Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Go see your doctor, often

As I blog about health issues, and talk with people about them, I often notice that there is a growing contempt for the medical profession.

This comes in part from the fact that many MDs are still providing advice based on the mainstream assumption that saturated fat is the enemy. Much recent (and even some old) research suggests that among the main real enemies of good health are: chronic stress, refined carbs, refined sugars, industrial trans-fats, and an omega-6/omega-3 imbalance caused by consumption of industrial vegetable oils rich in omega-6 fats.

Because of this disconnect, some people stop seeing their doctors regularly; others avoid doctors completely. Many rely exclusively on Internet advice, from health-related blogs (like this) and other sources. In my opinion, this is a BIG mistake.

A good MD has something that no blogger who is not an MD (like me) can have. He or she has direct access to a much larger group of people, and to confidential information that can clarify things that would look mysterious to non-MDs. They cannot share that information with others, but they know.

For example, often I hear from people that they did this and that, in terms of diet a lifestyle, and that their lab tests were such and such. Later I find out that what they told me was partially, or completely, wrong. That is, they distorted the truth, maybe subconsciously.

I have never met an MD who completely ignored hard facts, such as results of lab tests and common health-related measurements. I have never met an MD who tried to force me to do anything either; although I have to admit that some tend to be a bit pushy.

I see a doctor who does not agree with me; e.g., he wanted me to take statins. No problem; that is the way I like it. If my doctor will agree 100% with all I say, do I need to see that doctor?

My doctor does not question lab results though, and maybe I am changing a bit the way he thinks. He wanted me to take statins, but once I told him that I wanted to try a few other things first, he said: no problem. When the results came, he had that look on this face - maybe u wuz royt eh!?

Many, many patients are under the mistaken assumption that they need to please their doctors. A subconscious assumption for most, no doubt. I guess this is part of human nature, but I don’t think it is helpful to doctors or patients.

Patients actually need to work together with their doctors, see them often, do their own research, ask questions, and do those things that lead to health improvements – ideally measurable ones.