Earlier this week I wrote two articles about cholesterol, saturated fat and statins. Yesterday I was surprised to see in the news that the recommendations had changed again. The ticker-tape on CNN last night reported that many millions more would be “eligible” to take statins. Eligible? The way I read that, millions more healthy people will become patients, or maybe even worse, millions more people who have one or two health issues will have another one added to their list and have one more thing to stress about (which can lead to more illness), more medications with known side effects, more doctor visits and more treatment, even though, except for a small minority, statins still don’t help improve the quality of their lives. I don’t understand why someone would want to be “eligible” for all that.
I want to be healthy. That’s one of my prime goals in life because I feel that if I’m healthy, I can do all the things I want to do. I’ve been sick, and didn’t like it much, so I do what I can to avoid it. If the doctor tells me to do something and I don’t feel better for it, I don’t see the point in continuing with it. On the other hand, if I feel well, I don’t see the point in taking medications to avoid becoming ill with something that may never happen. Every medication, screening and treatment has the potential to leave an impression on my body and cause harm, so I consider doctor recommendations carefully.
I hope that you will do the same and question your doctor about the recommendations and medications you’re being given. There are numerous sources that help you with the questions so you can feel good that what you’re doing is going to benefit you so you feel better (for example: When Doctors Don’t Listen, WebMD and Center for Advancing Health) .
One reason I’m writing this blog is that it is becoming more and more evident that medical testing and treatment is causing us harm but we’re going along with it because people who know about medicine are telling us that this is what we should do to stay healthy, and I’m hoping we can reverse this trend. I am encouraged by the comments on today’s online articles about the new statin recommendations because the majority of the ones I read recognized that the pharmacological companies have a lot to gain from the new recommendations.
Patients are people, too!
What’s wrong with enjoying our good health? Why are we stressing over chasing numbers that are supposed to ensure good health but instead can lead to other health issues? Let’s get back to enjoying our lives as people and not patients.
*From an article in the Washington Post: New guidelines could have far more Americans taking statin drugs for cholesterol