Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Taking Control of Your Own Health with Dr. William Davis

Podcast Episode #296: Taking Control of Your Own Health with Dr. William Davis

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Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Taking Control of Your Own Health with Dr. William DavisTopics

  1. News and updates from Diane [1:43]
  2. Something I'm digging by our guest, Dr. William Davis [3:46]
  3. Listener feedback about Dr. William Davis [7:54]
  4. Undoctored: Dr. Davis' new book [9:49]
  5. Inspiration for Undoctored [14:11]
  6. Personal responsibility of the patient [18:13]
  7. 6 simple steps to better health [25:24]
  8. Having a discussion with your doctor [29:50]
  9. Creating more demand for holistic healthcare [38:04]
  10. When modern medicine is necessary [42:01]
  11. Final points by Dr. Davis [46:01]

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Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Taking Control of Your Own Health with Dr. William Davis Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe | Balanced Bites Podcast | Taking Control of Your Own Health with Dr. William Davis

You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 296.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and The 21-Day Sugar Detox. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids. I’m the co-creator of the Balanced Bites Master Class, alongside my partner in crime, Liz Wolfe. And together we’ve been bringing you this award winning podcast for 5 years and counting. We’re here to share our take on modern paleo living, answer your questions, and chat with leading health and wellness experts. Enjoy this week’s episode, and submit your questions at http://balancedbites.com or on a recent Instagram post. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared, nutrient-dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to http://www.NutritionalTherapy.com. There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

1. News and updates from Diane [1:43]

Diane Sanfilippo: Hey everyone! It’s me, Diane. And I’m here with a very special guest today who I’ll introduce in just a few moments. A couple of updates I’ve got for you guys. The Beautycounter conference was just this past weekend in Dallas. I’m sure Liz and I will get together and talk a little bit about that on an upcoming episode.

Don’t forget you can check out the Diane Direct vlog. I know lots of you are loving it. I’m getting so many amazing comments over on YouTube. It’s just www.youtube.com/dianesanfilippo. I would love to see your comments over there. Don’t forget; hit that red subscribe button over on YouTube, and YouTube will send you a notification each week when there’s a new video, along with any other channels that you’re subscribed to. Which I actually love getting those updates from YouTube. Because I see what I might have missed.

And finally, the 21-Day Sugar Detox coaches program is open until the end of May for enrollment. So if you’ve been interested in that. If you’ve completed a 21-Day Sugar Detox and you’re a health wellness coach, etc.; a nutrition coach, you are a fitness professional who is pretty well experienced in coaching folks on nutrition, you can check that out. We’ve got all the information linked from www.21DaySugarDetox.com. You can find a link to the coaches program and all the information about it. Feel free to come join the 21-Day Sugar Detox coaches program interest group on Facebook if you’ve got more questions for us. Happy to answer those. And I believe; don’t know exactly the date and timing of when you’ll be listening to this. But I’ve got a couple of webinars I’ll be doing and live Facebook videos to answer questions for you guys, just right there one on one. So check that out.

Liz Wolfe: Today’s podcast is sponsored by Vital Choice seafood and organics. Purveyor of premium sustainably sourced seafood and a certified B corporation. Vital choice offers a wide range of fish, shellfish, humanely raised meat, protein rich bone broths, and paleo friendly snacks like organic dark chocolate, super antioxidant trail mix, and bison jerky. As the days get longer and the grilling season heats up, www.vitalchoice.com is your source for real food.

2. Something I’m digging by our guest, Dr. William Davis [3:46]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, everyone. If you’re not already familiar with my guest for today’s episode, Dr. William Davis, let me give you a quick background. Dr. Davis is a cardiologist and the author of the number one New York Times’ bestseller, Wheat Belly, and the Wheat Belly series of books that have sold over 3 million copies in 40 countries. His newest book is to be releases May 9th. It’s Undoctored: Why Health Care has failed you, and how you can become smarter than your doctor.

So welcome to the show, Dr. Davis. We are going to do something super fun to break the ice with you as we get started with this show. We’re going to ask you something you're digging lately.

Dr. William Davis: OK, sure Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Dr. William Davis: One of the things I’m a big fan of is do it yourself at home health tools. So you know, the book we’ll be talking about is this notion of being freed of what I think is an awful thing called health care. So I love when people are given tools to allow them to make health measures on their own. In the comfort of their kitchen, living room, whatever. I’ve been playing with a device called Dario. It’s a glucose meter, but it’s a glucose meter that plugs into your smart phone. It’s really easy to use. It took me a few minutes to get acquainted with. I’ve used lots and lots of glucose meters over the years. I call glucose meters the most powerful weight loss tool you can buy, and it’s about $20.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Dr. William Davis: This one cost me I think $39. But it works really nicely. The test strips are inexpensive. The device plugs right into one of the ports on your smart phone. And you’re up and running in minutes. And you have this incredibly powerful device that can help you manage your carbohydrate intake. It can accelerate weight loss. It can break a weight loss plateau. So what I do is I tell people to allow no change in blood sugar when you eat. Your blood sugar just prior to a meal, and then at the blood sugar peak, which is about 30 to 60 minutes after you start eating.

My colleagues, of course, tell you don’t do it that way. Check a blood sugar 2 hours later. Because their interest is that you should be on insulin and drugs. They want to see if your blood sugar is controlled on drugs. We don’t care about that nonsense. We want to use tools to gain health, not guide the use of drugs.

So if you follow what I call the “No Change” rule; no change from before a meal to after a meal. Or at the start of a meal, try to find a peak, and allow no change. If you start at 100, you want no higher than 100. Start a 90; etc. 130, don’t go higher than 130. And if you do, change your diet. Remove the foods that raise blood sugar; do it again down the road.

And I love this little device, because it tracks all your blood sugar and other measures on this app right on your smart phone. Because all of us live on smart phones now; damn things. So, here we can have our blood sugar. And it’s so darn portable, because the device itself that measure blood sugar is about the size of a quarter. It’s teensy-weensy. And it goes right on your phone. And it comes in a little portable device that carries your test strips. So anyway.

Diane Sanfilippo: Very cool. And on the heels of an interview I did just a few weeks ago with Robb Wolf about his new book, Wired to Eat, which I’m sure you’ve seen. He talks a ton about the blood sugar regulation. Because so many of us have spent years thinking perhaps assuming that that’s only valuable information for folks who are either diabetic or concerned that they might become diabetic. But I think that for people who are looking for either optimal health or even just looking for just more answers about what’s going on with their metabolism and their body in general. Which we know, people still have questions about that, even before they become diabetic in many cases. So that’s awesome. Very cool to hear about that new option, or different option for folks. And we’ll try and see if we can find a link for that and put it in our show notes, if you’re listening and you’re driving and you're like, “What did he just say?” We’ll get you guys a link for it. So very cool. Love to hear about that. That’s such a nerdy response, and I absolutely love it. From an MD. So thank you for that one.

Dr. William Davis: {laughs}

3. Listener feedback about Dr. William Davis [7:54]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. So today’s conversation about your new book and this whole topic of being undoctored. We’re going to get into a whole bunch of questions that we have from listeners. And of course I’m going to ask you a bit about the book. But I wanted to share with you some listener excitement before we get into the topic. Because when we posted a call for questions, every now and then this happens where there’s a guest we’re bringing on and everyone is kind of beside themselves.

So we have Sandra, who said, “Wheat Belly was the first book I read 5 years ago recommended by my acupuncturist that set me on a path to better health. I’m totally grain-free, gluten-free, low sugar, very few processed foods. 30 pounds less, and I’m a healthy weight for the first time in 25 years. I’m 50 years old.” And she says, “Your podcast has been a huge help on my journey.” I guess our podcast. “To have him on your show will be a double treat. I loaned out my Wheat Belly book to many people.”

Jonathan says, “Wheat Belly was life changing.” Tara says, “Wheat Belly was the first book I read that set me on a path.” Another one, “Dealing with hormonal imbalances after a child.” So she’s super excited. So they’re geeked out excited to have you on this show. {laughs}

Dr. William Davis: {laughs} That’s great.

Diane Sanfilippo: So there’s a warm welcome, if you ever needed or wanted one.

Dr. William Davis: Nice to hear Diane. Nice to hear.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. And I just wanted to say thank you very much, also, personally. Because when my first book came out, Practical Paleo, you and I had met before that came out in the first low-carb cruise that I went on. We were on that trip together. I think that was when we first met. And you wrote a really nice review of the book on Amazon. I think even today still remains one of the first reviews that shows up when folks land on the book. I’m not sure, now that the second edition came out, if it’s still doing that. It’s all the same reviews. But you know, that doesn’t go unnoticed. Because I really appreciated that. And you had some really nice things to say about the book. So I just really appreciated that from the beginning, so thank you for that.

Dr. William Davis: That’s great.

4. Undoctored: Dr. Davis’ new book [9:49]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright. So, today we’re not talking Wheat Belly. We’re not talking the details and nuances of gluten and all of that. We’re talking about this whole subject matter of health care and how it’s failing people. And your new book, Undoctored; subtitled as Why Health Care has failed you, and how you can become smarter than your doctor. I mean, I kind of saw that, and I was like, alright. This is it. This is throwing down the gauntlet. So tell us about the motivation for the book and where this all came from. A lot of us kind of have a feeling about where this is coming from. But where does it come from for you?

Dr. William Davis: You know, with the Wheat Belly experience, Diane, or doing some of these basic strategies. Eliminating wheat and grains; capping their carb intake. And wonderful things happen. Spectacular things happen. Magnificent weight loss. Reversal of autoimmune diseases. Type 2 diabetic become nondiabetic. Acid reflux. IBS reversal. Polycystic ovarian syndrome phenomena reversed. So we see these wonderful effects.

I expanded the Wheat Belly conversation step-wise. I asked people to start correcting the deficiencies that persisted despite grain elimination. You know, we’re told that grains are necessary for fiber and B vitamins, which is complete nonsense. In fact, grains cause nutritional deficiencies; particularly minerals. Positively charged minerals, like iron and zinc, calcium and magnesium. So I urged people to correct some of these deficiencies, but specifically magnesium. To also correct common other deficiencies that are not all that related to grain consumption, like iodine. Iodine deficiency is a huge nationwide problem. And becoming bigger, because people are eliminating their iodized salt use.

What I saw over and over and over; thousands and thousands of times were people coming back saying, “Whoa! I lost 67 pounds! I have 6 inches less on my waist. My eczema went away. The facial rash, the acne I had went away. My hair is thicker. I look younger. I feel better. My ulcerative colitis is gone. My rheumatoid arthritis is gone. My lupus is now gone. I'm off all the drugs. My migraine headaches are gone; I don’t need the drugs anymore. And I told my doctor, and he said quit it, it’s stupid. It’s just an accident, it’s coincidence.” In other words, I saw people taking control of their own health, and succeeding despite the doctor. Despite the criticism, the indifference, the resistance of their doctors. And it struck me that what we really have is this tool to turn health around.

So what I now do is urge them; “Don’t worry if it’s called rheumatoid arthritis or coronary disease or high cholesterol or hypertension or type 2 diabetes. We don’t care what it’s called. Follow the simple menu of strategies, and the overwhelming likelihood is, you won’t have that condition in a matter of weeks, sometimes months for more complex conditions.” And I’ve been astounded by how effective this simple collection of strategies has been.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. A similar thought process that I had when originally putting together meal plans for Practical Paleo, when folks would come to me and say, “Well, a lot of these look really similar.” And I would say, “Well, they are, because the path to health for anyone is going to be very similar.” There are some nuances. Which, you cover a lot of that in this book; nuances from your perspective as a medical doctor. What to do about different conditions and some really no-nonsense, here’s how to approach this, here’s what you need to know. As I’m looking through the book; which I just got my hands on it so I didn’t get a chance to read through more of it yet. But I don’t want to pretend like I’ve read it front to back before we’re talking. But as I look through it, I’m like, this is the stuff that people need to hear is what’s really going on with their bodies and what will actually help them. It’s not just about, come in, take this pill, and that’s what “fixes” things. Because that’s not; the deficiency of a pill is not what’s causing hypothyroidism, for example.

Dr. William Davis: Mm-hmm.

5. Inspiration for Undoctored [14:11]

Diane Sanfilippo: Where did you get the inspiration to tackle it in this way? Is it just that you were seeing that really the same approach generally speaking is working for most folks, and then you have kind of the nuanced specifics for different folks? You are addressing things very specifically. It’s not a super generalized plan for everyone. You do dive into; “Ok, if this is what you’re dealing with, here’s a path to take.” So what inspired that?

Dr. William Davis: Well I saw that; in fact, we had a program where we’d say, “If you have high cholesterol, start with this program. If you have acid reflux, start with this program. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, start with this program.” It becomes unmanageable. There are literally thousands of health conditions. And of course, we’re talking about chronic common health conditions, like hypertension, high cholesterol, and acid reflux. We’re not talking about genetic disorders. We’re not talking about a busted hip from a fall down the stairs, accident, and infection. We’re talking about the very common chronic health care conditions that dominate most health care interactions, and consume most health care dollars.

But it was clear that if we had to have everyone walk a different door, it became unmanageable and incomprehensible. But that’s when the whole Wheat Belly experience unfolded. Where I saw that as we expanded the menu of strategies, to only 6 strategies by the way. It’s not a lot. That wonderful things happened. And it didn’t matter what your doctor labeled the condition. You wouldn’t think that polycystic ovarian syndrome with high blood pressure, high blood sugar, diabetes, and infertility would respond to the same menu of strategies as acid reflux, leg edema, migraine headaches, depression, bipolar illness, and dementia risk. But they do. They all; they’re different expressions of similar phenomena. Not to say this menu of strategies cures everything; it does not. There are conditions outside of the reach of these basic strategies. Like gout, for instance, requires some additional efforts. Or calcium oxalate kidney stones requires some additional efforts.

But you know, Diane, if you and I persuaded a nation to follow these simple strategies. In my case, these 6 simple strategies; and there are more you can add, but these are the basic core strategies. I predict that we would have a dramatic transformation in the appearance of Americans and their health. We would essentially bankrupt the pharmaceutical industry. We would close hospitals. We would see a dramatic transformation in the cost you're exposed to in health care. Because this basic strategy is so powerful.

Now, the downside is, it’s essentially free. It might involve the cost of a book. It might involve the cost of a handful inexpensive nutritional supplements and the change in choices of food and some cooking, as you know. But compared to, say, thousands of dollars that healthcare costs, it is almost free. Which is the downside. Because health care is built on profit. So I say the enemy of the healthcare system is not sickness; it’s healthy people.

If you’re healthy, you are absolutely useless to the healthcare system. And they have to think of new and clever ways to exploit you for profit. But there is the key for you and me. If we help people to become healthy, we are no longer exploited by the predatory practices of health care.

Diane Sanfilippo: Which, my husband is a chiropractor and obviously myself as a nutrition professional, we agree that we consider it a sick care system. It really is not there to help people become healthy. It’s sort of just there to manage you, meaning keep you in the system if you come in and you show up and you're sick. So it’s a really interesting topic.

6. Personal responsibility of the patient [18:13]

Diane Sanfilippo: I want to ask you about the 6 steps that you're referring to. But before we do that, you touched on something that I just want to get your take on this. Because I’ve talked about this with a couple of other guests I’ve had. I just want to see what your experience is. The idea of personal responsibility of the patient. There’s been this period of time, probably before and leading into let’s say my parent’s generation. Where they showed up at the doctor’s office, they expected and hoped that that doctor is “smarter than they were” about everything. And there became this period of time where that was the case. It was the white coat, and what the white coat said is what you did. And also the expectation was primarily that the white coat would prescribe something in a bottle with a label, and that’s what you do. This was the expectation for so long.

So I’m curious what you see as either a shift or not, or the potential for more of a shift in patient responsibility. When patients come through the door. Perhaps, in your practice, it’s been a little bit of a different population over the years because people maybe know what to expect more with you. But are patients taking more responsibility now. Are they ready to hear from the doctor, “You need to do something. Not just take the pill.” Do you think more patients at large are willing to hear that, and then do something about it?

Because, just for one more point of context, I have a medical doctor in my family. He’s a podiatrist, dealing with a lot of diabetics who were coming in and needed amputations, or near amputations. And his dismissive comment was, “Well people don’t want to do that. They won’t change. They won’t stop eating sugar.” And I felt like that was just a disempowering statement. I was like, “Well are you not even trying to have that conversation with them? Have you given up on that conversation?” So that was from the standard medical world. But I’m just curious; what do you see with that? Do you see that patients are more willing? Even the ones who aren’t paleo people. The in-depth hackers and all of that. The standard American; are they ready?

Dr. William Davis: I think there’s always going to be a segment of the population who doesn’t give a damn. And they’re going to drink their soda pop and eat their pizza and eat bad foods, not exercise. Smoke. So there’s always going to be. You and I aren’t talking to those people. We’re talking to the people who say, “You know what? I did all the right things. I cut my fat and cholesterol. I eat in moderation. I eat healthy whole grains. I listened to my doctor. And I’m on 18 medications, and I’m impaired. I’m obese, and I feel awful.” Those are the people we’re talking to. People who did the right thing, but didn’t realize that the system was rigged for profit, not for your health.

I found the opposite to be true. Most people, with only occasional exceptions, once you explain what it is you're trying to do and why you're doing it and what your intentions were; that is, to generate health. They were very open to it. I fear, Diane, that so many people today have suffered the process of learned helplessness. If you expect no good answers from your doctor, except go to the hospital for this test. Or go to the surgeon to have this organ taken out. That you never expect health information from the doctor. And I think doctors like that. Because you know what? Sitting down, as you know, to tell somebody how to eat properly and sleep better and make sure they're not exposed to glyphosate, those kinds of things, is time consuming. And it pays very poorly.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep. Yep.

Dr. William Davis: So how else can ophthalmologist make his $2 million a year income that he makes by using those fancy injections in people’s eyes whether or not they’re necessary or not. Is he really going to stop for a moment and tell his patients; “Hey, let’s talk for about half an hour, an hour, about eye health and how you can keep it from happening.” He’s not going to do it. So I’m skeptical that the health answers will come from the health care. I want to see what happened to Kodak happen to healthcare. You may recall Kodak was a 140,000 employee, $40 billion a year big company that was on the New York Stock Exchange for 7 years. A shining example of entrepreneurial success. Long-term success. Based on selling cameras and developing film. Well, the developed digital photography internally and then quietly scrapped it because they thought it would ruin their conventional business. You know the rest of the story. Someone else on the outside developed digital photography, and Kodak is essentially history now.

I want to see us as outsiders. I mean, we’re both kind of on the periphery now of healthcare. We’re not really roaming the hospitals. We’re not drug industry executives. We’re not hospital executives. We’re not medical device executives. I want to see what happened to Kodak happen to health care. Because those of us on the outside of mainstream medicine say, “You know what, they screwed up. They didn’t do their job. Sure they’re really good at putting in an implantable defibrillator or transplanting your liver and offering ads and billboards to that effect. But they really are very bad at helping you be healthy. They’ve lost the vision that healthcare should deliver health, not just profit for healthcare insiders. So I think that’s the role that we all play here.

So I think there’s an absolute need to be involved in health by the individual. The healthcare bubble is unsustainable. 17.5% of GDP now goes towards healthcare. And here’s a dirty little secret; health care insiders want it to be 19%. 21%. Because it’s an enormous wealth transfer. So, Diane, my genuine feeling is that we absolutely must do this. Because I don’t want to see the families of your listeners continue to be exploited by this predatory healthcare system. I don’t think we can continue it. So that’s why I say, the enemy of the healthcare industry is not sickness; it’s healthy people. Let’s become the enemies of the healthcare system.

Diane Sanfilippo: Love it. The pictures in my mind of what happened with Kodak; that’s such a great analogy. You know, I know there are some functional medicine doctors, like Dr. Mark Hyman, who has been working with the Cleveland Clinic. There seem to be some in-roads to getting some functional medicine into standard medical systems. And I do think it’s a little bit of, they have to hedge their bets because they realize that what we’re doing isn’t working and there’s a tipping point there of where the money is being made but actually the system is going to break itself because it can’t pay for itself for probably, I don’t know how much longer. I’m not an expert on the economics of that system. But I don’t think it’s going to last too long the way it is.

7. 6 simple steps to better health [25:24]

Diane Sanfilippo: Let’s get into some more around what’s going on with your book and a plan that you're creating and putting out there for folks. You say that you’ve got 6 steps to seizing control over your health. What are the 6 steps that you like for people to take?

Dr. William Davis: In the book what I do; I first expose healthcare for what it is. It’s not about health. But then providing; I’m very mindful it can’t all be bashing conventional thinking and practice. So the 6 components of what I called the I, wild naked and unwashed program. Because it allows us to revert back to the way we’re supposed to be. We’re not supposed to be sitting in nice urban apartments and driving nice cars and using smart phones. We’re supposed to be hairy, filthy people scrambling for survival in the forest. But those people were healthier than we are. They got injured. They got infection and infestations, but they didn’t have any of the diseases of civilization that we have, like heart disease, dementia, cancer, diabetes. So I think there’s an important lesson to take from that. So I call this the Undoctored: a wild, naked, and unwashed program.

It starts with the diet, which is very familiar to you and your listeners. No wheat, no grains, and capping your carbohydrate intake. There’s more detail than that, but that’s essentially the essence of the Undoctored eating lifestyle. The same lessons taken from the Wheat Belly dietary experience. Correct deficiencies that lie in the wake of grain elimination. Magnesium is a standout. So we talk about how to properly replace magnesium, get it right. There’s also correcting omega-3 fatty acid deficiency. Which is easy to do; it’s not news. And it’s not that powerful unless it’s in the presence of these other factors. there’s a wonderful synergy I’ll talk about.

Another is achieving ideal thyroid status. We live in this world, Diane, where we’re exposed to so many things that disrupt thyroid. Like the triclosan in hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap. And then perchloric octanoic acid that comes from the Teflon lining in frying pans, that are still being used in restaurants. So we swim in a sea of endocrine disruptive compounds. So we’ve got to address thyroid status as the most commonly disrupted endocrine gland. And we start with iodine. There’s a flagrant nationwide deficiency that’s coming back, because of the reduction in reliance on iodized salt. And then we also cultivate bowel flora. And I have a program for doing that. As you know, the microbiome has proven to be an enormously important factor, but what we’re lacking is practical advice on how to deal with restoring a healthy microbiome. So I give people practical advice.

There’s a wonderful thing that happens, Diane, when you put those 6 simple things together. There’s a synergy. And I don’t fully understand why. There’s an incredible synergy. If you leave one of those things out, you won’t get full effect. If you practice all 6 of them, and get it right, astounding things happen. I call it the 2+2=11 effect. You get a total effect far larger than the sum of all its parts. And that’s what I’m seeing play out every day.

Diane Sanfilippo: Really fascinating. Some recent testing and blood work that I’ve done with a naturopath showing that my thyroid isn’t working as well as it could be. It’s not bad. It’s not hypothyroid. But it’s just a little suboptimal. And it’s such a lightbulb, where you realize, as you said. All of these things kind of happening at once. Shockingly, I wasn’t deficient in magnesium. I was like, “Well I must be getting enough from all these amazing whole foods that I eat.” But yeah, it is really interesting. And even the folks who are dealing with different medical conditions that have been diagnosed and you're struggling with that. Or even someone like me who is just curious, you know. Can I optimize my health further? I feel pretty good. I’m a healthy person in general. But I do think that there’s an element; especially if we want to keep ourselves out of the doctor’s office, for those of us who typically aren’t there and want to work with, perhaps a naturopath and take this more holistic approach.

8. Having a discussion with your doctor [29:50]

Diane Sanfilippo: We have some questions from listeners that I would love to dig into a little bit. Feel free to give your two cents. And if it’s something that you do also cover in the book, let us know that folks can be encouraged to grab a copy. Because I think people are going to feel very empowered by this book. Which is one of the big themes of; I don’t know, my entire year. I’m trying to make sure people feel empowered. Even if I’m telling them, “This is how I’m eating right now.” I don’t want them to just listen to what I’m doing and do it. I don’t want people to take something and just do it. I want people to really think; use critical thinking skills, and all that good stuff.

But we have a couple of people asking, how can we best create a dialogue about our health with our doctors without being dismissed as a quack or a hippie. And how to have those conversations so that we’re not just getting a prescription. Is there a way to have that conversation? Or do you just need to basically find a doctor who you think is kind of in line with that? Is there a door open there somewhere, or do we just need to find the right doctor?

Dr. William Davis: One thing I would urge people to not do is try to change your doctor. It’s like trying to get your 14-year-old, 15-year-old teenage to follow all the rules. It ain’t going to happen. Doctors are so deeply entrenched into a style of thinking. The white coat to intimidate you. The long wait to try to disempower you. The “Here you go, take these three prescriptions” without explanation. “Go to the hospital.” “Why?” “Because I said so.” Kind of response.

I think that’s inexcusable and unacceptable. The problem is about 90% of my colleagues still follow those antiquated rules. So I think as you pointed out, I steer people to find people who have declared themselves to be more openminded and embrace this notion of empowerment. Such as functional medicine practitioners, integrative health practitioners, chiropractors, naturopaths, and people in the nutrition community. There are all these people showing up who do these things. As I mentioned, the ophthalmologist who makes $2 million a year for doing injections into people’s eyes. He’s not going to do it. No matter what you say, he’s not going to change. If you got to an orthopedic surgeon who loves to put in new hips and knees every day, you’re not going to get wisdom on bone health. So it’s not even worth trying. So find the practitioners and practitioner network. I tell people. “All you need to do is find one practitioner.”

Diane Sanfilippo: So true.

Dr. William Davis: Yeah. So if you go to, say, a chiropractor. And the chiropractor helps you deal with some spine issues. Maybe they’re involved in some hormone questions; your vitamin D, etc. Then you say, “I have a female, gynecological question.” He says, “That’s out of my area. But I know of a great gynecologist who practices functional integrative health.” So all you need is that one practitioner, and you tap into a network and that really helps.

The practitioner needs to be your advocate. Your partner in generating health. Not somebody who just gives you orders. Doctors can’t give you orders. He can give orders to hospital staff, but you don’t have to take his orders. He’s only giving you suggestions. Most of the suggestions stink.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Dr. William Davis: So it’s ok to even point that out. I tell people to walk out of a medical office.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Dr. William Davis: If you don’t get somebody who says, “Diane, I’m here to advocate for your health and help you become healthy. I’m not here to increase my bonus; my end of quarter bonus for driving higher revenues for my hospital system.” So I tell people to insist that their healthcare provider be an advocate for their health.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s a great point. I think one of the big challenges there and our insurance system and what it will or will not cover for some people. The types of practitioners that may or may not be covered. Although it seems that more naturopathic doctors, for example, are covered. I was asked about my insurance when I signed up to have a visit with a naturopath, and I don’t have healthcare because I just don’t believe in the system. Knock on wood, whatever. I just don’t. So I’ll pay for it out of pocket. It does seem that more people can get the stuff covered. But it does seem also that if this is something that’s important to you, and you're not finding answers under the care of a doctor where you would be covered by health insurance, it’s at a point where you might need to take it into your own hands and appropriate the funds to pay the right person to be your guide. But that is a challenge, because it is a challenge in a lot of populations where they just don’t have the money to be paying for that out of pocket. And it isn’t cheap. Even working with a nutritionist is not cheap.

And as a nutrition professional, a lot of us are almost being treated like doctors by the clients, because they’ve been so failed by the medical system that they come to us with three diagnoses and, “Can you help me.” And I have to remind our practitioners; “We are not medical professionals.” And at the same time, we do hold a lot of power in what we can help people with and recommendations we make. But it is this really delicate balance of that burden is now being put on us. But we haven’t combined our nutrition experience with medical school. Maybe some folks will. Or maybe medical school down the road can become a little bit more holistic. But the whole system definitely is broken. I mean, plus, what as a medical doctor, you come out of med school with how much in student loans? So you need that $2 million a year to probably pay that back in a reasonable amount of time. {laughs}

Dr. William Davis: Yeah. I imagine you're in perfect health; I imagine your husband is in perfect health. The whole family is in perfect health. Does that mean if you went to a healthcare insurer they would say, “Well, we’re going to give you a deep discount on your healthcare insurance because you're so healthy?”

Diane Sanfilippo: Right. No.

Dr. William Davis: “Rather than $1200 a month and a $5000 deductible, we’re going to charge you $200 a month and a $500 deductible.” You’ll never hear that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Which is why I don’t have it. Because I’m like; I’ll just save the money I would be spending, those thousands of dollars a month. Stash it away for just such an occasion that I might need it. But anyway. It is really interesting, and I’m glad that you said not to try to change who they are and their beliefs. I think a lot of doctors don’t want to be questioned. I think it’s very specific; this expert really does not like being questioned.

Dr. William Davis: One of my long-term hopes, goals, is to offer people a means to opt out of conventional healthcare. Two sides to this; one, develop a network of likeminded healthcare practitioners who act as people’s advocates. And then, two, develop a health insurance mechanism that is deeply discounted because people start the process very healthy. And because one of the reasons why someone in ideal health like you is not afforded this huge discount on healthcare insurance is because you subsidize all the unhealthy people who follow the US dietary guidelines for Americans. Who are sedentary. Who do smoke. And who just have lost control of their health. So we subsidize them. What if we could opt out of that process? And you could insure your family for a teensy weensy fraction of the cost? But your backed up in catastrophic situations, should that ever happen. So I’d like to see that happen. It’s a long-term goal. It’s a very complicated world, when you get into the world of healthcare insurance. But I think it’s a doable thing. So that you and I are provided for.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And actually, not that many years ago, catastrophic insurance was a lot more available. I know my husband used to have it. But then we moved, and changed states. We’re not able to even find it anymore. It’s not even an option. So it is really interesting, because that was kind of the last; “Ok, we’ll do this catastrophic thing.” And we can’t actually even find it as an availability. So it is really interesting.

9. Creating more demand for holistic healthcare [38:04]

Diane Sanfilippo: So kind of on this same topic here, what would you recommend for the folks who know that they need to take this Undoctored approach and really can’t afford to see someone outside of that network for their insurance? What can they do? What can the average healthcare consumer do to help either create more demand for that holistic care. And just in the moment of, “Well my doctor doesn’t seem to be helping me, but that’s the person I could afford to see because of my insurance.” What would you recommend they do?

Dr. William Davis: All the things that I’m advocating are natural factors that already fit into the human adaptive experience. So we take vitamin D as gel cap, only because most of us refuse to run naked in a tropical sun. And many of us are over 40. And even with sun exposure, do not activate sufficient vitamin D in the skin. So we take vitamin D as a gel cap. But it fits into the natural human experience. It serves an intrinsic need. So all the things I’m talking about are not dangerous. They’re not foreign to the human experience. They’re actually providing substances your body actually needs to function. So there are no dangers.

The only dangers in doing this sort of Undoctored process are people who have been prescribed medications. Especially blood pressure medications and blood sugar medications. The dangers would be low blood pressure and low blood sugar. In other words; if you help a diabetic, a type 2 diabetic, become less diabetic, which happens within the first 24 hours. They’re going to need to reduce their insulin and/or their other drugs. Abruptly. Rapidly. Ideally, they do that with the assistance of somebody adept at doing this. Which is not their usual doctor, because their doctor probably prescribed those drugs in the first place. So it really helps to have a healthcare practitioner who understands you're trying to be non-diabetic, or non-hypertensive and want to be off those drugs.

Outside of that, this is all natural. It fits into the human adaptation. Iodine is not foreign to any of us. Cultivation of bowel flora is natural and healthy. There’s nothing foreign about it. So there’s no dangers in doing this outside of people who take prescription drugs.

And I should say, Diane, it’s not expensive either. These are inexpensive. The diet, you may know, even though we encourage consumption of organic, pasture-fed, etc., kinds of foods, the net effect is either no change or reduction. Because one of the odd phenomena we learned in the Wheat Belly experience is that when you remove grains specifically, calorie intake typically goes down 400-800 calories per person per day. In a family of 5, that’s 2000 to many more thousand calories per day that you don’t have to buy or prepare. So there’s a cost savings built into this lifestyle. So this is not an expensive process.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s a really good point. What you're saying is, what you talk about in your book. And I think we’ve talked about this for years with whether it was Wheat Belly or paleo books, what have you. There is so much people can do for themselves with this whole process. And in the meantime, and at some point, if they are in a position where they find a health professional that can work with them within a budget that they have, then they’ve already taken themselves. And this is something I’ve said a lot. You take yourself 80-90% of the way by following a protocol like this, and by the time you show up at that practitioner’s office, you’ve already done a lot of the work that they would probably tell you to do. And you're going to save yourself a whole bunch of money in the process. And like you said, a lot of this stuff, even vitamin D exposure. Maybe some of it is supplementation, but some of it they can get outside in the sun and have a little bit of that without actually spending money on it. So there are some approaches there.

Dr. William Davis: Absolutely.

10. When modern medicine is necessary [42:01]

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. So, how can we tell when we really do need modern medicine, and drugs, and when we can rely on diet, exercise, health, sleep, etc. So those seem to be kind of two separate paradigms. Is there a time and a place for modern medicine? What is it; besides the obvious, traumatic injuries and broken bones. And how do we know we’ve crossed a threshold and need to seek medical attention rather than taking this really holistic and undoctored approach?

Dr. William Davis: If you take this undoctored approach, the overwhelming likelihood is that you're going to be magnificently healthy and slender. So when something appears outside that experience. A peculiar pain. Bloody stools. Unexpected headache. After you’ve been feeling wonderful say, for 3 years. Or whatever. Then you know you have something outside of the experience you can manage on your own. As you say, injury. Infections. If you come back from Costa Rica with delirium and fever, you need the health care system. Genetic disorders. Inherited disorders. Those are not susceptible to what we’re trying to do.

Most of these things are obvious. And so what I’m not asking people to do is self-diagnose. I’m not saying, if you have lupus, take this very specific. What I’m saying is; if people just engage in this basic menu of strategies, more than likely, whether it’s lupus or eczema or depression, more than likely it will go away. It might take more than a few days. It might take a few weeks. But it more than likely will go away. If you're left with a resistant condition; that may be an instance.

Let’s say you do give this a really good try and 4 months in, your rheumatoid arthritis is not responding. Then the question is, why? That may be a question for the conventional medical care. And preferably with someone who acts as your advocate, and doesn’t say, “What you did was stupid. Stop everything. Go back to a regular diet and stop that stupid vitamin D. What’s that thing about bowel flora? I don’t care about that. Take this drug. IV. It’s only $2400 a month.” No. No. No. So go to an advocate who is going to work with you to help you find solutions.

Diane Sanfilippo: I recently sat down with Balanced Bites podcast sponsor, Bethany, of Primally Pure Skincare to ask her more about her company and the products that they make.

Ok, we all want to know. What’s your most popular product.

Bethany: Deodorant is definitely our most popular product. It’s one of the most important conventional products for people to ditch, because of all of the toxins hiding in most of the stuff you see at the drugstore. It really does have the potential to do some damage over time. Our deodorant is all natural, and it actually truly does work. We also offer a sensitive option for those who don’t do well with baking soda.

Diane Sanfilippo: Your website talks about products that nourish the skin, body, and self. What do you mean by that?

Bethany: We’re passionate about creating products that promote overall health, and are also enjoyable to use. Self-care is so important to us, and we live in such a go-go-go world that one of our goals is to create products that have the ability to take some stress out of an otherwise hectic day for those who use them.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s been so great chatting with you. Thank you so much for joining me!

Bethany: Thanks, Diane!

Diane Sanfilippo: Don’t forget Diane’s favorite Primally Pure product is the dry shampoo, and Liz’s favorite is the Everything Spray with magnesium. As a special bonus for you, Primally Pure is offering a free lip balm with your first purchase of one item or more. Simply add a lip balm to your cart along with any one item, and use the code “balancedbites”, one word no caps, during checkout to receive one of their lip balms for free with your order. Head to www.primallypure.com and check out their range of safe and effective all natural skincare products.

11. Final points by Dr. Davis [46:01]

Diane Sanfilippo: I think those are great points. And I think a lot of our listeners may be at a point where they have done a lot of things that are similar to this, but we can recommend that they check this particular stepped approach out. If you’ve been eating paleo, maybe you were taking vitamin D but maybe you haven’t done the rest. Maybe you haven’t really figured out if your gut flora is in a good place, or your thyroid is working. Check out this book to see if the steps that Dr. Davis is setting out will really get you the rest of the way.

Where I think you have a lot of power with a book like this, also, is with our listeners’ family and friends. Because we heard it in the testimonials and the quotes leading into the show. This was an experience I had as well, where just having your book around, or having it as something to refer to where it’s not something that’s called “paleo” or it’s not called some diet. It’s really like, how do they take control of their health, and it’s from an MD. It’s just a gateway and an invitation to our family and friends to say, “Here’s another way that you might be able to heal.” And I think that is really powerful. Because a lot of our listeners, they constantly ask, “How can I help my friends and family?” And there’s never one answer for that. Because a lot of times we can’t. A lot of times, we just have to leave them be. But what if you just had this book in the bathroom, perhaps, and somebody picks it up?

I recently had a friend cat-sitting, and he picked up one of the books in my house on fasting, and two days later he’s attempting it and it’s amazing for him. Because he had been insulin resistant, and he’s getting great results. So you never know when a book like Wheat Belly, as folks have mentioned, or Undoctored in your home and somebody comes in and just, nobody notices, but they just start reading it, and it turns on some light bulbs. I think that’s a really powerful way to have this book impact people. Because we can’t, as the children of people who may need some help. Or the aunts and sisters, etc. We can’t always help them. But using a tool like this, and a book like this, will really take us pretty far.

So what else do you want to tell people today about your approach? About anything that you’re seeing right now in the whole health care system failing folks so that we can just kind of close out the show with any final thoughts that you have?

Dr. William Davis: I think if people simply embrace this idea that you do have power. You do have a say. And if a doctor tells you to shut up and do what he says, walk out. So the first step is rejecting that feeling of learned helplessness. That the doctor is not going to help you; he’s just there to tell you want to do. Accept that you have, in fact, extraordinary power. We live in this age of information empowerment and collaboration; online collaboration. And Diane, I cringe to think what would have happened had we not had the internet appear a few years ago. We’d still be talking like it was 1983. And we’d be in the dark. But we’re not in the dark. In fact, we’re finding new answers. This wonderful collective crowd-sourced wisdom is a very powerful thing. If we get thousands of people all sharing experiences, insights, knowledge, from all different walks of life, and we start asking questions. We start getting real answers. And we’re getting answers that are better than the answers that are being provided by the healthcare system. And we’re doing it because we want healthy people. We don’t want big profit. So the misaligned ambitions of the healthcare system, and us as people achieving health. Means the answers are coming from us, not from the healthcare.

Let the healthcare system continue to transplant livers and put in implantable defibrillators and do their cancer. Let them do their job. But we’re going to be in charge of health. Helping people be healthy.

Diane Sanfilippo: Amen. I love it. Thank you so much for taking time to chat with our listeners and myself today.

Dr. William Davis: My pleasure, Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: That was really fun and always great to kind of catch up with you. I’m super excited to see that this is the path that you're taking with your work. Because you have huge impact, and I’m just more and more excited every day, the more folks I see, getting information like this out there into the hands of the masses. So thank you for writing this book.

Dr. William Davis: Thank you, Diane. A lot of fun being here.

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, that’s it for this week. You can find me, Diane, at http://dianesanfilippo.com and Dr. Davis at www.WheatBellyBlog.com. Don’t forget to join our email lists for free goodies and updates you don’t find anywhere else on our websites or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, please leave us an iTunes review. It helps new people find our show all the time. We’ll see you next week.

Comments 2

  1. I thought it was odd that you didn’t question Dr. Davis on his statement that testing blood glucose at 2 hours post meal is essentially useless unless you’re on insulin medication. You just had Robb Wolf on your podcast promoting his book Wired to Eat which is based on a 7 day carb test that has you testing your blood glucose at two hours. You even mentioned that book after Dr. Davis made that statement but didn’t question the completely conflicting information. This whole podcast just seemed like a book promo with no real insight into whether any of this information that he’s touting is accurate.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Heather – I agree that it was conflicting, and sometimes I am really able to get in there with the questions, and sometimes I’m not. I do the best I can, but I think it was probably in a moment where I was ready to move on to another topic – I can’t recall now. It wasn’t my favorite interview, but I guess they can’t all be.

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