I guarantee that once you understand how our medical industry works in the United States, you’ll never trust your doctor again. I can’t illuminate all of the capitalistic caveats that have caused our healthcare system to become so out-of-whack, but I can tell you some of the reasons I’ve encountered so far to explain why doctors don’t diagnose parasites.
Let me begin this story by talking about my university days as a pre-med student back in the 1990’s when HMO’s were a hot topic and we were all worried about socialized healthcare. To build my resume and increase my chances of getting into med school, I decided to work as a teacher’s assistant for Human Anatomy at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. I worked under Dr. Woodman with about 10 other students dissecting cadavers and teaching the lab portion of the class two times each week. It was a challenging class and a lot of students struggled through it. There were two students in my lab section that did particularly well. There was one student who couldn’t even spell the word “arm”. All three of these students applied to medical schools around the same time. Guess which student got in?
You guessed it…my “D” student who knew someone who knew someone at Creighton.
The day that I heard this news about which student got into med school, I had a crisis. I didn’t “know” anyone who knew anyone. I wasn’t good at kissing ass. I’d been under the impression that good grades and demonstrable enthusiasm for medicine would get me “in”. It was the straw that broke the camels back, so-to-speak. I dropped back to half-time studies and started a band. I decided that I couldn’t do this whole “medicine thing” anymore.
A few years later, I got married. A few years after that, I had a kid. The problem of doctors and medicine became more important once I had a family. I wondered, Are all doctors the stupidest ones out of a batch of promising students? Are they all just “people who knew people who knew people”? I’d watched doctors do so many stupid things in the past. One doctor poked a “cyst” in my mom’s face with a needle thinking it was a pimple (it was actually a tumor that was, luckily, benign). I’d been personally diagnosed with fibromyalgia and a disease called Reiter’s syndrome (I had neither). My husband had been diagnosed with IBS and prescribed anti-depressants for it (he declined the offer, and we changed his diet instead with excellent results instead). When we met, he’d been taking loratadine (Claritin) for years to get rid of his allergies. But over time, Claritin can cause chronic high blood pressure (even after you stop taking the medication) as well as erectile dysfunction. His doctor never told him that. We did ONE visit to an acupuncturist for allergies and his symptoms were relieved and stayed gone for the entire year (we usually had to go back each year in the spring).
I’ve learned to steer clear of “doctors” and medical clinics unless 1) I’m injured and I need stitches or surgery 2) I already know what’s wrong with me (or my family) and how I want the problem to be treated 3) I have no other option AT ALL. I’ve received so many bleak prognoses for myself even though I’m a remarkably healthy person. I jog 25 miles a week. I spend several hours each week doing yoga. I’m strong. I’m flexible. I’m a health-conscious eater. I have normal blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. And yet, despite this, I know that if I go to my doctor with symptoms of something that is not really obvious, they’ll give me a bleak forecast for the future. Why is that?
Well, for starters, doctors are not trained to heal patients. It’s a common myth that medical school is a noble pursuit. A variety of television programs like ER or Gray’s Anatomy help instill this belief in the medical profession. But the reality is, doctors are trained to do what they’re told by insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industries. Drugs and surgical procedures are for sale at the doctor’s office. In fact, you can’t get ahold of pharmaceuticals or surgery without going to a western doctor. Doctors dispense these tools and it never occurs to most people that there could be something other than a pill or a surgical procedure to fix what ails them.
Pharmaceutical companies are at the top of the pile. It’s a shady business. Reps are carefully chosen to represent companies to doctors. If your doctor favors a blonde, busy female, the pharmaceutical companies will send in a girl with these characteristics to sell things like arthritis medication. And the blonde, busty female will take special perks and bling with her to get your doctor excited about arthritis…to get your doctor excited about selling arthritis. If he sells enough arthritis, he’ll be able to get other special gifts from the busty blonde. Do you think your doctor is above this sort of thing? Take a moment to really consider how far this kind of corruption could go and how hard it would be to try to practice medicine without falling prey to it. Now think again. Do you really think your doctor is above this sort of thing?
Doctors sell illness and then they treat the illness with…you guessed it! DRUGS! I mean, surgery is a similar issue. For example, most people don’t need back surgery. Lower back issues are common (did I mention that some lower back pains are a symptom of parasite infection?) and studies have shown definitively that most lower back pain will resolve itself within 8 weeks. So why do doctors still recommend surgery on the lower back? It’s because doctors make more money by doing the surgery than by recommending that you take yoga classes or do a parasite cleanse.
It’s easy for doctors to sell an illness, any illness to trusting patients. We’re socialized to really trust our doctors. Again, think of the television programs that teach us how to think about doctors. Think of all the pharmaceutical ads on TV that recommend that we should “ask our doctors” about whatever troubles us. And think about how convincing your doctor is and probably how convinced he or she is about whatever he/she is selling to you. I have to go back to my undergrad days and pose the question one more time: Is it possible that your doctor was not the smartest, but instead the student least likely to think outside of the box? Is it possible that your doctor was the stupidest kid in class? The one who was least likely to argue with the pharmaceutical companies and win?
I can’t tell you exactly why the medical industry has actively avoided diagnosing parasites. I’m extrapolating from personal experience and research I’ve done on other medical issues for clients, to formulate a theory about it, but here it is:
Parasites cause IBS symptoms or fibromyalgia symptoms. They cause headaches, reproductive issues and menstrual problems, back problems, allergies, and food sensitivities. Imagine how much money pharmaceutical companies make every year by selling people drugs to treat the symptoms that parasites cause. I mean, just imagine how many over-the-counter drugs are purchased to deal with headaches or prescription medications for headaches that are actually die-off reactions from parasites? It’s a gold mine for the medical industry! There are plenty of parasites like hookworms, pinworms, and roundworms, that won’t kill a person right away. These worms just slowly erode a person’s health and well-being. If you go to a doctor to treat the symptoms associated with this type of parasitic infection, you’ll likely end up on the drug treadmill treating an “incurable, untreatable” illness. You may even get a super-gloomy diagnosis like diabetes or lupus.
But many people still prefer to go to the doctor even though they know their doctor has hurt other people they know because going to the doctor is easy. And I’m not saying that people are lazy, but just that it’s hard to learn what you need to know about health in order to treat yourself, especially if you’re sick already. A lot of people don’t trust themselves as much as they trust their doctors because the doctor is the one with the Big Fat Education. But I know a lot of educated people who lack intuition, empathy, and ethics. No amount of education can make up for these things. I trust my acupuncturist and my rolfer, but I would never trust my doctor without double-checking the information he gives me.
I’ve read stories written by a lot of angry people whose children were ill because of parasites. I’ve read about people who suffered needlessly for decades because of parasites. These people were angry because their doctors told them that parasites couldn’t be causing their problems. And sadly, the people believe their doctors unconditionally. I mean, people WANT to believe their doctors. They want for their doctors to be what those television dramas make them out to be. But they’re not. Doctors are Sales People. They are people who are especially knowledgeable about healthcare products like drugs and surgeries and they have a license to sell these products to you.
So you can be angry with your doctor for not diagnosing your actual problem, but it isn’t your doctor’s fault. It’s a much bigger problem than that. We live in a culture defined by consumerism and as part of the culture, people “consume” healthcare as though it were a product to be bought and sold. But unfortunately, what sells is illness, not good health. You can only sell good health to someone who doesn’t already have it. At the bottom of it all, this is where the problem with our healthare system lies.
If you’re angry, then take action. Boycott the healthcare industry by becoming healthy! Don’t eat fast food. Avoid sugar and dairy products as well as red meats and pork. Find a good acupuncturist, an herbalist or a naturopathic doctor, and a chiropractor or a Rolfer. Use alternative medicine, but expect to visit a few kooks before you find someone you can work with. And if you get sick enough to use western medicine, at least try to understand what’s going on with your body and possible diagnoses before you go to a doctor. Use HealthTap or PrestoExperts to talk to another online doctor, if necessary, to get a second opinion about serious issues (if it differs substantially, take heed and get a third opinion or a fourth…keep going until you get an answer that resonates with you!). And if you’re reading this because you’ve recently realized that you or someone you love has parasites, start taking the appropriate herbs and in a few days, you’ll (or they will) start to feel better.