This document is a compilation of three decades of “thought secretions” on medicine as a science and an art form. Healing is not axiomatic, yet you would never know that if you opened a new textbook or current journal. Medicine today is all about evidence-based findings. Evidence-based medicine is a great idea if the underlying dogma is based upon undeniably true facts . I think you will find that I do not accept many of the foundations that evidence-based medicine now currently rests upon. For me, biochemistry or physiology are absolute certainties about how humans work. Practice standards are based upon prevailing opinion. For example, evidence-based medicine believes that everyone with total cholesterol over 200 should be treated with a statin medication. After many years of studying this, I realize that we may need to question that kind of advice. The science that is published and in the media today is not based upon truths like biochemistry or physiology are. Sadly, evidence-based medicine founded on data paid for by a corporation or branch of government is subject to the influence of many biases. Several years ago I read an article in The Atlantic titled “Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science” that changed my thoughts on this. Shortly after, I read “Good Calories and Bad Calories” by Gary Taubes which confirmed much of what my intuition was telling me. What I saw, and was doing as a surgeon, often felt incongruent to what the reality was for the patient. Many good doctors practice medicine today. I honestly believe that they think they are doing good work. I know this because I was one of them. I thought everything I was taught was based upon solid scientific facts. I allowed my medical and dental educators the intellectual leeway of trusting the facts they told me. Good intentions, however, are not congruent with longevity nor with health. Good doctors were a dime a dozen, I found out; however, great doctors were few and far between. I no longer wanted to be good; I wanted to be great. To be great you have to reject being just good. That was my initial thought after reading the Atlantic article. Yet the current system rewards only good doctors. This document will help you, the reader, differentiate between the great healers and the good ones. Your life actually depends upon it, so I strongly suggest you begin to think as you read.
Today, medicine is dominated by doctrine and dogma that caused us some serious missteps in thinking. These missteps have made us advocate for treatments, behaviors, and thoughts that have become ingrained within our society. With science, the truth always updates itself. Moreover, one must realize that every mile that puts us in the wrong direction will require us to walk two miles back just to return us to square one and a new beginning.
This document is not about our species becoming successful in creating a new generation; it is about making current humans all they can become with respect to the aging cell and where they are now. It is about increasing our life span while we simultaneously expand our health span. I suspect we are going to explore subjects in the future that none of us are thinking about now, because that is the nature of science. Living long without intervention of conventional medicine is the goal. Pointing out the good and bad in medical care will also be helpful to the lay person and healer alike. We should begin to rely on our physicians to guide us to pathways that attain that goal. I believe that my profession will evolve into taking care of healthy humans, and leave behind the old paradigm of trying to repair people after they have already been damaged by disease.
I believe this expertise will become the currency of the new paradigm, and I believe the change will be an obstacle course for many. Patients already know that we do not know everything — just ask them. But I believe we lose our credibility when we do not act congruently with the knowns of biochemistry and physiology. We cannot use treatment algorithms that promote data sets that are not factual or are incredibly flawed. We have all read what has been said by the medical and nutritional gurus about the current beliefs on diet… yet we have the world’s worst weight problem and a massive public health dilemma. Maybe we need to stop making excuses for what we believe to be true, and understand what really is true regardless of the implications it draws.
Accepting the proposition that randomized control trial (RCT) is the golden goose of research has given my profession a slow steady decline in reputation. It is not because a RCT is a bad thing. It is the best thing we have if it’s based upon real facts. Therein lies our real problem. When the underlying science is faulty, the randomized trials become worthless. Do we need a RCT to tell us that a potassium level of 4.0 is good? No we do not. Do we need a RCT to tell us that a potassium level of 3.1 is bad and requires treatment? No we do not. The current thinking in medicine is that we need a RCT for everything we do. This is not true if we practice using the biochemistry and physiology found in humans. We can no longer allow a drug company to tell us that a cholesterol level of 200 is bad when it is not. That is a great opinion when you are selling a statin, for sure. But if it was good for humans then why is heart disease still the number one killer in the US after 50 years of actively lowering LDL cholesterol? At some point you must ask this question if you are a patient or a doctor.
We will not need to have the support of big pharma or medical implant companies to run trials because our focus will be on promoting health longevity and not treating disease. The transition of the healthcare economy is already occurring. Industry has a vested interest in treating sick people and not the healthy. Patients want to be healthy, but struggle to find physicians or insurance coverage who offer those services. Our government makes it easy for the current paradigm to exist, because they advocate for agriculture policy that makes us ill with diets laden with omega 6 fats, fructose, and grains. It’s because processed food stuffs can be stored and shipped to economically feed the world population. They are not doctors or researchers so they can’t know unless we tell them. But they also are now beginning to feel the pain of that decision which is continued currently by their incongruity in intellect. The current healthcare crisis is ground zero for this epic battle to be fought.
Instead of focusing on what I cannot do, (i.e. change Washington, DC thinking), I will instead focus my attention on what I can achieve and teach the public on remaining healthy so they can cure themselves. So we need to start that trend together. This is what my blog is about.
My primary weapon in this battle is thinking. The greatest of humans are deep thinkers. Show me a success and I will show you a thinker. A human is the only animal that can actually change its DNA just by thinking. Moreover, thinking is just a biologic secretion. No different than any hormone released by the pituitary gland. Thinking is a meme that hijacks our brains’ chemistry. Any thought can alter our genetic and biologic purpose in life. Yes, thinking well or badly becomes a vector that changes us all in some fashion. This thought experiment occurs daily in our country on myriad mediums of media. In fact, I believe it is the one thing that is speeding up the evolutionary pressures that we currently face. I think it is a real problem behind many health issues we will explore in the document. The pathways I have identified over my thirty years in healthcare I call “Longevity Levees.” Remember that a levee is a protective barrier from flooding and devastation. These levees are biologic protectors of our cellular machinery. My goal is to share it with the public and my colleagues. As new data emerges, blogs will be added to the quilt by me and I’ll bet by you. This document should be a collaborative effort.
The longevity levees are as follows and in order of importance.
Each one of these will be expanded upon in blog form. I will attempt to go through each one until I begin assembling the quilt in other dimensions. The quilt will link together in hypertext format to allow ease of navigation. I am open to comments and suggestion to make this platform to your liking but I will remove and edit comments I think our counterproductive to the goal of the levee. I hope you enjoy and that we can stimulate some thinking.