Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Choose your Doctors Wisely

First off, I must apologise for posting as infrequently as I am at present. I will be sailing across the South Atlantic Ocean in January, competing in the Cape to Rio yacht race from Cape Town, South Africa, to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Ahead of my departure for the start of that race I am very busy completing as much work as I can and working very long hours. That leaves little time for writing on my Psoriasis Spot blog.

Yesterday I was chatting to someone who had called me to talk about psoriasis. He is very seriously afflicted and is on one of the biologic drugs. I don't use any prescription drugs of any kind because I don't want to intentionally put anything into my body that will weaken my immune system in any way. I believe that weakening my immune system is going to open the doors to all manner of possible infections and one of those infections will be serious enough that it may be the cause of my demise.

I am a very active person and hardly a month goes by that I don't open up a big hole in my skin through some activity or other. Last month it was a collision with my surfboard that left my head bleeding and my left ear ringing for 4 weeks. This month it has been a big gash in my hand when a socket spanner exploded under load while doing a brake job on my wife's car. Both were in situations that can definitely not be described as clean conditions, so infection is a very real possibility. Anyway, you get the message. I am not going to undermine the sterling job that my immune system is doing in protecting me from my own stupidity.

While chatting to this man I asked him about his diet and he told me that his doctor had told him that diet has no effect at all on psoriasis. The doctor put him onto various prescribed medications and eventually onto the biologic drug as a last resort. I agree with this in only one respect. The biologic drug should have been the last resort. But, the last resort option means that you have already tried everything else and none of it worked. The fact that this doctor said that diet does not affect psoriasis means that there was an option that he did not try before choosing the "last resort" drug option. It also means that he is uneducated in the research that has been going on for decades into diet and psoriasis and it means that he has a closed mind to alternatives outside of his drug solutions.

I have a major problem with this. It may come from the fact that I spent most of my life in South Africa, where the doctors are not trained in schools that are heavily sponsored by the drug companies. The result is that in SA the doctors that I was able to choose had an open mind about options outside of the influence of the big drug companies. Here in USA the drug companies hold too much financial influence over the training of the medical profession, so there is a strong leaning toward popping pills and jabbing flesh with hypodermic syringes instead of encouraging healthy eating habits.

I have also noticed that many of the doctors and nurses here really aren't as healthy as they should be. They are health-care professionals and should know what is good and what is bad for people. It is very apparent that many of them don't know, or they really don't care. Whichever it is, I don't want any doctor or nurse who is in self-inflicted bad health to give me any advice about how to treat my body.

If your doctor is unfit, obese, drinks heavily or smokes, why would you want them to look after your health? They obviously don't know how to treat their own bodies and will do no better on yours. I say, walk out the door and find a doctor and nurse who are in prime health to take over your care.

I know that I am not the "average person" when it comes to my health-care habits. I very seldom visit doctors of any description but when I do I want it to be a doctor in whom I have confidence that the advice will be balanced and well considered by someone who knows good health options from bad ones.

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