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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Apr-12-18, 11:27
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
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Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
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Default Barbara Ehrenreich: Why I’m Giving Up on Preventative Care

Not a low carb story, but a cry against the medical establishment we all might enjoy:

Quote:
Giving up on preventative care

So I grudgingly conceded that undergoing the test, which is noninvasive and covered by my insurance, might be preferable to immobility and institutionalization. The result was a diagnosis of “osteopenia,” or thinning of the bones, a condition that might have been alarming if I hadn’t found out that it is shared by nearly all women over the age of 35. Osteopenia is, in other words, not a disease but a normal feature of aging. A little further research, all into readily available sources, revealed that routine bone scanning had been heavily promoted and even subsidized by the drug’s manufacturer. Worse, the favored medication at the time of my diagnosis has turned out to cause some of the very problems it was supposed to prevent—bone degeneration and fractures. A cynic might conclude that preventive medicine exists to transform people into raw material for a profit-hungry medical-industrial complex.


My bold. I join her in her cynicism.

Quote:
It turned out, after I’d been through a sonogram and fought panic in a coffin-like MRI tube, that the “bad mammogram” was a false positive resulting from the highly sensitive new digital forms of imaging. That was my last mammogram. Lest this seem like a reckless decision, I was supported in it by a high-end big-city oncologist, who viewed all my medical images and said that there would be no need to see me again, which I interpreted as ever again.


Ms. Ehrenreich (most famously the author of Nickled and Dimed, her investigative journalism of trying to survive on minimum wage) is a breast cancer survivor, and was fairly caustic about some of the expectations she encountered along the way.

It's science like this that makes me think our ability to test for things has far outpaced our ability to understand for things we get from it.

Quote:
Many physicians justify tests of dubious value by the “peace of mind” they supposedly confer— except of course on those who receive false positive results. Thyroid cancer is particularly vulnerable to over-diagnosis. With the introduction of more high-powered imaging techniques, doctors were able to detect many more tiny lumps in people’s necks and surgically remove them, whether surgery was warranted or not. An estimated 70 to 80 percent of thyroid cancer surgeries performed on US, French, and Italian women in the first decade of the 21st century are now judged to have been unnecessary. In South Korea, where doctors were especially conscientious about thyroid screening, the number rose to 90 percent (Men were also over-diagnosed, but in far lower numbers.) Patients pay a price for these surgeries, including a lifelong dependence on thyroid hormones, and since these are not always fully effective, the patient may be left chronically “depressed and sluggish.”


Essentially, this is what precipitated the health crisis I am still struggling out of. Dr. Idiot didn't listen to me when I told him what my supplemental hormones did for me, so when catastrophe happened with the hormone withdrawal he moved to solve the immediate problem... and stunned my body into a severe lack of hormones of many kinds. Then I wasn't listened to when I complained. Still treating myself because I also had the flipside: I was tested for almost anything my doctor could think of except hormones. Because that's an endocrinologist thing... and don't get me started with them.

Quote:
Physician and blogger John M. Mandrola advises straightforwardly:

Rather than being fearful of not detecting disease, both patients and doctors should fear healthcare. The best way to avoid medical errors is to avoid medical care. The default should be: I am well. The way to stay that way is to keep making good choices—not to have my doctor look for problems.
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Apr-12-18, 12:07
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
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Plan: IF Fung/LC Westman/Primal
Stats: 222/171/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/25.3%/24%
Progress: 96%
Location: NC
Default

Thanks for posting this excerpt! Love her other books and hopped on the library waiting list for Natural Causes when I saw it had been ordered. Looking forward to reading the whole book, and those quotes indicate I will indeed enjoy it.
I picked up The Diabetes Code yesterday so had better get onto reading that one before this book arrives!
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  #3   ^
Old Thu, Apr-12-18, 13:24
Verbena Verbena is online now
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Plan: My own
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Default

WereBear, thanks for this; I will look forward to reading the book. I made some of these decisions for myself awhile ago after reading something, somewhere, about overdiagnoses. My good friend had breast cancer - missed by the mammogram, caught on self exam. I found that Switzerland has given up recommending routine mammograms because of the high chance of false positives. My DH had a nasty bleeding episode after colonoscopy - had to be hospitalized for 3 days, and undergo another colonoscopy to find the bleed, and take care of it. My last mammogram was 4 years ago, and now that I am older I won't have another without good cause. Have never had a colonoscopy, and told my new Dr that I would prefer a non-invasive fecal immunochemcal test (FIT); she was fine with that. I recently read Dr Davis' "Undoctored", and found it informative.
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  #4   ^
Old Thu, Apr-12-18, 14:02
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deirdra deirdra is online now
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Plan: HF/vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
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Location: Alberta
Default

Janet - your new photo looks like you are getting younger, probably from eating real food!
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  #5   ^
Old Fri, Apr-13-18, 03:20
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
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Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/161/150 Female 67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Verbena
I recently read Dr Davis' "Undoctored", and found it informative.


I am reading it in chunks -- so much to take in I have to take breaks.

But yes, both this and the book mentioned in the article, Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health by H. Gilbert Welch, make the excellent point that there are downsides to medical treatment. Undertaking it in the absence of need is a dangerous step.

Last edited by WereBear : Fri, Apr-13-18 at 07:03.
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  #6   ^
Old Fri, Apr-13-18, 04:53
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cotonpal cotonpal is offline
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Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
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Location: Vermont
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Along with a low carb diet and my daily walk, avoiding the doctor and all the medical testing is part of my overall health strategy. I too have read Davis's "Undoctored" and Welch's "Overdiagnosed". Now I will add Barbara Ehrenreich's "Natural Causes" to my reading list. Thanks for the information.
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  #7   ^
Old Fri, Apr-13-18, 07:32
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
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Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/161/150 Female 67
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Default

When I discover the prescription drugs other people my age are taking, I am frightened (for them) and grateful (for all of us) that we low-carbers are keeping such use to a bare minimum.

In my journeys to specialists, I discovered they find out you don't have these:
  • statin
  • SSRI (like Prozac)
  • sleeping aid (lately they love Ambien)
  • which leads to a sleep study (at $4-5,000)
  • diabetes, or pre-diabetes, medication
  • and at least one more that is probably for the side effects of the above

and they want you to have them. NOW.
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  #8   ^
Old Fri, Apr-13-18, 09:16
barb712's Avatar
barb712 barb712 is offline
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Plan: Atkins 40
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BF:27%
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotonpal
Along with a low carb diet and my daily walk, avoiding the doctor and all the medical testing is part of my overall health strategy.


I am so with you on that! It's heartening to know there are other people out there who think along those lines. It's not only the norm but almost a social club to get yourself caught in that whole hamster wheel.
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  #9   ^
Old Fri, Apr-13-18, 12:02
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is online now
Posts: 2,380
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotonpal
Along with a low carb diet and my daily walk, avoiding the doctor and all the medical testing is part of my overall health strategy. I too have read Davis's "Undoctored" and Welch's "Overdiagnosed". Now I will add Barbara Ehrenreich's "Natural Causes" to my reading list. Thanks for the information.

Ditto, thanks. Unless I have something that I know only a doctor can treat, I'm taking control of my own preventative care.
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  #10   ^
Old Tue, Apr-17-18, 04:57
64dodger 64dodger is offline
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Plan: Atkins
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In my experience with my wife's congestive heart failure for the past three months I have come to the conclusion there are very few doctors that think outside of the box. They still believe what they learned in medical school whether it was 40 years ago or 10 years ago. They dismiss anything they have not learned in general. The exception are a few doctors who are always striving to learn about the new research whether it be in herbs, vitamins (especially D 3) or technology. I am very disapointed in medical care in general.
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  #11   ^
Old Tue, Apr-17-18, 05:39
cotonpal's Avatar
cotonpal cotonpal is offline
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Posts: 4,145
 
Plan: very low carb real food
Stats: 245/128/135 Female 62
BF:
Progress: 106%
Location: Vermont
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WereBear
When I discover the prescription drugs other people my age are taking, I am frightened (for them) and grateful (for all of us) that we low-carbers are keeping such use to a bare minimum.

In my journeys to specialists, I discovered they find out you don't have these:
  • statin
  • SSRI (like Prozac)
  • sleeping aid (lately they love Ambien)
  • which leads to a sleep study (at $4-5,000)
  • diabetes, or pre-diabetes, medication
  • and at least one more that is probably for the side effects of the above

and they want you to have them. NOW.


You've left out medication for high blood pressure from your list along with proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec. It's horrifying.
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, Apr-20-18, 07:18
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
Posts: 10,519
 
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/161/150 Female 67
BF:
Progress: 84%
Location: USA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cotonpal
You've left out medication for high blood pressure from your list along with proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec. It's horrifying.


You are right! Those are becoming standard, too.

And each drug creates problems that needs another drug... it is making me believe the story about the woman who checked into hospice, who took her off all her drugs... and she walked out a well woman.

Might be an urban legend, but it gets more and more believable.
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  #13   ^
Old Fri, Apr-20-18, 08:55
Dodger's Avatar
Dodger Dodger is offline
Posts: 8,277
 
Plan: Paleoish
Stats: 225/175/175 Male 71.5 inches
BF:18%
Progress: 100%
Location: Longmont, Colorado
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cotonpal
You've left out medication for high blood pressure from your list along with proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec. It's horrifying.


"Some heartburn drugs used by millions of Americans are associated with a higher risk of death, a new study suggests, but people on the drugs should talk with their doctor first before stopping the medicines, experts say.

The drugs, called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), reduce stomach acid and are available over-the-counter and by prescription. Other recent studies have linked PPIs to a range of potential health risks including kidney disease, stomach infections, heart disease, pneumonia, bone fractures, and dementia. Popular brand-name PPI medications include Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid and others sold over-the-counter or by prescription."

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/heartb...exium-prevacid/
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  #14   ^
Old Fri, Apr-20-18, 09:41
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is online now
Posts: 2,380
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
Default

PPIs are insidious, as they are sold over TV (in the USA) by people like Larry the Cable Guy, with a message that indicates you can eat anything with PPIs as your co-pilot. The marketing strategy and message is such so that people can eat carbage with no uncomfortable side effects. Hey, shouldn't everyone be able to do that??? In this case, the side effects are a message that changing your diet can save your life. But, why not eliminate them with a PPI, and all is well with the world . . .
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