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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Listen to my conversation with Kirk Hamilton PA-C

I had the opportunity to talk to Kirk Hamilton PA-C, who is working hard to spread the message of how potent lifestyle and diet are in preventing illness.

Listen to the podcast here.


Lisa said...

I haven't listened to this podcast yet, but the caption alone, that it share "the message of how potent lifestyle and diet are in preventing illness" upset me.
I've been following your blog for a really, really long time. I've been eating a plant-based diet for decades and I used to be a spin and pilates instructor. I was diagnosed with St. IV lung cancer 2.5 years ago, and ever since then I've had a new perspective on "prevention." I had never smoked (and as you can see I had a very healthy diet and regular vigorous exercise). I had no known risk factors for LC. I was shocked. Turns out there are tens of thousands out there per year, like me (close to 20% of newly dx LC patients are never smokers, and many of the younger patients - I was dx at 41 - are exceptionally fit as well). I learned the hard way that while there are things we can do to *minimize risk* there is no such thing as absolute "prevention" for most diseases. This is now a hot button for me, especially when I see MDs perpetuating the myth. I support your message to improve odds by improving lifestyle choices. I believe in it and live it myself. But, please be careful with your language. Us humans often like to think everything is within our control, when unfortunately, it is not. Eat plant based to minimize risk, but don't call it "prevention" (or cure). That subtly - cruelly - shifts the blame to the patient when that may not be true.
Thanks for considering,
Lisa Goldman

VeganHeartDoc said...

I can only say that I'm so sorry to hear what you're going through. I think you've touched on something very valid. Sometimes I think we can come off as arrogant, that if you have an illness that it's your fault, that something that you are doing is wrong. I don't believe that you can entirely prevent illnesses, though a good diet and lifestyle can certainly put the odds more in your favor.
Thank you for reading my blog, and my best to you in all you are facing.
Heather / Dr. S.

Lisa said...

Thanks Heather. I appreciate you're hearing me. I love the message of your blog and the example you set. I just ask that we all be careful about the language we use around "prevention" vs "reducing risk" -- sometimes these little things, taken cumulatively, matter. For example, the stigma and blame surrounding lung cancer is very much connected to the fact that it is the least funded major cancer with terrible survival rates, despite the fact that it's the #1 cancer killer by far. I'm just trying to raise awareness about the power subtle language shifts can have on very real things like patient morale and survival rates and research funding. But, I absolutely support your continued emphasis on the benefits of a good diet and lifestyle.

- Lisa

PGYx said...

Thanks for sharing this. Great interview! I think people are ill-informed about the fact that cardiovascular disease is a systemic process that affects every vascular bed from brain to heart, kidneys, extremities, and genitals. They are also surprised to hear that the least stable arterial plaques are often the ones with a lower degree of blockage. My patients are typically surprised when I share this information.

Based on your recommendation I'll look into using the PCRM vegan starter kit to introduce my patients to a plant-based diet. I will also recommend the FOK documentary as you suggest. I already look at the FOK "Success Stories" section in the office with patients to show them the possibilities for profound weight loss and disease reversal. The pictures (and headlines when weight loss was not the primary goal) give some powerful examples of how a WFPB diet can change a person's life and health.