Which would you take?

Last Sunday, Pat and I visited our favorite club for a round of sporting clays. The weather was beyond beautiful. We met our shooting friends George, Paul, and John in the parking lot. As we were unloading our gear, George pulled a small box from the cab of his truck and handed it to Paul, who is a “medical doctor”. George said that his girlfriend’s father used the product to relieve nausea, but he wanted to know if it was safe. It seemed to be only a sugar pill. Paul took a look at the ingredients and shrugged. Yes, it contained sucrose and sodium citrate, neither of which were drugs he recognized as being useful for nausea.

I took a look and reported that both sucrose and sodium citrate have long been used for nausea and that we have actually made anti-nausea lozenges with just those ingredients in our pharmacy lab. They work and there are no side effects – mainly because the user is replenishing both sugar and electrolytes that are out of balance for one reason or another. I likened the pills to a solid form of Gatorade. It was not just a simple sugar pill.

Replenishing an imbalanced nutrient is far different from using a drug to override or dampen a common physiologic response. It is the same difference that’s in place when a person uses supplements to treat illness instead of drugs. Restoring the body to a healthy balance is superior to other methods, but is often ignored in favor of the favored three; drugs, surgery and radiation.

We are what we eat, yet we generally aren’t afraid to put potent drugs and chemicals into our bodies. Why would a person chose fluoxetine (Prozac) instead of vitamin B3 (an important, natural B vitamin)? Why would someone else agree to receiving doses of poisons to treat cancer instead of intravenous vitamin C (an essential vitamin that has chemotherapeutic action in its own right)? Because most of us are under the influence of a health system that remains ignorant of the real facts about health, a system that only profits when there is illness.

Drugs, surgery, and radiation are actually the alternatives to health. We should all go back to our roots and eat better, avoid toxins, drink clean water, and do a modest amount of exercise each week. That is true traditional health care – bring vigilant and careful about what we put into our bodies.

Paul, by the way, said that he prefers ondansetron (Zofran) after surgery. I’m not surprised, though. Paul’s a doctor. He was trained to use drugs.