DOUBLE-BLINDED MEDICINE: When Doctor and Patient Are Both in the Dark

DOUBLE-BLINDED MEDICINE:

When Doctor and Patient Are

Both in the Dark

I met a dermatologist the other day who made my skin crawl. He was in his thirties, tall, lean, and unsmiling, like many doctors these days. But what stood out most was a fresh-looking, full-color, eye-popping tattoo on his right arm that snaked its way up from his wrist, circumvented his forearm, and slipped beneath his short-sleeved shirt to unknown anatomical areas. I believe he also had a tattoo on his left arm, but I was too gobsmacked at the time to take note.

Now, you might think, as I do, that a tattooed dermatologist is an oxymoron. It doesn’t take much imagination, or research on the Internet, to realize that tattoos are bad for the skin.

The most obvious issue is that tattooing is done by puncturing the skin, causing skin trauma and risk of infection. Interestingly, there is research that connects the injury to the skin made by both tattooing and vaccinations as a cause of numerous skin reactions, including cancer.

The 2014 article, “Tattoo and vaccination sites: Possible nest for opportunistic infections, tumors, and dysimmune reactions”, in the journal Clinical Dermatology, explains that, “Both dermal tattoos and vaccine injections may alter local immune responses, creating an immunocompromised district on or near the site of placement. This can lead to the development of opportunistic infections, benign and malignant tumors, and local dysimmune reactions… A variety of tumors including basal and squamous cell carcinomas, keratoacanthomas, and malignant melanoma also have been reported in association with tattoos… Vaccination sites similarly provide a setting for both benign and malignant tumors.”

The inks used are also a problem, causing allergies and exposure to heavy metals. It is fairly common for individuals to have an allergic reaction to the dyes used in tattoos. Ink is actually filled with many chemicals and unnatural ingredients that can irritate a person’s skin.

There is also a link to skin cancer. When it comes to cancer, black ink can be especially dangerous because it contains a very high level of benzo(a)pyrene. Benzo(a)pyrene is currently listed as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Black ink is the most commonly used color for tattooing.

You might think that this doctor may have gotten his tattoos before becoming a doctor, so he didn’t know any better. But this was a new tattoo. And he was flaunting it, not hiding it.

Tattoos are common these days, and fashionable in certain circles. Doctors want to look cool, like everyone else. They grew up like everyone else, exposed to, and brainwashed by, the same cultural messages. They just choose to go into medicine.

I also met a cardiologist who smoked cigarettes. He was also grossly overweight, and ate a big, juicy hamburger with fries for lunch. Of course, being obese, smoking and eating fried foods can increase heart disease.

An obese, smoking cardiologist eating fast food makes as much sense as a tattooed dermatologist.

Maybe these doctors are attracted to their specialties because they know they will need treatment from that specialty due to their lifestyles? It’s like when mentally-disturbed, neurotic people become psychologists or psychiatrists.

How about female doctors who constrict their breasts with tight bras for long hours daily? There are many female breast health experts, including breast surgeons, who wear breast-harming bras. Their medical training never mentioned tight clothing as a cause of circulatory impairment and lymph stasis. These doctors willingly immobilize and alter their breast shape, hide their nipples, and basically re-design their breast appearance for cultural reasons, and do this despite the documented harms caused by bras, including causing breast pain, cysts, and cancer. Wearing bras is just something every woman is culturally expected to do, even doctors.

Is this hypocrisy? Should we expect doctors to be paragons of health and healthy lifestyles?

More basically, when we seek help, does it matter whether the helper is in the same mess we are in? In other words, can you trust a lifeline from someone in the same boat as you?

We seek help in many places.

Would you go to a priest who was a known pedophile?

Would you use a mechanic whose car is broken down?

Would you go to a hairdresser who is having a “bad hair day”?

Would you use a plastic surgeon who has a big nose, cock-eyed chin, and facial scars?

How about eating in a restaurant where the cook is out because of food poisoning?

You could also go into a health food store and buy chips, coffee, candy, wine, beer, and lots of other unhealthy stuff.

Then there are the drug addiction recovery programs that offer coffee to everyone, one of the most addictive substances we consume.

Clearly, there’s a problem here. We live in a culture where there are lots of products and activities that can harm us. In fact, the biggest cause of disease and death is the culture and all the bad things it teaches us to think, do and feel. We absorb these cultural messages from the uterus onward, as our nature becomes modified by our culture.

This applies to everyone. It includes doctors, too. Just because someone studied medicine, it does not mean that they personally eliminated all harmful cultural practices in their lives. The same cultural causes of disease that fill their waiting rooms also fill their personal lives. In fact, the medical culture is even worse on doctors.

For some reason that is not clear, the medical system exploits doctors with long work hours and sleepless day and night shifts. Doctors are rushed and pressured, grabbing unhealthy snacks on the go. They become tempted to abuse drugs to keep going, but may settle for drinking 10-20 cups of strong coffee, instead. They also become tempted to use drugs to relax, but may settle for a few alcoholic drinks. They have little recreation time, or time with their families. And depending on their specialty, they are exposed daily to infectious diseases, death, radiation, the soul-robbing sights and smells of hospitals, and the depression of treating endless lines of sick people, often using treatments that do no good, and for conditions that have no known cause.

Clearly, being a doctor can make you sick, mentally and physically. No wonder why there are so many doctor suicides. Just practicing medicine is slow suicide.

This also means that doctors are not the ones to tell patients to clean up their lifestyles. The doctor’s lifestyle is at least as bad, and actually worse. They participate in the same unhealthy culture as everyone else, addicted to many of the same things, and suffering from the same psychological and physical issues. But they are the ones who are meant to treat those problems.

Take Ownership of Your Health: Hold Yourself Accountable

Over the years, I’ve conducted extensive research on health topics such as obesity, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. I have also studied theories of behavior change. What jumps out at me the most is how many of these conditions are preventable. Yes, there are non-modifiable factors however, it is our behaviors that are causing damage to our health and wellness. Essentially, we are all aware of our unhealthy behaviors and the consequences associated with them. I feel like I’m a misfit in society because I actually enjoy physical activity, going to the gym and pushing my body to its limits. I was also criticised heavily because it took me nearly two weeks to finishing watching the third season of Stranger Things. Let that sink in. We live in a society where it is the norm to watch an entire season of a television series over a weekend, let alone one day and this is completely acceptable, even encouraged. I feel like I have to justify why I don’t binge watch television, why I wake up early to exercise and why I restrict processed foods (among many other ingredients) from my diet.

My reason is simple, I do it for my health. Health is a priority to me and I want to face the daily challenges of life with the least amount of pain, discomfort and illness as possible. I’m not a machine, I get sick on occasion and I have a history of injuries. I watch television and movies and I’m known to indulge in a meal or snack of the unhealthy variety on occasion. I try to keep my immune system optimal and reduce my risk of injury through strength and flexibility training. Let’s examine exercise. Most of us know that it is beneficial to our health, not just physically but emotionally as well. Increased levels of physical activity have the potential to lower the risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (among many more) according to multiple sources. We know that being inactive increases the risk of the mentioned conditions, yet many of us choose to do nothing about it. There is a disconnect between what we know and what we do. Do we not prioritize our health and quality of life? Do we get distracted with the ease of technology and everything available at the touch of a button? Do we know how many deaths can be prevented each year by modifying our behaviors?

So much of what we experience is preventable if we take the necessary precautions. We don’t have to wait until we get diagnosed to make a change. We can make changes so that we don’t get diagnosed. We do have the time if we make it a priority. We can find a plethora of excuses why we don’t exercises of we can focus on reasons why we should. I can honestly say that I am 100% responsible for all of the injuries I’ve sustained in my lifetime. Whether it was negligence, ignorance or ego, I was at fault and I take full ownership of that. Now let’s take ownership of our health and strive for progression.

Importance of Right Glassware

Eating and drinking may be just another imperative thing to do for humans for their survival, but they are impacted by a lot of things. One of the factors that has a direct effect on the manner in which the food is targeted and absorbed by the body is the psychology with which one consumes their food and drinks and this psychology is majorly affected by the cutlery and the utensils in which we do this repetitive task. Eating proper is not just about eating the right food in the right manner, but it is also about eating it in the right kind of dishes. The plates and glass in front of us can either make or kill the mood to eat food (no matter how good it is or how well it has been cooked). For example, a normal steel plate can be an immediate mood killer as compared to one made out of some great quality glass. Same goes for the glasses; be it for drinking water, serving alcohol to guests, or just gulping down some wine or beer when you are in the mood.

The entire paragraph can be paraphrased to basically say that the crockery, cutlery, and glasses used for food intake should be swanky and attractive to not only make the food look more good and presentable, but also to add a touch of chic and d├ęcor to your kitchen and also leave a good impression on the guests (if and when they come).

BUYING THE RIGHT TYPE OF GLASS DISHES

So far we saw how the type of dishes used can be a buzzkill for many which is why in all sorts of setups (be it your home or a professional environment such as a restaurant or a bar, etc.), following are some factors that one may consider in order to ensure that your crockery and glass dishes always appear at their best:

If plates are the concerned department, it is best advised to stay simple yet elegant and the best way to do so is to go with plain white plates reason being that they are conveniently inexpensive, present the food in the best manner possible, and also do not fade away easily.

For wine glasses, it always suggested to go with those that have a relatively sturdy build to them for them slipping away from your or your guests’ hands are always a great flight risk not worth taking.

For red wine, go with glasses with a wide bowl
For white wine, go with a glass that has a comparatively narrow bowl

Chemistry teaches us that “symmetry leads to stability” and the same should be applied to your crockery. The balance between normal and ornate design plates should be perfect.

For champagne and martini and other types of alcohol glasses, there is no fixed trend you can follow. There are quite a bunch of options to choose from depending upon the alcohol and your taste and preference when it comes to your glassware. For example, the champagne flute is the most common champagne glass, the brandy balloon is the most common glass used to serve brandy, etc.