When Government Plays Doctor

This week, concerns about swine flu have dominated the media and many government officials.  While the American people should be made aware of infectious diseases and common sense preventative measures, much of the hysterical reaction from government only serves to remind us how detrimental to your health it can be when government plays doctor.

As a physician, I have yet to see any evidence that justifies the current level of alarm.  Influenza typically kills around 36,000 people every year in this country and hospitalizes a couple hundred thousand.  So far there are only a handful of confirmed deaths attributable to this strain, and most of those sickened have or will fully recover.  Every death is tragic, but I see no reason to deal with this flu outbreak any differently than we typically deal with any other flu season.  Instead, government in its infinite wisdom is performing even more invasive screening at airports, closing down schools and sporting events, and causing general panic.

We had a similar outbreak in 1976, with only 1 death from the flu, but mandatory vaccinations killed at least 25 before the program was abandoned.

When government gets involved in healthcare decisions, the cure is so often worse than the illness.  And yet, this administration will likely consolidate the government’s power over your health with sweeping new reforms that are already being discussed in the Senate.

Government has not improved healthcare, and has not made it cheaper.  Quite the opposite; costs have skyrocketed, and quality has gone down in many ways.  Gone are the days of the country doctor making house calls, or of voluntarily giving away medical services at charity hospitals.  The bureaucratization of healthcare these past 45 years has made things worse.  It saddens me as a doctor that physicians are less and less accountable to patients, but more and more accountable to government red tape, insurance companies and attorneys.  It seems so perverse to me that important medical decisions that will directly affect the lives of all or nearly all Americans are being hashed out behind closed doors in Washington rather than between doctors and patients.

There is perhaps nothing more valuable to a human being than his or her health, which is why I’ve always considered the practice of medicine so crucial to our well-being.  Any intrusion by government into the privacy and trust between doctor and patient is detrimental to the art of medicine.  It distorts the whole dynamic of who the client really is when doctors must answer more to government or insurance companies than to their patients.  The best solutions to improving quality and lowering costs of healthcare would be measures that put decisions back into the hands of patients and doctors, where they rightfully belong.  I have introduced HR 1495 The Comprehensive Healthcare Reform Act, which promotes health savings accounts and tax deductibility of healthcare costs as an important step in this direction.

The unfortunate reality of this recent health crisis, as with any crisis, is that it presents opportunities that the unscrupulous will take advantage of, while the fearful become more compliant.

I’ve got the flu and have to work anyway

Here is an awesome aide for everyone dealing with a cold or flu.

6-8 oz warm water, TBL honey, sprinkle of crushed red pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

sip until well, ussually 2-6 hours.

Symptoms of flu are healthy reactions to an invasion. Do not treat the symptoms, boost your defenses and be thankful your body is healthy enough to recognize and engage the enemy.

Peppermint oil – Now available for a limited time!

Peppermint oil – the natural Healer

A perfect Stocking stuffer for only $10.00!!

Headaches

Peppermint may ease headaches and migraines. Apply a rub to temple area in circular motion and across the forehead. For migraines, wet hair and put 4-5 drops into your hand and massage into the scalp.

Sinus Problems
Peppermint is very useful in reducing sinus congestion when added to a bowl of steaming or boiling water. A rub may be applied to chest, back of neck area, and behind ears. A few drops of oil in a vaporizer at night will help ease congestion as well.

Digestive System
Peppermint oil can help relax the muscles of the digestive tract to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. One drop of peppermint oil on a sugar cube or used in tea may help relieve intestinal cramps.

Body Muscles & Arthritis
Peppermint oil is soothing to sore muscles when added to a hot bath or massage oil. Use this to soothe arthritis pain. Mix 4-5 drops of oil into 1 ounce of lotion and/or massage carrier oil.

Feet
Applied full strength, or mixed with a carrier oil, peppermint oil may relieve swollen feet and may reduce and assist in healing blisters, cuts, or athlete’s foot by killing bacteria.

Women Only
Relieve menstrual or abdominal cramps, add 1-2 drops of peppermint oil on a sugar cube or into an 8 ounce glass of water and drink. A toothpick dipped in oil works great for tea or water. Also helps to relieve Hot Flashes!

Flu Season?
For a sore throat, sparingly dip a cotton swab into mint oil and carefully apply to the back of the tongue area.

Relieve congestion by rubbing a few drops of peppermint oil on chest & covering with warm compress.

Add a few drops of mint oil to the water of a humidifier or vaporizer to keep it smelling fresh and kill germs.

Peppermint Oil is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal!

Strep Throut

Dr. Drumright,
My name is ___________.  I am a friend of ___________________.  She asked me to email you and let you know what I am experiencing and see what you would recommend that I do.  I was diagnosed with Strep Throat on Monday night.  The doctor prescribed me an antiobiotic and gave me some lidocaine for my throat.  I have been running a fever since Monday.  My tonsils are covered with white spots.  My throat is very sore to swallow.  The outside of my neck is very tender all the way down my neck from where my glands are.  If there is anything homeopathic that I can do I would be grateful to know.
I appreciate your time,
____________________
I assume your doctor performed a swab culture to get the diagnosis of strep throught.  Is this true?
( Because strep responds to a special group of antibiotics)
Beyond that, the lydocaine simply numbs the area which will also decrease the activity of the immune cells leading to a reduced response to the infection.  A much better more effective topical application is supertonic.
Gargle with warm salt water
Stop eating sugar until the infection subsides.
As soon as you are done with the strep specific antibiotics, immediately begin taking a quality probiotic formula.
Thanks for the question,
DrD

Acupuncture defined

Acupuncture

The above link takes you to the Acupuncture introduction page on www.harmonyhealth.com.  From there you will be able to navigate through over 40 pages of detailed information regarding this facinating procedure.  I have had several people asking for information about acupuncture so I wrote the following brief discription and posted it on my website.

A Chinese medical treatment based on the understanding that living bodies pulse and flow with an energy that is beyond the limited spectrum of the human eye similar to microwaves, or radiowaves.  Further, ALL diseases of the body begin with a disruption of this energy field that if left uncorrected will manifest as an ailment of the physical body.  After thousands of years of research a modern acupuncturist understands and uses a complex map of this energy field and by stimulating specific points, he can alleviate stagnation, and realign this energy field which will very shortly manifest as a decrease in pain and restoration of function in the bodies tissues.  Acupuncture is commonly used to control pain and to treat other conditions such as allergies, hypertension or addiction withdrawal. Acupuncture is one component of an overall program of Chinese medicine that is very similar to the modern wellness movement happening in America today.  

DrD

Exercise reduces the risk of catching a cold

according to a recent study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,  which investigated the number of common colds in more than 500 people of varying activity levels. For one year, researchers tracked these individuals for the number of upper-respiratory tract infections and total levels of activity.

Findings revealed the most active individuals in the study suffered an average of 23% fewer colds per year than the least active people. In the fall, the difference was the most noticeable, with 32% less risk for a cold in the most active group. Forty percent of all colds in this study were reported in the fall.

Regular physical activity is an important part of keeping your immune system strong.  You can further improve your resistence by making sure you get as much sun as possible, drink plenty of clear water, get 6 hours of sleep nightly, and smile!