To drug or not to drug. That is the question.
Certain drugs are necessary – even for survival. If I were to get a bacterial infection serious enough to overpower my immune system, I’d happily take antibiotics, even though it would decimate my gut microbiome (I can build that back up).
There are other prescription drugs I would take in rare circumstances too, but certainly not most because 99% of them are either harmful, don’t work, or are only masking or suppressing symptoms.
Most drugs fall into the category of masking or suppressing symptoms. Those drugs don’t solve the underlying cause. We never get a certain condition due to a deficiency of a certain drug. It’s always due to a health problem. Getting to the cause of that health problem should be the first thing any MD looks into. But most don’t. They chose to treat the symptoms instead, with a drug, and here’s how most drugs work:
The natural communication chains in the nervous system work a little bit like pieces of a puzzle in that one neuron activates its neighboring neuron by excreting a specific chemical directly into the space between them. This space is called a synapse and this process happens millions of times in sequence with exactly the right hormones or chemicals to match with the corresponding receptors to activate a very specific predetermined biological chain of events.
Drugs try to hack this chain by flooding the entire body with synthetic hormones or chemicals that attempt to mimic the correct chemical shape but they do so without entering the chain in the correct sequence.
Unfortunately, the body has only a finite number of receptors and shapes available to it, and the same protein or neurotransmitter for activating one unique process could also be critical for a wildly different process in another part of the body.
Normally, the relatively small variety of chemical shapes isn’t a problem because the pathways are kept separate and individually activated. However, when a synthetic drug floods the bloodstream with a non-native molecule, there is no telling where it might and up. Sure, it can find the correct receptor on a specific pathway but it might also find other sites receptive to it and wreak havoc in the process because those sites don’t need it. They weren’t broken. But now they are.
In other words, every drug has a potential for side effects. In a way, the drug approach is a little like trying to kill a mosquito with a hand grenade. Sure, a grenade will probably kill a mosquito but who knows what else might get caught up in the explosion?
Over the course of experimentation and clinical trials, researchers attempt to minimize potential side effects but anyone who has read the medical literature on just about any drug knows that there is always a potential for unexpected reactions.
Any kind of drug, even the best-designed drugs, can be thought of as clunky, cell-specific delivery mechanisms at best, with massive potential for widespread side effects, resulting in collateral damage, sometimes permanent.
Welcome to side-effects. Welcome to collateral damage. Now you understand why drugs are usually a hand grenade, trying to kill a mosquito. Vaccines can be even worse, but that’s another post.
If a drug can save your life, then fantastic. If you don’t need it immediately to stay alive today, you should research it and then make your own informed decision.
And if your doctor wants to give you a drug, ask the following five questions:
- What side effects are associated with this drug?
- Will I need any additional drugs to counteract the side effects of this drug?
- What is the underlying cause, or is the cause due to a deficiency in the drug you are recommending?
- Should I make any lifestyle changes?
- Should I eat differently?
If your doctor gives you lame answers or doesn’t know the answer to any of these questions, run screaming from his/her office and find a doctor who can answer them to your satisfaction.
And do your own research! It should be that important to you because it’s certainly vital to your health and could even cost you your life due to drug complications, reactions, combinations, improper dosage, and more. Research that too. It’s mind-blowing.