Internet rabbit holes and your health

Breadcrumb Trail Links opinion column

Posted March 17, 2023 • 3 minute read

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It’s hard not to be aware of the provincial government’s recent push to help you find healthcare solutions to whatever’s ailing you. Their radio (and Tik Tok! and YouTube) ads are ubiquitous. The main point of these ads is that instead of losing sleep over a symptom like hives or eczema, and instead of going down that “internet rabbit hole” that keeps you up all night, ask your pharmacist or nurse to take you there to lead a solution.

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This is both a nod to the extended prescribing rights of pharmacists and nurses, and the government’s desire to guide you to a pharmaceutical “solution” to your problems.

The message behind these ads is that there is only one good fix and it has nothing to do with you finding out why you have your symptoms. No, you just apply a topical cream or swallow a pill – and voila – you’re good to go.

This is not health care. This is called “suppression”. When your body is expressing itself to you through various symptoms such as rash, itching, headache, pain, etc., this is your body telling you that it is out of balance. Perhaps (and most likely) your body does not eliminate toxins effectively and instead of excreting them through your gut, toxins/metabolites are excreted through your skin or simply held.

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I would like to say that this is our taxpayers’ money hard at work. However, this is your taxpayer money being used to promote an already ridiculously wealthy pharmaceutical industry. And if you don’t find the root cause to solve your health problems, the system will end up costing you a lot more money – as your health problems become more complex.

A helpful analogy for the pharmaceutical “fix” is your car: you drive on and suddenly the oil light comes on. Now if we follow government guidance we will unscrew the little light in the instrument panel and no more annoying oil light warning. Or the wiser option would be to stop to check the oil level and add a little more oil if necessary.

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To stay with the eczema example, you can apply a cortisone cream that your pharmacist can prescribe for you now. However, this does not make the problem go away, it simply represses and buries the problem and may later manifest itself in a different form. And then you could take another drug. But this is like a whack-a-mole game. What we really need to do is listen to our bodies.

I think it’s very important to take responsibility for your health, ask questions and explore alternative treatment options. What about the other forms of medicine that our provincial government has recognized through the establishment of various regulatory colleges? Has the government forgotten that we have numerous options? There is naturopathy, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and more. But you

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don’t hear about these as viable treatment options. Instead, you are led to a pharmaceutical “fix” that is very problematic in the long run. All medications have side effects, and some of them can be very serious. Suppressing symptoms creates further problems, making underlying disorders or diseases progressive, more complex, and more difficult to treat.

So by all means go down the rabbit hole and ask questions. And remember, you have choices when it comes to healthcare: you can choose to enlist the help of a naturopathic practitioner to find and treat underlying issues.

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