confusion

  1. Feds finally own up to statin risks

    Not long ago, those of us who pointed out that cholesterol meds can actually cause diabetes and other serious health problems were dismissed as alarmists.

    Statins, we were told, are so safe they should be given to practically everyone – with some "experts" even pushing to give them out with every Big Mac. (That might sound like something I made up for an easy laugh – but believe it or not, it's actually true.)

    Well, maybe now the push to give everyone statins will start to slow a bit: The FDA has finally admitted that all those side effects the drug industry and its paid--for experts once brushed off are actually very real.

    And now, they want the labels of these meds changed to reflect the increased risk of diabetes, confusion, memory loss, and serious muscle pain.

    The feds say those side effects can hit anyone at anytime. They can strike after a single day on these meds...or they can come on after years of taking them without incident.

    And they can happen to everyone across all age groups.

    So who's the alarmist now?

    Of course, I can't help but find it a little suspicious that this warning comes only after every Big Pharma statin except for one – Crestor – lost its patent protection, with Lipitor going generic just a few months ago.

    It's almost as if the feds were giving their drug company friends a chance to maximize profits before issuing the same warning those of us in natural health delivered years ago.

    But even worse than the risks and the delayed warning is the fact that no one ever needed these meds in the first place.

    In many cases, people taking statins don't even have a cholesterol problem since mainstream LDL targets are set unrealistically low. And even when cholesterol does shoot up to high levels, taking a drug to "cure" it is akin to Homer Simpson putting a piece of tape over the "check engine" light on his car.

    Super high cholesterol is a warning that something's wrong – and lowering it without fixing the underlying issue won't make you healthier any more than that piece of tape will fix Homer's engine.

    If your own levels start climbing too high for comfort, work on lifestyle changes first. Cutting out sugars and sticking to fresh foods will almost always bring cholesterol to where it needs to be.

    If they're still high, don't visit a statin-slinging mainstream doc. Visit a naturopathic physician who can find and fix the real cause without meds.

    And for one easy way to lower your cholesterol naturally, keep reading.

  2. Parkinson's outrage: Meds don't work

    Parkinson's patients will tell you the worst part of the disease isn't always the infamous shakes that mark the condition.

    As bad as those are, there's something that can be even worse: Losing your grip on reality to the hallucinations, confusion, and delusional thinking that often come along for the ride.

    It's a frightening form of psychosis that strikes up to 60 percent of all Parkinson's patients -- and it's almost always caused by Parkinson's drugs.

    But instead of lowering the dose or changing the med, docs often prescribe powerful antipsychotic drugs -- and a new study shows that a full 98 percent of those meds don't even work.

    These are drugs with literally no clinical evidence of effectiveness, period -- and some of them are even known to make the Parkinson's symptoms worse.

    Researchers looked at the records of 2,500 patients given meds for Parkinson's psychosis at VA hospitals in 2008 and
    found that half of them were prescribed quetiapine, also known as Seroquel.

    That's the schizophrenia med given off-label for everything from insomnia to dementia -- often with disastrous results.

    There's no evidence it works for any of those off-label conditions -- and there are no less than four studies that show it does nothing for Parkinson's psychosis. But some of Big Pharma's favorite docs won't let a little science stand in their way -- they're using the drug anyway.

    One doctor not involved in the study told Reuters Health that even though there's no evidence behind Seroquel, many
    docs have had at least some anecdotal success using it... so they'll ignore the research and keep right on dishing it out.

    And even the author of the study in the Archives of Neurology admits to prescribing it -- and says he plans to continue to do so.

    Imagine the uproar if an alternative health doc announced his insistence on using treatments scientifically proven not to work. Heck, the feds would probably shut the guy down for quackery -- but somehow, mainstream docs get a free pass.

    And believe it or not, Seroquel sounds downright reasonable compared to some of the other meds given for Parkinson's psychosis.

    The researchers say a combined 28 percent of prescriptions were for either risperidone (Risperdal) or olanzapine(Olanzipine) -- two drugs that not only do nothing for the psychosis... they're actually known to make the Parkinson's disease worse.

    That's not just inexcusable -- that's malpractice.

    Parkinson's patients often don't have many options for the disease itself -- but a new study finds real promise in traditional Chinese medicine.

  3. How not to quit smoking

    A long list of risks just got even longer: The feds now say the anti-smoking drug Chantix can boost the odds of a heart attack.

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