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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Hypertension. Conventional medicine comes up with another guise for giving us more pharmaceutical drugs!

If there is one significant difference between homeopathy and conventional medicine it is that homeopaths treats the individual, and doctors treat a condition, or illness, or disease. 

Take Hypertension (high blood pressure) as an example. I don't know how many patients came to see me when I was practicing because their doctor had told them their blood pressure was too high, and that this put them at risk of serious heart disease. My response was usually to ask them what symptoms they had of high blood pressure. Headaches? Fatigue? Confusion? Irregular heartbeat? Usually they had none of these, usually they felt quite well, but their doctor had told them that if their high blood pressure was left untreated it could lead to them having a stroke, or heart disease, or kidney failure. It was, they were told, a silent killer. Most patients are then scared to death, but those who came to see me did not want to take pharmaceutical drugs.

So how do doctors know this? Why do they feel justified in telling their patients that they are sick when the patients think they are well? Well, there have been randomised controlled trials (RCT's), and to conventional medicine, these are sacrosanct! And other RCT's have also told doctors that pharmaceutical drugs can lower blood pressure. Put them together, and the doctor knows best!

After all, conventional doctors have guidelines for the treatment of hypertension, and they are based on these RCT's. Hitherto, anything over 140/90 mmHg is a concern, and the patient needs to take drugs to lower their blood pressure, regardless of the fact they feel well, regardless of the fact that blood pressure readings are notoriously unreliable, and that they are likely to be higher when in the doctor's surgery!

However, the situation is now likely to get worse! NICE (the National Institute for Clinical Excellence) is in the process of updating its guidance. New targets are likely to be set. NICE experts are considering new evidence that lowering blood pressure to a new target level, nearer 120mmHg, is a good idea! Pulse article, 8th November 2016 "NICE to look at lowering blood pressure targets in guidance overhaul".

What this means is that lots more people, who feel perfectly well, will be given pharmaceutical drugs to reduce blood pressure. These drugs are known to have serious side effects, and disease inducing effects (DIE's). So, lots more patients on unnecessary treatments. Lots more patients who develop diseases caused by unnecessary pharmaceutical drugs. Lots more pressure on health services that result from 'well' people being made sick through prescription drug DIE's.

So how do doctors feel about 'medicine by numbers'? Most of them will go along with it. They have to, they are expected to. But many do not like it. When NICE tried to expand the number of patients take statin drugs recently the doctors resisted. And there are signs that doctors may do so again. These are some of the GP comments already made on the Pulse article.

               "The only people who win will be the pharmaceutical companies. For doctors it will be more work. For patients more expense, anxiety and side effects damage to them. Pharma will be rubbings their hands with glee!" 

               "Will there ever come a time when target is set and doesn't change (for change sake)."

               "For once I agree with the comments - more work for GPs when patients who are really ill struggle to see someone; more work for pharmacies supplying what may be unnecessary treatments; more cost to the NHS - although I am assuming there would have to be an overall cost saving to make it worth the effort; and last but by no means least, more expense & worry to patients. Oh, and lots more people living to a ripe old age to put MORE drain on the system. Does sometimes make me wonder what the final aim is? Let's all live forever! (Can't wait!)"

               "'So doc how many of these tablets should I be taking then?' 'Well according to the latest guidelines keep taking them until you fall over and then slightly reduce the dose that's the sweet spot right there'"

               "This surely takes us in the opposite direction to the person-centred approach recommended in the recent NICE Multimorbidity guidance?"

So some conventional doctors agree with me. They do know that this is a guise to sell more pharmaceutical drugs. They do know they are causing patients harm. They do know that conventional treatment is bringing the NHS to its knees, bankrupting it. So at least some doctors do take issue when they are asked to give pharmaceutical drugs to well people. Some doctors don't automatically assume that they know best. We need more of them, but they probably know that if they stick their heads too far above the parapet they risk having it chopped off. 

Please note that all the above comments came from 'anonymous', presumably it is not good for the career to be identified with dissent! 

The conventional medical establishment DOES know what is best for us, and they don't want to be challenged! They DO know when we are ill (even when we think we are well). They DO know when we are well (when we think we are sick) - medical testing can show there is nothing wrong with us.