Re: Is Medicine Healthy?

Joe Jenkins (
Tue, 6 Apr 1999 10:23:01 -0700 (PDT)

> The question here is about the marginal health consequences of medicine,
> *averaging* over all the things medicine does. Some things may help,
> but
> when averaged in with other things that hurt, the average could be zip.

It would be interesting if you could isolate the profit incentive part of this problem. Not that profit incentive is bad, but it would emphasize the buyer beware part of medicine. I expect that most skeptic extropians are able to pick and choose medical advice enough to result in very different statistics. But these are very surprising statistics for sheeple.

I'm 40 and have seen a doctor only a handful of times in my life. I've never had a physical exam. My time has come now though, the last four times I've checked my blood pressure, it been pretty high and I've been suffering from sleep apnea which probably is the cause of the high blood pressure. So now I'm faced with the need to research the following:

  1. What kinds of test should I request that are sometimes not given routinely - e.g. early detection of cancer?
  2. Whats the likely medicine to be prescribed to lower blood pressure and is it often mis-prescribed.
  3. In my case, If I weigh more than 165 lbs., I have sleep apnea, under 165 lbs., I do not. Right now I'm at 178 lbs. I have to find a short-term solution until I can loose the weight. Many times, I find myself afraid to go back to sleep at night. I anticipate that the doctor will want to go the surgical route and he'll probably dismiss my weight theory as bullshit although I'm absolutely certain of it. Believe me, I've YO-YOed enough to know. My weight gain simply occurs mostly in my face and throat. So I'm thinking maybe I should counter his recommendation for surgery with a request for the apnea machine.

These kinds of things have to be considered and planned ahead of time to make effective use of medicine. I see that now more than ever. I'd appreciate any advice about my specifics or even appropriate URL's. I think it to be on-topic for us to discuss how to make use of medicine to *effectively* extend life.

Joe Jenkins

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