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Dr. Oz Show: Drugs Are Killing Us
9 Replies
January - December 20

Just saw an ad that this coming Thursday Dr. Oz will have a show on how legal drugs and their interactions are now killing more Americans than traffic accidents!
In the trailer for it he said 85% of doctors don't know…


Noca - December 21

Yeah but he didn't give the vastly larger statistic of how many Americans would die or do die from their illnesses going untreated.


kvc33 - December 21

You make a good point Noca. For me, if an illness is not life-threatening or causing severe disability then drugs should be avoided. I can't believe how many people go and get antibiotics just because they have a cold or flu which antibiotics won't help with anyway. It bothers me that blood thinners are given to people who have had heart attacks and then they end up in the hospital with internal bleeding. People have illnesses they don't even know about because they avoid doctors and 'can't believe' that they are at risk of heart disease and diabetes because of their lifestyle. There is a woman on the net who is trying to become as obese as possible to make money. She doesn't 'believe' she is harming herself. Just my random thoughts.


January - December 21

I have a problem with a doctor who writes me a scrip for a drug that my records clearly say will kill me. Or a hospital that puts in my permanent medical records that I am allergic to a life-saving drug I'm NOT allergic to - because the nurse didn't know how to spell the drug I AM allergic to. Since it's in my records, I can't change it, I can only file a letter disputing it. I have a problem with a doctor who prescribes me a medication that badly interacts with something I'm already taking because he doesn't know the facts! Or who writes me a scrip for a huge dose of something when a much smaller dose would work fine. Or a doctor who, instead of switching me OFF a med that is causing bad side effects, just throws a couple more drugs at me to treat the unnecessary problems….


Noca - December 22

I would have or have the same problems you are speaking of January with medications most definitely. Many doctors are practicing BAD medicine.


Tspringer - December 22

I am not sure that its really possible for doctors to practice "good medicine" as most would define it. The simple reality is that doctors cannot spend the time required on each case to truly be 100% knowledgeable about about every aspect of that case AND no doctor is an expert in all areas of expertise required when dealing with something like Fibromyalgia.

It would be great if you could have your GP and your chiropractor, neurologist, nutritionist, rheumatologist and psychologist all get together a couple of times per week along with your massage therapist and exercise personal trainer so they can spend 4-5 hours reviewing everything that is going on with you and together devising your next step in developing an effective treatment approach. But that's just not possible.

This is why effective treatment really requires a "Self-Management" approach. The doctor is not in charge of your treatment - YOU ARE. Doctors are simply members of your care provider team. They provide you with information and suggestions - YOU must make the final decision about what actions you are going to take. No doctor is ultimately responsible for providing you with effective treatment (though they do want too) - YOU are responsible. A good team will have several doctors, specialists in different areas, and suggestions from all should be evaluated and integrated into a treatment approach - which is then validated through a process of trial and error.

This kind of approach however flows totally against the grain of how the US medical system is designed to function and against our cultural and societal expectations relative to medical care.

Medical care, drive by high costs and insurance companies management of costs, functions in a manner where doctors are expected to make snap diagnosis or rely on medical tests to make definitive diagnosis - and then rapidly issue an effective treatment, typically meaning a pill. The public has been trained to expect an immediate accurate diagnosis followed instantly by a magic pill that makes it all better.

With Fibro - both the medical system and patients general expectations are doomed to failure.



Noca - December 23

Educating yourself in the area of your treatment is vital, however. Education in a specific area, previously unknown to you or unnecessary to you, is not something you are likely to have at the start of a problem, whether it be a health issue or another issue requiring a decision in life. While we cannot be an expert on everything, we CAN educate ourselves on topics that are most important to our lives.

It is the lag time between having a new issue to be solved that requires immediate attention, and educating yourself on that issue, that you need to substitute someone else's judgement for your own. THIS is when we must trust on an expert to make the correct decision for us, and this is ALSO the time when we are most vulnerable to being hurt. In the case of medicine, the time when we are most vulenerable to be a victim of "BAD medicine", because we simply have no experience or education of our own to fall back on.

This is NO excuse however for a mistake that happens when a decision is made for us causing harm in an area that we have previously known about, but decided to NOT educate ourselves in for whatever reason. This is the point where the responsibility is our own and there is NO one to blame but ourselves when something goes wrong!


kvc33 - December 23

I try to stay away from the blame game. I educate myself as much as I can but I didn't go to medical school nor should I have to in order to get good care. When something goes wrong with my car I do my best to understand it but I have to trust that the mechanic knows more than I do because he has been trained in that area and I haven't. If he\she can't fix the problem then I will do more research and try someone else. It's pretty much the same with my health except I stay away from all drugs and supplements now due to severe allergies. It has taken me many years to learn about CFS and I am still learning. During the 'lag time' that Noca mentioned, I didn't even have a computer and all I ever heard in the past about CFS was that there was no treatment for it and perhaps it wasn't even real. I have suffered in the past due to lack of knowledge on both my part and the medical community. What's done is done. There is only so much I can expect of myself when just taking a shower takes up a good deal of my daily energy. Merry Christmas everyone.


Tspringer - December 23

I am having a hard time thinking of any scenario where you would be forced to substitute anothers judgement for your own that does not involve an emergency room in this context. If you have had an accident or symptoms have onset quickly and to such a severity that your forced to the emergency room for immediate care then yes I agree - in that case you really have no other choice but to accept the doctors immediate care judgement and trust that they do a great job.

Also - "Self-Management" does not just mean going to the Nth degree in educating yourself about something before trying it. Sometimes it just means being prudent in making a decision based on someone elses judgement. You may have a sudden and severe symptom onset for which you need very quick care, you go to the doctor and he prescribes medication x. Before just taking it - ask the doctor some questions -

- WHY is this medication being prescribed?
- What is it, how exactly does it work in the body?
- What are the side effects?
- What interactions need to be watched for?
- What other risks exist?
- Specifically - what should your expectations be?

Then- Did the doctor have quick and concise answers? Do they make sense? Can he tell you examples of other similar cases where this medication was used with success? Do you feel confident based on his answers that he really does understand both your condition AND how this medication will help?

Then, if you have time - try to check his answers against information you can find online. Do they still make sense?

This kind of approach does not require that you have a complete education about something before you try it, nor does it take a large amount of time - it merely requires that you assert your position of leadership in your care team such that you are making the best decision you can in that moment.

That really is all you can ever do - make the best decision you can at the point where a decision has to be made. But unless your unconscious - it is still your decision.

You cannot abdicate responsibility any more than you can abdicate the consequences.

If the doctor gets it wrong, he is not the one who will suffer the immediate negative consequences - you are. So make the best decisions you can. That is the core to self-management and taking responsibility.

My opinion of course - worth exactly what you paid for it. :)



January - December 25

Thanks Noca for seeing what I mean about "some" doctors. Good discussion got started. I agree, we need to learn about our own conditions and take responsibility, but as kvc pointed out, we are all different in our areas of expertise. Some of us know about medicine, but some of us don't know an enzyme from an ester. Some of us probably didn't take basic biology. If you don't have the background to understand medicine, you HAVE to rely on doctors - if they are holding themselves out as "licensed medical professionals," (HOW many years of schooling??) they SHOULD know the information needed, or they should get it - or refer you to someone who knows. (What are we paying for?) I know that I don't understand taxes, so I pay someone to do mine. I trust the "professionals" know what they are doing, and I don't have to double check everything, because I wouldn't know the difference anyway! Medicine USED to be more reliable! Why do we accept this awful treatment? Some of us get nothing when we go to the doctor, but we still have to pay the bill. Most other places don't work that way.

Terry, I agree with your approach, self-management is the best way to go with fibro. (And you have to learn to deal with doctors who get angry if you question them!) What concerns me is the many people who don't have the basic knowledge to manage their medical treatment or to research for themselves. They have to rely on what the doctor tells them. If you don't understand a subject, how can you evaluate different treatments? You don't even know what questions to ask. For these people, our medical system is a huge failure.

I watched the Dr. Oz show, and thought this one was good. Of course, he didn't name any drugs specifically (so as not to get sued!) but it was interesting that he started with antidepressants and the many serious interactions they have that we are not warned about. I had many bad reactions while on an antidepressant! Benadryl caused one. My doctor didn't catch it, my pharmacist did! I thought it was interesting that Dr. Oz ended the segment by emphasizing that it's OUR responsibility to know about drugs, side effects and interactions. Well… I don't entirely agree. I think the "medical professionals" who are writing the prescriptions bear the responsibility to check the suitability of a drug for a person, dose carefully and educate about side effects - they are supposed to know what they are doing. It's unfortunate that we cannot trust them, and we now really DO have to do our own research and double-check our doctors. So what are we paying them such huge amounts for?

And kvc's comment about extreme exhaustion - where taking a shower knocks you out (been there too, kvc!) - makes me think about those of us with fibro who go to the doctor while we are experiencing brain fog and exhaustion. We are perhaps not in the best frame of mind to think fast, or to understand and evaluate what is being said, and certainly in no condition to spend hours researching. We are not in the ER and helpless… but may be debilitated in such a way that we just do whatever the doctor says at the time.



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