Don't Medicate; Educate!

Educate or Medicate



An old proverb says, "Give someone a fish to eat today and you must give him a fish tomorrow. Teach someone to fish, and he can always have food." 

Dare to apply this to health care! Your physician should teach more than prescribe. For drugs, we will always be dependent on pharmacies and doctors. For health, we will ultimately be dependent upon ourselves. We must learn how to live. Research has clearly indicated that close to half of all cancer is caused by bad diet. This is true for heart disease as well. We need specific, useful and effective education to save lives now. 


 * Eat less fat?  Certainly. Better still, EAT LESS MEAT. Even lean meat is 11% saturated fat. Vegetarians have far less cancer and heart disease. Dean Ornish, M.D. put patients on a vegetarian diet and stress-reduction program with exercise. His patients REVERSED heart disease in one year. There are over 12 MILLION vegetarians in America. Join up today! Learn by doing; see how much better you feel. 

 * Homework: Encourage someone you know to stop smoking. Tobacco kills more Americans in ONE YEAR than all U.S. soldiers killed in all of World War II. Nine out of ten smokers say they'd like to quit. Nine out of ten who HAVE quit simply stopped smoking. No meetings, no techniques, no products; they just stopped. 

 * Lose excess weight effortlessly by vegetable juice fasting. It is easy and it works. Vegetables are low calorie and very nutritious. If you don't want to juice them, just eat them as salad. You can't hurt yourself with produce, and you can't get fat on it, either. It is simple to learn and to do.  You might want to read my dieting and juicing articles for some practical tips. 

 * America is constipated, and this is no joke. The average American gets only about 10 grams of fiber daily. A vegetarian gets 50 grams or more. Meat has no fiber whatsoever. More fiber reduces the risk of bowel cancer, as well as that of colitis, diverticulitis, spastic colon and hemorrhoids. Give a diabetic more dietary fiber and s/he will require less insulin. No need to buy fiber in a jar. Eat a largely salad diet and the raw vegetables guarantee a good supply. That's what gorillas do. You will never meet a constipated gorilla. We need to take our lessons from nature. 

 * Remember that your librarian is a great health resource. So are all those books that your taxes put in the library. Use them to learn much more. 

 * If you don't have the money or the time to go to medical school, you tend to become way too dependent on the pronouncements of a doctor. Medical education is not for the privileged few. Here is how to know what your doctor knows for less than the cost of a physical (or for free, if you use the library): 

   1. Obtain a copy of The Merck Manual in the latest edition. (Merck & Co, Rahway, NJ). This is the "Cliff Notes" of medical school: nearly everything most doctors do is in this single volume. It is easy to look up anything quickly because of the excellent cross-referenced index and thumb-indexed chapters. 

   2. To assist with any necessary deciphering of medical terms, I suggest you also have a good medical dictionary handy. There are several available (such as Taber's Medical Dictionary or the Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine and Nursing by Miller and Keane). 

These books elevate your health education to a whole new level of confidence and competency. You don't have to know everything. If that were possible, there wouldn't be any medical specialists. You can still go to the doctor (after all, even doctors go to doctors); now you can better judge the value of medical services rendered. Remember that your doctor works for you and not the other way around. Consider your doctor to be your sub-contractor, your consultant. Getting a doctor's opinion does not mean you have to follow it. It is your body, and how you want a health concern handled is your decision. You can only make a good decision if you are fully informed. Knowledge is power, and health knowledge is healing power. 

 * For a second opinion, it is wise to read books on natural healing. Alternative health techniques are well proven and non-prescription. A health food store, library or bookstore will have many titles to help you. You may want to read my Annotated Bibliographies of favorite health books. 

 * It is remarkable how much we learn in school that we promptly forget. It is equally amazing how we are often never taught what we really need to know. Here's a well-kept secret: the less you spend on food, the healthier your diet is likely to be. Packaged, processed and pricey foods are the least nutritious. Read the label and marvel at the wonderful ways chemistry is used today. You can avoid those additives, save money and eat better by avoiding 95% of what is in a supermarket. Buy rice, beans, yogurt, fresh produce... and check out. 

 * My family of four spent one-half of what most families pay to eat. Remember that the protein in dairy products is just as good as meat protein. Any grain and any legume (peas, beans and lentils) together make complete protein that is fully equivalent to meat. It is difficult to believe that you can be healthier and save money doing it. (In Washington, lawmakers seem to find this concept especially elusive!) An even bigger surprise awaits you: simple, real-food meals TASTE better as well. 

Copyright  C  2004 and prior years Andrew W. Saul. 

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


AN IMPORTANT NOTE:  This page is not in any way offered as prescription, diagnosis nor treatment for any disease, illness, infirmity or physical condition.  Any form of self-treatment or alternative health program necessarily must involve an individual's acceptance of some risk, and no one should assume otherwise.  Persons needing medical care should obtain it from a physician.  Consult your doctor before making any health decision. 

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