By now I'm sure you've heard that the popular drug Vioxx
has been taken off the market because its use is associated
with increased risks of heart disease, strokes and other serious cardiovascular events.
Vioxx was approved for use by the FDA in 1998 as part of a new class of drugs called super aspirin. These super aspirins promised to ease the pain of arthritis, menstrual cramps, headaches and other afflictions just as well as aspirin, ibuprofen, etc, but without the serious side effects of those drugs. Stomach ulcers are among the worst of these side effects, leading to tens of thousands of hospitalizations and thousands of deaths annually. In other words, thousands of people die every year in this country from taking Aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, Motrin and similar over- the-counter pain relievers. This horrible statistic is one of the reasons why Vioxx and Celebrex were created in the first place. These new super aspirins do not cause the internal bleeding caused by the over-the-counter pain relievers, however, the problem is that these new super aspirin have even more serious side effects than the original drugs— heart attacks and strokes. I also want to mention that the initial research that was done on super aspirin was done on Celebrex. Celebrex showed an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events just like Vioxx. I want to make this clear because I suspect we will be seeing ads promoting Celebrex now that Vioxx is off the market.
Don't believe the hype. Read the Juniper Berry to stay informed! Fortunately, more and more people in our society are beginning to realize that the idea of taking drugs, whether they are pushed or prescribed has negative consequences. This is a very positive trend that I believe will continue into the future. However, all of us in this society find ourselves caught in a catch 22. We realize that most of our health problems are not caused by a lack of drugs and yet we are so conditioned to expect instantaneous gratification that we find the promise of a new super-pill irresistible. We teach our kids not to take drugs, yet at the first sign of a sniffle many kids are given a drug. Is it possible this could be part of the reason we have a drug problem in America? It certainly is easier and quicker to take a pill than it is to examine our behaviors and change our bad habits.
Now many of you may be thinking, I know this stuff, I don't take drugs like Vioxx, Aspirin, etc. I take Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate. This is certainly a safer alternative to using drugs; however the larger issue that needs to be addressed is the philosophy of treating symptoms with pills. Whether those pills are pharmaceuticals or supplements doesn't really matter. There are two primary reasons why the philosophy of treating symptoms with drugs is ultimately doomed to failure. The first is because there is no such thing as a drug without negative effects. I use the words negative effects because there is no such thing as side effects in the world of science. There is cause and effect, period. Side effects is a marketing term used by people who sell drugs in order
to soften the dangerous reality.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 51% of drugs approved by the FDA have serious side effects not known about at the time the drug was approved. My view is we need to be cautious about using any drugs and we should always seek out safer approaches first,
The second reason treating symptoms with chemicals is doomed to failure because the fundamental question of why the person is sick in the first place is often totally ignored. This leaves the true cause(s) left uncorrected only to get worse over time. For example, you don't get back pain, headaches, cramps etc. from a Vioxx or Aspirin deficiency. There is a cause or causes of your problem.
This is why I recommend that you work with someone who will help you find what is causing your problem rather than masking the symptoms of dysfunction with drugs or other chemicals. In order to do this you are going to have to take responsibility for your health and start doing some homework. There has never been a better time to do this because we have so much information available to us. If we take a look at the history of the practice of medicine in this country we will see a long history of flip-flops. For example, in the past, ad campaigns have read, More doctors smoke Camel than any other brand of cigarette. It almost sounds like a comedy, but those of you who are old enough to remember those ads know that it's not a comedy but, a real life tragedy. The list of wonder drugs and procedures that have come and gone are too numerous to list in this article. According to leading medical journals, the practice of medicine in this country is a leading cause of death claiming anywhere from 180,000 to 1,000,000 lives every year! That means more people die in one year seeing their doctors than ten years of war in Vietnam!! In ten years of war in Vietnam we lost 60,000 troops. We need to be very careful with the decisions we make regarding our health. It is time for us to take responsibility for our health and ask our doctors specific, penetrating questions until we get the answers that make sense to us or find a new doctor with a different approach. The good news is there is a different approach. One of the things I love so much about being a doctor of chiropractic is that the practice of chiropractic does not change with the latest trends or popular opinion. In over 100 years, the principles of chiropractic have not changed. The different techniques that chiropractors use have advanced and we have a much greater understanding of why chiropractic care works, but the philosophy behind our methods has only gotten
stronger with more and more validation coming from the scientific and medical communities.
That is a huge statement to make considering how much our world has changed in the last 100 years. The reason why chiropractic has remained consistent is because what was required for people to be healthy 100 years ago is still required today. Chiropractic is based on the self-evident fact that your body possesses an inner healing power.
Your body is a self healing and self regulating
organism. If you cut your finger it will heal. Cut a dead body and it won't heal. Life Force within our bodies does the healing. The second principle of chiropractic states that the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) control and coordinate the function of EVERY tissue and cell in the body. It is the master system of the body. We live at a time when humans have more stress on their master systems than at any other time in human history. Any physical, chemical or mental stress that overloads our systems will cause a condition known as the vertebral subluxation complex or subluxation for short. Spinal subluxations interfere with the function of the master nerve system and lead to body malfunction and eventually a state of disease. Subluxations, like most serious conditions remain silent initially, sometimes for years, becoming more chronic over time before the symptoms become apparent. This is why I recommend that you have a spinal check even if you don't have any apparent symptoms.
I believe if you will include a chiropractor on your health care team you will feel better, have more energy, have much better overall health and save money on unnecessary medical expenses. Take action to get checked today. You'll be glad you did. Don't wait. Call today to schedule an appointment or free consultation. (718) 898-8388.
In the next issue of The Berry, I will be discussing true healing and where it comes from. Until next time, take care of yourself, take care of your community and live your dreams!