How to Change Your Doctor and Your Life

How to Change Your Doctor and Your Life

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Readers Summary
1. Why humans can change their DNA with a thought.
2. Are we mismatched?
3. Motivated by Paleo Hack thread.
4. Why convention healthcare fails us.
5. What we can do together to change that.

CHASING CHANGE

Humans evolved the attributes of a large brain, the ability to speak, and formed an intricate social networks that can use many aspects of technology. Our biggest attribute is the ability to think. This allows us to radically change the environment that we are ideally adapted to. It has allowed us to dominate all habitats and create havoc in most of them as well. The real human miracle of our mind is not that we can see the world as it is…but that we can see it as it is not and then change it. If we think and act incorrectly, we can quickly recalibrate and overcome it. Conversely, we seem to be a prisoner to our paleo-cortex (older, less evolved brain) and resist change even when we know it must occur. Many times we will subjugate the best interests of our survival to suit our emotional needs or desire. The real paradox of humanity is that often our reasons for the things we do are often weak but our sentiments to do them remain quite strong. Interestingly, we have overcome that liability as a species so far many times. Some of us even find comfort in that ability at times.

I believe today we are now mismatched in our environment because of our own doing. We all know that when we eat badly we are making a decision that could ultimately kill us, albeit, slowly. I watch “serial suicide” daily at the fast-food drive-throughs and in the hospital cafeteria. That irony is not lost on me either! I think food is far more insidious and sinister because it allows our mind to not be self aware to the implications of that particular choice. How else can you really justify a lifetime of the Standard American Diet when your countrymen are dying of chronic diseases that now occur in teenagers? I recently read an answer on Paleo Hacks that motivated me to write about this human ambiguity. Here was her comment, “My parents eat more prescriptions than they do food. They do not think their food choices ultimately affect their health. They bought a Wii for exercise, and only play Jeopardy on it. They BOTH work in the medical field too.”

Link

Most of you know by now, I am hell bent on changing the process of how medicine is practiced and healthcare delivered. Right now my sphere of influence is small and I can affect my patients and family with my thoughts. Thinking about how to do this is a messy process when the end point is not well defined. I do know that it must change, but for now I am going to trust the process. Some paradigms change slowly and others happen like a Tsunami. I have decided to embrace change and try to become the change I want to see in medicine now. I realize I cannot control it, but I know I can work in harmony with it and even cultivate the vision I see for it. I used to worry about healthcare reform and how it might end up after Washington DC tried to control it, but I realized that if I could not control it neither can they. I found some solace in that.

It has allowed me to focus on what really matters, and that is health, biochemistry and evolutionary medicine to mold the future of healthcare. Patients want results and are now mandating they happen on their terms. I love this change in thought. Patients who embrace this concept are now using technology to allow them to quantify themselves against metrics they know promote health based upon these evolutionary principles. They reject the dogma that has been healthcare for the last 200 years. They realize that they can no longer afford to abdicate the decision process to someone else. They no longer want to feel helpless. They want some degree of control back.

Medicine has left these concerns unaddressed for too long. The gap between recommendations and results is widening every day. Patients sense it. We ignore it in hospitals and offices. Some of us recognize it and try things to close those gaps to remain competitive and up to date. Big companies and government will try to bridge these gaps with tangible action plans. Most will be lead to incremental change with limited success. The reason that success is often limited because they underestimate the personal behavioral aspects that often result in ultimate failure of their plans. My belief is that if we construct a paradigm of change that incorporates the tangible (costs and services) aspects of change and the best personal needs of patients needs then we will have the ability to effect change in both spheres simultaneously allowing for massive benefits that both sides of the equation.

My vision for healthcare is to focus on health promotion to allow people to adopt thoughts that immediately change their health. Organizational changes in the food agricultural complex will need to adapt with the current vertically and horizontally integrated healthcare delivery system. We need to adapt our service industry in healthcare much like the American government was able to morph our industrial complex in the 1940s to fight a World War. That campaign was successful because it allowed for change in both the tangible and intangible areas. The public and business sectors adapted for the betterment of citizens. I believe my QUILT allows for the same change. My question is will you join me in that thought experiment? Will you become the patient to help me change our current environment? We are human after all and we are perfectly capable of altering our environment are we not? My patients in my practice are now chasing change with me. They understand that quantifying their healthcare experience is actually giving them the control back they seek.

 

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17 Comments

  1. Lynn June 10, 2011 at 9:33 am - Reply

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but if I'm understanding you, part of it is patients getting the nerve to disagree with their doctor, if the doctor just throws out the conventional stuff.

    For example, I changed doctors because my first doctor sounded impatient with me. My new doctor was pushing a statin, which I disagreed with. She asked me why, and when I told her, she said a huge number of women take statins. Which was not the point. But anyway, even though she "poo-pooed" my thoughts, she was fairly nice about me "refusing" the statin. So that made me like her more. So this was an example of me getting up my courage to take responsibility for my health in one way at least. Made me feel good.

    Obviously sometimes it is good to do what the doctor suggests. But not always. They can be wrong about some things.

    • Jack June 10, 2011 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      Lynn the point is this. You and your doc's relationship is not on equal footing because of the gap in knowledge. The doc may know a lot about conventional medicine and the patient often does not. The goal is to educate yourself about what keeps you healthy. Technology these days now allows patients huge changes to test themselves without a doctor to get numbers to assess their health. We have all kinds of monitors and ipad apps, and point calculators on the internet. We can now measure heart rates and exercises parameters and foods we eat by a cell phone. Patients can no order their own labs without a doctor. If you get a regular lipid panel that does not have LpA or you particle size on it you can go to LEF.org and get it. You can all your hormones tested too even if your doc does not want to do it. Then you can bring that to the doctors attention and share in the decision process and effect your health. In essence, you regain some power and can help in your care.

      For example, this happened in my office last month. I had a patient come in for a follow up after a neck fusion. She was told that she had osteoporosis. We found this out at surgery. I told her we needed to get her hormones evaluated by her OB/GYN. Since she was younger and still having her period I knew the the OB/GYN would be resistant to working it up. I told her how to ask for what she wanted based upon the testing we already had done. I also told her that I felt the cause was tied to her diet. I thought she has a "leaky gut" due to possible celiac disease and that she needed that worked up. I also told her how to go about getting these done. I warned her that the docs would not be open to the message but that should not deter her. She encountered exactly what I expected and she persisted and was able to navigate the process by knowing who and what to ask based upon all the data points we gave her.

      The more data points a patient has the more information the doc will get. You can help your doc to a new understanding if your goal is clearly defined. Help facilitate that change. Create the doctor you want by helping them help you! They may not see or understand what they all mean but the fact that the patient has them and is persistent allowed the patient to get the work up she needed. It turned out she has severe hormonal disruption and an undiagnosed gastro-intestinal disorder. This patient was able to help direct her care because the she allowed herself to get as much testing as she could to give her the control back in the decision process. It never dawned on her how to do this using labs and findings she had form all her doctors. We showed her how and she was able to alter the way her physicians dealt with her and they found her problems in the end. She is very happy about this. Patients can effect their doctors if they know how. Living a quantified life is a great way to do this. You can use today's technology to your advantage if you alter the way you think about things. You may change the physicians thoughts so they can change your own DNA and health! I was proud of her. She changed her life with a thought and I told her that yesterday.

  2. Kevin June 10, 2011 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Awesome!!!

  3. Sam June 10, 2011 at 11:47 am - Reply

    The enlightened will join you now..! The rest, in a future, will have no choice but to join to then.!!

    Good Luck and God bless you..

  4. meredith June 10, 2011 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Who would've known my comment would wind up motivating anyone to do anything? "When a butterfly flaps it's wings and all…" Your sphere of influence is pretty huge. I appreciate that you don't misspend your energy on things you can't control. This blog, your participation in online communities, the ripples of that are far reaching. I'm on board.

  5. Jack June 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm - Reply

    Your comment resonated with me and I had to write about it. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to write about it because we need to make people understand about how we can change ourselves if we allow it.

  6. Ellen June 11, 2011 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Totally agree, it's one of the reasons I wrote my website, and one of my main messages.. you are the person who knows the most about your body and your health. You should think of your doctor just like you think of your plumber. He/she is performing a service for you, and you should get the best service possible. The only way to do that is through self-education, and knowing all the facts and nuances about your health issues.

  7. Diane S June 11, 2011 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    Jack, I can get a blood test without a Dr.? I dont have insurance but would like to have some blood test. How do I go about this? I am really starting to feel great, thanks to you giving me the tools! Read the Leptin Book today, still waiting for Robb's book to arrive!

    Diane

  8. Barry Bonds Hollywoo June 12, 2011 at 10:03 am - Reply

    Took me awhile to read all the comments, but I certainly enjoyed the article. It proved to be pretty helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It is generally nice when you can not only be informed, but also engaged! I'm positive you had fun writing this article.

  9. Jack Kronk June 13, 2011 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    This is why I support your quest Doc. Because you are aware of and willing to expose and discuss many of the most frustrating truths about our sadly 'broken' medical system. If most Docs are scared to do this (directly oppose standard protocol in the name of a greater vision) then why are you able to freely do so?

    I ask this not invasively or even cynically. I ask genuinely so that I can understand why more pmedical professionals don't unabashedly stand up and use their own common sense as smart doctors who can't possibly actually be completely blind to the realities that you speak of here. Are they being "controlled" by rules of government? Bound by contract of some sort? Is it that they fear for their career? These are the questions I have when I ask myself how in the world our healthcare and approach toward medicine has gotten so far off course for what is truly best for the very people it is supposedly designed to help… >>> The Patients.

  10. Susan November 14, 2011 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    First and foremost I need to find a doctor to change. ; )find out where I can get my own labs taken. Hopefully after being on the diet and leptin protocol long enough I can start thinking clearer and work it out. I have been laughed at by doctors so confidence right now is not my strong point. Instead I left the system all together. I sure hope I can find a doctor with a conscience as aware as yours.

    • Jack November 15, 2011 at 12:04 am - Reply

      @Susan…….I think if you keep reading and learning you might be able to get a local doc very interested in what I am doing here to help people. You can help them become the doctor you always wanted. And if they show interest in changing you make sure you tell that doc they can call or email me any time. We need doctors to practice using evolutionary medicine principles to help all of you become optimal.

  11. Mart December 20, 2011 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    My parents are in their 80th in a relatively good health.

    They live in Europe. I am trying to give them some long distance pointers about this diet and mainly about the supplements (D3, Mg, K2). At this point, I don't think I can change their lifestyle completely but is there something else the elderly people should embrace?

    • Jack December 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm - Reply

      @Mart absolutely! We are never too old to evolve until we are no longer breathing in my world.

  12. Lucy January 26, 2012 at 3:09 pm - Reply

    I love your stuff, and have been deeply inspired. I have read all 1500 pages of "the monster" thread on MDA and am highly motivated to learn from you and your patients and change/better the way I practice medicine. Would love to contact you to see about opportunities in this area.

    Thanks!

    • Jack January 26, 2012 at 6:34 pm - Reply

      @Lucy thank you. I am trying my best to help change medicine for the better. You can reach me via email at jack@neurosurgical.net

  13. Shijin13 March 13, 2012 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Dr K
    just wanted to let you know I shared this w/my PCP, as she’s trying to change medicine from the inside as well, and wanted to let her know why I’m the patient I am, and I thought it might help her change the rest of her patients as well as her peers.

    So far, her impact has even reach through her children to the Fairfax County School System. Jefferson Tech, the #1 public high school in the nation is including FAT HEAD as part of its health curriculum, as a result of my PCP’s daughter requesting an alternative to the vegetarian mindset for health education. Now the kids in Fairfax County Public Schools are getting the right information, and critical discussions are occurring, that are changing how these kids are looking at their own responsibility for their personnel health through diet. One doctor. One patient. Now its branching out to an entire school system. It really does only take one person to affect change. Imagine what the whole lot of us can do if we embrace the paradigm of change.

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