What doctors don’t know

What doctors don’t know

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Have a look at the video on Youtube.

The attached video, narrated by a naturopath and a nutritionist in the United States, highlights the issue that I personally have with many modern medical doctors, that is, their reliance on pharmaceutical medicines and lack of knowledge regarding the role of more natural forms of treatment, like nutrition. The video also touches on the interesting phenomenon of how the information age has produced a generation of lay people who often know better than their doctors when it comes to their health.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease”.

I have always loved this quote by Thomas Edison, and I too believe that the best doctors today are those that also embrace preventative medicine and the role of nutrition and alternative medicine in healing disease. Sadly, the medical training received by our doctors is often severely lacking in these areas and I wonder whether we are always getting the best advice. The reality is that the nutrition training received by doctors at medical school is rather limited. In addition, it is also underplayed. Without a doubt doctors do have the necessary biochemical training to understand nutrition and many do embrace it, but In my view these kinds of doctors are few and far between.

One study, which appeared in Clinical Nutrition, September 2009, found that only 25% of surgical interns knew how to calculate a patients nutritional requirements and that their general nutrition knowledge was less than that of dieticians.

Another study in The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, August 2009 showed that only 14% of physicians in the U.K. reported feeling adequately trained to provide nutrition counseling to patients and that a lack of knowledge has also been reported in general practitioners. I could not find specific statistics relating to the training of South African doctors in nutrition, but on chatting personally to some doctors, it seems the nutrition module given at medical school is not longer than a few hours.

Many of today’s most common diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and even depression are largely related to diet and lifestyle. The problem is that many doctors are treating these diseases with drug prescriptions while paying little attention to diet and lifestyle.

My advice is to look for doctors who DO pay attention to nutrition and lifestyle when treating patients, or to compliment your medical treatment with advice from a homeopath, naturopath or dietician. The Internet has also made it easier for you to get reliable diet and health information. Keep yourself well informed about any conditions you may have, and it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion from an allied health professional too.

For more health and wellness advice, follow the links alongside.

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