Hey there Guys,
Today I wanted to talk about a concern I have with the current direction of medicine.
Just this week I was visited by a delightful 76 year old lady. As she has aged she has noticed her weight has been slowly creeping up. Naturally she was very keen to drop a few pounds and mentioned that years ago her doctor had prescribed her a drug called Duromine™.
Duromine™ is not a drug for the faint hearted. Given its nature is very similar to amphetamines, its side effects include a rise in blood pressure, agitation, aggression and potential altered heart rhythm.
At 76 there was no way I was going to prescribe this drug, heck I won’t prescribe it at any age.
Looking for a way to politely dodge the prescription I explained the potential side effects and took her blood pressure. The reading came in high with a pressure of 150/90 mmHg which increased her risk of heart attack or stroke by almost double. Adding this medicine may well have been enough to push that even higher.
This lady was suffering with a “lifestyle disease”, obesity.
Dr Ala Alwan, the WHO’s [World Health Organisation] director general of non infectious disease, says lifestyle diseases are responsible for 63 per cent of global deaths based on WHO’s estimates for 2008…
“So we are talking about heart disease and strokes. We are talking about diabetes. We are talking about cancers and we are talking about chronic lung diseases,” he said.
“Specifically these four groups of diseases share more or less the same risk factors which are: tobacco use, an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol.”
The key to remember is that for lifestyle diseases we first need to consider lifestyle solutions.
Sadly these days there are many doctors who are quick to jump to the medicine cupboard before examining lifestyle changes.
Take a look at the photo at the top of this post. These drugs were taken from the medicine cupboard where I work. Every single one of these drugs has the potential to be limited or even eliminated by regular, determined changes in lifestyle.
Don’t get me wrong, I do prescribe medications, however depending on the circumstances they may not be my first choice for treatment. Currently my favourite prescription for health is:
Dr George’s Prescription For Health
- 30 minutes of physical movement daily
- 2 serves of fresh fruit daily
- 5 serves of fresh vegetables daily
- 1 hour per week devoted to fun and enjoyable activities
Weight creeping up? Fill up on vegetables or salad before getting stuck into the fried chicken.
Mild to moderate depression? Talk therapy, exercise and healthy eating have all been demonstrated to be effective treatments for mood disorders.
Blood sugars starting to rise? 30 minutes of daily movement can increase your body’s ability to deal with sugar and help bring blood sugar levels to normal ranges. This exact same “treatment” can also greatly reduce fatty liver disease.
Not sure where to start? I’d love to suggest reviewing these books I have found very helpful.
Dr Ross Walker is an amazing Australian Cardiologist. In his latest book “The Five Stages Of Health” Dr Walker debunks the myths and hype of modern health and gives you the facts you need. You get the truth about what are the real modern killers, what you can really do to slow the ageing process, what vitamins and supplements can make a difference and what you need to be doing to be healthy in each decade of your life.
This book is currently available on kindle and I have found it a very informative read. I highly recommend checking it out.
I was introduced to Rewire Your Brain by a wonderful psychologist and friend in Melbourne, Simon @ Bearorama. Rewire Your Brain shows how you can rewire parts of the brain to feel more positive about your life, remain calm during stressful times, and improve your social relationships. Written by a leader in the field of Brain-Based Therapy you can discover how to feel positive about your life and remain calm during stressful times. You will also learn to improve your memory, boost your mood, have better relationships, and get a good night sleep.
Guys, for me these two books are fantastic and a great introduction to how simple changes in lifestyle, eating, exercise and the way we think can make massive changes to our body and life.
Sadly I’m not sure if I’m going to see my 76 year old patient again, she left disappointed that I was not able to “help” her with tablets to drive her weight loss. Unfortunately her mind was closed to the idea that simple actions when done consistently can make massive change.
I’ve missed this opportunity to offer change. In my heart I hope that this post may help to balance this loss.
Yours in good health.