Who needs doctors anyways?

I was readinfrom fireheartbliss.comg this post by Vegan Mainstream about needing more vegan doctors in the world. This would be awesome. I know a few, the usual suspects Dr. McDougall, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn, my friends over at Exsalus, my vegan heart doctor friend Heather. I'm so happy that these doctors exist and continue to dispel the common myths of Western medicine.

It's very rare to find a regular Western doctor who knows anything about nutrition. They take maybe 1 or 2 credits of nutrition in their schooling. It's mind-boggling to me that a whole system of science was created without consideration of how food affects the body, in turn creating most of the diseases in the country. You don't have to be a doctor to see the correlation! As we continue to overeat processed crap, exercise less, and become overweight and obese, the "lifestyle" diseases in this country continue to rise and kill more and more people each day.

In the East, a "doctors" job was to keep you well. And if they did not perform that job then you didn't have to pay for the services. The doctors of the West are in the business of keeping people barely alive. Why would anyone go see a doctor that couldn't help you prevent or treat the ailments that you currently have? Why would you put your trust in someone thfrom goodhousekeeping.comat is overweight, smokes, or has had 2 triple-bypass surgeries? They obviously know nothing about living a healthy lifestyle! Why would you pay someone money to prescribe a ton of expensive medications you must take everyday when you could simply change the way you eat? We have spawned a generation of on the go, no time in the day because I'm working 2 jobs to pay the bills and feed my children, easier to just drive thru and grab a meal to feed my whole family for around $5 kind of generation. It's very sad, but we aren't entirely to blame. Yes, we vote with our dollar, and ultimately we are in charge of our decisions and health, but the government has not done a bang up job of making healthy food affordable. Or making our food system a priority at all.

We are living in scary times people. The children of today will not live as long as their parents, and their children (if they are even healthy enough to produce offspring) will live most of their lives overweight, in pain, taking tons of prescription medicines, unless we DO something NOW.

Back to the question in the title of this post: Who needs doctors anyways? Well, I'm here to tell you that if you eat a healthy plant-based diet, over time you won't need to see doctors anymore. I actually haven't seen a doctor the whole time I've been vegan, because I didn't have any poor health conditions to begin with that needed treated. I am my doctor now. I determine my state of health with my fork. But if you do have a health condition, find a doctor (or alternative practitioner) that can treat your symptoms and the underlying problem. Not a doctor that will just throw a band-aid over your condition in hopes that it will be more manageable. Who wants to live that way? Why not just treat the cause so the condition can go away completely?

Sorry for the rant! Our medical system really urks me!

What is your opinion of doctors and Western medicine? Have you noticed you don't need to see the doctor after switching to a plant-based diet?

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  1. I agree!  It seems like most Dr.s like to prescribe pills and pigeon hole people into the most trendy disease, rather than find the root cause. Likewise, people go to the Dr. looking for a pill to "cure" them.  I don't know how many times I have seen people go to the Dr. with a cold looking for a prescription and getting one for antibiotics that aren't needed.  Or, though my experience with celiac, people who "cheat" and struggle with giving up the BROWS when if they just made the change their health problems would disappear. Something so simple but they don't want to bc it's "hard" so there is ongoing research to find a pill to cure celiac. Not that it wouldn't be a blessing, but I wonder what bad side effects will come along with it when the real cure is just a diet change.

  2. I haven't been to a doctor, aside from during my pregnancy, in quite some time.  As unfortunate as my opinion may be, I don't place much faith in doctors or our current medical system.  Every time I would go for an ailment, I would just find heaps of prescription medications being pushed towards me, quite literally, and walking out with scripts for more.  In college I visited several doctors for fatigue, each one trying to prescribe me an anti-depressant.  I kept telling them I wasn't depressed. At all.  I was just tired.  Looking back, it had to be poor and inconsistent nutrition, but no one ever asked me what I ate, if I ate, my sleep schedules.  They were five minute office visits that only ended in more frustration over the only treatment option I was offered being pills- pills for something I knew wasn't the underlying issue to begin with.  And nothing is more frustrating than drug companies advertising their medications on television.  I don't see any reason for people to be told they should go ask their doctor for pills they think they need based on a 30 second tv commercial diagnosis. It's ridiculous.

  3. The person I am happiest with who is part of the medical establishment is my physical therapist.  She really listens to me .  She knows me well.  I've been seeing her 1-2 times a week for almost 7 months to prep and then rehab from hip surgery that I had due to a running-related injury.  I've never felt so cared for.

    Do I trust my regular doctor?  Not really.  I have very bad genes (cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity) and I'm afraid of what would happen to me without statins.  I've been vegan almost 6 months and still need the statins to keep my cholesterol within "normal" range, which isn't really low enough for my taste.  This doc suggested anti-depressants at one point (I'm not depressed) as well as other meds.  My doc runs my blood work once a year and lets me know.  I also get an annual pap and mammogram.  I've never mentioned to my doc that I eat a vegan diet and stopped taking fish oil for fear she'd yell at me.  Ridiculous, huh.

  4. I agree 100% I don't eat an only plant based diet but I don't eat red meat and try to eat little meat and many many veggies and that alone has me healthier.

    I have had 2 children and my pregnancies were very healthy and easy. part of the problems that people have getting pregnant now a days I believe are due to their bad diets, I'm sure of it!!

    The health system urks me too, right now I don't have insurance, I just worry for an emergency but really I always look up the internet first and try to find a natural cure for anything before going to the doctor. Have you ever visited herbalhealer.com ? Love them!

  5. Good morning, Christy,

    I can honestly say that since starting and staying with a healing macrobiotic diet 12 years ago (now widened, but not sugar or junk food ever, and now vegan macro for 2 years), I rarely experience the types of illness I had before-colds, flus, allergies (no cancer!)- but personally, yes I still need a doc- having had an amputation for bone cancer 20 years ago I still need to visit a doc for issues around my leg which is a structural problem (no pathological).

    I have found some good people that support & respect what I have done with my way of eating & healing. My children (now 20 & 24), never get any flu's, colds or that sort of thing, I don't think either has ever had a flu shot (neither have I for that matter). My son hasn't been sick in 12 years-as long as we've been eating this way-whole grains, beans and LOTS of veggies, some fruit, no white sugar, no junk or processed foods, mostly organic and/or local when possible. Was it worth it? You bet!

    I now have 3-4 doctor friends here in Maine who are also now advocates of a plant-based diet. I think reading The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell and  their own experiences of eat this way really helped with opening their eyes. Two of my doc friends are DO's who tend to be more open to a holistic approach.

    I have a good friend, Lisa Belisle, MD., who I just interviewed on Wednesday (see below link) and she is one of thes docs. There are some good docs out there who support a healthy plant-based diet and encourage their patients to be partners in their wellness. Right now we have to really look hard to find them (but I found a lot, or they found me actually) They are the people I trust and I would turn to in an emergency, and sometimes they ask my advice, too.



  6. Great post!  I definitely believe that we cal heal ourselves with food, but I also still find the need to see a doctor every now and then for something that can't be fixed with food, especially now that I have medical insurance 🙂 A few years ago I had mono and had to go to the doctor to be sure, and a few months ago I came down with Bell's palsy but recovered within a few months due to the ER's quick action and medicine.  My main doctor doesn't necessarily support veganism but has been understanding of my choice, and was happy to order blood work when I asked to make sure that my B12 and iron levels were sufficient.  I rarely get colds or flus or the like, which I attribute to my whole foods diet, but doctors with strict medical knowledge are definitely useful sometimes!

  7. I think the key is finding a doctor that you really trust and one that sees you as an intelligent person, capable of making your own healthcare decisions.  I am happy to say that I have a family doctor who is completely amazing – he thinks that our diet is great, and he allows us to make our own choices about healthcare.  He gives us the "western practice" as well as other choices for how to deal with any problems that come up, and he trusts us to use our intuition to determine what is best for our bodies.  I mainly go to him for an annual exam and preventative medicine … but i'm happy to know that if I do have health-related questions, I have someone I trust that I can call to reassure me, and give me information so that I can make a well-informed decision.  I truly believe preventative medicine is very important – because even though we can control what goes into our bodies through food, there are umpteen environmental factors that are influencing our bodies (from the air we breathe to the water our produce is washed in at the store, etc.) that we can't really control.

  8. Thanks for all the great comments everyone! I think we can all agree, Western medicine is good for fixing you up in cases of accidents, broken limbs, and possibly serious medical conditions. But prevention is the best medicine 🙂

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