February 26, 2016

Food for Thought Friday: Modern Medicine Rant






Pop Quiz:

The failure of institutions such as the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, and American Medical Association not just to acknowledge the undeniable efficacy of carbohydrate restriction for myriad chronic health complications, but also their failure to do what they should be doing—which is shouting it from the rooftops louder than any ol’ no-name blogger, and actively encouraging people to give it a try—is the result of which of the following:

A)  Stupidity
B)  Willful Ignorance
C)  Conspiracy
D)  Narcissism
E)  Malpractice 
F)  All of the above


Yeah. You can see where today’s rant is headed.


1.


I’m a pretty level-headed gal. (Or so I like to think.) I do my best to refrain from mudslinging, sensationalist headlines, and black-and-white thinking here on the blog. Perhaps it is naïve of me, but I don’t generally subscribe to conspiracy theories. Since I usually harbor no ill will against anyone (with exceptions, of course…we all have a few), it’s hard for me to believe that other people don’t feel the same way. The idea that someone would deliberately withhold helpful information from someone else, or actively steer them in the opposite direction—both of which may cause someone serious bodily harm, is difficult for me to comprehend. 

This is especially true when helpful—no, not just helpful, but potentially lifesaving—information is withheld in a medical or other healthcare setting. After all, doctors are supposed to help people, right? Sure, there are some bad apples who go into medicine solely to make money (or to appease their strict parents – “According to Jewish tradition, the fetus is not considered viable until it graduates from medical school” … *ba-dump-tsch!*), but again, me being the Pollyanna that I am, I’d like to think most physicians, nurses, dietitians and nutritionists go into their respective professions to help people get well if they become hurt, injured, or sick, or to help them stay well, if they’re already healthy. So, assuming this is true—that most healthcare professionals (which I’ll take to include the whole gamut—MDs, NDs, DCs, DOs, RNs, NPs, PAs, RDs, nutritionists, and village shamans) have their patients’ and clients’ best interests at heart, I say again:  it is darn near impossible for me to understand why some type of dietary and lifestyle modulations leaning in the direction of Paleo, Primal, low-carb, ketogenic, or general “ancestral health” are not presented as the very freaking first intervention, rather than what they are typically presented as: either a last resort after all the conventional methods have failed, or not even a last resort, but something healthcare professionals actively warn people against trying.

Twenty years ago, I could have understood this. (Maybe.) But now? When there is story after story, after story, after story (after story!) of people with “chronic and progressive” illnesses, morbid obesity, and who were on a slew of medications and darn near completely debilitated, who have experienced turnarounds that can legitimately be called miraculous?

Miraculous, that is, only to people who are completely ignorant of the no less than stunning metabolic turnarounds that can occur upon reducing dietary carbohydrate, controlling insulin levels, and going easy on the “vegetable oils.” Because, see, for those of us who do understand these effects, they’re not stunning. They’re not even the least bit surprising. They’re nothing more than the most basic human physiology and biochemistry. This is stuff it doesn’t take a medical degree to figure out. Regular ol’ non-doctor folks can figure this out just fine for themselves. A diabetic armed with nothing but a drugstore glucometer can figure out that if (s)he needs to avoid gigantic spikes in blood sugar (and, presumably, insulin), grains and dense starches are most likely off the menu.


Case in point: posted here, with permission from Steve Cooksey, the “Diabetes Warrior.” He’s said this more powerfully (and succinctly) than I can:




How many of these “anecdotes” have to accumulate before they reach a critical mass? I know personal stories are not data and never will be. But shouldn’t someone sit up and start taking notice? How many thousands of anecdotes have to pile up before they become “anecdata?”

As most of us know, there is a huge and growing-ever-huger body of scientific literature to support the efficacy of low-carb and Paleo diets. And this isn’t nebulous, black-magic, smoke & mirrors-type stuff that we don’t understand. We do understand the mechanisms. They make sense. In the light of the most basic, fundamental principles about how the human body works, they Just. Make. Sense.

So why is it that healthcare professionals have such a roadblock to understanding what any high school kid armed with a biochem textbook can see plain as day? After all, these people aren’t stupid. The dumbest person who gets to call him/herself an “MD” is still pretty damn intelligent. (Or maybe they’re just good at memorizing sh*t, which isn’t the same thing.) Why do logic and common sense completely fall apart when it comes to practicing medicine?

Okay, yes, doctors are pimped out influenced by the drug companies. Bought and paid for, in many cases. I know. I understand.

But still.

Facts are facts. Human metabolism is human metabolism. The liver is the liver; the pancreas is the pancreas. While certain things might be open to a great deal of widely varying interpretation, ultimately, facts are facts.


2.


Confession: I am a terrible nutritionist.

No, really, it’s true. I’m not just saying that. If any of you happened to have clicked on my “Services” tab in the last couple of months, you’ll have noticed that I’ve temporarily taken down my shingle. Closed up shop. (And at this point, I’m not sure about the “temporarily” part anymore.)

Why?

I suck at nutrition life.
Well, you might think from my blog posts that I kinda sorta have some vague idea of what I’m talking about. I believe I’m a good writer, and I think one of my strongest skills is in translating the scientific and medical gobbledygook into plain English so that we can all understand what are otherwise some pretty complex things about the human body. (Based on the feedback I get about the blog, this is what you, dear readers, enjoy about my writing. Plus, my sarcasm and wry wit. I love you, too!) But I can assure you that, regardless of whatever knowledge my more popular posts make it seem like I have, my career as a nutritionist giving one-on-one consultations has been a long string of failures, uninterrupted by even one success. So it seems that while I’m halfway decent at understanding the basics of human metabolism, and conveying that information to others in writing, when it comes to helping people apply that knowledge in their own lives in order to get the results they’re after, I am one step shy of totally incompetent.

Why am I telling you this? Why am I advertising the fact that I’m a complete failure as a nutritionist?

One thing you will always get from me is honesty. I tell you when things are going great, and I tell you when things are not going great. So in what is perhaps my biggest bit of honesty to date here on the blog (even bigger than this one), let me share with you the thought that immediately comes to mind when I get an initial email inquiry from a potential new client: “Oh, great, someone else I can fail.”

Is it me? Is it them? Is it Saturn rising in Aquarius? Probably all three. (No, just kidding about that last one. It’s the first two.) I am, in fact, going to reopen my practice soon, and I will be doing things very differently. I’ve met with some mentors to see how I can help people be more successful, and I’m looking forward to them and me feeling better about all this. 

But I digress. The reason I’m telling you all this ugly stuff about me is because the way I feel about my own career makes it impossible for me to understand how these doctors live with themselves. When healthcare practitioners have an endless slew of patients who never get better, who only get worse and worse, who need to take more and more drugs, and have ever-riskier surgical procedures, why do they never feel like failures? Do they just assume the patients are either not following “doctor’s orders,” are lazy and/or stupid, or that their illnesses really are SO TERRIBLE, and SO PERMANENT and irreversible, that it really doesn’t matter what a doctor says or does, because the patient is going to get worse and worse regardless?

Is that how these people can sleep at night? By absolving themselves of any and all responsibility in their patients' outcomes? Is it because they never engage in introspection, and wonder if maybe what all their sick-and-getting-sicker patients have in common is having them as their doctor? 

Okay, yes, some physicians have a “God complex,” and fully believe themselves infallible and above reproach in all ways. But not all doctors are giagantic jagoffs that arrogant. Why do so many of them never question their methods? Why do so few of them ever stop to wonder if maybe it’s them? Their methods that are failing? Their interventions that are useless (or worse, counter-productive)? I guess this where I’ve been going wrong as a nutritionist: when my clients don’t get results, I assume, every time, that it’s my fault. Rightly or wrongly, I take personal responsibility for it to the point that I've convinced myself I have no right to be a nutritionist at all. (It's all good, though. No llores por mi, Argentina. See the postscript at the end of this post.)

As for the doctors, I can’t imagine how demoralizing it must be to see patient after patient—someone’s father, someone’s mother, someone’s sister, someone’s son—get sicker and sicker, take more and more medication, and become more and more debilitated and unwell—often while doing exactly what they’re telling them to do. People follow their advice, yet become sicker and more debilitated. Does that sound like a fun, fulfilling, satisfying, uplifting profession to be engaged in day in and day out?  (No wonder they spend as much time as possible on the golf course!) It must be especially bad considering these people took an oath to “do no harm.” Granted, they probably don’t think they are doing harm—at least, not intentionally. But the total and utter lack of people getting better suggests that they’re not exactly doing a whole lot of good, either. 

But maybe they just try not to think about that. It’s much easier to bury their head in the sand, “shut up and color,” and a few other phrases that translate roughly to “ignore the awkward facts and go about your business in order to avoid crippling cognitive dissonance for as long as it takes to pay back your massive pile of medical school debt.”

When some of these professionals see patients who say…
  • “Doc, y’know, I stopped eating wheat a few months ago and I’ve lost 40 pounds.”
  • “I stopped eating dairy, and my IBS is gone.”
  • “After 3 years of failing to conceive a child, I gave up and decided to focus instead on cleaning up my diet. I tried that Paleo thing, and to my surprise, I’m 2 months along now!”
  • “Doc, I’ve started the Atkins diet, and I think I might need to lower my insulin dose, or maybe quit taking it altogether, because when I test my blood sugar now, sometimes it's actually going a little too low.” 


Your A1c went from 10.2 to 5.3?
TELL ME HOW, TELL ME HOW,
TELL ME HOW!!!
…They shouldn’t just nod and smile patronizingly. THEY SHOULD BE THE ONES THE MOST INTERESTED in how it happened, because they are the ones in the best position to help others. Instead of dismissing it as “just one of those weird things that happens now and then,” they should be saying, “HOLY COW! I have a hundred other patients just like you: obese, diabetic, arthritic, infertile, with acne, and chronic fatigue. HOW THE HECK DID YOU ACCOMPLISH WHAT YOU’VE ACCOMPLISHED? TELL ME EVERY SINGLE DETAIL, SO I CAN TELL EVERYONE ELSE. In fact, let me arrange a talk, so you can speak to them yourself. Bring some “before” pictures if you have any. I’ll print out your labwork so we can show everyone how far you’ve come. Better yet, I’ll invite some of my colleagues, so they can learn, too!”


3.


Okay. That was a nice jaunt through fantasy land, wasn’t it? Back to reality. Obviously, one of the larger reasons doctors have a hard time believing these “miraculous” transformations is because, sure, they’re rare. Those of us who are immersed in the LCHF/Paleo/Primal/WAPF worlds have a distorted view of healthcare and nutrition. You and I might think this is all “normal” and totally second nature. It’s easy to think this, when every blog, website, journal article, and Twitter feed we read keeps us surrounded in our comfy bubble of real food. But in the larger world out there, this stuff is almost unheard of. The vast majority of healthcare professionals and dieting disciples are still preaching the virtues of healthywholegrains and condemning arterycloggingsaturatedfat to the ninth circle of hell. The main message coming through about weight loss and better health is still to “eat less and move more,” despite decades upon decades of this advice having been proven over and over to be a total failure. 

And when patients follow this advice—and take a slew of “blockbuster” pharmaceutical drugs—yet continue to get sicker, I guess maybe it is logical for doctors to conclude that heart disease, type-2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and more, really are progressive and irreversible. After all, they almost never see it reversed. (And on the rare occasion they do see this, it’s because someone did something absolutely nuts, like eliminate grains and corn oil from their diet, but everyone knows grains and vegetable oils are good for us, so there’s no way there’s a connection there.) So either those conditions really are death sentences, or maybe the patients are just lying. All of them. Liars, liars, pants-on-fire. Maybe that heart disease patient is not using margarine instead of butter, like the doctor suggested. Maybe that type-2 diabetic is not eating a bowl of fat-free, high-fiber whole grain cereal with skim milk, as the dietitian and “certified diabetes educator” recommended. No one ever gets better because no one actually does what the professionals tell them to do. No one really wants to change their diet. Everyone just wants a pill. A quick fix. Every single patient. They want to take medication. They want to inject themselves with insulin three times a day. That obese, diabetic patient with coronary heart disease is obviously not following the recommended "heart healthy diet," because if he was, he wouldn't be obese, diabetic, and have heart disease anymore.

Are the ties between the pharmaceutical industry and the medical profession really that strong? Has “Big Pharma” really managed to convince doctors—who, despite the jokes we make and the insults we hurl, really do spend years studying human anatomy, physiology, and biochemistrythat illnesses and dis-eases that are caused by dietary and lifestyle factors cannot be treated and reversed via the same? Then again, unfortunately, it’s probably not well advertised in medical textbooks that Alzheimer’s disease is type-3 diabetes, or that mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are huge players in Parkinson’s disease, or that insulin has a far greater effect on blood pressure than sodium from salty foods does.

All I know is, this has got to stop. The lack of attention given to ancestral health and evolutionary biology in medical schools and across the entire healthcare profession is a travesty. (You can listen to Sir Robb Wolf spout a beautiful rant about this on this podcast if you are so inclined, or read the transcript here. It’s a long show, but the pertinent part is short, and occurs between the 15 and 20 minute marks. [The transcript also includes the time hacks, so you can scroll down to it if you’re pressed for time.] If you don’t know how RW got into all this Paleo stuff in the first place, listen from the beginning. [And yes, I just knighted him.])


Fortunately, more and more laypeople are discovering this stuff for themselves. Unlike my mother, they are not content to just follow doctor’s orders while they continue to spiral deeper into a bottomless pit of declining health and disappearing vitality. They are taking matters into their own hands, and are experiencing improved health that should, but does not, leave doctors, dietitians, and nutritionists completely astounded. (The link there is classic. If you have some time, scroll through the comments and see the American Diabetes Association get its *ss handed to itself, courtesy of type-1s [and a few type 2s] chiming in about stellar blood glucose control achieved by doing the opposite of the traditional ADA dietary advice.) People are experiencing wonderful feats of healing and undergoing incredible transformations in their overall cardio-metabolic health not by following doctors' orders, but by ignoring them. In many cases, people are regaining their health and vitality not because of a doctor's advice, but in spite of it.

There is hope!
Fortunately as well, there are doctors and dietitians who get it. The list grows longer every day, but the ones that come to mind immediately include Theodore Naiman, Rakesh “Rocky” Patel, Jeff Gerber, Jason Fung, David Ludwig, William Davis, Sarah Hallberg, Michael Eades, Aseem Malhotra, Malcolm Kendrick, Andreas Eenfeldt, Georgia Ede, David Perlmutter, Stephen Phinney, Eric Westman, Jeff Volek, Franziska Spritzler, Miriam Kalamian, and Beth Zupec-Kania. (I was going to post links to each of their sites, but you can find them easily enough on your own.) And the reason these practitioners are well-versed in low-carb, Paleo/Primal, and ketogenic diets is because they did do the introspection I've talked about here. Whether it was because they, themselves had become ill or overweight, and the conventional advice failed to yield the expected results, or something finally made them stop and examine why so few -- if any -- of their patients ever got better, they started questioning their standard operating procedures. (Maybe, like me, they got tired of feeling like failures in their profession. They're intelligent people. They're dedicated and hardworking people. They're good doctors. So why was no one ever getting better? Fortunately for the multiple thousands of people they have now collectively helped, they were also humble and inquisitive enough to realize that something just wasn't right. If only all healthcare and nutrition professionals were imbued with these same qualities, eh? )


As I often do, I’ll leave you with a link to a post similar to this one, but written by someone who is far more succinct than I am capable of: It’s all MY FAULT! (by Tess Kissack Howell.)



P.S. Yes, I know darn well that lots of people do want the medication. The quick fix bullsh*t temporary solution. I understand that doctors are presented day in and day out with people who are not going to quit their Mountain Dew habit, or give up their cereal and blueberry muffin breakfast. Okay, fine. But there are plenty of other people, who, if presented with advice that might actually work, instead of the same old bullcrap eat less, move more nonsense that has failed them time and again, then maybe, just maybe, they'd be more open to making some changes.

P.P.S. About the state of my nutrition practice: don’t feel bad about me putting things on hold. Can I and will I be doing things differently when I reopen? Yes. Do I think these changes will help my clients get better results? Yes. But I am also going to stop holding myself personally accountable for whether someone else loses weight. (Or feels more energy, or whatever else.) While I can guide someone as much as I can, and help them tweak & change things as necessary, ultimately, all I can really do is provide the most accurate information I can. I’ve realized that one-on-one consultations aren’t my strong suit. That’s not a character flaw, just the simple truth. I’m not cut out for them. It takes a certain temperament and personality type to be a “cheerleader” and a good hand-holder, and I don't have it. No biggie. It seems I can serve people better through sticking to my strengths: writing, and maybe teaching. (I like giving talks in the community, and I’d like to get into teaching at a community college or something. Maybe some “lifelong learning” classes, where it’s not a formal degree program, and I could just walk people through some basic anatomy & physiology, basic stuff about digestion and fuel partitioning…and drop a bunch of knowledge bombs along the way.) My point is, while I initially felt like a gigantic failure, I’ve come to terms with things. I can best participate in this industry while capitalizing on my strengths.








Remember: Amy Berger, MS, CNS, NTP, is not a physician and Tuit Nutrition, LLC, is not a medical practice. The information contained on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical condition. Links in this post and all others may direct you to amazon.com, where I will receive a small amount of the purchase price of any items you buy through my affiliate links.

47 comments:

  1. Hi Amy,

    Love the blog, every post leaves me grasping at how much I don't actually know but I'm determined to figure it all out. But I think I can help with why doctors don't get it as I've done a lot of study on situations like this.

    Max Planck said "Science advances one funeral at a time". This is absolutely true because it's darn near impossible to change someone's mind once it's made up. Change only occurs when the old guard dies off and fresh ideas are allowed to breed. The old guard are the gatekeepers and you must fall in line if you want to advance. A young person with a new idea is going to be squashed like a bug (it's a similar story with climatology and manmade global warming). The more evidence you have and the smarter your opponent, the harder people dig their heels in. Humans are hard wired to avoid cognitive dissonance and that's a major issue. When you've been pushing a hypothesis/course of treatment for years there's no way that most people would be able to say "Oh yeah, I've been doing it all wrong all these years. What was I thinking"? What happens instead is that the brain will ignore all evidence to the contrary or write off the other person as a quack just to avoid damage to the psyche. I would recommend reading a book called "Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)", it's full of situations where people were obviously wrong for years but couldn't change their minds.

    And then there's another quote by Upton Sinclair that puts some perspective on the situation - “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” It's another form of the avoidance of cognitive dissonance but just think about how much money is being made by the healthcare, research, pharmaceuticals and food industries by keeping people sick. I'm talking trillions each year. You wouldn't need to be outright crooked but you sure aren't going to look too hard at alternatives when that alternative is going to cost your your comfy $250k per year job. And let's be honest, if people weren't eating crap food and going on medications wouldn't the healthcare industry take a 90% cut in revenue immediately? Personally I want nothing to do with an industry that has no financial incentive to see me well and every incentive to see me sick. I've always thought we should pay doctors when we're well and stop paying them when we're sick, I bet things would change for the better almost immediately.

    But the real problem is that your average person is intellectually lazy or are simply overawed by "experts". This entire problem goes away if people would take responsibility for their own outcomes. I know people who will go to "The Biggest Loser" Ranch and talk about how much weight they lost and then the next year they're posting on Facebook about going back to the ranch again because they regained all the weight and then some. They never clue in that the advice they're following may not be right, they always blame themselves for being weak because their doctor couldn't be wrong, right? My days of trusting "experts" are over because they're very rarely correct. How many economists predicted the housing market crash? What about that Y2k disaster that was predicted? Why do people keep believing these folks when they are never right? At some point people need to understand that they are responsible for their own outcomes and when that day happens this bad information will simply go away.

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    1. Not really sure what to say, except: YES. Agree. With all of it. I've heard those lines - about science progressing one funeral at a time, and things depending on a man's salary. Only too true. That's why I have so much respect for Tim Noakes. He is one of the rare ones who has admitted quite loudly how wrong he was in the past. (We could say the same about Peter Attia.) Mark Hyman, too. What he said in his podcast with Chris Kresser today was spot-on.

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  2. I'm touched by your shout-out! Thank you, Amy! I also appreciate your far-more-professional take on the bad-advice problem in the medical/diet world!

    The VERY BEST of luck with your practice's re-start! :-)

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    1. Thanks! :) Now you can see I wasn't kidding when I said you beat me to it.

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  3. Love, love, LOVE it, Amy.

    I think not only is the medicine to blame, but to an extent also the people, who want to eat shit food (might be better off just eating... ahem, nevermind) and have been led to believe, or simply are too lazy / unwilling to take their health into their own hands.

    I realize more and more, that a huge amount of my health is in my OWN hands, and I need to OWN it!

    And as always, don't stop writing.

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    1. It personally took me about 5 years from the time I first started an Atkins diet to believe it could possibly be true. And that's in the face of evidence by my body of feeling great, with a lack of hunger. But we've been inculcated for decades to believe that low fat is good, that we "need" carbs to exercise or for our brains, etc. My daughter is in third grade and already has two years of inculcation into the food pyramid/plate/whatever it's called now. I know people who refuse to eat pork or fatty meat of any kind because it has fat. It's not a simple process to take everything you've believed for decades and toss it in the trash.

      I also think that sugar/wheat is incredibly addictive. The few times I go off low carb every year (mainly when going on vacation), I will go back on low carb and I'll overeat (low carb) for days and have an unnatural hunger. I think these cause a physical hunger in some people (like me and my wife) that's difficult to ignore. And I've done many 3 day and several 5 day fasts. I'm familiar with ignoring the physical signs of hunger, but sugar/wheat causes an almost drug-like hunger that's hard to ignore.

      I also think it's uncomfortable coming to grips with your being wrong. I no longer believe in pretty much anything I used to believe in (I had to eat 5+ meals a day, low fat is the way to eat, saturated fat is evil, I need carbs for energy/exercise, stretching is good/prevents injury, exercise causes weight loss, salt is bad for you and must be avoided,...I could go on and on), but it's taken me a really long time to reach these conclusions. And I don't like being on the "outside" when 95%+ people think your crazy. Seriously, get a conversation about saturated fat going at work and tell them you eat as much fat and particularly animal fat per day and see what happens. (And if you think that's bad, tell them you will often fast a day or even 3+ days-- you'll be committed.)

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    2. Seed -- yeah, there *are* people out there who don't want to own their choices and take their health destiny into their own hands, but the people I feel sad for are the ones who *want to,* but whose healthcare practitioners will try to talk them out of it, or who don't even believe there *are* dietary and lifestyle interventions they can do for their conditions, so they don't even mention it. But then again, if those people are *really* serious about finding something that might work, a little bit of searching, and they'll come upon Mark's Daily Apple, or the Wheat Belly Blog, or Bob Brigg's videos.

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    3. Bob -- yes, this is multifactorial. I think wheat and sugar are addictive, but some people are more susceptible than others. I've long since come to grips about having been wrong...I only wish I had discovered the facts about 10 years before I did. When I think back to some of the things I used to eat on a daily basis, honestly, I feel like it's a miracle I have any pancreatic and liver function left whatsoever. I try not to think about it too much, but sometimes I wonder how I'd look now if I hadn't been living off of breakfast cereal, bagels, pasta, wheat bread, margarine, etc., for so many years. It's bad enough when I didn't know, and I was just a high school or college student. But when *doctors* and nutritionists/dietitians don't know, then, we're in real trouble.

      You're right, though -- the messages most people are getting about red meat, saturated fat, salt, and more, basically make it impossible for them to even consider for one second that people like you and I aren't completely out of our minds. That's why I never talk about these issues unless specifically asked. I never preach to friends or family, and I don't go up to strangers in the supermarket. If someone else specifically broaches a conversation, I'll participate (sometimes begrudgingly), but I rarely to never initiate one.

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  4. Wish you well in your re-start.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks, Jan! I'm still very nervous about it, but if people are coming to me, it's because they want my help. This lack of self-confidence has been a lifelong issue, and it's gotta stop. I have to trust that while I certainly don't know everything, I know enough to give people at least *some* information and perspective they might not have on their own.

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  5. The anecdotal accounts to a doctor resonates with me.

    I am not the type to go to a PCP for a yearly physical, so I only see my PCP when I have a problem. So she doesn't know me well/remember me as an individual. I'm a woman, 5'7 and was ~ 200 pounds. I then lost 60 lbs on low carb, and I didn't see my doctor through the year plus that I was losing that weight. When I did see her again, she said, "My computer files says I should counsel you on your weight problem, but I'm confused because you clearly don't have a weight problem." I told her I used to be overweight but lost it. She asked me how I did and I said "low carb/paleo-ish." I thought she might lecture me, but she asked, "If you go to a restaurant, what do you order?" And I said something like a bunless burger or a salad with chicken. Her only response to that was "Oh hmm but I'm a vegetarian."

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    1. At least she didn't try to talk you out of it. If it works, it works, as they say. :) And congrats on the weight loss!

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  6. Amy - I have to finally reply. I've been lurking for so long. You are a great writer, your writer's "voice" shines through and you should keep on doing it. I have a perspective on this to share. It is going to be pushing a boulder up the mountain! But it will be lighter work if there are more of us doing it together and that's why I think you should keep writing and teaching.....

    I have a unique job. I was a biology major, experience in sales, talking to scientists/geeks for 20 years. Then I got a job with a non-profit to help facilitate organ donation. I meet the doctors in the ICU... the neurologists, cardiologists. I've met the transplant surgeons at the "major" academic medical institutions. I think it is only partially that they are in it for the money... it's the Training, It's the "Culture" of their profession for everything to be now "evidence-based", and so now for any change to come, it has to have 5-10 years of confirmation in JAMA or NEJM or BMJ. That is why this is so slow..... I myself am an avid reader, had read every single diet book since 1984. I read and did "protein power" back in the day and had great results....but then I backslided.. it never finally "clicked" until I had a friend ask me why I was hungry/jittery/hangry/and down-right mean only 2 hours after I had eaten a big bowl of steel-cut oatmeal. I suspected it was a blood sugar issue and I went back to my books in search of clues. I found Tim Ferris' 4 hour body (Slow carb) that referenced Robb Wolf's book and then I read that and nothing has been the same since. I did it. I lived it. and have never looked back. No more issues. I am the healthiest 49 year-old woman you will ever meet(except for the work stress, which I am trying to address!)

    As part of my job, I read medical records of the recently departed ( dead, died, gone!! ;-( for a living, ... not every day, but probably 40 per month for the last NINE years. Believe me, I am ANGRIER than you!!! to read every day so many medical acrnomyms , people who have lost their limbs (DBKA = double- below knee amputations, having a heart attack (finally) at the dialysis center they go to 4x per week....) it is absolutely nauseating and SICKENING! And they are waiting (mostly in vain) for the kidney transplant that the organization I work for hopefully will be able to provide from some other recently departed soul who may actually be too sick ALSO to donate their organs now... lots of 'rule outs' for NASH and Chronic Kidney disease..... The waiting list for a kidney transplant from a deceased donor is 4-7 years..... People do not understand the RISKS of not minding their own damn health. Most human beings live in a perpetual state of denial... Even me, who was reading this smack-in-the-face for 5- 7 years, day after day,....did not take action until I FELT it in my body, my body shaky and saying "something is wrong that you are hungry so soon, even though you're mostly eating healthy stuff, just too much of it!!)... It is human nature, Amy. To avoid thoughts of death and mortality. I think that a lot of physicians see patients and presume that they want the "pill" or easy solution and would never consider or comply with any sort of nutritional of lifestyle intervention..... so they don't suggest it.

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  7. But mostly, they don't know about it because it's not in the "journals"... so ergo, it is NOT the "standard of care". They have zero training in nutrition and don't accept that it can have the degree of impact that we KNOW it can. I have so many family members with RA or psoriasis that will not even TRY a gluten-free test to see how they can feel better. To try an "intervention" that is not a "pill" is too difficult or not doctor-sanctioned, so why bother.. It kills me too. I am a kindred soul on the level of how much I want to rant about this... I don't know what else to say. I am hopeful somewhat that with the number of baby boomers who will be developing DM2 in the next 5 years... some will be smart enough to research this and figure out that a small subset of us have "cracked the nut" on this problem many years prior -- so thank goodness for the internet- because your writing will be there when they finally google it.... Unfortunately most people will not take any action until desperate measures are called for!... I hope it will be BEFORE my colleagues come to meet their family on the ICU and ask if they might be willing to donate their organs ( presuming any are worthy/medically suitable for transplanting to save the life of a waiting recipient!) it's a totally f'd up system. I read and live this every day. It is depressing. But I thank you for the rant, and hopefully people will read it and take action to save themselves or a family member. I'm IN it. The medical system is not set up for good science to take hold until it is way too late for many many people. L.

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    1. Thanks for coming out of lurkerdom, LZ! And with such an insightful comment, too. (Thanks for the compliments about my writing. Always appreciated!) I don't know if you read the post I wrote about my mother, but I could honestly wring every one of those doctors' necks. Such freaking idiots. But you're right. It's not necessarily their fault. They are awash in the pharmaceutical & procedure paradigm. Honestly, though, I can't imagine wanting to go into medicine, thinking you're going to save lives, make a difference, and all that jazz, only to spend your days helping people "manage" their illnesses, and basically keeping them as functional and comfortable as possible as they inevitably get worse and worse. How discouraging and depressing that must be. Haven't I read somewhere that the rate of alcoholism among doctors and nurses is huge? Can't say I'm surprised. If I faced what they face every day, I'd drown my thoughts in booze, too.

      You brought up something I'd never thought of before: transplants. If things keep going they way they are now, so many people will have NASH, failing kidneys, weak hearts, etc., that the waiting lists for transplants will become even longer, and there will be virtually no "good"/healthy organs available to transplant anyway. They're all going to come from young, healthy-ish people involved in freak traumatic accidents, because no one else will have organs remotely suitable to be put in someone else's body.

      As for evidence-based medicine, I do understand that medical professionals want to be confident that what they're doing is the gold standard of care. But I guess what I'm trying to say is, at this point, low-carb *IS* evidence based. The amount of studies that have been published by now should be enough to cause a ripple of change, but all we've had so far is silence. Or worse, studies about how red meat causes cancer. And these studies have been published in heavy-hitting journals. We could say the same about studies that have called into question the safety of statins, of low-sodium diets. We *do* have evidence. Maybe it just hasn't reached a critical mass yet. It's going to take many more years to turn the Titanic away from the iceberg. And honestly, what's going to turn it around is US -- people taking matters into their own hands. This change is going to come from the ground up, not the top down. When people are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, *that's* when they get fed up, get curious, and get searching. And maybe they find Robb Wolf, or Mark Sisson, or Gary Taubes, or Andreas Eenfeldt.

      It's just a shame that it has to go this way. It *should* be coming from the doctors. And I'm confident it will...in another quarter-century or so. ;-)

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  8. Amy,
    I understand your frustration and rant. Sadly, it will takes years for many to change. Bob Johnson's reply hits on several of the factors responsible. I'm sure there are many more.

    Just today I was talking to a physician friend, a long time vegetarian, and mentioned the new Dietary Guideline for Americans stating that cholesterol was no longer a nutrient of concern. That got us into a discussion about fat. Trying to avoid a head on clash, I said how conflicted the evidence was on the issue. He was certain that low fat was best and that almost all physician agreed with that position. I'm sure he is correct that most physicians do believe in recommending low fat regimens.

    Keep the great posts coming; you have followers out here. Best of luck when you decide to re-start you consultation practice.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement. Honestly, there probably are a few people out there who do just fine on a low-fat diet. But I think it's fairly obvious by now that there are several million who don't, and the government and private medical organizations should immediately cease dispensing blanket recommendations for the entire population. The evidence is in on that, and it's been an unequivocal disaster.

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  9. Hi Amy and thank you for the most entertaining health blog! I found you some time ago and been reading and enjoying your writings almost daily. Your writing style just gets better and better. This one is on the top of my favourites! You just hit 100% how I also feel about this!

    I also read the blogs of most of those you mentioned and have read their books, too. To make that list even more complete I'd like to add one person in particular as he is going thru a witch hunt against himself and fighting it successfully. He will win the establishment and start the avalanche of better health. I hardly can wait that to happen.
    He is the one I would want to knight - (Sir) Timothy Noakes of South Africa. I assume you are well aware of him, but just forgot to include him in your list:

    http://realmealrevolution.com/real-thinking/prof-noakes-a-career-characterised-by-challenging-beliefs

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    1. Yes, I love Noakes. Big fan. Seems like he is almost single-handedly changing the way much of South Africa eats. (Well, with lots of help from the HPCSA. The hearing is really backfiring for them, I think -- it's actually giving lots and lots of media attention to low-carb, thus exposing thousands [millions?] to the merits of eating this way. The digger the hole they dig for themselves, the more people start seeing the logic in what Noakes is arguing.) :)

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    2. And thanks for reading! Always makes me feel good when someone enjoys my writing. That's the best part about having a blog at all.

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  10. Paulo Augusto FrankeFebruary 27, 2016 at 5:10 AM

    Whoa... Now that was a nuclear blast on the US medical establishment! Which is quickly becoming an efficient death machine, similar to the equally efficient and deadly American war machine. Time for activism has come, good for everyone to have AB on the bright side of the battle. Congrats for the courage, thanks for what you do to help us out.

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    1. Thanks, Paulo! An efficient death machine...yes.

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  11. Amy,
    Don’t be so hard on yourself. If your one-on-one advice isn’t working it’s because people are just not following your advice. If they were then they would find their health improving.

    Poor diet is so pervasive that most of the population can’t see it for what it is. Of those that care most turn to official organisations for advice believing that what they say is good and bad for us must be correct because they are the “experts” with lots of qualifications. The message from these “experts” is reinforced by food industry advertising extolling the virtues of processed vegetable oils in lowering the dreaded cholesterol and that “healthy” sugar laden cereal crap as good for you. People are brainwashed and don’t realize it. So when you do a 180 on their beliefs they probably nod and agree to avoid potentially offending you, try what you propose for a few days, don’t see an immediate improvement and revert to whatever crap diet they were on before - and lie to you about it. It is incredibly difficult to get the average person to change as they are clueless about biochemistry and just want a quick fix. Never occurs to them that if it took years to decline to the point where they seek help they are not going to get better in a few weeks. I’ve got relatives that are in terrible health as result of following their doctor’s advice and just refuse to see the error of their ways. He/she’s a DOCTOR so they must know what’s right. Blind leading the blind.

    I don’t know what you say to potential clients but I would start by pointing out that what they are going to be told is likely to go against everything they believe and that they must be prepared to trust you and to do as you say otherwise it’s a waste of time starting. Better to lose those that won’t be told at the beginning rather than waste time on them. Concentrate on those that are prepared to embrace a new way of living. My apologies if you already do this.

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement. Honestly, most of the people who come to me are already following a Paleo or low-carb diet, so the cognitive dissonance really isn't there. These people are already comfortable eating red meat and butter, and aren't brainwashed with the whole grains thing. But they're not getting the results they want. (Although, after doing a lot of thinking about this, I've realized most of them were probably closer to 60/40 or 70/30, when even the 80/20 thing isn't going to cut it for some people. If people want serious results, then they need serious compliance, and I think some people just aren't ready or willing to go those extra miles. They *think* they are, and they truly *want* to be, but when it really comes down to it, they're not.) I am going to be interacting differently with clients from now on -- much more realistic expectations, and also I'll do a better job of explaining that this stuff is an art, not a science. I mean, yes, of course, it's all *based* in science, but it takes a lot of tweaking and changing things, lots of experimentation, before landing on combination of things that really gets people where they want to be. I think people are expecting miracles in a matter of days or weeks, and often that just doesn't happen.

      But your point is well taken: I'm also going to be more selective about who I work with. Only people who are really "there," in terms of mindset. Otherwise, it's a waste of my time, and a waste of their time *and* money.

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  12. Hi Amy, new to your blogs and learning lots. My GP is interested in what I'm doing but diabetes specialist not so much. T2 diagnosis 3 years ago and advised to lose 10kg which I did. Six months after stable weight diabetes came roaring back and positive antibody tests changed diagnosis to T1. The only treatment option was what kind of insulin was best for me. Immediately on getting my bg test I bought a blood test metre and realised straight away the effect even a single slice of bread did to bg. As you say, not much intellectual effort to make the link! From bg at change of diagnosis of 25 I dropped it to normal (<8) simply by changing my diet. Hba1c now inside normal range for 14 months and never used insulin. I am still on metformin.
    Antibodies are supposedly relatively short lived but I cannot find how long they last. I'm guessing they will eventually drop away as the high insulin demand ceases.
    Although the diet change has taken some effort to work out, I'm now quite comfortable and totally unconcerned if I'm eating out about having a small meal. I always used to get hungry even between meals but quickly realised this was sugar craving and not hunger. True hunger is 'clean' and easy to manage.
    Lots more to learn, thanks for your clear and wide ranging posts.
    Warrick

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    1. You're doing great, Warrick! Good for you for being proactive and seeing what *you* could do to help yourself. We're all still on the learning curve, myself included. (Almost) every time I read a paper about insulin, cancer, or diabetes, I learn something new. If only I could blog about *all* of it! ;)

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  13. Yes, it will take time to turn the tide, but it is indeed turning. I watched my mother deteriorate from the side effects of statins and have done a lot of reading since. The books I found are major eye-openers, like Are Your Prescriptions Killing You? by Armon Neal, and How Statin Drugs Really Lower Cholesterol and Kill You One Cell at a Time by the Yosephs. Oh, then there's The Truth about the Drug Companies by Marcia Angell. Books are being written by the dozens, and people are starting to see the truth. There are piles of books on the cholesterol/statin scam alone. I believe a lot of the problem lies in the mentality of the older generation- all things good come out of the chem lab, drugs are wonder cures and doctors know everything. (Anyone else remember the ad- Better Living Through Chemistry?) But the generations that are coming up now are much more skeptical and more apt to question things. It may take attrition to clean out the medical profession, if that ever actually happens, but at least the unwashed masses are waking up slowly! Or so I believe. Side note- in reading your post, I got tickled and snorted snot onto my keyboard!

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    1. You're right -- the truth is starting to emerge, and it's happening much more so in the younger people. The ones who don't want a pill or a quick fix -- maybe in part because they're seeing the failure of that approach in their parents and grandparents and are telling themselves there's got to be a better way...a way that actually *works.* This really is going to a change from the bottom up, and not from the top down. Social media is a huge player in all this. Think of all the Facebook pages and various forums and blogs where people are learning about others reversing their T2 diabetes through diet and lifestyle, using ketogenic diets to augment cancer treatment, putting rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis into remission. None of this is coming from doctors, but rather, being shared among laypeople who are taking matters into their own hands. I love it!

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  14. Hi Amy, wow lots of emotion in this one, but mostly warranted. I have one small note of regret however. My own doctor who I have been with for 30 years is very much someone I respect (he saved my youngest daughters life). However he also falls in to the category of dispensing conventional advice.

    When I developed high cholesterol he wanted to put me on statins, which I resisted, but he personally has seen very few adverse consequences from these drugs and believes unequivocally that high cholesterol is dangerous. As he is totally sincere and well meaning I can only conclude that people of goodwill can differ.

    However I believe, probably like you that he is a captive to the morally mutant medical care/food/pharma industries that totally don't care and he is trapped by "standard of care" guidelines that really do limit his freedom, even if he wanted to believe other than he does.

    I did a substantial investigation of cholesterol upon diagnosis and came to exactly the opposite conclusion so refused treatment for it, that is when my eyes were opened. I wrote myself a 150 page summary of research and included this comment at the front.

    "Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) is an invented disease. It has been used, against strong opposition, with the purpose to induct large numbers of healthy people into the medical care system for profit and this has been done through widespread misrepresentation and fraud. It is unscientific in that it has extremely weak and conflicting experimental and theoretical support. It has been repeatedly falsified, but persists because it has high profile apologists, including in government; it is big business and very profitable. It has taken me a long time and an inordinate amount of reading and review to reach this conclusion.

    This is a grave charge.

    The food industry, particularly the edible oils industry, through its Washington lobby, the NIH and the medical system has created a monster that is causing and will cause untold damage and misery. The situation is similar to big tobacco's efforts to poison people for profit and is by no means unprecedented."

    I think this situation is not limited to Hypercholesterolemia. There is a monstrous battle brewing between these groups and the public and it will be resolved along the same lines as the tobacco debacle, I think. Pit y so many people will have to suffer between now and then.

    Cheers.

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    1. Well, you're uncommonly motivated, Tim. Based on your comments in the past, you have a particular interest in learning about all this, so you were able to make some eye-opening discoveries on your own. Most people are not going to take even ten minutes to figure out what's going on with their own bodies, sadly. You're right, though -- ultimately, this ship will be righted...eventually -- probably when the evidence becomes just too overwhelming and obvious to ignore. (In my opinion, we're already there, but I'm not in medical school being bombarded by the opposite messages, nor working in a medical office or hospital where pharmaceutical company reps are dropping off literature and "schwag" with their logos all over it, nor sponsoring fancy "continuing education" conferences in exotic locales or treating me to lunch at fancy restaurants.) The question is, how many people will be become debilitated and/or die prematurely in the many more years before the ship is righted? What happened to my mother should not happen to anyone else.

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  15. Hi Amy,
    Please keep posting - just love the way in which you pass on knowledge in such an entertaining and applicable manner. And please keep your practice going - the world needs people like you educating and caring for those who want to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing.

    Just this last week I was at a 2-day workshop. Breakfast was cereal, orange juice, pastries, toast. I walked in, took one look and walked back to my room for a tin of sardines that I always carry with me. One participant asked why I wasn't staying...said I didn't eat those sort of foods. Her reply was "Well, I don't have a choice." Oh dear! Recently a close friend discovered his blood pressure was more than through the roof (explained a few things that I thought were pointing towards dementia). Doctor wanted him on pills immediately. I asked if Doc had talked to him about diet, exercise, (something I have been nagging him about for years) - no; Doc just wrote out a prescription and wanted an appointment every week to monitor him. The pills worked quite quickly, so friend does not see the need to alter diet, change lifestyle or start doing a bit of exercise. I despair, but realise that so many people are like these two.
    You have no reason to lack confidence Amy - You Go Girl!

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    1. Thanks, Rosemary! I often carry sardines with me, too! Such great, portable, and inexpensive protein. :) Like Larcana says below, sadly, some people really *do* just want the pills. I understand it, but at the same time, I don't really understand it...

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  16. Thanks Amy, another great post. As a physician I can tell you that bucking the system leaves you at risk for lawsuits. But, I still do. In the last ten years of clinical work I have only had three patients follow my advice to change their diet to VLC. 3! They did well. All the others wanted a pill or potion. Sigh.

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    1. Only three?! o_O That is so...unfortunate. :-( Maybe I really *do* wear rose-colored glasses sometimes - which is almost amazing to consider, because I'm a huge pessimist! I guess I just find it hard to believe that people would rather inject themselves with insulin multiple times a day and end up with kidney failure, amputations, heart disease, etc., when they could be indulging in steak, bacon, and cheese instead. (Granted, no muffins, cookies, granola bars, etc., but still...)

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    2. They don't seem to process that there may be other things you can do. The noise from all the CW sounds out all the new info. It's very disheartening.

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  17. Hello Amy,

    First, once again a great and well written, enjoyable, though an excruciating subject, blog post.

    I read the posting right after it posted and there was only one comment. I looked again today and saw 34 comments. Wow, it really resonates with your audience.

    After having a heart attack at 40, my wife and I immediately followed the best advice out there and went on basically the Ornish ultra low fat, high carb diet. There is no question that a person can get skinny on a low fat diet. I went from 237 pounds at 6 feet tall, to 155 pounds in 5 months.

    However, Cardiolite stress tests every 2 years always caused my cardiologist to hang his head in his hands and say “I really should do another angio on you, but I know that there will be nothing I can do in there.” Lovely.

    Then 3 years ago, after the inevitable creep up of weight (20 pounds), my wife and I followed the advice from one of her friends who had been successful with Atkins. We dropped our 20 pounds in about 3 months and have maintained since. I really started researching the whole thing and exploring related blogs and realized that “grains and sugar aren’t food.”

    One year after going LC/HF, my cardiologist realized that it had been 2 years since my last Cardiolite stress test. When it was time to get the results of my lab work, I almost postponed because I really did not want the response I always got. He first said that my lab work was perfect.

    Then, he looked at the Cardiolite results. He said “the Cardiolite results look”…….wait for it……”excellent.” Wow.

    I went home and threw all those Ornish and low fat cookbooks, including many recipes of my own creation, into the garbage. (I couldn’t give them away because I knew the truth) It’s not food. 14 years of dietary torture. We will never go back.

    The kicker though, my cardiologist, of 14 years, never even asked what had changed, what made this happen. As I stared at a poster on the cubicle wall, advertising his new weight loss group and its use of a “balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, healthy whole grains, and exercise” I wasn’t about to volunteer any information.

    Amy, keep up the good fight!

    Rick

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    1. Thanks, Rick! There are really only half as many comments as it seems, because half the total is my replies to them. ;-) (I feel bad not replying when people comment. I want them to know I've seen them.) But yes, it looks like this has touched a nerve, including among physicians, which is good to see. (Dr. Ted Naiman left a great comment on my Facebook page.) I'm glad you and your wife have found a more palatable and enjoyable way to keep your hearts healthy and your weight in a good range. I enjoy vegetables very much, but at the same time, a good, medium-rare steak with a little bit blue cheese melted on top is *divine.* It's too bad your doctor wasn't more curious about how/why your test results improved so much. That's exactly what I wrote about in this post. They just shrug it off and move on to the next person who wants the pills. :(

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  18. Hi Amy,

    I would agree with Dr. Ted Naiman’s explanation that the attitude of dr's is imbedded in their training, and that genetics is the scapegoat. It’s amazing how genetics get blamed for so much these days; we can use it to excuse ourselves from our own lousy attitudes to obesity to murder. And judging from the long list of Dr Donald E Brown’s human Universals, maybe there’s good reason. But I would argue that Richard Dawkins’ cultural memes are at work rather than genes, especially manifesting in health problems within families, and within say, a doctors’ entire patient list. Now how do you stop the memes replication? Culture is generally identified from what people are talking about, what the stories are that do the rounds, what is talked about in the tea-room or round the water chiller. So we have to keep talking. It’s made easier today with the access social media is changing the world and it will change the way we find solutions to health and other problems. Here’s Noakes on “The role of the internet in determining the future of modern medicine.” (http://www.thenoakesfoundation.org/news/blog/profs-words-my-medical-epiphany)
    “The key change that will influence the future of medical practice is the growth of social media and the Internet. This will produced a fundamental change in the authority of medicine and all its practitioners.
    When patients had access to only one source of knowledge – for example their general practitioner – it mattered not if that physician prescribed treatments that did not work. The patient would never know if more effective treatments exist. But the growth of social media and the Internet has irrevocably changed that.
    Today through social media and the Internet, patients have access to the experiences of hundreds of millions of others producing what has been termed The Wisdom of the Crowds. The result is that treatments that work will be promoted on the Internet just as much as those, which do not work, will be ruthlessly exposed. And it will matter not who provides the treatments that work – in future patients will seek out those health providers regardless of their credentials or whether or not they attended an accredited institution of higher learning.
    In this way the Wisdom of the Crowds will undermine and ultimately surpass The Power of the Anointed.
    We live now in a society in which knowledge has been democratized. No longer can the Anointed – those directing our education at the world’s leading institutions – expect that the general public will simply accept their advice on the basis of the institution from which it comes or the professional credentials of those promoting it.
    Now it is only the advice that works that has long term credibility.
    The sooner our profession understands this, the better.”

    But it takes time to make changes. The inertia of professional jealousy, cognitive dissonance (we are all guilty of Googling until we find the answers we like), the long looping process of accepting change (denial, anger, negotiation, depression and final acceptance are fundamental hindrances..
    Reminds me of the saying “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." Interestingly, this quote is often incorrectly attributed to Arthur Schopenhauer. But actually in 1818 he wrote “Der Wahrheit ist allerzeit nur ein kurzes Siegesfest beschieden, zwischen den beiden langen ZeitrÄaumen, wo sie als Paradox verdammt und als Trivial gering geschÄatzt wir.” Which is translated as follows: “To truth only a brief celebration of victory is allowed between the two long periods during which it is condemned as paradoxical, or disparaged as trivial.” Now that nicely emphasises where we stand and why we will wait a long time for the celebration.
    And we also fight this nonsense “anecdotal evidence only”. To which I say, “Anecdotes might not be science, but it is certainly science at work.” So a reason to look deeper, not to look away.

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  19. I love your posts, Amy! As someone who has just discovered them, I will be rampaging through the archives, but this one was so spot-on I was moved to comment.

    I've been happily low-carbing since 2003, but menopause absolutely destroyed me. Doctors prescribed artificial hormones which worked for a while, but then made me worse. I dumped them and have been slowly (excruciatingly slowly) figuring out what has been going on, what I can do, and how to cope.

    Two doctors have been extremely helpful, and I wanted to let you know about their work:

    Dr. Jack Kruse, who believes we have actually confused our brain and ruined our natural circadian rhythm with modern lifestyles, including our food. Following his advice took my sleep from 4-5 hours a night to 9-10 hours, and also improved its quality!

    Dr. Michael Platt, whose theory of Adrenaline Dominance explains my whole life :) His insights into hormone mayhem have given me a real window into my condition.

    However, the mass of medical science has been utterly infuriating. They only want to throw pills at me, pills that will not address the underlying issues, but will destroy my cellular metabolism (statins) or force me into bizarre behavior (Ambien) or screw up what is already a brain struggling to manage my body (Prozac.)

    If one more white coat tells me "it's all in my head" I am going to verbally mangle them :)

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    1. Welcome to my tiny corner of the blogosphere! Happy to have you. :) I've never heard of Dr. Platt. Will have to check him out. I'm sort of familiar with Kruse, but to be honest, I'm not sure what to make of him. He's either completely brilliant or totally off his rocker. I can't even really understand some of what he writes, to tell the truth. It's way over my head...

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  20. Oh, and then I forgot the other thing I wanted to say :)

    This mass-produced food is not helping our pets, either. As an online Cat Guru, I recommend Catkins; a return to the cat's ancestral food pattern with raw diets, abundant canned food, and getting dry food out of the house as much as possible. Or at least going grain free with it.

    I am infuriated by the bags of cat food in the grocery store. Cheaper now, but more expensive when you add the vet visits and medication!

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    1. "Catkins!" Yes, I've heard of it. :D And really, it makes total sense. Why *wouldn't* an obligate carnivore animal get sick when it's fed crunchy pellets of corn, soy, wheat, and goodness only knows what else? I had a cat many, many years ago, long before I knew any of this. She used to go nuts whenever I opened a can of tuna. No wonder, eh? As they say, if I knew then what I know now, that would have been one healthy--and HAPPY--kitty. I have a couple of friends who feed their dogs and cats mostly raw meat. Not only do the animals *love it,* but they are all exceptionally beautiful and healthy -- shiny coats, healthy teeth, lots of energy, and honestly, a lot less smelly than pets being fed the standard American pet diet. ;-)

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  21. The truth isn't just 'out there' it's 'in here' too. Doctors of course have legal obligations to follow their official guidelines, more so where I live, ie if something goes wrong for whatever reason and they are found not to have followed the straight and narrow path then they can be found liable. So that informs us that these problems are essentially political and legal. What a mess. Nothing at all to do with science or reality.

    Perhaps ( fantasy) the best thing that could happen would be to wave a magic wand and GIVE all the obstructing professionals diabetes, and let them deal with it as well as they can. That might hasten a paradigm shift in one of two ways ie they would either follow the canonical advice and pass from view or they would change their opinions.

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    1. =O *That* is actually a fantastic idea! Not that I would wish poor health on anyone, but you're so right: if some of these MDs and RDs (and others), actually *were* obese, diabetic, had heart disease, or whatever, and then followed their own advice, they would very quickly see that something just ain't workin'. If I'm not mistaken, that's exactly how Tim Noakes got into low carb. (And we could probably say the same thing about many other low-carb/Paleo-friendly medical professionals. I think even the late, great, Dr. Atkins, himself, stumbled upon the older literature about LC after having gained some weight and wanting to get rid of it quickly and easily.)

      You're right about the lawsuits, too. It's equally bad in the U.S. It's really a sad state of affairs when you run the risk of getting sued and losing your license and livelihood by sticking to scientific facts about the human body. How the hell did we even get here?

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    2. SADly it probably wouldn't work. For those who haven't seen it

      http://www.cureality.com/blog/post/2008/12/19/flat-tummy-or-why-your-dietitian-is-fat.html

      a classic from William Davis.

      When the dietician caused me to gain 15kg all around my gut and left me semipermanently exhausted and constantly hungry, with my BP going up and my lipids getting worse, naturally she accused me of "failing to comply" with her diet. When I actually DID fail to comply with her diet, OK I eat almost the exact opposite of what I was told, everything went rapidly back to normal.

      I suspect she tells EVERYONE who gets worse on her low fat diet of "failing to comply", no matter how often she sees it happen. Well she was skinny herself, but then she was only about twelve!

      One of our doctors was the aize of a small building. When she became "prediabetic" did she stop pushing carbs because "everyone has to eat lota of carbs or you have no energy". No, she did a 5:2 diet. She's far from stupid but incredibly IGNORANT, which I blame on the fact that her "Evidence-Based Medicine" has half the evidence missing.

      My doctor noted that after eleven years of low-carb/Paleo "we would have expected you to be fully diabetic and on two or three medications by now" but is sadly disinterested in wanting to know how I achieved the impossible.

      Another informed me curtly that I was "Not diabetic and had never been prediabetic". Of course according to his Rules he is perfectly correct, but said Rules have sod all to do with HEALTH, just with dealing with the "diabetes epidemic" by diagnosing fewer diabetics later in the "inevitable" progression. Many doctors have taken to "undiagnosing" diabetics who achieve an A1c below 6, and this has happened even to Type 1s which is truly scary. But it improves their statistics.

      Cognitive dissonance is still alive and well among the medical profession. There was a recent TV programme about diabetes which was full of amputations and bariatric surgery but I'm pretty sure they never mentioned carbs ONCE. There's another one on tonight but I'm not optimistic it will be any better.

      Just re-reading your awesome blog . . .

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  22. Hi Amy, I just found your blog from a link posted on 2KetoDudes (Facebook). I've spent the day reading your posts and I can't even begin to tell you how much you've contributed to my LCHF journey. I have a better understanding of so many things. Thank you for what you're doing!

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    1. Hey Susie, thanks for the kind words! :D Always glad to have new people find me, especially if they think what I write is helpful. Happy reading! I've never heard of 2KetoDudes. I'll have to check them out. (And if you'd like any recommendations regarding my own personal favorite posts on my blog, let me know. If you're new, there's a lot to sift through in the archives.)

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