We are living longer, but sicker
It is a very exciting time to be working in the health area.
But it is a very confusing time for the general public.
There is a revolution going on in the industry and it is easy to be overwhelmed by all the changes.
- Do I quit sugar, or gluten, or dairy or all three?
- Do I eat this super food or that one?
- Do I go high-fat and high-carb or vice versa?
- Should I take fish oil or krill oil and is taking a multi-vitamin a waste of money?
But this is my job. To look at fact and fiction, distill them and then advise my patients as to the best course.
It is very similar to what is going on in other industries such as Uber and the taxi industry or the huge changes that Australia Post is now undertaking in regards to letter-delivery.
Many things that we thought were written in stone are now being challenged.
It is thanks to the web, the fact that we are living longer and the 24-hour news cycle that we are bombarded daily with health information.
It has almost gotten to the point where we turn-off when the next super-food is touted, or the next breakthrough in regards to cancer is announced.
It is almost a full-time job keeping up with all these changes-but it essential to pass on the best information to my patients.
But the problem with all these changes is: we are living longer, but we are sicker.
Why is it during this golden era of the best medicines, the best doctors, best hospitals and best food, that obesity, diabetes and cancer rates are soaring?
I look around, and my patients have never been more tired, more bloated, more stressed, more unhealthy, more inflamed and unable to lose weight.
With all these amazing health breakthroughs, we should be getting healthier, but we are in fact getting sicker.
We need to start by admitting that we have been wrong in so many areas of health, medicines, supplements and food. This is difficult because there is billions of dollars at stake in regards to the food and pharmaceutical industry.
So, it is up to us as individuals to stop moving in the ‘sickness direction’ and do a U-turn and start walking the other way. This is difficult.
It takes courage, belief and knowledge.
These are the ideas I instill in my patients on a daily basis. They will constantly ask me: why if they are on so many medications and supposedly eating a good diet, do I feel so sick?
My doctor tells me my blood tests ‘aren’t too bad’ and that there is really nothing more that can be done, other than monitor and manage the situation.
Imagine your mechanic saying that. ‘Let’s just watch and wait’ whilst your car shudders and shakes. You would take it straight back in and ask for it to be looked at again.
Most patients who come to see me are on an average of 3 medicines and 3 supplements, yet they feel no better.
It is time to take back our health from the experts to improve our health.
Remember it wasn’t too long ago that eggs and avocado were touted as the biggest killers because of their saturated fat content.
I have my patients eat at least an egg daily (must be organic) and up to half an avocado daily.
A recent study has questioned the evils of saturated fats.
It has in fact turned the spotlight on vegetable fats, margarines and refined carbohydrates including sugar.
Other recent studies have questioned the use of the world’s biggest selling drugs: cholesterol and acid-blocking medication. Both have now been implicated in fatigue, muscle aches and brain degeneration such as dementia.
It was the same with many pain medications that were found to be dangerous to your heart and were quietly withdrawn from the market.
I am not advocating stopping all medications, but I am advocating you lining up all the medicine you are taking and then asking yourself-how do I feel-do I feel better or worse.
When my medical colleagues criticise me for putting diet, supplements, and lifestyle choices ahead of medicines, I ask them to look around and ask all the people in their waiting rooms: ‘Do any of you feel any better’.
So far, I haven’t had any takers for them to ask that big question.