3 Major Medical Myths

by Steven Carney on April 25, 2013

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I’ve written about various medical and aging myths in previous posts and I continue to encounter them often. Many of these myths are believed by both patients and medical providers alike. And that’s a problem, because believing in these myths will lead to bad outcomes if you are a patient, including declining health, chronic disease and even death. Although I’ve said it before it’s still true: Most people in the U.S. die of ignorance because the cause of their chronic conditions and diseases are driven by more by daily choices.

3 medical and health myths with serious consequences:

1. If you’re not sick you’re healthy (health is the absence of disease)

This is one of the most common health and medical myths I encounter. It’s based on a false premise, that the absence of disease means that you are healthy. But one doesn’t imply the other!

Many adults over 35 (and even more young people in their teens) have early metabolic, hormonal, inflammatory or other imbalances, often driven by an unhealthy lifestyle. And the research shows that indeed, many younger people (18-34) have early signs of chronic health problems, but at a level that’s often asymptomatic. The following health conditions have few or no symptoms and can simmer for years or decades:

  • High blood pressure/high BP
  • High triglycerides/high sd LDL cholesterol (small, dense LDL from refined carbs)
  • Systemic inflammation
  • High blood sugar/glucose
  • Vitamin/mineral deficiencies
  • Mood/depression problems
  • Excess weight with metabolic syndrome
  • Unnecessary colds/flu/infections
  • Other asymptomatic immune, hormone and metabolic problems

The point is, optimum health and vitality means you really don’t have these early health conditions or systemic imbalances, ones that often lead to chronic illness when ignored. Optimum health is a different state than not being sick! Imaging 6-8 steps, like those going up to a porch. The lower ones are serious disease; as you climb, you move higher, toward optimum health and more energy. That’s a better picture of the gradations between chronic disease and optimum health.

Part of the myth that if you’re not sick, you’re healthy, originates from the narrow training most medical doctors get, focused on disease diagnosis and treatment with drugs and procedures. This is a relatively black and white perspective because most doctors get little or no education in nutrition, fitness, disease prevention, optimum health, lifestyle modification, or coaching.

I had a recent online encounter with an online question from someone who was concerned about a sudden onset of irregular heart rhythms and related symptoms. My answer was focused on a broad range of underlying lifestyle and nutritional issues, health history and any injuries to the neck/back. I suggested some initial screening tests to gain insights into her current health, metabolic and inflammatory levels.

A retired Internist/MD also commented on the problem and was dismissive of the symptoms (the symptoms aren’t normal and I would never dismiss them). He added possible disease causes (mostly heart related), ignoring most other lifestyle, medication, nutrition, injury, health history or more basic origins, all of which can trigger the problem!

I urged the questioner to see an MD to get their perspective because the symptoms are a cause for concern and told her if it wasn’t serious, I could probably help.

Unfortunately, this situation is another sad example of how doctors are programmed to see symptoms through the lens of a disease model instead of more basic possibilities, ignoring simpler etiology and approaches because they often lack training or understanding in those areas (although Internists are supposed to have a broader perspective on health). The irony is that my approach is more holistic and conservative, starting with simple possibilities rather than assuming a disease cause. In any case, I hope the questioner gets some answers in the near future.

Our medical system is an antiquated hierarchical one, based on the “all-knowing” practitioner who dispenses advice to those beneath them in knowledge and stature. Think about it. When the doctor tells you to, “Take this prescription” I bet you nod in agreement. I know, I’ve been there!

This “all-knowing” approach is reinforced daily when the “Ask your doctor” directive is presented in drug ads or health segments, anytime we feel sick or have a question about supplements, exercise, or other life or health changes. As mentioned above, most doctors know little about improving health, disease prevention or what optimum health is! Many still believe high fat and cholesterol in the diet cause heart disease! Yikes!

I often think of the Matrix movies, where people are fed a stream of illusions, most going along within the collective fantasy, with only a few able to break free from the false reality they are immersed in.

Why are we supposed to follow doctors advice and direction for areas where they have little training? It’s irrational! Doctors will tell you that many diseases like heart disease are not curable or reversible, also false. Is it because they don’t know how to really heal their patients beyond what they think drugs do? I have to say yes, having been through the system various times in my life (See my recent “Broken Healthcare” post). In fact, a recent study indicated that when doctors are training, they spend less than 15% of their time with patients!

The real answer to many chronic conditions is this: If you’re alive and you want to get better (your motivation is key), reversal and recovery from chronic disease is possible for most people.

When it comes to drugs, we are supposed to follow a doctor’s advice for taking pills, which, by design, don’t cure, but only treat symptoms (drugs should be the last resort, not the first). For lifestyle changes, doctors often provide simplistic platitudes, such as “Eat more fruits and veggies,” Quit smoking,” or “Drink less.”

Ask yourself, how many adults follow this type of simplistic advice over a long-term? Very few, so there is little follow-through. The medical system has been a failure for decades, and it continues to fail patients daily! Millions die annually because the system, as designed, is an expensive failure!

One exception I do support is ER/ED care after accidents or injuries. In those cases, the docs and nurses do save lives and really do make a difference. But for some perspective, consider this: $3 of every $4 in healthcare is spent on chronic diseases, those mostly driven by lifestyle and problems that drugs never cure! Yet, prescribing drugs for these conditions is standard medical practice. What?

Obviously, the absence of obvious disease is not a state of optimum health. Only screening tests can uncover early imbalances which often become more threatening and destructive over time, and I recommend those to clients regularly.

2. I feel fine = I’m healthy

This kind of thinking is an extension of the first myth, reflected by an individual’s belief that if they don’t feel sick, they must be healthy. This is also false logic.

Screening tests like vitamin D/hs-CRP/VAP cholesterol/BP and others (fasting glucose, liver, kidney, and mineral balances), can reveal numerous immune, metabolic and hormonal problems, one’s that often lack obvious or acute symptoms.

And when caught early, these imbalances are often treatable with small lifestyle tweaks and changes. Unlike drug treatments, these problems can be permanently fixed through lifestyle so your health is truly restored.

And my coaching training is also key, because the whole point of coaching is to help clients become engaged and empowered to make better choices! Coaching makes changes easier and last long-term. Coaching will help you deepen your understanding, and become more engaged in your own life process and success. And unlike drugs, I’m not here to make people dependent on me!

When people act based only on how they feel (a subjective perception), they often become a ticking time bomb, because common hormone or metabolic problems can simmer away, triggering inflammation and tissue damage/destruction until more serious health problems or diseases appear. It’s doomed to fail!

Did you know?

Many common conditions can fester inside you for decades before they become more obvious disease states:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis/pain
  • Cancer
  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s
  • Digestive disorders
  • Immune problems

Assuming you’re healthy because you feel okay is simply not reliable. Besides, many adults live in denial of their bad habits and believe that nothing will come of it; that disease, disability or death will happen to other people, not them! It’s a recipe for disease and early death, often 10 years earlier than necessary! Many families are devastated both financially and emotionally by these poor choices.

Now consider this shocking truth about chronic health problems or diseases: like excess weight, these “diseases” are often symptoms of immune, hormonal or metabolic imbalances! In other words, they are not really diseases at all (especially early on), but symptoms! They indicate imbalances between your lifestyle and physiology; they reflect those systemic imbalances. This simple truth undercuts our entire medical industry. It’s only when these more subtle problems are ignored long enough that tissue damage occurs and more serious disease evolves.

3. Medical treatments are proven to be safe and effective

Our medical industry has been successful at indoctrinating so many millions that when they get aches, pains, bad tests or other symptoms, many believe they need pills or procedures! These are also false beliefs, yet most Americans and doctors think it’s true. Here are some reasons why the standard medical approach is often false and will harm your health in the long run:

  • Many drugs are not proven to be safe and effective
  • Most drugs neither nourish the body nor cure underlying causes, they treat symptoms
  • Drugs disrupt normal functions, causing millions of injuries and deaths annually
  • Many drug studies are biased and manipulated, with exaggerated benefits
  • Procedures like stents/bypass don’t cure underlying causes; additional heart attacks occur
  • The U.S. medical industry, like many others, is riddled with fads, myths and corruption
  • The U.S. medical industry can put your health and life at risk, except for most emergency care

I’ve heard other myths about chronic conditions that create dependence on drugs and procedures. For example, many patients and medical people falsely believe that age and genetics/family history are common causes, and that you need pills to be healthy and stay alive. This is rarely true for genetics and age is not a disease!

People want to blame anyone or anything but their own choices. The reality is that lifestyle choices drive a good 80% of all health problems and chronic illness (other enlightened experts agree). Age and genetics are rarely causes (research has shown that people who live long lives, even to 100, have their share of genetic defects. Their lifestyle keeps those genes in check).

But the drug industry loves the aging and genetic angles (no matter how false) because it turns you into a victim and someone who needs their “miracle” drugs, one’s that cure nothing but give you the false sense that you are better. The underlying cause is still there. Would you put duct tape on a hole in your roof (think of shingles, slate or tile roofs)? How long do you think it will last? A week before it lets the water back in? Most drugs are simply duct tape in pill form; a temporary patch that doesn’t offer a permanent fix or resolution. And remember: most people don’t suffer from a drug deficiency!

The drug industry spends about 50 billion on marketing annually, a staggering sum by any measure. They focus on drugs (rather than nutrition or lifestyle) because they can get patents on drugs and own a monopoly on them. The medical device industry is similar. They want patents for new joints or other devices, even if improved nutrition and lifestyle can heal most joint problems (I’ve done it multiple times)! It comes down to patents and money, not health!

By design, the drug industry wants your dependency so you give them your money for years and years (even if insurance pays most of it, you’re still paying the premiums and all the annual increases).

The bottom line is that the only person who needs to be in charge of your health is you (not the doctor)! Enough is known about how to do that and do it quite easily. Often, my clients start getting benefits in the first week (easy weight loss, more energy, better sleep, etc.), and after a few weeks, I set them free! As we make progress, we’ll celebrate the improvements you are making. No long-term dependence, unless they have new issues to work on (I also do life coaching).

The bottom line is that the medical industry is best used for emergency services or critical care but not treatment for chronic, lifestyle-driven conditions, with drugs and procedures that never cure, designed to create life-long dependency. The alternative is me, and the coaching skills and life improvements I offer, helping my clients live long, healthy and happy lives!

Questions? Drop me a line anytime at steve@endsicknessnow.com

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© 2013 by Steve Carney/End Sickness Now


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Steven Carney May 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

If you copy or quote any of the info, you need to say that it came from me, as I copyright every post. I’d prefer if you contact me so we can work out the details.


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