Will Leeches Be Next Year’s Medical Miracle?

In simple terms it boils down to whether we can still trust them. It’s not just the doctors, but the whole health industry. Have you noticed how they say one thing, then ten years later decide the opposite is true?

The real problem comes down to money, or rather, the importance of cash. It’s become more crucial than alleviating illness, at least so far as the major health professionals are concerned.

Take my doctor, as an example. He’s always trying to push either the latest drug to come on the market, or whatever Merck is giving the best backhanders on at the time. Last month it must have been the anti-reflux drug, Nexium.

Now, I know all about Nexium as I happen to have an esophageal reflux problem and have been taking proton pump inhibitors (Nexium is a PPI) of one sort or another since before I left Britain. This guy has been prescribing me another PPI, Prevacid, for the last four years.

After Christmas, I had a bit of a cough that wouldn’t clear up, and made a couple of clinic visits without success. Last month I made another appointment, and after some deliberation he disappeared, returning a few minutes later with a sample pack of Nexium.

“I think it may be a reflux problem causing your cough, ” he said, “I want you to try some of these and let me know how you get on.”

Fortunately, I recognized what they were and suggested it may not be such a good idea to add another 30mg of PPI daily to the 60mg I was already taking. Needless to say, he went rather red and muttered something about, “Oh, you’d better not take these then,” before rapidly disappearing out the door with the offending pills.

It seems my good family doctor was so keen to flog the drug company’s wares that he failed to check my medical records before dishing out the profitable pills. Profitable for him, that is. God knows what damage it may have caused to my health.

It begs the question: are doctors so keen to push drug company wares that they are putting patients’ welfare at risk?

How many vitamin supplements do you take each day? Most of us swallow, if not a multi, then at least a couple of different vitamin pills each day. After all, they’re an insurance premium against the rubbish passing for nourishment that we shove down our throats on a regular basis. It’s what the medical profession have told us for years: take your vitamins and you’ll live to be healthy, wealthy and wise.

Well, it seems they may be changing their tune. Vitamins are no longer a good idea – unless you listen to the manufacturers, of course. In fact, vitamin supplements may be doing you a great deal of harm, according to researchers at Copenhagen University. Not to put it too succinctly, they may be killing you.

To quote the conclusion of the researchers, as published in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

“Treatment with beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E may increase mortality. The potential roles of vitamin C and selenium on mortality need further study.”

Of course, an “expert” from the vitamin supplements industry has leapt in to proclaim the research “fatally flawed”.

But then he would, wouldn’t he?

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2 Replies to “Will Leeches Be Next Year’s Medical Miracle?”

  1. The medical profession kills more people than auto accidents. I think that is absolutely stunning when you think of all the people driving cars every day and contrast that to the few times you go to the doctor in a year. I am reading the book Powerful Medicines: the Benefits, Risks and Costs of Prescription Drugs – a very interesting book – no wonder the US health system is the highest priced in the world.

  2. Flimsy – that is an amazing statistic and one I was unaware of. The British government is desperately trying to emulate the American model for health care, while denying it is doing so. Another sign the corporations are gaining control.

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