A Sober Look At Pills

I’m old enough to remember a time when the only pill that lived in our house was aspirin. The little glass bottle easily lasted our family at least a year and was only used when we had a cold or flu (usually only once a year.) Then along came WWII and multivitamins and all of a sudden we were all taking vitamin pills daily. When my children came along, sodium fluoride was added, squirted in their orange juice daily.

 Gradually, more pills were added and I was shocked to visit older relatives who carried their plastic medi-minders with them everywhere. Each compartment looked like a little May basket full of different colored and shaped goodies. Today, whadayaknow, I’ve got a little one myself. 

Now, we seem to be coming full circle as these pills are being questioned, one by one. John Ioannidis, a prominent Greek medical researcher, concludes that most of today’s claims and studies are misleading or flat-out wrong, according to the Atlantic Magazine’s David Freedman (Nov. 2010). Not only that, Ioannidis’s research (pills, tests, procedures, etc.) is generally respected by the medical community. He claims that 90% of the published medical information doctors depend on is suspect. 

This puts our health providers in a double bind. Medicine and treatments they prescribe, based on the latest research, may or may not help us but it keeps them out of trouble with insurance and lawsuits.

 Maybe, it’s just time to step up to the plate and decide what we can do to hit a homer for health based on all that other stuff we haven’t told our providers, but which we can see for ourselves. Time to train with the simple stuff: walking or regularly moving whatever still moves in our bodies, drinking plenty of tap water, keeping up with friends and family, throwing ourselves wholeheartedly into a cause that helps us all (like Bury Northern Pass), and all the while, consciously eating foods that give us sustained energy and leave us well satisfied.

 It’s time to decomplicate and get on an even keel. Who knows, we might just wake up, shape up, need few pills, and confidently claim robust health.

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