|Couldn't Resist This Photo Op In Switzerland!|
Can you guess what he told her?
You guessed it. Just lose weight. Yes, he wanted her to continue to stay with sugars almost 100 points too high, potentially causing damage to her blood vessels and her organs. Perhaps continued weight change will improve her sugars—but that takes time, and with the 50 or so pounds she has already lost, the numbers haven’t changed significantly. But it’s easier to pin the responsibility on the patient to change.
Oops! I was planning on praising a doctor today!
The wisdom of Dr. Mars
His patient was not an obvious referral for nutrition counseling. She did not present with any complaints about her health, and her rudimentary labs did not flag any concerns of disease in the works—normal cholesterol, blood sugar, thyroid, to name few. Other, more detailed nutrient assessment is pending. Her blood pressure is fine, low in fact, with that “healthy runner’s pulse”. And her weight? It had dropped from her usual place many years ago, from the normal range, when she had been diagnosed with cancer, now in remission; but it had increased somewhat since then.
“What brings you here?” I asked, as it was not so clear, at first glance. “Dr. Mars suggested I get in to see you”, she replied. “His concerns?” I continued. “He’d like you to assess my diet and be sure it’s adequate.” Fair enough, I thought.
|At least she's left with these--if they're uncooked!|
I’m not sure I could have created such a patient from my imagination. The only thing she hadn’t reportedly restricted was fats. But judging by her food selection her intake of fat was quite low, unhealthily low. Oh, how wise of Dr. Mars to send her my way!
|We do the craziest things for our cause.|
Three months of strict adherence to a gluten-free diet cured my MS!
Don’t I wish! Rather, meticulously following a gluten-free diet was a constant reminder that I lived with this medical condition; kind of like following a meal plan with an eating disorder. But if it worked, I would follow it forever. Only it didn’t work. Sure, I felt I was taking charge, doing my part to control my disease. But in those three months I had more new lesions on my brain and spinal column than perhaps at any other time in my 9 years with MS.
There’s a point you have to ask yourself “Is this strategy working for me?” Is it really meeting the need I intended it to meet?
| Gluten-free failed. But fundraising and riding with my team of friends and|
family (almost half of whom are MDs) has helped me enormously.
Did Di’s strategy improve her health with her myriad of diets rules? Hardly! She now had irregular periods (potentially due to a low percent body fat), and she likely will be experiencing muscle wasting, as her total calories and total protein are insufficient for her need. Osteoporosis or osteopenia , its precursor, is inevitable, with her low calcium intake and vitamin D, and with her questionable estrogen levels, given erratic periods. I could go on listing the pitfalls of her diet, but I think you get the point.
Focusing on her food rules may very well work for Di—on some level. But if she allows herself to be honest, she’ll realize that this is not a healthy diet at all.
Is it time to reexamine your own patterns of eating or food rules? Are your eating behaviors really working for you? And is it in your hands to change?
I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading and for giving me your invaluable feedback!