In pain and desperation, many years ago I visited my GP. I was crippled due to a recurrent back injury that plagued me. This was one of the very few times in the last twenty-five years that I went to a doctor. I very quickly began to regret it.
My questions were answered with jargon that was meant to be impenetrable to me, so I translated the Latin terms and asked her what did she really mean, at which point she stuttered and admitted that she really didn’t know much about what was really happening to my back, beyond the obvious spasm, but recommended painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. In irritation I refused. When you consider that many headaches and stomach pain are caused by simple dehydration which can be solved by a glass or two of water, then the argument for getting the root cause of conditions really proves itself.
In irritation I refused. She asked why and I replied that due to my injury the pain was telling me to stop and the spasm was a protection mechanism, so why on earth should I remove them without addressing the root of my problem. I excused myself and struggled out of the surgery, resolving to dig into the knowledge and resources I had to understand and solve the problem. It took years but I no longer have the recurrent back issue that so often disabled me.
However, the attitude of never bothering to dig to the root of our health issues and managing them with painkillers and medication is killing the pain and quite often killing us. I am not against painkillers – they have their place in health care, but they are not a solution to any health issue. They are for managing the illness and pain. And contrary to what many believe, they can cause damage and do have side effects. Asprin, which is often prescribed effectively for pain management and inflammation can cause intestinal bleeding for up to one week and this has been known since at least 1980. The most popular painkillers are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In England, at least 18 million prescriptions are written annually for these drugs and many of them can be purchased without a prescription. Prolonged use of NSAIDs increases permeability of the gut, increasing susceptibility to infections and can cause ulcers in the small intestines. They also place pressure upon the liver in order to eliminate them from the system and place pressure upon nutrient stores that must be utilised by the liver to eliminate these NSAIDs. The liver employs antioxidant nutrients in order to conjugate or create combinations that the body may eliminate safely. Managing long-term health issues with painkillers just isn’t a smart strategy. In fact, it is particularly stupid but it is a very profitable one.
If you have a long-term illness, then start solving the problem. When you consider that many headaches and stomach pains are caused by simple dehydration which can be solved by a glass or two of water, then the argument for getting the root cause of conditions really proves itself. The next time you find yourself with a headache or stomach pain try a few glasses of water and see if that solves it. Pain is a warning that something is wrong, the sensible response is to deal with the root of the problem. Industrial pharmaceutical medicine is more and more often about selling drugs, for the management of illness is much much more profitable than the cure. The naturopathic approach is to get to the root of the problem and address it. Yes, there are times when we can only manage the problem but that is an admission that we don’t know how and can’t do anything, it can and should never be the primary aim.