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The Myths of The Medical System Ft. Doc Anarchy
Going Over and Breaking Down Some Common Myths in the Medical Industry
Today is a special guest post from our friend @DoctorAnarchist. Doc Anarchy is a physician who is someone I have communicated with frequently on Twitter who isn’t afraid to speak the actual truth of the medical field.
It’s only right that in this post we actually go over what is widely thought of as fact by a lot of doctors, and then what is actually the reality and truth.
Somewhere along the way, a ton of misinformation has seemingly become the “norm” and we have propagated a culture of incompetence in an industry we need ever more competence in—our country is fat, unhealthy, and dying.
The standard therapy for musculoskeletal injuries prescribed by unintelligent physicians is RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
This is said to improve healing and reduce pain. When you consider the underlying physiology it is clear that RICE is an inferior treatment method.
When you injure an extremity, the body quickly begins to heal. Inflammation attracts the necessary cells to the area—acute inflammation acts like a beacon for these cells. By applying ice, you are reducing inflammation and preventing transportation of the cells needed for healing.
Rest, compression, and elevation all reduce blood flow to the injured extremity. Without adequate blood supply there is inadequate healing. RICE actually slows healing rather than improving it.
In order to improve healing, you should gently use the injured limb as tolerated, adequately hydrate, and avoid further injury. RICE and pain killers should be used only when necessary.
Creatine vs Creatinine
One of the more common complaints those who lift weights will hear from their physician is that their creatinine is elevated. This is often blamed on the consumption of creatine, a completely different molecule than creatinine.
Creatinine is a product of creatine and is produced in the muscles—creatinine is formed at a constant rate by the muscles. Therefore, if you have higher muscle mass, you will have a higher baseline creatinine. Additionally, exercise will cause muscle breakdown which releases creatinine into the blood.
The problem arises in the interpretation of creatinine. In medicine, creatinine is used to estimate glomerular filtration rate (GFR) which is an estimation of kidney function. Unintelligent physicians are unaware of this and will mistake your superior physique for inferior kidneys.
The standard American diet is obviously not ideal for any living human being. Unfortunately, physicians are poorly educated in nutrition.
If you ask your physician about dietary recommendations, odds are they will suggest either the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet. These are the two diets most heavily studied and considered to be evidence-based for treating heart disease.
Since doctors often know nothing about nutrition, they will default to these diets for every health condition, including diabetes. The reality is for most people a low carbohydrate diet is superior. Unless you are exercising heavily and hoping to increase your muscle mass (if you’re reading Ox, you should be increasing your muscle mass), there is no real use for carbohydrates.
Carbs are an easy source of energy for the body but are easy to binge on and are easily stored as fat. A diet very high in protein will increase your thermic effect of food (TEF) and is harder for the body to store as fat. It is also cheaper and easier to follow than the above diets.
The saying, “vitamins will only give you expensive urine” is common amongst physicians.
They are often quick to discount the necessity and effectiveness of vitamins and minerals. They often believe you can get adequate amounts by diet alone. They also largely do not understand what these vitamins and minerals do in the human body.
It is very difficult to obtain all the necessary levels of vitamins and minerals we need through diet alone. The quantity of vitamins and minerals recommended are often reported as either the minimum or what the average person needs.
If you are stressing your body through weight-lifting or physical activity you will need more than the minimum.
While it’s true that you will pee out a lot of the vitamins, urine is made from the blood. If your urine is full of vitamins, your blood is full of vitamins. This means you have adequately supplied the body with what it needs. Supplementation ensures your body has resources it needs at all times.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is an old saying that is somehow still used today. Many physicians believe you should be eating three meals per day in order to maintain your metabolism. They also believe that the body needs the breakfast to act as “fuel” for the day. This is not the case at all.
The human body stores energy in the form of glycogen (glucose) and fat. When energy is needed it mobilizes this energy to be used. If you have a body fat percentage >15% you have more than enough fat to be used as fuel. Skipping breakfast won’t in fact tank your metabolism and is a common practice for those who use intermittent fasting.
“Eight glasses of water per day” is often said to be the goal for people—this means 64 oz of fluid all day. I am not quite sure where this number came from, but it remains persistent to this day. Physicians often look at a patient’s BUN and creatinine and use that to evaluate their fluid intake. BUN and creatinine are elevated when a patient is dehydrated and that is a sign of the kidney being unhappy.
The kidneys are quite sensitive to low blood volume. If you lose a lot of blood for some reason you need that replaced or your kidneys may fail. 64 oz of fluid per day is not nearly enough if you are a living human being who moves their limbs. You should be aiming for closer to 100-150 oz (roughly one gallon) per day. If you sweat a lot, increase that number.
Metabolism slows down with age
The myth goes that as you get older your metabolism slows down and you gain weight quickly. You used to be able to eat whatever you wanted and now you just look at that cake and gain 5 lbs.
There is some truth to this, but it’s mostly bull crap. Our “metabolism” is made up of four parts. Resting metabolic rate (RMR), thermic effect of food (TEF), exercise, and non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). As we age our TEF does not change because that is related to what we eat. The RMR is basically the amount of energy used to maintain our bodies.
Muscle has higher energy demands and is more “metabolic” than fat. As most people age they tend to lose muscle and gain fat. They also tend to be less active. They may not go to the gym as often, have a job where they sit more, whatever. Both of these lower the RMR and lower the number of calories you can consume without gaining weight.
There is some evidence that as we age our body loses mitochondria, but this appears to only reduce the calorie expenditure by about 100 calories per day in at most in an old vs young person.
Please if you haven’t done so, give Doc a follow on Twitter.
He also writes a great substack that you can find here: LINK
I want to give him a special thanks for writing such a great article and breaking down some of the myths that others are so quick to repeat with little to no actually scientific basis.
Looking forward to seeing what he puts out in the future and of course having him anytime he would like to hop on and have a guest post.
Until next time my friends,
This is not Legal, Medical, or Financial advice. Please consult a medical professional before starting any workout program, diet plan, or supplement protocol. These are opinions from a Cartoon Ox.