An iatrogenic illness is something you will never catch. You won't come down with iatrogenesis just because you are getting old. Iatrogenic illnesses or even iatrogenic deaths are those classed as being caused by errors of the medical system.
A group of U.S. researchers recently reviewed the literature and came to some surprising conclusions. The following information is summarized from their study which was titled "Death by Medicine."
The researchers found that iatrogenic illnesses are very common and iatrogenic deaths were actually found to be the leading cause of death in the U.S. The study gave numbers (annual) like this:
- 2.2 million in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs
- 20 million unnecessary antibiotics prescribed for viral infections
- 7.5 million unnecessary medical and surgical procedures
- 8.9 million unnecessary hospitalizations
- 783,936 deaths caused by conventional medicine
While I can't say don't visit your doctor or don't seek medical help when needed, you should do what you can to avoid them. That simply amounts to doing all you can to stay healthy and avoid illness and pain and the risks of being involved with the medical system. Not saying that your doctor is evil or something but isn't that the reasonable thing to be doing anyway? - to do all you can to have the best health?
However, it is a little disturbing that all of these adverse effects caused by mistakes, inappropriate medications etc happen while drug companies and medical systems are making it harder to get access to natural remedies and are even speaking against the idea that healthy lifestyle is good medicine. This makes me more than a little suspicious.
Here are death rates (U.S. annual) related to iatrogenic illness compared to other leading causes of death:
- 783,936 iatrogenic deaths
- 699,697 heart disease (in 2001)
- 553,251 cancer (in 2001)
So the leading cause of death comes from a system that theoretically is there to help people stay healthy! The total for iatrogenic deaths over 10 years would be approximately 7.8 million which is more than all the US war casualties for its entire history. The study also showed that, over a period of 10 years, more than half the total US population receives unneeded medical treatment. These figures are based on well-documented incidents. Estimates of rates of reporting of mistakes resulting in iatrogenic illness or death suggest that the figures could be much higher.
The problem is that the medical system is focusing largely on pharmaceuticals rather than dealing with issues that are closer to the root of the problem such as:
- diets that are very poor and with excessive calories
- exercise in very insufficient amounts
- foods that are highly-processed and denatured
- soils in a poor state due to over-farming
- stress and its adverse effects
- toxins by the thousands
Rather than dealing with these disease-causing factors, the system is generally just treating symptoms (the band-aid approach). If the cause of illness would be determined and corrected there would be a lot less pain and suffering.
Many more details can be found on the prevalence and risks of iatrogenic illness by going to the original study which you can read about here.
My purpose, in what I have included here, is just to draw your attention to the problem. I would encourage you to take advantage of the lifestyle approach presented on this website. By visiting the 10 natural "doctors" and following their healthy lifestyle advice you may be able to avoid or put off visiting the medical system and reduce your risk of an iatrogenic illness or worse.
Take more responsibility for your own health especially for living a healthy lifestyle in the first place and you may be able to avoid the need of medical attention and the risks that go with it.
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