In all the arguments about budgets each year, two questions never get asked. The first is how much of the money we spend on “health” actually benefits people. The second is how much harm is done in the name of “health.” Last week I wrote an opinion piece on this topic for Fairfax News websites.
The United States of America is addicted to narcotics. I do not mean the millions of individuals who are hooked. I mean the whole nation is agitating for the stuff. I also do not mean the junk that slips into our nation in coffee cans or across midnight borders. I mean the billions of pills pouring off assembly lines. I could blame pharma or the FDA, but the truth is closer to home. The villains are those men and women who write prescriptions.
It is time for doctors to say no to drugs!
Once you have decided that you want to start a family, it is natural that you develop a new mindset. You will find that you become acutely aware of your cycle, and begin to contemplate the impacts that having a baby will have on all aspects of your life.
You may also find yourself seeking out information and taking more notice of others around you who may be pregnant or have young children – as you begin to try and visualise yourself as a parent, and imagine what life ahead might be like.
It’s often one of those forgotten elements of our daily lives, sleep. Yet, like food and water, we all need sleep to survive.
The questions for many people are: what’s the quality like and how much are you getting?
This is where the parallel with food and water continues. I think we can all agree that the better the quality of food (nutrients) and water we get, the healthier we’ll be. The same also applies for sleep.
Our digestive system is the most important system in our bodies. We don’t tend to realize the importance of proper digestion until we begin experiencing problems. When it’s working properly, it takes the food we consume and produces all the ingredients our bodies need to operate. It then removes any unneeded, unused or unwanted materials from our body.
When it’s NOT working right…well…it can be pretty damn uncomfortable.
In the Star Wars films there is a seesawing battle between the empire and the “rebels”. Through the initial three-film trilogy each side is in the ascendency at differing times. Whilst not a perfect analogy, it is interesting to apply this concept to battles in medicine.
Over the last few months I have written about battles in ADHD and the use of cholesterol lowering medications.
Lets apply the Star Wars approach to these.
Would it be big news if one third of athletes felt that using performance-enhancing drugs was not a form of cheating? Would this be even bigger news if 20% admitted doing so? I think it would be. Many people would be outraged. There would be calls for action and a “clean up”.
But when it comes to study or academic pursuits we apply a different morality.
A survey has found that one third of Ivy League college students did not consider misuse of stimulant medications before exams was cheating and 20% admitted to having done so. It does not make the news. Nobody is outraged and there is no call for any action.
Every child must undergo a rite of passage to become an adult. This journey is one that has become more complex in recent history due to the increasing complexity and challenges in their life and the lives of their parents.
There has been an explosion in the last 20 years of child learning disorders such as ADD and ADHD. There has also been a rise in childhood mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, speech and socialisation disorders.
These issues not only are exacerbated by the complexity and chaos in society and our parents, but there are other factors involved such as diet and health that also play a part. We now know also that developmental issues such as trauma can play a significant role in creating these problems in our children.