I spoke with a 74 year old man last week who had classic symptoms of multi-infarct dementia, a condition previously referred to as senility. He was on a drug called Losarten for a mild elevation in his blood pressure. He had visited his MD shortly before I spoke to him who added Lipitor to his regimen, because of a cholesterol level above 200.
The treatment he is receiving from his doctor is certainly within the standard of care guidelines mandated by state medical boards, and represents the kind of care a patient should expect from most doctors. However, I would look at the treatment this gentleman is receiving and classify it under the category of malpractice.
Allow me to explain: His dementia was caused by reduced circulation in the brain contributed to by hardening of his arteries. In other words, he had problems with perfusing his brain tissue. Not surprisingly, studies have shown that these patients benefit significantly just by stopping their blood pressure pills. The problem is that we are dealing with a medical profession whose practitioners have lost the ability to think and reason. They no longer sit down and talk to their patients, and unfortunately put all their attention to treating lab tests instead of the patients. Now that electronic record keeping is mandated, they spend all their time looking at the computer, and no time looking at the patient.
I remember when my patients complained to me that their doctors did not spend enough time with them, and I would point out that they were fortunate because the more time spent, the more prescriptions they would receive. Statistically, it has been pointed out that after a doctor walks into the treatment room to see a patient, within 18 seconds he knows what drug(s) he is going to prescribe.
Getting back to this gentleman with dementia, it was readily apparent that he had memory issues because he was repeating things that he had forgotten he had told me a short time before. I have already mentioned my concern about the drug to lower his blood pressure, but an even worse choice of a drug to give this person was Lipitor. One of the most common side effects caused by statin drugs is brain damage and memory loss. This is not surprising since the brain is made up mostly of cholesterol. Other side effects include type 2 diabetes, irreversible kidney failure, permanent nerve damage, muscle aches and pains, and of course heart damage and sudden death. I should perhaps mention that people with the highest cholesterol levels seem to have the greatest longevity.
So why is it that doctors seem to have a propensity for prescribing toxic medications? This would include drugs for depression, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorders, diabetes, cancer, and many others. My own theory as to why doctors keep on prescribing potentially toxic and even lethal medications (prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death) is as follows: Because most doctors do not treat the causation of illness, they never get their patients truly well. As a result, they never achieve the personal satisfaction of having a patient get better. So instead, they feel that by giving them a drug to lower cholesterol, or blood pressure, or blood sugar, etc., that they are helping the patient. Unfortunately, the idea of treating the underlying cause of the elevated blood pressure, or sugar, or cholesterol, or depression, or neuropathy, or osteoporosis never occurs to them because they have been trained by drug companies.
Nothing will change until people get angry and demand a better level of care than is presently being offered. In the meantime, for those people who are interested in being proactive about their health instead of being victimized, I would recommend that they become informed about alternative approaches to different conditions. Perhaps you can read some of my blogs that address many of these issues, plus avail yourself of books written by me or other doctors interested in wellness.
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