If you haven’t yet, you may want to read Chapter 16 Non Sequitur, and come back to this… either way, read on.
I am at a loss as to where and at what exact point of my experience to begin.
(See Part I: Chapter 8 – Research Angst)
In a conversation recently, with someone I had hoped to find some semblance of common ground, I was flustered. I was floundering. I was trying to explain my point-of-view, but failed miserably.
In response to my belief that diet should be considered first and foremost in treatment of FH, I was told that “decisions regarding FH treatment are private and for the families themselves to determine”.
On the surface, the statement should have been a show of humility, but bubbling underneath it was a sense of something… something visceral. Something surreptitious.
Something that was missing the goal of common ground by miles. This simple statement came over the walls like a surface to air missile, with the main goal and intent of marking off territories, a warning shot.
Yes. Of course treatment decisions are the responsibilities of the patients and their families. Patients and their families should maintain complete autonomy regarding their decisions.
I never implied that they shouldn’t.
Where did this statement come from? Was it something from the mind of the person with whom I spoke? Was it justification for choosing medications over diet? Was it a sugar-insulin spike reaction?
Okay… that was a low blow with the sugar-insulin thing… but in the spirit of the book Canary in the Coalmine, it had to be posited.
The whole conversation left me off-kilter and disappointed.
How did that statement even make it through their thought-to-speech process?
So, now, the medical community wants to be equitable? Really? WTF.
Doctors tell patients what to do all the time. I had 3 doctors, in a row, insist that I would have to give my daughters statins. They told me that I had no other choice. That changing the diet would not work. At all. Any dietary discussions were cursory. 2 of those doctor’s offices did not even have a dietician on staff. The other one at least had a nutritionist on site.
If you are lost, let me give you a review of my very informative conversation with a medical and thus, pharmaceutical establishment representative. Here are the main points of the discussion…
- FH is a genetic condition.
- Researchers do not/have not narrowed down specific genes related to it.
- But… the geneticists have isolated the gene variant for the LDLR (LDL receptor) that have consistently shown coexistent with FH/High Cholesterol sufferers.
- HDL is the ‘good cholesterol’ and carries LDL back to the liver for disposal (per all the literature).
- But… Raising HDL does not lower LDL.
- We know lots of things about FH, since the 1970’s there has been a struggle to raise awareness.
- We know nothing definitive about cholesterol production and elimination in the body.
- Triglycerides are an unknown variable and may or may not have something to do with overall heart disease risk.
- Triglycerides over HDL are an indicator of early heart disease risk. Oh wait, now it’s not. That was SOoo 2012!
- We can’t raise HDL.
- But… We don’t even know how or where in the body HDL is made.
I left the conversation saying far more than I intended, because none of the conversation made sense.
I am confused by the lack of information. I am confused by the lack of interest in learning anything about the process… how cholesterol production and elimination works… how to help our bodies fix themselves. How are we ever going to learn if we don’t ask those questions?
And regarding the present conversation… putting it in context once-and-for-all…
Why does our society seem hell-bent on killing themselves one bite at a time?
Maybe I am crazy, but the choice seems simple. Like saying no to cigarettes or that 4th or 5th beer… Oh wait, that stuff is addictive… And funny thing is… addictions, just like FH (Familial Hypercholesterolemia), are considered to be genetic predispositions as well.