On Brainsuckers and Googlers

I read this article some time ago but there is something about it that keeps bugging me:

When the Patient Is a Googler

A woman walks into a doctor’s office with a knee problem. She is looking for a specialist to help sort it out. She dominates the conversation, she is distrustful and she has clearly done a lot of research on the topic. She’s also Googled him personally. The whole while she’s in the doctor’s office, her 4 year old son makes a huge mess and acts up providing an unpleasant backdrop to what he finds an already stressful scenario.

The doctor refers to her as a “brainsucker” and “queen of Googlers.” He feels a bit invaded by her Googling his personal life. He is clearly offended by the distrust he senses from her because, after all, he’s there to help. He also has little time for anything but the obvious medical diagnosis and cure which involves one to two surgeries and many months of recovery. The thought of going through this with her is more than he can bear.

So he lets her carry on for a while until he finds the right moment to get a word in then recommends another doctor. Bye Bye Mrs. Smarty-Pants.

 

It’s absolutely right that people should, when they have the option, choose to avoid people they know will cause them stress. She’s part of the 20% of the world that will cause him 80% of his work. She’s intense and he’s looking for an easier doctor-patient relationship. He wants someone who will let him get on with the job. And off course, he wants someone who will defer to his expertise.

But I can also empathise with this woman’s distrust. Perhaps she has suffered doctors who, as a first option, want to get their patients under the knife for some quality billable hours instead of exploring non-invasive and less expensive options. Maybe being the “brainsucker” that she is, she’s found that some physicians don’t keep up with the latest developments and technology and are unaware of some new alternative treatments. How would the likes of Jimmy Moore and co have fared only following the gospel of the experts?

About a year back I saw a great video by one such “brainsucker” by the name of Jerry Brunetti who had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Jerry did his homework then went to see the specialist. The specialist said the only route to health was an expensive course of chemo therapy which would have lots of debilitating side effects and only a 60% chance of surviving 2 years. Jerry tried to discuss his research but was told in no uncertain terms that he was foolish to question the established truth with its appointed guardians.

Jerry walked out on the experts and proceeded to cure himself using his own application of the info he had gathered.

OK an anecdote is not statistical proof. But I guess when a doctor finds the distrustful brainsuckers walking into his office, he could do better than to write them off as a new-age pain in the ass.

Because if he does, then perhaps the distrust isn’t misplaced after all. Perhaps the very refusal to listen is what ultimately causes the divide.

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Sleep and Hunger

Via Redtailblogger I found this interesting article that pulls together some of the relationships between eating and sleeping.

What I have long noticed is:

  • the more I eat, the more I need to sleep
  • when I suffer from lack of sleep, I lose my appetite

I’ve also long held the belief that there is a connection between longevity and sleep patterns. I’m not sure where I picked this up, but I’m sure it was reinforced by the movie The Hunger.

It seems like the link between sleep and hunger is the hormone Orexin.

The findings help explain orexin’s link to the metabolic system, the researchers said. The body is known to step up its production of orexin when blood sugar gets low. The researchers hypothesized that when a body has low blood sugar and gets hungry, the increase in orexin activates HIF-1 production, revving up metabolism so the body gets the most energy out of the sugar on hand.

Previous studies show that the absence of Orexin causes Narcolepsy (which is no fun, unless it’s your 9th grade English teacher who has in in which case life is full of great excitement).

None of this actually explains my observations… but they are getting there.

Korean BBQ: Food & Fumigation

There are certainly low carb options in Asia but that does not mean these choices are “healthy.” Take Korean BBQ.

Korean BBQ is a brilliant restaurant idea. Get people to pay 10-20 times the raw cost of food and make them cook it themselves. It’s genius.

For me it seemed like a safe low-carb option. I’d rather not cook my own food when I eat out but it was a friend’s b-day and that was her choice.

If you ever go to one of these places, don’t bother showering or changing before hand. It’s basically barbequeuing indoors and you are guaranteed to smell like charred meat by the end of the evening.

The meal starts with loads of little vegetable and pickle dishes which is one of my favourite parts of Korean dining. They could serve that stuff to me all night and I’d be happy.

Then the meat comes out and someone stands next to you prodding the grilled bits on your table BBQ while you stare into their armpit. Personally I’d rather just do this myself but this was a full service place.

By the way, can someone please tell the staff and Chang Korean BBQ that if they are right handed they should stand so that the customer is on their left? Getting elbowed constantly was no fun.

OK here’s the tricky part. You get a selection of sauces to dip your charred meat into. And I happily smothered these chunks in what I thought was a salty garlic sauce. MISTAKE.

Turns out I was pouring MSG all over my food. Can you believe it? They actually serve you a bowl of MSG mixed into oil. I realised this too late when my head started spinning after about 5 bites.

So in summary:

    GOOD

  • low carb
  • variety of veggies and pickles served as starters
    BAD

  • side orders of neurotoxins
  • smelling like smoke
  • breathing in smoke
  • getting elbowed in head
  • watching staff’s armpit

Moving On

OK here I am. It seems I’ve really dropped the ball here.

My excuses are the following:

  1. With this blog I set out to answer a question for myself which I think I have answered (more below)
  2. As mentioned previously there are a lot of better blogs out there which cover this topic well.
  3. I’ve come to realise that I have a digital doppelganger already actively blogging.

Last point first. There’s this woman out there who seems to take 12 day holidays when I do, have add-hoc binges and weird sugar lows when I do and even suffers from gastric flu when I do (that was nasty). Plus I gather we are roughly the same weight but for her sake I hope she is taller. OK I don’t get migraines but I do suffer from the occasional bought of tinnitus which I put down to some kind of neural ****ed-upness so there’s that too. So I mean, why bother?

The second point was previously covered

As for the first, I probably need to explain. Scientific truth, as they say, is a function of time. Theories change but we work on the best theory available at the time. If it produces predictable results, then good enough.

So I wanted an answer and at least I have ended up with a working theory. What was my question?

Q: What do I have to do to be my optimal weight (for health, looks, etc) without starving myself or living in a gym. How do I get this fat-ass monkey off my back?

I am now living by a theory that seems to be producing results. It may be naive and historians will trawl through this blog with a chuckle but it works so all critics can just shut the… you know.

The Theory:
I am genetically inclined to store fat when I eat (primarily) wheat products and (secondarily) high GI carbs.
Not everyone has this gene but many do.

OK I appreciate this is hardly an original idea. But whereas it seems a lot of people focus on the short term weight loss possible by a low-carb diet, I am saying that I WILL ALWAYS have these sensitivities and this has to be a permanent dietary change (not withstanding the major slip I had with that corn bread last week).

By simply cutting these foods out and otherwise eating like a pig, my weight has drifted back into what I consider normal ranges (technically I’m still “overweight” with a BMI of 26).

I think that there are other things important for health and longevity (EFAs, certain supplements, weight training and infrequent but intense interval training) but these are not part of “The Theory.” And actually I haven’t been as good about those things as I’d like to claim but my failure hasn’t stopped normalisation of my weight.

I should point out that this is not the only theory I’ve tested over the years but the rest didn’t produce sustainable results.

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OK now that I’ve sorted myself out, does that mean it’s time to go off-line?

Well the truth is that I never really shut up. I have a few other blogs where I put other parts of my life and the chatter is ongoing in the typical jumps and starts which is my way.

But it occurred to me lately that there is still room for reports on the trials and tribulations of living The Theory in the carb paradise known as Asia. And so going forward, while I will not be able to help myself from re-posting goodies I find on this topic, you may find that the blog becomes a bit more anecdotal.

And when I say you, I mean all three of you. Or two. Or perhaps nobody. But anyway I’m happy to talk to myself as there’s nobody else worth talking to around here during the day…