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Guest Blogs

Mar 24,   SusanDay on Being a Grandparent

26th Jan New Medical Paradigm On Horizon

Throughout my life I’ve been continuously touched in some way by the medical establishment. My husband was ill for 25 years with almost every tissue failure you can think of, because of a severe injury and all the subsequent organ damage resulting from the pharmaceuticals and other treatments he received for it. My dad was a doctor and my mom a nurse when I was born during WWII. At the age of six I received cutting edge radiation therapy on my tonsils. Later, at the age of twelve, I had major surgery to completely remove my thyroid, due to the cancer resulting from those radiation treatments. I was monitored for several years after that with radio isotopes, and I have required replacement medications ever since.

Over the years this medical paradigm that has surrounded me appeared to change very little. But I always sought more by looking to the future for better solutions. So when I became a dietitian in 1968 I kept my ear to the ground for outlandish groundbreaking ideas. For that reason during the 70’s and 80’s I was considered looney by our local doctors, who basically warned their patients not to pay attention to that raving dietitian. Literally.
OK, if you agree with them then I’ll say good-bye to you here. But if you choose to finish this article you can decide for yourself whether I’m a prophet or a lunatic. In my defense, it should be noted here that I was already shouting about good carbs/bad carbs back in the 70’s. At the same time I also preached that the cholesterol in a fresh egg yolk was good for you, but that highly processed foods which contain the oxidized form of cholesterol should be labeled with a skull and crossbones. Then during the mid-1980’s I greatly annoyed the doctors by insisting they order acidophilus milk for those who were given large doses of antibiotics in the hospital…..when did you first hear of "probiotics"? And digestive enzymes for Crohn’s disease? Very effective, but also very heretical in the late 1980’s. All of these ideas are quite trendy now more than 30 years later, how about that??
The dependence on prescription drugs to mask the symptoms of chronic conditions, or to compensate for the side effects of other drugs, has gradually become the current medical paradigm. Oh yeah, over the years they’ve still cut on us to remove or repair whatever they could. But they convinced us that drugs were necessary to put off the surgery as long as possible, and then used them to cover up the problems of pain or lack of function that occurred as a result of the eventual surgery. So for at least 50 years we’ve been living under this paradigm of alleviating symptoms but never curing anything.

It has now morphed into a situation where medical doctors seem to be mostly pill pushers, getting much of their after-college-knowledge about medical therapies from “detail men” who work for the drug companies. This is a huge industry with lots of power in Washington, so it’s no wonder that when something comes along that can shake this paradigm to its very core they're quick to quash it. Many of us have already observed such quashing in other powerful industries as well. We've seen up and coming machines vanish into thin air the minute they proved they can actually provide free or very cheap energy. And we've watched sadly as other groundbreaking inventions faded into the ether that could have made the current methods of performing the same function completely obsolete. So it should come as no surprise that the medical establishment will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into its next paradigm as well.

This week I listened to a series of web interviews about the use of stem cells. Until now, for most of us this has been the stuff of science fiction, or at the very least hocus-pocus treatments that the very wealthy obtained in places like Switzerland or Costa Rica. We've heard of many things these rich folks have tried over the years with little or no success. In spite of this, however, they kept using their riches to access whatever they could to grasp at any straw that might relieve their suffering. The first example I remember was when Steve McQueen went to Mexico for laetrile treatments for stomach cancer. He only lasted a few months, but he went public to let everyone know that he still believed in the treatment although it didn’t cure him. Even President Reagan apparently obtained an unapproved anti-cancer product from overseas while he was still in the White House or shortly thereafter. Some feel that this is how he was cured.

Slowly the word has spread overseas about other promising medical advances, but our establishment has successfully wielded its powerful sword to defeat any and all attempts to get them approved here. Over time, however, more and more of our own medical providers have sneaked away from the main stream to do research and set up practices in those countries favoring potentially life changing treatments. This has created an atmosphere which has allowed and encouraged stem cell research to gestate, be born, and now grow into a new medical paradigm that will one day completely change medicine as we know it.

Many ordinary middle class folks have now joined the procession to these far flung places. They have also not been shy about bragging to their friends and families on their successes, and declaring that stem cells are no longer the stuff of science fiction. And now that this worldwide internet series on stem cells has literally let the cat out of the bag with real-life stories from both medical providers and patients, the rest of the world will no doubt be joining the bandwagon soon.

Texas has recently told the FDA to take a flying leap off a short pier when they wrote into law the right of doctors to process the stem cells from a patient’s own body and inject those activated cells back into the patient. In other states they can harvest, concentrate, and re-inject your cells, but they are forbidden to use any activation process to maximize the cells' activity. Those who believe in the efficacy of stem cells to treat virtually every condition hope that other states will follow suit, so that this life-changing therapy can be accessed by everyone.
It’s still quite expensive, and not covered by insurance, but this will change as soon as those who control the purse strings come to understand how much money they can save by authorizing stem cells usage. And as more patients spread the word about being healed with stem cells easily and quickly, the tide of voter enthusiasm will inevitably overcome the political opposition as well. When that happens they will have no choice but to acquiesce and do what is needed to encourage the availability of this to all Americans. I will be one of the first in line as soon as I can. Are these the words of a raving lunatic? You decide.

 


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