The title of the story in this Sunday’s NY Times magazine, The Boy With a Thorn in his Joints, suggests that the patient story is an anomaly-an atypical medical case. I want to report that this is far from the reality of the clinical experience in my office. The patient complaint, the history, the far reaching impact of unnecessary pharmaceutical treatments on patients and their families, all are commonly heard in the private chambers of my office. From ages 3-85, leaky gut syndrome is not a peculiar and mysterious thorn from which patients and their families must endure the kind of suffering as described in the story. The results of specific dietary therapies in the care of my patients with the same problems are dramatic.
Medicine Needs to Change
It is unnerving to me how far astray the medical community has gone- that something as foundational to health as the physiology of our digestion would be second to the influence of the pharmaceutical and device industry. Medicine needs to change; the whole person approach is integral to comprehensive medical treatment. The re-education needs to begin in medical school, continue in residency and post graduate courses.
Obstacles are in the Billions
Currently, the obstacles for the needed changes in medicine are in the billions and billions of dollars in pharmaceutical profits that look to keep our nation one that is dependent on drugs. There is no corporate profit in a nation that relies on wholesome nutrition and preventative medicine as its primary guide.The needed changes in medicine do not even gain momentum from the fact that a healthier non-drug dependent nation has fewer healthcare expenses.
When will the voices of sick patients like the boy in this NY TIMES story and the suffering of their families be heard? What will it take?