You have likely had encounters with doctors who, despite putting up the facade of being health experts, are nothing of the sort. They may know how to prescribe Lipitor for this semi-ficititous thing called “high cholesterol,” or navigate the hospital to obtain a timely MRI scan of the brain, or which specialist to select to evaluate unexplained abdominal pain. But have genuine insights into health? Nope.
I’m referring to mainstream medical doctors, of course, not the far better-informed functional medicine and integrative health practitioners, naturopaths, and chiropractors, who tend to be better acquainted with issues of real health.
But to test this proposition and see just how much your conventional M.D. knows or doesn’t know, try these questions out to see what kind of answers you receive:
Ask your gastroenterologist what bacterial species are the most crucial for bowel flora? Or ask what the implications are that the wheat germ agglutinin of wheat blocks the hormone cholecystokinin and how does that affect gallbladder health?
Ask your cardiologist how he/she would propose to deal with an excess of small, oxidation-prone LDL particles with something other than a “shotgun” like a statin drug? Or what impact magnesium supplementation might have on recurrent atrial fibrillation and what form is best-absorbed?
Ask your rheumatologist what he/she makes of the published data demonstrating improved remission of rheumatoid arthritis with elimination of gluten and dairy? Or comment on the data demonstrating increased cartilage volume and glycosaminoglycans and hyaluronic acid content of the synovial fluid of joints with supplementation of collagen hydrolysates?
Ask your neurologist whether he/she believes that ketogenic diets have a role in suppressing seizures and, if so, what role should bowel flora efforts play, given the removal of all prebiotic fibers? Or whether there are any strategies that achieve neurotrophic effects on brain health, not just nootropic effects, and thereby have potential to improve brain health and prevent dementia?
Go ahead and ask. I will bet you that, 98 times out of 100, you will received glazed looks, an angry retort, or outright dismissal. If such responses arose out of impatience because they have reviewed the science, discussed it with experts, and given it serious consideration and found it lacking, well, then, that would be understandable in a busy medical practice. But the vast majority of such dismissals are due to ignorance, plain and simple. Yet doctors maintain the charade of being all-knowing, smarter and more knowledgeable than you, and don’t have the time to answer your silly questions about health. We wouldn’t tolerate such a thing in car mechanics or mortgage bankers, but we do with doctors.
Conventional doctors are too busy going to drug company-sponsored dinners hawking some new drug, or talking to sexy sales reps discussing the newest prosthetic hip, or hearing about the newest 7-figure imaging device that will increase hospital revenues and boost the end-of-quarter bonus. It means that your gastroenterologist can’t be bothered with the critical issue of bowel flora management. Your cardiologist knows virtually nothing about preventing heart attacks if it doesn’t involve statin drugs that, on a good day, have a 1% potential to reduce cardiovascular events, or that choice among magnesium supplements can make the difference between healthy replacement and sudden cardiac death. Neurologists don’t feel it is their role to discuss diet or bowel flora because it does not involve seizure drugs, EEGs, or neuroimaging.
This is why I say that conventional doctors have abdicated their responsibility to be knowledgeable and involved with health. Yeah, sure, the pressures of health insurance rules, mountains of paperwork, bureaucratic tangle all make practice difficult. But put aside delivery of such information—why aren’t they simply more knowledgeable about real health issues? Isn’t the practice of medicine about healing, after all, not money or bonuses, not tallying up more and more procedures, not boosting hospital revenues?
No, YOU are the one in command of your health because your doctor certainly is not. If you had an ignorant car mechanic and couldn’t find one with real knowledge, you could fix your car yourself. If you have ignorant doctors who cannot answer your health questions, then start looking for the answers yourself.
This is the Undoctored way that yields health superior to that obtained in the doctor’s office or hospital.