Popular Diseases

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Morgoth
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 6/4/2008 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Is it just my idea, or have some diseases become more and more "popular" over the past decades?  Please note I'mtalking here from a general point of view of the industrialized world, not just the US.
 
In the late 60s, the 70s and the 80s it was all about cancer.  Now, although more and more products are allegedly causing cancer, fewer casus of cancer seem to appear.  While the past decades have seen an increase of people suffering from fybromialgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome whereas these two conditions, for example, were virtually unknown 20 - 30 years ago.
 
Samething with depression and anxiety.
 
Aren't people often diagnosed according to the latest "cool" syndrome, or are such syndromes not often added as a bonus to an existing medical condition?
 
Serious pain makes you suffer, sweat, etc.  Doing work on top of the pain is going to exhaust your body.  Does that mean that you're suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?  And, when life is hard and cruel and you're in a lot of pain, isn't it a bit normal you feel down?  But do you really have a depression?
 
I have my doubts about what we call here in Belgium "Popular Diseases".  These conditions exist, clearly, but aren't too many people labelled with, people who then bear the stigmata of a wrong diagnose.
 
I'd like your opinions on this, especially in the context of chronic pain.
To stand and be still at the Birkenhead Drill is a mighty bullet to shew.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/4/2008 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Morgoth,
I'm not going to get into an argument over this, but I don't think it's always because of pharmaceuticals. I think there are many factors which contribute to new diagnoses, some of which are very legitimate. Pressure from places like the pharmaceuticals enters into it, and maybe in some cases predominates, but I think sometimes it's actually the way it should happen. Symptoms which were previously dismissed or unexplained are finally understood because of research, or given validity because of clinical findings. I do think culture and political pressuers can sometimes play a role, too, especially on where funding is directed. So I don't think there's one simple answer to the issue.

PaLady

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13481
   Posted 6/4/2008 5:52 PM (GMT -7)   

I don't think there is one simple answer to this either. However, one thing that does bother me alot is the pharmaceuticals spent more money last year on advertising than on research. Something wrong with that picture in my opinion.

I read recently the FDA is going to require the pharmaceuticals to revamp their advertising practices, thats long overdue. I found it quite interesting that the FDA had fewer requests for new drug approval last year than in years past. So far this year its been the same.

I think its great that dr offices will give patients samples of medication. But, I do have a problem with drs that use the flavor of the month when prescribing these free meds because the drug rep just left a new batch of something new to give out. Because of the kickbacks involved to the drs and clinics we need some kind of control in place between the drs & pharmaceuticals to elminate this practice.

Last of all and then, I will shut up, as seen with the Phen-Phen cases, key employees gave memos and spoke directly to the higher ups in the company that the drug was dangerous and had a very high propencity to cause pulmonary hypertension leading to serious heart problems including death. They ignored this because it was such a money maker for them. All of the above came out in court depositions and under oath admitted they ignored the warnings from their people. Phen-Phen was taken off of the market in England 2yrs prior to the USA taking it off the market. As in many cases we seem to be the one to remove dangerous drugs from the public, why???

Susie

 



Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 6/5/2008 8:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Don't want to steal this thread...but I searched all over the net and couldn't find anything about purdue pharma funding the FDA building, Gramps. Would like to read the information you have. Got a link?

Chutz

http://www.fda.gov/oc/oms/ofm/budget/2006/HTML/BNB/whiteoak.htm

above is what I could find on the funding. In their article they use an acronym PDUFA which means Prescription Drug User Fee Act
Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.
***************

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)

Post Edited (Chutz) : 6/5/2008 9:25:46 AM (GMT-6)


Gamma
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 233
   Posted 6/5/2008 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Fibromyalgia is not a new condition.  It has been around for a very long time.  It wasn't always called fibromyalgia.  Years ago it was called fibrositis and for years and years before that it was called rheumatism.  Only recently has it been acknowledged by the AMA as a true condition called fibromyalgia.

Gentle hugs,
 
Gamma
 
Fibro, Osteoporosis, OA, RA, DDD, IBS, Vertigo, Tinnitus, Carpel Tunnel, Epilepsy, TMJ,  Hypothyroidism, Familial Tremors, Spasms, Neuropathy, Trigeminal neuralgia, heel spurs
 
 


TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 6/5/2008 9:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Just putting in my two cents -

When my mom was diagnosed with Crohns disease thirty years ago - she got lucky. For the next 5 years or so no one had really heard about it. Then as word spread the condition was better known and understood. It was sort of eye opening when a few years ago I saw my first mention of Crohns in the public - but my mom had had it for more thirty years... My mom saw a doctor who told her she just had some small problems with her stomach - that Crohns was a fake diagnosis - believe me after all she's been through - it's NOT fake.

The same thing with my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - now it's a rather common thing, but when I was diagnosed it was pure luck of finding a great doctor. She knew the signs ran the tests and I knew what to look for and what was going on. At the same time, there were people with the condition the same time I was diagnosed that didn't find out for ten years - because word wasn't out. After knowing my condition I saw a doctor who flat out told me PCOS wasn't real - all I could think was tell that to my ovaries.

Just like what I have heard about Fibro - it was pretty knew to the general population for awhile - doctors wouldn't admit (and still dont sometimes) that it exists - and as time goes by more and more doctors seem to be accepting it's real.

I think it just takes word getting out, doctors going to school, learning about new conditions and information, to have things get out to the public. Doctors can't diagnose what they don't know - and as more doctors are educated the diagnosis can be made more and more. Once the diagnosis gets out there for awhile the disease/condition slowly gets more funding at which point more research is done, better understanding (sometimes) is found, and then more and more medications hit the market to cover said condition - then come the samples, and the commercials.

Thats just my opinion - but I do also have a very "naive" approach to things I've been told. Trusting people first.

I will be honest - I know of several doctors who yes, do get some free samples, but actually have to pay for some of their "samples" to give out. (This is from several nurses I've known who work in small clinic's). Personally I love the free samples as the only medication that would work for my costochondritis was Celebrex - and my insurance wanted me to jump through major hoops to get it then pay 75 dollars a month to pick it up. The clinics had free samples that got me through my costo flare ups - twice.
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
_____________________________________________________________________________
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)


Disce Pati
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 6/5/2008 12:47 PM (GMT -7)   
While I was doing a literature search for an article that I read many years ago that addresses exactly the issue that Morgath brought up on this thread (basically it claimed that defining what is an "illness" is in the hands of contemporary society - that is what we think of an illness today was not considered so years ago, and vice versa) I found this abstract about how the idea of obesity in the US becoming an "epidemic" occurred:

"Americans' recent weight gains have been widely described as an "obesity epidemic." Such a characterization, however, has many problems: the average American weight gain has been relatively low (eight to 12 pounds over the last 20 years), and the causal linkages between adiposity, morbidity, and mortality are unclear. Nevertheless, the media and numerous health officials continue to sound dire warnings that obesity has become an epidemic disease. In this article, I examine how and why America's growing weight became an "obesity epidemic." I find the disease characterization has less to do with the health consequences of excess weight and more with the various financial and political incentives of the weight loss industry, medical profession, and public health bureaucracy. This epidemic image was also assisted by the method of displaying information about weight gain with maps in PowerPoint slides. Such characterizations, I argue, are problematic. Given the inconclusive scientific evidence and the absence of a safe and effective weight loss regimen, calling America's growing weight an epidemic disease is likely to cause more harm than good."

Cited from: The politics of pathology: how obesity became an epidemic disease. Oliver, J Eric. Perspectives in Biology & Medicine. 49(4):611-27, 2006.

I think that this is a good example of the type of phenomenon that Morgath was getting at (?)...

Basically what I have read in my literature search on this topic seems to indicate that much of the "disease of the year" hype is mainly the result of increased attention by the media (print, audio and internet). But what is fueling the increased attention there is not as clear. I agree that it is most likely pharmaceutical companies - either overtly or subtly.......and probably patient advocacy. Some of it is from pure clinical research - I think the example of Crohn's disease mentioned above is a good one - when it was first described most physicians thought it was another one of those modern illnesses caused by "stress" that is, a "functional" disease. As research progressed an organic cause was found, thus making it "legit" (this is not my personal viewpoint - that is needed to be legit)...Ulcers is another example - it went from being thought of purely as caused by stress to having an infectious component. Although it may seem cynical to put the blame on drug companies, I think that is also an effect of the medical community as a whole. As we know from first hand experience, doctors and surgeons are reluctant to treat an illness that doesn't have a clear cut therapy, cure, treatment. So there is pressure on drug companies by patient advocacy groups to come up with a pill or implement (prothesis) which makes the medical profession more excited about treating.

Like most issues in social medicine this is very complex; it goes to the basic conundrum of what, exactly defines disease and health. If you read the bioethics literature there is a large amount of discussion on just this issue: is disease the absence of health? is health the absence of disease? and at what point does a deviation from "normal" health morph into "disease"? Because what one generation accepted as perfectly normal health our generation regards as disease....how does this transform and who directs this transformation? All very deep, complex and interesting aspects to contemplate.......

Freya
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 6/10/2008 1:58 AM (GMT -7)   

Havent posted in a while as I've been completely wiped out for some reason. Love reading the posts but dont always have the energy to type.

I just wanted to quickly weigh in on this as I have one of those unknown diseases called Interstitial Cystitis.

    From having the typr of disease your referring to, I believe that until the disease gains attention which these diseases need in order to keep up research for cures or new medication, they remain uncommon. But as more DR's become knowlegable about the symptoms and understand the disease more people are able to put names to and treat the symotoms that may have gone undiagnosed for so long. I know with IC people have spent 5-7 years looking for a diagnosis. Even if the "popularity" only comes from pharm companies those of us that suffer from uncommon diseases need the public attention. We need more DR's to understand and more people to take an interest in funding research.

     IC has gotten no public attention and is only a condition that is known from word of mouth or the few DR's that actually know the symotoms.  I know that was the story with Fibro. Although it existed for decades maybe longer, it was given no attention so was unheard of. Now it is extreamly publicized and people are getting the help they need.

 It's common sense that once a condition gains attention and publicity more and more people are going to get there symptoms finally treated.

As for the depression issue. It is not often diagnosed as a major depressive disorder when associated with pain or a stressful situation. It could be diagosed as a type of adjustment dissorder with depressed mood, which is a diagnosis that dissapates when that person learns to cope with pain and the depression stemming from it.  It is still commonly treated with anti-depressanst. But You would have to match all the required  diagnostic criteria to be diagnosed with a Deressive disorder. Most people even DR's use the word depression to describe a feeling or situation so it has become more of a blanket term for being sad and having a hard time dealing.  Same with anxiety associated wit pain.

Just thought I'd chime in as I have one of those uncommon diseases and am heading in soon to get my head shrunk and probably given one of those anti-depressants...yay.

 

 


  In suffering, we are given the key to a door which most rarely 
      get to open.  Behind it lies the ultimate gift which is only visible
                             in our darkest hour.
                                True strength.


Freya
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 6/10/2008 2:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh just wanted to make sure everyone knew when I was saying "common sense" to know something it didnt come out as I intended and actually sounds rude. I so didnt mean for it to sound that way!
  In suffering, we are given the key to a door which most rarely 
      get to open.  Behind it lies the ultimate gift which is only visible
                             in our darkest hour.
                                True strength.


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/10/2008 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Freya,
I didn't think it was rude. I thought your post made good sense, as always! Just because a "new" diagnosis gains 'popularity' doesn't mean those suffering from it are making new things up for the heck of it! Most have been suffering trying to find treatments and doctors who understand - just like the rest of us with CP, even if they have other conditions such as IC or fibro.

Nice to year from you again, Freya, and I do understand we don't always have the energy to post!

PaLady

Freya
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 164
   Posted 6/10/2008 10:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks PAlady..I'm glad I'm making some sense. Sometimes I get so tired I dont even understand my own thoughts!

I do hope that everyone who doesnt have a daignosis yet will get answeres soon as maybe there is an unheard of condition that is just gaining attention or will soon.
I watch Mystery Diagnosis and Diagnosis x on the Discovery Channel all the time and cant even believe some of the stuff that gets dianosed. Things that no one has ever heard of!
Sometimes watching TV is a great thing!
  In suffering, we are given the key to a door which most rarely 
      get to open.  Behind it lies the ultimate gift which is only visible
                             in our darkest hour.
                                True strength.

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, December 10, 2016 5:23 PM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,736,121 posts in 301,354 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151451 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, YoEve.
264 Guest(s), 10 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
momto2boys, wthj53, 1000Daisies, robby vieira, rocckyd, LG13, nostress, Kitkate, sam12, julymorning


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer