I recently read an article from WholeHealth Chicago that really hit home for me, so I’d like to share some of the information from it. As a Health Coach, I cannot ever tell my clients to stop taking medications or stop going to doctors.  I would never want to, either!

I respect Western medicine and know that it has its time and place, and that it performs miracles and saves thousands of lives. But I also know that pharmaceutical companies run the show in this country, and if you don’t know this, you’re likely to be one of the millions of Americans that are overtreated and overdiagnosed. If this is the case, you’re paying the price for it, in more ways than one.

The article starts off by stating that people with mild high blood pressure are the ones most overdianosed and overtreated, and these people are experiencing unpleasant side effects because of it. (Not to mention all the money they’re spending.) First of all, a pharmaceutical company originally set the standards for “normal” blood pressure in the 1950’s. Second of all, high blood pressure can be an easy fix with dietary and lifestyle changes.

While the pharmaceutical companies are mostly to blame here, let’s not ignore the fear that society has formed in Americans. Many times, doctors will overprescribe or do unnecessary surgeries because either the patient is demanding it, or because the doctor is afraid of a malpractice lawsuit from something going undiagnosed. Americans have been duped into believing that medication and surgeries are the only answer to anything that goes wrong with the body or mind. This is “The Fear.”

I could share a dozen personal stories about this. One is obvious. As soon as I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, my gastroenterologists put me on about 15 different medications. At times, I was on five at a time. One medication cost $5,000 every two months and was infused into me through an IV. You can imagine the side effects I experienced from all of this. They didn’t give me a single tip on diet and lifestyle changes I could make! This is a huge reason why I stopped using Western medicine for this particular health issue, and how it led me down the path to holistic wellness.

Another story I love to tell is this one time when I stupidly swallowed a handful of supplements right before bed with hardly any water. For days, it felt like one was stuck in my esophagus. After reading frightening reports on the internet about what could be wrong (another reason for “The Fear”) I stopped into the quick care center down the street from me. I left with an antibiotic prescription, a steroid nasal spray, a painkiller, three over-the-counter medication recommendations and a follow-up appointment. The doctor decided I had a sinus infection just by looking at me.

That doctor didn’t know how to fix my problem, so he created a new one. I left there fuming. I didn’t take any of what he recommended. My sinuses were fine. I fixed my own problem by giving up hot beverages for a while, because by using common sense, I realized they were what was irritating the esophagus. But SO MANY people would have left that doctor’s appointment, gone straight to the pharmacy, and spent God only knows how much on all the crap that doctor expected me to take.

This needs to stop! I strongly recommend reading the article from WholeHealth Chicago in its entirety, to better educate yourself on the subject.

There are so many instances when simple dietary and lifestyle changes can fix a problem. Other times, what you need is natural supplements and vitamins. Sometimes, you will need a prescription drug or a surgery. It’s important that you are educated and know all of your options. This could not only save you a lot of money, but also time, mental stress, and physical stress that the medication side effects put on your body.

Work with me as a Health Coach! Find a primary care doctor that is open to alternative methods of healing. Work with a functional doctor. Work with a chiropractor. Do your own research. You’ve got so many options. Use them! Don’t let “The Fear” get you.