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"Blood work" medical voodoo.

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  • "Blood work" medical voodoo.

    Again and again I come across people talking about Blood Work. "I had these measurements, I had those measurements", 170/20 HDL, XDL. etc.

    This is obviously all bogus. Does anybody really know what any of this actually means? I guess the composition of your blood is important if you have leukaemia, but seeing as all these people are putatively healthy it can't possibly be relevant. The body is a self-regulating mechanism. As long as you are eating a natural diet full of good animal fats, meat and green veg, with the occasional bit of fruit for a treat and feast-day-only butter-overloaded pasta celebration (i.e. pretty bloody rarely), you are going to be fine, and even if you are not it won't show by doing an expensive analysis on your blood. The idea of trying to micromanage particular aspects of your blood composition is ludicrous.

    It is like blood pressure. People die from low blood pressure, not high blood pressure. Your heart needs to pump with a certain force to keep the blood flowing. If the pressure is up you can be sure you need it. Any medical intervention will more likely kill you than anything else.

    A doctor has a certain model, and a certain set of incentives. You being ill is his business. Medical knowledge is not as advanced as everyone seems to think. They are good at setting broken legs. They have got good at opening you up and you surviving, a 20th century advance. The rest is obviously utter quackery.

  • #2
    As a physician assistant student, I get exactly what you are saying. I see people who are not really sick being over-treated on a daily basis.

    That said, high blood pressure, while there for a reason, can cause blindness, kidney disease, etc. So, if you have a patient who will not use lifestyle factors to control his blood pressure, what do you do? Not treat it? That can lead to the patient losing kidney function which can lead to dialysis and death. Can a doctor stand by and watch that happen? No, he or she has to do the best with what they have available -- usually they recommend exercise and the DASH diet first. But then they use meds. Because patients are fracking lazy and won't change their lives.

    On the other hand, we have statins which are WAYYYYYYYY overprescribed. It drives me up a wall that diabetics are supposed to have LDL under 100 (some docs say 70!!!) or be put on a statin. That is way too much intervention. So, people are given a statin, get myalgias and fatigue, then their diabetes get worse because they have no energy to do anything.

    I am a big fan of a natural approach. That is the newer way. Most of my preceptors recommend things like omega-3 above statins when they can (high triglycerides/low HDL) or melatonin above ambien. Probiotics and Vitamin D as a prophylaxis. That is progress. So, as a breed, providers are getting better. But some things (lipids and statins) simply won't die!


    • #3
      I guess that I mean is that I expect their blood pressure is high for a reason, and even though there may be other consequences, and it is probably better to with them instead of taking medical measures to induce low blood pressure against the body's self-regulating desires. I would have thought that would be much more risky. Also, what you describe as consequences of high blood pressure sound like consequences of high blood sugar to me - kidney damage and blindness. I know both of those are associated with diabetes.