National Geographic : 1961 Jan
This is not a "do-it-yourself" kit! THERE'S almost nothing easier to come by than amateur medical advice. Think back to the last time when you felt less chipper than usual. Chances are some one, wholly unqualified, but with the best of intentions, told you what to do or what to take for your "run-down condition" or "ner vous state" or recurring aches and pains. Such advice makes it appear that the prac tice of medicine can be a sort of "do-it-your self" activity. Actually, self-diagnosis and self-treatment can be extremely risky. Medicines, except for the usual household remedies, are safe only when prescribed by your family physician. Anyone sick enough to need medication other than the common household remedies - is sick enough to need a physician's advice. For instance, even a "mild" cathartic, if taken for what seems to be just a stomach ache-but which is actually an unsuspected attack of appendicitis-may cause the most serious complications. One of the most wasteful and possibly dan- gerous forms of self-medication is the use of over-the-counter reducing remedies-"medi cated" pills, capsules, liquids, wafers and even chewing gum. Although such products are often "guar anteed" to reduce weight quickly and easily, don't be taken in by the glowing promises. Leave it to your physician to decide if you need any medication-along with a medically approved diet-to control your weight. And never take left-over medicines pre scribed for a previous illness. Even if your present symptoms seem the same, you may have an entirely different ailment requiring an entirely different medicine. When it comes to drugs or diagnosis or treatment, do the safe and sensible thing rely on no one but your physician. Metropolitan Life INSURANCE COMPANY A MUTUAL COMPANY I MADISON AVENUE, NEW YORK 10, N. Y.