One-Size-Fits-All Medicine

Here’s the scene: You go to the doctor dragging your patooty behind you.

Your body got fat, but your hair got thin. Overwhelmed by a whole new definition of tired, you find yourself doing beached whale impressions while life goes to pot. Well, who could cope anyway? For all you know, your brain left town. And is it normal to wear an overcoat to bed to keep warm?

The doctor nods sagely and announces his on-the-spot, one-size-fits-all diagnosis: Depression.

As he grabs for his prescription pad, you demur. Just a little. After all, he’s the doctor. But you explain that you’re happy with your life. The problem is not enough energy to enjoy it more.

Ever see a doctor change his pronouncements? Me either. You get a prescription for an antidepressant.

It doesn’t work, of course, Your problem isn’t depression; it’s a thyroid gland that can’t get its act together.

Most, if not all, thyroid patients experience this scenario. Maybe multiple times.

Or perhaps you go to the doctor with somewhat different symptoms. Still tired. In fact, with a fatigue beyond your darkest nightmare. A pea-soup London fog took over your brain some time back. And you’re spending a big chunk of your time in the bathroom, dealing with diarrhea and bleeding.

This time the antidepressant prescription comes with a recommendation to get a less stressful job. Don’t bother protesting how much you love your job; the doctor has spoken.

Again, the antidepressant doesn’t lay a glove on what’s going on with your body. How can it? A gluten intolerance is about avoiding grains, not balancing your brain’s serotonin.

And so it goes. If you have celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance, you probably also have a file folder crammed with antidepressant prescriptions.

Doctors go on about practicing scientific, evidence-based medicine, but most medicine arises from opinions and past practices, however misguided. 70% of medicine–or more–lacks any provable, scientific basis.

Maybe that’s why doctors love the depression diagnosis so. Depression is real, of course, but the diagnosis of depression, ah, now that’s a wide-open door. No tests. No fixed criteria. Anything goes. A best guess sort of thing, don’t you know. Best of all, it herds patients through quickly, all paying as they leave.

And have you heard the latest? Based on zero evidence of a problem, doctors want legislation to require all pregnant women to undergo a test for depression. In the theory, apparently, that pregnancy can’t possibly be a happy state. The planned “test” seems to be no more than the doctor’s opinion. Still no proven, factual tests or criteria. Even worse, no studies on what antidepressant medications will do to the baby.

Will they get their way? Well, a lot of people go for the Gardasil scam even though we’re maiming and killing young girls for a very dubious, at best, benefit. And a whole bunch more are on the statin bandwagon, despite the fact the cholesterol-causes-heart-disease train left the station long since, and damage estimates continue to mount. Not to mention the annual flu shot foolishness; flu shots have zilch effect on the flu, but they set people over 50 up for dementia big time. I could go on. Examples abound.

Sad to say, nobody expresses any concern about what health disaster could result from this latest brainstorm, pregnancy-equals-depression legislation. This one could outdo autism.

Sure will push a lot of pills, though.

About the author: Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be one. She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work–or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.

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