White-Coat Awe vs. The Wisdom of Crowds

      155 Comments on White-Coat Awe vs. The Wisdom of Crowds

A few years ago, I read a book titled How Doctors Think.  The author (a doctor) described the case of a woman who was rail-thin and complained that eating made her feel sick.  She went from doctor to doctor, at least one of whom suggested she was anorexic and needed to see a shrink to get over it.  Some of the doctors instructed her to eat more pasta, bread and other grain foods to get her weight up.

[Wait … grain foods cause weight gain?  Does the USDA dietary committee know that?  Anyway …]

A dozen or so doctors later, one finally thought to test her for celiac disease.  Bingo.  Eating had been making her sick because she was eating the foods people with celiac disease should never eat – on the advice of doctors.  She was rail-thin because even when she did choke down a meal, she wasn’t absorbing nutrients very well.  Yet doctor after doctor never suspected celiac as the cause of her condition – and their advice was making her worse, not better.

As I mentioned in a recent post, Dr. William “Wheat Belly” Davis told me over dinner that his next book will explain how to protect yourself against bad advice from doctors – in part by leveraging the Wisdom of Crowds.  I’m currently reading a pre-release copy of Dr. Malcolm Kendrick’s upcoming book Doctoring Data, in which he explains the statistical funny business employed to promote drugs and procedures few of us actually need.  That book includes a chapter titled Doctors can seriously damage your health.

I’m sensing a trend here.  The doctor-as-god attitude held by so many people in previous generations is on its way out – shown the door in part by doctors who are dismayed by the ignorance and incompetence of their colleagues.  (I almost used the word peers instead of colleagues.  Sadly, Drs. Davis and Kendrick have few peers.)  But plenty of non-doctors are hastening the trend by the simple act of offering non-medical advice that actually works.

Here’s an example: a co-worker at BMI told me his wife used to get frequent migraines.  Half a dozen doctors could only suggest different drug therapies, none of which worked very well.  But at a dinner party one night, a friend of a friend suggested she try giving up wheat and other grains.  So she did.  That was the end of her history with migraines.

As my co-worker put it to me, “I’m glad she finally found the answer.  But why did we have to hear about it from some Joe Schmoe at a party?  Why didn’t we hear about it from one of her doctors?”

They didn’t hear about it from any of his wife’s doctors because doctors can’t pass on what they don’t know.  I seriously doubt these doctors were being dishonest or sneaky.  They were simply following the guidelines of the medical establishment – which for the most part views diseases as bad things that just sort of happen and then must be treated with drugs, surgeries, or medical devices.  If you’d rather identify and remove the root cause of a disease, you’re more likely to find an answer in the crowd.

Here’s another example from within the family:  Chareva’s aunt happened to mention in an email that her husband was suffering from neuropathy.  She wasn’t asking for advice, because at the time she was unaware of Fat Head and our interest in diet and health.  With the aunt’s permission, I’ll tell the rest of the story through portions of emails we all exchanged.  (I’ve changed their names.)

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Actually, I am fine, Chareva.  John, however, is not.  He has been diagnosed with Severe Nerve Damage (Neuropathy), and after FIFTEEN Specialists and too many tests to count, has been told that there isn’t anything they can do for him.  His present neurosurgeon … formerly from Mayo Clinic in Rochester … will try two surgeries for his hands and lower spine, but no one has any word of hope for us.  The last two years have turned into a nightmare.  He uses a Rollator Walker now, but we may be graduating into one of those Scooter chairs soon.  We just don’t know.

Thanks for asking…
Charlotte

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Try eliminating all gluten from his diet. Wheat, oats, barley, rye. Especially wheat. It’s insidious – lurking in almost everything – so read labels. We’ve been grain-free for a couple of years and all sorts of little health issues have cleared up.

We spent a week with Dr. Davis, author of Wheat Belly, last year on the Low-Carb Cruise. (Tom was one of the guest speakers).  I also spent an hour talking to a woman who also suffered from neuropathy. She is a nurse. She went to countless doctors and none of them were any help. She eliminated grains from her diet and the pain stopped.

Google ‘neuropathy’ and ‘wheat’ and see what pops up.

Please try it for two weeks and see if it helps.

Love you,
Chareva

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Chareva…thank you for the FIRST sensible suggestion I’ve had from anyone here…or anywhere else!

I’m going to check out the link you sent me … and I guess I am NOW our Gluten-Free Dietician … at least for a couple of weeks.  I’ll let you know how it works out.

Thank you SO MUCH for caring, Dear Niece!

Love you, too, dear girl!
Charlotte

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This has been VERY interesting, Niece!  This morning, I just threw out TEN of John’s favorite cereals!  Glad you warned me about the “wheat” because in every one of those bad boys the wheat was hidden near the bottom of the list of ingredients.

This is so amazing … I’ve known about celiac disease and gluten difficulties for years (friends & co-workers who turned their lives around) … I just never put that together in John’s case.  AND, NEITHER DID ANY OF THOSE DOCTORS he has seen!

The really good news is that (and this is only 5 days since you wrote!) he is telling me he’s actually FEELING better already.  He has more energy.  And he is walking better, and his balance is starting to improve.  Is that possible, to see changes this soon?  I hope so … because THAT is what is keeping on this change of diet.

Thank YOU so much for your suggestions and ideas.  I’ll keep you posted.

Love,
Charlotte

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Charlotte,

That is great news. And yes, it CAN happen in a short amount of time. There are a slew of books and blogs written by people who have given up wheat and their lifelong illnesses have cleared up.

Tom wanted me to pass this on to you: Avoid processed vegetable oils at ALL COST (vegetable oil, corn oil, soybean oil, canola oil). They also produce inflammation.  We eat butter, olive oil, coconut oil and bacon grease. Coconut oil and omega3 fish oil actually reduce inflammation. Good stuff.

Tom recommends two books:

Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint (what you should be eating and why).

Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis (a cardiologist).

Outstanding news. Keep us posted.

Love,
Chareva

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Chareva…

Three more improvements.  Two weeks ago, we were in the office of John’s neurosurgeon for another consult…and the dr. asked John to stand up for him.  John tried … but couldn’t do it!  This morning, he showed me that he can NOW stand up easily … and went around “trying it out” on several other chair heights!

He also showed me that his balance is even BETTER than it was a few days ago.  He can stand and move around, and not “totter,” the way he used to.  ALSO … he is now walking with a MUCH more erect posture than he has in months!  Up until this change in his diet, he would walk all bent over his cane, and said he couldn’t stand up, or he would fall over.

Today is just one week since you first suggested gluten-free.

We are FINALLY feeling some hope, thanks to you two.

Love you, too, dear!
Charlotte

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Chareva & Tom …

I just had to share:  very early this morning, John told me that he can now make a complete fist with his right hand, and an almost-there fist with the left one.  He hasn’t been able to do that for almost two years!

Also, he told me that yesterday, he “just noticed” that the pain in his shoulder that’s given him a LOT of pain for the last six months is now completely gone!  (Several of his doctors told him it was either arthritis … OR bursitis…OR more neuropathy … OR, “hell, we don’t know!”)  They gave him shots, Lidacane-treated patches, more painkillers.  In 2-1/2 weeks on this diet, the pain is gone.

Can you tell how excited we are feeling?  Chareva, my dear niece, we owe you & Tom a big one!

Hugs,
Charlotte

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Sorry it was such a long and painful journey, Charlotte.  Once I dug into the research for my documentary and my blog, I lost of a lot of respect for the medical profession.  I’ve met some outstanding doctors who look for causes instead of merely treating the symptoms, but sadly they’re a minority.

Cheers to you and John.  Keep us posted on his progress.

Tom

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Hey, Tom!

Did you read about Dick Van Dyke’s “mysterious” neurological disease he’s been fighting for 7 years?  He’s done all the tests that John had … catscans, MRIs, spinal tap, and, I’m sure lots of EMGs.  They all test-out “healthy,” so the doctors are saying the exact same thing John’s doctors did:  “We don’t know what this is or what caused it.”  In HIS case, his symptoms seem to be extreme fatigue, and what he calls “a banging in the head when I lie down.”

Any of this sound familiar?

John continues to get better … and STRONGER … every day.  He, too, suffered from that “fatigue,” but he tells me now that he can feel his stamina coming back.  It’s a real relief for him, because he’s getting a lot of new customers for his custom tile furniture, and now he knows he can keep up with the orders.

Thanks to you guys.

Love to you both,
Charlotte

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Tom …

Your movie arrived today, and we are looking forward to watching it this weekend.

Today, we cancelled the surgery that was scheduled for next week for John’s hands (actually involving “unpinching” a nerve in his elbow) because his hands are getting better, and the surgeon had told us that this was what he called “a Hail Mary” procedure, and couldn’t promise much of anything.  THIS from a dr. we actually like & respect (he’s formerly from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and VERY respected in the field of neurosurgery!)  John talked to the dr. himself, and although he was kind & unfailingly polite, he made NO comment when John told him about his change of diet & how much it’s helping.  Typical, isn’t it?

Much love,
Charlotte

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Yes, the doctor’s reaction was typical.

Grains?  We don’t know nuttin’ ’bout grains birthin’ no diseases!

Years of debilitating pain, fifteen specialists, no answers — except a suggestion for a “Hail Mary” surgery that might not work.  Then they found an answer because Chareva’s aunt happened to mention her husband’s condition in an email, and Chareva happens to be married to me, and I happen to have read Wheat Belly as part of my work as a health blogger.  I’m the Joe Schmoe in the crowd who had an answer.

That’s why “white-coat awe” is (I hope) a fading phenomenon.  Back in the days when information didn’t flow quickly and freely within a worldwide crowd, doctors could get away with having no answers, or even with wrong answers.  It’s not going to be so easy anymore.


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155 thoughts on “White-Coat Awe vs. The Wisdom of Crowds

  1. KevinF

    Nice thing about having two siblings who are doctors is that I most definitely am NOT going to suffer from white-coat awe any time soon (after all, *I* was the smart one).

    Reply
  2. Galina L.

    I had similar experience with telling my friends about the possibility that a statin drug was contributing to their dad/dad-in-law increasing fragility, memory problems and speech difficulties. There is something wrong is going on. I know most doctors honestly want to be helpful, they dismiss anything coming from crowd wisdom. I have very reasonable GP(he supports my actions to improve my health), he told me many people came to him with totally crazy ideas.

    Reply
  3. KevinF

    Nice thing about having two siblings who are doctors is that I most definitely am NOT going to suffer from white-coat awe any time soon (after all, *I* was the smart one).

    Reply
  4. Galina L.

    I had similar experience with telling my friends about the possibility that a statin drug was contributing to their dad/dad-in-law increasing fragility, memory problems and speech difficulties. There is something wrong is going on. I know most doctors honestly want to be helpful, they dismiss anything coming from crowd wisdom. I have very reasonable GP(he supports my actions to improve my health), he told me many people came to him with totally crazy ideas.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Well, sure, there are idiots in the crowd as well. But good answers tend to bubble up. Or as I said in that speech I gave in D.C. awhile back, you’re better off getting 100 answers than one answer from some supposed expert who happens to be wrong.

      Reply
      1. JillOz

        RE the “white- coat awe” – it’s the not the white coat per se – it’s the YEARS of university that the coat represents and the presumed wisdom that those years of study presumably represent.

        Few people seem to understand that you can be taught the wrong thing at university, or that past learning can be updated or rendered irrelevant by new discoveries or that science is a thing that you don’t need a university degree to understand when it’s explained properly – take a bow, Tom! – and that doctors do differ in their approaches not so much by their education, but by readiness to listen to patients and because they pay attention to cause and effect.

        Not all doctors understand science or are scientific, but they’ll invoke it when talking to clients to intimidate them, even when they’re only invoking observational studies!
        Real scientifically-aware doctors understand and can explain scientific info properly.

        Having said this I should point out that, misled by some medication not working for me, I thought I had an untreatable condition and was thankful to be proved wrong!! Some doctors do know their stuff, apply it with grace and politeness and I am lucky to have met a squad of them who helped me and answered my questions and reservations!! 🙂

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          There are, of course, some great doctors out there. One of them told me that despite what most people think, doctors aren’t trained to think like scientists in medical school. They’re trained to memorize and repeat what they’ve memorized.

          Reply
  5. pam

    wonderful, i’m so happy for him & your aunt. ^_^
    may i ask how old he is?

    there is a woman has an interesting site that has a funny name.

    http://zombieinstitute.net/index.html

    my migraine also went away after i went gluten free.
    i suspect a lot more people are gluten intolerant without realising it.

    cheers,

    Reply
      1. pam

        thanks.

        it is nice to know that 70 can make such great improvement!
        i just wonder, how many have been told “aging” is the reason for ailment by MDs. duh

        Reply
  6. Liz

    I’m glad many people have finally found solutions to their health problems. But I’m still struggling. From Weston A. Price to Fat Head and Wheat Belly to the Perfect Health Diet. And I still get X (a very severe type of pain).

    Something is causing X. I don’t know what and neither to the dozens of doctors I went to. Nor the alternative medicine folks. I’ve been tempted to go down those routes again, but I just can’t do it…Eliminating wheat gave zero relief for X- and caused me to go too low-carb, and then new problems on top of old ones, and then adding in more rice and potatoes to solve the new problems, and now back to where I started…

    I still eat wheat-free for several reasons- but a cure for X is not one of them. I’ve tried this and tried that, but it has been a viscous cycle of hope and disappointment and frustration.

    I don’t want to be a party pooper here. I’m happy Chareva’s relatives and so many others are improving their health. But as far as X goes, I’ve given up hope that I can eliminate it from my life. I am still grasping the hope that I can someday at least treat X without super duper pain meds. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Reply
  7. Eric from Belgium

    Hey Tom

    For info, I bought a couple of very interesting book on the same subject a year or so ago.
    Bad Science, and Bad Pharma from an english MD called Ben Goldacre ( nothing to do with ‘breaking bad’ mind you ).
    A lot of similar stories about information manipulation, well worth reading.

    On another note, have you ever wondered why no one dares to question doctor’s orders?

    The root cause are Benjamin Franklin and the french revolution….

    Before the french revolution, Franklin spent quite a long time in France, and introduced amongst other things the notion of social / public medecine.

    Back then there were on one hand ‘doctors’ with varying levels of theorical quackery, and on the other hand barbers, familiar with handling very sharp instruments, and traditionally doing some minor surgical acts such as ‘bleeding’.

    Then comes the French revolution and all the subsequent military battles. As there are too few doctors, these barbers became battlefield ‘surgeons’, and were pretty much the only people with skills required to patch up wounded soldiers.

    Instead of reading textbooks, they gained a lot of practical experience dealing with the ‘raw material’ that battles provided, and after a few years, these surgeons -those that survived wars – were awarded the same rank and privileges as traditional doctors.

    A few years later, to fulfill the french revolution’s ambition of public medecine, a lot of medical schools opened in France, and these officer surgeons became the teachers, or practicioners in the newly created hospitals.
    These hospitals got filled with wounded obedient ex-soldiers used to take commands, or poor people off the street too scared to argue.

    Sooo… change the colorful napoleonic battle uniform to a white coat. Ex-officer surgeons used to give command without challenge running the show, and obedient patients.

    The patient (soldier) did what the doctor (officer) ordered…. Regimented approach to medecine.

    By 1830 Paris became the hospital center of the world, and many foreign students came flocking in to learn, then spread that way of doing medecine worldwide.

    I’ll wrap up with one of my favourite medical quotes: “The operation was a success, but the patient died”

    😉

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I remember reading about “barber-surgeons” in history books. I’m surprised we don’t have plumber-proctologists.

      Reply
  8. John Zacharias

    People seem biased in general if you do not have a tittle somewhere in your name. If you mention that you are an R.N. or an Engineer you are allowed to have and make valid arguments in your field. If you simply happen to be well read and knowledgeable? People are skeptical, to say the least.

    God forbid I bring up something I know a lot about, if my argument is counter to common knowledge, I am a gullible rube for believing everything I read online. Plop a tittle after my name and I say the exact same thing? Through the magical power of reading and taking tests everything I say is valid and meaningful!

    I get it, there is a ton of bullshit out in the world. Getting your information from experts would seem to make the most sense. In this day and age however knowledge is freely available to anyone that can read. If I value someones judgments and ability to think I value what that person has to say in general. I don’t care what tittle comes after their name.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I understand the tendency to be cautious about ideas picked up on the internet. There are millions of crackpots online too. To me they key is being open-minded and looking for those common experiences in the crowd. If I see dozens or hundreds of posts from people who say their migraines went away after giving up grains, I’d figure there’s probably something to it, regardless of credentials. If I see one post from a guy who says his migraines went away after he started wearing a foil fedora, I’d be more skeptical.

      Reply
  9. Christopher Lansdown

    Has your reading indicated whether there’s a difference in effect between the gluten found in bread and gluten in non-fermented foods? (I ask because genuine fermentation by microbes can have all sorts of unpredictable effects on foods.) I don’t mean to suggest that bread might be safe for people who are negatively affected by gluten, I’m just curious because it’s always interesting to get a more complete picture, and biology is astonishingly complex.

    Reply
  10. Namu

    For most of my life I’ve had episodes of tachycardia, intense nausea+vomiting, severe muscular weakness and dizziness happening seemingly randomly sometimes after physical exertion or exposition to cold. I’ve had an abnormally early puberty with almost absent secondary sexual characteristics. Also, at times my limbs become paralysed, unable to move at all except for breathing and talking, it usually happens after resting.

    The crises receded in my 20s when I became prediabetic and grew very fat, and came back with a vengeance after I followed your dietary example and most of Mark Sisson’s advice in my 30s, lost the extra weight and suppressed my HbA1c back to healthy level. In a few of those ‘new and improved’ crises I almost died, so I firmly committed to finding an explanation and possibly a cure. The occasional paralysis also came back.

    I went to my GP who prescribed a dozen blood tests, then assumed it was all in my head somehow, after more arguing and disproving some of his false assumptions (mostly about my character and reactions to stress) he grudgingly dismissed me to an endocrinologist. I thought I was making progress at last.

    The endo swept most of the lab tests aside and just assumed that I was overdosing on vitamin D (which I only had been supplementing in the previous winter months). So I stopped all vitD and saw no improvement on the crises’ front.

    I talked about all this to a (rather unorthodox) psychotherapist, in case it really was in my head all along, and this guy suggested instead it might be some rare genetic disease at play. He then asked for a second opinion from a friend of his, a surgeon with a fondness for puzzles, who accused me of either being insane or of lying about my symptoms and lab results – because it all made no sense to him and he had no answer.

    I never held the medical profession in any special regard to begin with, to me they’ve always been highly-trained workers with heads full of precious, specific knowledge but with little wisdom to connect it all and make sense of it except in the most common clinical cases. But even if I had special consideration for them, I’d have certainly lost it after all this, because they’ve been right next to useless. All the useful data I got so far came from blood tests I had to pry from them with pointy words, all their proposed treatments failed, all their explanations conflicted with already present evidence. It’s like they have no curiosity at all, and little training in actual science – as in epistemology = the proper way of forming beliefs from objective reality.

    To think that there are millions of people like me, all with all kinds of rare diseases that all these doctors know little or nothing about, that the medical profession fails to help in the same way, is rather unnerving.

    To this date, and all on my own using the Internet, dangerous self-experiments and my college training in science, I have figured out diet adjustments that really do work for me, preventing the crises and drastically reducing the frequency and severity of the paralysis episodes. It consists of avoiding a long list of food items, and gobbling salt by the gram every day, and I’ve had zero crisis since.

    At this point the “proper” thing I should do is find a geneticist and confirm the suspicions of having some unclear, maybe unknown, rare disease, or just keep doing my stuff and disregard medical “help”. And the former really looks like a waste of time and money, in my experience so far.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That sounds like a quite a stressful journey. I hope you discover the root cause of your condition someday.

      Reply
    2. Tate Metlen

      I am sure you have already looked at all the various salt wasting diseases, but low carb makes the salt wasting worst. Also, hormonal unbalances can cause salt wasting. Did your hormones come back fine?

      Reply
      1. Namu

        Once I established the crises were due to electrolyte anomalies, my first good leads were CAH and Addison’s disease, the most common causes of sodium-potassium imbalances. I managed to pry a steroid panel from my GP by word-wrestling him a good 20 minutes… Turns out I have normal cortisol, high testosterone and higher than normal aldosterone, so it’s neither illness. Could be pseudohypoaldosteronism type 1, except it’s unusually mild and with a late onset, and covers only half the symptoms.

        The low-carb did make the crises worse, yes, because of how insulin moves the excess potassium from my blood to inside cells. Becoming obese was protecting me… But I only understood this aspect in hindsight, after aggravating it by using “diet salt” (which is half potassium chloride) for a few months. I thought the excess aldosterone was a hint of too much sodium and not enough potassium, but it’s actually the opposite – I’ve grown resistant to aldosterone somehow.

        Reply
        1. Tate Metlen

          Thank you for your reply. Did increasing salt have a linear positive effect, or did it level off at higher dosages? If so, at what level of salt did it stop being beneficial? The reason I ask is I have similar (to a MUCH lesser degree) with low-carb. I had not heard of issues with excess potassium in the blood due to low insulin. Do you have any references? It would definitely explain a few things.

          Reply
          1. Namu

            I just take salt whenever I get a hint of the preliminary signs of lacking sodium (specific cravings, feeling dehydrated without thirst, sorry if that’s a bit vague), or salt + rehydration when it’s signs of potassium excess (heart rythm going wonky, metallic taste in mouth, easy cramping in legs feeling thirsty but pissing everything I drink).
            It’s not quite linear, I got two close calls since understanding my aldosterone is not working and starting the “treatment”, both were due to drinking some alcohol. Taking salt and preserving hydration stoped both in their tracks just fine. I’d say it is more like a threshold effect with lack of sodium (makes for an acute and sudden crisis, in a matter of minutes), whereas potassium excess builds up slowly (can take a couple days of increasing signs if I let it continue).

            Reply
            1. Namu

              Another sure sign of building up potassium is I lose muscular tonus: typically I cannot grip with any strength at all. I have an automatic tensiometer to check that my BP does not fall below 100 / 60.

          2. Namu

            Definitely do lookup medical resources on the crucial concept of osmolarity – like med school slideshows on proper treatment of dehydrated or overhydrated people (I have one about two marathon runners who inflict upon themselves hypernatremia and hyponatremia by drinking too little and too much, respectively, it’s very clear but it’s all in french…). Wikipedia should be a good starting point.

            Reply
    3. Walter Bushell

      What most doctors are is technicians. In computers we had this syndrome with computer technicians repeatedly. If the problem was simple they could run the routine tests and fix the problem, but with anything intermittent or unusual it required a programmer to find the problem. Once we sent a programmer to the mountains of Equador because that was were NASA put one of their transmitters. It turned out that about once in a million times the storing the accumulator the high order or sign bit was dropped, which caused as you might expect very bad things to happen. When a telescope that is not designed to look at the Sun does the usual result is as you would expect a fried telescope.

      Now the human body is much more complex and the possible things that can go wrong as so many, it’s a wonder our medical system works as well as it does. The slanting of medical advice due to ideology and mainly money doesn’t help.

      Nor does the resistance to life style changes the attitude seems to be, “Just give me a pill so I can go one killing myself slowly.”

      My I’d better stop here before I begin to rant.

      Reply
      1. Namu

        I had been looking at 23andMe for a long time, I finally took the test a few days ago, and completed all the research surveys I could on their website. Now it should be just a few weeks to my results…

        Reply
        1. Namu

          So my results are in. There’s nothing in the analysis that would explain my condition. I have no idea what other options are left now.

          Reply
  11. Janknitz

    One point that has always struck me is that celiacs are advised to continue eating gluten until they get a definitive diagnosis, even if it takes years, even if they are being seriously harmed by intestinal and systemic damage and malnutrition.

    The usual explanation is that it’s important to have a definitive diagnosis so that adequate treatment (which is, umm, total withdrawal of all gluten exposure) can be prescribed rather than just “guessed at”. If the individual ceases all gluten and heals their own gut, then the tests may show a false negative.

    Ok, so there is perhaps a grain(!) of logic in that, but it was anothe explanation I saw in a GI doctor’s article in mainstream media about why people should not go “gluten free” that just boggles the mind. He said going gluten free might contribute to obesity because “we know celiacs gain weight when they go off gluten.”

    You think that maybe the fact that possibly for the first time in years or their lifetime they are FINALLY able to absorb nutrients in their food might have something to do with it??

    Geez, we’re going to put our lives in the hands of people who think with that sort of logic???

    Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Remember that man is far more a rationalizing animal than a rational animal. I think most people can see that in others long before they realize it in themselves. Ach, why do we grow so late smart and so soon old?

        Reply
  12. Bret

    White coat awe will definitely continue to fade. As the federal government continues to infect the medical industry with ever more regulation and spending (while it still can spend, that is), doctors will continue to become wronger, as more bad advice becomes mandatory. They’ll also become scarcer, as the incentives for enduring an enormously expensive four-year med school continue to diminish.

    Nurse practitioners and PAs may fill the resultant void, but they’ll have the same problem of working in a centrally planned bureaucracy, rather than a system that necessarily self-assesses through market share and values innovation accordingly. So I suspect they’ll be just as wrong as formal MDs.

    After enduring lots of worthless advice and procedures and wasting thousands of dollars, patients will have no choice but to turn to non-medical sources of information.

    What scares me is to wonder when the federales will start regulating speech on the internet, in order to stop all this dangerous advice being passed around without medical license. Don’t worry about that first amendment, folks. This is for your safety.

    Reply
      1. Namu

        I expect that the very first (dubious) case of “paleo-diet death” will be very publicized and instrumentalized. And then it’s state-mandated licensing for everyone. And shortly after, federal-level law for uniforming all the norms so they don’t conflict with USDA recommendations.

        We should be on the watch for people stitching their own nonsense to the paleo/primal label undeservedly. I’m not a US resident though, I have no idea if there are initiatives to mount proper labels privately on the paleo scene ?

        Reply
  13. JillOz

    I got my brother & two friends off wheat and the latter two especially are on the grain-free/good eating changeover!
    My brother has done all this already, so it’s more matter-of-fact for him.

    All three have had various health problems clear up, some were approaching serious dysfunction.

    I had a consultation a couple of days ago with a respiratory physiologist – she gave me some useful exercises, I told her about Wheat Belly and Grain Brain, with salient details. She said she’ll check them out & that I gave her “food for thought”. 🙂

    Unfortunately not all my problems were alleviated with wheat removal, I have some other things going on. But by golly, I felt some benefits immediately!

    I think the almost immediate biofeedback is a distinct advantage! I just wish more family members would listen to me! Still, the word is getting out.

    Reply
  14. Onlooker

    What a great story, Tom. It’s truly tragic how many people have suffered needlessly over the decades due to ignorance, corruption, stubbornness, pride, etc. In this and other areas as well.

    The information age threatens to overcome all of that. What a wonderful thing, eh?

    Reply
  15. Walter Bushell

    I am appalled when I consider the number of people suffering from wheat et al. who consider their afflictions just part of their life nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe things that are very common and not thought out of the ordinary. Though thing to think in a world where most people if they are going to get enough calories must get a major share from grains.

    Also statins. Most people including doctors don’t see middle age and beyond people not on statins so they consider the statinatized people as representative, so when the symptoms show up its just aging. And, it occurred to me statins basically age you. The symptoms of aging and satins seem to be similar, because statins attack the mitochondria.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yep, that’s the “disease just happens” attitude. Part of life, but maybe god — er, the doctor — can help.

      Reply
  16. Garry Lee

    Here’s a comment from a retired doctor and it includes a doctor.
    Firstly, I’d have diagnosed the lady who was skinny on her history alone. We in Ireland are very switched into Coeliac disease. 1 in 40 people in my city have it on biopsy (at least, one in 40 of those biopsied but it’s done pretty routinely). I used to read such biopsies.

    I went on LCHF a year ago in a desperate attempt to control a lifelong weight problem. It’s worked like a charm. I’m at my correct weight at age of 64 having been about 40lb heavier for most of my adult life, despite a helluva lot of exercise.
    Anyway, my wife’s sister who’s a retired doctor as well was visiting. She lives in Spain. I’ve known for yonks that she’s had bad irritable bowel since she was 8. She remarked on my weight loss. I told her what I was on. I then suggested that she try it as I’d read Prof.Noakes’ remark that it cured his irritable bowel. Two weeks later she rang me to tell me that her IB was no more and it has remained at bay since. Since two weeks after she started, she totally stopped taking her medications for it.

    Reply
  17. Stephen

    The best health outcomes always occur when the patient takes the most responsibility for their wellness. The medical system is all about high patient volume and billable procedures. Doctors know deep down that the patient’s own commitment to their health is more important than a 15 minute visit with them. The body is amazing. It’s sad when the only think making it sick is a bad diet.

    Reply
  18. Jeanne

    My oldest sister, when she went to medical school, had an arrogant gene installed. You can’t tell her anything.

    Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        So a man goes to Heaven and notices things are falling apart.
        He asks about what’s wrong and is told, “See that woman over there? She’s really God, but thinks she’s a doctor.”

        Reply
  19. Anne

    What a great story. I am so glad to hear Chareva’s uncle has had improvement and was even able to avoid surgery with his dietary changes. Yup, in my book, wheat is evil. I am still doing great 12 years gluten free(now paleo). Was nice talking with you and Chareva a few years ago.

    Reply
  20. Lisa

    My sister-in-law has Rheumatoid Arthritis. I told her that lots of people get good results by giving up gluten. Her response: give up pasta? My response: give up Rheumatoid Arthritis? She has since has a complete hysterectomy due to endometriosis, after years of infertility issues. She also has thyroid issues, and is lactose intolerant. I don’t understand.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Yeesh, I can’t believe anyone loves pasta so much that it’s worth dealing with rheumatoid arthritis.

      Reply
    2. Jim Butler

      It’s not like it’s a total “either/or”…there are many gluten-free pastas out there, some of which are very good.

      Reply
  21. Liz

    I’m glad many people have finally found solutions to their health problems. But I’m still struggling. From Weston A. Price to Fat Head and Wheat Belly to the Perfect Health Diet. And I still get X (a very severe type of pain).

    Something is causing X. I don’t know what and neither to the dozens of doctors I went to. Nor the alternative medicine folks. I’ve been tempted to go down those routes again, but I just can’t do it…Eliminating wheat gave zero relief for X- and caused me to go too low-carb, and then new problems on top of old ones, and then adding in more rice and potatoes to solve the new problems, and now back to where I started…

    I still eat wheat-free for several reasons- but a cure for X is not one of them. I’ve tried this and tried that, but it has been a viscous cycle of hope and disappointment and frustration.

    I don’t want to be a party pooper here. I’m happy Chareva’s relatives and so many others are improving their health. But as far as X goes, I’ve given up hope that I can eliminate it from my life. I am still grasping the hope that I can someday at least treat X without super duper pain meds. But I’m not holding my breath.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I hope you find the answer someday. If you do, share it loud and wide on the internet — there are bound to be others with the same condition and the same frustration.

      Reply
    2. Janet

      Read anything by dr john Sarno and TMS. If you have tried everything else this might help. Have an open mind. I no longer have a particular persistent pain issue. Read the Amazon reviews of his first book. Amazing stories. Good luck and good for you on the changes you have made. Many pain issues stem from this TMS (tension myositis syndrome). Once I knew what my pain was I got final relief by following a short treatment plan in the TMS book by Fred Amir. This particular pain I had never came back full bore and I can control it when I feel twinges.

      Reply
    3. Cindy C

      Liz,

      Thanks Janet.

      To reduce my pain, I had to work on 2 things, my diet, and by reading Dr John E. Sarno books. Youtube, and the web also have a lot on Sarno. For some the chronic pain goes away quickly, for others, it may take a few weeks. If you see yourself in those books, please work on the recommendations. Actually, I think reading the books, and working on the recommendations, helped me more than the diet.

      http://tmswiki.org/ppd/For_people_just_learning_about_TMS

      Reply
  22. Maggie

    My mother has the “doctors are gods” syndrome. I’ve begged her to get off statins. When she told her doctor about the studies that say they’re not necessary and that she wanted to stop taking them, he said “No, I want you on them.”

    I told her next time she should tell him she’s not asking his permission, she’s only asking for the safe way to ween herself off.

    So far she’s still on them *sigh*

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Among older people especially, the doctor-patient relationship is something akin to parent-child. Must do what daddy says because he knows best.

      Reply
    2. Vic

      Maggie, I sympathize. My Dad was in a hospice program that only takes folks projected to live 6 months or less. The program will not provide Statins as they are a “maintenance” drug. Good, I think he will finally get off them and maybe not have so much muscle pain. I was wrong, the case nurse called his Dr and got an up-dated script for them, which Mom had to pay for out of pocket-ninety bucks a month! I questioned them about it, what exactly are we maintaining? “Oh we must protect his heart!” He had congestive heart failure, so what are we protecting it from? “Cholesterol, we don’t want clogged arteries!” Ummm, didn’t he just sign a “Do not resuscitate order?” I then asked them to reason on it, even if cholesterol caused clogged arteries, we know his are clear, how long would such a build up take before it killed him? They just looked at me like I had sprouted a second head, speaking a foreign language. Mom simply did not have the emotional strength to say no. By the way she is in her eighties and the same Dr has her on the awful things. Apparently he not only has a white coat, but he also walks on water!

      Reply
    3. Kristin

      I had an identical conversation with my mother and she had with her doctor. Her doctor’s words were “I understand what your daughter is saying. Take them anyway.” And so she does.

      Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        People are living too long and breaking Social Security. Hence the need for drastic action.

        I may be too cynical here, but 9 times out of 10; I find that I was not cynical enough.

        Reply
  23. Ulfric Douglas

    Surgeons = good.
    Nurses = good.
    Doctors = bad.
    Plain as day, the doctors are harming millions of people, especially old people.
    Stop believing your doctors!!
    Let me try to remember when a doctor did anyone in my family any good … nope. Never. (Maybe I’m forgetting some instance, it is possible.)
    That’s seriously damning.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Well, I don’t want to paint with quite such a broad brush, but … uh … let’s see, last time a (non-surgeon) doctor did me any good … I’ll get back to you on that.

      Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Back in the 1970s a doc in general practice took stitches out of my hand I don’t know what the speciality of the DR who put them in.

        And surgeons do a fair share of damage too, with needless procedures and botched operations like operating on the wrong side.

        Reply
      2. Walter Bushell

        OH! I forgot the bariatric surgeons. DR. Jason Fung says, try fasting before you let (that is pay) someone to reduce your stomach to the size of a walnut, whereupon you will fast want it or not.

        Reply
  24. Christopher Lansdown

    Has your reading indicated whether there’s a difference in effect between the gluten found in bread and gluten in non-fermented foods? (I ask because genuine fermentation by microbes can have all sorts of unpredictable effects on foods.) I don’t mean to suggest that bread might be safe for people who are negatively affected by gluten, I’m just curious because it’s always interesting to get a more complete picture, and biology is astonishingly complex.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      From what I understand, fermentation largely deactivates the lectins and the gluten. If I had celiac disease, however, I wouldn’t take the risk.

      Reply
  25. Janknitz

    One point that has always struck me is that celiacs are advised to continue eating gluten until they get a definitive diagnosis, even if it takes years, even if they are being seriously harmed by intestinal and systemic damage and malnutrition.

    The usual explanation is that it’s important to have a definitive diagnosis so that adequate treatment (which is, umm, total withdrawal of all gluten exposure) can be prescribed rather than just “guessed at”. If the individual ceases all gluten and heals their own gut, then the tests may show a false negative.

    Ok, so there is perhaps a grain(!) of logic in that, but it was anothe explanation I saw in a GI doctor’s article in mainstream media about why people should not go “gluten free” that just boggles the mind. He said going gluten free might contribute to obesity because “we know celiacs gain weight when they go off gluten.”

    You think that maybe the fact that possibly for the first time in years or their lifetime they are FINALLY able to absorb nutrients in their food might have something to do with it??

    Geez, we’re going to put our lives in the hands of people who think with that sort of logic???

    Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Remember that man is far more a rationalizing animal than a rational animal. I think most people can see that in others long before they realize it in themselves. Ach, why do we grow so late smart and so soon old?

        Reply
  26. Chris

    Tom
    The wisdom of crowds (really another name for ‘evidence based medicine’?) is the key, and I think you need to be cautious about drawing too long a bow. Because of your views you will hear the 100s (or 1000s) of success stories associated with people giving up grains – people will tell you, want you to know. But you wont hear the failures, you also wont hear the people who are cured or have relief from ‘conventional’ medicine.

    I think diet is increasingly being recognised as a specific factor in serious health issues, rather than simply some form of general underlaying and potentially contributing issue. It should be part of every doctor’s armoury of assessment. But 10 years ago every unexplained illness was ‘stress’, the issue of the day. We don’t want to get a situation where every illness becomes ‘diet’.

    Rather, the diagnosis tree should include diet, grains and dairy and whatever, as potential candidates. Another tool, another possibility to be considered.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I’m not opposed to conventional medicine. It’s exactly what’s needed in many cases. Drugs beat down a severe ear infection that (according to a good doctor I trust) could have cost me the ability to hear in my right ear, and without surgery I’d be unable to walk without limping or raise my left arm above the shoulder.

      My beef is with a medical establishment that views every disease as something that just sort of happened, or is a natural consequence of living past age 40, and must be treated with drugs. I have an even bigger beef with doctors who are resistant to the idea that neuropathy and other ailments can be provoked by eating hearthealthywholegrains.

      I’d like to see doctors trained to routinely look for dietary causes for chronic conditions and try elimination diets before resorting to drugs and surgeries. That way, someone like Chareva’s uncle wouldn’t endure years of needless misery while pinning his slim hopes on a “Hail Mary” surgery that even the surgeon said wasn’t likely to help much.

      Reply
      1. Troy Wynn

        Real food is our no.1 pharmacy. It’ll cure everything. If that doesn’t work, then do lot’s of burpees.

        Reply
  27. Beowulf

    My sister is learning that doctors don’t hold all the answers as she raises her first child. At 4 months the doctor recommended that she start feeding him rice cereal. She and her husband both agreed that this was silly. Why would they replace mom’s milk with a processed cereal grain? Instead they waited until he was almost six months old and began showing interest in what they were doing at the dinner table. His first food? Avocado.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Nice.

      We were told to give Sara Cheerios as her first finger food. At the time we didn’t know better.

      Reply
  28. Garry Lee

    Here’s a comment from a retired doctor and it includes a doctor.
    Firstly, I’d have diagnosed the lady who was skinny on her history alone. We in Ireland are very switched into Coeliac disease. 1 in 40 people in my city have it on biopsy (at least, one in 40 of those biopsied but it’s done pretty routinely). I used to read such biopsies.

    I went on LCHF a year ago in a desperate attempt to control a lifelong weight problem. It’s worked like a charm. I’m at my correct weight at age of 64 having been about 40lb heavier for most of my adult life, despite a helluva lot of exercise.
    Anyway, my wife’s sister who’s a retired doctor as well was visiting. She lives in Spain. I’ve known for yonks that she’s had bad irritable bowel since she was 8. She remarked on my weight loss. I told her what I was on. I then suggested that she try it as I’d read Prof.Noakes’ remark that it cured his irritable bowel. Two weeks later she rang me to tell me that her IB was no more and it has remained at bay since. Since two weeks after she started, she totally stopped taking her medications for it.

    Reply
  29. Stephen

    The best health outcomes always occur when the patient takes the most responsibility for their wellness. The medical system is all about high patient volume and billable procedures. Doctors know deep down that the patient’s own commitment to their health is more important than a 15 minute visit with them. The body is amazing. It’s sad when the only think making it sick is a bad diet.

    Reply
  30. Anne

    What a great story. I am so glad to hear Chareva’s uncle has had improvement and was even able to avoid surgery with his dietary changes. Yup, in my book, wheat is evil. I am still doing great 12 years gluten free(now paleo). Was nice talking with you and Chareva a few years ago.

    Reply
  31. Lisa

    My sister-in-law has Rheumatoid Arthritis. I told her that lots of people get good results by giving up gluten. Her response: give up pasta? My response: give up Rheumatoid Arthritis? She has since has a complete hysterectomy due to endometriosis, after years of infertility issues. She also has thyroid issues, and is lactose intolerant. I don’t understand.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yeesh, I can’t believe anyone loves pasta so much that it’s worth dealing with rheumatoid arthritis.

      Reply
    2. Jim Butler

      It’s not like it’s a total “either/or”…there are many gluten-free pastas out there, some of which are very good.

      Reply
  32. Ulfric Douglas

    Surgeons = good.
    Nurses = good.
    Doctors = bad.
    Plain as day, the doctors are harming millions of people, especially old people.
    Stop believing your doctors!!
    Let me try to remember when a doctor did anyone in my family any good … nope. Never. (Maybe I’m forgetting some instance, it is possible.)
    That’s seriously damning.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Well, I don’t want to paint with quite such a broad brush, but … uh … let’s see, last time a (non-surgeon) doctor did me any good … I’ll get back to you on that.

      Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Back in the 1970s a doc in general practice took stitches out of my hand I don’t know what the speciality of the DR who put them in.

        And surgeons do a fair share of damage too, with needless procedures and botched operations like operating on the wrong side.

        Reply
      2. Walter Bushell

        OH! I forgot the bariatric surgeons. DR. Jason Fung says, try fasting before you let (that is pay) someone to reduce your stomach to the size of a walnut, whereupon you will fast want it or not.

        Reply
  33. Chris

    Tom
    The wisdom of crowds (really another name for ‘evidence based medicine’?) is the key, and I think you need to be cautious about drawing too long a bow. Because of your views you will hear the 100s (or 1000s) of success stories associated with people giving up grains – people will tell you, want you to know. But you wont hear the failures, you also wont hear the people who are cured or have relief from ‘conventional’ medicine.

    I think diet is increasingly being recognised as a specific factor in serious health issues, rather than simply some form of general underlaying and potentially contributing issue. It should be part of every doctor’s armoury of assessment. But 10 years ago every unexplained illness was ‘stress’, the issue of the day. We don’t want to get a situation where every illness becomes ‘diet’.

    Rather, the diagnosis tree should include diet, grains and dairy and whatever, as potential candidates. Another tool, another possibility to be considered.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’m not opposed to conventional medicine. It’s exactly what’s needed in many cases. Drugs beat down a severe ear infection that (according to a good doctor I trust) could have cost me the ability to hear in my right ear, and without surgery I’d be unable to walk without limping or raise my left arm above the shoulder.

      My beef is with a medical establishment that views every disease as something that just sort of happened, or is a natural consequence of living past age 40, and must be treated with drugs. I have an even bigger beef with doctors who are resistant to the idea that neuropathy and other ailments can be provoked by eating hearthealthywholegrains.

      I’d like to see doctors trained to routinely look for dietary causes for chronic conditions and try elimination diets before resorting to drugs and surgeries. That way, someone like Chareva’s uncle wouldn’t endure years of needless misery while pinning his slim hopes on a “Hail Mary” surgery that even the surgeon said wasn’t likely to help much.

      Reply
  34. Beowulf

    My sister is learning that doctors don’t hold all the answers as she raises her first child. At 4 months the doctor recommended that she start feeding him rice cereal. She and her husband both agreed that this was silly. Why would they replace mom’s milk with a processed cereal grain? Instead they waited until he was almost six months old and began showing interest in what they were doing at the dinner table. His first food? Avocado.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Nice.

      We were told to give Sara Cheerios as her first finger food. At the time we didn’t know better.

      Reply
  35. Jillm

    Recent quote from a doctor: Caring for know-it-all patients who have limited knowledge beyond what they learn on a Facebook page is a pain in the ***.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Sorry to say that’s not an unusual intake these days. Look at the people who fill those giant big gulps two or three times per day.

      Reply
  36. Jillm

    Recent quote from a doctor: Caring for know-it-all patients who have limited knowledge beyond what they learn on a Facebook page is a pain in the ***.

    Reply
  37. Linda

    I love this post and the comments! Somehow, you, Tom and all the comments help me exist in my “carboholic” family. I am on day six since Thanksgiving of no wheat or grains, and I’m finally getting back to normal! I take care of my 94 year old father, who, to my knowledge, has never had a meal without bread of some sort. And, given his druthers, he would have me cook rice and gravy at every meal. My brother, also another carboholic, keeps telling me that since my father is relatively healthy at age 94, then wheat could not possibly be bad. But…. my father has bursitis, arthritis and prostate cancer! Very often has bouts of diarrhea. Relatively healthy?? Sometimes, I think the greatest portion of the population has been brainwashed to think it’s the norm to have all this stuff wrong with you once you pass a certain age. I can’t change my father’s habits and do the best I can, but I really do wonder what he would be like had he not been such a wheat freak all his life. My brother is now beginning to get pain in the joints of his knees and hips when he walks his mandatory two miles twice a week. His doc has given him a pain med for it. I wonder what would happen if he got off all that wheat and grains that he eats. He also loves rice.

    Anyway, Tom, thanks for all you do! It means a lot!

    Off the subject, but, Chuck, if you’re reading this, please post your pumpkin pie recipe with the coconut crust! I’m waiting anxiously to try it out!

    Reply
  38. Cord

    Dang. It is so freaky when multiple, totally unrelated, sites that I am reading all start talking about the same thing. Wisdom of crowds indeed. The most recent (Nov 26) post over at The Archdruid Report (I am not kidding) is a meditation on the same theme: that the common man is losing respect for the edifice of science and medicine, because we’ve pretty much all had experiences like this with our doctors. He cites a specific example of a friend clearing up severe asthma with a dietary change, telling her doctor, and finding that the connection between allergy and her condition was well known, but “we prefer to medicate for that”. I had to double-check the URL to make sure I wasn’t reading that bit here.

    Is there anyone left who *isn’t* having this experience with the medical profession?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      That’s why I think it’s a trend. Dr. Davis and Dr. Kendrick are independently working on books with similar themes, and this stuff is all over the internet.

      Reply
    2. Galina L.

      Dr.Emily Dean in her post about “orthorexia” told about her colleague who felt guilty after telling his asthma patient about diet-asthma connection. The patient developed anxiety , probably because she couldn’t get over the fact that food affects health to such degree.

      Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Sorry to say that’s not an unusual intake these days. Look at the people who fill those giant big gulps two or three times per day.

      Reply
  39. Ulfric Douglas

    Yeah Kevin ; “Ulfric, you’ve obviously never met my last ex-girlfriend. The nurse.”
    I have certainly not met any nurses who led the conversation onto their terrible last relationship with a guy called Kevin and how he’s never forgiven them 😉
    I’m guessing the Nurses = good equation has its limits!

    Reply
  40. Linda

    I love this post and the comments! Somehow, you, Tom and all the comments help me exist in my “carboholic” family. I am on day six since Thanksgiving of no wheat or grains, and I’m finally getting back to normal! I take care of my 94 year old father, who, to my knowledge, has never had a meal without bread of some sort. And, given his druthers, he would have me cook rice and gravy at every meal. My brother, also another carboholic, keeps telling me that since my father is relatively healthy at age 94, then wheat could not possibly be bad. But…. my father has bursitis, arthritis and prostate cancer! Very often has bouts of diarrhea. Relatively healthy?? Sometimes, I think the greatest portion of the population has been brainwashed to think it’s the norm to have all this stuff wrong with you once you pass a certain age. I can’t change my father’s habits and do the best I can, but I really do wonder what he would be like had he not been such a wheat freak all his life. My brother is now beginning to get pain in the joints of his knees and hips when he walks his mandatory two miles twice a week. His doc has given him a pain med for it. I wonder what would happen if he got off all that wheat and grains that he eats. He also loves rice.

    Anyway, Tom, thanks for all you do! It means a lot!

    Off the subject, but, Chuck, if you’re reading this, please post your pumpkin pie recipe with the coconut crust! I’m waiting anxiously to try it out!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yup, most people seem to believe arthritis, cancer, etc., are just the natural consequences of getting older. I hope to live to be 94 or older, but I also want to be healthy until the very end.

      Reply
  41. Cord

    Dang. It is so freaky when multiple, totally unrelated, sites that I am reading all start talking about the same thing. Wisdom of crowds indeed. The most recent (Nov 26) post over at The Archdruid Report (I am not kidding) is a meditation on the same theme: that the common man is losing respect for the edifice of science and medicine, because we’ve pretty much all had experiences like this with our doctors. He cites a specific example of a friend clearing up severe asthma with a dietary change, telling her doctor, and finding that the connection between allergy and her condition was well known, but “we prefer to medicate for that”. I had to double-check the URL to make sure I wasn’t reading that bit here.

    Is there anyone left who *isn’t* having this experience with the medical profession?

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      That’s why I think it’s a trend. Dr. Davis and Dr. Kendrick are independently working on books with similar themes, and this stuff is all over the internet.

      Reply
    2. Galina L.

      Dr.Emily Dean in her post about “orthorexia” told about her colleague who felt guilty after telling his asthma patient about diet-asthma connection. The patient developed anxiety , probably because she couldn’t get over the fact that food affects health to such degree.

      Reply
      1. Galina L.

        My GP told me doctors prefer medications over diets because patients 1) adhere to taking pills better, 2) don’t feel deprived and unhappy.

        Reply
        1. Walter Bushell

          Better to have amputations from diabetes than Dog forbid cut way down on the carbs after all.

          Reply
  42. Ulfric Douglas

    Yeah Kevin ; “Ulfric, you’ve obviously never met my last ex-girlfriend. The nurse.”
    I have certainly not met any nurses who led the conversation onto their terrible last relationship with a guy called Kevin and how he’s never forgiven them 😉
    I’m guessing the Nurses = good equation has its limits!

    Reply

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