The wrong path
A few years ago I was a junior doctor at the end of the a long line of medics on a ward round. We came to an eighty year old lady who told the boss that she had been having trouble sleeping, that she felt a bit sick. The consultant knew the answer, “Well, take a PPI (this is a proton pump inhibitor, you may have heard of them, or you may even be taking Omeprazole or Pantoprazole) and you will feel better” he proclaimed and much like Sir Lancelot Spratt he was off, entourage in tow. As I walked away, the lady in the bed looked at me and said “It’s typical of you doctors, all you want to do is give us tablets”. The other ladies in the ward nodded in agreement. My first thought was simple, we are doctors, it is what we do. I have thought about that a lot though, in the years since.
Medicine and the world of medicine is about throwing drugs (and other treatments) at an established health problem. This is great, if you have established a health problem. But I think we have our priorities wrong. Why? Because the doctor who rushes in to save the heart attack victim is the superhero and the doctor sitting at a desk trying to help whole populations from having them is, well, more of a geek than anyone’s hero. They don’t make fast-moving, exciting TV shows about him or her. As a disclaimer, you will have been more likely to find me in the first camp over the years, than in the latter.
Prevention might well be better than a cure but let’s face it, the cure is much sexier, unless you are the one suffering. The problem is, we are all starting to suffer. You can’t make superstars out of preventative medicine and I’d suggest you can’t make as much money…unless you’re selling preventative drugs, you know, like Statins. What needs more of our emphasis, time, money, effort, concern and priority is prevention.
Well, OK, that is all well and good but the prevention interventions we have tried have not been working. The calorie restrictions, the eat-less-move-more mantra, the dietary guidelines to avoid fat and eat all the pasta are not working. Drugs are not the way out when bad nutrition got us into trouble in the first place. We are all going down the wrong path and we need to turn around as soon as possible because the only thing doing really well here, is the diet industry.
I’ve been keeping a diary on Instagram @keto.edges but I wanted to rant a little more, so here is a new blog about nutrition and health. Still to come…What is a ketogenic diet? Kids and teachers, intermittent fasting, artificial sweeteners…and this is just a start. Welcome aboard.