Healthcare Category

The Costly American Healthcare System

April 13th, 2017

The power of huge corporations and politics adds up to Americans paying the most in the world for healthcare yet two years ago we were ranked dead last for the fifth time in the developed world and last year the World Health Organization listed the U.S as 37th in overall efficiency.  A few of the 36 countries that rate higher than the U.S. are France, Italy, Singapore, Spain, Israel, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, Columbia, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Canada, Chile…  The list goes on and on and it is a disgrace.

Furthermore, the United States health statistics seem to be getting worse. Last year, America was the only developed country in the world that experienced a decrease in life expectancy.

American’s pay 2-4 times more for the same pharmaceutical drugs purchased by citizens of other major countries. Pharmaceutical companies donate hundreds of millions of dollars to politicians in order to influence the price our American healthcare system pays for their drugs.  In fact, a study by Harvard researchers published in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated that the nature of the American drug market as designed and regulated by our government is to blame.  Other countries negotiate much harder to keep the drug prices down and are willing to say “No” to over priced drugs.

As a percentage of our gross domestic product, the U.S. cost of healthcare was 50% higher than France and almost double that of the United Kingdom yet we rank dead last. The profits of the huge healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are thriving but the American citizens are not.

Though dietary supplements were not shown by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) to have caused one death last year while prescriptions drugs were shown to have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, district attorneys of some states, in my opinion, to further their own political careers and aspirations have attacked the supplement industry and conspicuously for the most part, have left big pharma alone.  This is politics at its worst.  These are attempts by politically motivated entities and individuals to divert our attention away from the very real and serious problems by worrying about what… Vitamins?

Obvioiusly, this is all very upsetting and we as American citizens are getting the raw end of the deal. I don’t know how to curtail the power that the money of huge corporations can buy politically but I do know what you can do to rely less on this broken American healthcare system.

You’ve heard this before but you need to stay healthy:

  • Exercise, even if its just walking for10-15 minutes a day 4-5 times a week.
  • Cut back on sugar… Read labels and try to consume less than 50 grams a day of sugar, and cutting back on soda and deserts is a good place to start.
  • Take a multi-vitamin every day from one of the well known dietary supplement companies.
  • Get at least 7 hours a day of sleep.
  • Try to eat fish like salmon at least once a week, don’t worry about mercury, the issue is way over-stated and not of concern.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

Statin Drugs for Healthy People?

April 9th, 2017

Healthy People

So you’re pretty healthy and your doctor wants you to take a statin drug to lower your cholesterol… Should you take it?

If you are healthy, meaning you do not have uncontrolled high blood pressure,  type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and you have not been diagnosed with heart disease or have a family history of parents or siblings dying at relatively young ages of heart attacks, you should probably say NO to taking statin drugs.  This applies even if you are overweight as studies show that at least half of obese people are medically healthy.

Even in people with moderate levels of coronary artery calcium (hardening of the arteries), only 1 heart attack in 94 would be prevented by taking statins.  93 would have received no benefit but run the increased risks of developing liver damage, diabetes, dementia, peripheral neuropathy etc. In fact a study published in the Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology found that statin drugs may increase the risk of developing hardening of the arteries (coronary calcium) and the lead author stated –“I cannot find any good evidence to support people taking statin drugs!” One of the co-authors stated – “I don’t think statin drugs should have ever been approved.”

There is absolutely no quality evidence demonstrating that healthy people who take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol live longer, and in fact a fairly recent study in the BMJ (British Medical Journal)  stated that people over the age of 60 with high cholesterol live longer than people of the same age with lower cholesterol levels. The study reviewed the results of 19 published studies covering close to 70,000 patients.  (Gee, I wonder why that study was never mentioned by my local news channel? Anything to do with the billions of dollars of lost revenue if people stopped taking statins?)

Let me sum things up by quoting Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of medicine at University of California at San Francisco and director of Women’s Cardiovascular Services who stated in a published article – “ For most healthy people the data shows that statins do not prevent heart disease nor extend life or quality of life and they come with considerable side-effects. That’s why I don’t recommend giving statins to healthy people, even those with higher cholesterol… I can’t in good conscience recommend them.”

If you are healthy, do not worry about your cholesterol.  Instead focus on keeping your weight under control, eating vegetables daily, avoiding sugar and getting plenty of exercise.

To the Best of Health,

Curt Hendrix, M.S., C.C.N., C.N.S.

 

RELATED ARTICLE:  Do Not Take Another Statin Drug for Lowering Cholesterol Until You Read This!

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