Monday, July 24, 2017

My Experience with Mainstream Medicine

A friend of mine recently asked me why I question what doctors say and wonders why I don’t trust mainstream medicine.  He later advised me that perhaps I should see a psychologist.  He really should know better but he means well so I am not angry with him.  I thought some of my readers might have the same questions so I’ll answer that in this post.

Let’s go back to my days at business school in Clemson.  At the time, I was taking 2 adrenal supplements but was ultra-sensitive.  2 pills would leave me fatigued and lethargic but a 3rd would push me to the opposite side of the spectrum with anxiety and over-stimulation.  2.5 pills were perfect …  for a while.  I was shooting at moving targets depending on my level of stress.  I needed more to get through exam weeks but could not tolerate the dosage when I had less work to do.  After graduation, I could not find a formula that worked for me and thought that surely, blood tests would reveal something way out of balance.

The only abnormality that came up was an elevated homocysteine level, which my doctor brushed off as no big deal and easily treatable with a B-vitamin complex, which I could not tolerate.   I was only 25 years old at the time so the doctors could not use the aging explanation on me.  Instead they tried to convince me that it was all in my head and purely emotional.  To suggest that there is nothing physically wrong with me when I have days in which I cannot run 1 Mile in less than 10 minutes is hurtful and insulting.  I never did buy into that but felt I had no choice other than to go along.  In retrospect, I suppose I can see why they felt that way.  After all, I was unemployed and living with my parents after working so hard to get that MBA.  I tried to explain that I had days at Clemson that were just as bad and snapped out of it only because I found the right adrenal balance with the pills.  It fell on deaf ears.  Everyone was convinced that once I got a job and was living on my own again, I would be okay.  If you read this blog with any regularity, you know that did not happen. 

I was prescribed 2 different anti-depressant drugs (Lexapro-SSRI and Cymbalta-SNRI) and a referral to a psychologist.  In both cases, the results were identical.  The drugs did NOTHING for my sensitivity to the supplements.  The anxiety did diminish a bit. As for the fatigue, I got temporarily relief for a few weeks then was left worse off than I was before.   Part of me could not tell what was real and what was dream. The cycle repeated itself after every dosage increase.  Finally, after 4 rounds of this crap, I decided I had enough and tapered off.  Fortunately, the withdrawal was not severe in my case.  Others are not so lucky.  One person in a Facebook group claimed to have tried 30 different anti-depressants with similar results.  They call me crazy and maybe I am but the true definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect different results.  Counseling and psychiatry did ZERO to help me.  I had to field ridiculous questions such as whether or not I had magic powers or heard voices in my head.  One person told me that their psychologist said chemical imbalances were a “cop out.”  You’ll get a throat punch if you ever say that to me.  These same practitioners are the one that prescribe powerful drugs intended to alter chemistry.  WHAT THE _____?  I’d like to ask them what they think would happen to them if their supply of adrenaline, dopamine and/or serotonin gets cut off.  After this experience, I was done with mainstream medicine and I have not looked back since.  Four different doctors said the same thing and most everyone else in mainstream medicine would have recommended the same course of action.  

If your blood tests come back normal, why do you feel so bad?  The short answer is the reference range does not reflect good health and tests that would have revealed key information were not ordered.  If the high homocysteine was accompanied by a low SAM-e (not ordered in my case), it would have been a sure sign of a methylation block, which explained the sensitivity.  A drug called Deplin would have been prescribed.  It does contain methyl folate but unless it also contains SAM-e and hydroxyl B-12 in the exact right ratio, it would not work.  Lastly, it would do NOTHING for my adrenal and iron imbalances.  I trust this explains a few things.

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