What was the inspiration behind the book?
My book—HONEST MEDICINE: Effective, Time-Tested, Inexpensive Treatments for Life-Threatening Diseases—is the result of a very personal experience. I am the wife (now, widow) of a brain tumor patient, Tim Fisher, who survived for fifteen years post-diagnosis, and twelve years beyond his doctors’ prognoses. Both Tim and I felt that his extra years of life were due to some really innovative treatments I found for him. Some of these treatments were nutrition-based; others were not.
But the sad thing for us was that none of Tim’s doctors were at all interested in learning about these non-toxic treatments that had extended his life by so many years. It seemed to us that his doctors only wanted to use expensive (often toxic) pharmaceutical treatments. For the first few years of his illness, I thought very little about this. My only interest was in helping my husband.
My “Aha!” Moment
Then, something happened that made me become determined to spread the word about non-toxic, inexpensive treatments like those that were helping my husband, but that
doctors weren’t aware of—and were, in fact, often openly hostile to. In 2001, Tim had a recurrence of his brain tumor. After this surgery, his suture line wouldn’t heal. His doctors performed eight additional surgeries in eight months, attempting to make the skin on his head heal. But nothing worked. In fact, the repeated surgeries just made him much worse until, finally, he was bedbound, brain injured and paralyzed from all the surgical assaults on his body. As you can imagine, I was frantic, and searched everywhere for answers.
Finally, through an integrative doctor friend, I found an FDA-approved treatment that worked—Silverlon—and it worked literally overnight. I was delighted, and assumed his doctors would be delighted, too.
But they weren’t. In fact, they weren’t even open to learning about Silverlon. Some of them were openly hostile.
I decided that something really bad was going on in the world of conventional American medicine. So I set out to find other treatments to write about that were also inexpensive, life-saving and non-toxic, and that had stood the test of time—other treatments that doctors weren’t interested in learning about.
I was (and still am—probably always will be) on a mission to educate the public about these treatments, and about other treatments like them.
My book is about four of these treatments. They are:
· Silverlon, the treatment that saved my husband’s life. It is a wound-healing system that is FDA-approved for all non-healing wounds.
· Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN)—used since the mid-1980s by Dr. Bernard Bihari to treat autoimmune diseases and some cancers. Today it is used by tens of thousands of patients worldwide—patients with autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Crohn’s disease; also HIV/AIDS and some cancers.
· Intravenous alpha lipoic acid—used since the mid-1970s by Burt Berkson, MD, to treat terminal liver disease, and since the mid-1990s (with oral LDN) to treat some cancers.
· The Ketogenic Diet—used since the 1920s at institutions like Johns Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic to treat pediatric epilepsy. Today, thanks to one of the contributors to my book—Hollywood writer Jim Abrahams (“Airplane,” “Hot Shots”)—there are now hundreds of hospitals worldwide that administer the diet.
What is your definition of "honest medicine"?
This is a complicated one. First of all, the name of my blog, www.HonestMedicine.com is “Honest Medicine: My Dream for the Future.” So, when I created it, I really saw “honest medicine” as something that I hoped would happen—sometime in the future. My experience as the wife of (and caregiver for) my husband had convinced me that much of American Medicine is not honest; that the medications doctors prescribe are dictated in great part by the pharmaceutical industry. Big Pharma pays for most of the large “studies” that are conducted on drugs. And sadly, often the “scholarly articles” about the drugs that appear in the medical journals have been written by pharmaceutical company employees. So often, big name researchers and physicians are paid to put their names on these articles. So, truthfully, much of American Medicine is NOT honest.
But, my book features four treatments that I believe are examples of truly “honest medicine.” These are treatments that are—as my book’s title states—effective, time-tested and inexpensive, and they help thousands of people worldwide. They are examples of truly honest medicine, and no one makes a huge profit from any of them.
So, I now believe that there are treatments that are honest—that are not money-driven. But I also believe that it is up to us, the patients, to do our own research to find these treatments, and to share them with our doctors.
How can people start the conversation with their doctor in terms of switching treatments?
This is a great question. And as a matter of fact, I now coach patients in how to talk to their doctors about a treatment they (the doctors) probably haven't heard about. Go to www.HonestMedicine.com and see the link on the top of the site to my coaching.
There are a few rules I’ve put together for my coaching clients. (I also give them materials to share with their doctors.)
1) Do NOT introduce the topic by saying, “Doctor, I have found a treatment on the Internet that I’d like to try.” Doctors do not seem to like it when their patients find information on the Internet and, unfortunately, they hear this sentence so often that they have learned to tune it out.
So, here is what you SHOULD do.
2) First, learn a lot about the treatment you want to try. Go online; research. Before you ask your doctor to prescribe a treatment for you, know what you're talking about. Gather a LOT of information, but don’t share all of it with your doctor. Put together a FEW articles you think will be convincing and put them neatly in a folder designed to make a convincing presentation.
3) Second, a lot of these treatments have had studies performed on them. Small studies, but studies nonetheless. And often these studies have been performed at prestigious institutions and published in equally prestigious publications. It will really help your cause if you share studies like these with your doctor. (These studies may be found on the government-run site, PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed. Doctors really respect PubMed.
If possible, bring the WHOLE studies as originally published, rather than abstracts.
4) Do NOT share this information with your doctor right away. Give your doctor your folder with information, and make another appointment to talk with him or her about the treatment. That way, you are giving the doctor enough time to read and absorb the information you are providing.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I wrote an article on this topic that was published by New Consciousness Review. Its title: “How to Convince Your Doctor to Prescribe a Treatment He (or She) Doesn't Know About.” Here is the link: https://www.joomag.com/magazine/new-consciousness-review-summer-2015/0496488001433287180?page=24
Julia Schopick is a best-selling author of the book, HONEST MEDICINE: Effective, Time-Tested, Inexpensive Treatments for Life-Threatening Diseases. She is a seasoned radio talk show guest who has appeared on over 100 shows and is often invited back. Through her writings and her blog, HonestMedicine.com, Julia’s goal is to empower patients to make the best health choices for themselves and their loved ones by teaching them about little-known but promising treatments their doctors may not know about. Julia’s writings on health and medical topics have been featured in American Medical News (AMA), Alternative & Complementary Therapies, the British Medical Journal and the Chicago Sun-Times. She also coaches patients in how to convince their doctors to prescribe a treatment they (i.e., the doctors) don’t know about. She enjoys making presentations to large groups, both in person and remotely (via Skype). You may reach her by email at Julia@HonestMedicine.com.