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My Neurologist pushed veganism, and scoffed at me. =(

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  • My Neurologist pushed veganism, and scoffed at me. =(

    I had my first appointment today with my new neurologist. I see a neurologist every 6 months, due to my M.S. I moved recently, and needed a neurologist nearby. My original neurologist didn't have an opinion on diet and M.S. At my appointment today, the nurse mentioned the doctor believes there's a link between diet and MS. At first, I was thrilled to hear this . However, it turns out he considers the Swank Diet to be absolutely necessary for those with M.S. This is coming from a doctor who, 5 minutes before, offered to refer me to an MS specialist, when I mentioned The Myelin Repair Foundation and the work they do. He had no idea what I was talking about. Anyway, he printed out literature for The Swank Diet and stressed that it's actually best to just go vegan. “Don't even bother with the animal proteins at all, it's better to just go vegan,” is actually what he said.

    Well, I certainly didn't agree. I stated that I follow The Paleo Diet (autoimmune protocol) and have seen great success. I've been at it two years, stopped taking my MS medicine, and have had no relapses. The only medicine I do take is for my Hashimoto's. I also gave reasons why I chose Paleo in the first place. Ya know, the whole grains are bad deal, etc. He retorted with “That doesn't make sense, where do you get your fiber and other nutrients, if just eating meat.” I informed him that I don't JUST eat meat. I eat lots of veggies and some fruit as well. He began to tell me about leaky-gut, cell mimicry (he put them in other terms), and related it to animal protein and fat, and not grains/dairy/legumes. I told him that, to my knowledge, it was the grains and such causing those issues. The studies he quoted had people eating little to no meat, alongside grains. I tried to explain why that makes a difference in results and he wouldn’t listen. He just kept saying it doesn't make sense, and “we evolved to eat plant matter.” It ended with him saying no one had ever challenged him and we “would continue this discussion next time.” I did manage to slip in Dr. Cordain's name, when he asked for proof. I really hope he reads up. I have a strong feeling he's a vegan and that was partly why he was pushing it. The Swank Diet does permit some meat.

    I just felt attacked and now feel discouraged. I guess I'll be asking him for a referral to another neurologist next time. I kept calm during our debate, while he was getting upset, and I guess that's what bothers me. I never like to be the cause of anyone's stress. I try not to let words stress me, or know-it-all people (including doctors). I figure, what works for some, may not work for others. There is proof Swank works for some individuals. Sorry, I like my meat and don't like what grains do to me. I really needed to vent to those that understand my frustration. I feel I should go in armed with material next time I go, but it just doesn't seem worth it. I also feel I could have said more, but at the time I couldn’t. I was kind of in disbelief, really. I still am. he just seemed so condescending. Sorry for the incredibly long post.
    No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
    -Buddha

  • #2
    There are books and studies out there that show the importance of fat in the diet esp for diseases like this.
    Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
    PS
    Don't forget to play!

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    • #3
      Get a new neurologist pronto. I'm sorry, but anyone who thinks we "evolved" to eat plant matter only is a bit of a goofball.

      Anecdotal: My landlord has a friend whose symptoms from MS have been in remission for five years since she went on "the Caveman Diet," as he calls it. As a happy other side effect, she's also back at her high school weight, which was not even a concern of hers since she did it specifically for the MS.
      "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

      B*tch-lite

      Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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      • #4
        @ Dirlot, Yes, I know. I don't know how he isn't aware of it (at all). We need fat and protein. He wasn't very open-minded. Maybe I'll just bring a list of books, and tell him to read up. I'll be asking for a referral to another neurologist though.

        @ JoanieL, Yes, this is why I was astounded! It's incredible that he actually believes it.
        No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
        -Buddha

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        • #5
          Terry Wahls MD. defeating progressive MS w/o drugs.

          Terry Wahls MD | Defeating Progressive Multiple Sclerosis without Drugs | MS Recovery | Food As Medicine
          Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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          • #6
            I honestly don't know why I didn't mention Terry Wahls to him. I've researched extensively over the years, and became ecstatic when I first read of Terry's triumph with MS. I admire her fortitude.
            No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
            -Buddha

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            • #7
              Dr. Wahls was my first thought when I read your post. I'm glad someone beat me to the punch. Good luck!
              I wish I liked to eat liver.

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              • #8
                Unfortunately a large percentage of doctors seem to be idiots.
                I don't have MS, but had a mystery illness which got shuffled under the term CFS. I got progressively worse over a decade of doctors shrugging their shoulders.
                After eating primal for a week(!) I was out of bed, not needing a wheelchair and able to shop and cook for myself.
                CW and it's doctors can take a hike as far as I'm concerned. Don't let them get to you. I am sure you can find someone else who is at least neutral.

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                • #9
                  Thanks, Unique.
                  Sleepy-roots, My hope is to find one that is, at least, neutral. Your story is amazing btw. One week? Wow!
                  No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
                  -Buddha

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                  • #10
                    If I understand from your first post, you have about six months to find a new doctor? Maybe take the time to find all the neurologists within a reasonable driving distance and call their offices to find out where they stand on nutrition and MS. Then if you find one working in a manner you can be comfortable with, call your insurance carrier and tell them Dr. Vegan is a bit of a bully. Don't mention diet, nothing. Ask if you can go to Dr. XYZ.

                    The reason I'm suggesting this is that I'm concerned that if you get a referral from Dr. Vegan, he'll steer you in the direction of someone who thinks like he does. And for some reason, whenever I use the "bully" excuse, my insurance carriers have always bent over backwards to accomodate me.

                    "Aggressive" works also.
                    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                    B*tch-lite

                    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have one client with MS at the moment and she swears by Pilates (what I teach) and yoga. I know she is still on meds, but would never tell her she had to eat a certain diet. She knows I am eating primally and have lost weight, but will only share if asked. Her Neurologist got her doing Pilates, so some Neurologists can be good and have a positive effect. I am just so sorry you had to deal with a moron.

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                      • #12
                        There is a TED talk from a doctor that was diagnosed with MS and she espouses the virtues of primal eating for MS. She has basically put herself in remission with the primal diet. I know she eats fats, offal, proteins, colorful veggies and fruits. Her kids also eat this way as well. I also personally know a family where a mother and 2 of her 3 adult kids have MS. The mother and daughter(both have MS) both follow a primal lifestyle and the one son who had MS didn't. The son is no longer with us. If I could remember the name of the doctor who did the TED I would post her name. All I know is that the doc is female and has a rather deep voice. I'm sure if you googled it, you could find it. If not, I will look it up when I get home and post it for you. You need to show this to your doctor ASAP.

                        I was curious about this as I am a child of a parent who had MS. My father basically followed a primal diet growing up and after he left home, he didn't follow it perfectly. I keep thinking the change in diet could have accerbated his problems.
                        Georgette

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                        • #13
                          Here is the TED talks link TEDxIowaCity - Dr. Terry Wahls - Minding Your Mitochondria - YouTube
                          Georgette

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                          • #14
                            Don't worry, all the sugars he consumed beforehand made him so emotionally unstable. Poor thing.

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                            • #15
                              I do agree that he's likely vegan himself. No responsible Dr would ever recommend vegan diet to anyone, so I suspect there's some vested personal interest.

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