The Medical Establishment Will Stop Treating People Like Cattle – An Autobiographical Book Report with Personal Commentary by Gary S. Smolker on Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.’s book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease,” Tom Rath’s book “Eat Move Sleep” and David Perlmutter, M.D.’s book “Grain Brain.” This Is an Autobiographical Book Report Which Describes Steps Personally Taken by Gary S. Smolker to Put into Action Ideas, Opinions and Theories Presented in Those Books As A Way to Prevent Heart Attacks, Prevent Stroke, Prevent Diabetes, Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. This Book Report Also Contains Commentary on (a) The Current State of Medical Knowledge, (b) The Current State of Medical Practice and (c) How The Practice of Medicine Is Currently Undergoing A Process of Creative Destruction. This Book Report Also Presents A Predictive Look Over the Horizon at the Future of Medicine, the Future of the Health Care Industry and Future Medical Practices Related to the On-going Creative Destruction of the Current Practice of Medicine. (PART ONE)

Take Away

I read the three books referred to in the title of this book report because

  • I am interested in preventing diabetes, reversing heart disease, preventing stroke, and preventing cognitive impairment (i.e., preventing memory loss, loss of mental acuity, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.).
  • I want to preserve and improve my mental faculties.
  • I want to live a vibrant healthy life.
  • I want to know if it is safe for me to be taking cholesterol lowering medicine.  Relatedly, I want to know if it is safe for me to continue taking the cholesterol lowering medicine that I am currently taking.
  • I want to know if it is a waste and/or if it is unreasonably dangerous for me to continue taking any of the prescription medications I am currently taking.
  • I want to understand the impact of the prescription medicines I am currently taking on my short term and long term health and well-being.
  • I want to understand the impact of the foods I consume on my health.

In this book report

  • I comment on some of the ideas, opinions, theories and facts presented in the three books listed in the title of this book report.
  • I report on changes I have made in my life for “medical reasons.”
  • I report on steps I am taking in my life in attempt to prevent having a heart attack, in an attempt to reverse heart disease, in an attempt to avoid having a stroke, in an attempt to avoid having diabetes, and in an attempt to preserve and improve my mental faculties.
  • I also report on steps I have taken in my own life in my attempts to receive more efficient and more effective medical care and on frustrations and disappointments I have experienced while doing so.

I have read Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D.’s book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” three times, Tom Rath’s book “Eat Move Sleep” once, and part of David Perlmutter, M.D.’s book “Grain Brain.”

Previously, I read William Davis’ “Wheat Belly”, John A. McDougall’s “The Starch Solution”, and parts of Mark Hyman’s “The Blood Sugar Solution” and JJ Virgin’s “The Virgin Diet” because I wanted to lose weight and to avoid having diabetes and to avoid having a heart attack and wanted to know what I should do about being “overweight”, and how to lower my  blood sugar level, my triglyceride level and my total cholesterol and “bad cholesterol” levels.

It is not a secret that the practice of medicine is controversial or that the current practice of medicine is extremely inefficient and wasteful.

I have heard it said by a world renown cardiologist that at least one third of prescription medicines don’t work and that many backfire.

There is a groundswell of disappointment at the lack of personal attention and information physicians give patients.

Tremendous frustration is generated by the hoarding of information by medical professionals which leads to lack of opportunity to digest lab test information before meeting with a physician to discuss lab results, and at the flippant way physicians report, if and when they or their office reports lab test results to patients.

The public is frustrated by the fact that its interests and the medical professions interests are not aligned.

The practice of medicine in the future will be transformed because of public reaction to the disconnect between the profit making goals of the medical industry and the wellness goals of people.

People are in revolt at the focus and priorities of the pill driven mentality of the medical profession focused on producing office visit income for physicians, producing laboratory testing income for medical laboratories and producing pill producing income for pharmaceutical companies rather than on maximizing the amount of relevant helpful preventive health information, reporting and monitoring provided to patients.

Every thinking person realizes that society can not afford the way medicine is being practiced today.

There is no doubt in my mind that in the future the use of smart phones will change the way medicine is practiced.

Wireless medicine is coming.  Patients with chronic disease can be monitored in real time from their own homes.

Medicine has entered the digital age.

The use of electronic medical record keeping is expanding.  It now enables doctors and scientists to scour hundreds of thousands of patient records in seconds to find specific pieces of information they need in their work.

For the first time it is technically possible to plug every doctor, every patient, and every hospital, university and laboratory in the world in top a single healthcare data system.

The power of such a unified system to improve health and fight disease is almost beyond imagining.

At the most fundamental level, data and information technology promise to transform medicine from what it has long been – an art – into much more of a rigorous, objective science.

Hopefully, electronic medical record systems will soon be able to make predictions, based on scientific evidence concerning the outcomes of particular interventions — hopefully through the use of computers doctors will make better decisions, patients will enjoy better outcomes, and the cost of treatment will be reduced.

Currently, there are over 7,000 self-tracking apps for smart phones.

I use a health monitoring smart phone app called Fitbit to track how many steps I take each day because I want to take at least 10,000 steps per day.

A Fitbit can also be used to track how many hours a person’s sleeps each day, how many calories you “burn”, the number of calories eaten and number of fluid ounces of liquid consumed each day as well as how much you weigh each day.

Other apps make other medically useful measurements.

The market for such gadgets is exploding.

The use of such devices theoretically will lead people into lifestyles that promote good health.

Smart phone apps are available today by which a person can track, calculate, plan and research just about anything health related and personalize that information.

In the not too distant future we may be checking our vital signs on our phones.

I can envision a future in which physicians will prescribe more “smart phone apps” than drugs.

The Cleveland Clinic has a computerized registry called the Cardiovascular Information Registry.  As of 2013, the registry includes data on more than 220,000 patients.

In “The Cleveland Clinic Way” Toby Cosgrove, MD says, “Soon a patient will be able to enter her information into a ‘comprehensive risk calculator’ that uses algorithms to calculate the patient’s risk of complications or success based on the experience of thousands or even millions of other patients, taking into account all the specifics of the patient’s situation. Cleveland Clinic already has some risk calculators online.  Although they’re primarily for doctors, consumers can use them as well.”

Dr. Cosgrove also says:

  • In the twenty-first century, no provider can afford to offer anything less than the best clinical, physical and emotional experience.  As patients become savvier, they will increasingly judge health care providers not only on clinical outcomes but on their ability to show compassion and deliver, patient-centered care.
  • Medical professionals are thus feeling increasing pressure not just to talk about empathy but to take steps to demonstrate real compassion, even while lowering costs.
  • Medical centers, like all businesses, need customers more than customers need them.

By the way, the statements, opinions and ideas expressed by me in this book report are either taken from what I read in the books mentioned above or are my own.

The most striking thoughts I took from reading the books written by Esselstyn, Rath and Perlmutter are:

  1. There is a general consensus that the typical American diet, what most Americans eat, is toxic.
  2. The current practice of medicine with respect to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and brain health is extremely inefficient, primitive and wasteful.
  3. If you take cholesterol lowering medication and are “physically fit” that does not guarantee you will not have a heart attack or that you will not have a stroke and the cholesterol lowering drug you are taking might increase the odds that you will get Alzheimer’s disease and/or that you will get diabetes.
  4. With respect to preventing heart attacks, experts disagree on what to eat, what not to eat, and what medication (if any) to take.  You might “die” learning which one is right.
  5. They disagree on whether having low cholesterol is good for you or bad for you. They disagree on whether or not your total cholesterol or so called “bad cholesterol” level matters.
  6. They disagree on whether taking cholesterol lowering drugs is good for you or bad for you.
  7. They disagree on whether your cholesterol level is a good predictor of the chance/probability/risk of you having a heart attack or a stroke.
  8. They disagree on whether eating meat and eggs is good for you or dangerous, bad for you.
  9. They disagree on whether having a high carbohydrate diet is good for you or bad for you.
  10. They disagree on whether eating wheat and wheat products is a good idea, is safe or will cause you harm.
  11. They disagree on whether the so called Mediterranean diet (i.e., consuming so called healthy oils, virgin olive oil and/or canola oil) is good for you or will harm you.
  12. They disagree on whether eating dairy products will be harmful to you.
  13. They disagree on whether fish consumption is harmful or helpful.
  14. Their state of knowledge (understanding)  of what causes heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, memory loss, and cognitive impairment seems conjectural to me.
  15. Expert opinions and explanations of what “causes” heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease etc., and their prescription(s) for preventing heart attacks, strokes, etc. seems to me to based on a fallacy which has been recognized since Roman times (400 BC) – post hoc ergo propter hac – it follows this, therefore it was caused by that.
  16. It is a logical fallacy if one event follows another the former must have caused the latter.  If that were the case, medical science would dictate that male baldness causes men to die because so many men lose their hair years before they die.
  17. Much current advice by the medical profession regarding what should be done to prevent heart disease, etc. – reported by Dr. Esselstyn in “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” and reported by Dr. Perlmutter in “Grain Brain” – appears to me to be based on the logical fallacy post hoc, ergo propter hac (that because one event follows another the former must have caused the latter).
  18. It appears to me, that medical doctors are guessing when they prescribe cholesterol lowering medications, i.e., they guessing that if you take the cholesterol lowering medication they have prescribed that it will do more good for you then the harm it will cause (i.e., it will be more beneficial than detrimental).
  19. The only thing that is true is that you are going to die.
  20. All medicines cause effects.  Some of those effects are known and some of those effects are unknown.
  21. It is likely that any medicine I take to lower my blood cholesterol level will cause “some effect”; it is not clear to me whether the effect or effects caused by this medication will overall be to my benefit or be to my detriment.
  22. One expert (Esselstyn) theorizes that if you lower the cholesterol level in your blood and eat a plant based diet (including grains) you will lower the risk of having a heart attack, while another expert (Perlmutter) theorizes that if you lower the cholesterol level in your blood and/or eat a diet which includes grains [i.e., wheat products (gluten)] such as bread, you will increase the likelihood of brain degeneration, i.e. of having Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, memory loss, cognitive impairment.
  23. Here is what Perlmutter says about cholesterol in “Grain Brain”: Cholesterol is at most a minor player in coronary heart disease and represents an extremely poor predictor of heart attack risk.  Over half of all patients hospitalized with a heart attack have cholesterol levels in the “normal” range.  The idea that aggressively lowering cholesterol levels, will somehow magically and dramatically reduce heart attack risk has now been fully and categorically refuted….when I see patients with cholesterol levels of say, 240 mg/dl or higher, it’s almost a given that they will have received a prescription for a cholesterol lowering medication from their general practitioner.  This is wrong in thought and action.  As discussed, cholesterol is one of the most critical chemicals in human physiology, especially as it relates to brain health.  The best lab report to refer to in determining one’s health status is hemoglobin A1c, not cholesterol levels.  It is rarely, if ever, appropriate to consider high cholesterol alone to be a significant threat to health.”
  24. Here is what Esselstyn says in “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”: … no one who achieves and maintains total blood cholesterol of 150 mg/dl and LDL levels below 80 mg/dl – using strict plant-based nutrition and, when necessary, low doses of cholesterol-reducing drugs – experiences progression of heart disease.  Many, in fact, are able to rejoice at clear medical evidence that they have actually reversed the effect of their disease…. I am convinced from my research and from counseling hundreds of patients with heart disease that you, like them, can make yourself heart-attack proof.
  25. “Our research data have clearly confirmed that we were right.  My patients’ decision to enter the study not only put an end to the progression of their disease; the information we have gleaned from their experience has set a new gold standard in the therapy for coronary artery disease.  We can arrest and reverse it.  We can make ourselves heart-attack-proof.  Coronary artery disease need not exist, and if it does, it need not progress.”
  26. In general, physicians do not provide their patients with information patients need in order to make informed decisions about preventing heart attacks, preventing strokes, preventing diabetes, or provide worthwhile information on how to maintain their mental faculties.
  27. Perlmutter claims the two biggest myths are (1) a low-fat, high-carb diet is good and (2) cholesterol is bad.  Perlmutter claims study after study shows that high cholesterol reduces your risk for brain disease and increases longevity.
  28. With respect to preventing heart disease, stroke, diabetes and brain diseases, in general, physicians do not efficiently or effectively provide their patients (such as myself) with sufficient quality information – about the debate briefly outlined above or any other aspect of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, brain diseases, etc. – to enable their patients to make well informed decisions about what to do to increase their chances of living a vibrant healthy life.
  29. Instead, physicians treat their patients like unthinking robots.
  30. In general, medical doctors are not trained in nutrition; they are trained in writing prescriptions and treating symptoms.
  31. I am intuitively sure there is an overlap between what Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Perlmutter recommend.
  32. By the way, I do not believe that wet streets cause rain.
  33. I am going to think about that.

Personal Perspective

On September 14, 2013, I had a heart attack and was rushed to a hospital in Toronto, Canada while I was having a heart attack.

At the hospital it was determined that one of my coronary arteries was 100% blocked and two other coronaries arteries were seriously blocked.

The three blocked arteries were opened up by angioplasty and a stent was inserted in each artery.

After that, a friend told me that having a stent in an artery does not solve the underlying problem that caused the artery to be blocked in the first place.

My friend told me, You still have heart disease.  Inserting a stent in a “blocked artery” that has been opened by angioplasty does not cure heart disease.  STOP what you are doing right now and read “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.”  He was a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and he has a proven track record.

That friend told me that I need to prevent and/or reverse the underlying problem (the disease) that caused me to have a heart attack.

My friend told me my underlying problem had to be my “diet” – what I was eating; the issue is not being physically fit, not being in “good shape”, not exercising enough, many “fit” people have/had heart attacks.

He told me that I should read and follow the advice given in Dr. Esselstyn’s book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.”

I followed my friend’s advice.

Dr. Esselstyn’s message is: coronary artery disease is preventable, and even after it is underway, its progress can be stopped, its insidious effects reversed.

After I completed reading “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease three times I began following Dr. Esselstyn’s recommendations.

I am still following Dr. Esselstyn’s recommendations.

Provocative Ideas and Opinions I Took Away As a Result of  Reading “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”, “Eat Move Sleep” and “Grain Brain”

HEART DISEASE

In fully one out of four patients with heart disease, the first symptom is sudden death.

In the course of a lifetime, one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some form of heart disease that could have been prevented by eating the right food.

Heart disease, stroke, diabetes and brain diseases are largely preventable by eating the right food and are uniquely tied together.

How long you live your life is more about how you live your life and less about how long your parents lived.

In was observed in 1995 that by the age of twelve, 70 percent of American children had fatty deposits in their arteries, the precursors of heart disease.

In the United States, heart disease is the number one killer.

The United States contains just 5 percent of the global population, but every year physicians in American hospitals perform more than 50 percent of all angioplasties and bypass procedures in the entire world.

Unfortunately, about half of all angioplasties performed in the United States each year are unnecessary.

“Interventional cardiologists earn hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, and particularly busy ones make millions.  In addition, cardiology procedures generate huge revenues for hospitals.”

“All told, there has been little incentive for physicians to study alternative ways to manage disease, so the mechanical/procedural approach continues to dominate the profession even though it offers little to the unsuspecting millions about to become the next victims of disease.”

“HEALTH CARE, to put it mildly, is an industry out of control.

“If we don’t make some major changes, projections show that by the year 2014, spending on health care will account for one-fifth of America’s gross domestic product.

“By the middle of this century, spending on Medicare alone will consume an estimated 40% of the U.S. budget.

“This is unsustainable.

“Starbucks, one of the most successful companies of the past two decades, recently announced that it is spending more on health care for employees than it spends on coffee beans.”

SUGAR IS A TOXIN

Every bite of food you take is a small but important choice.

  • Sugar is a toxin.
  • It fuels heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity.
  • Much like cigarettes, sugars are addictive.  Each time you eat sweets, it causes your brain to want more sugar.
  • Your brain builds a tolerance to sugar over time.  As a result, once you consume sugar your body needs larger quantities over time to mimic the pleasurable sensation.
  • At the current dose we consume, more than 150 pounds per person per year, sugar and its derivatives kill more people than cocaine, heroin or any other controlled substance.
  • Sugar is “candy” for cancer cells.
  • It accelerates aging and inflammation in the body and subsequently fuels tumor growth.
  • What you eat can greatly reduce the risk of cancers growing and spreading.
  • It is clear if you lower your sugar intake, you reduce the odds of cancer.
  • Half of all men and one third of all women in America will be diagnosed with cancer.
  • Cancer is the number 2 killer in the United States.
  • Glucose levels of 82 to 110 mg/dL have an adverse impact on your health over time.
  • Blood sugar levels at the higher end of the normal range have been linked to significant shrinkage of the brain.

The next time you are with two friends, consider that two of the three of you are likely to die from heart disease or cancer.

Heart disease, stroke, diabetes and brain diseases are largely preventable by eating the right foods and are uniquely tied together.

Unfortunately, due to lack of reliable information and proper advice, people find it easier to figure out their income taxes than to know how to eat right.

BEING SEDENTARY WILL KILL YOU

Being active throughout the day is one of the most important things you can do to keep you healthy.

  • On average, we now spend more time sitting (9.3 hours) than sleeping in a given day.  The human body is not built for that.
  • Reducing this chronic inactivity is even more essential than brief periods of vigorous exercise.
  • “Sitting is the most underrated health threat of modern times.  On a global level, inactivity now kills more people than smoking.”
  • “Sitting more than six hours a day greatly increases your risk of an early death.  … Every hour you spend on your rear end – in a car, watching television, attending a meeting, or at your computer – saps your energy and ruins your health.”
  • “One leading diabetes researcher claims that sitting for extended periods poses a health risk as ‘insidious’ as smoking or overexposure to sunlight.  He contends that physicians need to view exposure to sitting just like a skin cancer expert views exposure to direct sunlight.”
  • “As soon as you sit down, electrical activity in your leg muscles shuts off.  The number of calories you burn drops to one per minute.  Enzyme production, which helps break down fat, drops by 90 percent.”
  • “After two hours of sitting, your good cholesterol drops by 20 percent.”
  • “… people with desk jobs have twice the rated of cardiovascular disease.”
  • The critical variable is how many hours you sit, not how many hours you work out.
  • You should move around every twenty minutes.
  • Find a few moments each day when you an walk briskly.  Do a few push-ups or anything else to break up a 10 hour span of limited activity.
  • If nothing else, make sure you get up several times a day and move around your office.
  • One way to force movement is to increase your consumption of liquid.  This makes you get up more often for refills and restroom breaks.
  • At a minimum at least two or three times an hour get up and stretch lightly or change position or take a walk.
  • “Don’t worry about breaks every 20 minutes ruining your focus on a task … taking regular breaks from mental tasks actually improves your creativity and productivity … mental concentration is akin to muscle that gets fatigued with prolonged use.  It needs a period of rest before it can recover.  Getting up for the sake of your body may yield as much benefit for your mind … organize your home and office to encourage movement over convenience.”
  • People who walk fewer than 5,500 steps per day are considered sedentary.
  • The average American falls below the sedentary level at just 5,117 steps per day, in comparison the average Australian takes 9,695 steps per day, nearly two times the average American steps per day.
  • This helps explain why Australia’s obesity rate is just 16% while the United States is 34%.
  • Ten thousand steps per day is a good target for overall activity.  This equates to roughly 5 miles per day.
  • “When scientists from the National Institutes of Health followed 240,000 adults for a decade they discovered that exercise alone is not enough.  Even seven hours a week of moderate to vigorous physical activity was not enough to keep people alive.  Among the most active group studied, who exercised more than seven hours a week, those who spent the most time sitting had a 50 percent greater risk of death from any cause.  They also doubled their odds of dying from heart disease.”
  • “… technology – from computers to washing machines – minimizes the need for manual labor and our health suffers as a result.”
  • Today, only 20% of jobs require real activity.
  • You can now accomplish countless tasks with the click of a mouse and a few key strokes.  While this increases efficiency, it comes at the expense of our physical health.
  • In many ways we’ve engineered physical activity out of our lives, so we’ve got to find ways to put it back into our lives.
  • You need to find ways to infuse deliberate movement into your day.

Exercise prevents cognitive decline.  It flips the switch that spurs the growth of new brain cells.

Exercise actually reverses memory decline in elderly humans by increasing the growth of new brain cells in the brain’s memory center.

The more you move, the fitter your brain becomes.

Your brain’s healthy functioning requires regular physical activity.

Examine your surroundings and think about how you can prevent sedentary time.

Organize your home and office to encourage movement over convenience.

Exercise is a wonder drug.

There is no shortage or reasons to move more today.

SLEEP

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential.

Sleep is not a luxury.  It is a basic necessity.

If you sleep less, you eat more, you remember less, you get sick more often and you make poor decisions.

Every hour of sleep is a positive investment.  It is not an expense.

Sleep less, achieve less.

Poor sleep leads to high blood pressure, irritability, and poor decision making.

  • In some work places it is a badge of honor to ‘pull an all nighter.’
  • “One hour less of sleep does not equal an extra hour of achievement or enjoyment.  The exact opposite occurs.”
  • “The person you want to fly your airplane, operate on your body, teach you children or lead your organization tomorrow is the person who sleeps soundly tonight.”
  • “Getting fewer than six hours of sleep leads to burn out on the job.  If you want to succeed in your job, make sure your work allows you to stay in bed long enough.”

INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION

Keeping the brain mentally stimulated is a good thing for brain health.

The brain rises to the challenges of intellectual challenges.

When intellectually stimulated, the brain becomes faster and more efficient in its processing capacity and also better able to store more information.

Thinking is good for your health.

Personal Weight Loss

I have been trying to lose weight since September, 2012.

In September, 2012, I weighed 187 pounds and my waist size was approximately 40 inches.

In January, 2014, I weighed 135 pounds and my waist size had become 34 inches.

In the time period September, 2012 through January, 2014, I lost over 50 pounds and my waist measurement shrank approximately six inches, from a 40 inch waist to a 34 inch waist.

Personal Observations

Published information about health is very confusing, contradictory.

People need individualized guidance because they do not know enough to understand the “big picture”, how one thing is related to another thing or how everything is related to everything else.

We, not our doctors, are responsible for our health.

If we want to lose weight and/or if we want to avoid or prevent our self from having a heart attack or to avoid/prevent having a stroke or diabetes or Alzheimer’s disease we need to know the right questions to ask , we need to know what is the information we need to know.

Reading “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”, “Eat Move Sleep” and “Grain Brain” and talking to my friends about what I read helped me determine questions to ask, things to think about including the right questions to think about.

I would be happy to discuss my “quest” with you.

Gary Smolker

Copyright © 2014 by Gary S. Smolker

About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at www.garysmolker.wordpress.com, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at www.dudesguidetowomensshoes.com. I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail GSmolker@aol.com.

Posted on January 8, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Great post. I just know I won’t eat sugar and will exercise. As for the rest… a bit of everything as I have always done, until someone finds out for sure.

    • Thank you for your comment.

      I entirely agree with your sentiment that you will not eat sugar and you will exercise “until someone finds out for sure.”

      I am convinced from reading Tom Rath’s book “Eat Move Sleep” that one key to being healthy is to re-engineer exercise into your daily life; that sitting still, being immobile for long periods of time, creates health problems.

      I am convinced from reading John J. Ratey, MD’s book “Spark” that vigorous exercise (raising your heart rate) is a key to mental health and physical health.

      I know from “sad” personal experience that if you don’t know “how to” exercise you can hurt yourself. I am convinced that I hurt myself by doing exercises the wrong way.

      I am convinced from reading Christopher McDougall’s book “Born to Run” that wearing the wrong “running shoes” will cause foot and/or leg injuries.

      After trying to speak in depth to various people in the health care field and reading source material, I came away with the impression that a lot of standard medical and health advice is “hit and miss.”

      It would be nice if someone could tell you what will happen to you personally – i.e., how much longer will you live and what will be the quality of your life, if you do this thing or that thing.

      Look at Frank Gilbreath’s comment posted on my blog on or about December 12, 2014 regarding a so-called effective cure (treatment) for a cow suffering from “hollow-tail” disease.

      I keep in my mind when reading “so-called” medical studies and the conclusions drawn from medical studies the logical fallacy recognized since Roman times stated as post hoc ergo propter hac — translation: it follows this therefore it was caused by that.

      Because one thing “follows” another does not necessarily mean it was caused by the former.

      That is merely a correlation.

      There is a difference between correlation and “cause” and “effect.”

  2. I also had a HA with one 100% and two others partially blocked. Got one stent in the 100%.
    While in ICU a friend gave me Dr. Esselstyn’s book. We went 100% with him for months. We were both putting on weight and everyone was telling my wife I looked liike crap. Did a 180 to the Paleo Diet. I lost 30 pounds and my wife went from size 8 to 2. If you do some searching, you will find a lot of articles critizing Dr. Esselstyn’s “studies”.
    I have made an unscientific observation. I follow both Fork Over Knives and Wheat Belly on Facebook. Forks has 570K likes, and Wheat has 221K. For every single person that post on Forks with photos of improvement with that diet, there are at least 10 on the Wheat Belly that post photos that are nothing short of Miricleous. Maybe both are right and as is the case with any theropy, maybe its the other changes in lifestyle that are really causing the change. For instanance, a real lard ass goes on the diet and at the same time starts exercising for the first time in his life.
    I like stories, so here is one I wrote a while back that sort of realates to the above.

    The Hollow Tail Cure

    I can best sum up how I feel about drugs by telling a story.

    i grew up in a rural farming area. When a farmer had a sick animal they had a choice as to who they would call. They could call the Vet and face a substantial fee or (if they were cheap) the would call Roman.
    Roman was an uneducated jack of all trades. He was an electrician, plumber, carpenter, diviner, grave digger ,and veterinarian. He often did more harm than good but he got called anyway.
    Where there was a period of drought and there was little grass to eat, poor farmers would have a cow that would get what Roman called “hollow tail” disease. The cow was so malnourished that its tail would get hollow.
    Roman had a “cure”. He would cut open the tail and sprinkle salt in the opening. Then he would tell the farmer to get a bucket of high quality feed.
    He would place the feed in front of the cow and it would eat it up as fast as it could. An hour later the cow would perk up and be visibly stronger. Roman would say it was because of the salt in the tail, but it fact it was only because the animal finally got something good to eat.
    So how does this relate to drugs.
    They do a trial and end up saying the control group did a Small “but significant” amount better than the placebo group. In reality they don’t take into account all the other factors that could have skewed the results. Did some of the control group change their diet, start exercising, or stop smoking?
    So the question is, “Was it the salt or the good feed?”

    ©2014

    • Frank,

      Thank you for expressing your skepticism about the “hit and miss” analysis of medical data derived from experiments or random observations or written or oral surveys which consists of making an observation and then “jumping” to a conclusion without considering the “unique” characteristics of each person in the test/observed group.

      People are different in many ways. For example consider the many ways in which people have different “environmental personalities”/”environmental dispositions.”

      There is something called the “Environmental Response Inventory (ERI)” which provides scores on eight different dispositions towards our everyday physical environments – which are descriptions of the environmental orientations of individuals.

      Consider the difference between people disposed towards urbanism (UR) and stimulus seeking (SS) on the one hand and people oriented towards pastoralism (PA) and antiquarisanism (AI) on the other hand.

      If these two people (types) were to try to plan a trip together they would be unlikely to agree on a destination not only because of “cold” intellectual differences but also because of the “hot” emotional stances they take toward the environment.

      I know from my own personal experience that people react differently (physically and emotionally differently) to the same physical environment.

      I agree with the “suggestion” underlying your comment: people are different and therefore even with respect to medical cures it would be blind faith to uncritcally believe “One Size Fits All.”

      By the way, according to a book I am now reading, maps have been made setting forth an assessment of the type of personality attracted to different cities and regions.

      Which state do you think has the highest concentration of “extraverts” — of social outgoing and upbeat people?

      According to the book I am now reading: It is not Texas, New York, or California. The most extraverted state in the United States is, in fact, North Dakota.

      What about the disposition to be pleasant and affable? The highest scoring state, once again, is North Dakota.

      According to this book: North Dakota and Minnesota are, respectively, the highest and second-highest states on agreeableness, and what is known as “Minnesota nice” is both a stereotypical and objective appraisal of the level of agreeableness that one experiences there.

      Although the state of agreeableness is correlated with social engagement, religiosity, and civic mindedness, it is negatively related to the frequency of going to bars.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: