While I really do enjoy writing the content on this website and informing people with thyroid conditions about the benefits of natural treatment methods, it does frustrate me that there are many people who are too skeptical to ever follow a natural treatment protocol. I don’t feel as bad when someone takes their time to research both conventional medical treatments, as well as natural treatment methods, and after carefully weighing the pros and cons of each chooses to go the medical route. But for those people who visit this site and read only a single article or blog post and decide that this sounds too good to be true, it really is tough for me to deal with.
The reason for this is because in my opinion, millions of people with thyroid conditions have been brainwashed into thinking that medical treatments (thyroid hormone, anti-thyroid drugs, RAI, etc.) should be the first option, and natural treatment methods should be the last resort, when to me and many others the complete opposite is what makes sense. I can understand the way others think, as because medical doctors go through many years of school and training, many people assume they know what’s best for their patients. But it’s not this simple, as I’ll be revealing shortly.
But before I give examples of why many medical doctors really aren’t doing what’s best for their patients, let me first briefly mention that I’m not against people using drugs or surgery for their thyroid disorder, or any other condition for that matter. Those who have followed me for awhile know that I actually considered taking anti-thyroid drugs when I was first diagnosed with Graves’ Disease. Without question, drugs and surgery have their place, and they obviously help a lot of people and save many lives. But at the same time, they also harm a lot of people, and ruin many lives as well.
Why Don’t People Choose Natural Treatment Methods First?
While it’s easy to blame endocrinologists and medical doctors for this “brainwashing” that goes on, the primary reason why people have a “drug first” mentality is due to the drug companies themselves, which represent a billion dollar industry. In this case money is indeed power, as they have the money to do a ton of advertising. So when the average person watches television for a few hours each day, they are probably viewing a few dozen commercials on some of the “latest and greatest” drugs out there. In fact, when people visit their primary care physician, they frequently are the ones who ask their physician for a certain drug they saw on TV.
It doesn’t matter that each drug commercial lists a number of different symptoms that can result from taking a specific drug, as there no doubt is another drug that will help with these symptoms. This might sound humorous, but I’ve seen many patients who were taking a dozen or more prescription medications, and some of these medications were given to help cover up the side effects caused by the other prescription drugs they were taking.
It’s not only difficult for the patient, but difficult for any holistic doctor who sees such a patient, as while they might want the patient to stop taking these drugs, many can’t legally tell these patients to stop taking them. And even if they can, it is usually unwise to advise someone who is taking a bunch of different prescription drugs to stop taking all of them abruptly.
How Drug Companies Influence Medical Doctors
In addition to the impact that drug companies have directly on the consumer, they of course have a very powerful relationship with the medical community. After all, it is the medical doctors that will be the ones who need to distribute these drugs. Now to be completely honest, I don’t know what type of monetary incentives some medical doctors may get for prescribing these drugs, and as a result I’m not going to get into this. What I want to do is to discuss how many medical doctors decide to recommend the drugs they really don’t know much about.
The truth is, most medical doctors can’t keep up with all of the new drugs that come out on the market, and so the way that most of them learn about them is through the drug companies (isn’t that convenient?). So for example, if a drug company created a new type of statin (cholesterol-lowering medication), and wanted this drug to be recommended by the medical community, a drug representative will begin contacting certain medical doctors and “educate” each one of them about this drug. Now I can’t tell you exactly what these drug representatives tell the medical doctors when they meet with them, but I think it’s safe to guess that they focus on all of the “benefits” of the drugs, and don’t focus too much time on the potential side effects.
My point here isn’t to talk about how drug companies manipulate medical doctors into selling drugs, but the overall point I want to make is that this is a money game. Remember that we’re talking about billions of dollars each year, and to no surprise the goal of the drug companies is to convince the medical doctors that many of their patients can benefit from taking these drugs.
For example, as of writing this article, statins are the top selling drugs, even though in many cases people shouldn’t be taking them to lower cholesterol. This is content to be discussed in a different article, but cholesterol is a precursor for our steroid hormones and is extremely important, yet it is made out to be the “bad guy” by the drug companies, and as a result many people who have healthy cholesterol levels are told to take these drugs.
As another example, I recently made a post about oral contraceptives, and all of the risks they represent. But the drug companies don’t care about the risks, because hormonal contraception is a multi-billion dollar industry, as millions of women are currently on the pill. And sure, I’ll admit that it does a good job of preventing pregnancies, which is what many women take this for. But it’s given out by medical doctors like it’s no big deal, and many times it’s given not as a contraceptive, but to “regulate” the menstrual cycle, when what it really is doing is suppressing the endocrine system.
Another problem is that there are conclusions made about drugs without valid research. For example, in the book “The Great Cholesterol Con”, written by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, he mentions that even though there was never a study completed showing that female sex hormones protected against heart disease in humans, in the 1990s, millions of women were being prescribed hormone replacement therapy to reduce the risk of heart disease. Eventually studies showed that HRT actually increased the rate of heart disease, which most doctors are aware of now, but this is just another example as to how you can’t trust everything you are being told about prescription drugs, even if it is your medical doctor who is the one informing you about this.
I can go on and on with many other examples, but I’ll assume you are getting the point by now. Once again, prescription drugs have the ability to save lives, but in many cases they are prescribed to people who not only won’t benefit from them, but can lead to short term and/or long term side effects that can have severe consequences on a person’s health.
As for how this relates to thyroid conditions, well, just about everyone who is diagnosed with a thyroid condition is also automatically given some type of drug. For hypothyroidism it is synthetic thyroid hormone, and for hyperthyroidism it is either anti-thyroid drugs or radioactive iodine therapy. With either condition, the endocrinologist or general medical practitioner almost never tries to figure out what the actual cause of the disorder is, but just recommends a drug for the person to take for the rest of their life.
And it’s the same thing with just about every other condition. For someone who has high cholesterol, they just recommend a statin, rather than trying to figure out why the cholesterol is high. A woman is having severe PMS symptoms, so rather than figure out why this is the case, they just give her birth control pills to suppress her endocrine system, etc.
In summary, most consumers need to open their eyes and realize that while medication is sometimes necessary to take, many times there are other options that can either manage your symptoms without causing side effects, and in some cases can even cure your condition. Simply taking the advice of your medical doctor without doing some research of your own is in my opinion foolish. Of course those who are reading this information are more open minded than the average person, but unfortunately most people have successfully been brainwashed by the drug companies, which is why these companies continue to thrive, and will continue doing so for many years to come.