This is an important question, because the Doctor is who most people go when they are sick or need help with their diet and lifestyles. In the video, Do Doctor’s Make the Grade, Dr. Michael Greger put doctors to the test. Check out his video:
This is not a slam on Doctors, I want to make that perfectly clear – I actually come from a family of Doctors. These people go to school for what must seem like forever to them, and they study and work very, very hard to become a Doctor. But in all that time in school, they don’t study much in the way of nutrition, which is clearly not their fault.
According to Dr. Kristie Leong, “One of the reasons for a lack of focus on nutrition in the training of doctors is that physicians are primarily trained to treat disease using conventional methods which generally involves the use of antibiotics and drugs. Drugs and antibiotics are a “quick fix” that gives both the patient and doctor the immediate gratification they’re looking for, although in some cases these medications can do significant harm in the process. Doctors feel most comfortable when they can see immediate improvement in a patient’s condition and may feel inadequate when they can’t achieve a fast cure. Plus, the lack of in-depth knowledge and training in the principles of nutrition are a limiting factor for some doctors.”
“What about the role of healing and nutrition in disease prevention? This is where nutrition can have its strongest impact. Numerous studies have shown the benefits of pursuing a healthy diet for weight control and disease prevention. So, why do so few doctors discuss a patient’s diet with them? Again, this goes back to lack of knowledge and training as well as the time pressure of needing to see patients quickly. In the best case scenario, the patient will be referred to a nutritionist for nutritional counseling or diet and nutrition will only be mentioned briefly in passing.”
Again, the basic reason why doctors do not know as much about nutrition as they did in the 1930′s and 1940′s is because they study very little about the subject in school. This is largely because the curriculum is heavily influenced by the food and drug industries.
“In medical school I had not received any significant instruction on the subject. I was not alone. Only approximately 6 percent of the graduating physicians in the United States have any training in nutrition. Medical students may take elective courses on the topic, but few actually do… the education of most physicians is disease-oriented with a heavy emphasis on pharmaceuticals — we learn about drugs and why and when to use them.” - Ray D. Strand, MD, the author of Death By Prescription
This article is actually about why people should see a Nutritional Consultant, but I couldn’t write it without making the very important point above. So with that in mind, I hope you can now see where my profession fits in. Doctors don’t have the education OR the time to spend with you (thanks to the insurance companies) if you want to know how to address unwanted conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, low energy/fatigue, stress, pain/inflammation, female issues, weight problems, digestion issues and anti-aging strategies. Yes, they can give you a prescription or tell you what to buy at a drug store, but throwing prescription or over the counter medicines at symptoms, does not ADDRESS the underlying deficiencies like individualized diet and nutritional supplementation will. And if you do see the Doctor, and you take a pill that gets rid of the symptom, that doesn’t mean you still don’t have the underlying condition. It’s there, all right. Don’t be naive.
Most people see a Nutritionist when they want to lose weight. That’s fine – whatever gets you here. But did you know that I see my Nutritionist when I get sick? Or feel a little off? Or have female issues? I don’t run to the drug store and buy TheraFlu nor do I go to the Doctor when I think I have a virus (antibiotics won’t help a virus). So first of all, yes, I have a Nutritionist, and the person I see also has a Nutritionist and so on. Secondly, if anything goes wrong with your body, a Nutritional Consultation can help establish how you need to support your body to get over the deficiency by adjusting your diet or giving you nutritional or herbal support. This is what the Doctors in the horse and buggy days did because they didn’t have pharmaceuticals. And by the way, there are no Pharmaceutical deficiencies. I’m not saying there isn’t a place for pharmaceuticals when you are so sick you need them. They have saved millions of lives and I would take them if I really needed them. I’m just saying that Doctors used to save millions of lives or at least eased discomfort and restored vitality with vitamins, minerals and herbs.
I like working with Doctors to help their patients turn their health around. I just don’t understand why so many people wait until their Doctors tell them to get a Nutritional Consultation. It shouldn’t be your last resort – it should be your first choice.
These recommendations are for the reduction of stress only. They are not intended as treatment or prescription for any disease, or as a substitute for regular medical care.