248. The Prescription Medication Epidemic

Transcript Of Today's Episode

Announcer: You're listening to The Doctor Is In Podcast, brought to you by martinclinic.com. During the episode the doctors share a lot of information. As awesome as the info may be it is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. It's strictly for informational purposes.

Dr. Martin : Well, good morning everyone. Another drug epidemic that we very, very few times ever talk about. I want to talk to you this morning about [00:00:30] an article that came out yesterday. I only read it yesterday. Was I shocked? No. But maybe you will be shocked.

Dr. Martin : We're all familiar with the drug epidemic. As a matter of fact, there was something in my hometown newspaper this morning that I read. I go online and just read the headlines. I'm looking, first of all, at the obituaries, making sure that I'm not in it. [00:01:00] When you're in practice for 45 years obituaries become important. I've seen thousands of patients, hundreds of thousands of patients over the years, people I know so I go back to my hometown obituary and do this Sudbury obituary. I have a PhD in obituary-ology my wife says. "You love looking at obituaries." Yes, I'm morbid to some extent. [00:01:30] But no, I'm just interested in people.

Dr. Martin : There was an article even in my local newspaper that talked about the overdose deaths due to opioids. Even in a small town in Northern Ontario, it's epidemic. I think in Sudbury last year there was over 40 deaths attributed to overdosing on opioids.

Dr. Martin : [00:02:00] In the United States I read some statistics about it, it is incredible how that opioid crisis is just massive. A lot of times people after an injury or whatever, because they're given opioids and painkillers and whatever, they get hooked on them and it can be a huge, huge, huge problems. We're all aware of that.

Dr. Martin : Maybe here's [00:02:30] one that you weren't aware of. A drug problem that we have in North America, The New York Times yesterday wrote an article about it and I flagged it and I read it and I was shocked. Maybe not shocked because I know about it, but it's shocking. Let me read you the headline and then give you a little bit of detail. "The Problem of Polypharmacy," that was the headline that caught my attention in The New York Times [00:03:00] yesterday. It says this ... listen to this; it'll shock you I think.

Dr. Martin : New York Times according to them, "People in their 60s average 15 prescription drugs a year. Among men, over 65 years old, 44% of men and 57% of women have five different prescription drugs [00:03:30] a week." They say, "It's crazy." It's crazy. In their 60s, average 15 prescription drugs a year. In their 60s, 15 prescription drugs a year. I'm not talking about Tylenol. I'm not talking about Advil. I'm talking about not over the counter ... if you take an anti-histamine or cold remedy or whatever, these [00:04:00] are prescription drugs. 15. Over 15, people in their 60s. This is an epidemic, guys. This is craziness.

Dr. Martin : Now listen, I want to put a little disclaimer so you don't come after me afterwards. "Dr. Martin is against all prescription medication." No, I'm not. I'm not against prescription medication. I'm against [00:04:30] the over prescribing of prescription medication. I want to go over that this morning because when I saw the article yesterday, I wanted to talk about it. I wanted to talk about it because I think it's important and I know to a lot of extent here this morning, I'm preaching to the choir. I'm preaching to people that are invested in their own health [00:05:00] and I'm preaching to people that by and large know more about nutrition than 99% of all physicians in North America. That's you guys. I'm proud of you guys because you're interested. You question your healthcare practitioner. You question them.

Dr. Martin : I had a lady in the office yesterday and I [00:05:30] had a little chuckle with her because she said, "Dr. Martin, can I ask you another question?" I said, "Well, you can ask me as many questions as you want. I'm here for that. I want to answer your questions." That's why we're online. We want to answer your questions. The Martin clinic staff, they better not get tired of answering questions because that's what we do. We want to answer your questions because you are invested in your own healthcare. [00:06:00] You are the ones that are invested in it and it's a great investment.

Dr. Martin : You can make a lot of investments and that's a good idea. Invest in the stock market or invest in real estate or whatever, invest in gold. But one of the greatest investments you make is the investment you make in your health care and that takes time. You don't have to have a PhD to be very, very good [00:06:30] and very questioning about your healthcare.

Dr. Martin : I want to give you at least four reasons that this epidemic is going on today.

Dr. Martin : I had a patient, and I'm not kidding you, in the last 10 days in my office that was on over 20 prescription medications. They gave me the list. You know what the first thing I said was? "No wonder you're not feeling good. I mean, half of [00:07:00] the problems you're having are due to the side effects of the over 20."

Dr. Martin : The record I ever saw in my office was probably 10 years ago, a lady come in to the office and she was on 28 different prescriptions. 28. I mean, she was a zombie. Her daughter was with her. I'll never forget. I [00:07:30] said, "Your mother's pharmacist lets her get out of the pharmacy with this many prescriptions? Are you kidding me?" I mean, that is malpractice incorporated. It's craziness.

Dr. Martin : Okay, let me give you some reasons. Here's some of the reasons we'll go over this. Rushed doctor visits. Rushed doctor visits. Do you know what's happening today?

Dr. Martin : [00:08:00] Listen, we come from a long line of healthcare practitioners. My son is fourth generation, my dad and my grandfather. Do you know what? My dad used to tell me, "Listen to the patient because they have inside information." I worked with my dad for several years. My dad was a listener. My dad invited questions.

Dr. Martin : You go to the doctor and look, you might [00:08:30] have a very good family ... I mean go down and kiss the ground when you go into their office if you've got a good family doctor that listens. I get patients tell me that their doctor doesn't even turn around when they come in. They're on the computer.

Dr. Martin : One of my daughters used to work at the walk-in clinic. "Only ask one question. You can't ask two. You can only ask one. If you're here, you're here for one [00:09:00] question." That's it. You don't get two questions and they meant it.

Dr. Martin : It shocks me even when I think about it today; rushed doctors' visits. Listen, I'm a busy guy too. I'm a busy guy. And doctors are busy I understand that. But how can you make [00:09:30] a diagnosis without listening? Remember that little video on Facebook, "Linda, Linda, listen." You should say to your doctor, "Listen, listen Linda. Listen doctor. Listen to me. I want to ask you some questions." One of the questions is they're always asking are why are you prescribing this specific medication?

Dr. Martin : I'll [00:10:00] give you an example; cholesterol medication. "Ooh doc, here's a question. Why are you trying to get my cholesterol down? What are my triglycerides? What are my levels of HDL?" The only two things that you should worry about in your limpid profile. Those are good questions. "I want to know, doc, why you're trying to lower my cholesterol? Why are you giving me that pill? [00:10:30] I want to know why." No, but seriously, why?

Dr. Martin : "I'm on a high blood pressure" ... Now listen, I don't want you to have high blood pressure, but I want you to ask your doctor if my blood pressure now is stable, can I come off this medication to see if I still need this medication? You see, it's the questions that need to be asked and answered to your satisfaction.

Dr. Martin : They [00:11:00] don't listen. It's the result of our healthcare system today. All the tea in China isn't going to pay. I think it was the Fraser Institute that came out in Canada and said that in the average home, the average home, we're paying $13,500 per average home, which is two adults and two children, for [00:11:30] our healthcare system in Canada. $13,500 a year. Nevermind what you pay extra for prescription medication.

Dr. Martin : But we're not into prevention. Okay, that's another point. That's number four. I just wanted to go over some of the reasons. Number one, hurried up doctors' visits when you're not asked a question.

Dr. Martin : [00:12:00] I often tell my senior patients and I'm a senior. Okay, raise your hand if you're a senior. I'm a senior. I asked somebody the other day, because they said seniors go first, I said, "Don't you want to look at my driver's license? Do I look like a senior even though I am?" I was just joking.

Dr. Martin : But seriously guys, I often tell my senior patients, bring your [00:12:30] daughter or bring a son or bring someone into your doctor's visit to ask questions if you're shy to do it. Because my generation, born in the 40s or 50s you know what we're like, doctor is God. "If my doctor said I need 28 medications, I guess I need [00:13:00] 28 medications." Ooh, no you don't. Half of them are for the side effects of the first half of the medications you're taking. A lot of them are just side effect medications. Nevermind the side effects they give.

Dr. Martin : But a lot of them are, "Well, you know you've got high blood pressure so you have to take this pill for the side effect of your high blood pressure medication. You got to take this pill because of your side effect of your cholesterol [00:13:30] medication," and so forth and so forth.

Dr. Martin : All I'm saying guys, listen, please, please, if you need medications, you need medication. But you don't need 28 and you don't need, what are they saying, 15 medications on average? 15 that the average person in their 60s is taking. It's absolutely incredible.

Dr. Martin : Okay, [00:14:00] so number one, hurried up. Listen, nothing wrong with you taking a notepad into your doctor's appointment. Take notes and ask questions. Prepare your questions ahead of time. Prepare your questions ahead of time. Do I still need this medication? Can I come off this medication? When can I [00:14:30] come off this medication or if ever?

Dr. Martin : Your blood pressure's good, therefore stay on it. Well, is your blood pressure good because of the med? Maybe initially. But the root of blood pressure problems isn't a lack of medication; the root of blood pressure problems is your insulin. It's your body screaming at you, "Hello, get your insulin down." That's food [00:15:00] guys. If you have high triglycerides, that's food. It's not a lack of medication. If you have low levels of HDL, which is your good cholesterol, that is food. It's not drugs. There's no drug really that will get your triglycerides down.

Dr. Martin : Well, there's a new one out on the market. I talked about it in my last video. It's a fish oil [00:15:30] that's a drug. It's not a drug at all really. It's just been [inaudible 00:15:34] by a pharmaceutical company out of Ireland and they call it a drug, but it's not a drug. It's just high DAG oil that they charge you an arm and a leg for.

Dr. Martin : I had to lady this morning that was asking about, "I'm allergic to fish oil. What should I do?" "Well then each steak." You have more Omega-3 in grass fed beef [00:16:00] than you have in fish. That's why I love steak.

Dr. Martin : When we have chicken in our house ... Rosie's funny because she'll tell the kids, "You know your dad's getting crazy in his old age because he doesn't even want chicken ever." I said, "We had chicken last month. Why are we having chicken when I can have red meat?" I know, I know. I know. I know you ladies that love chicken and salad, [00:16:30] chicken and salad. Every day I hear it. "Chicken. What do you like? What's your favorite meat? Chicken." That's a woman. Have some red meat. It's better for you. Red meat has got more Omega three than fish does.

Dr. Martin : Here we go. Rushed doctors' visits; one of the big issues today, one of the big issues today in [00:17:00] the way we have modern medicine in North America. If you have a good family doctor that will answer your questions that's what you want. And I know it's not easy to change, doc. Look, I don't want to be too negative this morning, but it drives me crazy when I read this New York Times article because it's no better in Canada than it is in the United States.

Dr. Martin : What else is driving this? Direct promotion [00:17:30] of drugs to patients. Now in Canada, the drug companies cannot advertise on TV, but we got American channels here. If you watch ABC or NBC or CBS or CNN or Fox News, whatever you watch on your cable network, you will see commercials that says, "Ask your doctor if this drug is good [00:18:00] for me." Have you seen those commercials? I'm sure you have.

Dr. Martin : I saw one the other day for Eliquis, I think it was, and that's a blood thinner. "Ask your doctor if Eliquis is good for me." Holy crap. Why do you have to ask your doctor? Your doctor should know what drugs are good for you. Why is it that you got to ask your doctor? I want you to ask questions, but you don't have to ask them ... oh, [00:18:30] I go mental because they're trying to drive ...

Dr. Martin : Aren't those commercials hilarious? I just die laughing because, "Humira ... ask your doctor if Humira is good for you." And then for the next five minutes they list off the side effects. "Oh, Humira is good. Tell your doctor if you're allergic to Humira." Well, hold on a minute. [00:19:00] How do you know if you're allergic to Humira unless you take it? Tell your doctor if you're allergic to Humira. Are you kidding me? What? You got to wait until you have an allergy to say to your doctor, "I have an allergy to Humira. Don't give it to me." Are you kidding me? That is the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life.

Dr. Martin : These commercials ... but the next five minutes, Oh, and by the way, you could die, but your arthritis will be [00:19:30] better. One of the side effects is death. I'm not kidding you. Look it up. I go mental. No wonder my blood pressure goes up when I do these programs. My wife says you get too excited. I can't help it. Direct promotion, isn't that amazing though?

Dr. Martin : There was a lady that came on yesterday and she brought a study about vitamin D. It was a negative study. [00:20:00] If you're not into the Martin Clinic Facebook group, come on it. It's a wonderful group. I love it.

Dr. Martin : A lady brought in ... I can understand. She saw this article on, you can take too much vitamin D. Brought to you by the pharmaceutical industry. "Oh, Dr. Martin, my B12 is too high. Ooh." So what? [00:20:30] I'm aiming for a high. According to the Vitamin D Council of America, 80% of the population have low levels of vitamin D. And you get one article that says, "Oh, be careful, vitamin D can hurt you. It's a fat soluble" ... it's not even a vitamin; it's a hormone, first of all.

Dr. Martin : I've been working with vitamin D for 45 years. [00:21:00] Can I tell you something? I hardly have ever in 45 years have ever had to tell a patient to cut back on vitamin D because 80% of the population is low in it. If you have any disease, any risk of breast cancer, of colon cancer, of pancreatic cancer, and have diabetes and high blood pressure and anything brain or whatever, the vast majority of those people have low levels of vitamin D. [00:21:30] That's just a fact.

Dr. Martin : I don't want you to have too much vitamin D in terms of if it ever became toxic. But as my good friend, Dr. Rona once told me, because he did the research, "You would have to take 50,000 IUs of vitamin D every day for six months. 50,000 IUs of vitamin D every day for six months [00:22:00] in order for you to become toxic in vitamin D." Doctors are going, "You're taking 2000 IUs?" And yet they got no trouble writing you prescriptions for 15 medications on average according to the New York Times, and they have side effects.

Dr. Martin : Vitamin D in all my years, all my years of practice, [00:22:30] vitamin D, every cell in your body needs it. What if you go out in the sun all day? How much vitamin D do you think you're taking in? In 20 minutes you're taking in 10,000 IUs. 20 minutes, 10,000. Do you get sick from 20 minutes of the sun? No, because your body needs it.

Dr. Martin : But that's a big thing today because the pharmaceutical industry, they [00:23:00] don't want anybody crowding their turf. Nobody. And when vitamins become popular, it bothers them. You'll see the study, "If you're on this drug, don't take this."

Dr. Martin : Do you think the people are lined up at the emergency department in Sudbury or your hometown ... they're lined up. Here's the answer. "I know why you're here. I [00:23:30] know why you're sick. You're taking too much vitamin D." How often do you think you would hear that in an emergency room? Never. "Oh, you're taking too much B12 that's why your blood pressure is going through the roof." No, it isn't. That's not a side effect of that.

Dr. Martin : All I'm saying guys is, look, I'm not telling you that you shouldn't ask questions even about vitamins or supplements, [00:24:00] of course you should. And how much should I take and how much is good and how much is safe. That's why we want to answer those questions. But you know what? I'm just telling you how the mentality of people have been hoodwinked. Hoodwinked, because this idea of the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Martin : Now, here's another one, the third reason. So the first reason is rushed doctors' [00:24:30] visits; can't ask questions. You start a drug and they never take you off of it. Two, direct advertising from the pharmaceutical companies to you. They advertise to the doctor believe you me.

Dr. Martin : Do you know for every member of ... I don't know about in Canada, but I'll tell you about every Congressman and every Senator in the United States, for every one [00:25:00] of them, there are two lobbyists; two to one. For every Congressman, every Senator in the United States, there's two lobbyists, paid lobbyists by the pharmaceutical companies. That's why politicians want to talk to you about prescription drugs. "We got to make it cheaper to have prescription drugs."

Dr. Martin : Now listen, I'm not trying to say we shouldn't try and lower the price of prescription drugs, I'm not saying that. But why [00:25:30] do we spending all our money on prescription drugs? Why is our healthcare cost us $13,000 a home a year? And our wait lists in Canada; go to the emergency department today in your hometown and see how long you have to wait. We're spending kazillions of dollars a year and nobody is trying to save money. They're just saying, "Well, we need more healthcare. We need more beds. We need more hospitals. [00:26:00] We need more doctors." No, we need people to take responsibility for their own health.

Dr. Martin : My insurance a couple of years ago, my life insurance ... you know who you got to get renewed or whatever? They sent in a nurse practitioner. Or was it a nurse? I think she was a nurse ... Anyway ... into the office because they wanted to do a questionnaire with me and do my blood pressure [00:26:30] and all this and that. I was 65. That's right. I'm 67 so it was two years ago ... to renew my insurance. The nurse looks at me, "Okay, tell me how many drugs do you take?" I said, "None." "How many prescriptions are you on? You're kidding me, none?" "None. I don't take prescriptions."

Dr. Martin : That was before she took my blood pressure and did my insulin and did [00:27:00] my sugars. She drew blood for my triglycerides and all this and that. And she said, "You're not taking any drugs?" "Well," I said, "I don't take what I don't need." If I get a bad infection, I'll take an antibiotic, but I try and take care of myself."

Dr. Martin : Now listen, there's no guarantees in life. Guys, I try and practice what I preach to you. I do. Ask my wife. [00:27:30] She's Italian. I don't live on noodles. I don't live on bread. I love bread, but I don't live on it. I don't live on sugar. I don't. What I live on all my vitamins. Vitamin C; coffee. Vitamin P; peanut butter. Vitamin W; water. Vitamin O; Omega-3. High DHA oil. Those are my favorite vitamins and probiotics, [00:28:00] and Navitol. Okay, why do I do that stuff? Prevention. Prevention.

Dr. Martin : Here's number three and it drives me insane. It drives me insane. Number three, the third reason this epidemic is going on today, the pharmacist. The pharmacist. Now listen, I have a lot of respect for pharmacists. I do. If you listened to me over the years, I would tell you when [00:28:30] you have questions about your medications, ask your pharmacist. They're the professional in terms of they know every side effect and they know their medications more than the doctors know.

Dr. Martin : We have a profession called pharmacist but they're not doing their job. If you know a pharmacist you tell them I said so. They're not doing their job. [00:29:00] When a person comes in and they have 28 or 15, which is the average after the age of 60, when they are leaving the pharmacy with 15 prescriptions, I don't care that the doctor wrote those prescriptions, the pharmacist ought to sit you down and say, "A lot of these are due to side [00:29:30] effects from the other ones you're taking. I'm going to go over this with you and I am going to phone your doctor for you. I am going to phone your doctor for you."

Dr. Martin : They are a professional. They went to school for a long time. When they let you out of the pharmacy with those many prescriptions and they didn't read you the riot act, [00:30:00] they are practicing malpractice. I am very adamant about that. Because they have a license just like I have a license or just like any doctor has a license, and with that license you have responsibility. And pharmacists the responsibility is not just to fill the prescription. You can get a pharmaceutical assistant to do that. The pharmacist is a [00:30:30] professional who is supposed to be looking out not for the doctor's interest but your interest, your interest.

Dr. Martin : That really bothers me. I think that is a huge problem today that pharmacists are not doing their job. They're not warning you, they're not sitting you down and having an interview with you and maybe someone that you love beside you and asking questions. You [00:31:00] know what guys? They know more about the prescription than the doctor does, your doctor does. They do. Go and ask the pharmacist. And if they're too busy to answer your questions, that's malpractice too.

Dr. Martin : But you see it's driven today. The whole thing is driven. The whole pharmaceutical driven medical system that we have, it's driven by money. The pharmaceutical [00:31:30] companies do all the research. They do all the research in cardiovascular. They do all the research in the top four. You know me, I'm the big four. Here's what you're going to die on. Maybe you get hit by a bus, but the other four, heart, cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes. All of the research on all those big four are being paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. [00:32:00] They pay for research.

Dr. Martin : I understand why they're doing it. They're in business, but guys, listen to me. Anything that comes out, they're looking for drugs, so that is why I don't want to get off on a tangent, but why do you think ... listen to me ... Why do you think that nothing has changed in the treatment of cancer for example? Nothing. It is chemotherapy and chemotherapy and [00:32:30] chemotherapy and chemotherapy. It's chemotherapy. Now they may change the medications within the chemotherapy, but it's chemotherapy. Why is that? Why can't you go to into the cancer center ... we have a huge one ear in our hometown. Why can't you go in there and you go to see the oncologist, but then you go to see someone ... let's talk about [00:33:00] nutrition. Let's talk about here are some options for treatment. There's no options. It's chemotherapy. This is what we're doing because that's all we know.

Dr. Martin : I talked to an oncologist one day. I was just asking him about a certain type of cancer. I asked him, I said, "Listen, what's the five year survival rate with chemotherapy?" "Well, [00:33:30] it's not good." And I said, "What's the five year survival rate if you don't do anything with this type of cancer?" "Well, it's above the same as the five year survival rate with chemotherapy." I said, "Why do you do it then?" You know what he said to me? "We do it because that's what we do" I don't know about you, but that answer bothered me. I do it because that's what I do. Okay. Well is there a possibility [00:34:00] that maybe there's other options?

Dr. Martin : Guys listen, I'm not telling you not to go and talk to your oncologist. I'm not if you've got cancer, of course not. All I'm saying is it's driven, it's driven, it's driven. All of medicine today is changed because it's driven 100% by the pharmaceutical industry. The medical schools, it's pharmaceutical. They're doing all the research.

Dr. Martin : [00:34:30] They don't fix diabetes; they want to manage diabetes. You have high blood pressure they don't want to fix it; they want to manage it. Alzheimer's, they're looking for a cure in drugs. Well, you can't blame the pharmaceutical industry for wanting to find a drug for Alzheimer's, but the answer is not in medication. It's in food and that's not their specialty, but [00:35:00] they run the medical profession today. That's why you're not getting different options. Yeah.

Dr. Martin : That is the thing that drives me mental is that. Here we are in 2019 coming ... I just want to say this. 2020 think about that. 2020. I remember when I was a kid and I thought [00:35:30] about the year 2000. I said, "2000 you're going to be an old man by 2000." We're coming up on 2020. My grandchildren they always go, "Grandpa; he is so ancient, like he lived in the days of Noah." Oh man, does time ever fly?

Dr. Martin : But nothing changes. In the healthcare system nothing changes. And this is what The New York [00:36:00] Times article was talking about yesterday. Nothing's changing. As a matter of fact, it's getting worse. We're taking more medications. Forget the opioids. It's a crisis. I suggest to you, this is a bigger crisis. This is a bigger crisis.

Dr. Martin : Let me finish with this. I want to preach to the choir this morning. I want to encourage you. I want to encourage you. You guys are the ones [00:36:30] that pump up my tires. You guys are the ones that you get it. You get it. You know that health is a responsibility. Health doesn't happen by osmosis. Meaning that I just hope ... everything.

Dr. Martin : Look I get it. You can't control everything. You can't. But I love you guys because you guys are very proactive. [00:37:00] You're interested in your diet. The big four, the big four, the ones that would kill you are related to your diet. It's related to your diet. Cancer. "Well, Dr. Martin, cancer, it's complex." I know that. But listen, listen, cut your sugars out. Get your vitamin D levels up, if you don't do anything [00:37:30] else for cancer. Heart disease; get your triglycerides down.

Dr. Martin : "How do I do that doc?" Well, lower your carbs and sugars. "Oh doc, how do I get good cholesterol?" You have to eat cholesterol to get good cholesterol. You have to eat it. "Oh, my doctor said I can't have too many eggs." Well, your doctor doesn't know. Why don't you go to your plumber and ask? Ask your plumber how many eggs [00:38:00] you can eat a week. Your doctor hasn't taken any nutrition so you could have a hundred eggs a week. I don't care. It's only going to elevate your good cholesterol.

Dr. Martin : Alzheimer's; fat head. You want to have fat in your brain to avoid Alzheimer's. Sugar; it's called type three diabetes. You get diabetes of the brain, so what do you do? Substitute your sugars down and get your fats [00:38:30] up; eggs, meat, and cheese. Right? You got it? Yeah. And diabetes; don't manage diabetes; get rid of it.

Dr. Martin : Hey, love you guys. Happy New Year. Spread the good news. Talk to you soon.

Announcer: You've reached the end of another Doctor Is In Podcast with your hosts, Dr. Martin Junior and Senior. Be sure to catch our next episode and thanks for listening.

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