Your Doctor is NOT Responsible for Your Health—YOU Are! Recommended Reading to Open Your Mind and Ask the Right Questions, Because Your Life Depends On It
I am not a doctor and have no medical training, merely an active mind and body and a life of learning in many areas and a mind that questions every claim. Do not follow my advice as I want no responsibility for your actions.
YOU must take the time (at least 100 hours of serious study, probably 200 to 300 hours) to read and understand diet and nutrition and medicine and health along with the thick hide of financial and political slime surrounding it all. You MUST do this in order to have the proper context and perspective to evaluate any book, any public health recommendation, or in particular what your doctor claims is true as to nutrition and diet and health. And (most likely) is not true or at best 1/10 of the story.
It’s your life at stake! If you just want to follow your doctor’s advice... it’s far better than following the advice of anyone blindly (like me) or anyone else not a doctor. But as for doctor advice (or any medical organization) on nutrition and health: good luck with that, as the medical profession has surely killed and maimed millions over the past decades with horrible nutritional advice (take the low-fat diet stuff just for starters).
Maybe you can find a very enlightened and courageous doctor (willing to buck the incestuous intellectual amplification that is the rule), but unless you invest the time and effort, you are still taking your life into your hands because how would you know? After all, Robert Atkins and Dean Ornish both were doctors, yet polar opposites on advice.
What follows are my views, developed over years.
No doctor can know everything, because no one can do that. Nor do many doctors have cross-discipline knowledge (take just nutrition for starters*) or knowledge outside their field which many nonetheless have direct bearing on medical solutions. At the least, doctors are under time pressure, and many simply do not keep up with the latest medical information. Time passes and a grueling workload means that many doctors are badly out of date. Some think they know it all, by experience, when in fact at least a few of their beliefs are false.
Worse, few doctors give consideration to nutrition based on real data—too many still repeat the awful health-damaging official guidelines that were issued under political pressure, and still are. And organizations like the American Heart Association will endorse just about anything, for enough money.
But it is far worse than that: doctors also are under tremendous pressure to conform, lest they risk medical board, licensing board and insurer threats up to and including loss of license. Few are willing to take on that gut-wrenching hassle. Many doctors will not speak out due to these pressures, and so they just go along with dubious guidelines which are fundamentally a financial and political thing, NOT solid medical practice subject to frequent and regular scrutiny.
The gullible and uninformed are at big risk for all these reasons. And our medical system is far removed from an open intellectual process.
My own recent direct experience shows me that risk assessment is just not done for things like statins—guidelines are so easy to follow and no one gets in trouble for following them—so so easy to rationalize. It is deeply troubling when the most highly relevant study I could find for myself was unknown to two of my doctors, both recommending statins to me. That is unacceptable.
So.. it is your job to learn as much as you can, and ask probing questions. A doctor that gets upset or angry at questioning is one you need to fire—lazy and incompetent because at the least, patient concerns should be the #1 priority and patients can frequently provide 80% of the diagnostic clues, if only the doctor listens well.
* Nutrition is not only one of the unscientific areas of medicine (more myth/bias in science), most doctors have nil training in it (probably a good thing given the killer history if nutrition “science” ).
It will take you 80 to 200 hours of study to go through a variety of work, and more time still to think it through critically. You MUST NOT just go google this. But start with one book, and go from there, and by all means read as many as you can, no matter the POV. Suck it up, and get it done and save your mental and physical life.
Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care, by Dr Marty Makary MD @AMAZON
Don’t you want to know about Dr. Hodad?
Lies My Doctor Told Me Second Edition: Medical Myths That Can Harm Your Health, by Ken D. Berry MD, FAAFP @AMAZON
This book confirms many of my pet theories. A few things I disagree with based on hard data of my own, namely the calories in/out thing for extreme athletes, though I do not dispute it for ordinary exercise. Point is, even if only 75% of the ideas here are correct (and I believe that is a very low estimate), then millions of people are being damaged by doctors.
The Truth about Statins, by Barbara H Roberts, MD @AMAZON
The Truth about Statins is shocking in revealing the intellectual fraud, financial conflicts of interest, shoddy studies, of the $30B statin industry. Statins are in effect a slow-acting poison on every system in the body. The original Ansel Keys cholesterol claims were such an intellectual fraud as to beggar belief. About 70% of side effects are dismissed and never reported by doctors, thus statins are “safe” (ask MD and astronaut Duane Graveline about that @AMAZON!).
All while diet has been proven to be superior to a statin for most people, and with numerous beneficial effects and no negative effects. A fact suppressed and ignored by nearly all of the medical establishment.
The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won't Prevent Heart Disease - and the Statin-Free Plan That Will, by Jonny Bowden Ph.D, C.N.S and Stephen Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C. @AMAZON
This book is in a similar vein as the above book.
The Great Cholesterol Con by Dr. Malcom Kendrick @AMAZON
Dr. Malcom Kendrick, MD, eviscerates, deracinates, destroys, and demolishes the diet-cholesterol myths and the LDL-heart risk frauds and the statin conspiracy (my term, not his explicitly). By citing directly the studies that purport to prove it. Fascinating work.
MDs—you don’t have to agree with everything or even most of it, but if you can 'walk away' after this blow-by-blow of so many medical lies rejecting them all, then you are harming your patients and have no business being an MD. Take the challenge of this and all the books I list, and run them through your head. Surely a trained MD can detect and discard bad arguments, so what do you have to lose? Problem is—the truth can never be forced out once it impinges, so you are warned. Study up on how to recognize cognitive dissonance in yourself before reading, holding yourself to the highest standards.
The intellectual fraud in the cholesterol and heart disease area and its incestuous amplification within the medical estabishment is staggering. You do NOT need to be a doctor to understand the outrageous contradictions, financial conflicts of interest, lies, the ad-hoc instantiation of ad-hoc hypotheses constantly needed to fix the constantly changing cholesterol/heart disease theory, the selective omission of data, the biased choice of cohorts, the shameless dismissal of contrary data, etc.
IMO, if you are an MD and have NOT listened to The Great Cholesterol Con (or its equivalent), you might be intellectually and professionally ignorant and therefore incompetent to render advice on heart health. And thus harming your patients. You should just STOP until you can commit to a few hundred hours of this book and many others. I mean that with a tinge of real anger at the medical establishment (not a comment on any particular doctor), because when you learn what has actually come to pass in intellectual amplification, rationalization and sometimes outright intellectual fraud, you yourself should be very angry at how you were hoaxed and duped. If you are an older MD, how much of what you learned in medical school has been debunked or at least had doubt cast upon it?
The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Die, by Nina Teicholz @AMAZON
This book should be required baseline reading for all DOCTORS at the least*, as it goes through 60 years of nutrition science (so much of it now debunked), based on eight years of reviewing the medical literature, and hundreds of interviews of leading experts, systematically addresssing the sordid (my word for it) history of nutrition “science”. It is very thorough and objectively done, so c onsider it to be a baseline reference to be read FIRST before other lighter fare on nutrition.
My take-away is simple: most of what has passed for “healthy eating” is based on pseudo-science, outright debunked myths that persist even among doctors, financial conflicts of interest (doctors and food companies), and most of all: government recommendations that have a purely political/financial basis stemming from a “scientific” basis that any honest scientist would reject out of hand.
* Most doctors have nil training in nutirtion, which is surely a good thing given the godawful state of nutrition science. And yet IMO food is by orders of magnitude more important than all medical drugs put together, in terms of public health in general, which is a train-wreck disaster here in 2020: soaring rates of obesity, diabetes and many other health problems which we can now treat much better, but whose underlying causes are surely diet in large measure.
Eat the Yolks, by Liz Wolfe @AMAZON
I do NOT recommend this book until AFTER you have read The Big Fat Surprise..., above. That’s because this book is more of a lifestyle book, whereas the The Big Fat Surprise is a blow-by-blow work that is needed to evaluate the suggestions in this book. That said, if you want a quick introduction that is an easy listen, this book is for you.
Eat Fat, Get Thin, by Mark Hyman @AMAZON
As with Eat the Yolks, my recommendation is the same: read The Big Fat Surprise first.
Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox by Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue BSc ND @AMAZON
Vitamin K2 might be the single most important vitamin of all, yet it was not until 2007 it as formerly identified.
Critically important read, particularly those supplementing with Vitamin D3. Very thorough look at the role Vitamin K2 (“Activator X”) plays in health, though knowledge of it lay semi hidden for nearly 80 years after its discovery by dentist Dr. Price.
The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean, MD, ND @AMAZON
Critically important read, particularly those supplementing with Vitamin D3 and/or calcium.
Eye opener, though it strikes me that Dr. Dean is too tightly coupled to her area of study and should consult with Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue BSc ND of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox, and vice versa, for cross pollination of ideas and rigorous debate of a few points.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, by Daniel H. Pink @AMAZON
How to make your effectiveness better, just by when you do things.