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Thursday, 13 May 2010

Just Take One Of These

Scratching round the press for anything but politics this week there were two stories that left me startled and with that sinking feeling again that yes it is very bad and I did not want to be but it seems so obvious.

One was about children with behaviour issues who were difficult to control and were both over active and apparently over stimulated. According to the report the drug Ritalin is now being prescribed by doctors to around 750,000 children. Not long ago when a psychologist I knew quite well was asked he assured me that the drug was not given unless a number of criteria had been met.

In the past I have had too many rows with the “mind men” over cases where I suspected something else was possible only to have brain tumours diagnosed at a later stage not to be slightly worried about what appears to be mass medication of large numbers of children.

The other one was that 36.000,000, yes million, people had been prescribed on the NHS with PPI drugs, Proton Pump Inhibitors and the Daily Mail report went on the say that:


PPIs increase the risk of pneumonia, osteoporosis, broken bones, kidney problems and infection with C.difficile, the superbug that afflicts thousands of older hospital patients every year.

The report found that while PPIs were effective in several conditions, there was evidence they are excessively used to treat indigestion when other prescription medicines costing half as much would work just as well, without such severe side-effects. There were 36million prescriptions written for PPIs in the UK last year a threefold rise since 2000.

Doctors have previously warned the NHS is spending £100million unnecessarily each year over-treating indigestion patients with PPIs around one-quarter of the total expenditure on the drugs. A report in the British Medical Journal found overuse of the drugs flouted NHS guidelines, because doctors were reaching for the 'top weapon in the armoury' to treat even mild cases of indigestion.

Dr Mitchell Katz, of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, writing in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, said overuse of PPIs was a major problem.
He said: 'That proton pump inhibitors relieve dyspepsia is without question but at what cost and I do not mean financial.'


Pause a little and reflect on the reaction of a drill corporal to a squaddie who drops their rifle in the middle of an Adjutants Parade. You might understand my reaction.

It is quite simple, when watching things on satellite there are many advertisements. A high proportion are for chemical products and for junk food. Quite a few are for stomach problems. As the advertising is expensive the companies must sell a great many products to a great many people. This is confirmed when I visit a chemists shop and look at the long aisle of such products and see them also in supermarkets.

On the aisles of the supermarkets there are vast amounts of manufactured and pre-prepared foods. If you look at the contents there is a huge array of “fillers”, stabilisers, colourings, texture effects salt, sweetening agents and in particular both flavourings as such, largely synthetic, and flavour enhancers notably MSG. Again looking into the trolleys at the checkouts there are very few people without products including some or almost all of these.

Comparing these to the food I had when young, not only at home, but also in various catering establishments the increased chemical load is astonishing. What I do know personally is that with the increase in these so did my wind problem increase. Now that circumstances have forced us back to a pre 1950 diet the problem has almost gone and when it does occur ususally I can identify the cause, almost always eating something where I was unaware that it contained something unwanted.

So what is happening? Quite simply the way the NHS works at family doctor level is to be able to put a label onto a problem, usually a catch all word or phrase for the identifiable effects and then shove an approved prescription drug at the patient. In a few cases something quite serious may be spotted but often all too late.

What the NHS does not do is look for causes and address itself to getting rid of them. The Coeliac Society suggests that there are many more people with gluten problems than are identified. Getting a test done for gluten too often involves a major campaign. My own NHS Primary Care Trust refused to test for Anaphylaxis contracted in an NHS Hospital as a result of NHS treatment. There are a range of intolerances and allergies, testing for which is almost absent from many NHS areas. Doctor’s in the UK don’t do “causes” only pill popping for the most part.

So vast amounts of taxpayers money is going on medications without any attempt to inform or advise people or to establish what the cause might be. Children who are people in the process of highly complex development that involves the natural body chemistry are being stuffed with stimulant junk and then when they get jumpy are stuffed with medications whose side effects are unpredictable.

But popping pills and selling junk foods “add value” as opposed to other approaches and this is the governing mantra of government, science, and the management of the health service.

1 comment:

  1. This article hits the nail on the head. Most people do seem content to remain ill indefinitely; they happily accept 'repeat prescriptions' from their doctors.
    As a result of being severely ill, MCS sufferers like myself, have had to research products, seek root causes, learn how to avoid many of the chemicals they once assumed were safe, and learn how to make themselves well.