Clark Howard needed to have a chat with Don Imus. Imus has made warning the public about the overtreatment of benign prostate cancer his mission in life.
Rhabdomyolysis is the situation in which your kidneys are overwhelmed with the byproducts of muscle death, which can lead to kidney failure. The standard treatment is large quantities of IV fluids that flush out the products of the breakdown of muscle tissue.
There are many causes for this problem, but in the case of Clark Howard, it was apparently caused by the interaction of two medications for benign conditions. Clark Howard was already on the “harmless” drug Lipitor, a statin drug to suppress your liver from producing cholesterol into your bloodstream. While statins do lower total cholesterol, they don’t reduce the “bad” cholesterol nor is there evidence that lowering cholesterol using medications actually reduces morbidity or mortality.
Clark also was prescribed cipro (an antibiotic) following a biopsy of his prostate for non aggressive cancer. From diagnosis to death, the average time to die from prostate cancer is 20 years, which means most men will die of something else first. By age 80, almost all men have benign prostate cancer (known from autopsy results of men who died of other things like car accidents).
Rhabdomyolysis can cause permanent kidney damage, possibly resulting in needing dialysis. It sounds like the frugal Clark Howard delayed seeking treatment, which likely will cost him more than his money. In the AJC story, Clark mentions that he parked his car on a city street rather than paying to use a parking deck at the hospital, when he was almost unable to walk.
The Countess has been a long-term advocate of homeopathy, integrative medicine and reflexology. In our recent round of traditional (“allopathic”) doctors, when asked what medications I take, we get blank stares when I say “none” as if I’m concealing something.
Polypharmacy – the taking of 5 or more prescription medications at the same time affects over 1/3 of all seniors in the United States, and almost 2 of 3 Canadians where “free” health care encourages overprescribing and removing the patient objection of “I can’t pay for this” to be noncompliant with their doctor’s “orders”