I left off my last post promising an example that illustrated the difference between achieving good health and merely relieving symptoms. Consider the sale of over-the-counter headache drugs. These may get rid of yours symptoms, but you are still a person with headaches or prone to headaches. Big Pharma has strong incentives for seeing such drugs as the solution for health. There are many followers of that vision.

As cited on Chiro One Wellness Center’s website (http://www.chiroone.net), “In the United States alone, 50 million people have frequent headaches that result in 157 million lost work days, $50 billion in health care expenses, and $10 million in visits to doctors’ office. Most headache sufferers turn to over-the-counter drugs as their only form of relief. Americans spend an estimated $4 billion annually on over-the-counter medications for treatment of headache pain, often providing only temporary relief and causing a variety of unpleasant side effects.”

In Canada, according to Headache Network Canada, “More than 3 million women in Canada suffer from migraines, and 92% of them miss work, school or family functions as a result. Those who suffer frequent attacks lose an average of seven workweeks a year. Migraines alone cost the Canadian economy about $500 million a year.

We have a medical economy driven by a quick fix, profit-hungry industry. But of course no such industry would exist if there weren’t consumers prepared to lay down their hard earned cash for the quick fixes. Accordingly, the patients seeking our help will fall within a spectrum of “gullible consumers” and skeptics.

How doctors approach such a challenge? In future posts I’ll explore this question.

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