A question "How much should I trust my doctor?" is not a new one. We have all asked it ourselves at least once in our lifetime. Today it's come up for me once again when I was speaking with my mum about her latest visit to her doctor.
A little bit about my mum. She is 80 and has a whole range of issues with her health - hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, arthritis of the knees and hips, pancreatitis, high cholesterol with one of her arteries partially blocked and all sorts of mild allergies. She also suffered a non-haemorrhaging stroke about 7 years ago. She has never been a drinker or smoker but has had a life full of stress and struggle which I think explains her poor health.
She has recently developed a skin problem which we both think is an allergy to something she is either taking, wearing or is in contact with. She takes medication for her blood pressure and hypothyroidism. My mum understands that health is important - even more so than she used to when she was younger. In fact, when I call we discuss her health much of the time these days.
She went to see a doctor. I must mention here that she uses the services of private doctors. She lives in Russia, and the system there has changed dramatically since the times of USSR when we had free medical care for all. Now due to poor funding, bureaucracy issues and better pay in the private sector a lot of doctors have jumped the boat.
Not all the changes have been for the better. My mum lives in a small town where competition between doctors is non-existent, so they can and do charge whatever they want, and every time she visits a practitioner she pays 15-20% of her monthly pension. Plus the cost of medicines many of which cause more harm than good with the side-effects that come with them.
Yesterday she told me that she visited a neurologist and was told that she had depression and prescribed a very strong antidepressant. She researched it and found out that it had really bad side-effects which would be totally devastating to her already frail health.
First of all, my mum doesn't have depression. I know it for sure - I've had it and lived with a child who had depression too. My mum was diagnosed very quickly and without much of a consultation, only after a few minutes of her being in the surgery. No medical history was taken and a very strong medicine was prescribed without her getting asked about underlying conditions and general health.
This scares me. Are we at a stage when we trust our doctors so much that we've given away our power to question them, the diagnosis and treatment they prescribe? What if my mum didn't research the medication? Luckily, she uses the internet and her thinking is clear. What if it was someone who trusted their doctor 100%?
I must mention here that this isn't only happening in Russia. I've come across this kind of attitudes in the UK too - people trusting their doctors only to find out that they've been misdiagnosed and mistreated.
Have we given our most precious power away to our doctors? Have we become complete mindless limpets where our health is concerned? Have we lost the ability to research, think, analyse and question the people we are being taught to trust?
My question is - if a natural health practitioner must not proceed with treating a client without taking a thorough consultation, why are medical doctors not doing the same? Yes, I know that they can see a patient's history in front of them. But do they often refer to it when they diagnose and prescribe a new treatment to us? Do they know what underlying issues we have? Do they always make an effort to find out?
Of course, we do need medical help from time to time. However, don't we overdo it much of the time? Don't we rush to see our GP at the first sign of trouble? A common cold cannot be cured with medicines - you need to allow the body to recover by letting it do so. Warm drinks and rest help like nothing else.
The same is with back pain. Find out what could have caused it. Don't rush to take pain relief medicines - they are not without side-effects and some can be outright dangerous if taken long-term. Learn how you can get help naturally. Here are a few ideas for you:
- Visit a massage therapist.
- Have a Magnesium Oil Massage or Far Infrared Magnesium Wrap.
- Apply magnesium oil on the body when you are in pain.
- How about doing some gentle stretches?
- Can taking curcumin help with pain? It helped me within 2 days, and it can help you.
- Ginger has amazing pain relieving, infection-busting and anti-inflammaory properties (it's great for cold and flu too). I use fresh ginger, but it's available in a supplement form if you aren't up to eating it fresh (it's not to everyone's taste).
- Use Echinacea to boost immunity.
- I've recently researched Astaxanthin to have amazing antioxidant properties which can help both with prevention and healing.
These are just some supplements, remedies and methods which I use and which work for me, and there are many more. I am sure you know some too.
I am not bashing allopathic medicine. Doctors save lives. They are good at putting us together after an accident or when our health is in danger. However, haven't we become too dependent on them? Don't we rush to see a doctor every time we sneeze? Would you agree that some things can be successfully (and more effectively) treated by simply staying in bed and resting? Isn't it time that we took control of our lifestyle, nutrition and mindset to stop ourselves needing doctors in the first place?
Doctors are overworked and we are partly responsible for it. Don't we rush to see a GP with something that can be easily treated at home? Due to our surgeries being overstretched, many patients cannot expect to have more than 10 minutes for an appointment. How can a thorough consultation be taken in such a short time? How can our GP focus on our problem when she has a long line of patients to see in a relatively short period of time?
I believe that nobody knows about me more than I do. So I put 100% of my trust in myself and my body's ability to heal itself (with some help from a few tried and tested natural remedies, lots of rest and water). Yes, I do ask for medical help when things go badly wrong (luckily, it hasn't happened often). I educate myself. I try to avoid medicines unless it's absolutely necessary. And I question my doctor's decisions from time to time. I had a botched root canal treatment 7 years ago and it taught me a very valuable lesson.
Our health is our own responsibility and we need to treat our body as the most precious gift we have in this life. So my answer to my earlier question "How much should I trust my doctor to keep me healthy?" is "My health is my own responsibility".
Keep 100% control over yours - listen to your doctor, research a diagnosis, seek another opinion, question a prescribed treatment, ask as many questions as you need to. Trust only yourself. Don't treat your doctor as if they are God. Your body is your own, and you are the only one responsible for your health and well-being.