Lifestyle Counseling

It Ought to Be Malpractice If You Don’t Do This

It ought to be malpractice if you don’t talk to your patients about a plant-based diet. Let me explain.

Let’s say you had a disease and needed treatment. Treatment option number one would require increased medical costs, more laboratory testing, more doctor’s visits, no reversal of the underlying cause, and mild to moderate effectiveness.

Treatment option number two would have lower medical costs, less laboratory testing, less doctor’s visits, reverse the underlying cause and has moderate to high effectiveness.

At your doctor’s visit you hear about the risks and benefit of treatment. However, your doctor only talks to you about treatment option number one. She never even mentions options number two.

If this happened you would be upset. It would be as if the doctor had withheld information from you and gave you a less than optimal treatment.

This happens every day in America. As doctors, we have failed to discuss optimal treatment with our patients: a plant-based diet.

The slew of benefits for eating a plant-based diet have been documented extensively. Here are 4 reasons why medical providers should talk to their patients about eating optimally.

  1. A Plant-Based Diet is the Only Treatment shown to Have Reversed Heart Disease. [1]

    Heart disease is the most common cause of death killing over 600,000 Americans each year.[2] Doctors have been trained to treat this with surgeries and medicines. Yet the research has supported other effective ways to treat heart disease. While many patients are aware of the surgeries and stents and statins, most do not hear about how aggressively lifestyle change can be more effective at a lower cost.

  2. A Plant-Based Diet is the only treatment shown to have safely Reversed Diabetes Type 2.[3]

    Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death affecting 29 million Americans to the tune of 245 billion dollars in healthcare costs.[4] The two effective treatments for reversal of type 2 diabetes has been Bariatric surgery[5] and lifestyle change.[6] One predisposes you to risks of death, internal bleeding, clots in the lung, infection, malnutrition and malabsorption. The plant-based diet approach doesn’t have any.

  1. A Plant-Based Diet has been shown to prevent most cancers.[7]

    Cancer is the number two most common cause of death.[8] Rather than having our patients live in fear of this disease, we can share with them how they can aggressively decrease their chances of dying form cancer.

  2. A Plant-Based Approach Allows Us to Heal our Patients.

    True healing is the restoration of a sick patient back to health and wholeness. Medicines such as antibiotics and chemotherapy can completely cure underlying infection or cancer. But while able to adjust risk factors, modern medicine has fallen short of treating the underlying cause of disease: diet and lifestyle. When physicians treat the underlying cause of disease, our practice more closely aligns with our impulse for healing.

Have you talked with your patients about a plant-based diet? What success or frustrations have you had? Leave me a comment.

 

 

[1] Ornish, D., Brown, S. E., Scherwitz, L. W., Billings, J. H., Armstrong, W. T., Ports, T. A., … Gould, K. L. (1990). Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? The Lifestyle Heart Trial. Lancet (London, England), 336(8708), 129–33. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1973470

[2] FastStats – Leading Causes of Death. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

[3] Dunaief, D. M., Fuhrman, J., Dunaief, J. L., & Ying, G. (2012). Glycemic and cardiovascular parameters improved in type 2 diabetes with the high nutrient density (HND) diet. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2(3), 364–371. http://doi.org/10.4236/ojpm.2012.23053

[4]  Statistics About Diabetes: American Diabetes Association®. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2017, from http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

[5] Purnell, J. Q., Flum, D. R., Schweiger, C., Elazary, R., Baltasar, A., & Kalfarentzos, F. (2009). Bariatric surgery and diabetes: who should be offered the option of remission? JAMA, 301(15), 1593–5. http://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2009.541

[6] Dunaief, D. M., Fuhrman, J., Dunaief, J. L., & Ying, G. (2012). Glycemic and cardiovascular parameters improved in type 2 diabetes with the high nutrient density (HND) diet. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2(3), 364–371. http://doi.org/10.4236/ojpm.2012.23053

[7] Romaguera, D., Vergnaud, A.-C., Peeters, P. H., van Gils, C. H., Chan, D. S., Ferrari, P., … Norat, T. (2012). Is concordance with World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research guidelines for cancer prevention related to subsequent risk of cancer? Results from the EPIC study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 96(1), 150–163. http://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.111.031674

[8] FastStats – Leading Causes of Death. (n.d.). Retrieved March 5, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/leading-causes-of-death.htm

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