Sunday, August 20, 2006

Gov't reveals that life itself is eventually fatal

The following is a post I wrote for The Medical Blog Network. If you are interested in things medical, I suggest you visit that site.

Yes, in a government report, people with porphyria who go to bed too late after drinking fluoridated water are going to die. Yes, that is right. All of them.

If I wasn't a doctor, I would think that the most dangerous thing we can do is to be alive. We hear scare stories about just about everything and it makes me very frustrated. Too much sun is dangerous, but not enough will give you rickets. Being married makes you live longer, but marriage is a huge source of stress. Drink water, eat meat, eat vegetables sprayed with dangerous chemicals, drink milk with hormones. All of these will make you die. You will die, yes you will.

So what are we to do with all of this information? It certainly is a danger in the Blogosphere, that any report gets posted as if it is the definitive authority on the subject. People get confused when they hear on the evening news how great Statin drugs are, but then hear that they can "kill your liver." I know that the blogosphere will police itself, but in its wake will be a bunch of confusion.

So here is my advice: don't believe it because it is written somewhere. Don't believe it if a TV anchorman says it. Don't even believe it if you hear it from your doctor. Things like this will either gain evidence or fade in the background. Remember when eggs were dangerous because of all their cholesterol? Now we have learned that the danger is not from eating cholesterol, but saturated fats. Just wait. Don't jump on any bandwagon too soon. To be reliable, something has to have multiple sources saying the same thing. There must be independent studies showing that something is true. Even then, it can turn out to be wrong (as was the case with post-menopausal hormones). Just don't get to riled up about things. Keep cool, and if it goes against the grain, be very careful. Honest, we doctors ARE NOT part of some grand fluoride, Zyprexa, porphyria conspiracy. Nobody is pressuring me to say the things I do. I really think and decide just like the rest of you EVEN THOUGH I AM PART OF THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY.

Just remember, we all die someday. I don't advocate speeding the process up, but I also think that life is too short to spend it worried that you are somehow unknowingly causing great harm to yourself by doing normal things. If that is the case, then we all go down together. Chances are, though, that there is a reason the fringe people are on the fringe.

Of course, if you REALLY want to know what is true, you can always buy Soapware!

The Soapware reference is an inside joke from the TMBN blog. Some Soapware enthusiasts sent a ton of comments to the blog about their medical software. It kind of got obnoxious.