Alternative Health or Doctors
I have been writing my blog and giving out advice for several years now. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have around alternative health is the role of the doctor. It is assumed that if you are treating your diabetes or other issues with proper diet and or exercise, you must never see a doctor. This is absolutely not the case for me. Everything I do is in full working relationship with my doctor, we may not always agree on everything, but we understand each other.
I really want to clear this up with everyone, I still do my quarterly diabetic checkup. I have blood draws to check my A1c, liver enzymes, cholesterol, and kidney functions. I still have diabetes and I want to make sure that my plan is still working. I have kept my A1c in the low 5’s for over a year, but over time my cholesterol has climbed some. This tells me I may need to tweak my keto with less saturated fats. My doctor would rather me on statins and maybe it will make sense for me at some point, my Dad suffered several heart attacks, so I am at higher risk. All my personal health plan is backed by what my doctor and I talk about.
What brings this subject up is from a conversation in a chat room. I had stated that I was controlling my diabetes with a keto lifestyle and was off all my medications. Someone commented that their family member managed their diabetes holistically and died from complications in their late fifties. It was very evident from these comments that they were not checking, just assuming all was good and then it was too late. No one wants something like this to happen. Just because you're trying to manage your health in a more holistic way doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow up with tests and track your progress.
Our doctors have a purpose in our life, and we should listen to them, but this also means that we should be educated on whatever plan we may want to follow. We should educate ourselves on our own health and understand whether there is a benefit or risk. No one should just blindly follow anyone’s advice without researching it. Be willing to discuss your plan with your doctor, be willing to compromise on certain things. One example for me was Metformin. My doctor wanted me on Metformin, but I had severe digestive issues with it. We agreed that if I could keep my A1c in line over time, she would not push Metformin. I agreed that if my numbers creeped up and I couldn’t control them I would retry Metformin. So far, I am on the winning side, but that could change at any time.
I have had the pleasure to work with several doctors that are willing to try more holistic approaches in their practice and have really enjoyed the teamwork. But unfortunately, not all doctors are this agreeable and see meds as the only answer. You must decide if you can build a working relationship with your doctor. Be open, communicate and please study what you want to achieve and know the pros and cons. When you have good data and facts, it is much easier to build a working relationship. But just throwing false information out is not going to help.
I hope that you can find a healthy lifestyle that works for you and that your doctor will help you along the way. It shouldn’t be Alternative Health or Doctor, but a collaboration.