Thursday, September 15, 2005

Scientific Urban Legends

When I was a child, my mother religiously took me to the doctor when I was sick with a bad cold. Even up to my early 20's, when I was able to go myself this was the case. The doctor visit was always the same. Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and a prescription for antibiotics. It was always something-icilin or something-cycline. Thirty pills, three per day for ten days. Don't stop taking them early, even if your symptoms disappear.

Well when I finally got a life of my own with my own responsibilities, I didn't always go to the doctor. But it was when I didn't go to get treated that I noticed that not going resulted in the same recovery time as if I did go. There was no difference. It wasn't too long before I resigned myself to thinking the visit was useless. One time, my mother talked me into going (I did so just to humor her) and I'll never forget it. I was checked out by the doctor, and the usual advice was given regarding fluids and rest. But one thing was missing. In fact, I had to ask for a prescription for antibiotics. "Aren't you going to give me antibiotics?" "Why?", the doctor asked. "Antibiotics don't work against a virus." This answer puzzled me greatly.

Well it wasn't too long before it was common knowledge that antibiotics won't work against the flu or common cold. In fact, stories came out that concluded that doctors had over-prescribed the drugs to the point that now we have horrible drug resistant strains of disease. In fact, the med center of which I am a member has a sign posted in its pharmacy declaring that antibiotics don't work against a virus.

So, for decades, the number one treatment for the number one ailment was a hoax all along. How many billions were made as a result of gross misinformation? Now I hear that the scientists have changed the food pyramid promoted by the government. This is an admission that it was wrong all along. The food pyramid? That's what we eat three times a day, every day!

What else can't we trust these "experts" for? It'll be interesting to hear what they think 20 years from now.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home