Monday, August 11, 2014

Killer Drugs

Denninger riffs on Lipitor

The whole cholesterol thing has never made sense to me.  I may drop dead of a heart attack any minute, but I would not take Lipitor or any other "cholesterol lowering" drug at gun point.  I'd just as soon eat arsenic.  I am not giving medical advice.  It's just that I see too many people my age taking a handful of pills, half of which are taken for the side effects of the other half.

My experience this year with hospitals and doctors has not reassured me with regard to doctors having a higher order of intelligence.  They are above average, and that is about it.  They know terms that I don't and have their own jargon, understandably.  They generally have no prophetic insights and tend to solve problems the same way I do.  Too often that is trial and error.  They assume that if a course of treatment or drug therapy coincides with improvement in a patient's condition, the treatment caused the improvement.  Often that is correct.  Probably equally often, it is not.  The human body has a tremendous capacity to recover and restore, to heal itself. 

Without the intervention of a skilled surgeon, I would have died when I was sixteen.  I can see today because of advances in medical technology and a good eye surgeon.  Other kinds of doctors, I avoid as much as possible.  


  1. Yeah, I thought doctors were super-human as I was growing up. But with a bit of life experience, I've noticed that they too are human, above average, but not necessarily brilliant.

    Now, I pretty much avoid them unless there is a problem which can't take care of itself.

  2. My wife had a great, dedicated doctor back in the late '70s, early '80s, an endocrinologist that treated her for diabetes. He was a diabetic himself, and his mother and sister had died early of complications from diabetes. He was extremely intelligent as well.

    The trouble is that a lot of the stuff he was advocating back then -- like a low fat diet, turned out to be exactly the wrong thing, especially for diabetics. With Type I diabetics like the doctor and my wife and son, it doesn't make all that much difference. But it kills Type II's, and the stupid thing is that most doctors still won't admit that insulin resistance and Type II diabetes can be, in perhaps the majority of cases, "cured" by going low-carb and dropping weight.

    My nephew asked me why I went to the trouble of losing weight a few years back. My answer was the threat of Type II diabetes as I age -- my mom had it. People who don't "bite the bullet" end up with amputations, cardiovascular disease, and, sometimes, I think, cancer.

    We, of course, do not know how we will die or in what ways our bodies might betray us, but if I had to take a guess in my own case, I would say the probability of my dying of heart disease, stroke, or cancer is a little below average. Meanwhile, the likelihood of my expiring in a broken, bloody mess on the highway is a little above average. I'm OK with that. It all balances out in the end.