January 13

Requirements for a healthy life

11  comments

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The above was the view out our hotel window this morning before we went to the conference. I gave two talks yesterday; MD gave one. Today we’re in the midst of taking in other talks.
One of the speakers this morning said a couple of things that the readers of this blog will probably find interesting.
First, he made the comment that all budding doctors undergo two different operations while they’re in medical school. First, they have a Common Sense-ectomy, then they have a Divinity Implantation. Like most doctors, I had both and have spent the last 25 years of my career trying to overcome them.
The second interesting thing I heard was from a doctor who has a large practice using nutrition, vitamin supplements and natural hormones to take care of a population of pretty sick patients. He lays out the treatment plan, which sometimes is fairly expensive and/or time intensive, and his patients sometimes complain that they can’t afford the regime or don’t have the time to comply. He tells them the following: If you want to have a healthy life it costs time, effort and money.
I got to thinking about what he said, and he is absolutely right. Up until you hit about 30 years old, you’ve got pretty much of a free ride. After that, it requires work. One of the most profound things I’ve ever heard anyone say (and I can’t remember who I heard say it) is that you can only coast when you’re going down hill.
If you want to fend off the ravages of aging, you’ve got to (at the very least) spend time in exercise and eat correctly. As we’ve discussed on this blog, following a low-carb diet is more expensive than eating junk food, and exercise takes time. So, I’ll repeat the words I heard a few hours ago. I’m going to tape them on my computer–you should, too.

If you want to have a healthy life, it costs time, effort and money.


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  1. You’re so right. As I do at the start of each year, I review our household budget – its painful & we need to get out of debt – so I’m always horrified when I work out how much we spend on nutritional supplements and good quality personal products – for instance we use shampoo & other body products that do NOT contain sodium laurel sulphate or propylene glycol and take a number of good quality supplements. I’d rather not spend the money on these items and there are plenty of people who say they are a waste of money – but we’ve had some health scares last year & it really comes home when you come out of it all right rather than not – we may never know if what we take/use makes the difference but so far so good. We also found out how expensive it is to lose a second job because of the health scare but also realize that you can only push yourself so far! We’ve just enjoyed a wonderful holiday break but put some pounds on so its back to the grind to get it off!
    cheers
    Hi Lynne–
    Glad to hear your priorities are in the right place.  Don’t worry too much about the weight gain from the holidays, just buckle down and they’ll be gone in no time.  MD and I are right in there with you.  Although I promise myself every year that I’m not going to overdo on the holidays, I always do.  But, as a good friend of mine once said, “pleasure is a nutrient.”  He’s right.  But, like you, MD and I are back on the wagon until we drop the few pounds we picked up.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  2. Love that quote! I just saw one you might like:

    We doctors like people to think we know what we’re talking about, and may be so convincing that we convince ourselves too. Because other people’s lives depend on it, we have a big emotional need to be right and are uncomfortable with the thought that none of us really knows enough to be a good doctor. Even if we know everything that is known, we still don’t know that which is yet unknown.Scientists, on the other hand, are very comfortable with the unknown; it is their bread and butter. When scientists disagree there is no more at stake than the scientists’ amour propre, whereas medical disputes get rancorous because forever in the background is the thought that the other chap is damaging patients.
    Science does not in itself make its practitioners haughty (the contrary, if done honestly), whereas medicine does. The main reason for that, I think, is because doctors get used to seeing other people undressed while they themselves are clothed. Once you have seen dukes and archbishops in their underpants they’re never quite the same again.
    Taken together it becomes ever so easy for us doctors to start believing that we know everything, and that makes us unreasonably unreceptive to new ideas. That is the reason why medical journals must continue force-feeding original scientific studies to their unwilling readers. David L J Freed, allergist

    Hi Nancy–
    Thanks for the quote–it pretty much sums it up.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  3. I enjoyed reading your comments. What really sticks in my mind is exactly what I told my 25 year old daughter, yesterday. She told me that she had a good breakfast yesterday. I asked what she had, expecting to hear eggs,strawberries, flax or something. She said she had a doughnut. A doughnut? That’s not good! She said “No, mom, you weren’t there. That doughnut was so fresh and soft. Mmmm.” One day she will find herself running from that doughnut and it will be 2 steps ahead of her. Yeah, after thirty it is a lot of work.
    Hi Mary–
    Yep, she’s got about 5 more years of her free ride, then the party is over.  Start preparing her for it now, although she probably won’t believe you.  Ah, the folly of youth.  As George Bernard Shaw said, “It’s a pity that youth is wasted on the young.”
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  4. Since turning 30 five years ago and starting a lowcarb life style at the same time I just keep feeling better and better. Hopefully as more people go lowcarb we can bump that 30 yr mark to 40 yrs or older.
    Hi David–
    Let’s hope so.  Then maybe we can bump it to 50!
    Cheers–
    MRE

  5. Thanks for the reminder about priorities. I’m not rich (yet) but don’t mind spending the $ it takes to stay healthy and strong. If I’m weak and sickly I’m guaranteed to have money problems. OTOH, if I can get out of bed and work I can always take care of myself!
    Hi Paul–
    Sounds like you’ve got your priorities straight.
    Good luck.
    MRE

  6. You are right about age 30. Like a character in a science fiction novel said about getting older “at 30 the warranty expires and at 35 parts start to fall off.” You can tell I’m well past the warranty because I not only can’t remember the character, I can’t even remember the author.
    Hi Martha–
    You’re way ahead of me; I can’t even remember what science fiction is.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  7. I have been preparing her. As a matter of fact, she seemed to have resolved to beginning a low carb lifestyle, recently. She was having a problem with constipation. I told her how I “go” every day…sometimes twice a day.I guess that wasn’t enough to inspire a real commitment.I was thinking about that GBS quote all week because I will turn fifty this year.
    Take Care,
    Mary
    Hi Mary–
    Fifty isn’t all that bad.  I can still remember when I turned fifty…sort of.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  8. “You’re way ahead of me; I can’t even remember what science fiction is.”
    Sure you can, you’ve heard of Ancel Keyes and his work “The Lipid Hypothesis”?
    …or maybe that’s interpretive fiction, or interpretive science?
    -Ogden
    Hi Ogden–
    No, you’ve gotten it backwards.  Ancel Keys’ work wasn’t science fiction, it was fictional science.
    Cheers–
    MRE

  9. I am a first-year medical student at the University of Minnesota and I couldn’t agree more with what you had to say in this post. Minnesota has one of the best health care programs in the States and yet I feel like there are major problems with the business. Everyone hears of the problems with coverage and cost from the doctor’s side of health care, but I think there is a flaw on the side of the patients as well. I have just started learning how to take histories from patients and spending time in the hospitals. I am amazed by the pervading sense of entitlement to a healthly life many patients feel. They deserve good care but they believe it is their right for a perfectly healthy life without putting in much time, money, or effort. Of course, there are those that are unable to provide one of those necessities for themselves, but others just expect to be given health on a silver platter. How should medical schools teach their students to deliver on those demands that can only be completed with God’s power??? Bring on the Divinity Implantation!
    PS. Dr. Eades, thank you very much for your blog I enjoy a fresh view on health that will definitely affect my future patients.
    Hi Roy–
    Thanks for the kind words about the blog; I’m glad you enjoy it.
    You are absolutely right about patients expecting perfect health to be delivered to them on a platter without their having to do anything more than take a pill to get it.  It’s a sad situation.
    BTW, the Divinity Implant comes in your Senior year.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

  10. A friend of mine wanted advice on how to feed her husband who is on statins, high blood pressure meds, and has sleep apnea. I took out PPLP and showed the charts on how much protein to eat, carbs, Magnesium supplement, etc. As biochemist with Ph.D., it is very easy for me to take responsibility for myself and my husband, I understand the nitty gritty of the matter and I have seen physical improvements in our lives after the adoption of a low carb diet. After I talked to her I thought, just my luck her husband is going to go on a low carb diet and his gall bladder is going to sieze up and it will have to be removed, and she will hate me forever.
    By the way, if you don’t mind me asking at what point in the low carb diet does you patient’s blood pressure improve? Does most of the improvement occur in the very beginning with the loss of the water weight?
    Hi Mmmm–
    Most of the improvement in high blood pressure comes within the first couple of weeks.  It is a fluid release phenomenon, but I think there is probably more to it than that.  In our experience, somewhere between 75%-80% of patients with hypertension will be able to get rid of their meds with a good low-carb diet; the other 20% to 25% can usually achieve a reduction in medication, but must continue to take some meds.
    Hope this helps.
    Best–
    MRE 

  11. I don’t think it really takes that much more money to live a healthy (low-carb) lifestyle. If you fill a cart with “junk” and fill a cart with meat and produce, I bet they compare closer than many people think. Buying organic and such is a bit more expensive, but access to good produce is a better excuse than economics. Of course, even if true, it still takes effort and time!
    Hi AT22–
    Meat always costs more than carbs.  You can get less expensive cuts of meat and shop carefully for everything else, but a good low-carb diet is going to be somewhat more expensive than a junk one.  But you pay now or you pay later.
    Cheers–
    MRE 

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