6

votes

What can paleo do for your doctor?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 01, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Im going to start this discussion with a few thoughts and I am sure some of you will run with.

As with most profound cultural challenges, it starts with assumptions and expectations. If a doctor OR a patient expects the doctor to know everything (and the patient to know nothing), then trouble starts the moment a doctor does NOT know something, and the moment a patient does. That's why the internet has had such profound effects: the information explosion means NOBODY can know everything anymore, and the internet means patients (without medical training) CAN find information that the doctors haven't seen.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THE DOCTOR IS A FAILURE! It's so important to realize that in the old world, good medical information was available ONLY inside the academic medical world, and that's no longer true.

To show you how fast research is ahead of clinical medicine consider this fact.....If I said that if he went home every night and read TWO journal articles after a year I'd be 400 years behind the current data known.

Contemplate that for a minute.

My belief is your doctor needs you as much as you need them. You can bring the information they lack to better their former selves.

So Paleohackers........will you do this or not? And if not why not?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 08, 2011
at 03:19 AM

Oh, I wouldn't feel bad about your answer at all. Your endo sounds terrific, and it's good to read a story like this. Honestly, I don't think doctors are more flawed than others; I just think Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is crap) applies to them, too. You've got a ten percenter; that's a great thing!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on July 07, 2011
at 11:19 PM

Q, it is difficult when "we" patients aren't considered experts on our own bodies. I've had 10 years and 15 years of issues that remained unresolved because my (expert) docs wouldn't listen to me. One issue was malpractice, and you'd be shocked by what was said and done to me, the other was chemistry, gluten, and took 15 years for ME to diagnose. Yes, we patients can be part of the solution, but DOCTORS need to ENCOURAGE us to take ownership of our bodies. WE need to be responsible for our health, no our HMOs or Drs. This is a cultural issue that needs to be changed, ASAP.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:56 PM

but have you even tried? I think you making a large assumption.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:55 PM

hands are tied by standards of care which is totally dependent on prevailing opinion.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:54 PM

I agree with points but here is where I really take issue with you. I think you have to choose to become part of the solution and not add to the problem. I personally think that open mindedness is a function of the person not the occupation. I do think the education of MD and nurses and dieticians and nutritionists is horrendous. And that is why I think some one who has your clinical issues and is in your occupation could be vital in helping bring about the changes we all need. I think we need to focus on what we can do and not what we cant do. Thanks for answering here.

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 02, 2011
at 05:55 AM

Socal? i've been looking for a good doctor out here- if you feel comfortable sharing his name and specialty please post- or at least get him to register on th paleo physicians network Robb Wolf set up!we could use more like him... :)

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 02, 2011
at 05:27 AM

Rose-good luck, you're going to need it. :) Sara-the guy is in SoCal.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:14 AM

Sara, I'm a nurse educator, among other things. Yes, there are some awesome nurses but I think that's because they're awesome people to start with! Their education certainly doesn't promote awesome-ness, any more than medical education does.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:07 AM

Nurses are either awesome OR terrible. Rarely somewhere in-between. Please, for the sake of the awesome ones, don't group them all together.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:03 AM

Yeah. Where is this guy?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:52 AM

Yes! My last visit to my doctor (and I really hope it was actually the *last* visit) was utterly draining. After starting our visit by asking me to specifically list what I eat (she knew I was on Atkins years ago and disapproved severely), she spent nearly our entire visit flapping and squawking about the need for whole grains. And parts of the visit, believe me, were soooo not the right place and time for stressing out this female patient, if you get my drift.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:40 AM

I think you're onto something with the "standard of care" insight. Even if some of them wanted to stray from conventional medical wisdom, there's the insurance company to satisfy, and for many, actual corporate bigwigs running their practices, too.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Mine said much the same thing. As if Pubmed isn't on the internet.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:36 AM

Annie, it sounds like you found a gem. Congratulations! Hope my next one (I "interview" her next week) is half the doctor yours is. :)

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Plus one thousand for "open-mindedness, communication and courtesy." It's hard to keep trying when someone who considers themselves an Authority on Everything is so involved with their own lecturing that you can't get a (polite or otherwise) word in edgewise.

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:02 AM

Well, I am a real 'fraidy cat (FC) when it comes to standing up for myself. Forums like this are very helpful for FC types.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 02, 2011
at 01:24 AM

Courage and open information. You rock!

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 02, 2011
at 12:58 AM

I completely agree Grain Free. There are so few who are willing to listen.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:42 PM

Funny thing about this guy: I walked into his office 20 pounds lighter and saw that he was also 20 pounds lighter. Turns out he found Paleo right before I did.

  • Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

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10 Answers

7
41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on July 02, 2011
at 12:54 AM

You know, when it comes down to it, I don't expect my doctor to know everything. They are only human after all. It would be nice, however, if they took a page from the retail worker's training manual and employed the "I don't know, but I will find out for you" technique, instead of the "making something up and throwing prescriptions at you" technique. I haven't found one yet.

The problem is, the doctors I come across seem to take it as a pointy stick to their ego if I try to explain something I've found - yes, on the internet. Usually from a medical journal. I have had a nurse practitioner tell me I was full of it when discussing something put out by the Mayo Clinic. When I tried to get my thyroid tested, that doctor yelled at me and then told me how long he spent studying endocrinology at school so obviously he knew better than something I read on the internet. This was also the same doctor who, when I explained my symptoms at the time, told me "God does not hate you enough to give you all these ailments" and gave me a prescription for lexapro. Which I never took. I wasn't depressed.

The truth? I'm exhausted from trying to have conversations with doctors. It never seems to go both ways. I try to have a discussion with them and they try to throw prescriptions at me, treat me like a child and leave. Yes, I understand you (general "you") spent many years at medical school and I didn't. That doesn't make me an idiot.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:52 AM

Yes! My last visit to my doctor (and I really hope it was actually the *last* visit) was utterly draining. After starting our visit by asking me to specifically list what I eat (she knew I was on Atkins years ago and disapproved severely), she spent nearly our entire visit flapping and squawking about the need for whole grains. And parts of the visit, believe me, were soooo not the right place and time for stressing out this female patient, if you get my drift.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 02, 2011
at 12:58 AM

I completely agree Grain Free. There are so few who are willing to listen.

7
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:41 PM

I tend to agree with you. The problem I have found after going to literally dozens of doctors for an unidentified auto-immune disease (now properly diagnosed as Ankylosing Spondylitis, but since I am female, I couldn't possibly have such a thing) I found that most doctors are not willing to even listen to their patients, let alone actually learn from them. They thought if I had found an idea on the internet, that it was most certainly bogus and I was just OCDing. After several years of this, I actually found one doctor to listen to me and he just so happened to be the most brilliant doc I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Turns out he is involved in the human genome project, is part of our local CDC and has testified before congress regarding AIDS, Autism, etc. He had Polio as a child and has a passion for the immune system and infectious disease.

My point is that the one and only doctor who actually listened to me and considered my ideas, happens to be the most intelligent and the least egotistical. So I believe your statement is correct; but a large factor of the success of such an idea will lay with the doctor, his intelligence, and his lack of ego.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 02, 2011
at 05:27 AM

Rose-good luck, you're going to need it. :) Sara-the guy is in SoCal.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:36 AM

Annie, it sounds like you found a gem. Congratulations! Hope my next one (I "interview" her next week) is half the doctor yours is. :)

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:03 AM

Yeah. Where is this guy?

696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

(1623)

on July 02, 2011
at 05:55 AM

Socal? i've been looking for a good doctor out here- if you feel comfortable sharing his name and specialty please post- or at least get him to register on th paleo physicians network Robb Wolf set up!we could use more like him... :)

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:42 PM

Funny thing about this guy: I walked into his office 20 pounds lighter and saw that he was also 20 pounds lighter. Turns out he found Paleo right before I did.

5
792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:13 AM

Actually, Quilt, I want to answer the question you haven't asked. Medical education, from beginning to postgraduate, needs an international overhaul. Med students are still taught that in many vital ways they are superior to other health professionals and their patients. They are taught to appear, and perhaps to believe that they are, omnipotent. This attitude gets in the way of their ability to work alongside patients and families, and the arrogance that is inculcated in this way interferes with their ability to evaluate new information. Once a doc gets into a specialty, their exposure to 'general' health knowledge is compromised, and ongoing testing of their ability to be an effective medical practitioner is minimal; often it is managed by colleagues which is a perfect way to retain the status quo.

I am willing to bring new information to my health care practitioners, but I am not willing to re-educate them in basic open-mindedness, communication and courtesy. I have better things to do with my time, and I am very fortunate to live in a part of the world where I can vote with my feet.

I am by no means excusing nurses from this, and am dismayed at the concrete thinking, limited range of knowledge, and often sheer rudeness of nurses. We have a lot of work to do.

792634a784ec6a636c3137d0903e11b4

(1196)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:14 AM

Sara, I'm a nurse educator, among other things. Yes, there are some awesome nurses but I think that's because they're awesome people to start with! Their education certainly doesn't promote awesome-ness, any more than medical education does.

1fc9c11cf23b2f62ac78979de933ad83

(2435)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:07 AM

Nurses are either awesome OR terrible. Rarely somewhere in-between. Please, for the sake of the awesome ones, don't group them all together.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Plus one thousand for "open-mindedness, communication and courtesy." It's hard to keep trying when someone who considers themselves an Authority on Everything is so involved with their own lecturing that you can't get a (polite or otherwise) word in edgewise.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:54 PM

I agree with points but here is where I really take issue with you. I think you have to choose to become part of the solution and not add to the problem. I personally think that open mindedness is a function of the person not the occupation. I do think the education of MD and nurses and dieticians and nutritionists is horrendous. And that is why I think some one who has your clinical issues and is in your occupation could be vital in helping bring about the changes we all need. I think we need to focus on what we can do and not what we cant do. Thanks for answering here.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on July 07, 2011
at 11:19 PM

Q, it is difficult when "we" patients aren't considered experts on our own bodies. I've had 10 years and 15 years of issues that remained unresolved because my (expert) docs wouldn't listen to me. One issue was malpractice, and you'd be shocked by what was said and done to me, the other was chemistry, gluten, and took 15 years for ME to diagnose. Yes, we patients can be part of the solution, but DOCTORS need to ENCOURAGE us to take ownership of our bodies. WE need to be responsible for our health, no our HMOs or Drs. This is a cultural issue that needs to be changed, ASAP.

4
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 01, 2011
at 11:57 PM

Are you asking if we will "school" our doctors?

I sort of schooled my doctor (and myself) recently. I went in for a routine annual physical. I requested a blood lipid panel and it came back abnormal, but in the opposite direction of what my doc is used to seeing (Very high hdl, low LDL). I mention this because I had to fight my doc to get the test in the first place. She thought I had "no obvious signs of needing such tests." I am out of the range of normal. If it weren't for "Paleo", sites like this and the open exchange of information I may not have had the courage to fight for such tests in the first place. I think we both learned something.

I would like to add, though that my doc has always asked my opinion about things like fluoride, exercise and supplements. She thinks eggs are a superfood and she has a small farm. I don't know enough about it, but I wonder how much her hands are tied by "standard of care."

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:40 AM

I think you're onto something with the "standard of care" insight. Even if some of them wanted to stray from conventional medical wisdom, there's the insurance company to satisfy, and for many, actual corporate bigwigs running their practices, too.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 02, 2011
at 01:24 AM

Courage and open information. You rock!

0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:02 AM

Well, I am a real 'fraidy cat (FC) when it comes to standing up for myself. Forums like this are very helpful for FC types.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:55 PM

hands are tied by standards of care which is totally dependent on prevailing opinion.

2
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:19 AM

No. My doctor told me to quit reading stuff on the internet.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:38 AM

Mine said much the same thing. As if Pubmed isn't on the internet.

1
Dbb6872f139877fe1a94aeb471baa7d1

on July 07, 2011
at 12:07 PM

Wow, after reading all of this, I feel really bad about my answer here.

I love my endocrinologist. She listens to me. She told me, the day I was diagnosed as a type 1, that I would ALWAYS know more about my condition than she does, because I know me and she really doesn't. I live with it, day in, day out, and she does not -- what she knows comes from books and patients. She gave me insulin, told me a starting dose, and sent me home. When I came back two weeks later and had readjusted ALL my doses without her, and explained how I came to those numbers, she was very impressed with me. Same thing when I got my pump -- I had the 4 hour meeting with the pump trainer, then went online to forums and bought books on using my pump and now I know it better than my doctor does. And she's cool with that. I was the one who suggested switching my insulin from Novolog to Apidra due to the stuff I'd read on the net (mostly that it worked faster, which can be bad for some people, but I metabolize insulin slowly, so I thought it might help). Sure enough, works better for me and she's fine. The ONLY time she stopped me in my tracks was when I'd been doing research on a particular drug and she told me she'd rather NOT prescribe me things I don't need, and I did NOT need that drug. Good for her :) (This was before I know about primal/paleo.) And when I explained Primal to her, her entire attitude was, "whatever works for you."

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on July 08, 2011
at 03:19 AM

Oh, I wouldn't feel bad about your answer at all. Your endo sounds terrific, and it's good to read a story like this. Honestly, I don't think doctors are more flawed than others; I just think Sturgeon's Law (90% of everything is crap) applies to them, too. You've got a ten percenter; that's a great thing!

1
Medium avatar

(12379)

on July 06, 2011
at 11:43 PM

I've had some great progress with my GP lately. Health and care is becoming an open conversation with us now - which is great. He's interested in my familys progress (hubby's lost 40lbs and 2 yr old son is healthy as a horse). I don't know if I'm changing the way he views things - but he did tell me that he has cut out wheat at home after we spoke. He also lets me know when a specialist that he's referred me to will or wont be receptive to our diet.

I think that an open conversation with a doctor is really the best thing that could happen. And hopefully everyone will evolve together!

1
Ffc7e0ecad8e8831b528c5d4921377cc

(942)

on July 02, 2011
at 02:56 AM

My doc is a very good cw doc. She listens. She doesn't force me to take things I don't want. She is always on time. She is open to lifestyle approaches.

Since there don't seem to be any Paleo receptive MDs in Northern California, amazingly enough, I'm going to stick with her for now.

So, to answer your question, I doubt that there is anything you can do to change her.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 02, 2011
at 03:56 PM

but have you even tried? I think you making a large assumption.

0
Cf599755619b0588e5e6ed4cb5cef50d

on July 06, 2011
at 11:55 PM

who can afford a doctor?

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 02, 2011
at 01:22 AM

So happy You raised this question! I've always brought my information to my docs and in most cases they weren't interested. Bit lately I'm seeing more docs turn to nutrition discussions. When I asked about it a couple of them replied that they were sick of being pill pushers but also saw the results of nutrition in themselves. Yet another replied that the simple way is often the most effective. I love that.

I used to have that authority complex and believed they knew all. As of late I refuse to be a passive participant in my own health. I'm seeing the negative consequences of such inaction with my father and I'm shocked and disturbed by the lack of thought and critical thinking they put into his care. I suspect in this case it is about the profits over the people. Given that midwives still face obstacles I fear our American medical system will not progress as fast as the patients in their quest for improved information and quality research.

...sent on my phone so excuse egregious grammar and spelling :)

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