“I know many physicians who enthusiastically endorse a low carbohydrate diet for many medical conditions. The great majority of them have experienced personal health benefits from actually adopting the diet for themselves and that includes me. Although physicians are taught to ignore anecdotal evidence, it is difficult to do when it applies to oneself.”
-Keith Runyan, MD, Why Your Doctor May Question a Low Carb Diet
I have the utmost respect for doctors. Not all of them, but most. Getting through medical school, an internship, a residency, and more, is certainly no joke. Heck, just preparing for the MCAT is a challenge. Medical education and subsequent professional life is not for the lazy. There’s a reason I’m a CNS and not an MD. (Yes, I recently earned the CNS designation. Woohoo! I am now among the ranks of such greats as Jeffrey Bland, PhD, the founder of the Institute for Functional Medicine.)
And while I envy the paycheck and the cachet that come along with being an MD (much more impressive at a dinner party than being some lowlife nutritionist), I don’t envy the actual tasks that come along with being a doctor. This is particularly true for those who work in emergency rooms or emergency situations, so I’m not talking just doctors, but nurses, orderlies, paramedics, EMTs, cops, firemen…the whole crew. At my old office job, if I made a mistake, maybe the printer got jammed, or I spilled coffee on my keyboard. (Or accidentally hit “reply all” when sending a particularly scathing email about the boss, hehheh.) In an ER, if someone makes a mistake, someone dies. Someone’s kid bleeds to death. I can’t imagine being halfway through my lunch when someone gets rushed through the doors with a limb three-quarters of the way severed off, or with some kind of freaky implement impaled somewhere you really don’t want anything—freaky or not—to be impaled. I would not want to be tasked with walking out of an operating room to tell a family that their child “didn’t make it.”
Bottom line: modern allopathic medical professionals see and do things on a daily basis that I cannot imagine in my scariest, don’t-want-to-take-responsibility-for-this nightmares. While I wish I were cool under pressure, and I have lots of daydreams in which I am a totally confident, take-charge-and-save-the-day kind of person, the truth is, I do not want to be the person responsible for knowing exactly what to do in a matter of seconds when someone is literally going to die unless I remember the correct procedure.
I love medical doctors. Love em!
In the right context, that is. When it comes to trauma, please, for the love of all that’s holy, get me to the nearest modern, big-city, suped-up technology hospital you can. Do not—repeat, do not—call a naturopath, or a chiropractor, or an osteopath, or a nutritionist. I want someone to stop the bleeding, stop the pain, and stop them now.
Really, MDs are pretty awesome. (Especially ones like this, who get it.)
So why do I rail against them so much?
Well, I don’t hate all doctors. Only the ignorant ones. Only the myopic ones. Only the closed-minded ones. Only the ones I wrote about in the modern medicine rant from a couple weeks ago. Doctors know a helluva lot of stuff I don’t, and I respect their knowledge and experience. The doctors I do not have respect for are the ones I talked about in the first part of this rant, as well as in the post I wrote about the total and complete morons and idiots who claimed to be doctors, but who, in fact, had no f*cking clue what they were doing, and contributed significantly to my mother’s deteriorating health over a number of years. My distrust and disgust with these folks comes from personal experience. (Well, let’s call it secondhand personal experience, because they were my mother’s doctors. Knowing what I know, I have gone out of my way to find doctors who actually get it, so thank goodness, for myself, I don’t have to put up with idiocy and incompetence.)
Similar extremely shoddy medical care has inspired others to write blog posts railing against medical professionals whose advice and/or actions proved less than helpful, and whose antics actually proved
downright harmful damn near deadly.
So, despite my respect for some MDs, since I already wrote one rant about the ignorant and complacent ones, I figured why not write two? The degree of ignorance and complacency—plus the seeming determination some of these people have to keep their heads buried as far and firmly in the sand as possible, warrants a second go-round, methinks.
And I’m not alone.
Perhaps you are familiar with this mug:
I understand this. Really, I do. I’m sure MDs encounter patients who think they know it all, having watched House, ER, or Scrubs, or, yes, having consulted with “Dr. Google.” It must be downright insulting to have your education, expertise, and authority questioned by someone who researched his/her condition for a whole two days and thinks he/she is now an expert. It must be especially difficult because maybe they’re getting their information from Dr. Oz, or from the 19-year-old kid working the supplement aisle at Whole Foods. But maybe they’re also reading studies on PubMed. Unfortunately, considering the total crap that passes for peer-reviewed research these days, those three sources really aren’t much different from each other.
My point: I get it. If I had devoted many years of my life—and many, many thousands of dollars—to medical education and training, you’re damn right I wouldn’t want some yokel coming into my office telling me how to do my job. But, as I explained last time, when these doctors do their jobs, patients tend to get worse, not better. How that doesn’t make them stop and question their methods, I have no idea. But I’m starting to get pissed off about it, and I’m not the only one. This kind of nonsense—the utter failure of modern medical approaches to actually heal anyone and help anyone get well—has got to stop. And until it does, it will continue to inspire people to write posts with excellent titles like Doctors Shove Your Google Mugs You Know Where.
Do read that post. It's short, and it's fantastic. (If you like my sarcasm & snark, you'll love this writer's.) But if you don’t want to read the whole thing, be sure to check out this image before you read the rest of today’s post. But in case you don’t want to do even that, I’ll share what the author wrote in response to the Google search mug:
“Please do not confuse your medical degree with the ability to think critically, understand science, solve complex problems, and treat people with dignity.”
Agree. So. Much.
It’s pretty great the way it is, but we could make a couple of good variations:
- Please do not confuse your medical degree with infallibility.
- Please do not confuse your medical degree with being the most intelligent person who ever lived.
- Please do not confuse your medical degree with being well-versed in the most recent developments in treating, reversing, and preventing chronic illness.
- Please do not confuse your medical degree with being well-versed in the most recent developments in your specialty, let alone those in areas you haven’t done f*ck-all with since medical school fourteen years ago.
- Please do not confuse your medical degree with my nutrition degree.
- Please do not confuse your medical degree with knowing f*ck-all about how food affects physical and mental health.
- Please do not confuse your medical degree with being the end-all be-all sole authority on anything and everything having to do with the care and feeding of the human body.
As an example of specialists not keeping up to date with developments in their own fields, let alone medicine as a whole, how about all the neurologists who have never heard Alzheimer’s disease called “diabetes of the brain,” and who think the saturated fat in coconut oil will straight up kill your grandmother in about four seconds, so you’d better not, under any circumstances, give her any, ever, even though another MD says you should give it liberally. (By the way, in case you missed the announcement, my Alzheimer’s e-book is now available on Amazon for Kindle! Only $9.99! That, my friends, is a friggin’ steal! Print/hard copy version coming soon, too!) And we could point to about a zillion MDs and dietitians still insisting that type 2 diabetics should follow a low-fat diet with lots of whole grains, even though that has got to be some of the most awful, backward, terrible, scientifically inaccurate advice in the history of medicine.
But I digress.
Here’s another real-world example of someone who received shoddy medical/nutrition advice. This person was fortunate enough to have discovered the facts for herself, but as is the case for many thousands of people out there—most of us who have stumbled into low-carb, Paleo, ketogenic, or just “real food” diets—she improved her health not because of advice from her physician, but despite it.
I’m sharing the most pertinent parts here, but I recommend reading the original post. (It’s short.) Any emphasis is mine:
“Gina is 5’ 5" and weighed 136 kg (300 lb). She was eating a typical low-fat diet, full of whole grains. She said she always preferred whole wheat because of the colour and texture.
She had extremely high blood glucose levels, her blood pressure was ‘sky high,’ she had high triglycerides, low HDL, her resting heart rate was over 100, she had rare ocular migraines, which left her blind in one eye weekly. She was also extremely sore all over, so much so she could barely sleep. She was weak and very fatigued.
She says, ‘My doctor had no answers. She continued to tell me to eat low fat. I was basically eating NO FAT at that point, literally but my condition just got worse.’ In fact, after monitoring her blood sugars for a week, the very diet she was prescribed to eat was pushing her blood sugars dangerously high. For an entire week her sugars were measured at over 11 mmol/L (200 mg/dl).
She said she knew that it wasn't fat that was doing it, and she noticed when she had rice, her blood sugar skyrocketed, and that it wouldn't go up when she didn't have rice. She told the doctor, and the doctor simply said she was eating too much. She tried reducing the rice portion, but the blood sugar still reacted exactly the same way.
She said at this point, ‘I knew conventional medicine was refusing to help me.’”
She’s not the only one.
We're on our own with this, folks.
We're on our own with this, folks.
First, patients must save themselves. Doctors in private practice will follow. FInally academics who taught opposite https://t.co/sF7FMu8tWV— Tim Noakes (@ProfTimNoakes) March 31, 2016
Disclaimer: 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 and is not to be used as a substitute for the care and guidance of a physician. 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.