Archives for: December 2004, 08
I didn't really plan to blog about medicine. Yesterday I wrote about taking cough syrup. Today there have been several threads on the Forum about prescriptions. It's made me review my criteria for over-the-counter and prescription medicine. I write with no authority whatever; this is just my opinion. You can do whatever you wish, but you should give it some thought.
I would rather treat illnesses naturally whenever possible. But during my formative years with nutrition, I read two statements that had an impact on my philosophy about medicine. I looked on my bookshelf today but I can't find the exact quotes,. I'll just give you the gist.
One book was about baby and child care. The author was going through a long list of childhood illnesses, writing about natural remedies for each. However when he got to strep throat he wrote, "If your child has strep throat, get to a doctor and get antibiotics. It's too late for Vitamin C." What I gleaned from that statement was that prevention is best, natural remedies are next best; but when you are dealing with serious infections, be thankful for modern medicine. Not too long after reading that, my son had scarlet fever. It took two rounds of antibiotics to get all of the infection out of his blood stream. My dad wrote a letter remembering people he had known who died from scarlet fever in the days before antibiotics.
The second author said that while drugs do have side effects on your body, you must balance that with the fact that pain is a major stress factor on your body also. He used headaches as an example. He said that you reach a point with a headache where the damage done by the ongoing stress is worse than the damage done by taking two pain pills. It is this idea that led me to take cough syrup at night. Clearly the damage done by having a restless night's sleep or sitting up all night in a chair is worse than the side effects of one teaspoon of codeine.
So here are my rules of thumb.
For fever I go to bed and I send my family to bed. The heat of the fever is killing germs; that is a good thing. I only use fever reducers if (1) fever rises above 103 or (2) the fever is accompanied by headaches and muscle aches that are stressful.
I don't use decongestants. They dry me out way too much and make me dream weird dreams. However if my sinuses are so stuffed up that I can't breathe at all, I know I am vulnerable for a secondary infection. I take a mucus thinner and drink tons of water. I would rather take the mucus thinner early than deal with 10 days of antibiotic later.
For pain, rest is best. Calcium/magnesium also helps. But when pain lasts for a long time and becomes a damaging stress itself, I take pain killers. I was in a car accident a few years ago and hurt my shoulder. It wasn't that bad, and I thought I would treat it naturally. It got steadily worse, and after about a month I went to the doctor. My whole body was tense trying to protect the injured shoulder. I had knots in the muscles in my neck and back. It took months for the shoulder injury to completely heal. During that time a low dose of pain killer to relieve the pain in the injured shoulder kept the rest of my body from tensing up and causing even more damage.
There are not right or wrong answers about this issue! Some of you avoid all medicine in all circumstances. Some of you take full advantage of the fact that you live in a day where medicine can spare you from feeling any pain or discomfort. I would encourage you to read a lot and come up with a philosophy that works for you and your family.
Prevention, of course is the best choice. And the best prevention I know about is the Blood Type Diet.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:20-21