Monday, February 22, 2010

Vegan Doctors

In my 20's I was immortal (not immoral!), in my 30's I became obese and in my 40's I'm now aware of my own health and wellness.

I think that Michael Pollan and T. Colin Campbell are right when they say "Eat food, not too much, mostly (or all) plants."

Vegan eating works for me and certainly is worth trying yourself.

I recently received the following email:

"I ran across your blog through a google search for 'Vegan Physicians. I see that you are not a practicing (primary care) physician (to my chagrin ;-), so I wonder if you could recommend any vegan physicians who practice and/or support the vegan lifestyle through their practice?"

I emailed noted author Neal Barnard for his advice. Neal responded:

"We often receive requests from people looking for a doctor who is knowledgeable about plant-based diets or sympathetic to other issues that PCRM deals with. At PCRM, we actually recommend something a bit different. We suggest that people select the best doctor they can find and that the doctor provide the very best information about diagnosis and possible treatments.
People will generally not need to rely on a physician to provide nutritional information. That will come from a good Registered Dietitian or other nutrition counselor, as well as from the books, DVDs, and other materials that we make available. As people plan to modify their diets, their doctors can track their progress and modifying their medicines along the way if need be.
For this reason, PCRM does not maintain a referral list. For anyone dealing with a particularly difficult medical problem, we encourage them to seek a second opinion, or to consult the relevant department of a major teaching hospital in the community.
I hope this is helpful.

Neal is a smart man. Great advice.

Eat well per whatever approach works best for you. Exercise. Find a great doctor that can diagnose and treat any conditions you may develop. All will be well.


Joe Danaher said...

I continue to enjoy your blog as I am in the HealthCare IT industry, am a former clinician (Respiratory Therapist) and am keenly interested in my health and eating habits. I went through the Acitve/Indestructible--midlife overweight/sedentary--mid-40'2 reawakening (runner/cyclist). I still battle the unhealthy food choices. I have discovered a nice tool for the iphone called the Daily Plate which is really helpful for tracking the "value" of different foods. I am not sure I could try the 21-day vegan and part of the issue is the conversion of the convenience factor. It is so easy to fall prey to make a non-healthy choice since fast-food and animal-based food is all around us. I appreciate you sharing this type of information as it is "food for thought.

Anonymous said...

The only problem is that being a vegan, and a pregnant one at that, I have to hide that fact from my doctors. Most docs hear the word vegan and freak out, going on and on about how vegans do not get enough calories/nutrients during pregnancy. This is my second vegan pregnancy. My first one produced an 8 pound baby! So it is frustrating to not find docs who will understand how a vegan wants to eat.