How Do I Talk to My Doctor?
Updated: May 26
I am not a medical professional. I have no medical training. I encourage anyone on the carnivore journey to find a doctor with which they can work. There is not enough published scientific research on this way of eating to be confident on the long-term effects. We are all our own patient zero. For background on my decision to become a carnivore check out Eat What Heals You (plenitudeco.com).
I recommend collaborating with a medical professional on your carnivore journey to monitor general health. People become concerned about blood pressure, cholesterol, and the health of your colon, kidneys, and liver when they discover you are a carnivore. Being able to do regular testing to monitor trends or adjust medications is critical to avoid unintended consequences.
Most doctors will advise against this way of eating. It is too limiting. It could have consequences. There is not enough research. You will hear all of these. But, if this is a journey you want to go on, you will need to advocate for yourself. Here are some tips.
Know Your History
Because there is not enough published material on the benefits of this way of eating it is not part of medical training. In the United States we are taught the food pyramid as early as our first health class. The USDA published the food pyramid in 1992. They made a change in 2005 to My Pyramid. And then again there was a change in 2011 to My Plate. Doing this simple investigation made me realize that there is not enough research on what foods should be going in our body.
If the USDA is still figuring it out. It is likely that my doctor is still figuring it out. I know I need to learn and advocate for myself.
Know Your Audience
Doctors are practicing medicine. It is required they have a strong background in science. Some of what they are taught comes from a medical book based on agreed principles. Some of what they are taught comes from peer reviewed scientific research.
Knowing I need to advocate for myself with a person who has spent blood, sweat, and tears to learn through these methods tells me I need to talk to them in scientific terms.
Know What You Want
Listen to your doctor’s caution in the same way you want them to listen to you. Ask them to give you more explanation about their concern. Then, try to move forward in a way you can both support one another. In my case my doctor was most concerned about my ability to do this long term. She was also concerned about a potential spike in my cholesterol and blood pressure.
Knowing her concerns I was able to recommend a 30-day, 90-day, and then 6-month blood work testing. That would keep us informed about her concern and allow me to assess my resolve to eating this way for an extended period.
Not all doctors are going to be a good fit for you. If you are not able to have transparent communication with your doctor, move on. Some doctors rely too much on prescriptive protocol and will not allow their patients to try something different. They may not be the doctor for you. I have found that when a doctor has a prescription pad out before we start our discussion, they are not for me.
When you find the right fit start building trust together. It is important to explain to the doctor your symptoms and why you think this way of eating is something to try. Be honest when you go off this way of eating and share with them the experience you have. Recruit them into the investigation with you.
Know the history. Know the Audience. Know What You Want. These are critical components to advocate for yourself.