Heath Ledger – Tragedy, with Controversy to Follow

Wednesday, January 23, 2008
By: Byron J. Richards,
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

The entertainment community is in shock over the loss of a rising star. Heath Ledger, dead at the age of 28, apparently from an accidental overdose of medication. Autopsy results have been delayed for 10 days, but enough information has already become public to understand what likely took place. Heath Ledger did not need to die.

It now appears that Ledger is one of the 100,000 people a year who needlessly die in America from the use of Big Pharma toxins. His health problems were difficult but not unfixable – except by medical doctors who have little skill other than trying to titrate various poisons in the name of symptom improvement. Oftentimes physicians ignore the warnings for the drugs being prescribed as well as the patient’s history, which appears to be the case in this situation. I have often wondered how so many deaths can be swept under the rug. Maybe now more people will begin to pay attention.

Ledger was suffering from a relatively common health problem called wind-up.  In this condition the nerves feel like a cat on a hot tin roof. The mind races, yet the body cannot sleep even though the person is physically exhausted. Doctors give nerve sedation medications to treat the symptoms of this problem – substances that carry a high risk for addiction (especially in someone with addiction history), are inherently dangerous, and even more dangerous when combined with other sleep medications. The New York Post reported that Ambien pills (a hypnotic drug) were found near his body, and generic versions of the Xanax and Valium anti-anxiety pills prescribed in the actor’s name, were found in the house. A bottle of Donormyl, an antihistamine used as a sleep aid, and a packet of the drug Zopiclone (a controlled substance in the Ambien family), also used for insomnia, were found on his nightstand.

As reported by CNN:  At the time of his death, Ledger had just finished playing the villain The Joker in “The Dark Knight,” the latest installment in the Batman series. The film is to open in July. The role disturbed him, according to The Associated Press. He called The Joker a “psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.”  “Last week, I probably slept an average of two hours a night,” Ledger told The New York Times. “I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.”

Ambien has been in the spotlight for the past year due to its inducing of bizarre sleep-walking behavior, both in the U.S. and in Ledger’s native Australia.  Even the FDA managed a warning on the issue. Those with a history of addictive problems are not supposed to take Ambien. Ledger has a known and recent history of battling heroin addiction, alcohol use, and depression. The simple fact is that he was on drugs he should not have been on.

Thus emerges a picture of a person with a weak nervous system in a wound up condition and unable to sleep – not unlike millions of sleepless Americans.  His problems had been challenged by a demanding movie role and shaky personal life.  It was likely that he was self-medicating with dangerous drugs and their combinations – with no idea he should not be on these drugs or that they could kill him – not unlike tens of thousands of other Americans who also die each year.

Of course, it is easy to argue that any sleep is better than no sleep. This argument loses value when the remedies don’t work well and the problem is ongoing. Like tens of millions of Americans, Ledger got high-risk toxic symptom management with little or no effort trying to fix the source of the problem. This is how Western Medicine is performed when no obvious disease can be found.

And now the real controversy emerges. Doctors who are trained only in Big Pharma are actually a liability to society. They betray the trust of those in need. Sure Heath Ledger had problems, where was the real help?

The FDA is doing everything in its power to prevent anyone from understanding how to naturally improve themselves. The FDA is the police force bully, protecting the profits of Big Pharma in exchange for future jobs at Big Pharma, at the expense of Americans trying to be healthy. The long and sordid history of the FDA, as well as its future plans to control your health options, are clearly laid out in my book Fight for Your Health:  Exposing the FDA’s Betrayal of America (read free here).

Heath Ledger suffered from an excess build up of substance P in his nervous system – a problem doctors don’t even comprehend (as drugs don’t ever fix it and usually make the problem worse). Substance P is an inflammatory nerve chemical which must be cleared out of nerves before a person can sleep. Drugs that knock out the nervous system are like a credit card, with a very low credit limit. Nutrients can be used to naturally discharge substance P from the nerves, as well as restore natural balance to the brain stem, so a person can sleep. He also needed help nutritionally building up his depleted nervous system, his underlying health problem. These issues can readily be fixed if a person understands what they are doing and why. As a top nutritionist I help people fix them all the time and have for years. The problem is for the general public, wherein the FDA flagrantly suppresses the First Amendment right of our citizens to understand how nutrition works in the context of a health problem. Heath Ledger could well be alive today if the FDA wasn’t actively blocking access to how to use nutrition to solve difficult health problems.

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