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Sherry Young: Being your own doctor isn't just a money concern

Published: Monday, Sept. 24 2012 5:37 p.m. MDT

Finding a remedy for what ails us has gone on from time eternal.

For Christmas I was given a set of essential oils that I tried out on the various aches, pains and ailments that have arisen this year. Some were quite helpful. ?

?A couple of ladies I play tennis with run to their tennis bag whenever anyone complains of a pain or a bruise. One touts a Melaleuca cream that she thinks is a cure-all; another friend relies on a muscle rub she buys at the dollar store, which I have actually had good success with.

Many of these remedies have merit, but with the myriad choices, one should read and be well-informed because oils and herbs or not, they are still medicines.

I guess the reason this is on my mind is because Grit hasn't felt great recently.

We told our son Mike, who is an ER doctor, that Grit had a pneumonia shot, so Mike figured he had bronchitis that is caused by a virus that antibiotics won't help.

Mike checked him over and advised him to drink water and walk slowly, something most people don't like to hear. Instead, we want a pill or a salve or a drink that will heal us more quickly.

So we waited and Grit coughed and we waited.

I felt helpless listening to him cough, especially during the night, so I moved to another room. Out of sight (in this case hearing), out of mind. At least one of us was getting some sleep.

I tried the oils, rubbing one called "breathe" on his chest, and I made him take cough syrup and checked to see he was drinking lots of water.That's what I've done for years while raising his children — I'm a mother.

But Grit told me I wasn't HIS mother and he finally got me to let up.

When Grit's condition suddenly seemed worse I called Mike and said, "Your dad is really sick!"

Mike ordered an X-ray and guess what? In spite of having a pneumonia shot, Grit had pneumonia.

With the magic pills the doctors gave him, Grit recovered somewhat quickly, but good friends could tell he had lost weight and wasn't his rosy-cheeked self.

Some offered tips on keeping healthy, and others brought over various dietary supplements and herbal teas.

There's lots of stuff out there — from bodybuilding powders to menopause drops. Go to any drugstore or grocery store and there are rows and rows of remedies and tonics. Huge companies have grown wealthy from our health paranoia, creating something close to a $28 billion industry.

Health is wealth, or so they say, but you can go broke trying to keep it up.

Being our own doctor isn't just a money concern.

Trine Tsouderos reported on June 30, 2012, in the Chicago Tribune that "In the last four years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found violations of manufacturing rules in half of the nearly 450 dietary supplement firms it has inspected."

She reported that half of all Americans consume these products.

So buyer beware.What we choose can possibly make us sick instead of cure us.

Whatever happened to the old adage, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away?"

Let's just not bring back cod liver oil.

Email: sasyoung2@aol.com

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