A Good Sense of Humour Has Been My Best Friend
Over the years I have sometimes been attacked for my theories of medical treatments and this started when I became an author and radio presenter. Most of the detractors were doctors and what I was saying seemed to annoy them to the degree where they would have a go at me in the media. This occurred in the 1990s and made be a controversial author leading to my award winning book The Liver Cleansing Diet becoming a bestselling book. You see a lot of academics do not understand the power of reverse psychology but I owe them a lot for this lack of insight!
I remember being asked by the ABC to do a radio interview about bio-identical hormones for menopausal women and I was to be interviewed along with a professor of gynaecology who did not believe in such natural hormones. There is an excellent meta-analysis which shows these hormones are safer than synthetic HRT – see study click here
This professor believed in synthetic or animal hormones instead, and he seemed to hate my books! The interviewer said to me “I will interview you first and then I will interview the professor”. Well me being older and wiser, said “No way, you will interview us together, so I have right of reply” She agreed and luckily I had demanded this strategy, as the professor was incredibly rude and started his interview with the statement “ Well unscientific people like doctor Cabot are only trying to sell books and do not have evidence”. I was quick to remind him that I was a medical doctor who had graduated with first class honours in medicine and surgery and that he should do his home work before coming on an interview with me. We had a heated debate and it was fun and the patient sitting in front of me in my consulting room was cheering me all the way. We older women enjoy a feisty debate so beware!
I have also been bullied by the consumer group Choice who seem to have a political agenda that likes to destroy people. They visited a clinic that they mistakenly thought was my weight loss clinic and sent a “fake patient” who was a plant of theirs, to see a naturopath who had worked in my Camden Clinic. They did not like the way this naturopath operated and they created a defamatory case against me that went on National Television. Although I was interviewed and said that it was NOT my clinic and that I had helped thousands of people lose weight successfully, in my own clinics, these parts of my reply were edited out! That’s the media for you; they just like to sensationalise things to get ratings. You have also got to wonder what the agenda of some consumer groups like CHOICE is. I do not get it at all.
Journalists can be incredibly rude and I guess they have to be to make television interesting! I also had another interesting interview with a male presenter on a National morning TV show in the 1990s which sticks in my mind because it was quite funny. I had just released my book “Hormones – Don’t Let Them Ruin Your Life” and the presenter started with “Well will people say that Cabot is at it again?” I did not really understand what he meant but the condescending tone in his voice irritated me and I wanted to talk about the book, which I thought could help a lot of people. I decided that his grumpiness could be due to male menopause (he was the appropriate age for that) and I said to him “I think this book has some good information to help you as it has a great chapter on testosterone and I suspect that you may need your testosterone level checked.” He did not appreciate my sense of humour but the camera men did!
Where and Why Medicine Needs to Change
The practices of the past are not always what they seem – is it a case of “The Emperor’s got no clothes?”
Mayo Clinic Proceedings 2013 published high level analysis of 10 years worth of original research in the New England Journal of Medicine. This found that around 40% of so called “GOLD STANDARD” medicine has recently been assessed to be of no benefit, ineffective or even harmful. A further 17% of practices were found to be inconclusive. The worst offenders were the COX 2 inhibitor drugs (such as Vioxx) and recommendations for Hormone Replacement Therapy. Other findings were that stenting coronary arteries in stable patients was found to be no better than drugs and aggressive glucose control in type 2 diabetics, was shown to increase death rates.
The Mayo Clinic study showed that it was common for a practice of treatment with a weak evidence base, to gain acceptance through vocal support from prominent advocates and faith in hypothetical mechanisms of action – these attitudes were hard to overturn, even when later trials proved them inadequate.
Remember what Hippocrates the father of medicine said – “First do no harm”. That is why I like nutritional medicine, not only is it scientific and logical because it treats the causes of disease, it is remarkably safe!
The Mayo Clinic findings gave an example where the widespread use of high dose paracetamol for arthritis has recently been challenged by the UK National Institute for Health. They cite concerns that paracetamol is linked to gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and renal damage – their conclusion was that osteoarthritis patients should NOT be routinely advised to use paracetamol.
I agree paracetamol is a liver poison. Guess what the NIH recommended? – diet and exercise !!
Wow that is fantastic but there was opposition to this from rheumatologists – why? Because they do not have many other choices apart from NSAIDs and opioids. General practitioners were also unimpressed saying that “We cannot prescribe paracetamol, NSAIDs or COX inhibitors – so we are left with drugs of addiction; so now that paracetamol is dangerous, medicine becomes impossible”. Hoorah I agree! Medicine becomes much easier to practise if you utilise nutritional therapies but you may be accused of using unscientific practises. Governments need to encourage supplement companies to do the proper research of natural therapies and the freedom to publish their findings in unhealthy people and disease states. Nutritional medicine should be taught in medical schools on a much wider scale. For the present time, it is up to consumers to be wary and educate themselves, as change takes many years in medicine.
Doctors are by nature conservative and have become more so, as the increasing threat of litigation inhibits changes from the status quo or established medical practises. Doctors are also time poor and the free medical journals and newspapers do not promote nutritional medicine and do not educate doctors about its benefits. Many doctors are interested in nutritional medicine and we have an excellent college in Australia called the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine where doctors can become qualified in these areas. It is not free, and as I said before, it should be part of the standard medical curriculum for doctors. See their website at www.acnem.org.au