend on meds for a looong time. I am inching my way into Real foods, my fatigue holds me back. I am, also, waiting for my WAPF Welcome pack and journal to find some healthy sources nearby.

      February 14th, 2012 8:22 pm Reply
  • RobinP

    Actually there are many at fault with this system. Doctors, Big Pharma, insurance companies, and PATIENTS. We’ve lost all sense of personal responsibility and expect the “experts” to solve every little ailment. My husband is a pharmacist (but we don’t take that stuff…) and he’ll come home and tell us about some stomach bug going around. I say, “People go to the doctor for that?? It’ll be gone tomorrow!!” Insurance companies control what people can and cannot take (like they should take most of it at all) as well as what doctors they can and cannot see, and doctors are pressured by their patients (thanks to tv commercials and friends with the same ailments) and drug companies to prescribe the latest and greatest. As for us, I’ll stick to our milk from our own Jersey cows (and all the goodies that go with it) and other real foods.

    February 14th, 2012 12:24 pm Reply
  • Rose

    Wow…Sarah I assume you have never worked in a medical office?…it doesn’t look like it anyway. Well I do and FYI, you are very naive to how things work when it comes to prescription medications. There is something called step therapy for almost EVERY prescription medication…It goes from generic (tier 1) up to numerous brand names of similar medications (tier 3) The doctor has to start at the generic (tier1) due to YOUR INSURANCE. For example, acid reflux medication: The doctor usually will begin with omeprazole or pantoprozole…they work, but the better medications are nexium & dexilant…however most insuarances refuse to pay for these unless the cheaper meds are tried and failed first. BLAME YOUR INSURANCE COMPANIES!! I am a nurse and fight with insurance companies on a daily basis for patients to get the better medication.

    February 14th, 2012 12:17 pm Reply
    • tina


      February 14th, 2012 12:41 pm Reply
    • Persephone Raynes

      I have to go with Rose here, and add a little bit to it. For one, Dexilant is a great acid reflux medicine – yes, you can heal your gut with diet, but for those of us just starting out on this path, it’s a great medication that saves me from pain, and yes, I had to “step up” to get it approved by insurance.

      Now – while I agree that a lot of anti-depressants are meaningless, there are much bigger chemical imbalances to deal with like bipolar and schizophrenia – and the right med at the right dosage can literally be a lifesaver. I am bipolar, and I take really good care to make sure I’m on a drug that’s well researched and is effective for me. I don’t believe in adding meds to treat side effect of meds – that’s a slippery slope.

      Because I have this medication, I am stable enough to be more proactive in my personal care. I’m stable enough to read the research on diet, and make constant and deliberate choices on how to heal in hopes I can ditch the prescription one day – but I think it’s REALLY important to recognize that sometimes, prescriptions are necessary to get us out of crisis enough to make improvements on our own.

      February 14th, 2012 12:46 pm Reply
    • Molly

      I agree with Rose and I think it is the insurance companies. I hate medicines. I agree with the premise of too much pharma but I think people go to the doctor looking for a quick fix and henceforth the prescriptions. They don’t want to have to change a thing, they just want a pill to fix whatever is the problem. I used to be that way as well, now I don’t even like to think about taking Advil. When I talk about how I eat and how it has helped, people roll their eyes at me. They don’t want to take the time to make good changes.

      February 14th, 2012 3:16 pm Reply
  • K

    Although I agree with your statement about overmedicating. I do not agree with your comment about pharma companies. There is a place for them and their innovative medications that they make. It is the doctors choice of what medication to prescribe, they choose it. They are not paid and forced to prescribe certain medications. The problem is insurance companies and their reimbursement. 10-year-old medications are not the answer. There are drastic improvements with newer medications, it just depends on which one you choose.

    February 14th, 2012 11:57 am Reply
  • Kelli

    Actually, I’m not surprised at all. Theres been many reports coming out in the last few years showing that many drug studies in supposedly credible medical journals are potentially false or bias due to Big Pharma funding. So its not surprising that the drugs being prescribed don’t work as they should.

    February 14th, 2012 11:47 am Reply
  • Beth Stowers

    I love this post! I have had many doctors tell me, “Well…let’s try this and see what happens.” That’s spooky.

    I really like doctors who are thoughtful and recommend lifestyle changes before they prescribe anything. I recently was diagnosed with Fibro and my rheumatologist told me that it was most important for me to live healthy and get better sleep. He said he didn’t want to prescribe anything and that lifestyle changes are the best way to go. I love doctors like him! :)

    February 14th, 2012 11:26 am Reply
    • Helen T.

      That doctor is one in a million! Wonderful you found him….

      February 14th, 2012 8:04 pm Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    Last year there was a website, started by four doctors, which statistically tracked the effectiveness of commonly prescribed drugs and medical procedures. I was astonished to learn that the vast majority of the drugs and treatments failed over ninety percent of the time.

    But they rarely failed to generate huge profits for the drug companies and the medical industry.

    Unfortunately, I lost the link to that site, but it is a real eye opener.

    February 14th, 2012 11:24 am Reply
  • Helen T.

    Don’t get me started! They’ve changed our asthma medications – even Ventoline. It used to go down like butter – now it rips your throat and you feel like you need more, and then you can get worse! Plus the new generation ones (like the purple disk) have left me with no deep breathing – I can’t YAWN anymore.

    I told this to a hospital lung capacity tester, and he said the pharmaceutical companies did in fact change them and now it take two to three times the amount of drugs to pull people through severe attacks. One time I couldn’t walk properly for a month after an emergency room visit – and this was only from inhaled medications!

    Changing my diet thanks to the WAPF guidelines was a lifesaver – my asthma is under control.

    The 10 year rule is so true – I live in France and several years ago the French government put out a dictate to doctors to avoid (if possible) newer versions of standard drugs.

    February 14th, 2012 4:34 am Reply
    • Meagan

      Helen, my boyfriend has asthma and I am curious to some of the simple diet changes and etc that have made the most impact for you in healing, and keeping your asthma under control? I know that dark chocolate and coffee help him, but aren’t the most healthy choices…

      February 22nd, 2012 4:52 am Reply
  • Chris G

    A friend of ours gave us a book a few years ago called “How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor” bt Dr. Robert Mendelsohn. He talks about how drugs are over prescribed and how more often than not, your child will recover on his/her own. It’s a FANTASTIC book that has some great guidelines on when medical attention is necessary. Even if you don’t have kids, is a good book to flip through.

    February 13th, 2012 11:28 pm Reply
  • Stanley Fishman

    I have totally lost faith in them. I avoid doctors and drugs as much as I can. and I have never been as healthy, not since I was a small child. I make full use of real food and natural methods to make the natural functions of my body, including the immune system, as healthy and functional as I can.

    I am not advising anyone else to do what I do, and there are some risks. But it works for me.

    February 13th, 2012 10:27 pm Reply
    • Unconventional Survivor

      I could have written this comment, Stanley…and think this is a very timely post, Sarah. I’m watching a friend’s health diminish daily because of conventional medicine, while she gives no serious thought to nutrition. “Add another drug? Well, if you think so….” It’s time to stop checking our brains at the door when we seek medical advice.

      February 14th, 2012 12:30 pm Reply
      • Magda

        Well said, Stanley! I grew up in Eastern Europe and you only went to the doctor if you were really sick (I remember going once or twice in my first 14 years of life!). We used herbs, honey and other home remedies frequently and with great success. Since having my 2 kids I have taken a course on homeopathy and have learned even more about herbs and other ‘alternative’ treatments. If I listened to doctors I would have probably been on a cholesterol-lowering drug for 10 years or so (I’m 35 and my cholesterol has hovered around 230 – that was a few years ago when I had it tested). No, thanks!! (pass the butter, please!)

        February 14th, 2012 2:51 pm Reply
  • Sarah555

    I could not agree more! Last week I had some (fairly invasive) dental work done, and the endodontist prescribed a course of antibiotics. Which of course made my guts a mess. I finally called my dentist and he said that if I just used a natural toothpaste (he said to use Dr. Nate’s Naturals) without fluoride or SLS, and with xylitol to keep the bacteria down, I wouldn’t need the antibiotics. I don’t think the endodontist even gave it 2 seconds thought – he just wrote the prescription without even considering an alternative.

    February 13th, 2012 10:24 pm Reply

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