Know the Experts

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

I have consulted attorneys about various legal issues, happily consulted doctors to prescribe medications, eagerly sought out tax advice from CPAs, asked financial experts how to save money, discussed mental health treatments with trained mental health counselors, paid professionals to spray my home for bugs and sought out advice from lawn chemical companies on how to treat weeds.

But dieting advice always came from the latest fad book or internet post.

Why are we not consulting physicians about our diets. I was reluctant for several reasons.

First, I never liked to talk about what I put in my mouth.

For the past few decades I have had doctors, parents, friends, family and even bosses tell me what I should or should not eat. But in order to accept their advice, I felt I had to admit some fault. I never wanted to admit I was wrong, in anything, much less what I was eating.

Second, I asked doctors in the past, but doctors have been reluctant to discuss a specific diet. It is not their fault. I know they must feel their advice falls on deaf ears. My physician said he could count on one hand the number of people who actually followed his dieting advice.

Third, we have given up. We give up on diets. We give up on the idea of success after so many failures. So when we finally see a doctor, we do not bother discussing how our weight is connected to what we eat.

Why doctors?

Always consult a physician when starting a new diet and exercise plan.

This is absolutely necessary in order to prevent dangerous pitfalls.  Learn more about those pitfalls here – Back to the Beginning

My physician is Steve Tate with Duncan Medical Associates.  He is a bit of a fitness nut himself. He and his team respond very well to patient questions.

Doctors steered me clear of poor exercise habits, told me to track my food and drink, asked me to keep a diary of my home blood pressure and blood sugar tests, and advised me on medication management.

Doctors regularly consult medical journals to keep track of recent medical studies regarding your physical health, recent studies on diet and exercise, and track your medical records to see what has changed in your blood work, x-rays and other medical tests.

They are trained to look for signs of disease.

The more you go to the same physician the more they know and understand you.

Why dietitians?

Dietitians live, eat and breath nutritional health and diets.

My friend, Joy Galloway, is my dietitian, registered with the State of Oklahoma.  She works with the Duncan Regional Hospital where we met and she taught me so much about diet and exercise. She is a great partner in this journey.

Joy walked me through what diabetes does to the body and how each food can impact diabetes.

She advised me on how much to eat, when to eat, what not to eat and what to make sure I had with me to eat if my blood sugar got low.

Joy taught me to exercise after every meal.

She has also been an amazing encourager, celebrating every success.

How often?

I see my physician at least quarterly. I see my dietitian as needed to make adjustments and ask questions.

If you are losing weight quickly, for example faster than two pounds per week, you may need to see these professionals more often.

If you experience new health problems, contact your physician right away.

Same healthcare system

One benefit I have noticed is that both my physician and my dietitian work for the same healthcare system, Duncan Regional Hospital.

All three of us have quick access to the DRH online records system and can consult recent blood work, ER visits and other notes rather quickly to ensure good communication.

Plus, Duncan Regional has been a great partner in my diet and exercise plan, providing healthy lunches for low prices and allowing me to walk their halls on rainy days to get my steps in.

Photo: CDC – https://goo.gl/images/JxCQHC

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