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natty6 07-27-2013 07:37 PM

I became a vegetarian around age eight and about four years later my mom took me to a neurologist for some issues I had. He told me that if I kept being a vegetarian and did not start eating meat again I might end up in a wheel chair with stunted growth, some mental retardation, and a stunted brain. Of course this terrified me and I didn't want my mother to have to raise a mentally and physically handicapped child. Plus, I was very proud of my smarts and was horrified that already I wasn't as smart as I could have been. This physician's words ingrained themselves deeply into my brain, and even in college when my roommates went veg I didn't join them and thought they were being irresponsible with their nutrition. It wasn't until the overwhelming evidence that vegetarianism is actually healthy hit me in nursing school (and a persuasive argument with a friend) that I went back to my old diet. I still feel so violated by this physician. I trusted in his medical knowledge completely, as so many people do with doctors. It sickens me to think of the decade I spent eating animals because of him. Does anyone else have any similar experiences?

kamizushi 07-27-2013 08:42 PM

Unfortunately, being intellectually honest isn't necessarily required to get a MD. Your anger is more than justified. This doctor needs to get sued.


Capstan 07-27-2013 08:56 PM

This isn't related to diet, but I carried a painful and debilitating bacterial infection for about 15-years, one that was actually easily cured with the right antibiotic, simply because the doctors I saw, when they didn't have a quick answer, and were too lazy to open a book and do some medical research, said they couldn't help me and sent me on my way. (They did not forget, however, to send me a bill!) 15-years later, one Dr. Goldstein looked up a few things and found the answer. Took him all of 5-minutes. 15-years of being sick v. 5-minutes of research! Today, I view the medical profession as reliable and honorable as lawyers and politicians. It's a sorry state of affairs, but that's the way I see it. I also had an uncle who died of cancer, because his doctor didn't take his complaints seriously, and sent him home.

 

I'm really sorry you had to go through that, natty, so your doctor could reinforce his own selfish habits. thumbsdown.gif


Rinchen 07-27-2013 09:05 PM

It's an old line told to medical students that half of everything they are going to learn is wrong. The problem is their instructors didn't know which half.

It was unfortunate that he was mistaken but don't be too hard on him. Medical science is evolving all the time and he very well may have been acting in good faith based on what he was taught at the time.

4everaspirit 07-27-2013 09:21 PM

Wow, that blows.....they'll give a degree to anyone these days.


Greenjay 07-27-2013 10:03 PM

Natty, so sorry that you went through that. My grandfather was a well respected surgeon who was educated at one of the best medical schools in the country and he gave me the same line of crap about hurting my growth and mental development by not eating meat. That was back in the 70s and 80s (he was trained in the 30s/40s) so that may have been the way they were trained. Although it is not accurate, it might have fit the limited research they had at that time. I went veg at 15 anyway and just told him he would have to deal with me when I became a short retard. But then I was a difficult child and he was an arrogant power hungry alcoholic. I didn't have much reason to trust him. However I didn't consider a career in medicine until recently because he was such a jerk. Like all professions, the medical field is filled with some amazing truly caring people and some folks who are a waste of oxygen and bring hurt to those around them. Please don't let the butt wipes of this world cover your view of the people that are making a positive difference. But I also agree that there seems to be a bunch of butt wipes out there and it makes it all the worse when your life is in their hands and they do what is easy just to get by. If that is their attitude, then they need to find a different career that doesn't impact patient care. People in medicine should be willing to go above and beyond what is needed because they more than any other profession, profoundly impacts the lives of those they work for and it can be either positively or negatively. Sorry about no spaces between paragraphs, I've tried to edit it but it keeps posting it as one long paragraph.

Capstan 07-27-2013 10:11 PM

Here's a Link to my article about Dr. Wareham, 98-years old and going strong on a vegan diet. Here at least is one doctor who knows what he's talking about!


Naturebound 07-28-2013 04:39 AM

I suffered severe abdominal pain for five years.  I would actually pass out the pain was so bad, and I had intermittent fevers, diarrhea, and other vague symptoms.  I had x-rays, barium enemas, blood tests, all kinds of exams and everything was normal and I was labeled with IBS and told to eat a bland diet.  But the pain was debilitating and would wake me in the night and I just knew it wasn't just IBS.  I missed a lot of work.  One doctor sent me to a psychologist because she insisted there was nothing wrong with me and I was a hypochondriac I kid you not.  My periods became excruciating.  It was a coworker I talked to about my sickness (well known at work by then) who told me she had endometriosis and my symptoms were much like hers.  I went to a gynecologist who did a laparoscopy to look inside me and sure enough I had endometriosis all over my bladder, one ovary, uterus, ligaments attaching uterus, sigmoid colon.  I had new and old scarring too.  Because of my advanced case, and the fact that I did not want children, a hysterectomy was pushed on me.  I did not want one.  I tried Lupron and birth control pills but they made it worse.  I didn't know back then (2004) that many people had success controlling symptoms of endometriosis by going vegan or vegetarian.  I didn't even know what vegan was back then.  I was lactose intolerant and that caused horrid cramps and meat and heavy fried foods aggravated the pain so I did avoid those mostly (still ate lean meat and yogurt) but I had also cut out a lot of vegetables and fruits and fiber trying to adhere to the "bland" diet which probably didn't help me either.  At any rate I could not find a doctor competent enough to just remove the endometriosis and leave my organs intact.  My insurance wouldn't cover an endometriosis specialist.  I had trouble just getting a second opinion covered and that doctor recommended having my reproductive organs removed too.  I ended up having everything removed (uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix) only one year after my official diagnosis.  It was the worst mistake of my life.  A year after my hysterectomy I was still in pain because the gynecologist left the endometriosis/scarring on my bladder and sigmoid colon, insisting that a lack of hormones and no cycle would kill off the remaining endometriosis.  I still had to have more surgery to have my remaining endometriosis removed a year later (by another gynecologist since the first one who did my hysterectomy was clueless about how to treat a young woman in surgical menopause suffering debilitating symptoms so I fired him).  And surgical menopause was and is a living nightmare for a woman who was only 33 when she had this done.  I now have severe osteoporosis from lack of hormones.  HRT helps but it has it's own risks and can never replace what the ovaries do so naturally.  The ovaries are endocrine organs regulated by the hypothalamus.  They are extremely important for more than making babies.  I felt betrayed by the medical establishment for what happened to me.  I have suffered numerous health consequences as a result of my "choice" to have my organs removed.  It triggered a seven year battle with anorexia nervosa because I felt such a loss of control over my body and I didn't recognize it anymore. 

Had I known that going vegan might have helped me back then without having to take such drastic measures I would have tried it hands down.  I should have taken more responsibility to do my own research and not put total faith in doctors or in the common mentality that reproductive organs are useless for anything but making babies and having them removed is such a great thing.  But it is hard to do when you are in so much pain and desperate for it to stop. 


@rno 07-28-2013 02:01 PM

Wauw, what a story.


Vegan Dave 07-28-2013 04:53 PM

My Dad suffered for years with an illness that was cured in 5 minutes by a local Korean doctor he ran upon. He was producing too much bile.

If you look at the elderly people in rural China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, etc., none of them are sick. The Okinawaians have more people over 100 YO than any other location. A quick study of the diets reveals a mostly veg*n diet, with no processed foods, etc. They understand that foods affects your body & that nutrition is important.

Doctors in the US get no nutritional training at all. They just prescribe medications pushed upon them from the large pharmacutical companies, ignoring the effects food plays in overall health. I routinely seek the advice of TCM or Ayurvedic Doctors, who know how important nutrition is.

neo77 07-28-2013 06:01 PM

Yes George Washington does as well as thousands of other people. Over a hundred years ago the most popular method of healing by medical doctors was bleeding or bloodletting. Ex-president George Washington had the best MDs. He had a very sore throat and the very best medical doctors. So they bled a couple of pints of blood out of him and he died. Also medical doctors determined that many people were witches so they were tested. They were weighted down in water and if they sunk and died, then they were not a witch. If they floated, they were a witch and were killed.


LedBoots 07-28-2013 06:13 PM

My mother suffered a major heart attack at 54 years old that killed a third of her heart muscle. She is now still vibrant at age 83 thanks to the lifestyle changes recommended by her physicians, as well as prescribed medications and, at 78, a pacemaker/defibrillator installed by a skilled surgeon.

Thank you to all the medical people who have helped me have my mom around and still dancing after all these years.

Just another perspective. smiley.gif

neo77 07-28-2013 06:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naturebound View Post

I suffered severe abdominal pain for five years.  I would actually pass out the pain was so bad, and I had intermittent fevers, diarrhea, and other vague symptoms.  I had x-rays, barium enemas, blood tests, all kinds of exams and everything was normal and I was labeled with IBS and told to eat a bland diet.  But the pain was debilitating and would wake me in the night and I just knew it wasn't just IBS.  I missed a lot of work.  One doctor sent me to a psychologist because she insisted there was nothing wrong with me and I was a hypochondriac I kid you not.  My periods became excruciating.  It was a coworker I talked to about my sickness (well known at work by then) who told me she had endometriosis and my symptoms were much like hers.  I went to a gynecologist who did a laparoscopy to look inside me and sure enough I had endometriosis all over my bladder, one ovary, uterus, ligaments attaching uterus, sigmoid colon.  I had new and old scarring too.  Because of my advanced case, and the fact that I did not want children, a hysterectomy was pushed on me.  I did not want one.  I tried Lupron and birth control pills but they made it worse.  I didn't know back then (2004) that many people had success controlling symptoms of endometriosis by going vegan or vegetarian.  I didn't even know what vegan was back then....   But it is hard to do when you are in so much pain and desperate for it to stop. 

 

I have a friend who had endometriosis and could not have kids because of it. She watched a video about cruelty to animals that caused her to cry for 3 days. So she gave up eating meat. She made some other changes and her endometriosis was cured. Some say it cannot be cured but the symptoms can vanish entirely. So what is the difference! She then got pregnant and had twins-- a boy and a girl. That was years ago and she makes a living as a school teacher now and her twins do karate. End Endo: Cure Endometriosis


Naturebound 07-28-2013 07:13 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by neo77 View Post

 

I have a friend who had endometriosis and could not have kids because of it. She watched a video about cruelty to animals that caused her to cry for 3 days. So she gave up eating meat. She made some other changes and her endometriosis was cured. Some say it cannot be cured but the symptoms can vanish entirely. So what is the difference! She then got pregnant and had twins-- a boy and a girl. That was years ago and she makes a living as a school teacher now and her twins do karate. End Endo: Cure Endometriosis

Thanks for sharing that neo77!  I have read about success stories in managing endometriosis by eating vegan or at the very least cutting out meat and dairy which are laden with hormones and inflammatory properties.  It is unfortunate that there is such a lack of studies focusing on endometriosis and diet in terms of managing or improving the outcome.  I think there are a few studies regarding fish oil and endo but none that I know of specifically on veganism and endo.  But some people seem to swear by it.  I think a person's entire lifestyle and whole self should be considered when treating an illness (or for prevention) but this is not the way western medicine works unless you pay an arm and a leg for alternative practitioners (which I did AFTER the fact).  I am not knocking western medicine.  I work in a medical establishment and I know that many doctors are dedicated to their patients and work very hard to make the system work better.  There are also roadblocks such as insurance coverage, expenses, time, etc to consider.  I just think that some issues get ignored more than others due to politics and ignorance and because there is no money in it.


Greenjay 07-29-2013 03:06 PM


Irizary 07-29-2013 04:28 PM

My parents were ignorant and not present, and trusted a doctor who gave me a truly unnecessary surgery as a child.  There's no question about that - all the records prove it.  I have had lifelong pain because of it.  

 

In the U.S., medicine is for profit, and that's a big problem for the welfare of patients.


ShadowKat 07-29-2013 04:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

My parents were ignorant and not present, and trusted a doctor who gave me a truly unnecessary surgery as a child.  There's no question about that - all the records prove it.  I have had lifelong pain because of it.  

In the U.S., medicine is for profit, and that's a big problem for the welfare of patients.

Now now. Just think of all the money they can make from selling you pain meds! Ugh. We need to socialize our medicine properly, and pronto. I think that too many people in the US have forgotten what the words civilization and compassion mean...

kamizushi 07-29-2013 05:05 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenjay View Post

Here is some of the latest research 

http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/june2013/06102013vegetarian.htm

I think it should be noted that most of deaths that are inversely correlated with a plant based diet tend to turn back to normal once you take into account that vegetarians also, on average, smoke less and drink less.

 

 

The biggest exception would be heart diseases. Again and again an again, in different countries and even if you control for tobacco and alcohol, those with a plant-based diet always do significantly better there and it's huge because heart disease are by far the most frequent death in rich counties. This study found an average 24% reduction of ischemic heart diseases among vegetarians and pescetarians, which considering how common ischemic heart diseases are, is almost as good as quitting tobacco all by itself. And it really shouldn't be surprising to anybody with the slightest knowledge of dietetics. Red meat and poultry is full of saturated fat, bad cholesterol, and even contain a small amount of natural trans fat.


natty6 07-29-2013 07:48 PM

"Medicine is not healthcare, food is healthcare. Medicine is sick care." I think that the newer generation of healthcare professionals and lay people are moving towards this view. It is unfortunate that physicians push their own views despite better evidence against them and that so many physicians are all too ready to scam us for money, but like an earlier poster said many of them have good intentions but just don't know better. Much of the medical field is still guesswork and opinions. Still, I am sad to hear all of these bad stories.

kamizushi 07-29-2013 10:53 PM

Physicians aren't necessarily dietitians.  Hopefully, this will change with time.


Siv 07-30-2013 07:50 AM

Unfortunately you can't patent a carrot so there is no motivation for companies to research into the benefits of nutrition. This is what happens in a capitalist market!

 

Both my parents are doctors and damn good ones too (my dad has a cabinet full of silver given to him by a patient who had gone to many but only he correctly diagnosed). I grew up hearing about all the bad stuff that happens in hospitals - a hospital is just like your office, some good and some crap but mostly average.

 

I finally found a persona physician who I relate to on an intellectual level and he knows how to get me to do what I need to do. Before that, I didn't trust anything that the doctors told be because, quite frankly, I found them to be lacking. Key here is to find a good doctor - one that you trust and that you can have a conversation with. There are so many doctors out there, it's worth the effort to find one that is willing to understand you rather than one that just prescribes from a book.


kamizushi 07-30-2013 11:16 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Siv View Post

Unfortunately you can't patent a carrot so there is no motivation for companies to research into the benefits of nutrition. This is what happens in a capitalist market!

Actually, if you take a look on pubmed, there is plenty of research being done on nutrition(mostly financed by governments). It's not the research that's lacking, it's the training for physicians.


Siv 07-30-2013 11:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamizushi View Post

Actually, if you take a look on pubmed, there is plenty of research being done on nutrition(mostly financed by governments). It's not the research that's lacking, it's the training for physicians.


Er... you mean the ones telling us that we need fish oil, dairy and meat in our diets?

 

Search for vegan and you get 3,031 hits; search for dairy and you get 45,949 hits!


MoodIndigo 07-30-2013 04:20 PM

Oh my doctor is so annoying about my eating habits. Every time I come to see her she asks 'Are you still not eating meat?' and then we have a 30 minutes long conversation about that. It's terrfiying. I did have a tiny bit lowered iron levels once but I was under huge amount of stress at that time and it never happened again. I'm not tired, I feel good and I have no problems at all. Except insomnia and mild anxiety. The funniest thing is that I was a only pesco-vegetarian for 9 years but I ate very little fish, hardly every month and she just kept annoying me with that. Next time she will see me I might be already vegan.. I bet she will murder me.

 

What should I even answer when she constantly tells me tha spinach, beans and seaweed are not good sources for what I need? She says I can't eat enough of veggies that they would give me what my body needs and that's why I need to include some red meat in my diet weekly.

 

So OP, I feel you about this. I just pretend I don't hear it but feel stressed every time I have to visit my doctor regarding what I'm going to say this time. Even if my blood tests come out find she is not satisfied.


natty6 07-30-2013 04:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MoodIndigo View Post

I need to include some red meat in my diet weekly.

Okay so for starters, red meat isn't even recommended at all anymore. That was a pretty big consensus that the medical community came to a little while back (and is even taught now in nursing at least). So I recommend you consider a new physician. You need a new one not only because this one is inflexible in her views which can be all around harmful, but because she is also giving you outdated advice. Life moght be more harmonious if you find one who is willing to help you be the healthiest vegetarian you can be, not one who is trying to make you eat animal products instead.

MoodIndigo 07-30-2013 04:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by natty6 View Post


Okay so for starters, red meat isn't even recommended at all anymore. That was a pretty big consensus that the medical community came to a little while back (and is even taught now in nursing at least). So I recommend you consider a new physician. You need a new one not only because this one is inflexible in her views which can be all around harmful, but because she is also giving you outdated advice. Life moght be more harmonious if you find one who is willing to help you be the healthiest vegetarian you can be, not one who is trying to make you eat animal products instead.

Really? Wow okay that's terrible then. She is not even old, she's pretty young. I will try to ask around if someone knows anyone who is better. I think that in general where I live people are very close minded about being vegetarian (let's not even mention being vegan). They always make fun of me so I try to avoid that topic as much as I can. I try not to even eat when I'm out, I tend to go to restaurants with my mom or by myself because of that.


leedsveg 07-30-2013 05:47 PM

Nothing to do with diet but over 60 years ago when I was around 5 years of age, my mum took me to the doctors because I had pains in my legs. I was sent to the hospital for tests and they put plaster around my legs with weights* attached hanging over the end of the bed. After a year without any definite diagnosis, my parents took me out of the hospital for a family holiday and I never went back. (At first. my dad had to carry me on the holiday because I'd forgotten how to walk.) 

 

Oh yes, I remember now that the doctors warned my parents that I might finish up in a wheelchair around 15 years of age but that never happened. 

 

Anyway must go as I want to go for a long run early tomorrow morning.

 

leedsveg

 

 

*thanks to those weights, I eventually grew to be 6 foot tall, otherwise I might have stayed a short-arse.  shocked.gif


abombthecoder 07-30-2013 06:13 PM

I have tardive parkisons (permanent non-degenerative ) at age 28 because a doctor prescribed an extremely dangerous drug as a first line treatment again an upset stomach, which eating more kale later cured. The doctor didn't know the drug was dangerous, but a 2 minute google search would have told him reglan should never be prescribed as  a first line treatment against upset stomachs and only when every other possibility has failed. Of course I wasn't able to get a law suit going because my condition wasn't severe enough but I suffer everyday because of it. The doctor still practices and wants to nothing to do with me. I see doctors as like car mechanics. There's good ones and bad ones, but the bad ones can cripple you. Beware. 


leedsveg 08-01-2013 10:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irizary View Post

My parents were ignorant and not present, and trusted a doctor who gave me a truly unnecessary surgery as a child.  There's no question about that - all the records prove it.  I have had lifelong pain because of it.  

 

Sorry to hear that Irizary and I hope that sooner rather than later, you can find a way of getting relief from the pain. 

 

leedsveg


fishfriend 08-03-2013 07:41 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamizushi View Post

Unfortunately, being intellectually honest isn't necessarily required to get a MD. Your anger is more than justified. This doctor needs to get sued.

Exactly. this doctor knew damn well that vegetarianism would not stunt natty6's growth.

 

 

Quote:
It was unfortunate that he was mistaken but don't be too hard on him. Medical science is evolving all the time and he very well may have been acting in good faith based on what he was taught at the time.

Not likely. He was knowingly, at least at some level, pushing a morality or cultural view, and pretending it was a scientific view. The idea about green plants being the source of all the nutrients we need, and eating animal food is a way of getting them second hand and inefficiently, and with more toxicity, has been the dominant view held by biologists for over 100 years. This is what I learned in high school biology class in the early 1960's, and what was repeated to me in college biology 101, college biology 102, and cell biology. I learned from every single biology teacher, that some people eat meat because of cultural values, not because of scientific need. By the 1960's, it became clear we also got some nutrients directly from bacteria and other micro-organisms, that we couldn't get everything from green plants and that the things we couldn't get from green plants, we needed to get from micro-organisms - not from meat. But before then, the ideas that plants were the synthesisers of everything we need, and the best source, was well-established dominant view. Just about no-one had any disagreement with this. Now we know that they don't produce everything we need, but by weight, they produce the overwhelming portion and microorganisms just produce microscopic amounts of micronutrients we need.

 

The doctor was undoubtedly viewing himself as doing a service for your mother, doing what he thought the person paying him probably wanted him to do, promoting her cultural values, pretending they were science, and hoping you would respect his "authority" and listen to your mother. Your mother paid him for this service, not just for his medical expertise. The main person responsible for this miscarriage of justice was your mother, not the doctor. She could have taken you to another doctor.

 

I have told many doctors that I am vegan, and only about 20 percent had any problem with it whatsoever. Recently one of them even offered to prescribe something for me in pill form rather than in gelatin capsules - without my asking. The neurologist in question may not have had a problem with it either, but rather may have felt compelled to support the authority of you mother, if he wanted to get paid, and therefore decided to say cultural values were science, knowing full well they were not science. Doctors had been doing this with masturbation well into the late 1940's and early 50's, surgically altering residents of institutions who had been observed masturbating, knowing full well that it was harmless, but making up unfounded claims that it could cause disease. They felt more obligated to serve the powerful forces of church people who were against this kind of "sodomy" than to serve what they knew to be the truth.



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