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Old 12-19-2008, 12:03 PM   #1
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Am I a patient or client?

I went for my annual physical this past June 08, I had the usual x-rays, blood work and was sent home. A few days later I got the results and was told I needed to start on Cholesterol meds. What bothered me was that the Dr. did not discuss any alternative actions and I was advised to have it retested in 6months.

I have friends who take Cholesterol meds and none seem happy with the side effects so I decided to try something on my own.

I started an exercise program and I started eating oatmeal and ground flaxseed everyday, I did not miss a day the past 6 months, I didn't lose any weight but I did feel much better other than the sorness that you get at my age from exercise.

This week I went to get the followup the doctor recommended and was suprised that my Cholesterol had dropped 27 points down below 200. My Dr. stated that my lipids were fine and I should recheck them in 6 months.

I was happy with the results but a little put off by my Dr. not trying any alternative just take the medicine. I like my Dr. and will continue to see him but is that the normal approch today you get a problem, take a pill, forget any lifestyle changes. I am curious if your Dr. do the same.

Later

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Old 12-19-2008, 12:10 PM   #2
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My doc wanted me on pills, but said that the side effects of diet and exercise are better than the side effects of the pills. I think the key is that most people won't sustain lifestyle changes. With diet and exercise (working out 4-5 times a week and stopped eating cheese) My triglycerides plummeted and my cholesterol went from 236 to 156.

The weird thing is that he still wants me on a staten, which I think is ridiculous.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:15 PM   #3
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Doctors can make more money by pushing meds rather than suggesting a natural alternative. The drug companies give them incentives to sell their product. Of course not all doctors do that some will tell you other options.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:16 PM   #4
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My opinion is that a doctor who is not physically active him/herself usually will not prescribe the exercise alternative to the patient.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:04 PM   #5
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All options should be put on the table, including pros, cons ...
Leave the patient to make the final decision, as long as they know the consequences of both.

In a situation as above (depending how high the cholestrol/ Triglycerides were), gotten the patient on the meds (to drop the levels quicker) and incorporate a diet/ exercise program. Recheck in 3 months. If the levels dropped, and the patient was keeping up with the diet/ exercise, then decrease or eliminate meds completely, and recheck 3 months later.

But every case is different ( patient, doctor)....

Family history / genetics also must be considered. A person coming from a long line of genetically high chol + trigly + HTN, diet and exercise may not be enough ( but definitely could help and provide a healthier lifestyle).
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vyapti View Post
...The weird thing is that he still wants me on a staten, which I think is ridiculous.

Did you question him on why he still wants you on statins? He may have a really good reason, based on his medical training and his knowledge of your medical conditions.

I would not dismiss his request as ridiculous without more information.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:54 PM   #7
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Dr's need to be questioned and the good ones will expect and appreciate that you do that. You need to do your own research, but also respect that they know a bit about medicine too. They are not G-ds though and and certainly not perfect. It is your job to be as well informed as you possibly can be so that you can make informed decisions and pose informed questions.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:36 PM   #8
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my docs were the exact opposite, run. my g.p. and my cardiac specialist both said that i could avoid high blood pressure meds if i just got back in shape.

so i threw a milky oreo at them and went to the pharmacy.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:23 PM   #9
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It sounds to me like you need to look for a physician who is more in line with your own philosophy on life. Some clinics, HMOs, etc, are more pill-pushing and people-pushing (i.e., don't actually take the time to discuss things with you) than others. One thing we all have to remember is that no matter what, you are the boss, the doctor is, in effect, your employee. Yes, there are times when meds are the only answer. But your doc should be willing to discuss other options with you.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:58 PM   #10
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and some dermatologists are pill-pushing pimple-popping practitioners...
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