Feeling better versus getting better
The other day I was watching TV and one of those pharmaceutical ads came on — you know, the one where they show people frolicking through a meadow one moment, playing basketball and then dancing the next. All the while in the background you hear music and a voice talking about all of the horrible side effects of taking the drug.
This particular ad was for a drug called Humira. The drug is supposed to reduce the signs and symptoms of psoriasis and arthritis. Notice the words "signs and symptoms" used and the word "cure" missing?
Remember that pharmaceutical companies are in business to sell more products — the last thing they want to do is cure us. Ideally, they want us on a daily regimen of popping pills to "feel" better rather than "get" better while gleefully emptying our wallets. To prove this point, just look around our community and observe how many pharmacies we have — almost as many as there are fast food restaurants. Coincidence?
Getting better reduces sales; feeling better increases sales. I would argue that we have become a culture of "make me feel better at all costs" rather than looking at what is really causing us discomfort or making us sick — getting to the root of our discomfort.
Here are some of the unbelievable side effects listed at Humira's website: "Serious infections ... (including) tuberculosis and infections caused by viruses, fungi or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Some people have died from these infections. Humira may increase the chance of getting lymphoma, including a rare kind, or other cancers.
"Humira can cause serious side effects including hepatitis B infection in carriers of the virus, allergic reactions, nervous system problems, blood problems, heart failure, certain immune reactions including a lupus-like syndrome, liver problems, and new or worsening psoriasis," the site says.
So the drug that is supposed to treat psoriasis can actually cause new psoriasis or make existing psoriasis worse? And if that isn't bad enough, it can cause heart failure, too? Humira is just one example of many pharmaceuticals out there that can have harmful side effects but is there to soothe rather than cure us. It makes me wonder why these drugs are approved for sale by the FDA.
This got me thinking: What if the food we purchased came with similar warnings? Would we think differently, or would we turn the other cheek and ignore the truth about what is really in our food?
Do we really want to be putting something with the potential to cause us this much harm in our one precious body? I would suggest that we look at what could be causing the issues we are suffering from rather than just treating the symptoms.
Let's cure ourselves so we can get off of the meds and start "getting" better, which will ultimately make us "feel" better in the long run.
Kevin Cotter is managing general partner at locally owned New Earth Market in Yuba City.