Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Disease Mongering - Pharmaceutacals change the 'rules' so more drugs are prescribed.

If you click on the image you can view it full size.

Growing mass of evidence supports this.

Do you want to be responsible for your own health? Do you want to protect yourself?

Imagine having your own health "assurance" and being responsible for yourself and your future. Imagine what it would be like to not worry about the common aging illnesses that plague most people. If you could reverse the aging process, what would that be worth to you?

I use a simple supplement plan that research shows is putting back in modern diets what we've processed out of the modern diet.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Doctors Advance in Helping Body to Repair Itself

Research is showing that the body can heal itself.

Vital Signs from NYTimes.com
Wednesday, January 16, 2002

Doctors Advance in Helping Body to Repair Itself

Enshrined in textbooks, taught in schools and rarely
questioned was one truism of medicine: the only organs
that can regenerate their cells are the bone marrow,
the liver and, maybe, the kidney.

But now, researchers say, they are not so sure.

To their astonishment, scientists at Harvard Medical
School recently discovered that in mice, the
insulin-producing cells of the pancreas could
regenerate. Other experts, at New York Medical
College, just reported compelling evidence that human
hearts can grow new cells.

The findings have enormous implications, scientists
say, although it can be a long and harrowing path from

observations like these to medical treatments.

The encouraging news is that the body has an
unappreciated capacity to repair itself. But in making
that discovery, researchers also found a potential
therapeutic stumbling block: an underlying disease,
like diabetes, which kills pancreas cells, may outpace
the regeneration of those cells. Even adding new
cells, like ones derived from sources like stem cells,
may be futile. To regenerate tissues and organs,
it may be necessary first to cure an underlying

Nonetheless, some medical experts are optimistic.
"These are really intriguing results," said Dr.
Gregory Stock, who directs the program on medicine,
technology and society at the University of California
at Los Angeles School of Medicine. The results show
that "there may be ways of eliciting responses from
the body that we would not have dared to look for," he

Vital Signs from NYTimes.com

Monday, June 05, 2006

They are admitting it now!

Dr David Eddy says there is a big problem in medicine today...

"The problem is that we don't know what we are doing," he says. The high-tech health-care system costs the U.S. $2 trillion a year, yet there is little or no evidence that many widely used treatments and procedures actually work better than various cheaper alternatives.

All of this is actually quite frightening. Especially if you are one of the folks that think that regardless of what happens you will just go to the doctor and he will put you back together again.

The extended quote below is from the cover story of Business Week: right from the 'horses mouth' as we say in these parts - link to the full article here.
Medical Guesswork
From heart surgery to prostate care, the health industry knows little about which common treatments really work

"Because there are no definitive answers, you are at the whim of where you are and who you talk to," says Dr. Gary M. Kirsh at the Urology Group in Cincinnati. Kirsh does many brachytherapies -- implanting radioactive seeds. But "if you drive one and a half hours down the road to Indianapolis, there is almost no brachytherapy," he says. Head to Loma Linda, Calif., where the first proton-beam therapy machine was installed, in 1990, and the rates of proton-beam treatment are far higher than in most other parts of the country. Go to a surgeon, and he'll probably recommend surgery. Go to a radiologist, and the chances are high of getting radiation instead. "Doctors often assume that they know what a patient wants, leading them to recommend the treatment they know best," says Dr. David E. Wennberg, president of Health Dialog Analytic Solutions.

More troubling, many doctors hold not just a professional interest in which treatment to offer, but a financial one as well. "There is no question that the economic interests of the physician enter into the decision," says Kirsh. The bottom line: The conventional wisdom in prostate cancer -- that surgery is the gold standard and the best chance for a cure -- is unsustainable. Strangely enough, however, the choice may not matter very much. "There really isn't good evidence to suggest that one treatment is better than another," says Klein.

Compared with the skepticism Eddy faced in the 1990s, many physicians now concur that traditional treatments for serious illnesses often aren't best. Yet this message can be hard for Americans to believe. "When there is more than one medical option, people mistakenly think that the more aggressive procedure is the best," says Annette M. Cormier O'Connor, senior scientist in clinical epidemiology at the Ottawa Health Research Institute. The message flies in the face of America's infatuation with the latest advances. "As a nation, we always want the best, the most recent technology," explains Dr. Joe Thompson, health adviser to Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. "We spend a huge amount developing it, and we get a big increase in supply." New radiation machines for cancer or operating rooms for heart surgery are profit centers for hospitals, for instance (see BW Online, 07/18/05, "Is Heart Surgery Worth It?"). Once a hospital installs a shiny new catheter lab, it has a powerful incentive to refer more patients for the procedure. It's a classic case of increased supply driving demand, instead of the other way around. "Combine that with Americans' demand to be treated immediately, and it is a cauldron for overuse and inappropriate use," says Thompson.

The consequences for the U.S. are disturbing. This nation spends 2 1/2 times as much as any other country per person on health care. Yet middle-aged Americans are in far worse health than their British counterparts, who spend less than half as much and practice less intensive medicine, according to a new study. "The investment in health care in the U.S. is just not paying off," argues Gerard Anderson, director of the Center for Hospital Finance & Management at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health. Speaking not for attribution, the head of health care at one of America's largest corporations puts it more bluntly: "There is a massive amount of spending on things that really don't help patients, and even put them at greater risk. Everyone that's informed on the topic knows it, but it is such a scary thing to discuss that people are not willing to talk about it openly."

Of course, there are plenty of areas of medicine, from antibiotics and vaccines to early detection of certain tumors, where the benefits are huge and incontrovertible. But if these effective treatments are black and white, much of the rest of medicine is a dark shade of gray. "A lot of things we absolutely believe at the moment based on our intuition are ultimately absolutely wrong," says Dr. Paul Wallace, of the Care Management Institute.


Even when common treatments are proved to be dubious, physicians don't rush to change their practice. They may still firmly believe in the treatment -- or in the dollars it brings in.

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