Ignorance Is Damaging

I’ve been most wonderfully blessed to be on a service with a consultant who blatantly insults any and every thing to do with natural medicine. I can’t help but wonder if it’s even more so given my family history (he knows my Dad!) in natural medicine. He can’t possibly think that I’d have no influences from it…can he? Two weeks into this surgery clerkship and I’m well versed with the fact that this great doctor doesn’t even seem to believe in the importance of vitamins (a concept that baffles me, as medical students are taught about vitamins, their structures and importance to health in biochemistry during the first year).

Oftentimes one hears “Ignorance is bliss” but in the medical profession, ignorance is damaging.

We had a patient who we took to surgery to have her gallbladder removed due to gallstones. Her file said that she takes Cod Liver Oil everyday and my great consultant proclaims “she could avoid surgery if she just stopped swallowing oil and her symptoms would just go away!” She could’ve honestly avoided the whole experience if she just did a liver and gallbladder detox. To clarify, cod liver oil isn’t going to make more gallstones and worsen the problem. In fact, they help prevent them. They’re the good fats containing omega 3 fatty acids that we need and, unlike regular cooking oil, does not need bile to be broken down so the gallbladder is just fine. But before you take cod liver oil for the goodness of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin D, you’d need to get rid of the gallstones first, safely and effectively by cleansing the liver and gallbladder.

Remember, good oils to consume for supplementation are fish oils and cod liver oil (the difference between the two is that fish oils do not contain vitamins A and D like cod liver oil). The most popular good cooking oils are extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. We use macademia nut oil in my household. Oils like canola, vegetable and peanut are heavily worked on by the gallbladder which must produce lots of bile to break down the complex fats so that they can pass through the digestive tract safely.

Had he known this, that patient could’ve been saved from the pains and dangers of unnecessary surgery. It’s a little sad but it happens all the time. Many doctors too often choose to avoid natural or alternative therapies so they choose not to know anything about it. Due to his belief that cod liver oil makes gallbladder problems worse, he tells his patients and that’s what the patients learn. It is the duty of a doctor to teach, a principle shared with medical students of all facilities, natural and conventional. But to lend the wrong information to keen ears can result in unnecessary actions for a patient.

Ironically, my surgery consultant’s favourite saying is “You don’t know that you don’t know.” Teach what you know not what you don’t know. Clearly, he doesn’t know that he doesn’t know. Just like how he told us that coconut water has no healthy property to it. Seriously? Well, that’s another story for another day.

    • Elaine
    • December 6th, 2016

    I have to say that cod liver oil made my gallbladder worse..i was so very ill, but thanks be to God, i did the gallbladder flush and my gallbladder fine.
    I thought maybe not so, but after 2nd attempt of digesting cod liver oil & being really ill, i knew then~no more cod liver oil for me!
    Yes, sad dictor don’t recommend alternatives to gallbladder removal..i’m hanging onto mine with flushing every 6 months & healthy diet..no polyunsaturated oils etc!

    • That’s great! It’s always great to remember that everyone’s body chemistry is quite different. So, what may do well for a majority doesn’t mean it works for all. I’m happy you found an alternative remedy in the liver/gallbladder flush!

  1. February 22nd, 2012
  2. April 12th, 2015

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