CancerDefeated.com

My life in the drug culture

By Lee Euler / March 17, 2010

If you’re like me you probably have skeptical friends and relatives who ask why you believe all that alternative medicine junk. My answer is simple: experience.

I found out the old-fashioned way that conventional medicine doesn’t work. I went to conventional doctors and tried their treatments — a wide variety of them — over many decades.

Lucky for me, my complaints were small stuff — nothing life-threatening. Unlike most cancer patients, I didn’t die of medical incompetence. But it would have been nice to receive good advice from a doctor when I was 25 instead of waiting decades to get well.

Now, let me say that alternative treatments aren’t an easy magic bullet, either, but I’ve obtained good results by being persistent and trying a lot of things. And I’ve never hurt myself with an alternative remedy. But conventional medicine? Yikes!

Continued below…

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Say “goodbye” to fish oil, once and for all. To find out how to get the remarkable health-restoring powers of krill oil — click here.

How incompetent are some doctors? Let me count the ways. . .

I used to have murderous headaches. I don’t mean a little achiness now and then. I mean killing, splitting, stabbing headaches that left me unable to do anything except roll around on my bed in pain.

Conventional doctors — and I went to a number of them — couldn’t figure out what was causing my headaches. I had every kind of test — MRIs, EEGs, X-rays. The doctors opined about migraine headaches, cluster headaches, whatever. I didn’t have the classic symptoms of migraines. I had allergies but antihistamines brought no relief for the headaches.

After years of getting nowhere, doctors would grudgingly let me have powerful pain-killers containing opiates. Those were the only thing that relieved the pain.

It came to pass one day while I was rolling around in pain that I decided to try a well-known sinus medicine, brand-name Sudafed. I don’t remember what moved me to do this. Guess what: The headache disappeared quickly. Thereafter, I was almost always able to get rid of my headaches by taking this over-the-counter drug.

My headaches were sinus headaches. Duh.

So how did all these doctors manage to miss this? When they were interviewing me and taking my patient history, they’d ask if I had any nasal discharge. I didn’t. Then they’d say, “If you had a sinus problem, you’d have sinus discharge.” (Snot, in other words.) “You don’t have a sinus problem.”

They also took X-rays and didn’t find what they considered a sinus problem.

Well it’s true I didn’t have a sinus infection. What I did have was sinus SWELLING that caused pressure and the intense pain I felt. It was an allergic reaction, but it was mostly food allergies, so antihistamines did no good.

A couple of months ago I saw a commercial for a sinus medication that said, “You may have sinus swelling and pain even though you have no nasal discharge.” Glad they finally figured that out. Wish they’d known 30 years ago.

Like most people with chronic, “mystery” medical conditions, I ended up self-diagnosing and self-treating with no help from the medical profession. Once I got my diet and supplements right, I rarely needed the Sudafed anymore, either.

Drug abuse, medical style

Years ago I had some uro-genital pain and discomfort. Not exactly pain while urinating, but some low-grade general pain in the region. I went to a doctor who said, “We’ll do a couple of tests, but meanwhile let’s get you started on antibiotics.”

I said, “Let’s see the results of the tests. IF I have an infection, THEN I’ll take antibiotics.”

It turned out I didn’t have an infection. But that doctor was all ready to get me going on a dangerous drug that should be used as little as possible and ONLY when an infection is present. His attitude was, “Maybe you have an infection, let’s try this and see.”

No wonder antibiotics don’t work anymore, and we face an epidemic of resistant microbes. Not to mention the fact that this doctor was willing to wipe out my “good” intestinal bacteria. My digestion was already a mess in those days (more on this in a minute). Antibiotics were the last thing I needed.

I’ve had many experiences with antibiotic abuse, going back to when I was a baby. Those were the days when penicillin was the new thing and people figured it would solve every problem. My Mom, who had a blind belief in doctors, would send us across the street to our neighborhood doctor every time we had a sniffle. He was a nice man and my best friend’s grandfather. I think he got his medical degree around 1920.

In those days we got penicillin shots, not pills. Talk about a massive drug dose! I think this probably played a big role in the gastrointestinal problems I’ve had all my life. I’ve straightened them out, for the most part. It only took five or six decades.

I expect my friend’s grand-dad was totally clueless about the dangers of antibiotics. But doctors since about 1970 have no excuse. That’s when antibiotic-resistant bugs began to show up.

Generally I don’t volunteer health advice to friends or relatives because they don’t want it and they don’t follow it. But two or three times during the last three decades I’ve given in to the temptation. I’ve tried to get a young mother NOT to run to the doctor and demand antibiotics for her baby or toddler every time they get cold or flu. I think I’m 0-for-3 on the advice. Intellectually, the mothers can understand that antibiotics do no good for virus infections. Emotionally, they want to do something, anything, for their child. It’s the doctor who should say no, but most of them don’t.

It pains me to think of the damage being done to little children.

But wait! It’s not just babies who are abused

As a teenager I had acne. Not all that bad, but bad enough to feel self-conscious about it, like millions of other young people. I’m now almost sure the acne was because of my high-sugar, high-refined-carb, almost vitamin-free diet, plus the mess that this diet plus antibiotics had made of my digestive system.

The dermatologist’s stock answer to acne was (are you ready?) — more antibiotics! They kept hundreds of thousands of kids on antibiotics for months or years at a time. But this is the good part: Antibiotics do little or nothing for acne. (Remember, I told you about the dermatology joke: “It’s a great business because the patients never die, and they never get well.”)

The doctors’ theory was that a pimple is an infection, and that a high, constant blood-level of antibiotics would cure it. Now there’s no doubt that bacteria are present in pimples. They’re present almost everywhere. But bacteria don’t cause pimples, anymore than bacteria cause an infected cut. A knife causes a cut. Bacteria come along and infect it later.

At one point I decided to try antibiotics to get rid of the acne, even though I already knew in the 1970s that there were serious problems with antibiotics. The dermatologist prescribed a pill called Cleocin. After a few months, I figured out it didn’t work and stopped taking the drug. The doctor was very angry with me for not following his advice. I stopped seeing him.

But every good story should have a clincher, and this one does: Cleocin isn’t used anymore for acne treatment because it can kill people.

J. Douglas Bremner, M.D., says “it’s very toxic and should be used only for life-threatening infections. . .” He’s the author of a book I highly recommend, Before You Take that Pill. Medicinenet.com says, “This medication should be used only for serious bacterial infections because it can sometimes cause a severe (rarely fatal) intestinal condition due to a resistant bacteria.”

Imagine if I’d let that doctor bully me into staying on the drug!

I was a little money machine for him. So were hundreds of other patients, no doubt. As I remember it, he made me come back every two weeks , and at each visit he spent a grand total of 5 minutes with me. During each visit he’d tell me my skin was getting better, even though I could see for myself it wasn’t.

17 million Americans suffer from acne. 85 percent of them are young people at the mating age. So the disease is a big money-maker. These days, the treatment of choice is something called Accutane. Two million patients in the U.S. take it. It should be prescribed only for severe acne, but in reality doctors prescribe it for virtually any kid who feels bad about their looks.

According to Dr. Bremner, the drug does clear up acne. And apparently the kids love it. But it can cause severe side effects. The manufacturer now warns of depression, psychosis and suicide. Dr. Bremner recounts the story of a Missouri boy on the drug who “told his family that the deceased rocker Jim Morrison was talking to him through monkeys and telling him to commit suicide on April 15, 2004. . .After he stopped taking Accutane his psychosis and suicidal thinking stopped. . .”

The cholesterol scam

My experiences with M.D.’s and drugs have armed me to stand up to doctors and say no when I have to. A few years ago, my M.D. examined me, ran a blood test, and told me my cholesterol was a little high. He wanted to put me on one of the cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins.

I told him that I’d read quite a bit about cholesterol. I told him there was no proof that taking statin drugs reduced the incidence of heart attacks or saved lives.

He was surprised, and he mumbled something about cholesterol drugs lowering the risk of a second heart attack if you’ve already had the first one. This told me two things: he’d read the same studies I’d read, and I had the story straight. He was right: statin drugs DO reduce the risk of a second heart attack. That’s the only proven benefit they have. There’s no proof they help prevent the first heart attack. In fact, they INCREASE total mortality — deaths from all causes, not just from heart disease. To be specific, statin drugs put you at higher risk of cancer. So while you may be reducing your risk of heart disease (doubtful), you’re definitely increasing your risk of cancer.

No wonder antibiotics don’t work anymore, and we face an epidemic of resistant microbes. Not to mention the fact that this doctor was willing to wipe out my “good” intestinal bacteria. My digestion was already a mess in those days (more on this in a minute). Antibiotics were the last thing I needed.

Bad digestion? Don’t ask an M.D.!

Digestive problems are another chronic illness that conventional medicine can seldom help. As I mentioned before, my GI tract used to be a mess because of poor diet and antibiotics. In their usual way, doctors put me through all kinds of tests, including full intestinal X-rays that involved a barium enema (this was before colonoscopy came along).

They couldn’t figure out what the problem was. (Of course they couldn’t, since they never consider nutrition.) But they gave me a drug called Librax. It’s still around all these decades later. I don’t know if it’s prescribed much these days. It’s a combination of a mild tranquilizer, and some drug for digestion. It worked for a few weeks and then didn’t work anymore.

These days if you have a digestive problem they give you proton-pump inhibitors ((PPIs). These include those famous “little purple pills.” Brand names include Prevacid, Prilosec, and Nexium. Doctors write a hundred million prescriptions a year for PPIs. H2 blockers such as Pepcid, Tagamet and Zantac are another common type of tummy drug.

These drugs suppress stomach acid reduction. From what I’ve read, most people who take these drugs aren’t very happy with them. They have to sneak old-fashioned antacids like Tums on the side to relieve their stomach discomfort.

Stomach acid is too big a subject to go into right now, but I’ll just say this: blocking stomach acid is a TERRIBLE idea. It’s extremely damaging to your health. You need stomach acid to digest your food. And 9 times out of 10, excess stomach acid is NOT the reason your stomach is upset, so you’ll continue to have pain and discomfort even if you use these drugs. Especially among older people, stomach acid DEFICIENCY is a problem. They don’t have enough of it! The last thing seniors should do is suppress their stomach acid.

I’ll just conclude with a list of medical problems for which I think conventional medicine has few or no answers (and the answers they have do you more harm than good): arthritis, digestive distress, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, allergies, acne (and nearly all other skin diseases, including eczema and psoriasis), fatigue, ADHD, and high blood pressure.

I realize pain and illness drive people to desperation, and a pill that relieves symptoms may seem better than nothing. But what I’ve tried to make clear in this article is that most of the time the pills don’t even relieve the symptoms. You harm yourself with the drug and you don’t even get the relief you need.

I decided at an early age that being on any drug all the time, 24/7, for months and years, was a bad idea. So even though I had allergy problems I resisted taking antihistamines long term. I’d use them as needed.

Not so a good friend of mine who took a drug called Seldane every day for years. The medical theory was that the drug was more effective if you took a maintenance dose all the time. According to doctors, it was ineffective to just take a dose now and then when you were having symptoms. You needed to take it every day. (Of course, that was also good for the manufacturer’s profits.)

Seldane was pulled off the market because of serious side effects. I hope my friend wasn’t harmed.

I realize that most people can’t spend their whole life researching health issues and preparing to talk back to bossy doctors. So don’t try to be an expert on every medical condition, but at least try to read up on yours. It’s something you need to do if you actually want to get well.

My own rule of thumb is: drugs are a last resort. Try natural remedies, and be prepared to experiment with several (one at a time) for a year or two. Don’t let a doctor bully or intimidate you into doing ANYTHING. Don’t argue with them. Thank them for their concern about your health, but tell them firmly that you won’t initiate the use of any new prescription until you’ve (a) thoroughly informed yourself about it, and (b) researched non-drug ways to address the problem (I wouldn’t use the word “alternatives”. It’s like waving a red cape in front of a bull.)

Best regards,

Lee Euler,
Publisher

About the author

Lee Euler

Hi I'm Lee Euler, I’ve spent over a decade investigating every possible way a person can beat cancer. In fact, our commitment to defeating cancer has made us the world’s #1 publisher of information about Alternative Cancer Treatments -- with over 20 books and 700 newsletters on the subject. If you haven't heard about all your cancer options, or if you want to make sure you don’t miss even one answer to this terrible disease, then join our newsletter. When you do, I'll keep you informed each week about the hundreds of alternative cancer treatments that people are using to cure cancer all over the world.

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