Make no mistake, the U.S. health industry is a mega-business.
In 2012, the U.S. spent $8,915 per person on health care – a total of $2.8 trillion!
Yet we continue to suffer from a disproportionate number of lifestyle-related health issues, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.
Here at Pacific Naturopathic, our patients used to come to us with questions about the issues they were facing. But with the growth of the Internet, we’re increasingly seeing patients who are well-informed before they walk in the door.
Many of our clinic visitors have done their research in advance. They ask intelligent questions, and we love it! For one, it helps us to get to the heart of the matter much more quickly.
On the other hand, the amount of misinformation our patients bring is daunting.
I spend major portions of many office visits clearing up inaccurate information and correcting faulty concepts.
Be warned! The Internet is rampant with self-serving scammers who are happy to exploit us where we’re most vulnerable – in our well-being.
On the other hand, frankly, much of the information on the Internet from the dominant medical paradigm is actually very useful. But there’s also a lot of information deliberately generated by people and institutions who’d like to put a hand in our pocket. These people have much to gain by perpetuating old myths and derailing genuine innovation and cures.
Unfortunately, much of the so-called “alternative” medical information is misleading or false as well.
Meanwhile, mainstream medicine and its partner, the pharmaceutical industry, remains heavily invested in maintaining the status quo. After all, if a cure for cancer was found, what would happen to the thousands of researchers employed in searching for the cure?
What would happen to the medical institutions and the billions devoted to diagnostic, surgical, chemical, and radiological procedures?
What would happen to the pharmaceutical companies who charge tens of thousands of dollars for chemotherapy regimens that simply do not work?
Whenever relatively inexpensive, simple cures for cancer are proposed, the Enforcer of Big Pharma – the FDA – is quick to crack down and outlaw innovation.
In our current system, it simply is not economically viable to find an inexpensive, easy cancer cure.
Let’s look at Three Myths Perpetuated by the Dominant Medical Paradigm
MYTH #1: High Cholesterol Is Dangerous
Despite a flood of excellent studies, many conventional physicians still have a knee-jerk reaction when they see a cholesterol value hovering near or over the reference range of 199.
In evaluating lab work, it’s a mistake to isolate cholesterol from other lipid values or from liver function.
In fact, the liver manufactures cholesterol for use in a number of very healthy biochemical reactions.
Having too little cholesterol can undermine our brain health, disrupt our body’s hormone levels, increase the risk of heart disease, and more.
What’s truly dangerous is the over-prescription of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
Studies show that, in many cases, exercise, a healthy diet, and not smoking are far more effective at reducing the risk of heart disease than taking statins. See this article from the middle-of-the-road AARP, which presents accurate information.
MYTH #2: Lab Results Within the Reference Range Mean Everything’s OK
Our patients often tell us that their MD has deemed their lab results “normal.”
Our response is: “Are you really healthy, or just not sick enough?”
In naturopathic medicine, we take two approaches to interpreting lab test results:
We never isolate lab values (see cholesterol discussion above).
We’re less interested in the lab reference range than the functional range.
For example, the lab reference range for “normal” blood glucose is 65 to 99. I can assure you that anyone with a blood glucose of 65 will have symptoms of hypoglycemia!
The functional range for glucose (the range at which a person is more likely to be stable) is 82 to 99. Lower than 82 means possible hypoglycemia, and higher than 99 suggests possible pre-diabetes. (You can read about the effects of low blood sugar on the body here.)
MYTH #3: Getting a Flu Shot Will Protect You
At the beginning of this year, the major news outlets reported that this year’s flu vaccine was less than 23 percent effective.
Forgive me if I seem cynical, but this is not safe health policy. This is rampant manipulation of policy for the personal gain of flu vaccine manufacturers.
For naturopathic physicians, vaccinations are an abomination, because they subvert the natural order in which the immune system deals with invading organisms.
Vaccinations bypass the white blood cell response and go straight to the antibody response.
For many years, my father got his regular flu shot annually. Yet he got sick every winter. When he stopped getting his flu shots, we made sure that his immune system was strong and vital. He made it through every subsequent winter without becoming ill.
Dr. Connie and I have never had a flu shot, and we work with sick patients every day. Why have neither of us ever contracted influenza? Because we keep our immune systems in top shape. This article presents a thoughtful perspective on flu shots.
For more on Dr. Marcel’s work, click HERE.