Common sense is a much under-appreciated and utilised quality. The more common sense the more sensible decisions will be.
I apply common sense to all things along with research if I feel it is needed. When science said margarine was better than butter it was just so ridiculous, I laughed. When science/medicine said children should be given fluoride tablets for their teeth, it was so ridiculous I laughed.
And while I started out fairly conventionally, and recall asking a doctor friend in the late 1970’s why could people not be checked annually for any and every possible disease to protect them and she replied: ‘Because it does not work and it would not work.’
But in essence, that became the progress of modern medicine and within a few years, with a great deal more common sensible pondering, and actually having spent a few years writing an internal newsletter for a major Perth hospital, I came to the conclusion that modern medicine, Allopathic, was brilliant at mechanical things, like surgery and trauma, although it would and will be better combining them with other methodologies like Homeopathy and Acupuncture, but it was often flawed on other accounts.
And one thing which never made sense were the numerous checkups for generic illness in generic human beings as a process through the material and the mechanical. I went along with some of them for a few years, women being more pressured, read subjected to more fear-mongering than men, and then thought, no, this really does not make sense and I felt it did more harm than good.
Now, if you are the sort of person who actively feels better having every test under the sun and happily take on the risks associated with each process because it gives you peace of mind, then go for it. But if such tests make you anxious and provide no peace of mind and the risks are of concern, then consider going ‘cold turkey’ and giving them up until you feel, think, or have reasons which make you decide that investigation is necessary or wise.
Every action has an effect and never more so than with invasive testing which involve all sorts of drugs and tinkering which will shock your body, at various levels, to lesser and greater degrees. If you opt for less is more and you have a doctor trying to terrify you into submission, and some do, as much as anything because they believe in what they are doing – after all they must – and because if you don’t do as you are told and you get sick you might sue them, then find a doctor who will support you on your choice of health path.
Because scientists and doctors do get things wrong. Often. And what is considered wise, sensible or good medical advice at this point in time may be the opposite in months or years to come. Apply common sense in healthy dose and take as needed. Because, at the end of the day, most of us instinctively know what works best for us and doctors are simply part of a system which provides some answers some of the time.
Medical testing is largely experimental and seen to be increasingly not just non-productive but counter-productive. For, here we are decades on with scientific research saying the same thing in essence, which common sense told me a long time ago. And also told a lot of my friends.
And now, here we are decades on with scientific research saying the same thing. After doing goodness knows how much harm in the meantime in the name of the extremely profitable field of fear-driven maybe medicine.
Of course it is different if you have problems or symptoms – I am talking about procedures done on, and medication prescribed for healthy people, for diseases they do not have and may never get.
Excerpt: 5. Don’t let your doctor… give you a general check-up
General health check-ups have long been popular in the US, where they may be carried out once a year. They have recently been introduced in the UK as a “midlife MOT” to be done every five years. The UK check-up is mainly focused on reducing people’s risk of heart and circulatory diseases. Doctors measure blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body mass index and give some general health advice.
Having a regular check-up sounds like common sense – the ultimate in preventative medicine – but they are surprisingly controversial among those who favour evidence-based medicine. That’s because they are a form of screening – in other words, looking for illness in people who have no symptoms. And screening has a nasty habit of doing more harm than good if it is brought in without large trials to back up its effectiveness.
The potential downsides of screening are that it can worry people unnecessarily, offer false reassurance, or trigger unneeded tests and treatments. That has been shown for other kinds of screening such as prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) testing, breast self-examination, and perhaps mammographies too.
Trials looking at the effectiveness of general health check-ups have been done and they have been overwhelmingly negative. The most recent, and one of the largest ever, looked at nearly 60,000 Danish people who were offered annual checks for five years. Five years after this period, there was no effect on heart attacks or overall death rates.
“The first thing we know about all screening is that it causes harms,” says Peter Gøtzsche, who heads the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Copenhagen, Denmark. “Sometimes the benefits are bigger than the harms, and sometimes they’re not.”