Hippocrates Timeless Still

My article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 

J R Soc Med. 2013 Jul;106(7):288-92

can also be read in full here in the James Lind Library online

Hippocrates UCL

Hippocrates put the person at the center of his attention, while modern medicine focuses on the disease. Hippocrates was first and foremost interested in finding out what led to the development of the symptoms experienced by the person. He distinguished lifestyle patterns and personal characteristics that predisposed to certain conditions. Although modern medicine is increasingly accepting the importance of lifestyle in the development of chronic diseases, it continues to give priority to examining the illness and treating the symptoms. Hippocratic therapies involved primarily changes in food, exercise and other lifestyle patterns while modern medical treatments concentrate on pharmacological and surgical interventions.

In The Art, the writer gives general advice on how a patient should be treated. He explains that medical treatment consists of much more than drugs:

The most famous doctors cure by changing the diet and lifestyle of their patient and, by using other substances. Such capable doctors have the knowledge and ability to use
the therapeutic properties of most natural or man-made products (The Art 2.6; Jones 1923)

 

“Ancient Wisdom and Harmonious Diet” Introductory Workshop

Introductory workshop on Saturday 8th of November from 1-3 pm

(including herbal tea made with the famous Greek Mountain sideritis flowers & Kozani saffron, Dr Eleni’s joy biscuits and recipes)

Nutritional Medicine meets Greek Philosophy

Our food & the way we eat, combined with the exercise we take and other lifestyle factors, are key factors for our health and well-being.

Come and learn in this 2 hour introductory workshop how to combine the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher & father of Medicine Hippocrates, with the science of Nutritional Medicine. Use the lessons and aphorisms of Hippocrates and the knowledge of modern science to begin transforming your health and achieve a harmonious diet, lifestyle and way of being.

To register, e-mail ihealthbeing@gmail.com

or call 07958 495537

Workshop to take place at the Health Being Institute, Woolman room, Quaker Meeting House, 8 Hop Gardens, London WC2N 4EH

Fee £20

Dr Eleni's Ancient Wisdom & Harmonious Diet

 

Why I am looking forward to my talk next week at the British Oncology Pharmacy Association

Slowly but steadily healthcare professionals acknowledge the important role nutrition has to play in the management of people with cancer.

Next week I will be speaking to UK oncology pharmacists about the value of good nutrition in cancer patients

I am going to talk about the two big systematic reviews which showed that current dietetic treatment of cancer patients has no evidence base. I will then ask the audience to consider ways forward.

I will also offer my informed opinion on how we should be using diet and lifestyle to support people diagnosed with cancer: at the time of diagnosis, during their treatment, when they are cleared of any signs of cancer, when they are at the palliative stage and when they are dying.

Nutritional and lifestyle medicine can be of huge help to cancer patients. The literature to support this is significant and the majority of people affected seeks ways to improve their diet and lifestyle, in parallel to their pharmacological treatment.

It’s time for the NHS to acknowledge and endorse the ancient motto that ‘Food is Medicine’

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Diet and Hippocratic Philosophy

If you are interested in using diet and Ancient Greek wisdom to live a more healthy life,  join the Health Being Institute education program on: “Diet and Hippocratic Wisdom”.

The program will be launched next Monday in the birth country of Hippocrates, Greece. A number of workshops will be given from September onwards in Central London.

What you will learn:

* How ancient Hippocratic philosophy still teaches us methods to be healthy

* How to use the wisdom of Ancient Greek philosophers to uncover you long-term beliefs and unconscious attitudes towards your body, health and well-being

* What are the lessons that Hippocratic philosophy can teach us today

* What modern science has proven to be true of the Hippocratic medicine and how to use it to move towards a healthier you

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“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”

Exposed by my children for what I really look like

Flipping through the pictures on my phone, I see it.

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My first reaction is shock. Who took this hideous picture of me?

Self-loathing and disgust swell up and threaten to bring me to tears.

Just as I am about to hit delete, my boy walks in the room.

“Do you know anything about this picture?” I ask him.

I turn the screen so he can see it. He smiles huge.

“I took that of you in Tahoe,” he says. “You looked so beautiful laying there. I couldn’t help it mom.”

“You need to ask me before using my phone to take pictures,” I say.

“I know,” he says. “But mom, seriously, look how pretty you look?”

I look at the picture again and try to see what he sees.

My daughter walks over and takes a look.

“That could be a postcard mom,” she says smiling. “You’re so beautiful. I love it.”

I take a deep breath.

This is exactly what I needed.

My default mode is to see and focus on the flaws and imperfections. I’m starting to see a bit more.

I still see my dimply, fat thighs.

I also see a mom collapsed on the shore that just explored the lake for hours with her children.

I still see chubby arms.

I also see the arms of a mom that just helped her kids across the rocks and hot sand so their feet wouldn’t hurt.

I still see a fat woman wearing a black dress bathing suit to try to hide her weight issue.

I also see an adventurous mom that loves her children something fierce.

Like many women, I have struggled with my weight most of my life. It’s not something that will ever go away for me. I don’t have a naturally slim body. Never have.

Right now I’m the heaviest I’ve been in 10 years. Yet…

I have not let my weight stop me this time. I am wearing tank tops, sundresses and bathing suits in public. I’m running around playing with my kids this summer and I sometimes even feel attractive.

Yes. You heard me.

“I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty, and witty and bright.”

Well…not exactly. But something like that.

Is it because I’m getting older? Is it that I have more to worry about than just how I look? Or maybe it’s because my kids look at me with such adoring eyes.

Really, it doesn’t matter.

I don’t hate my body anymore.

That’s huge for me to admit and hard to even wrap my mind around.

I’m not giving up on exercising and getting healthy. Those are things I will continue to strive for because I want to be around awhile.

Right now though, I just want to love my body where it is. I want it to be OK to see myself the way my kids do.

Thank you kids.

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* Here is another “secret” picture the kids took of me on our day trip to the beach.

Source: Bridgette Tales

Top American Cardiologist recommends Vegan Diet for Heart Health

CardioBuzz: Vegan Diet, Healthy Heart?

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In this guest blog, Kim A. Williams, MD, a cardiologist at Rush University in Chicago and the next president of the American College of Cardiology, explains why he went vegan and now recommends it to patients.

Physicians want to influence their patients to make lifestyle changes that will improve their health, but sometimes the roles are reversed and we are inspired by patients. It was a patient’s success reversing an alarming condition that motivated me to investigate a vegan diet.

Just before the American College of Cardiology’s (ACC) annual meeting in 2003 I learned that my LDL cholesterol level was 170. It was clear that I needed to change something. Six months earlier, I had read a nuclear scan on a patient with very-high-risk findings — a severe three-vessel disease pattern of reversible ischemia.

The patient came back to the nuclear lab just before that 2003 ACC meeting. She had been following Dean Ornish, MD’s program for “Reversing Heart Disease,” which includes a plant-based diet, exercise, and meditation. She said that her chest pain had resolved in about 6 weeks, and her scan had become essentially normalized on this program.

When I got that LDL result, I looked up the details of the plant-based diet in Ornish’s publications — 1- and 5-year angiographic outcomes and marked improvement on PET perfusion scanning — small numbers of patients, but outcomes that reached statistical significance.

I thought I had a healthy diet — no red meat, no fried foods, little dairy, just chicken breast and fish. But a simple Web search informed me that my chicken-breast meals had more cholesterol content (84 mg/100 g) than pork (62 mg/100 g). So I changed that day to a cholesterol-free diet, using “meat substitutes” commonly available in stores and restaurants for protein. Within 6 weeks my LDL cholesterol level was down to 90.

I often discuss the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet with patients who have high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, or coronary artery disease. I encourage these patients to go to the grocery store and sample different plant-based versions of many of the basic foods they eat. For me, some of the items, such as chicken and egg substitutes, were actually better-tasting.

There are dozens of products to sample and there will obviously be some that you like and some that you don’t. One of my favorite sampling venues was the new Tiger Stadium (Comerica Park) in Detroit, where there are five vegan items, including an Italian sausage that is hard to distinguish from real meat until you check your blood pressure – vegan protein makes blood pressures fall.

In some parts of country and some parts of world, finding vegan restaurants can be a challenge. But in most places, it is pretty easy to find vegan-friendly options with a little local Web searching. Web searching can also help with the patients who are concerned about taste or missing their favorite foods. I typically search with the patient and quickly email suggestions.

Interestingly, our ACC/American Heart Association (AHA) prevention guidelines do not specifically recommend a vegan diet, as the studies are very large and observational or small and randomized, such as those on Ornish’s whole food, plant-based diet intervention reversing coronary artery stenosis. The data are very compelling, but larger randomized trials are needed to pass muster with our rigorous guideline methodology.

Wouldn’t it be a laudable goal of the American College of Cardiology to put ourselves out of business within a generation or two? We have come a long way in prevention of cardiovascular disease, but we still have a long way to go. Improving our lifestyles with improved diet and exercise will help us get there.

CardioBuzz is a blog for readers with an interest in cardiology.

Credits: Kim A. Williams MD, medpagetoday.com

Natural sources of Vitamin B12 for vegetarians

Dried Purple Laver

The main sources of vitamin B12 are animal foods.

People who are vegetarians are at risk of becoming vitamin B12 deficient, especially if they have other factors that can cause

  • increased demand such as during pregnancy or
  • impaired absorption of the vitamin, such as after stomach or gut surgery, from long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, due to malabsorption or small bowel bacterial overgrowth, as a result of alcoholism or malnutrition due to various causes

A new study from Japan looked in detail at the various sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians. The researchers found that the highest concentration is found in:

dried purple laver, an edible seaweed called Nori in Japan, Zicai in China and Gim in Korea

Read more in their article published in the peer review journal Nutrients.

The full article can be accessed for free here:

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/5/1861

Nori is easy to use. Sprinkle it over salad or make sushi are two ways to eat it raw. It’s better not to toast it as it reduces the concentration of vitamin B12.

Remember: Eat Real Food. It is always better than taking supplements.

 

Latest talk (London) Be Active Against Cancer: Diet and Lifestyle Tips

The conditions in which we live and work, and our 21st century lifestyles, influence our health and quality of life, increasing the risk of many chronic diseases, including cancer. Although cancer is a difficult and emotive subject, talking about it can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level. Many people know of the usual risk factors. Tobacco use is the most common risk factor, as well as alcohol which current trends show an increase in consumption which results in many more cancers, even more so in women. Overweight and obesity is increasing globally at an alarming rate, including among children and adolescents. Also of concern is the high proportion of overweight people living in low resource settings (two-thirds of the global total). Overweight and obesity is also strongly linked to increased risks of bowel, breast, uterine, pancreatic, oesophagus, kidney and gallbladder cancers. Rising rates of obesity will lead to increased cancer rates unless policies and actions are taken to improve people’s diets and levels of physical activity.

On the occasion of World Cancer Day, I am going to dispel the myth that there is nothing we can do about cancer. Research shows that, with a healthier diet and lifestyle a third of the most common cancers can be prevented. I will discuss lifestyle and food choices that can help prevent cancer.

You can join me either at East Sheen Library on the 4th of February at 2:30 or at East Sheen Primary School on the 12th of February at 6pm.

Be active against cancer School talk copy

Be active against cancer copy