Have you ever found opposing studies or medical articles confusing?
Well you’re not alone!
This post is designed to give you the opportunity to literally lift your scientific understanding maybe more than a notch. It is meant to give you the opportunity to shift your perspective and ability to discern between a sales pitch, and what is so.
It is the exact understanding I use to discriminate between which reports, statistics, studies, and theories are either legit, or a promotion. This distinction can give the ability to discern which information can make a real difference in health even to the potential of saving a life, or a theory which has little to no value and changes with popularity. It is literally the distinction between rationalization and empiricism in regards to science. It is also the very foundation of why I have learned to love and trust natural therapies such as homeopathy.
How does this affect our lives today?
I recently read an article about a certain class of drugs commonly used. These drugs have been found to have a very significant increase in the cause of dementia. They also hold a wide range of action from simple over the counter antihistamines (such as Benadryl), sleep-aids, tricyclic antidepressants, and drugs used even for overactive bladder. Many people use these drugs commonly to manage their symptoms. Quite a few are available without prescription, OTC. Their damage is related to the cumulative total exposure of the drugs over time.
The study found the damaging cognitive and reactivity changes caused by these class of drugs irreversible even after years of discontinuation of the drugs.
This discovery is shocking and is completely opposite of what was believed for all the years these drugs have been in use!
I read the original version on WebMD but you need an account and to log in. Here is a lighter version more accessible to you ”Widely Used Drugs Tied to Greater Dementia Risk for Seniors.”
The information in the article is profoundly worrying just in itself, but not what grabbed my attention. The disclaimer is what made me pause. Normally I love disclaimers. This disclaimer was startling and became my key focus throwing up an incredible red flag for me. This disclaimer is a great example of where science disappears from our medicine.
I would like to mention how I look at things differently than a person who is not trained at viewing medical or scientific articles. Disclaimers are important. I would also like to mention that I have been forced to look at things very differently then one who is trained at believing medical or scientific studies, and especially related articles as if they are science. Scientific dogma is the death of science. I search for empirical facts only and root-out the rest.
To be clear, the version of the article was re-edited recently to say the study could not prove cause and effect. (No single study should ever be relied upon to do so.) However, the original version said the study was based on empirical data and therefore was inconclusive and could not prove cause and effect. Here’s the scary part to me, and what threw up the red flag.
How would you prove cause and effect if not based on the empirical data?
A good study is constructed to be solely based on empirical data without prejudice.
What kind of data would science recognize for absolutely proving the cause and effect if not empirical?
All non-empirical data is a story and made up!
Here we begin:
In reality there is only two types of data. On the one hand, you have empirical data which is just what is observed without a story. On the other, you have data which is rationalized. Rationalized data is not real. Rationalized data may tell a story of why the empirical data is observed, or should be observed. One is actual data. The other is a story, theory, model, or hypothesis about the data and these rationalizations change like the wind.
Again the question becomes, how do you prove cause and effect if it is not the empirical data which determines this?
In reality it’s not possible, but in practice it is done by rationalization and expert agreement.
What is rationalization? Someone has to make up a story which explains it.
What is expert agreement? Experts that believe, or have a stake in the rationalization and band together to support the rationalization.
Currently, I’m sorry to say, rationalization and expert agreement is a great majority of what is considered to be the heart of medical science.
As an example:
Have you ever wondered who makes up the stories of why drugs work on TV?
How about this one, “Depression is a chemical imbalance.”
Really? Who made that statement conclusive? I don’t remember those studies or the exact empirical data which proves it. Do you? I have more than a few questions before swallowing it which need to be answered by someone. Such as; what causes the chemical imbalance in the first place? Quite simply, wouldn’t what causes the chemical imbalance be the real originating cause? Is one person’s chemical imbalance exactly the same as another’s? Who exactly studied every human being in the world to prove this, or at least the majority to even hypothesize it? If they did, what parameters did they use to find these results? I don’t remember any of these being discussed with any of us before the commercials proclaimed it as true. So, the answer is (no one).
Really, (no one) did all the foot work to answer all these questions. It’s not possible. However, someone, created a really good story and sold a lot of medications, and some of these medications may make a difference, but it’s not because they handle an inherent chemical imbalance. That is a sales pitch, theory, expert opinion mostly paid for, and in reality a fabricated (story).
In reality, a broken leg could be considered a chemical imbalance because the calcium phosphate in the periosteum is not located where it should be. Now how useful would that be? A condition of the situation does not make it the cause, nor a reason to utilize a medication. These sales pitches blasted across our media inform the public to believe this is the best science of today. It is non-science. It is just nonsense. Many doctors believe the commercials as if they are science as well. They base their reasons to prescribe these medications on the fabrications and rationalizations. These commercials are highly effective in selling, but complete and harmful non-science.
(Believing non-science about anti-depressants has caused them to be utilized on children with little to no affect except causing suicide according to European studies. In adults we have seen an increase in homicide from the very beginning, and it looks like the in-between child and adult ages may be susceptible to doing both homicide then suicide. Believing a drug can balance a chemical imbalance in the brain has quite a toll. It needs to end!)
Why do companies create stories instead of giving straight data for doctors and us?
If there is no mechanism of action (story) for why a drug works then a company has no way to sell it. This may be hard to believe, but it is as simple as that. Pharmaceutical companies first sell the concept of why the drug works (story) and tout it as the most important and new discovery while rallying experts to believe and further enhance the story and sell it to doctors. They create expert rationalization first.
Afterwards it is sold to the public with a little less technical description to make you feel like there is more to the story through the media, and they neatly let you know only your doctor and advance science can really understand all of it. (Mystique and expert classification is very important for the overall sales technique to be effective) Selling the public through media also puts pressure on your doctors to learn and utilize the new products. As an aside, if I suffered from depression I would wish to believe them as well. It is all consuming and miserable to be depressed.
Add FEAR of harm into this sales technique and pretty much it is a done deal. You are sold by rationalization and what is worse, so is your doctor.
In my opinion we cannot blame anyone for these practices even the drug companies. People only feel safe when they have a why (answer) when suffering. Name it and it feels known and there is something specific to do about it. If it has no name it is torture and we don’t know, why, or how it got there, or what to do about it. Without the why answer, we feel scared we and vulnerable to endless suffering. It is a natural process to search for the why as an answer…
However, I wish to assert rationalization and the need for why, limits our intelligence, prevents a profound understanding of the world, and actually prevents our therapies from being based on empirical science. When therapies are not based on empirical science they can only be based on rationalization which has been shown to make them extremely dangerous.
Furthermore, answering why and pretending it is the ultimate truth (answer) can actually prevent us from finding a better solution.
I most wish to assert that answering, “Why?” which we desperately crave to do, is the exact pitfall which profoundly removes any potential for science at all. We don’t need the story about a chemical imbalance in our brain to understand straight data of what is useful or not. We can be more careful when the straight data suggests there is danger ahead with using a medication.
Concerning scientific data,”why” is useful as an inquiry and never as an answer!
Right now concerning the anticholinergic medications originally mentioned in the beginning of this post, I want to know a lot of why…
Why are these drugs still being utilized as heavily as before?
Why are we not erring on the side of safety with labeling instead of waiting for some scientific agreement later?
Why is there not a huge uprising of people demanding warnings be put on Benadryl and these other medications just warning about their potential irreversible harm?
Why is empirical knowledge not considered the ultimate data to utilize when considering usefulness and ultimate harm as that article originally suggested?
Why as a society do we allow fictitious stories to rule our medicine and sales of medicine?
What happened to “first do no harm?!”
You, as the reader, are now equipped with a basic ability to distinguish between empirical data and expert rationalization. You are also furnished with an understanding about the cost of ignoring empirical data and the danger of relying on expert rationalizations. The following video gives further tips on understanding the manipulation of our media and great tips to discern the truth for yourself.
What will you chose to lead you in your health decisions?
You may further learn how to distinguish empirical science vs rationalization in the blog article entitled “Empirical Science VS Rationalization, Are We Able to Survive This Health Crisis?”