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Using PB/Paleo in a medical setting

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  • #16
    I'm trying to get my PhD in a medically related field and my department tried to kick me out because when I got sick I tried to treat it with diet and supplements when the doctors couldn't figure it out. If I were you I'd keep quiet about anything outside of what they tell you until you graduate. Thankfully the equal opportunity office helped me since I'm technically disabled (although I'm back to almost normal now) and female.

    When my celiac bloodwork came back partially positive, my doctor told me to "not bother with the diet because it was too much work" and take anti-depressants. I wish I was kidding. The world needs more doctors that appreciate nutrition, but don't let them know you do until you have the degree or they might try to screw it up for you.

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    • #17
      Your department tried to kick you out? Are the same doctors that you consulted for your illness the same doctors that you work with in your PhD program? I'm just curious to know how your department came to be involved in your treatment and why they would associate dietary and supplemental means of treating your illness with crockery? I have always been under the impression that physicians at least appreciate that nutrition is directly related to health, unless they were aware of you trying to treat your situation with PB nutrition, and simply didn't agree with this tenet of your nutrition? Sorry for all the questions, but your situation perplexes me and I find it outrageous.

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      • #18
        Future PB Dr, I also wanted to give you this advice that I posted on another thread for the another med student: "Bite your tounge, encourage vegetables, and wait for your turn to talk when you are established and your patients want to hear what you have to say. We have to teach nursing students this too. Just because YOU want to tell patients all the info you know, it's not about YOU, they have to be ready and asking for info. And DON'T p*ss off your superiors or you will get NO WHERE in your career. Eat your humble pie for now. But THANK YOU for wanting to be preventative instead of reactive.", which I think also applies to this situation. Please keep us updated, even with crazy CW information you hear passed on to your patients. I would love to hear them!

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        • #19
          I've learned quite recently that perhaps the only way to really get through to someone is to wait for them to ask you for help, or, as you said, "...and your patients want to hear what you have to say." No one wants to be put in a corner and made to feel as though they are being judged, even if we're not judging them and really just desire to help. Even though we want the best for others, an individual's resistance to change is a delicate state of emotion, so it must be treated just as delicately, even if this requires an abundance of patience. For the time being, I will just have to bite my tongue and learn what I can when time the comes. I just wish I weren't entering a field that has been so marred by flawed research and capital gain. However, I feel convicted to do so because it pains me to see so many individuals battle with obesity, many in my own family. What pains me even more is how CW will get them nowhere, yet they can't help but to think otherwise.

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          • #20
            Jungle Jane has the truth of it F_PB_Dr. I am a medical professional too, previously worked as an RN for 15 years. Although CW is the mainstream belief, we are also encouraged to use "Evidence Based Practice" which means that so long as you can provide the evidence to back it up you can go ahead. So yeah, do your research, read lots, and be prepared with lots of counter arguments for when you are challenged.

            I find it is quite easy to passively introduce Primal concepts in a medical setting. Just simply advising someone to eat more vege, or cut right back on processed foods is very easy and there ain't no one going to argue with you about that. I'm lucky that in my current workplace I work closely with the elderly so I'm allowed (even most CW supports this) to encourage them to eat a high fat, high calorie diet and most of them have never been to a MacDonalds before, so I don't need to discourage highly processed diets. Gentle daily exercise is also in lines with both CW and Primal as is encouraging good mental health through socialisation and relaxation.

            You'll find ways to make it work in your profession too.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Future_PB_Dr View Post
              Your department tried to kick you out? Are the same doctors that you consulted for your illness the same doctors that you work with in your PhD program? I'm just curious to know how your department came to be involved in your treatment and why they would associate dietary and supplemental means of treating your illness with crockery? I have always been under the impression that physicians at least appreciate that nutrition is directly related to health, unless they were aware of you trying to treat your situation with PB nutrition, and simply didn't agree with this tenet of your nutrition? Sorry for all the questions, but your situation perplexes me and I find it outrageous.
              I made the mistake of trying to keep my former advisor updated on my condition (he wanted to know why I wasn't in the lab doing work) and it turns out he was blabbing to everyone. It didn't help that I went through an experimental treatment for Epstein Barr, then was diagnosed with Lyme disease. I had to keep him at least semi-informed because I was flying up to Manhattan to see a specialist so I would be gone for several days at a time. They thought I was "lazy" and wanted to see my medical records as proof that I was ill. I refused that, got disability services involved but the bullying continued until I switched advisors and then had equal opportunity step in. Equal opportunity is the last line of defense, and if they don't cure things for you then you can have their federal funding removed so that finally made things happen for me. The sad thing is that I am in a department of biomedical engineers that are supposed to keep an open mind about medical research and understand that we don't know much about disease and nutrition yet. There were a few very understanding people that helped me, but the majority thought I was lazy and/or crazy.

              Then there was the bitch of a first advisor and his ball busting wife who hated me so much that when the department would order me a gluten free salad she would eat it before I got there and make me go hungry. As soon as he started bringing his new mail order wife to work I should have reported him and GTFO, but I didn't know any better at the time.

              I guess the short version of this is that you should be careful because about 80% of biomedical engineers are extremely dysfunctional and full on batshit crazy.

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              • #22
                I'm a physician with 35 years of experience.

                You are wise to look to the future for when you'd hope to have an impact. As a student, you are an apprentice to a fairly select guild. So don't rock the boat too much----med school is challenging enough without being branded a "troublemaker." Keep relatively quiet and humble. There is a lot to learn. Learn it.

                There are networks all over the place and "paleo/primal/natural" type people all looking for quality health care. You will find a way to practice that works for you, but you may need to be creative in order to make a living doing the kind of medicine you want.

                In the meantime, be careful with the diet advice you give. It only takes one nasty rabid resident or attending to make a lot of trouble for you if you advise their patients with content they believe is "out there." Remember, until you are an attending, these are not YOUR patients. You are being permitted to learn the established wisdom from the establishment. Just don't become the establishment in the process!

                It's really, really hard to keep quiet, but you will accomplish little to nothing challenging CW as a medical student. I wish it were otherwise, but it isn't.

                *sigh*

                I retired from practice this year because I could no longer see one patient after another and peddle conventional drugs. I don't know what I'm going to do next in my life but it's going to be something where I can help in another way. I still have feelings that being a "healer" is sacred work, and I hope to find a way to practice SOMETHING that looks like heaing arts. Which my last work situation, alas, was not.

                Pea
                Last edited by PrimalWannabeGirl; 02-11-2013, 02:06 PM.

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                • #23
                  in med school and frustrated

                  sigh. I too am a medical student (MS1). I discovered the primal style of eating after I took a nutrition class during my gap year before med school....the professor for the class, a renegade dietician, down played CW introduced me to the works of Gary Taubes and showed Fat Head in class .... I thought that all nutrition classes were being taught this way, but after talking with her after class once day she apparently was doing this against the advice of the other profs in her department. I'm glad she did, because over a year later I'm 50 pounds lighter.

                  In medical school I am almost baffled that on the one hand we are being taught about the dangers of nonalcoholic fatty liver ( mainly caused by our EXCESSIVE increase in carbs over the last 40 years...a fact stated in my classes), the Warburg effect (ie, cancer loves sugar), and the fact that dietary fats promote satiety, YET (sometimes the very same) professors will talk about the dangers of a "high fat" diet. During one lecture on myocardial infarctions, the professor even had a picture of the bad foods in his power point while talking about the dangers of a high fat diet---it was a convenience store candy bar aisle....I'm pretty sure most of products in that picture brag on their wrapper about how much fat they don't have!

                  Additionally I'm on a health fair committee at my med school and the big goal is to get general mills "to donate some healthy granola bars and yogurt n' stuff" to give away at the fair. It's like the equivalent of asking marlboro to donate to an anti-smoking awareness campaign. :::face palm:::

                  Sometimes I wonder if I should just go into pathology or radiology..and just not deal with backlash I will most likely encounter from my colleagues if I go into internal medicine and try to promote such a "renegade lifestyle" to my future patients. We already, as first years, were warned against the dangers of the Atkins fad.

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                  • #24
                    PrimalWannabeGirl, thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it. I have never been one to overstep my boundaries, so I won't have a problem withholding my own two cents to patients that aren't mine, but I know it will be painful to watch them struggle with their conditions whilst given antiquated advice. If you don't mind me asking, what type of physician are you, and did you work in a hospital practice? Again, thanks for the reply.

                    Docxueli - it's crazy how all this knowledge is known about various conditions caused by CW (non-alcoholic fatty live, Warbug effect, etc.) yet the diet ideology goes unchanged. I find it so saddening that nutrition has been so incredibly distorted by study after study that reveal zero results, yet definitive conclusions are still made. As an individual that has had many organic chemistry papers submitted to journals and denied (due to results that weren't definitive and backed up by large amounts of evidence), I don't understand how all these old papers were taken as nutritional principle despite their lack of cold-hard evidence.

                    Your antecdote about the health-fair committee made me laugh out loud. How ironic! I loved your comparison of it to smoking. Some people would call this a ridiculous comparison, but it's spot on.

                    Don't go into pathology or radiology! If you feel convicted to change medicine from reactive to preventive, you should go for it. Medicine needs bold individuals.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by ulnauy View Post
                      @meeshar

                      If you're sick or feel unwell, you need to see a doctor. If you're generally healthy, you really just need a doctor to order the lab tests for you.
                      Just wanted to address this comment--there are online lab services that do not require a doctor's prescription and do not send results to the doctor such that the only way you can know is to make an appointment to go over those results. One such is Health One Labs. I started using them about a year ago. You go online, select and pay for the labs you want to have done, choose your local facility for the blood draw/urinalysis/whatever, and when the tests are done, you receive an email letting you know you can access and/or download your results.

                      Now, if you want insurance to pay for this, maybe you DO need an Rx, but since our deductible is so incredibly high anyway and the tests are pretty reasonably priced, I don't even involve insurance. And yes, I am perfectly capable of looking at my lab numbers, seeing if they are in or out of range, and doing research online to understand what those results mean. If I had a serious medical condition, I would surely involve a doctor, but as far as just basic maintenance, I feel pretty confident handling this myself.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by honeypig View Post
                        Just wanted to address this comment--there are online lab services that do not require a doctor's prescription and do not send results to the doctor such that the only way you can know is to make an appointment to go over those results. One such is Health One Labs. I started using them about a year ago. You go online, select and pay for the labs you want to have done, choose your local facility for the blood draw/urinalysis/whatever, and when the tests are done, you receive an email letting you know you can access and/or download your results.

                        Now, if you want insurance to pay for this, maybe you DO need an Rx, but since our deductible is so incredibly high anyway and the tests are pretty reasonably priced, I don't even involve insurance. And yes, I am perfectly capable of looking at my lab numbers, seeing if they are in or out of range, and doing research online to understand what those results mean. If I had a serious medical condition, I would surely involve a doctor, but as far as just basic maintenance, I feel pretty confident handling this myself.
                        Thanks, I actually had started looking into that but the combo of tests that I need comes out to a rather large price tag. I am hoping that I can get the labs done under a preventative care visit (not subject to our deductible). I had a gastric bypass almost 8 years ago, so my yearly labs to check for deficiencies are pretty important, plus I really want to make sure my thyroid isn't misbehaving. Seems like the discount packages that are "comprehensive" are usually missing key points, like ferritin or thyroid antibodies.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by meeshar View Post
                          Thanks, I actually had started looking into that but the combo of tests that I need comes out to a rather large price tag. I am hoping that I can get the labs done under a preventative care visit (not subject to our deductible). I had a gastric bypass almost 8 years ago, so my yearly labs to check for deficiencies are pretty important, plus I really want to make sure my thyroid isn't misbehaving. Seems like the discount packages that are "comprehensive" are usually missing key points, like ferritin or thyroid antibodies.
                          Yes, depending on what you need done, it could be expensive, especially if you have like a $500 deductible on your insurance. My deductible is $5000 (basically disaster insurance is all I can afford, something that would hopefully save me from bankruptcy in case of a serious illness or accident). The bright spot in this has been that, since the high deductible means I'll pay the full tab myself for any maintenance-type office visits, labs, etc., I have found a doc I LIKE and who, on my very first visit, challenged me to go totally grain-free instead of continuing to waffle (no pun intended!) as I have for almost 2 years. This was due in large part to the fact that I wasn't facing the pressure to stay "in-system" in order to pay the lower rates and actually looked for someone I felt I could work with. This is a new experience for me!

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                          • #28
                            Honeypig, were you already exposed to the idea of a grain free diet when your physician recommended it to you or was this new advice? If it was new advice, what was your initial reaction?

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