THE GREEK DOCTOR
I don’t know about you, but don’t you think over the last ten to fifteen years more and more people appear to be getting sick. Cancer, diabetes, mental health, and addiction to name a few are ripping through our homes and our communities. Our doctor’s surgeries are full of sick people, young and old, and our friends and relatives lie in trolleys in hospital corridors waiting to be seen by a triage nurse. Our waiting lists for all kinds of treatments and operations make for grim reading and today the health and care services across the world are they themselves on life support machines. It’s pretty depressing stuff.
Ten years ago I myself got sick and twelve months later was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. My story is well known but in short I spent five of the last ten years really struggling with the illness and the last five fighting back and reversing the condition. It’s been a tough road back but thankfully today I’m winning the war.
In the last four weeks ten people have approached me who have been diagnosed with MS, all looking for guidance and advice. In the last few years literally hundreds of people have been in touch looking to be pointed in the right direction, which is incredible really. What is incredible about this you might ask?
Simply, I am not a doctor, don’t work for the health service and don’t sell drugs. For your own information I am a chartered surveyor, have my own business and live a fairly active busy life. I've plenty to be at.
However every person that I have spoken with in relation to their MS feels completely lost and disorientated due to the lack of advice around the best recovery path. It’s a huge failure that in 2016 globally, the only topic that continues to dominate the conversations between the medical world and MS patients is the one around drugs and treatments. It tells its own story really when so many people are coming to me for advice and not getting the right plans from the medical teams and other stakeholders.
The interesting thing about disease modifying drugs (DMD’s) is that they do not repair MS patients bodies, make them feel better or speed up recovery. That’s not what they are designed to do. They are designed to prevent relapses.
It’s amazing how many MS patients are not even aware of this. I myself feel I am at the coalface of a lot of the MS conversations and it took me eight years to work this out.
One of the most asked questions I get now from people is “What is your secret”, and the answer is the same every time – Hard work!!!
For me around 2011 I realized that my neurologist couldn’t fix me, my GP couldn’t fix me, my mum couldn’t fix me, and my friends couldn’t fix me. I realized that I had to try and fix myself. How was I going to do this since I wasn’t a fully qualified doctor?
Quite simply I started to educated myself around MS, looking for any weapon at all that I could utilize that would allow me to take back control of my body and my mind.
A NEW START
In April this year I stopped my medication after nine years. It was a decision that I didn’t take lightly and was against the advice of my neurologist. He didn’t have very strong views on it, but thought that if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. For me I need more than that these days as I refuse to take drugs, on this kind of methodology. I figured that my recovery was going very well, and that I didn’t need to take the Copaxone any more. I never got used to injecting every night before I went to bed, and once I worked out that this stuff was not repairing my body and it’s physiology, I knew the writing was on the wall for it. I also worked out more importantly that by me changing my diet to a more plant and whole food based regime (VEGAN), I would be putting huge amount of vitamins in there that would improve my brain health and my neurological pathways throughout my body.
The results have been incredible as over the last six months with my new Vegan diet, I haven’t looked back. My MS symptoms have reduced greatly; I don’t put any crap into my body anymore, and instead fuel with lots of fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes. I also have a fairly rigorous exercise regime that keeps me accountable and also benefits my brain health; It’s an incredible feeling.
Today I tend to follow trailblazing doctors who have decided to raise awareness of the benefits of real food and exercise in terms of realizing your true potential and achieving optimum health. Doctors like Neal Barnard, who is an American doctor, author, clinical researcher, and founding president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Legendary physicians like Dr. Colin T. Campbell, author of the highly acclaimed China study, and is an American biochemist that specializes in the effect of nutrition on long-term health. He is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University (if you don't mind).
People like Dr. Caldwell Blakeman Esselstyn Jr. is an American physician, author and former Olympic rowing champion. He has performed thousands of heart operations to it dawned on him one day that he was not actually fixing the problem, merely managing it (badly). He decided to go fix the problem and for the last number of years has been treating his patients through real whole food, exercise and education.
I think I am in pretty good company, don't you?
The next time you go to your GP, you should ask him does he/she know any of these people? It’s highly likely they wont. This is not their fault, as nutrition is not covered in any detail at all in medical school. Look at Dr. Terry Wahls who was deteriorating greatly on all sorts of medication with her own MS. She only stopped her deterioration when she stopped the medication and started to treat herself with fruit and vegetables, which were high in vitamins that helped her brain health. Check out her story here www.terrywahls.com
Over the last two years in particular since I started to really work on what I was eating, have I noticed an incredible improvement in my own health. I have been observing a lot of what has been going on around me, around health, illness and the pharmaceutical world. I’m now very uncomfortable with a lot of what I see, and in particular the role of pharma, and the influence it has on our medical professionals, charities and ultimately patients.
For me I’ve decided to continue to fight my own MS in tandem with the advice given by one of our first great Greek doctors in the form of Hippocrates.
Who is this man Hippocrates I hear you ask?
Hippocrates was a Greek physician born in 460 BC on the island of Cos, Greece. He became known as the founder of medicine and was regarded as the greatest physician of his time. He based his medical practice on observations and on the study of the human body.
He was the man who said “Let food be the medicine and medicine be thy food”. What the hell does this mean I hear you ask?
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food - with these words spoken way back in 5th century BC, Hippocrates the father of western medicine recognised the value of eating well and the potential of certain foods for good health.
It sort of makes sense when you think of it like that. He’s not being too controversial I would suggest.
What I do know is that it has worked for me and is now working for thousands of people all over the world, allowing them to deal with their own health challenges.
One thing we can probably all agree on is the fact that as things stand today its unsustainable how we are all living and fuelling. People need to change their approach to their wellbeing and what they eat, as our hospitals are only managing what is really a nuclear bomb that is about to explode in catastrophic proportions over the next decade.
One of my mentors and someone I greatly admire, Mr Rich Roll, puts it very simply;
"It all starts and ends with what you put on your plate."
Food for thought...