Monday, August 06, 2007

Medicinal Truth

Truth is stranger than fiction.

It really is, especially in the world of health and drugs and medicines.

Just yesterday, I read that brushing your teeth twice daily can reduce your risk of acquiring heart disease. Fancy that. How can this be? ....

Well, it turns out that by brushing your 'pearly whites', there will be less bacteria in your gums (makes sense), which in turn will lead to less bacteria inflammation throughout the body, including in your arterial blood vessel (a little far fetched for me), hence reducing your chance of a stroke or heart attack. And yeah, to make it more convincing, it can also reduce your chance of miscarriage and premature birth. So there.

Should you believe it? Well personally, I don't see the harm of believing it, coz its good to have good oral hygiene. Besides, the article is in the New England Journal of Medicine, which is like the 'Vogue' of Medicines. In simple terms, it is in one of the most prestigious Medical magazine.

After studying so much on drugs and medicines, I am now a firm believer that it is best to keep off drug when you're sick (See Hua will be glad to hear that), coz there's just too many side effects and you body defense system is the best medicine anyway. Okay this is so bad for my future business but you didn't hear me wrong.. the body work wonders. But yes, there's a catch: you must believe in it.

That may be the best explaination why someone who is not taking medication for being HIV positive outlive someone who had (I read it on yet another article). She believed in her body. Oh yes, you also need to have a healthy lifestyle, especially eating a balance diet and exercise regularly. Coz that's how the body maintain its defense system.

So yeah, believe in yourself. There's not magic bullet in medicines.

Now I see the ingenuity of Homeopathy.

At last I wrote something related to my future profession. =)


youngyew said...

Ah Phiaw, I beg to differ on avoiding drugs as much as we could. I am not saying this just because I won't be earning a single cent from drugs, but I feel that anecdotal evidences from a person's fortunate natural history should not be generalised into a statement of "yeah as long as you believe in your own body, it will be even better than drugs". For that particular lady, it might have worked; but for say 90% of all AIDS patients, you will still have a better prognosis with a good treatment. Tons of data and studies on thousands of people support this conclusion.

I believe that it's fine if we avoid drugs if it's just a minor illness; but when it comes to major illness, we shouldn't be swayed by anecdotal evidences. Yes there are always 1% of miracles, but the 99% others who tried the "miraculous formula" might have been better off with the good ol' medicine.

I am not saying that a panadol a day is the best policy; I just hope that we look at unbiased scientific evidences from both sides before we decide upon our health decision. Our health is too precious to be experimented on.

Phiaw said...


Yeah I agree with you. Some illness do require medications. Guess I got carried away by the wonders of self believe and body immune systems and forgot to be level-headed in my writings.

Good on you to point that out to me. I am sure you will be a brilliant doc in the future. =P