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Does your doctor sell you supplements?

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sometexan84

Senior Member
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1,239
I'm curious to know how much others here have spent on Supplements, through their physician?

And if your doctor DOES sell supplements, how can you trust them?

I started paying my doctor for supplements a few months ago, based on their advice. Hadn't thought much of it, tbh. But it only just NOW clicked in my head.

It's a crazy conflict of interest!

And it's SOOO much $$ they can be making from it. Not only are the supplements expensive, but you often end up paying again and again for "long-term treatment."

I recall a situation where my Dr said "We can do these supplements, or we can do Valtrex." And I swear to god, I remember her seeming oddly conflicted at that moment. When I told her I have no expertise and that she needs to recommend one or the other, she recommended the supplements. Later... so, those did nothing. Then I did Valtrex and it's actually been helping! Go figure

Those supplements cost me hundreds of dollars btw, paid to the dr office.

So then I Google it. Sure enough, the American Medical Association considers this an ethical violation.

From Consumer Reports:

"...having a financial stake in promoting any health product to patients represents a serious conflict of interest"

"...the American Medical Association advises that physicians who distribute nonprescription health products provide them free or at their own cost."

"Unlike prescription drugs, nutritional supplements don't have to be proved effective or safe before they go on the market. And their labels don't have to warn about side effects, even for products with serious hazards"

There are so many other implications to all this, very relevant to everyone in this forum. Hoping others will voice their opinions and such on the matter.
 

geraldt52

Senior Member
Messages
602
Every supplement except lysine that I've ever taken, and it's a long list, has been wasted money, or worse. But I blame myself more than the doctor(s). Supplement manufacturers refuse to do double blinded studies because they know what the results will be. I should have known better, and made my own decision as to what the doctor's advice was worth.

If you're uncomfortable trusting your doctor's "advice" on supplements, you should be even more uncomfortable trusting your doctor's advice on drugs. They are richly rewarded by big pharma for pushing drugs to patients, whether they work or not. The alarming increase in hydroxychloroquine prescriptions is case in point. Those were doctors writing those prescriptions...doctors who were trusted to know better, but they obviously did not, or did not care.

We are on our own, and we have to understand that.
 

pamojja

Senior Member
Messages
2,406
Location
Austria
Well, I never was sold or recommended any supplement by any doctor. All purchased on my own at unrelated places. Nor would I take any recommendation by any MD, without investigating deeper myself.

On the other hand virtually all MDs insisted and pushed statin, aspirin and super invasive prosthesis-surgery on me, for my condition. I refused them all after a thorough benefits/risks analysis, and still effected a remission from a walking-disability with supplements/lifestyle changes not one doctor recommended.

In the end, any drug prescribed or super-expensive surgery pushed on by doctors, seriously raises the concern of conflict in interest too, of course.

It's sort of curious that after 11 years of supplementing/lifestyle changes and experiencing remission, I spent about as much money on them as the invasive surgery alone would have costed (without statins, aspirin for those 11 years). Though in my country it would have been covered by insurance and I wouldn't have paid for, but one still can be sure some would have earned that.

No regrets. I still have my whole aorta - not replaced by a synthetic tube - and got rid of my walking-disability without the risks associated with invasive procedures and pharmaceuticals. :)
 

sometexan84

Senior Member
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1,239
If you're uncomfortable trusting your doctor's "advice" on supplements, you should be even more uncomfortable trusting your doctor's advice on drugs.

Hmm, can you ELI5 please :D (I'm new to the world of healthcare as it pertains to politics/news/drugs/research/etc)

I guess I was thinking that this $122 Billion (and growing) nutritional supplement industry had turned lots of physicians to the dark-side. I see all these internal and functional medicine websites now that have a STORE link in their top navigation menu.

Advice on supplements is great. It's what I'd expect from a doctor. Like advice on treatment, meds, etc. But not when they're trying to sell me their own supply.

Seems like, if there was a cure, it would demolish the revenue stream they get via supplements. I don't think they want any part of that.
 

Wishful

Senior Member
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5,793
Location
Alberta
Every supplement except lysine that I've ever taken, and it's a long list, has been wasted money, or worse.

It is hard to find one that works for an individual, but some of us do eventually find one or more that does work for us, at least for a while, so it is worthwhile to experiment. It's like buying lottery tickets: you can't win if you don't buy any (Actually, my only lottery win was from some tickets that I'd found. :redface:). Some of us do get lucky with supplements.

That said, none of the supplements I tried based on theories or recommendations turned out worthwhile. The ones that did work for me were accidental discoveries. I feel that a doctor prescribing--and worse: selling--supplements is unethical. Recommending that a patient look into a supplement is fine. If the supplement has some scientific evidence of being an effective treatment for the disease, the patient can find that easily enough. I usually treat pharmaceutical prescriptions as recommendations, and I may wait until I've researched it before actually getting it filled (or not).
 

junkcrap50

Senior Member
Messages
1,341
Eh, you're (general sense, as in "one is") kind of a sucker if you buy supplements from your doctor. Pretty obvious they're going to be more expensive than buying from other places. You should already understand what you're doctor is recommending and why, so just do your shopping elsewhere.
 

JES

Senior Member
Messages
1,324
Not my experience at all, doctors are almost universally very skeptical about supplements here, which is a good thing, mostly, but it's got to the point now where there is some sort of mistrust even for recommending supplements that have quite a bit evidence behind them, like vitamin D or melatonin. On the other hand, I've also visited a couple of functional doctors who recommended a huge list of supplements, but those are in the marginal here. So in my experience there are doctors on two ends of the extreme, whereas I'd much rather see doctors with healthy skepticism use supplements when there is evidence.
 

sometexan84

Senior Member
Messages
1,239
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Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
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13,453
Every supplement except lysine that I've ever taken, and it's a long list, has been wasted money, or worse

My husband sustains himself primarily by consuming 100s of dollars a month in supplements and then, more 100's of dollars of special powders, concentrated this and extracted that. He hardly eats any food.

He then insists these piles of pills fix all these ills. He swears they all work, constantly. (Oh yeah?).

I wonder how many couples have-differing views of living on supplements. Wonder if there are any treatment centers for supplement abuse. And how to enroll uncooperative patients.
 

YippeeKi YOW !!

Senior Member
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16,064
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Second star to the right ...
If you're uncomfortable trusting your doctor's "advice" on supplements, you should be even more uncomfortable trusting your doctor's advice on drugs.
Amen and hallelujah !!!
They are richly rewarded by big pharma for pushing drugs to patients, whether they work or not.
And another amen and hallelujah !!!

And the same pharma co's often list especially cooperative Drs on the patent for those drugs, ensuring an often huge and generally lifetime income.


It's a wonderful world .....
 

Wishful

Senior Member
Messages
5,793
Location
Alberta
Not my experience at all, doctors are almost universally very skeptical about supplements here,

When my test results showed a slight decrease in 'good cholesteral', my doctor suggested statins or Omega 3 oil supplements. I did my research, and found that there was no reliable evidence that Omega 3 was worth taking for heart conditions. Statins are a bit scary, and also not really proven to be helpful in general. What bothered me is that he didn't mention exercise. Omega 3 was claimed to reduce the chance heart attacks by a few percent, while even a moderate bit of walking each week reduced the chance by ~75%. That should absolutely be the first prescription doctors should give for reducing risk of heart disease. If you have a problem that additional exercise can't treat, then you move onto other measures.
 

sometexan84

Senior Member
Messages
1,239
I've spent the majority of my life trusting people. Friends, parents, professionals. Idk, maybe because I've always been a very transparent and honest person (to a fault no doubt). Honestly, I think part of that is because of my ADD.

Only in the past few yrs have I started questioning when someone says something as fact.

If we can't trust what doctors say, then wtf. What is there to do?
 

sometexan84

Senior Member
Messages
1,239
@Wishful That's exactly what I'm talking about. I've dealt w/ exact same.

And I admit that my sample size is small. Since fatigue started, I've only seen a handful of drs. But I mean, that's probably true for 90% of the people in this forum.

Endocrinologist - Solely pusher of thyroid hormone replacement
Internal Medicine Physician - Supplement dealer w/ little knowledge on my conditions (nice lady tho!)
Internal Medicine Physician #2 - Supplement dealer w/ awful history - https://quackwatch.org/cases/board/med/spurlock/complaint_2011/
Primary Care Physician - "You should see a Psychiatrist" :grumpy:
 

sometexan84

Senior Member
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1,239
Ask other people, who are not Docs, what they think. Like us lot here!

No disrespect intended. I've actually learned a lot of great, helpful stuff in this forum. But it seems to me this forum is active w/ people who do not have the answers. Or else why would you still be here? Pls don't attack me on that or be defensive. I'm really only saying this to back my recommendation below...

When I get better, I plan on creating a final post here in the hopes of helping others. At which point, I'll never have the need to return to this forum again. I'd imagine it's this way for many.

Actually, I think a Success Stories section in the forum would be extremely beneficial to a lot of people. These are difficult to find, they're sprinkled throughout different sections of the forum. And it's probably a lot of people's last thread they post here. And perhaps even their most significant contribution to the forum.
 
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andyguitar

Senior Member
Messages
6,635
Location
South east England
But it seems to me this forum is active w/ people who do not have the answers. Or else why would you still be here?
Many of the people here have improved. Some just a bit other a lot. Some of those who have got much better are stiil here because they are helping other members (old and new ones) and also to be sociable to people they have known for a while.
 

sometexan84

Senior Member
Messages
1,239
Some of those who have got much better are stiil here because they are helping other members (old and new ones) and also to be sociable to people they have known for a while

Yes, absolutely. I have definitely noticed some of that here. That must be why this is such a thriving forum, no doubt!
 
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