"A pill a day..."

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momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634
"A pill a day..."

Brittany's rant got me thinking about our medical system in general. Do you girls remember hearing the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" when you were younger? Now, you don't really hear that anymore. It's more like "Take this pill and let me know if you have any 'major' side effects from it".

A couple years ago my DH and I had some blood work done for life insurance, well, we have high cholesterol. Mine is barely elevated and DH's was just a tad over mine. He went to see our primary care physician (PCP), Dr. Pill Pusher, and he suggested DH get on meds to lower it right away. DH and I talked and agreed that we would both try to lower our cholesterol through diet changes first. Needless to say, Dr. Pill Pusher, didn't like that theory and gave DH 3 months to do it. Even though it's a lifetime accumulated thing, he was on a strict 3 month time limit. Well, he went back 3 months later and it really hadn't gone down so Dr. told him to start taking the pills. Anyway, fastforward a year on meds for it and his cholesterol was lower, but he was having other problems from the meds. Dr. Pill Pusher said well we can put you on this to help with this side effect and that to help with the other side effect. I finally convinced DH to just start seeing my chiropractor and really give a "lifestyle" change some time to work and while we haven't had his cholesterol checked since then he feels better than when he was on the pills anyway. He's losing weight in a healthy way and I would definitely be surprised if his cholesterol hasn't lowered. Oh yeah, we switched PCP's!

I got a new family dr that was older and from a small town. I like him a lot. When DS was around 5 months he got an ear infection. It wasn't bad, but dr prescribed antibiotics for it anyway. After he finished his antibiotics he got another ear infection within 2 weeks. I opted to just keep an eye on him and let his own body work it out. After that he was fine. He's had some minor ear infections but each time I've let his body work it out and it does, in record time I might add. This same dr asked me at one of DS's well baby checks if I was going to give him juice. I said probably not, I don't see the point. Dr. said well I don't either, but everyone does it so I was just going to go over how much you should give him with you. I asked, why would you even suggest it if you don't even believe it's a good idea, he just shrugged his shoulders and said that people do it because their parents did it and so on.

I've begun to question everything recently! I've never been a good herd follower anyway, but as an adult I'm finding that just because that's the way it's always been doesn't mean that we should just keep doing it that way.

Anyone else had an epiphany like this?!

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

My GP (who I only see once a year mostly because she is so hard to get appointments with if you are actually sick, and I no longer live in that town, but travel each year to see her) is really good on complimentary medication and therapy. When I was having issues sleeping in my late teens she would not just hand over a sleeping tablet she went through the natural ways to help me, yet another doctor at the same practice who many of my extended family were seeing was very much a pill pusher, you never left his office without a script.
I saw another doctor where I used to live who prescribed me "nice night time" anti depressants because I had been feeling run down so went in for blood tests mostly to check my iron, everything came back normal so she decided I was depressed, that was the extent of her evaluation, bloods normal must be depression.
I don't agree with my current doctor for this pregnancy who has said I shouldn't gain weight before 20 weeks and can hide it until then as well, if my body needs to gain weight early to help this bub grow to be as healthy and strong as it needs to be so be it, I will deal with the weight later, and there is no way of hiding this belly that has started unless I always wear baggy tops which will give it away anyway.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Well for me it was being diagnosed with an auto immune disorder and all the hassel I got from doctors around that. I kept being given the line, your levels are fine you must be fine, even though I was feeling horrible. It was not until I got pg the first time that I felt so much better. Then i came to realize my issues where all do to hormonal imbalances, but most doctors will not even recognize this as an issue. I found a great doctor who was really helpful, but I had to pay completely out of pocket and could no longer afford it, so stopped. It just drives me nuts how many doctors I have who would not even listen to what I was going through, or not believe me. All of this was what taught me to be my own advocate when it comes to my health.

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

drakew- I completely understand that too. It seems that you really have to advocate for yourself in most circumstances. My BFF's mom got a regularly scheduled mammogram and they didn't find anything, but she kept telling them that she didn't feel right. She finally found a dr that would listen to her and found out that she did indeed have breast cancer. Thank goodness they found it in time, but if she hadn't spoken up for herself I hate to think how it would've ended Sad

I see so many of the same problems with general practitioners as we have with OB's. They either don't listen to your concerns or they just come up with some quick fix for it.

jooniper's picture
Joined: 08/27/07
Posts: 780

We're desperately seeking a good doctor, we've had rotten luck lately. I've been misdiagnosed in every way possible. I think the worst was being told as a 16 year old I had PCOS (not true), then in college they told me it was Addisons and put me on hydrocortisone... and I went from 135 lbs to 175 lbs in 4 months! Only to have them decide I didn't have addisons, and take me off the medicine. Blarg!
Currently I have a UTI and a yeast infection. Both have been treated on and off since november. Hmmm, think they're doing something wrong?

krazykat's picture
Joined: 08/11/07
Posts: 1143

YES! I have never been a "run to the doctor right away" person, let alone mom. Mostly b/c at a military emergency room, you are likely to wait for 8-9 hours before being seen. I was always scared to take the baby to the doctor because I thought she might be exposed to even worse "stuff" while we were waiting. It is also common for the military to push antibiotics and tylenol... no matter what the actual issue is. So, with that being said, I got to see a civilian doctor once with Sylvia for a well-child appointment since her PCP was not available. I explained how I rarely come to the doctor, etc, and he told me that almost everything that causes an ear infection in a child they are vaccinated against. I never knew that!! So that just reinforced my theory.

I always wait several days before I take her to the doctor now when she is sick. A lot of people don't know that for a high fever you can alternate and overlap tylenol and ibuprofen. So you would do ibuprofen every 8 hours and tylenol 4 hours after each ibuprofen dose. If I get a gut feeling we need to go, then I always take her, but if the fever is controlled with tylenol/ibuprofen then I let her work it out. The ONLY time I have ever had that "gut feeling" was when she had RSV in which case I could tell that it was something serious and I needed to take her.

I guess my epiphany came when I was in for a well-child appointment with a different PCP and they noticed her runny nose. I said that she was recovering from a cold, hadn't had any fever, etc. Well, it happened to be in the middle of the swine-flu chaos, and the doctor had me absolutely convinced that she could have swine flu and they had cases where the child didn't have any fever. SO, I took their recommendation and gave her Tamiflu only to have her vomit her guts out about 2 seconds later and acted more miserable than EVER. Nobody ever called me back to tell me the results of the swine flu test, but I stopped the Tamiflu IMMEDIATELY to wait for the test results. Well, the next week, I finally got ahold of the doctor who said that her test was negative. Hmmm... imagine that! Ever since then, I trust my mommy instincts.

I have mentioned this to my mom before who works in pediatric nursing and she admitted to me that some parents are so persistent and throw such a fit that some practitioners will prescribe things just to make the parent feel like they are doing something. That is horrendous to me. I would have a real hard time not telling a parent to shove it and go somewhere else if they are insisting on medicine that a child doesn't need!!

LOL, but I just realized I wrote a book!!! Oops! Yes, I definitely have similar feelings as you regarding "a pill a day".

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

Ariel- That is horrible about the poor baby taking Tamiflu just in case. I would've been peeved. I don't give either of my kids tylenol or any pain reliever for fevers, only for pain. It's worked wonders!!!!! The less I give them, the less sick they are overall. We don't do any OTC meds, just good old fashioned good nutrition. There's a great book I got from my chiropractor that talked about the bodies own defense mechanisms and how tylenol stops the body from doing what it can and should do, kill the germs with heat. It was obviously more detailed than that, but that was the gist of it. It was a very anti-medicine book so I took it with a grain of salt. I do believe dr's have their place, but I don't see why it can't be in conjunction with a holistic approach. The name of the book if you're interested is "Kids First: Health with No Interference" by Ogi Ressel. It was worth the time to read it. He gets a little redundant after a while, but most of his ideas make perfect sense. Since I've implemented the reduction in meds and better diet we are a VERY healthy family now!!!

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

I have had epiphanies similar to this kind of thing mixed in with becoming and remaining a vegetarian. My health improved SO MUCH when I gave up meat (TMI, but from about grade 5 until I was 21 I pretty much suffered from near constant diarrhea/loose stools. That basically stopped once I gave up meat and reduced my dairy intake.). The more I read and the more I find out about how our diets affect our bodies (SO MUCH MORE than we think!) the more amazed I am. And it's hard because I know the whole milk thing is SUCH a touchy subject- there is a population of European background white people that really and truly can digest milk/dairy well, but, I really think it's such a minority of people. I have no intention AT ALL of giving my kid cow's milk, and I know I'll probably get hell for it from a lot of people, but, as far as I'm concered (especially because of my own lactose intolerance) I definitely feel it's the best choice for my child.

I guess the thing that gets me, is that like with so many other issues that we've talked about relating to pregnancy and health in general, the reason we are where we are is because someone wanted to make money (dairy industry) and it's now to the point where just like we believe epidurals and inductions and c-sections are great first choices, we also believe the same about milk! Sorry, if that opens a whole new can of worms.... but... well, diet has really been where my epiphanies have come- and it certainly relates to the whole "pill a day" thing...

Oh, and like here's an example that just drove me nuts, but I kept it to myself...on another mom's board an African American (the most notoriously lactose intolerant race) woman posted a question about when to switch her child to cow's milk. She stated that both she and her husband were lactose intolerant, and that she's suffered pretty severely until she realized what her issue was. I think she might have even added that her child had had tastes of milk before, but, rejected it. And YET, she was looking for when to start forcing it down her throat- because obviously, it is so good for you and human babies can't survive without cow's milk. I'm sure her pediatrician is telling her that too...and that it needs to be full fat vitamin D milk or whatever, as well. I don't know...doesn't that just seem crazy to anyone else????

mrs.bear's picture
Joined: 12/21/06
Posts: 1


I found this thread very interesting. I'm glad to see that there are other folks out there that have encountered pill pushers and antibiotic over kill. I'm a pharmacy technician so I see it all the time. Parents come in like once a week for the same child getting antibiotics. They don't even give the whole course of meds. I've had some where they got a script for an antibiotic in the ER in the morning and then they still go to a night clinic and get another script for an antibiotic. It's crazy... I live in a border town too and those people want antibiotics for everything. In mexico you can get them with out a Rx so they use them for everything. I'm so glad I heard today that they're changing the law in mexico and requiring a script for antibiotics now. And about parents demanding meds... my sister is a nurse at our county hospital in the er and she says the parents will just stay and nag until they get a script for something. They won't accept the fact that their kid has a cold and antibiotics wont work for a virus..It drives me crazy!! I hate pill pusher docs.. we have a couple that we get scripts from all the time and their patients come in with up to 12 rx's at once..its totally ridiculous. I don't even know how these people can keep all the meds and dosing straight. well thanks for letting me vent in your thread!

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

"Marite13" wrote:

And it's hard because I know the whole milk thing is SUCH a touchy subject- there is a population of European background white people that really and truly can digest milk/dairy well, but, I really think it's such a minority of people. I have no intention AT ALL of giving my kid cow's milk, and I know I'll probably get hell for it from a lot of people, but, as far as I'm concered (especially because of my own lactose intolerance) I definitely feel it's the best choice for my child.

I laughed when I started reading this. I'm not a vegetarian, but we are going through a household diet change, reducing meat and basically thriving on veggies. I've never understood the milk push, but I went along with it until a few years ago. I started noticing that I didn't get sick if I cut out milk. My chiropractor was a huge influence in my decision. Anyway, I let DD have milk on her cereal, but she doesn't drink it out of the bowl when she's done. I honestly haven't touched a drop of milk for several years except the once in a while when a bowl of cereal sounds good. Now, we do still eat cheese occasionally, but not a bunch. DS has never had a glass of milk or a bottle of milk or anything to that effect. My MIL is always on my butt about how he needs milk. I finally told her, he's not a calf so I don't see why he needs cow's milk. We are the only mammal that drinks milk past an age where we stop getting it from our mother's and I just can't understand why that is so hard for people to understand. WE'RE NOT COWS, SO WHY WOULD WE DRINK COW'S MILK!!! But, I did it too for many years *sigh* so I do understand how compelling it is to do when you are told by everyone that it's the thing to do. My mom just had a physical done and bloodwork and her dr told her to keep drinking a half gallon of milk a day because she's in great shape and that's probably what does it. She made sure to point that out to me. I said, fine when you're dr gets her license to practice crystal ball readings let me know and then we'll talk about whether she's right or your lucky to have great genes.

Got milk? No!!!

(sorry, if that came off as a snarky post to anyone. i just get frustrated with everyone harping on me about whether my kids drink milk.)

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

"momW" wrote:

There's a great book I got from my chiropractor that talked about the bodies own defense mechanisms and how tylenol stops the body from doing what it can and should do, kill the germs with heat.

Let me start by saying that I love our pediatrician - he said exactly that: there's a reason why the body creates a fever, it is not just a symptom, it is there to literally "burn out" whatever virus or bacteria there are. I only give DD tylenol when she either is miserable from fever (shaky and crying etc.) or it goes over 102.5 or so. And I swear she always recovers really quickly.

faeriecurls's picture
Joined: 06/04/08
Posts: 790

My father is a chiropractor and I was raised to believe that a lot of medicines/antibiotics/vaccines actually work against your body. My doctor growing up rarely prescribed anything for me and I was unvaxed until college. Now my doctor is pretty good about it, but I can still tell he is a bit uncomfortable with my beliefs at times (like when I refused the flu/H1N1 vaccine he really bristled because I was pregnant and he told me it is dangerous for a pregnant woman to get the flu), but is pretty respectful overall.

What I am concerned about is finding a pediatrician who won't push drugs all the time and will not kick us out of the practice over vaccines. NYC is a very medical intervention heavy town and it hard to find doctors that don't shove a pill down your throat for everything!

cmljll's picture
Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 1409

Ugh. I'm with y'all about the overuse of meds! We've gotten to where we don't fill any prescriptions. We go to the doctor for a diagnosis if needed, then go to our angstrom mineral place and talk to them about how to treat it. The past 2 times any of us have gotten meds from the doctor, either we've had a reaction or they didn't work. The minerals worked within a couple days!

We're blessed to have a pedi who's okay with "delaying" vaxes, and doesn't give antibiotics for every little thing. Ethan's almost 3 and has only been to a doctor twice other than well-checks. He gets colds occasionally but that's about it. Think it has to do with us eating a lot of organic and nonprocessed foods?!

Another one that gets me is how quick doctors are to say you need to have your "unnecessary" gallbladder removed. No thanks! I've done too much research to have it done unless it's absolutely necessary...

All these things - unnecessary meds, unnecessary surgical procedures, unnecessary medical interventions - would be drastically reduced if people did a little research on their own, instead of blindy relying on their doctors!

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

"cmljll" wrote:

Another one that gets me is how quick doctors are to say you need to have your "unnecessary" gallbladder removed. No thanks! I've done too much research to have it done unless it's absolutely necessary...

Ummmm.....yeah! I have heard that one too from friends that have had theirs removed. I highly doubt we have any extra organ that is just not needed and the gallbladder does have a function, quite important actually. Then people find out after surgery that the gallbladder is indeed important when they start having problems digesting fat.

Tubes in kids' ears is another one that gets me. I know that sometimes there are kids that do have tremendous problems with their ears for one reason or another, but do we really need to put tubes in every kids' ears. I've not thoroughly researched it, but I read once that there is no study proving that tubes does anything that the ear couldn't naturally do without being subjected to antibiotics. I've never had the need to look into it because my kids don't get antibiotics for ear infections and we've never gotten that many ear infections so we've never come close to having tubes suggested.

Joined: 02/27/09
Posts: 120

I love this thread. I feel the same way and combine conventional and holistic medicine for my kids and my family. DD was on antibiotics at 4 months because her ear-ache was so bad that her eardrum ruptured (poor thing). She has not been on antibiotics since. I am more educated now on natural techniques for ear infections and hope this baby never has to be on antibiotics! I also agree with the tylenol/motrin for fevers opinion you guys have. I don't give it until the fever gets really high. You are working against the body if you do. We also eat organic and limit processed foods and suppliment with vitamin D. I really believe this is crucial for a strong immune system.

As far as cow's milk is concerned. Don't let anybody tell you that your child "has" to drink milk! I have done much research on pasturized milk and it is really not good for humans. I encourage you to research it online. You will be surprised at what you find. This is a touchy subject for some, but we get raw milk from a cow-share program. It is a very clean operation and nobody has ever gotten ill from it. My sister who is lactose intolerant, can drink the raw milk with no problem. Pasturizing milk destroys all the natural benefits it has. If my only choice was pasturized milk, I would not drink it or give it to my kids either. You can get the protein, vitamins, and fat you need from other foods.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Yes, this is a great thread! It's also why I'm so stressed out about finding a good pediatrician, and DH and I really want a new PCP too...I'm good with my GYN at the birth center but everything else...yikes!

I knew the birth center was for me when I went in (not pg--they do GYN too) complaining of chronic yeast infection and the midwife said "Look. I can put you on this prescription medication and here's what it will do. OR, you could try x, y, and z natural remedies, and if they DON'T work, come back in and we can try something stronger at that point. If you were my daughter, I'd recommend option 2, but it's up to you." Oh my god, EXPLAINING MY CHOICES, all risks and benefits, and letting ME decide?? Halle-freaking-lujah.

Here's another good example: DH has terrible heartburn issues, and TUMS used over time actually makes it worse because it suppresses acid, signalling your stomach to make MORE. Apple cider vinegar adds acid, triggering your natural systems to say "oh! enough acid!" and stop producing it. So the last month or so, he's been doing the vinegar remedy exclusively. I've noticed he's still getting heartburn, mainly because he refuses to stop eating things that cause it, but much less frequently.

He's on board the suspicious-of-meds train, but I have a harder time with him on the preventative stuff like taking D and drinking enough water to help your system stay flushed out, etc. And you can tell...he got a horrible upper respiratory infection a couple of weeks ago that had him really sick, so sick he stayed home which he NEVER does, and he had to eventually give in and go get antibiotics. I got the same infection, from him, and even with my immunity depressed due to pg, have had nothing more than a very infrequent cough, no other symptoms at all. Thanks, healthy lifestyle!