“Always Check With Your Doctor First”

Puzzled male shrugging wearing lab coat

WHY?

What expertise does the average family practitioner have when it comes to making health recommendations regarding exercise and nutrition? The answer is usually NONE! Now some will argue, it is important to determine whether it is safe to begin exercising or changing a dietary pattern. I would respond, if it is necessary to ask your doctor, it is likely your health has already been compromised. What’s worse, this means your doctor wasn’t responsible enough to PROACTIVELY make the necessary recommendations BEFORE you came to him or her for advice.

Let’s pretend a health history does provide risk factors requiring modifications to dietary and exercise regimens. What specific recommendations have you EVER heard a doctor offer to custom tailor a plan to maximize patient potential? I’m used to hearing exercise recommendations like:

  • starting an exercise routine would be good for you, but don’t over do it.

  • walking would be good for you

  • you need to be less sedentary

  • you should really consider exercising

I’m used to hearing nutritional recommendations like:

  • eat more vegetables and fruits

  • eat more chicken and fish

  • eat less salt

  • eat less fast food

  • eat less fried foods

These types of answers proving the need to “always ask your doctor first” seems to lack merit. Doctors (trained in “doctoring”) are NOT EXPERTS in the fields of EXERCISE and NUTRITION and should refer their patients to professionals who are. For example,when a family doctor determines their patient has complicated hormonal issues, they refer them to an endocrinologist (a specialist dealing with hormones.) Why do family physicians without any formal training in nutrition and exercise feel qualified providing answers to these IMPORTANT categories that GREATLY affect one’s quality of health?

It’s time that doctors begin recognizing their limitations and provide REFERRALS for their patients to improve outcomes. In my opinion this will add to the credibility of the doctor and help the patient understand (in specific terms) what action steps are needed. Exercise recommendations by professionals in the industry will customize plans to target specific results the patient is looking to attain. Patients will be given resistive and cardio plans rather than instructions to “start an exercise program.” Patients will be given nutritional education by professionals so the patient understands their body’s needs and requirements. Number of meals, size of portions, types of foods, etc… will be based on individual needs. This will replace the recommendation to “eat more vegetables and fruits.”

We are not robots. We have good capable minds and we should be using them before following habitual patterns in life. Just because we have followed a certain pattern of behavior for decades, doesn’t mean this pattern is in our best interest. I suggest we LISTEN and THINK before taking ANY ACTION. Ask yourself, “ARE THESE GENERIC RECOMMENDATIONS OR DO THEY APPLY TO MY SPECIFIC NEEDS?” “HAVE I BEEN PROVIDED A CLEAR PLAN OF ACTION?” If the answer is NO, keep asking questions until your needs are met.

This advice will help place you in the driver’s seat giving you more control of your life and health.

But remember, before following any of these suggestions that will likely produce better results:

“ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST!”

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55 comments

  1. Strong post, Bold advice. I love it!

    My PCP always refers out nutritional advice. Always!!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think that is terrific. So are you currently going through periodic nutritional evaluations with a licensed nutritionist to make sure you’re on target to achieving your desired goals?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow I never thought of that way, but you are absolutely right. Much of the advice provided by doctors on nutritional health and exercise is not tailored to the patient. I guess we just assume that doctors know everything because of all the schooling we do.
    For example, I have been working out daily 5 days week alternating between resistance training (3 days) and cardio/running (2 days). I love it and its improving my health substantially. I am now in the process of aligning my food to match my new healthy lifestyle but I don’t know where to start and the advice on the internet can be overwhelming. My first thought was to ask my family doctor when I see him this weekend, but I think I will also check with a nutritionist to get a more tailored response to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You might first want to ask your doctor about his or her nutritional background. Good doctors have no problem confessing to limited exposure (if that is the case) and gladly refer to someone who can provide the answers you’re looking for. This is the role of the primary doctor; look for deficiencies and refer to those with experience to help guide the patient to achieving their desired goals. It’s funny how our brains still want to ask our doctors for nutritional advice because we have been trained to do so. I’m hoping one day the medical field recognizes the importance of nutrition and exercise and begins to incorporate it into their curriculum. Until they do, most doctors will not be a good source for patients to turn to for advice in these two areas of health.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved the post! The generic, one-size-fits-all answers don’t take into account personal needs or goals. After a back injury years ago, I lost weight and started exercising regularly (primarily cardio focused). I knew “something” was missing. It wasn’t until I sought out specific advice from someone with expertise in body training, that I understood the need to develop and strengthen my upper body. Two years of push-ups and specific upper body work have left me not only “healed” from the injury but with a back that feels twenty years younger. Walking and jogging would never have accomplished that alone.

    Thank you so much for putting this information out! It is a tremendous service to others!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Tanya. Your story reinforces the idea of this article. The focus is NOT to detract from a doctor’s competency, but rather to strengthen the role of the patient and his or her role in finding the best solutions for any deficiencies. Doctors are forced to wear too many hats. It is in the patient’s best interest to seek out professionals (preferably with the doctor’s referral) in cases where guidance outside their physician’s expertise is required. Nutrition and Exercise are two good examples. There certainly are others.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Very nice post and great advice! We have to think for ourselves and be responsible for our own health!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. Just trying to open people’s minds to a new way of thinking if they choose to. I am not trying to tell people how to live.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is really great to do that! Sometimes we just need a nudge or a different way to think

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Wise advice. I think for far too long we have been programmed to think a doctor will always know what is best for us (regarding nutrition and exercise). More importantly, we need to be more proactive with our own health action plan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Like you said, it’s all about how we’ve been programmed in the past and choosing whether or not we believe it might be in our best interest to think differently in future.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. donutsplace · · Reply

      Sometimes I wonder how in the world did these people become doctors? Seems many times the nurse knows more!
      I noticed many doctors overbook and run people through like cattle.
      Not all do, but quite a few.
      My daughters boyfriend was bitten by a tick. He was allergic to them they just said. They gave no antibiotics at all. Here, you do have many cases of Lyme and some other tick diseases. Usually if it os red and swollen, they give doxycycline. They did nothing for him. I understand many doctors overprecscribe medicines, especially antibiotics.
      Now it has spread to many places and not looking good at all. Now he has to see a dermatologist after 5 months of this.
      You have to know when to switch doctors. Some don’t want to do anything but bill insurances.
      And…so do get kickbacks from pill pushers that visit the doctors office. Say, like a vacation to a expensive place. They do that.
      But if you have some medical problems,get it checked out. And be sure to read the sideffects. Some prescribe medicine that you should not take because of another condition. Or a allergy. Double check.
      Never totally trust someone on your life. Even pharmacies. Double check.
      I’m not saying all doctors are bad. Some are…but some do know what they are doing.
      Thank goodness my health is good. I don’t like going to doctors much.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In an earlier post I wrote that consumers should schedule interviews with primary doctors as well as specialists to have a “team” to work with when and if needed. Don’t wait for an emergency to begin the process. When times are good, investigate, research and interview choices to establish relationships before mishaps.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. donutsplace · · Reply

          The guy i was talking about with the tick bite is my daughters boyfriend. He Is from up northeast and never had that problem.
          Here it is different for him.
          We usually check for ticks. ( I HATE those things. )
          The site seemed ok till a few days after. Then it began to turn colors. I told him to go to his doctor.
          His doctor is pretty sad for one…
          He doesn’t want to do things right. It is like pulling eye teeth.
          He has what some doctors have…”God syndrome. ”
          I hate that. It’s like talking to a closed book.
          They do not like it since they have the degree and you don’t.
          I do a lot of research. And I have caught many misdiagnoses some doctors didn’t catch. Plus, not to mention prescribing a medicine that they are highly allergic to. While It Is on file already. And one they left off.
          My daughter is a diabetic too. He has prescribed medicine that would actually kill a diabetic. Or cause the blood sugar to go nuts.
          It Is important a person find a good doctor that will listen to the patient too and not just blow them off.
          Many times a patient can tell them things that will help.
          Good doctors are getting hard to find. Seriously.
          I wish now I had got into holistic medicine. And had a degree for it. Or acupuncture.
          Western medicine…is still learning. Hopefully they will get it. o_O

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I think you will find the concept of “Functional Medicine” interesting. They seek the ROOT CAUSES for health issues and address the whole person in treatment recommendations. Since I know you like to research, you can look up Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Kelly Brogan. These are two M.D.’s I have a lot of respect for. I don’t necessarily agree with all their practices, but there is good efficacy in what they do.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. donutsplace · · Reply

              Thank you, I will look into it.
              There are some doctors that can think. πŸ™‚
              I have a few books written by doctors that are interested in getting at the root of the problem. And not just masking it. And some Native American Indian
              herbal books also.
              I imagine most of the medical profession is like a endless circle. That includes pharmaceuticals. One leads to another. One greases the palms of another.

              One thing that irks me is the problem with the being overweight. ( especially the tv commercials )

              They will not say GMO’s do cause that…among other things. So if you eat these things, it will add weight.
              It is a vicious circle we live with everyday. What foods to choose, how it is grown and where it is from.

              It maybe a bit overwhelming to people new to this, but the more you read and understand, the easier it will become in the longrun. And the better off a person will be. And you will feel the difference.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Just goes to prove that being healthy requires some learning as well as ACTIVE participation. We need more donutsplaces to teach this world it is possible to achieve a healthier and happier life.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. donutsplace · ·

                  You make me blush…lol.
                  We need more places like yours too.
                  We are never too old to change our lifestyle.

                  I was once a vegetarian. I know it is not for everyone, but it was the best I had ever felt in my life. πŸ™‚
                  But a person has to make sure of being able to get the right protein and nutrients.
                  I love my vegetables. ( and meat too sometimes.)
                  Sometimes I will eat a meatless meal. I had more energy back then….;)

                  Liked by 1 person

        2. donutsplace · · Reply

          I forgot to mention her primary doctor sent her to a foot specialist that does work for diabetics too. She is diabetic.
          The doctor told her to soak her foot in some Epsom salt.
          A big no no for a diabetics. It will cause wild swings in her blood sugars.
          They just don’t seem to have good doctors here.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Steroids are another commonly prescribed medication that will play havoc with blood sugar. Like you said, it can be difficult to find a good qualified COMPATIBLE doctor.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. donutsplace · · Reply

              Being a diabetic is a pretty hard thing to handle sometimes. She is type 1, which is genetic. Type 2 is different.
              She had to teach herself how to handle many things by herself. She had no support where she was.
              But there are many foods that can actually help diabetes. But, most of the medical profession will not tell a person this.
              It is crazy how things are sometimes.
              Especially when you have a glucose meter that will read higher than your own doctor. Silly I know….
              Hers will read over 600. Her doctors wouldn’t.
              When diabetics get sick, it can raise your blood sugar.
              But..luckily there are great foods that can work with diabetes.
              People need to be taught what foods are better for a person. And that will make a persons life much easier and healthier in the end.
              And once a person knows, they have more control over what and how they eat, exercise and live.
              Your site will show people this.
              Change CAN be good! πŸ™‚

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Hopefully people WILL want to learn and develop the skills to live a healthier and ultimately happier life. It requires learning and a little investment in time, but the payoff is so worth it.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. donutsplace · ·

                  So true!

                  Like

      2. You make some good points my friend. Sorry, to hear about your daughter’s boyfriend. I have listened carefully to Doctor Jonathan. He advocates a more proactive role take by us. Too many people rely on doctor’s decisions and his prescription pad. Too many times, patients believe they are leading a healthy life because they are taking their blood pressure medication daily (for example). Yet, that same patient is not doing anything (exercise and changes in eating habits) to eventually come off of the medications and truly lead a healthy life. While many doctors have a knee jerk reaction treating illnesses with a prescription, people are just as guilty for not living a healthy life that could prevent it.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. donutsplace · · Reply

          True.
          When you look back in time, our foods, diet and way of life ( exercising to go find your food ) has changed drastically. Now we are much more sedentary, compared to back then.
          One thing I had to tell my husband was, ” where do you think medicine came from in the first place?”
          It came from plants to start.
          Then they made it synthetic.
          Then they changed it too. Some to have had side effects. Look at the fine print on tv for new medications. It is worse than the problem. But they have people scared to not try it. That makes more jobs for certain people. And not good ones.

          The good wholesome food is always best.
          A person has to be aware of what they eat.
          Gradual changes made to the diet will help.

          We support the food industry when it gets down to it. And we should be able to say no to bad foods.
          After all, we pay for it. And it is time people made a better change for ourselves.
          There is nothing better than a healthy balanced diet of fresh food and exercise. Exercise does not have to be hard or fast.
          I know the cure for what ails us are still out there. We just have to find it. And use it.
          We live in a too fast paced life that makes it hard to be able to slow down and enjoy life and our food like we ought to.
          Spend time with our family, kids, pets…
          Stress is caused by living with too many how to’s or what if’s. Among other factors.

          We only have one life. Let us try to take care of It.
          Educate ourselves. And make time…before that slips.away from us.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Educating ourselves is so important. That is why I am grateful I followed this blog and the good Doctor woke me up to the realities of our health. Thanks for conversing with me. Have a great weekend.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. donutsplace · · Reply

              You too!

              Liked by 1 person

  6. I love my MD, she did refer me to a nationalist….of course I accepted and was amazed at how much help she has been…will see her again when I go back in July…another good post my friend….kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Now there is a progressive thinker. Hats off to your family MD!

      Like

      1. shes young and smart….I really like her…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My husband’s VA doctor prescribed a weight loss drug called phen-something. He told my husband that the Veterans Administration, which has paid for ALL of his medications since we were married in 2004, would not pay for this one, so he would have to get the Rx filled elsewhere. (My husband is on 100% VA disability due to PTSD from combat in Vietnam and Agent Orange related health problems.)

    My husband took the prescription to a Walmart pharmacy, then brought the drug home. When my stepdaughter and I saw it, we both nearly had a stroke. Aside from all the reasons why a “normal” person should never take this dangerous drug, my husband has multiple reasons why he cannot safely take it. One, his age: 67. Side effects are worse as we age, particularly with this type of drug. Two, he has had two heart attacks. Three, he is already taking two prescription meds which strongly interact with this drug: Zoloft, which can lead to seratonin syndrome, and a beta blocker. Fourth, my husband has high blood pressure. And fifth, he is a recovered alcoholic and this phen drug is highly addictive.

    There is no way that any medical doctor, knowing his medical history and current prescriptions, should have prescribed that horribly dangerous drug for my husband! I took it away from him. I refused to let him take it. My husband got very upset. He reminded me that I am only an LPN, not an MD, and that his doctor had determined that the benefits outweigh the risks.

    I am still shaking, just thinking about it. I WILL be going with him the next time my best friend husband goes to see this brilliant doctor. My stepdaughter intends to get off work and go, too.

    Right, ask your doc how to lose weight and get in shape, see what he has to say….

    Liked by 2 people

    1. With shortened office visits and increased patient scheduling, I’m surprised mistakes aren’t seen more frequently. It seems like many doctors truly believe that the solutions to health and weight problems can be found in a pill. Pharmaceutical interactions when taking multiple pills is truly unknown in many cases. Teaching people how to take back control of their lives and improve their health is simply not the given protocol. I’m thankful for your husband that you stepped in and think your stepdaughter will be a great asset as well at the next office visit. Common sense would dictate the pharmaceutical recommendations without lifestyle intervention would never achieve the desired goals. We need to gain our doctor’s attention from the computer monitor and express our concerns about the treatment recommendations directly to their faces.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. This addictive diet pill, phentermine, has caused heart attacks and strokes. I can’t understand what this doctor was thinking, given my husband’s medical history.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. donutsplace · · Reply

          I could tell you, but many people would be in denial.
          I know the va system pretty well.
          They do that to many vets. And many do not catch the mistakes like you did.
          Stay on the ball and question everything. Especially the medicines and their effects. πŸ˜‰

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Sometimes doctors focus more on the symptoms they are aiming to address than the overall health of their patients. Sometimes good intentions lead to disastrous outcomes.

          Liked by 2 people

  8. Hey Dr J. This is very good advice. If everyone took the same advice, it could be really bad.

    Advice: seeds and nuts are very healthy for everyone, we should eat them. – Not for someone with nut allergies, that could be have catastrophic results.

    Advice: Everyone should exercise, go running etc. – Not for someone with a heart condition, even young people can have heart attacks.

    Etc etc

    it is important to understand the situation like you say πŸ™‚

    Tristan

    Liked by 1 person

  9. People need to combine knowledge and common sense and create a REALISTIC game plan to attaining better health. Most people take it for granted until symptoms become visible. Being Proactive and incorporating lifestyle habits that create physical, mental and emotional balance generally leads to healthier living. Each individual’s needs are different (as you mention) and must be taken into account when devising a game plan.

    Like

  10. As I have said before Doc, my own GP is pretty bloody amazing so I am very lucky that he see’s the long term in all he diagnoses. No “quick fixes” with him means that he understands the modern world, what makes people healthy and how to maintain their health.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having a good doctor in your corner adds confidence as well. It’s nice knowing someone “has your back!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally true πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I have a great internal medecine dr. Who accepts and supports my choices, like not getting mammograms very often and using St Johns Wort and Motherwort that I grow and tincture, for SAD and anxiety. She knows I practice yoga etc. That being said, I went through a bad patch caring for parents and I accepted her advice to use Lexipro for a short time, so I could sleep and therefore function. I am lucky I known alternative practitioners but adding people like that to their practice would also be great.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my opinion your use of pharmaceuticals is a perfect example of their benefit as well as your understanding for their limited usage. If more people used medications this way, better health would be achieved. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences and helping me explain the most effective use of synthetic drugs.

      Like

  12. Fantastic post Jonathan. I am very fortunate to have a doctor who gladly does the necessary referrals πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just might have to recommend people start moving to your “neck of the woods.” Seems like you have progressive thinking doctors and wonderful food preparers (you inclusive) to keep people healthy! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is very kind of you, thank you ! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        1. People like to emulate success. Your comments have proven you to live a life of good lifestyles and habits that promote good health. People need to see this in “action.”

          Liked by 1 person

  13. My panel of specialists are very good and kind. They consult me as I consult them to treat me. We agree on drugs and surgical procedures though I am patient. Yet we become good friends😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the type of relationship that would benefit ALL patients and doctors. Thank you for sharing this comment. As other readers see the reality in establishing this type of arrangement, more people will be able to benefit.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most welcome. As a patient, I must work with my doctor. As my doctor they listen and hear. My anaesthiosologist is a zen master and would sit with me post surgery in my ward to do meditation. Dr Boey Wah Keong is superb!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Doesn’t sound like a health care system basing success on spreadsheets maximizing patient visit averages with individual office visit fees. A breath of FRESH AIR!

          Liked by 1 person

  14. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to tears at work so I
    decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my phone ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, amazing site!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Greetings back from North Carolina!
      Glad you’re enjoying my postings. Although my passion is health, it can be challenging to write about the subject without boring people. I try to challenge my readers with perspectives they are rarely exposed to. My goal is to help the consumer become more informed to help them make the best possible informed decisions regarding their health. I do not intend to tell people what to do, but rather share information to help reveal sides of issues they may be unaware of. My concern is people are not being provided qualitative viable options outside of traditional western medicine ALONE.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. that’s wonderful, thanks for your info,.. I think this is great blog

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Feel free at any time to add your opinion; we all learn from each other.

      Like

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