Daily Chatter

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I Found a Soap Box Excuse Me While I Get on It...

It made me think about doctor appointments.

The administrator where I work is well beyond retirment age.  He continues, however to work full time (by full time I mean when he like to be here or not but still gets paid.).  He and his like-aged wife are both on mulitiple many medications.  For example, he recently went to the doctor for a check up and they ran a blood test to check his Vitamin D levels (this test is all the rage lately).  His levels were low.  What does the doctor do?  Of course he asks my administrator to keep a food and activity journal few a few days and then has a follow up appointment to discuss lifestyle changes that would help in raises his levels into a more healthy range gives him a prescription for a vitamin D supplement.  (80% of which will end up in our water supply) 

My administrator's wife is sad, depressed over the winter.  She doesn't like being "stuck" in her house.  (she has no physcial limitations.)  She went to see her doctor.  He suggested that she spend 30 minutes a day outside going for a walk or join a local gym for fitness and fellowship or use light therapy fill a prescription for a mood elevating drug.

They are both significatly overweight.  Both have been advised to reduce their calories.  Neither one was provided with any education about how to do that beyond "eat less."  We are currently advised by our governing bodies to follow a roughly set number of calories(nice site to enter your information and get amounts based on what you entered.)  But while I am up here on this soap box, I what to ask if anyone has ever heard of or taken part in a CRON lifestyle eating plan.  It really makes you think.

Back to my issue.
I am not saying that every ailment can be cured by a healthier lifestyle.  That sad reality was very recently made painfully clear. 


Why is it that our current medical community is just willing to continue doing what has not been working for a hundred years!?!  Why do we continue to allow it?  When will we (read as most developed countries) decide to re-think who is responsible for our own health and well being? 

How do you feel on the issue?  Do you simply take whatever medication your doctor tells you to?  Do you think there is any validity to a calorically restricted eating plan to increase life span?
Let me know what you think. 
I know we are all run, run, run but because we are also human beings with bodies to care for, we need to help each other stay as healthy, fit and informed.

Thanks for your feedback and tolerance of my soap box...this blog will return to it's regularly scheduled running related broadcast.


  1. You are SO RIGHT. I always like to think of medication as a last resort... lifestyle changes are so much better for us in the long run, not to mention that it's an actual solution a sopposed to a 'bandaid'.

    One of my bosses was just telling me that his doctor said he his high cholesterol and want sto put him on MEDS right away. I said NO WAY. Change your diet first, see if that works. I'm helping him find some info on what to eat/what to avoid.

  2. I completely agree that the way the doctor handled that situation is wrong. However, that is what doctors are trained to do (sad but true). Doctors are not trained to PREVENT illness (in some respects they are). What they are really trained to do is just TREAT illness. Treating illness should be done through the use of both medication and education about lifestyle changes, but I think many doctors get a big fat FAIL in the education department.

    I do believe that Vitamin D is especially important, and that in the winter months (and other months, but mostly winter) people do not get enough of it, no matter what their lifestyle entails. I think supplementing your diet with Vitamin D is important, but that is a matter of personal opinion (I guess everything we write on here is).

    So to end my long-winded comment, I suggest looking into someone named Ray Strand. He is a doctor/author that focuses on NUTRITIONAL medicine, which is what I believe our healthcare system should have been doing all along.

  3. I hate taking medication, when I was put on blood pressure medicine was when I finally got a clue that I HAD to do something about my weight. I understand that medicine can be good and life-saving in some cases but in a lot of cases a simple life-style change could do the trick. I took my medicine for 2 months before I was able to get off it, two short months made a huge impact on my health. I just wish more people would try eating healthy and exercising, I'm sure a lot of drug companies would take a hit.

  4. If I begin to answer this I will rant for days. I get really angry about this same thing. And about obestiy in general. All people have to go on are commericals for quick fixes and shows like The Biggest Loser and Celebrity Fit Club!!! Oh and medications. We have plenty of medications...

  5. I wonder if a doctor has an obligation to physically "give" them something to potentially cure the issue at hand or if it's acceptable to not and say, "All you need to do is exercise" because the exercise is a choice one makes and a doctor may suggest this, for their best interest but they can't "make" them. Not that I feel it's justified but how to do make them? I work with those BL contestants and I can suggest and inspire and motivate but it comes down to a will and most don't really care. Anyway, I love the topic and also hope for a solution!
    Happy Thursday, Shelly! SOOOO glad you're getting letters from the son :)! That makes me happy!!

  6. OK. So, last spring I injured my lower back (herniated disc), but I didn't know what it was -- just thought sciatica and went to a chirpractor. I was not a runner then -- no exercise, actually. What helped some was my chiro's advice on icing, stretching, strengthening my core and Ibuprofin. He also told me to start moving (I'm a writer and sit at a laptop a lot). But it didn't feel good enough to walk! I had an MRI -- found it was a large-ish herniated disc. Surgery was recommended. LUCKILY, the surgeon isn't the type to just jump right into surgery. He suggested a cortisone shot and GET MOVING (plus all the other stuff - stretching, strengthening, Ibuprofin, ice, etc.). The cortisone shot did not help much, but I think it did loosen the muscles enough to get me moving. I started walking and it got better and better. Then I started running a few weeks later and now I've run a 10K, a Half and a 5K. I haven't dropped a lot of weight (5'7" and 175 pounds), but I've gone from a size 16 pants to a size 10/12 since July '09. I occasionally "feel" my back, but I don't have to take 6-8 Ibuprofins a day anymore. I don't take any -- unless I'm doing a long run, LOL! Moral of the story: exercise and diet can cure things! More people should try it before settling for drugs.

  7. i think meds should be the last resort.
    there are many other ways to treat ailments and stress and depression or a vitamin deficiency.
    come on, people! get with the program!!!!
    sometimes i just wanna tell people, 'if you had an apple (orange, banana, watermelon, strawberries, etc, etc) instead of that bag of chips..... you would be on a much better path"

  8. Too many people are on too many medications. Prescribing something takes a lot less time for both the physicians and patient. I don't think drugs should be handed out so readily and nor should they be accepted so easily. Education is key and isn't happening. I *try* to use natural remedies whenever possible but don't always succeed (no one is perfect). Regardless, it is usually up to the patient to say no to the prescription and ask for alternatives.

  9. I totally agree with you.. and I do not take anything without researching it first. I guess this is why our insurance premiums are so high!

    And absolutely there is there validity to a calorically restricted eating plan to increase life span? It is working for me now.

  10. Don't even get me started on this! But in the doctors defense...well..not really defense...doctors that tell patients they are overweight and need to get moving often loose those patients to a doctor that will perscribe happy/easy pills instead.

  11. I totally agree with what Caitlin said above. Docs are trained to TREAT, not PREVENT. Until people start being more accountable for their own health and not looking for the "magic pill" for everything, obesity rates and all the illnesses that go along with it will continue to skyrocket.

  12. I obviously don't follow the Western medicine way of life since I am a holistic nutritionist:) I always look up and research everything before I go see the doctor, and after, if he told me something I did not know. I always second guess, and question. They like to quick fix us, or use one size fits all diagnostics. As you can tell, I need to get off my sopabox:).

  13. While it's not necessarily right for doctor's to seek only one avenue of treatment, to be fair, many patients go to the doctor seeking only one avenue of treatment and few are open to the idea of changing their behavior.

    And, sometimes, medication is exactly what is needed.

    However, like you said, doctors seem to be prescription happy and a lot of money could be saved if other treatments or preventions were discussed.

  14. I couldnt have said it better myself. It seems doctors are too afraid to tell people to get active, quit eating junk and lose some weight- instead they perscribe them medication that is masking the real issue. *sigh*

  15. Wow love it!! Sooo agree, with the likelihood of people feeling offended and the Dr. getting sued they keep their lips tightly sealed.. Heaven forbid we tell someone the TRUTH. GO FOR A WALK!!

  16. I'm one of those people who have had to deal with taking a lot of meds...my asthma is very severe (I'm talking three broken ribs from coughing). My goal from the beginning has been to eliminate as many meds as possible. They all have side-effects...so each drug usually leads to another to counter a side-effect, which leads to another to counter the side-effect of the side-effect!!! I hate taking meds, but my quality of life depends on them.
    Nonetheless, I know that eating a healthier diet and exercising (running) have all helped me reduce some of the more serious meds...so yeah.

  17. Anne - glad to hear from someone else who depends on meds. There is definitely a place for med's. I went through chemo and radiation for breast cancer. I know for a fact that without that . . . I would not be here. But far too often people pick the seemingly easier route and take and or ask for the med's - instead of restricting calories, eating healthy and exercising. No one said life was easy. We are blessed with magnificent bodies and we should take care of them. I am stepping off the soap box. ;-)

  18. I have nothing else to add to your Soap Box Vent. I think many ailments could be avoided and/or fixed with a healthy lifestyle. Of course, medications have their place... but doctors seem way too eager to prescribe symptom-only medications.

  19. The state of our health care system is so depressing - it's hard to believe that most doctors feel good about their oath while prescribing more and more drugs. They seem like the quick fix without a long term solution.

    It sounds like Michelle Obama has taken this a little bit to heart in her childhood obesity movement, but it doesn't seem like she's working at it hard enough or gaining enough ground. Some action from people in power could really help - the Biggest Loser can't do it all :P

  20. I work in a great facility where ALL the docs give out lifestyle advise to patients, as do the physical and occupational therapists. We have great weight loss groups for adults and kids, exercise programs for arthritis, parkinson's, heart healthy programs, and graduates of the program get discounted memberships at the YMCA.

    It's just so depressing when the patients themselves say "I don't want to do all that. Can't you just give me a pill that will make it all better?"

    It's enough to make you want to bang your head against a wall.