The below provocative statement got me thinking…
Drugs never cure disease. They merely hush the voice of nature’s protest, and pull down the danger signals she erects along the pathway of transgression. Any poison taken into the system has to be reckoned with later on even though it palliates present symptoms. Pain may disappear, but the patient is left in a worse condition, though unconscious of it at the time. — Daniel. H. Kress, M.D.
Sadly often true, but no not always…I’m living, however, with gross iatrogenesis (medical injury induced by the psycho-pharmaceuticals I took and was told I would always need) and have been ill for a long time now…but what a joy the process freeing myself has been, too, yes, as often as it is also a painful struggle. I’m learning to listen to the body and it is like living a mystery novel. I watch it and listen and learn and respond to it as it regains a healthier homeostasis free of drugs…tentative though it may be at times!
It’s clear though that drugs do cure disease sometimes, however. Certain disease processes may, indeed, come to an end with the use of some drugs and so the above statement is too broadly generalized. Case in point, antibiotics kill bacteria that cause various illnesses. But now, the more we learn about the human microbiom it’s clear that the use of antibiotics wreak havoc on other systems for years and decades and even the life-time of the individual in that they do not discriminate bad from good bacteria. We need our probiotics to be healthy. There is pay-off, always for pretty much every drug I’m familiar with. We have to learn to minimize the use of pharmaceuticals and we also need to learn how, on the (hopefully decreasing) occasions we must use them, to support the body that it might heal from the insult of the drugs.
The most frequently prescribed pharmaceuticals are rarely truly needed and can be avoided if people only knew how. So many drugs like statins, anti-acids, psycho-pharm and even drugs for Type 2 diabetes are generally best avoided if at all possible. If MDs actually knew how to coach people to true health via diet and exercise and meditation/contemplation etc, much of these medications would simply not be necessary. As it stands now most people don’t know they can heal themselves with the right direction followed by lifestyle changes–that they might teach their children habits that would keep them healthy for a life-time. For now pharma and the current medical establishment dictate how most people care for their bodies and minds and most folk are pleased to go along with that, not knowing any different.
So to be clear, I don’t believe anyone would want to live in a world totally free of pharmaceuticals…there is no doubt that they do save lives when used judiciously and minimally. So, yes, there are lots of exceptions to the over-generalization in the featured quote.
Still, if we took care of our bodies we would need far fewer medications. Taking care of our bodies also means that society must take care of the environment that we all share. The planet and our bodies both need to be treated with loving care. We can’t be healthy without a healthy planet. Most of us do not know how to take care of our bodies or the planet and so this, ultimately, is what must change. We must learn to be stewards of both the planet and our bodies. Ideally it should start in childhood so that people will much less frequently become ill.
For people like me it is illness that calls us to wellness and waking up. Since it was pharmaceuticals that made me ill it’s easy for me to make the choice for non-pharma solutions whenever possible. The fact is, though, that the more I learn about chronic illness in general, the more I see how a great deal of it is linked to the choices we make as a society and a collective. So even when causes appear different there are actually often many root similarities. I don’t wish this journey on others so I now speak out that people might be aware of their choices before they might otherwise become ill.