I’ve always told my patients that when your doctor believes he knows more than the authorities, it’s probably time to find a new doc. I was wrong. Age and a lifetime of experience teaches you that, in the medical field, what is gospel today is heresy tomorrow. If you google inflammatory foods, you’ll find hundreds of articles on foods you shouldn’t eat if you have an inflammatory illness. You’ll also find multiple diets all claiming to be your savior, as well as a number of miracle pills to swallow.
Are there really inflammatory foods? I’m not convinced. If they exist, is there a safe quantity that can be consumed? Does going on an elimination diet work? Is there a placebo effect of significance when you radically modify your diet?
The following is a partial list of “inflammatory” foods:
- Processed meats
- Refined sugars
- Saturated fats
- Artificial preservatives and additives
- Artificial trans fats
- Vegetable oils
Let’s assume that these items really do cause inflammation in the human body. Does everybody react the same? Is one bite enough to push you over the cliff into the land of inflammation or does it take large quantities to make you sick?
If you feed a rat poison that makes him sick but does not kill him, he’ll never eat it again. My patients do the same. They’ll freely tell you what foods they don’t tolerate. “Doc, I can’t eat spinach, it gives me horrible gas!” If inflammatory foods negatively impacted your health, you’d know it. You would tell me, “Doc, I just don’t like tomatoes! I never eat them,” despite not consciously being able to identify a worsening of your inherent inflammatory state.
Over the years, I’ve had patients who have gone on highly restrictive diets because Google or a friend sold them on the idea that many foods were bad for them. In some cases, their restrictive diets were nutritionally deficient. If you are worried about the potential negative effects of some food groups, do an elimination diet in which you eliminate one item at a time and judge its effect on your health. To be complete, add the food back into your diet after you have assessed the effects of removing it and see how you do. REMEMBER, THE PLACEBO EFFECT CAN BE AS HIGH AS 30% IN MANY INSTANCES.
During the early days of my practice, before the world became so politically correct and uptight, I prescribed placebos for viruses and other diagnoses with great results. I loved prescribing placebos. I treated them as if they were real medications. “Mr. J, take one pill 3 times a day. It can cause nausea so take it with food. It has a mild stimulant effect so you’ll probably be more energetic.” Mr. J called back the next day complaining that the pill kept him up all night. I reduced the dose and had him take his last pill a little earlier. That night, he slept like a baby.
Placebos were particularly helpful in college students who wanted speed to help them study. “J, be careful with these pills. Do not leave them where someone can steal them and don’t tell anyone I gave them to you. Take two pills an hour before you eat and drop it to 1 pill if you get over stimulated. The power of suggestion strengthens placebos.
One last story. Mrs. X called complaining that her husband wouldn’t leave her alone! She demanded that I stop giving him the little blue pill (placebo) as he was getting erections 2-3 times a day. Mr. X hadn’t been so virile in years and fought hard to keep his hard. The Xs took the problem in hand and worked it out in the end.
Here are your jokes for the day:
A family’s driving behind a garbage truck when a dildo flies out and thumps against the windshield. Embarrassed, and trying to spare her young son’s innocence, the mother turns around and says, “Don’t worry, dear. That was just an insect.” “Wow,” the boy replies. “I’m surprised it could get off the ground with a cock like that!
What’s the difference between a G-spot and a golf ball? A guy will actually search for a golf ball!