The Loud Voices

This week has been a discouraging week for me. Life is teaching me that the loudest, most authoritative voice wins the masses.  I guess I knew that, but it is still disappointing.  Three times in the last week I have spoken with people who have been to the doctor for gastrointestinal complaints, and three times over I listened to the same line emerge:  “Diet doesn’t matter.”

But please listen to my quiet fighting voice.  I don’t have a name for what I support.  It’s dogma-free, and I hope it will always be.  I call it “eat real food and watch for side effects.”  I call it “choose deeply nutritious foods most all of the time.”  I call it “don’t give up.”  I call it “vegetables are important.”  I call it “kids deserve a chance to be free of obesity and autoimmune disease.”  I call it “forget the cliques and take care of people and their needs.”  I call it “find your own best diet using some basic principles.”

There is so much science to explain.  I know most people probably don’t really care about the “why to eat.”  They just want to know the “what to eat.”  But I HAVE to have you understand that any medical doctor who tells you that diet doesn’t matter is full of egotistical brainwashing handed down to us all by the doctors who trained us.  They scorn without cross-referencing.  They either don’t have the time or don’t take the time to apply the science they know and to follow particular new studies.  Very sadly, I have become aware of studies twisted to obtain a specific desired outcome.  So even if an altruistic doctor tried to keep abreast of studies, some are so contorted so as to not be reliable for application.

I am convinced that complete overhaul of a diet and lifestyle can lessen disease, possibly eliminate it in many cases.  It’s just that the people who have what it takes to overhaul their diet are very few and far between.  It is hard work, and it can alienate you and your family because nearly ALL people eat food that has been processed.  Even the purest white milk sitting in most people’s fridge has been processed to make it improper for our bodies, aside from the fact that milk has very difficult sugars and proteins for any body to digest to begin with.  The yogurt you buy too rich in sugar.  The cold meat you buy stuffed with potato starch and wheat protein.

So today I am discouraged by the loud voices, the authoritarian voices, filling your ears with falsehood.  Diet DOES matter.  Each bite counts.  For every nutrient that you see fortified on a label, go find the equivalent unprocessed real food source of that.  For the vitamin D in processed, fortified milk, head for egg yolks.  For the folic acid in fortified wheat products, head for broccoli and dark colored greens.  For the iodine in iodized salt, head to seafood.  If what you put in your mouth doesn’t matter, why is your food supplemented?  Why aren’t you told what to eat in the first place and then to fill in with fortification?  Where are the billboards telling you how to fight childhood obesity by eating real food and not eating processed food in boxes?  Where is the billboard that says type II diabetes can be controlled by minimizing carbohydrates?

Where?  Where,  I ask.  And I am discouraged.  Because you listen to the loud voices.  The aggressive voices.  The dogmatic voices.  The voices with something to lose if you change.  Change is hard enough without backing.  Nearly impossible if you are listening to the voices that say, “It doesn’t matter.”

But it does.

Signing off.  You can do this.  It is hard because of peer pressure and those loud voices which really need to go learn and sit down and be quiet.  Go homeschool themselves, I say.  But you can do this.  Find YOUR diet.  You can.

Terri

23 thoughts on “The Loud Voices

  1. Becky

    I want to encourage you. I am finding healing or at least less symptoms through diet. It IS hard but worth it! I went through all the reasons not to do it but finally decided I was tired of being sick and my health was more important than others opinions or my desire to have whatever I want. Thank you for your quiet diligence. Don’t give up!

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Becky, Thank you for your encouraging words. Doctors’ opinions validate people not trying, and opportunities for improved quality of life are being missed. Upsetting. So it makes me happy to hear someone else say it was hard, but it was worth it–it’s working! It’s our word against theirs. (And we are right! Right?!) 🙂

      Have a great upcoming weekend!

      Terri

      Reply
  2. Tim

    About the only good advice I hear from doctors is to stay away from fried foods, but they always say it with a wink. The doctors and nurses where I work look worse than most of the patients. When you see them in the cafeteria, you know exactly what is at the root of their problems…fried foods, desserts, ice cream, diet sodas, pasta…When I turned my own health around with diet, the doctors would often ask what I am eating. When I tell them, ‘nothing processed, just real foods,’ they get a puzzled look. One doctor even took notes. But so many people just want to eat to their heart’s content and fix their problems with pills. Such a pity.

    Maybe if we put a bunch of ads and sponsor links on our blogs people will start to listen. Great post!

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      I have thought the same thing now when I go to the doctor. The doctors and the patients seem to have the same health issues, issues of chronic living related to poor food selection (and quality). Although…I’d have to say those doctors you see in the cafeteria clearly aren’t busy enough! Ha! When I worked, I grabbed my mashed potatoes and green beans and ran!

      Tim, I honestly can’t believe how this is missed. It’s like someone standing beside me, looking at the same sky, and saying, “Ah…such a lovely color of green.” WHAT?!?! However, I recently read a study where the conclusion is completely off base considering the way the study was conducted. I keep showing it to my husband, asking, “What am I missing?” He keeps replying, “Nothing. They knew what they wanted the results to show, and they manipulated their variables to get it.” I emailed the researchers. The reply was completely inadequate, and they didn’t reply to my second attempts to understand their logic. So I am well-aware that researchers and doctors are seeing what they want to see. That’s bad.

      Why don’t you see if you can get some Gatorade give-aways on your blog? Isn’t Gatorade good for you?

      Terri

      Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Claredue: Oh, good! Stay on track. I have and do, and it continues to improve in areas I don’t even expect! I’m like, “Finally! I’m rid of that! I didn’t even know that was an issue that could be helped.”

      Take care and have a good weekend!

      Terri

      Reply
  3. EmilyMaine

    A powerful post, Terri. I can’t believe anyone with a scientific background could actually justify saying food doesn’t matter. We KNOW it has vitamins, we KNOW too much unhealthy fats can clog the arteries and cause heart disease and many more examples like this. So logic tells that food in fact does matter. It can be good and it can be bad. It astounds me othereise intelligent people would say something so stupid!!!

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Ms. Emily, Yes–that is quite a blanket statement (Diet won’t help.) Even for something as “simple” as constipation, there are studies indicating that food intolerances can cause it. Yet, very few doctors ask slow transit constipation patients to go through an elimination diet. The same with asthma and dairy, but very few doctors ask asthmatics to explore the role of ice cream. On the fats, even there the loud voices won the day. NOW we have to backtrack all of our years of preaching; admit that honest, real saturated fats are not bad for you while all the margarine, vegetable oils, peanut oils, soybean oils, corn oils that we preached are; and try to save face and gain trust. We can’t know the “best diet” for all people. I just wish the loud voices would start saying, “Eat real food. Eat plenty of vegetables.” Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. BUT, today is a sunny, bright day, and may it be a great one for you and I! Thanks for commenting!

      Terri

      Reply
  4. Jhanis

    I just want you to know that I have been referring friends over to your site whenever I hear them complain about tummy and poop issues. 😀

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Well, you can tell them to ask questions too! You know I don’t mind. Tell them that. Sometimes it’s hard to navigate a blog and you can’t find what you need. So tell them to just ask! (Muttering…”Tummy and poop issues. What in the world. What have I done?”)

      Terri

      Reply
  5. Simple Days Making for Exciting Adventures

    Keep talking lady! 🙂 Your message is getting out there. As a physical therapist, most of the people who I see are open to “alternative ideas (sad to say that eating raw and unprocessed is now considered alternative when once it was the only way). Even yesterday, I had a patient with arthritis who I asked if he would be open to speaking with a dietician about changing to an anti-inflammatory diet and he said, “YES!” I think that there is hope! I also think that our children will seal the deal (ok, maybe our grandchildren..smile).

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Oh, I hope so! Some days I feel that way (positive), and then I go to a social function. Then, I’m deflated. Or when people will try a supplement, but they won’t change the whole foundation of what their bodies need–then I’m deflated. And sometimes I think doctors are catching up, then I go to one for myself or hear stories of others going. Then, I feel like we’re stuck in the Dark Ages again.

      But …THAT is so great about your patient. Do you then have a good dietician in the area to refer to?

      On another note, how much do you manage to work and homeschool? Is it a comfortable balance?

      Terri

      Reply
      1. Simple Days Making for Exciting Adventures

        I actually do not “work.” I volunteer at a free medical clinic in our community. It is AMAZING!! If only, all healthcare worked the way this clinic worked. On Thursday nights, the clinic houses general MDs, a naturopath, a psychologist, a chiropractor, a physical therapist, a dietician, a social worker and a lab (also many other specialists come in once a month such as a dermatologist, a gynecologist, a endocrinologist, a pediatrician and now a physiatrist as well!) Every Thursday night is a beautiful dance! I am able to speak directly with an MD if I have a concern that a muscle ache may be something more. We get lab work done and then move on! Or as with the patient I recently saw I was able to refer to a dietician that evening. That was long winded! So, no I don’t work.. I did for three years and it was too much. I have volunteered for four years and I don’t see stopping that.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Wow. I have a friend who is trying to set up a clinic “like” this in SC. I know if she could have this, she’d be doing handsprings. It sounds amazing. Just wow. I think I need to get my family enrolled as patients there. 🙂 So glad you can work in this capacity. It sounds really special. Definitely not the norm.

      3. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        It must be very well run for the health care workers to keep coming. Because you know if it wasn’t, even our sense of giving can be overcome by paperwork… I’m working on spelling curriculum. LOL. What are you working on? 🙂

  6. Kristen

    I agree with what you’re saying. We eat pretty healthy- not all organic but mostly whole foods. My 6 yo
    was diagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis in the fall. She hasn’t had a flare/ symptoms since then- maybe diet is helping. Any specifics you’d recommend for treating, curing JRA?

    Reply
    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Dear Kristen,

      That is great to hear she hasn’t had a flare. I hope that continues! I haven’t read on JRA, although I continue to read lots on autoimmune disease in general. You may know all that I’m about to write. If so, disregard. I will write it in case another reader may not have heard of nutrition for autoimmune disease.

      So many autoimmune people have food intolerances and micronutrient deficiencies that it certainly points to a primary gut issue. Food is not broken down as it should be, and it elicits immune responses both locally in the gut and elsewhere. When the gut is inflamed it then can’t absorb nutrients. When the rest of the body is inflamed by food proteins, then antioxidants are used up excessively and even if they are absorbed, the demand is so great. The gut inflammation leads to changes in the bacterial flora (or there’s a great chance the gut flora disruption leads to all of these things I’m describing first, then setting up a horrible cascade or inflammation, production of negative bacterial metabolites, changes in gut pH, and mucus layer changes of the GI tract.)

      Following steps to restore a strong GI barrier would seem to be imperative in searching to cure. (In other words, curing “leaky” gut, or as it is known in medical studies–“increased intestinal permeability.”) Like adding in things that “voodoo” (I say that fondly) food diets try to incorporate: homemade broths rich in glutamine and glucosamine; fermented foods rich in gut friendly bacteria; homegrown foods which may have soil based bacteria still present on them which should be intrinsic to our own GI tracts; foods high in omega 3s to quell inflammation; spices that also boost anti-oxidant power like turmeric; foods rich in micronutrients like zinc, selenium, iodine (seafood is strong here); organ meats rich in vitamin A; a good source of vitamin E (red palm oil offers this–or nuts if tolerated); and so on. Removal of known pesky proteins, either by an autoimmune diet or by food allergy panel testing or by an elimination diet will help the inflammation to calm down quickly (gluten and dairy are often top offenders).

      Many studies, including the ones I briefly looked at just now for JRA, look at specific supplements to add in. Omega 3s (fish oil) and antioxidants are biggies. That could go on all day. I think it’s going to boil down to what a patient takes out (too many omega 6s, too many foods they’re intolerant to, too much sugar, too many preservatives, too many known inflammatory foods like refined grains or maybe grains in general, etc) AND what they put in (sources of probiotics either through food and/or supplements, omega 3s ideally with foods but maybe with supplementation, food sources of the fat soluble vitamins, etc). And probably cure would be too strong a word because it might imply that one could eat pizza again. That may never be possible, although for some maybe so.

      Whew. That was too long and maybe unnecessary. Hopefully it helps someone decide to learn more about nutrition in autoimmune disease. It is all my opinion and should not be used as medical advice. I’m still trying to sort out fact from fiction. Feedback always appreciated.

      Terri

      Reply
  7. Shannon

    It seems so crazy to me that people completely understand that if you feed a dog cake and doritos every day for a week or a month it will get sick. People don’t try to make their cat a vegetarian because it would die. So if it matters what dogs and cats eat then why are there still people who believe it doesn’t matter what humans eat? If chocolate and avocado and raisins can damage a dog’s insides, why is it so ludicrous to believe that wheat and soy and dairy can damage a human’s insides?

    Reply

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