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We have a healthcare thread but it's not really the same. So. Medicine!

 

There are variously controversial things in medicine, such as vaccinations, Ritalin for kids, etc. Then there's past stuff we did that we thought was good medicine (bleeding, cupping) that we now know is...not so good. >.> And there's some pretty fascinating stuff to talk about with the placebo effect.

 

But I didn't want the religion thread to be overtaken with less religious discussion on medicine, so I'll just start this out with vaccinations. What's your opinion?

 

I think it's pretty sad (understatement) that we have people out there like Jim Carey (Carrey?) and his wife (whose name I forget) who are fairly vocal about pseudoscience for the field and harming more kids with their protests. Actual consequences as per the CDC were listed in the religion thread and that would be a much more factual protest at least. =_=

 

I am for them, myself. As was pointed out, not getting them not only puts you at risk, but also puts others at risk. You shouldn't depend on herd immunity if otherwise able to protect yourself. You are still at risk with herd immunity and you put others at risk. This is especially dangerous when you would be putting those more at risk...at even further risk. There are people who can't get vaccinations due to medical issues and they have to depend on herd immunity. If you can contribute to that, you should.

 

But I'm open to any science and such on this.

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I hate getting vaccines--because oh god I hate hypodermic needles so, so, SO much (like, I hid in the bathroom and cried for 10 minutes straight at the hospital once before getting blood drawn and it took me like 20+ freakin' years to not cry when I got a shot/blood drawn and I still get freaked out by them and oh god I need to stop talking about them). But, I figure better safe than sorry since I tend to get what's going around... Generally reactions to vaccines are mild, and I'd rather not end up with a severe case of what's going around... Of course, getting a vaccine won't ALWAYS prevent that, but...

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I believe in vaccinations for kids. I got my son innoculated all thru his childhood, and it paid off, he was rarely ever sick. Except chickenpox, but hey, we all get that, lol.

 

I myself rely on yearly winter flu shots to help me in my weakened state stay reasonably healthy thru the winter.

 

I think they can be a very good thing. AND I also use homeopathic remedies whenever possible, and have my own herbal garden for these things. I'm a great believer in teas.

 

But I am also educated and practical, and I know when it's time to stop giving tea and to take to the hospital, lol.

 

But vaccinations, yeah. I approve.

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I also approve of those vaccinations that kids need to get on their early stages.

Seeing that I rarely got sick from any of those is quite a good thing and well everyone I know who got them is also still quite healthy.

 

I'm not so keen on the flu vaccinations thou... not sure why.

I can't get those anyway due to my allergy to egg dry.gif (how I love egg T.T)

 

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I absolutely believe in vaccinations. Herd immunity is how diseases really CAN be wiped out for ever and child vaccination is how we get that. Measles was almost unknown and more in the UK until Wakeman lied his way through the Lancet about the MMR vaccine (which had been used in most civilised countries for years already - my two had had it in Canada 15 years before the UK even thought about using it - they are always rather behind...) and set the country up for what is now an epidemic at times, and killing children. sad.gif

 

Now antibiotics are being over prescribed because people demand them and tired doctors give in to pressure - and there we have gone too far the other way; many diseases are now untreatable again because we have demanded antibiotics when they were not appropriate (you cannot treat a cold or a virus that way !) and the various germs around are learning how to fight back.... The scary one is that I think clostridium difficile is already almost untreatable - the well known hospital killer bug... sad.gif

 

Please everyone - if you doctor says you don't need an antibiotic - run with your doctor, not your worried mom's voice in your head (or your worried mom if she's in there with you !)

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Personally, I'm very anti-medicine and believe it should only be taken as a last resort. I don't however force this on other people, it's just what I personally go by.

 

Even with that, I still take two pills a day (anti-psych/depression meds), I mostly mean when I get sick or have a headache, I'd rather tough it out than take some aspirin.

 

No real opinion on vaccinations or other stuff since I don't get sick often, and the only other country I've been to is Canada. laugh.gif I'm not going to put my opinion in when I know nothing about it.

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Personally I'm all for vaccination. However I do worry about some of the medicines prescribed to kids these days, Ritalin seems to be the doctors solution to a lot of children's problems when they just plain don't need it. When I was younger I was prescribed it myself due to ADHD and an overactive imagination (the second being something every one in 25 people have anyway) and I just plain felt bad on it, I went from being a hyperactive and emotional yet generally happy kid to sluggish and fed up. I stopped taking it and as far as I can tell, I'm just fine.

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Vaccinations I am all for.

 

Psycoactive medicine and antibiotics? Last resort. Especially some anti-ADD/ADHD drugs have honestly freaky effect on otherwise normal people ... truly, that is not normal what some of those do to people. And overuse of antibiotics makes medicine-resistent bacteria and kills off the good bacteria on top of it, not to mention potential side-effects.

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No real opinion on vaccinations or other stuff since I don't get sick often, and the only other country I've been to is Canada. laugh.gif I'm not going to put my opinion in when I know nothing about it.

Vaccination isn't just for travel - measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis can be caught anywhere. And measles, in particular, is a killer. Tetanus, diphtheria...

 

And there's polio - when I was a child it was common. Vaccination leading to herd immunity has made it very rare indeed.

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My mother, who was a nurse, told me once that no matter what disease scientists said was dead and conquered, it would come back eventually, changed, possibly worse. She was right.

 

So even tho we no longer get innoculated for small pox, and some are saying no more polio....

 

It will come back. Vaccinations are great but we must never let our guard down, cause it will come back, resistant to what we currently have.

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I'm all for vaccinations (for both humans and animals where applicable) but I myself only take medicine when I really truely need it. Part of this though is because I can't swallow pills and ibuprofen does zip for me pain wise.

 

I took a bunch of stuff when I got my wisdom teeth out, but then the pain made it hard to eat and I had open wounds in my mouth, which could easily get infected. I swear though by tea with lemon and honey or just plain pepper mint tea (took it when I got bronchitus, got better faster than most people)

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Psycoactive medicine and antibiotics? Last resort. Especially some anti-ADD/ADHD drugs have honestly freaky effect on otherwise normal people ... truly, that is not normal what some of those do to people.

Part of the problem with that is what I suspect is a massive over-diagnosis of ADD and ADHD in the US. They seem to think it's easier to drug kids with behavioural problems than look into *why* the kid may have problems. Sola, when she was here, pointed out that a large portion of the cases she saw (in the UK, obviously) had problems caused by poor diet, and not by true ADHD. True ADHD shows up on MRI scans because there are physical differences in the brain structure (much like with autism).

 

I say over-diagnosis is part of the problem because ADHD meds are pretty much pharmaceutical grade speed. You give that stuff to someone *without* the funky brain chemisty you're just giving them something that's going to act as a massive stimulant.

 

Incidently there have been almost no trials looking at Ritalin use long-term. They know it's effective in the short term, but they have no idea what effects prolonged useage might have.

 

The whole thing is a problem of the health care system in the US. To put it bluntly - Doctors and companies make money off of people taking drugs in the United States. They therefore want people to take drugs because it's profitable for them. Places with Nationalised Healthcare systems are much more reticent about prescribing drugs because it costs them money to do so. It's one of the basic principles of Capitalism, and I think it has no place in Health Care.

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Unfortunately, I get sick quite often - not dangerously so, I just happen to have a cold now and then, so I'm pretty thankful for over-the-counter medicine smile.gif

I'm not going to a doctor in such a case, since he probably would tell me "It's a cold, get some rest and drink lots of water" anyway, so unless I feel like I'm going to need antibiotics (I'm very prone to develop a sinusitis), I just resort to some ibuprofen, hot tea and herbal remedies to lessen the symptoms and stick it out.

I am however skeptical of homeopathic stuff. They mostly contain next to no active agent and so far no evidence has been found that suggests it works better than a placebo.

 

Vaccinations are a good thing in general, I have been vaccinated against the most common stuff like polio and hepatitis and so far I'm not regretting it. I'm wary about flu vaccines though, especially those "bird flu" and "swine flu"-variants. I'm from Germany and I remember that we purchased lots and LOTS of swine flu vaccines when all the panic started, only to discover later that it was more likely to get side effects from the vaccination than getting swine flu. wink.gif

 

Psychoactive medicine... let's just say I consider it a bit of a double standard when people accuse someone who drinks a glass of wine once a month (I'm not promoting or trivializing alcoholism!) of "doing drugs" and at the same time force happy pills on people who are going through a rough patch in life/are depressed and call that "treatment/help". Of course I don't think that some disorders, like schizophrenia and severe cases of endogenic depression, will be cured with sunshine, unicorns and rainbows - but personally I'm not at all enthusiastic about psychatric drugs, especially since I had some bad experience with them. They are, in my opinion, the last option when every other treatment has failed and only a temporary solution.

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AND I also use homeopathic remedies whenever possible, and have my own herbal garden for these things. I'm a great believer in teas.

Please don't mistake homeopathy with herbal medicine. Homeopathy is quack pseudoscience, and the "medicine" relies on the notion that endless dilution strengthens the medicine and it's carried through "water memory" - basically, homeopathic "remedies" are often just distilled water or sugar pills without a single molecule of the actual medicine.

Herbal medicine, however, is a completely different thing and a lot of plants can be good for you.

 

I used to be pretty anti-medicine for myself unless it was about my dermatitis and would generally soldier out colds... until I got pretty bad tonsillitis and frequently got sick since last year. Currently, I'm using topical steroids (for a few days, because that's enough for them to work for a bit, and prolonged use causes permanent skin damage) and anti-histaminics for my dermatitis - it's pollen season here.

 

As for vaccines, I know that there are some risks involved with any, but I still think that the gain in general massively outweighs the risks on a population level. I don't take flu shots, but I'm always pedantic about encephalitis shots - I live in an area where the frequency of carrier ticks is pretty high, and you don't necessarily have to go to a forest to pick some up, sometimes just walking around a park or your garden is enough.

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Now antibiotics are being over prescribed because people demand them and tired doctors give in to pressure - and there we have gone too far the other way; many diseases are now untreatable again because we have demanded antibiotics when they were not appropriate (you cannot treat a cold or a virus that way !) and the various germs around are learning how to fight back.... The scary one is that I think clostridium difficile is already almost untreatable - the well known hospital killer bug... sad.gif

 

It isn't just antibiotics doing this though, it is also helped by the companies touting antibacterial soaps and other cleaning products to "sterilize" your home. Honestly, unless you have a family member with an immune deficiency, you should not be using these antibacterial soaps.

 

Another thing with antibiotics and superbugs is people taking the antibiotics incorrectly. There is a REASON they tell you to take them for ten days. If you fail to take them for the full ten days, there is a risk that they can survive and become resistant to the antibiotic.

 

As for vaccines, I am all for them. I had to take allergy shots weekly as a kid(though the frequency decreased the longer I took them), and I quickly learned how to take a shot without it hurting. In fact, once when getting a flu shot I didn't feel a thing. I thought they were taking forever to clean the spot and I asked them when they were actually going to stick me and they said they already had.

Edited by Nectaris

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vaccinations are safe, effective and prevent not only your (general 'your,' not specific) child from getting ill but also contributes to the herd immunity of your community.

 

I never said that they didn't. I have even stated in my post that I do vaccinate. That does not mean I like taking he risk.

 

At the moment the UK is seeing a measles outbreak that has hospitalised nearly a thousand, close to a hundred of which are in 'serious' condition, and I believe two have died already. That shouldn't happen. We have a safe, effective vaccine that every child should have had, but because of the hysteria from a single person's poor research millions of people have not been vaccinated against it.

 

I agree.

 

However, no matter how many times you say something like MMR vaccine is "safe," and that every child should get it, not only for themselves and their child, that's not going to help the mother whose child has long-term seizures, or the child who went into a coma, or the child who received permanent brain damage.

 

Medical "safe" means "it is unlikely you will experience negative effects." It does not mean there is no risk. it means there's a four per million chance, and you're hoping on those odds. (Speaking on MMR odds specifically.)

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Full disclosure: I am in medical research, currently working on cancers, specifically leukemia and breast cancer, and prior to that, worked at the NCI testing several HPV vaccines.

 

Thus, I am all for modern medicine. I just think people should know going in the risks of everything, and be allowed to make a choice. With medicine there is always risks, they are usually mild, but there is always a gamble.

 

Same with herbalism. You need to know the risks going in, or it isn't informed consent.

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Lol...I'm not some 20-something who picked it up because it sounded cool. hehe.

 

I am 47, and a practicing herbalist for over 30 years. I have a full pharmacopeia growing in my back yard. I have kept my friends and family healthy naturally for years. I am fully aware of each herb, it's properties, and all the different ways to prepare them, depending on need. When cold and fever waves hit my son's schools, he was often one of the few healthy enough to go to school at all.

 

However, as I stated, I do like modern meds, and sometimes, they work better than herbals. I like to think I have a good balance between the two. And I won't play risks with serious life-threatening diseases like measles, diptheria, polio, etc. Vaccinations, oh yes!

 

And, there IS evidence of herbals working quite well - humanity itself. How long has "Modern Medicine" been available to the public? Couple hundred years. How long has humanity walked this earth? Untold thousands. What do you think kept us healthy long enough to reach this era of "Modern Medicine"?? hehe. Good enough for me.

Edited by Riverwillows

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I think there's a bit of a misunderstanding here due to terminology. (Ignore me if your post was directed at somebody in particular, not at the general public smile.gif )

 

I think that one should strictly distinguish between herbal/"natural" mecidines and homeopathy. The latter refers to a rather esoteric branch of medicine, founded in the early 1800s, based on the belief that extremely small doses of a substance that causes a particular disease will prompt the body to cure itself from said disease. Those substances are supposed to gain potency each time they are diluted by a factor of 10, although that means that the concentration of actual stuff in highly diluted variants of homeopathic medicine equals that of one pill being dissolved in the Atlantic Ocean. I can't see how that might helpful, to be honest.

 

So all in all I believe that herbs do work and you can scientifically prove that they contain essential oils and other things that indeed help you, but I also think that all tea/extracts/stuff made from them should be called "herbal", not "homeopathic", to avoid confusion. smile.gif

Edited by Digital Decay

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Now antibiotics are being over prescribed because people demand them and tired doctors give in to pressure - and there we have gone too far the other way; many diseases are now untreatable again because we have demanded antibiotics when they were not appropriate (you cannot treat a cold or a virus that way !) and the various germs around are learning how to fight back.... The scary one is that I think clostridium difficile is already almost untreatable - the well known hospital killer bug... sad.gif

 

Please everyone - if you doctor says you don't need an antibiotic - run with your doctor, not your worried mom's voice in your head (or your worried mom if she's in there with you !)

A lot of people are medicated that don't need to be. People throw fits if a doctor won't write them a prescription for medication they don't need (like heavy-duty pain killers when advil will be more than enough) or drugs for mental conditions that they don't need.

 

People think a little pill can fix everything.

 

Medication DOES have a lot of awesome uses and can really help people. But if you don't need it, you might as well have a placebo since the drug itself isn't going to be helping you--it's just thinking that it will that does. Or you need to listen to yer freakin' doctor and not drug up yourself/kids with crap they don't need.

 

Actually, I find sometimes not even using medication but just knowing it's available really helps me personally.

 

 

 

Still, medication for things like depression is important to have as an option. It's not always going to help, but it can. It helped me a lot *(though not so much anymore, which is actually now a really, really bad problem... But today is a good day, so I'm not thinking about that~)

Edited by KageSora

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I'm really not sure how often the safety of the masses factors into a parent's decision whether to vaccinate their child or not. Considering humans are selfish animals and these parents seem perfectly fine with forcing their views on vaccinations on their children, I'd say...it probably never even occurs to them that the decision not to vaccinate their kids endangers more lives than just the child's.

 

I got all my vaccinations as a kid and have never caught anything more than a short flu (that I actually think was just a mild case of food poisoning no matter what my family tells me). What things I do catch I usually get over pretty quickly and are in no way completely debilitating to me.

 

 

I do have to agree on the issue of overprescription, though. My younger brother was prescribed a staggering array of ADD/ADHD medications when he was younger when in fact the cause of his behavioral problems were abusive parents that made him act out. My cousin had the same case, only his "problem" turned out to be autism and not ADD or ADHD. Both had to go through a regimen of expensive drugs with pretty nasty side effects when a good, long sitdown with a competent doctor would have gotten to the source of the problems much faster and more cheaply in the long run.

 

I actually get annoyed, though, when people tell me I need to take medication for my depression. I don't want to live my life in a medication-induced haze of false happiness--I am just fine with myself the way I am and shouldn't be forced to take medication to change that just because other people think I must be utterly miserable and they find me too unbearable to be around.

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I actually get annoyed, though, when people tell me I need to take medication for my depression. I don't want to live my life in a medication-induced haze of false happiness--I am just fine with myself the way I am and shouldn't be forced to take medication to change that just because other people think I must be utterly miserable and they find me too unbearable to be around.

Depression medications don't make you falsely happy (for most people). They just help blunt the worst of the sadness.

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I actually get annoyed, though, when people tell me I need to take medication for my depression. I don't want to live my life in a medication-induced haze of false happiness--I am just fine with myself the way I am and shouldn't be forced to take medication to change that just because other people think I must be utterly miserable and they find me too unbearable to be around.

While it's your choice not to do medication, I can attest that that is not how all depression medication works for everybody on every dosage.

 

When I was on medication, I was absolutely NOT in a fake-happy haze all the time. I still had a censorkip.gif ton of problems. I still needed therapy. I still had issues.

 

What the medication did do, though, was make it bearable. It took the edge off it, it helped keep my mood stable--I'd rather be holding steady at depressed than having severe mood swing/drops. It allowed me to focus better on things besides my depression.

 

 

You absolutely don't NEED medication to survive depression, but it's also not just happy pills that numb the pain so you can pretend to live a normal life.

 

But then, that might be because in my case we carefully controlled what medication I was taking, how much, consulted regularly with a specialist in regards to the medication, and supplemented it with professional therapy rather than just shoving a bunch of pills down my throat.

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Depression medications don't make you falsely happy (for most people). They just help blunt the worst of the sadness.

This.

 

Also, feeling a false sadness created by chemical imbalances doesn't seem any better or real than feeling false happiness created by medication(which anti-depressants don't do, I'm just saying).

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