Am I wasting my breath when I suggest eating better, exercising, and losing weight?
A lot of doctors think so.
I was discussing this with another physician this evening. Often, our solutions are pills -- you have high blood pressure, you get a prescription for amlodipine. You have high cholesterol, you get a script for simvastatin. You have palpitations, you get atenolol scribbled on a prescription pad.
But, what about diet and lifestyle? If, to lower your blood pressure to a normal range, you could cut back on the sodium in your diet, eat less fast food and more fruits and vegetables, would you do it? Or what if cutting back on (or better yet, eliminating) animal foods would slash your LDL cholesterol drastically without the need of a pill? Or, if cutting out your morning latte would eliminate your palpitations, would you do it?
True, many patients are set in their ways, or have emotional barriers that keep them from living a healthy lifestyle. But, I think patients are more motivated than we give them credit for. If the option is lifestyle change or a pill, I don't believe that most people will chose the pill.