Medicine Information

Medical Testing: Health By The Numbers Doesnt Work


Perhaps one of the most insidious dangers in modern technology is medical testing. Although it would be nice to be able to visit our doctor and get all hooked up with electrodes, inflatable cuffs, probes, needles and catheters and have a read-out telling us exactly how we are working and where there is a problem, that is a myth, not the reality.

Such testing creates false confidence and the illusion for people that they are being wise and practicing "preventive medicine." But prevention is not detecting existing disease. Diagnosis is not to be confused with cause or cure. Not only do patients have these misconceptions, the entire medical industry does as well. Modern medicine is focused on naming diseases and treating symptoms, not preventing disease and addressing causes.

Medical tests (done on yourself or by others) give a false sense of control and knowledge. The better choice is to take every step we can to modify life-style and nutritional habits to actually create health, not simply live life with gusto and have yearly stress tests and mammograms. Waiting for disease (reacting to injury, which disease is) to strike and then taking action is certainly not an intelligent approach.

None of this speaks to the waste in much of the $200+ billion a year that is spent on laboratory and clinical tests. Not only do they drain our economy and not create health, they are often inaccurate and unnecessary. Some 75% of doctors surveyed admitted to performing more tests than necessary. In one study of 25,000 tests, only 20% of them reproduced the same result 90% of the time. In another study, 197 out of 200 were "cured" by simply repeating the same tests. (Wysong, RL. Laboratory self-testing. Wysong Health Letter. March 1992.)

This brings me to a serious danger of laboratory testing: a false positive or false negative. If the test is falsely positive, the emotional trauma from believing you may have a serious disease can be enough to create a disease. Thus a test can make a well person sick. A false negative could send you on your way happily believing that everything is fine and that no life modifications are necessary. Meanwhile, the disease continues to incubate and spread.

Medical tests have inherent dangers like any other medical procedure and should be submitted to only with that understanding. Even entering a hospital or doctor's office poses the risk of exposure to infectious disease (nosocomial infection). A "sterile" needle to draw blood could result in a fatal (albeit rare) systemic infection. Squeezing breasts for a mammogram can activate dormant cancerous tissue and increase the spread of cancerous cells (metastases) by 80%. (Greenburg, DS. NCI blasted for mammography confusion. The Lancet. 345(8942): 129.) Pap smears are performed millions of times a year yet have never been proven to change morbidity or mortality. (McCormick, JS. Cervical smears: a questionable practice? The Lancet. 2: 207-209. 1989.) Ultrasound may influence fetal growth. (Newnham, JP, et al. Effects of frequent ultrasound during pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. The Lancet. 342(8876): 887-91.) X-rays are always dangerous (carcinogenic) and their effects are cumulative over a lifetime. Vaginal and rectal exams can introduce infection. Cancers penetrated with biopsy needles may increase the spread of cancer to sentinel lymph nodes by as much as 50% over lump excision. It is estimated 1 in 20 liver biopsies result in new tumors. (Evans, GH, et al. Safety of and necessity for needle biopsy of liver tumours. The Lancet. 1: 620. 1987.) Let the buyer (patient) beware.

Health is something you do to yourself, not something others do to you with machines or analysis. Health "by the numbers" of cholesterol, blood pressure, prostate antigens, white cell count and the like is a fantasy. Subscribing to this idea will start you on a slippery slope of medications, medications to treat the side effects of medications, surgeries and other interventions that destroy health, not build it.

This is not to suggest that diagnostic tests are not important for refractory diseases or those to which no reasonable cause can be assigned. But as a "preventive" measure for healthy individuals the benefits of the practice are dubious at best. (See article on medicine as the greatest threat to health by the author.)

The best test of health is to evaluate yourself. If you feel well, leave well enough alone, no medical test should convince you otherwise. The best test is to examine your life-style and nutritional practices against the standard of genetic context. We are adapted to fresh air and water, sunshine, exercise and fresh natural foods. (See CD the master key by the author). If you are not living as you are genetically programmed, do it. By so doing you will not only be preventing, but reversing disease. It's easy, cheap and has passed the "test" of time in being the best medicine ever invented.

Dr. Wysong is a former veterinary clinician and surgeon, college instructor in human anatomy, physiology and the origin of life, inventor of numerous medical, surgical, nutritional, athletic and fitness products and devices, research director for the present company by his name and founder of the philanthropic Wysong Institute. He is author of The Creation-Evolution Controversy now in its eleventh printing, a new two volume set on philosophy for living, several books on nutrition, prevention and health for people and animals and over 15 years of monthly health newsletters. He may be contacted at Wysong@Wysong.net and a free subscription to his e-Health Letter is available at http://www.wysong.net .


MORE RESOURCES:
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news


New York Times

Using Medicine and Science to Improve the Quality of Life
New York Times
To Ms. Onie, that story offers an example of what is wrong with America's health care system: It can be so focused on medicine that it misses the social issues that really drive health. For more than 20 years since she co-founded the nonprofit Health ...



Forbes

RoosterBio Is Targeting $67 Billion Global Regenerative Medicine Market
Forbes
When you hear about “Regenerative Medicine,” it is often about stem cell therapy and tissue engineering. These two innovations alone are driving the large industry market estimates ranging from four billion dollars to $67 billion. The National ...



Daily Record-News

New Ellensburg family practice doctor emphasizes functional medicine
Daily Record-News
“Functional medicine, a lot of it is working through nutrition, discovering and trying to pinpoint any underlying cause for the disease, rather than just treating it with medications,” Elperin said. “Functional medicine is a way to bring the body back ...



Business Insider

Trump gave Kim Jong Un a taste of his own medicine — and now North Korea is begging to save the summit
Business Insider
President Donald Trump on Thursday pulled a classic North Korean negotiating move by canceling his planned summit with Kim Jong Un. Within 12 hours of the cancellation, North Korea backtracked on threats to "reconsider" the summit. It now says it will ...

and more »


PhillyVoice.com

Why medicine leads the professions in suicide, and what we can do about it
PhillyVoice.com
Earlier this month, one of us visited a prominent U.S. medical school to give a lecture on the topic of burnout and how physicians can find more fulfillment in the practice of medicine. Sadly, that very day, a fourth-year medical student there took her ...



SCNow

Florence Family Medicine aims for personal touch
SCNow
FLORENCE, S.C. — Florence Family Medicine employees joined ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce to hold a ribbon cutting Thursday morning. Florence Family Medicine, at 315 N. Beltline Drive, Suite E, provides primary care ...



Lifehacker Australia

Your Baby's Teething Medicine Could Be Dangerous
Lifehacker Australia
If you're a parent, you've been there. All the rocking, patting and rounds of “Old McDonald” in the world won't stop your baby's misery. After weeks of sleepless ...

and more »


Futurity: Research News

Don't give opioid cough medicine to kids. Here's why
Futurity: Research News
The findings support recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restrictions on prescription hydrocodone- and codeine-containing cough medicines for children and suggests that opioids in general should not be prescribed for kids' coughs and colds.



The Guardian

Mambas, medicine and one girl's race to survive Kenya's biting problem
The Guardian
In a country where snakebite treatment is costly, hard to come by and often inadequate, Rashid Chiti feared the worst when his daughter was bitten by a black mamba. Now the World Health Assembly is about to pass a resolution that might finally boost ...



Harvard Medical School

The Great Society of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
This year's Class Day speakers offered a wide range of ways for the new HMS graduates to think about—and revolutionize—how health care is delivered in the U.S. Taking small steps together to improve care, the idea of health care as a basic human ...


Google News

home | site map | Dr. Thad Thomas
© 2006