I’m sorry for the negative title, but I’m a bit peeved. I’m not sure if you saw the recent data regarding drug giant GlaxoSmithKline, but they were found guilty of fraud recently. They paid $3 billion to settle the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history. And while 3 BILLION dollars sounds like a lot of money, they paid it from their cash reserves – that’s right they have it sitting around in cash. Starts to give you an idea of how much money pharmaceutical companies generate, doesn’t it? If you missed the story in the news it’s because it wasn’t that well publicized here in the US. Draw your own conclusions as to why that might be. Personally I saw the story on BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) online. GlaxoSmithKline is actually a British company, even though the lawsuit occurred here in the US. GlaxoSmithKline pled guilty to promoting two antidepressant drugs for unapproved uses, as well as failing to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the FDA. The drugs involved were Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia. The first two drugs are antidepressants and the third, Avandia, is a diabetes medication. The antidepressants were promoted by the drug giant to be used on children and adolescents, not an approved use. In fact, you may have heard that antidepressants can cause suicidal tendencies when given to children and adolescents, causing such “promotion” to be a potential death sentence for any children unfortunate enough to be prescribed them. Regarding the diabetes drug Avandia, the company admitted that it made false safety claims while holding back data regarding the hazards of the drug – heart failure and heart attacks being the most noteworthy. Are you aware of how many drugs “make it” to market, approved by the FDA, only to later discover that they are horrifically dangerous? Have you ever wondered why that is so? What’s being revealed more and more is that companies actually pay researchers to hide any negative findings while embellishing the positive. This “passes” FDA standards initially — but the ugly truth is revealed once innocent people actually being prescribed the drug become ill or die. And if all that wasn’t bad enough, the company admitted to bribing doctors to prescribe their drugs. US attorney Carmin Ortiz stated in court that GlaxoSmithKline used ‘every imaginable’ form of high-priced entertainment including concert tickets and Hawaiin vacations. The pharmaceutical compnay also admitted to paying literally millions of dollars out to doctors who would go on speaking tours in order to promote their drugs to fellow doctors, thus increasing sales. Such bribes are not a ‘new’ operating procedure of pharmaceutical companies. I have spoken to doctors who say this is truly ‘business as usual’. But what if one of these dangerous drugs impacted you or someone you cared about? How does it make you feel to think that your doctor prescribed you a drug so that he could ‘win’ a Hawaiian vacation? Are you feeling disgusted yet? Are you upset yet? I know I am. As a clinical nutritionist I strive to utilize natural treatments as often as possible because it is the healthiest approach. But the exposing of such deceptive practices certainly gives support to the validity of natural protocols whenever possible. We know that our healthcare system is broken. The war against heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes are all being lost. Why? We go about trying to solve these diseases in the wrong way. What should we do?
Appreciate that our lifestyle needs to change drastically. If you think you can avoid heart disease, obesity, cancer or diabetes and still consume fast food, pre-packaged foods, high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients (to name just a few), you are deluding yourself.
Understand that drugs should only be used temporarily to put out a fire but not as a solution to poor health. In other words, if your blood pressure is extremely high you may need a medication to get yourself out of danger. But then you need to find a clinician who understands how to diagnose and treat the underlying root cause of WHY your body developed high blood pressure. And this approach of getting to the root cause is truly no different for any health condition.
I received a sad email from a woman whose story epitomized why our healthcare system is such a mess in this country. Her husband suffered from seizures. Two months ago he suffered two strokes. Her son researched seizures on the internet and found a blog I wrote on the subject of gluten intolerance possibly causing seizures. When she changed her husband’s diet and removed all gluten, his seizures improved dramatically. She was obviously thrilled at the outcome, but wanted confirmation from her doctor, a neurologist, and requested him to test her husband for gluten intolerance and celiac disease. The response she got from the neurologist was this: “We are trained to treat with medications and not diets.” The wife asked me if it shouldn’t be the doctor’s primary concern to get his patient seizure free, regardless of the method, especially when it was an easy, side effect-free dietary change? What do you think? Have you run into doctors who stated that they didn’t wish to discuss diet or that it wasn’t in their realm of treatment? There is strong research to support the association between gluten and nervous system disorders, including seizures. In fact, the research cited at the end of this post contained this quote from the authors: “CD [celiac disease] should be ruled out in all cases of epilepsy…” Imagine you had seizures. Would you prefer to change your diet and get rid of your seizures completely or take a drug, typically only partially effective, that has dangerous side effects and drastically limits your activities and lifestyle? Many people cannot drive if they have seizures, as an example. Do you think the neurologist might alter his attitude if he or a member of his family had seizures? Do you think he might be more interested in an effective dietary approach then? Many if not most of the ills we are suffering from in this country stem from our poor diet. And while this is definitely my opinion, I am far from alone in it. Here’s the truth: Dietary changes can reverse and prevent most of the degenerative diseases that are plaguing Americans. Does that sound surprising? Hopefully it will be a fact, well known by all in the not too distant future. Because I promise you that it is true and it is the only way we will be able to reverse the dwindling spiral of health that our sea of pharmaceuticals and poor diet has created. Hippocrates, the father of Medicine said around 400 BC: “Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food.” Do you find it interesting that this as true today as it was 2500 years ago? Would you like to improve your health? Are you tired of taking drugs that have dangerous side effects? We are here to help, truly. Our destination clinic treats patients from across the country and internationally. We can offer you a free health analysis if you’d like – call 408-733-0400. If you can’t come to see us, let me make one recommendation. If you ask your doctor if what you eat is important and he or she dismisses the concept out of hand, find a new doctor. You owe it to yourself to work with a clinician who appreciates that food is critical to regaining health. Whether or not they personally are expert at it, they should at least know its importance. I wish you well on your journey of health and look forward to hearing from you. To your good health, Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center Co-author of “The Gluten Effect” Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What you don’t know may be killing you!”
European Journal of Epilepsy, Vol 7, Issue 1. Pp 49-54. February 1998. ”Epilepsy, cerebral calcifications and clinical or subclinical coeliac disease. Course and follow up with gluten-free diet” Diabetologia, DOI 10.1007/s00125-011-2204-7 “Reversal of type 2 diabetes: normalisation of beta cell function in association with decreased pancreas and liver triacylglycerol” May 2011. Permission is granted to re-post this article in its entirety with credit to Dr Vikki Petersen & HealthNOW Medical Center and a clickable link back to this page. Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN is founder of HealthNOW Medical Center and the author of “The Gluten Effect” and eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What you don’t know may be killing you”. She has been featured in national magazines, international medical journals and is a frequent headlined speaker.