Dr. Peter Attia blogged about his experience at TEDMED in April, and I’ve noticed that his lecture is finally available. It is very moving. He recounts how he treated a diabetes patient in emergency with contempt because she was fat. At the time, he was self-assured about what causes obesity and diabetes, and yet, he thought, this woman let herself get into the position where she needed an emergency foot amputation to save her life. Later, he learned that obesity is probably not the disease but a symptom of metabolic syndrome, a problem which he himself now had even though he was exercising several hours a day. The system (meaning the standard health advice as it relates to dietary matters) had let this woman down, and he asks her forgiveness for his lack of compassion and kindness towards her.
Dr. Attia admits that the medical profession is in need of humility, because if his new understanding of the role of metabolic disorder is correct, the medical profession has been giving the wrong advice to their patients for many decades. He now suggests that obesity is a symptom not a cause of metabolic syndrome and blaming the victim of the disease is neither compassionate nor a helpful solution to the problem.
Personally, I know that I was able to shed 50 lbs of fat by eating red meat, eggs and by increasing my dietary fat, but above all, by lowering my carbohydrate intake to about 30 gm per day. This was against the advice of a physician who said to eat less red meat, exercise, blah blah blah. Had I followed the standard dietary advice, I’d still be suffering from my metabolic issues. Congratulations Dr. Attia, on a helpful lecture which will hopefully stir people, especially other doctors, to do the right thing.