And turns the story into a sales pitch for high-tech medicine
Many of the world’s brightest medical minds are pinning their hopes for the future on the miracles that will ensue from human genome sequencing. On 6-2-12, the New York Times published which amounts to a sales pitch for the future of medicine (See link below). It involved a geneticist, Dr. Michael Snyder, who claims that his human genome enabled him to catch his type 2 diabetes before it did any damage.
Because his genome showed that he was at high risk for the disease, the research team began going extensive blood tests every two months—and after 14 months, those tests revealed that he had indeed developed type 2 diabetes. But all of those blood tests came with a pretty hefty price tag:
Dr. Snyder said the cost to collect molecular data from each blood sample was about $2,500 — which did not include the cost of analysis. But the price for tests similar to Dr. Snyder’s will also decline in the future, Dr. Church said.
Total Cost. Let’s run the numbers; if he paid $2500 every two months, and it took 14 months, that works out to seven rounds of blood tests for a total of $17,500 just for the blood tests. Then, after spending all that money, guess how he treated his newfound disease?
Dr. Snyder treated his diabetes through a change in diet — he eliminated desserts — and a doubling of his typical bike-riding regimen. He also returned to running. “It took about six months,” he said, “but my glucose levels came back to normal, allowing me to avoid medication.”
So all he did was eliminate desserts and increase his exercise. But what about the rest of his diet? Odds are at least 20 to 1 that he consumes some variation of the typical western diet—with meat, dairy or eggs at least three times a day.
My question is this. What if he had learned the truth about nutrition ten years ago and had adopted a whole foods, plant-based diet. Odds are very good that he would’ve never developed type 2 diabetes—regardless of what his human genome predicted. Not only would he have saved a lot of money, but he would probably still be able to enjoy that occasional dessert without any problems.
Landmark? Our medical system sees this example much differently than I do. They see it as the future of medicine—and as the primary vehicle to continue the steady rise of our cost of health care. It now stands at $2.7 trillion and nearly 18% of our GDP; no doubt it is this unnecessary high-tech medicine that will continue to drive us to the 31% of GDP that U.S. officials have predicted by 2035.
“This study is a landmark for personalized medicine,” said Dr. Eric J. Topol, a professor of genomics at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and author of “The Creative Destruction of Medicine.”
The study “is an unprecedented look at one person’s biology, showing what can be accomplished in the future,” he said. “This kind of granular information will one day allow doctors to manage illness in an altogether different and precise way.”
Manage illness? I say get rid of it! And the five medical doctors featured in our book say the same thing. See what they all have to say about type 2 diabetes in this earlier post that includes several compelling videos. You may want to send this to everyone you know with type 2 diabetes or those who may be “at risk.” Chances are about one in three of everyone you know falls in one of those categories:
The Bottom Line. Most of the people suffering from type 2 diabetes today could easily get rid of it—without spending any money. In fact, they’ll actually save money by shifting to a whole foods, plant-based diet. And in the long run, they’ll save a fortune on medical bills for the human genome driven high-tech disease-management medicine of the future.
For your convenience, I have provided a link to the New York Times article along with a few links to some of my other blogs on the topic of diabetes:
- Teenage diabetes rate triples in less than ten years.
- Paula Deen now shamelessly hawking $500/month drugs
- Obesity, diabetes — still getting worse, with no end in sight…
- New York Times article: Geneticist’s Research Finds His Own Diabetes
Handy 3-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Our book: Healthy Eating, Healthy World by yours truly & son
- An essential nutrition resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation
Jim, Thank-you for your diligence in keeping us informed and the conversation moving forward.
Here is a video which discusses Type-1 Diabetes at 17:30. When will we start putting more effort into prevention of disease rather than “managing” it after it occurs?