Saturday, January 2, 2016

General Medical

What's the scoop with all those medical screening procedures?  Quote: "Aspirin before heart surgery, Tylenol for back pain, thyroid screening, pelvic exams, stents…… all completely worthless?  That’s the finding published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It says millions of medical diagnoses, procedures and treatments are based on questionable scientific evidence and that in some cases the “risk of harm exceeds its potential for benefit.”  It’s being called “medical overuse.” A too-forgiving term for overdiagnosis and overtreatment. It can also be defined as a healthcare practice that patients wouldn’t get if they knew what was in it for them – which for most procedures is potentially nothing.

Cholesterol and statins.  What's the scoop?   Here's more regarding new findings about the damage caused by statin drugs.  Quote: "The study, which was published in the American Journal of Physiology, states that statins' "...impact on other biologic properties of stem cells provides a novel explanation for their adverse clinical effects." Specifically, the study states that such adverse effects include advancing the "process of aging" and also notes that "...long-term use of statins has been associated with adverse effects including myopathy, neurological side effects and an increased risk of diabetes." Myopathy refers to skeletal muscle weakness."

To make matters worse, this study suggests that pharmaceutical companies manipulated statistical data to support a good news story for statins.  Quote:  "Dr. David M. Diamond, a professor of psychology, molecular pharmacology and physiology at the University of South Florida, and Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, an independent health researcher and expert in cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, teamed up to a take a closer look at the claims made about statins. After reviewing a cohort of published studies on statins, they concluded that statistical trickery is responsible for their ill-gained notoriety.  "[S]tatin advocates have used statistical deception to create the illusion that statins are 'wonder drugs,' when the reality is that their modest benefits are more than offset by their adverse effects," wrote the authors in their paper."

Given what we know about the overmedicating of Americans, why is it necessary to start putting infants on prescription medications.  Quote: "Toddlers as young as 18-months-old are being treated like experimental rats, drugged up with some of the most brain-damaging, life-altering psychotic pills. These are the kinds of pills that cause wild delusions, aggressive impulses, erratic behavior, or in some cases, cause violent and suicidal thoughts. Why do parents, doctors, psychologists and neurologists continue to disregard these appalling side effects?"  And, "According to the IMS Health Vector One National database for the year 2013, millions of children under five are being forced onto these drugs, forever changing the chemistry of their minds and bodies in ways medical professionals do not understand. The only thing medical professionals do understand, is how to keep throwing new pills at the problem that pills created in the first place. The cycle is so abusive, so vicious. ..."  And, "Why do we allow Big Pharma to victimize our children in the most barbaric mind-altering ways? As the pressure mounts, and children are left detached from reality, struggling with the effects of multiple pills, one has to wonder, "Is Big Pharma building an army of mass shooters?"

What are these items saying?  To me it proves that "Nothing in science is ever settled."  Here is a prime example.  Quote: "Eggs, carbs, bacon, grilling, frying… with so much inconsistent information, what are we supposed to believe is good for us?  Now we hear that cooking with vegetable oil may be cancerous.  This is a complete turnaround from when we were told that oils rich in polyunsaturated fats (think corn oil, vegetable oil and sunflower oil) were much healthier than the saturated fats in animal products.  Turns out, scientists have now found that when these polyunsaturated fats are heated up – like they would be when used to cook – they release high concentrations of chemicals called aldehydes which are linked to cancer." 

Interesting information regarding stroke prevention.

This is an interesting piece that looks at the dilemma of patenting of pharmaceutical products.  Quote: "Put this way, you can see how disingenuous the pharmaceutical industry’s high minded claims are. And indeed, while those claims are sympathetic in the abstract, one can easily make the case that this is the last industry to be able to make them with a straight face. For now, however, let us simply admit a simple fact: to exempt pharmaceutical patents from IPRs would not only be blatant rent-mongering. It would be a poison pill for consumers and taxpayers alike.  And it’s one proposed “reform” to the patent system that conservatives are absolutely right to object to."

This item examines the unbelievably complex methods of medical drug pricing.  Quote: "...according to a new Bloomberg analysis, the United States still pays more for drugs than other countries once those discounts are accounted for.  Equally frustrating for those who track the issue is that it’s hard to know exactly how a drug maker goes about setting a list price in the first place.  “Right now, it’s a black box,” said Dan Ollendorf, chief review officer at the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review. “There’s really no inkling to the general public about what the ingredients of that soup that make up the price that’s set.”"   And then they do this.  Quote: "...the drug industry routinely and ferociously attacks natural healers who offer patients cheap, or even free, herb- and plant-based remedies which are generally safer and more effective than pharmaceuticals. These natural remedies don't cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars a year, and many of them grow in the ground – anyone can produce them!  This dichotomy is at the crux of the modern healthcare crisis, as media pundits and politicians duke it out over how to pay the ballooning costs of drug-based medical treatments. But what none of them ever talk about is the fact that free cures already exist that are routinely mocked or ignored in favor of FDA-approved pills and poisons." 

This is an interesting summary of a study regarding blood pressure and related medications to control it.  Quote: "Finally, the difference between the intensive and the standard treatment group for all the primary outcomes was 0.54% per year.  That means that if you are in the intensive treatment group, you will have a reduced chance of having a primary outcome (heart attack, stroke, death, etc.,) for 2 days for each year you take the antihypertensive drugs .  So, if you take blood pressure medications for 30 years in order to lower your blood pressure below 120 mm Hg you will receive a primary outcome benefit of 60 days.   When you factor in the serious adverse effects (mentioned above) of maintaining a very low pressure, I say fugetaboutit.  This study is another example of the Powers-That-Be trying to scare us into taking more unnecessary drugs."

Finally, it is important to get a second or third opinion when confronted with a diagnosis of cancer.  A recent study touted by the mainstream media lauds the decline in cancer deaths due to early detection.  But this analysis of the study suggests that deception may populate the study to make the medical community look good. Two quotes: "Last year a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealing that in the past three decades 1.3 million women in the U.S. were wrongly diagnosed with breast cancer when in fact they had a benign condition known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).  DCIS lesions rarely if ever progress to cause harm nor death, but this was not factored into the data analysis of the latest report in question." And, "The propaganda evidenced by this report [the study hyping the decline in cancer deaths], and the mainstream media amplifications of it, are extremely misleading. Trillions of dollars of liability rests on the shoulders of the conventional cancer industry for falsely diagnosing and (i.e. abusing) women and men with cancers they never had. Additionally, those who have fallen victim to unnecessary treatment often suffer from Stockholm syndrome, identifying with their aggressors, and then becoming willing brand ambassadors of ‘early detection’ via pinkwashing styled fund-raising campaigns (e.g. Susan G. Komen marches) to fear, for instance, other healthy, asymptomatic women into subjecting their breasts to highly carcinogenic x-ray wavelengths in the interest of ‘finding cancer early." 

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