How to Make Doctors Irrelevant

Daniela Drake | The Daily Beast | April 23, 2014
After a simple, modified Paleo diet reversed her multiple sclerosis, one doctor is exposing health care and big pharma’s dirty secret: Prescriptions don’t make you well.

When Dr. Terry Wahls accepted her new job as Chief of Primary Care at the Iowa VA Medical Center, she never could have guessed that her multiple sclerosis (MS) would be so bad within a few years that she would be spending most of her time in a tilt-recline wheelchair. And as a conventional physician, she also never would’ve guessed that optimal nutrition—not medicines— would be the key to getting up from that chair and getting her life back.

Dr. Wahls’ experience, which she recounts in her new book, The Wahls’ Protocol, is a story of grit and determination worthy of a major motion picture deal—one that also happens to instruct us on why our health care system is failing so many patients.

As we expand our current system, policymakers seem to have taken it as an article of faith that American health care—when you can get it—is the best in the world. That may be true for surgery or emergency care. But with a focus on managing—not curing—chronic disease, many thoughtful physicians know that chronically ill patients don’t get better—they get medicated...

...This has broad implications for the American health care system, which many critics have quite rightly dubbed a  “sick care” system. “We’re not telling patients the truth—that medicines won’t make you well,” Dr. Wahls says. Patients with multiple medical problems who have found themselves standing in the kitchen choking down pill after pill probably have an idea of what she is taking about. “Life is self-correcting chemistry,” says Dr. Wahls. “If we fix the nutrition, this is the real way to address the root cause of most disease.”...