1) They are not taught it in Medical SchoolMy personal experience (1989-2003) tells me that this is so, and I think that the Public needs to know that when they are asking their Physicians about Nutritional support of Illnesses (especially in the situations of Cancer, Chronic Disease, and or dealing with Detoxification with Heavy Metal Exposure – ex: the CFL’s exposing the public to HIGH LEVELS of MERCURY(Hg) or Phosphorous – POISONS)
When in Medical School, our ‘exposure’ to Nutrition consisted of 2 Lectures by the department of Biochemistry. Our Professor – who shall remain nameless – lectured from the podium with his ‘oversized’ Coffee Cup (Mega-Gulp size) that had numerous stains on the surface (I would have liked to obtain a ‘culture’ from the top of that cup, and analyzed it for Bacteria, Viruses, and Toxins . . . . ). In between Lectures – he would step out for ‘Smoke Breaks’, and then return to discuss the molecular structure of the Vitamins and their functions . . . while belittling their use as Pharmacodynamic Agents that can have a powerful impact. Is it any wonder the students within the lectures put a minimal influence and importance upon their use of Pharmaceutical Grade / and Natural Vitamins and Minerals in the treatment of Disease / Pathology and Infection?
Only by taking it upon themselves would they ever obtain the knowledge for the use of Clinical Nutrition in their practices. Ask your Physician what his EDUCATION is on Nutrition before taking their advice as far as impact upon your Health. Better yet, find a Physician who has educated themselves on the uses of Clinical Nutritional Practice.
2) Drug Company Salespeople provide MOST of the continuing education for the Modern Physician’s PracticeAsk your Doctor the last time they went to a Continuing Medical Education Conference on the emerging uses of the current Medications – NOT SPONSORED BY A DRUG COMPANY – , and I can tell you that they won’t be able to have an answer for you! Doctors are influenced/educated by the ‘salesman’ that come into their office, and the Advertisements in the Medical Journals.
3) Using Nutrition as a treatment ‘modality’ in Healing and altering the course of Disease, as well as for Prevention takes time.Doctors, Physician’s Assistants and Nurse Practitioners are literally DROWNING under the paperwork that besieges them on a daily basis. They are literally ‘running out of time’ to spend with their Patients, let alone have time to LEARN how to educate their Patients about Nutrition.
It is not uncommon for them NOT TO WANT TO TAKE THE TIME to do so. Find a Doctor who is not on a “10 minute per Patient” appointment Schedule. Personally, we take a minimum of 30 minutes per each Patient visit – which is what is necessary to do a good job in this area.
4) Most Physicians want to practice “Politically Correct’ Medicine in this environment, fearing the criticism of their peers . . . . Doctors are afraid of getting the reputation amongst their colleagues as being a “Nutrition Nut”, and don’t want to “. . . Lose Referrals . . .” and run afoul of the regulatory bodies that oversee Medical Practice.
5) Most Physicians think that Nutrition is “wimpy” MedicineDoctors prescribe EXPENSIVE DRUGS which may affect ONE OR TWO enzyme systems in the body to get a desired affect. They are ‘critical’ and ‘fearful’ of Minerals like Magnesium which affects greater than 300 enzyme systems, or Herbs like MILK THISTLE which has Liver Cleansing and Anti-Tumor effects, or Vitamin C which influences the Immune System (Activity, Volume of Response, and Functional Response) as well as the knitting together of Amino Acids to form Proteins – which are necessary for healing . . . WIMPY ? Not hardly . . .
6) Nutrition promotes “SELF EMPOWERMENT” of the Patient, which some Physicians find ‘threatening’, taking the control out of the hands of the Doctor for their Patient’s HEALTH CARE. Instead of being the ‘sole-director’ of a Patient’s Health and Decision-Making, it places the Patient in a “Collaborative” position, a ‘Partner’ in their Health Care Decision-Making process. This is where it should be!Nutrients that promote ‘Health’ do not require a Prescription, and can be obtained indefinitely without an office visit. Economically driven bias against the Patient’s empowerment? It’s worth at least a consideration when your Doctor discourages you from taking Nutritional Supplements . . .
7) Physicians are AFRAID of suggesting therapies that could not be defended as “NORMAL” ORTHODOX MEDICAL PRACTICE – in case something ‘goes wrong.Usually this is out of ‘ignorance’ on the part of the Physician. When you ask them what they ‘know’ about what you are proposing – you could generally fit their knowledge in a thimble . . . and when you ask them to READ about the research you provide to them (and I would recommend that you do so when planning some alternative course in your treatment) – you will get the ‘extended hand’ – refusing to take the information from you. Or if they take it . . . it remains on their desk, not to be reviewed . . . If you provide the information to them, ask for it back from them upon your next office visit – and ask for them to write their concerns in the margins of the article(s) which you have handed to them to review. Most likely – they will render an opinion WITHOUT having reviewed the information . . . “it’s just easier that way . . .” to quote a Physician that I once knew . . .
8) Surgery, Chemotherapy, and other “INVASIVE” procedures are very profitable in the practice of Medicine.Using a less-invasive approach means a significant loss of income “. . . per patient office visit . . .”, a statistic kept in every Medical Practice. What they don’t consider, is oftentimes Nutritional Intervention makes their chosen interventions more effective . . . something that they would not have considered if they have never investigated the possibilities. In other words, Profit (Greed) and Ignorance of the additional therapies are often the deciding factors for Doctors to discourage their Patients from utilizing / substituting therapies.
9) There is a “perception” amongst Doctors that Patients come to the Office expecting to be given a ‘PRESCRIPTION”.The perception is also that the Patient is not willing to make Diet and lifestyle changes. The perception amongst Physicians is that if they do not receive a “PRESCRIPTION” drug as a solution to their problems, they will take their Health Care (business) elsewhere. The facts are, that people are CLAMORING for this type of Health Care – to minimize their Prescription Medications, and to be empowered as to changing as many things as they can on their own – and to learn low-tech interventions to assist them in their pursuit of a Healthier Life.
10) Implementing a ‘new model’ of Health Care amongst Patients would involve the Physicians to take on a New Paradigm of a Health Care Model. This would change every part of how they practice daily – and change can be ‘difficult’. Have you noticed, that Doctors are resistant to change? The Systematic approach to Modern Medical Practice was instigated by Rene’ Descartes. While it has led to many advances, it has also forced the evolution as to a compartmentalized, segmental, and fractionated approach to the Human Body and it’s Injuries and Illnesses. We have specialists who focus on their specialty ‘only’, and refuse to acknowledge that while they may be able to improve the ‘function’ of a particular organ system – that we may indeed be injuring and compromising another. The old phrase “. . . the treatment was a resounding success, but the Patient DIED . . .” illustrates this all too well. We can save the “tree”, but lose sight of the remainder of the Forest – only to lose the health of the tree in the end. We must view the body as a ‘WHOLE’, and take into account the ENTIRE treatment protocol and it’s effect on distant organs as well. Individual ‘organ salvage’ must be replaced by the greater needs and demands of the body – and by it’s Nature, Nutrition Intervention embraces. By it’s implementation – Nutritional Interventions are utilized for their ‘WHOLE BODY’ approach toward wellness, and not an isolated organ system functional approach.
I must relay the most recent ‘story’ that I have about interfacing with a Physician about a Patient. My Patient has Prostate Cancer, and the Doctor’s approach in this situation is to “watch and wait” before doing any therapy. Given the Patient’s situation – and the MEDICAL OPTIONS that are currently available, I would be in total agreement with his assessment. The Patient came to me to learn to do what he could to improve his chances and minimize the worsening of his condition.
Upon meeting with the Urologist, the Doctor was OPPOSED to the Patient doing anything else in his situation (specialized Diet, Supplements, etc.) as he felt that it would “. . . compromise his ability to monitor the Patient . . .” In other words, do nothing while the Doctor is ‘waiting’ to decide when to act – RIDICULOUS! I had the Patient doing things to martial his defenses (Immune System), boost his Nutritional Status, change the internal environment of his body (making it more Alkaline), all so as to hopefully reduce the chances for the NEED for more advanced intervention – and the Doctor was opposed to it !!! Needless to say, I am preparing to have a ‘discussion’ with that Physician next week, and it will be he who will have to defend his position. Meanwhile the Patient is actively involved in trying to help his body fight the Cancer where it is – and not ‘wait’ for things to get worse.
It is about time that we in this country change the Paradigm, and get ‘HEALTH CARE’ instead of ‘Crisis Care’ as our only form of intervention. It’s up to each individual to take control of their own health, and become their own advocate – as well as to educate themselves and CHOOSE their Health Care ‘Team’ to assist them in maintaining their wellness.
I invite comments – pro or con – with regard to what I’ve written here.
Bless all of You in the upcoming Christmas Season where we Celebrate the Birth of Jesus.
Alexander Thermos, DO, DC