All posts by Martin Russell

“I’m Sick – But My Doctor Doesn’t Know What It Is” – a Solution?

Know anyone who has seen lots of doctors and other health experts, but nothing has worked?

Read below, and then get them to read this too.

In medicine, the most important thing is to figure out is what exactly is the actual problem ie the diagnosis.

Once you know what you are treating then the rest can be like following a recipe, but as multiple episodes of the TV program “House” demonstrate, getting to the bottom of medical problems can sometimes be very tricky indeed.

Sure you can go on Google and hunt for yourself, and that’s certainly a good place to start. But for unusual situations it still can leave you without answers, or simply make you even more confused.

Enter CrowdMed – a crowdsource way to pin down a diagnosis.



www.CrowdMed.com

And make sure to spread the word because this is a tool that may save a life or restore a life of someone who is suffering right now.

Health Mongering – Widening the Diagnostic Boundaries of Health and Normality

To make better sense of what Health Mongering is, you have to know about “disease mongering.”

Disease mongering is what some people refer to as “selling sickness.” It’s the term used to describe the current phenomenon of the spread of more and more diseases to diagnose at increasing rates. This, in turn, in my opinion, makes people feel they are not healthy or normal; that they have a disorder that needs treatment.

I am actually a medical doctor who began practicing as a general practitioner or “family doctor,” as it is known in America. However, my experiences led me to question the attitude surrounding traditional medicine, particularly with disease mongering. I then started to look deeper into our concept of health and well-being, which in turn, cultivated my interest in the psychological aspects of health.

Since my particular interest is in psychiatry, let’s look at anxiety and depression as an example of disease mongering.

The statistics of the number of people who report anxiety or are depressed has just been growing further and further each year — turning people into diseases. Years ago, maybe 1% of people were depressed but now, maybe 10% will now claim being depressed. Where did the 9% come from?

So, then, what is health mongering? Health mongering is the reverse of that!

Health mongering is talking about people’s illnesses as some normal occurrence rather than something abnormal. It’s taking all those things back and saying,

“No, those people are healthy.”

Health mongering is sending a message that what these people have is not something that’s an illness. It’s saying they actually have something healthy, which is called “feeling depressed,” and that feeling depressed is actually a very useful response to the fact that things aren’t going well. It’s part of being healthy and normal. Not abnormal and “diseased.”

In fact, the natural therapists who talk about “dis-ease” are probably closer to what i think of as normal and appropriate than a lot of what is called “disease” that is put out there.

And so, I built this site, Health Mongering, to write down my thoughts, insights and reviews about health and promote further awareness of “Health Mongering.” I look forward to what comes of this, most importantly hoping for your feedback and developing a discussion around the concept of health mongering and making it more widely known.

How can you help? Well first of all you can Facebook Like this page, Google+, Stumble, Tweet etc etc. Let others know there is a place for their ideas.

And you can also post your own comments below. Disagree, agree, is this all new and still confusing to you? Let me know below.

-Dr. Martin Russell

DIY Marriage Therapy

If you are having problems in your marriage, it can be a big problem.

Even more of a problem is what to do to get help to save your marriage or to get access to worthwhile marriage counselling

In my experience I often see one person in the relationship, and the other one is reluctant to come to therapy.

And really that’s not surprising; it’s hard to coordinate busy schedules or handle kids to arrange the visit together, one partner is usually more used to talk therapy than the other, and worst of all, it’s tough to air your ‘dirty linen’ even to a medical doctor where you know it is completely confidential.

So what to do?

Well fortunately the results are now in for Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Marriage Therapy – and the results are surprisingly good.

The results are as good as seeing a therapist (50% success rate), take about half the time, and last for years.

Best of all it’s as cheap as renting a movie!

The research appeared in December 2013, and one of the researchers explains more here:

Interested?

Use this link to get the DIY Marriage Therapy details (Options 2 or 3), and also to find a more modern list of movies you can watch together.

www.couples-research.com/

How To Get Work Using A Fundamental of Business

My Life in Advertising

The key skill for getting work is to be able to sell.

If you are in business you need to sell regularly to clients, vendors, bank managers, partners

If you want to be an employee, you just need to sell to your potential employer.

Now, as a side note, if you want to get a job in a public service position, reading this will not help you. I don’t know what such employers want.

However if you are being hired by someone who is the direct owner of a business, then you can know one thing about them – the money they are paying you comes out of THEIR pocket.

In a business, you are not just competing with anyone else who applies for the job. You are competing with the business owner not employing any one at all!

Do you have skills? Do you have value to offer to a business?

If so, then you can ignore many other issues of not having the experience, the qualifications, or even the ‘perfect’ resume.

What you need it to find a way to demonstrate your value AND to get in front of people who have made their own success.

All the way back a century ago this was true, as described in one of the seminal books on selling, “My Life in Advertising”, by Claude Hopkins (this was written in 1927 so please excuse the male gender references)…

Most young men and most beginners think that the older men overlook them. My experience is that men in business are looking for capacity. That is the crying dearth. The more we know the more we realize the volume of work to be done. The able workers in any line are few, and all are looking for relief and help. All who see the realities are anxious to find others who can see them.

And when they find them, as Claude Hopkins goes on to say, they will hire them – and for a higher wage too.

Note: if you do not have some sense of passion or purpose in what you do, you are unlikely to add great value. Is it time to rethink your path?

And if you rethink your path, then here is one other piece of advice from Claude Hopkins who started as a bookkeeper in his first business job:

I began to reason in this way: A bookkeeper is an expense. In every business expenses are kept down. I could never be worth more than any other man who could do the work I did. The big salaries were paid to salesmen, to the men who brought in orders, or to the men in the factory who reduced the costs. They showed profits, and they could command a reasonable share of those profits.I saw the difference between the profit-earning and the expense side of a business, and I resolved to graduate from the debit class …
… Clerkship was an expense, and expenses would always be minimized. I was struggling to graduate into the profit-earning class where no such limit exists.

A New Diabetes Exercise Regimen – Is It For You?

diabetes exercise

I’ve just finished watching this BBC TV program below which was done back in February 2012.

At the start, it says that with a total of 3 minutes of intense exercise per week, you can get health benefits and one of those health benefits is to improve your sensitivity to insulin.

What that means is, for diabetics, you may have less need for insulin and low sugar levels and for normal people you may just have the chance to prevent getting diabetes.

These seem like worthwhile things so i’d certainly suggest you watch this video below.

There are two extra things as you do so.

The first is that, as it points out, exercise is not a good method for losing weight.

So if you want to exercise, go into it with realistic expectations.

The second thing however is and i’ll include a link here to a better article about the Timmons regimen for this process, the actual whole exercise itself takes 21 minutes a week not just the 3 minutes of intense exercise that it mentioned in the start.

But still, 21 minutes for an entire week is pretty good and I think you might be interested in finding out what the results exactly are. Give it a go.

The Truth About Exercise from Chef Central on Vimeo.

WARNING: As it says in the program itself, do not begin any any new exercise program without consulting your health practitioner first.

Incoming search terms:

  • Timmons regimen

“But it’s Healthy!” – Food To Lose Weight By?

healthy food to lose weight?

Many times I have had people say to me about their extra snacking or overeating, “But it’s Healthy Food!”. To lose weight they simply think that healthy is the key.

My commonest reply has been to ask them if they have read any pamphlets about fruit and vegetables put out by various government agencies… and have they read them CAREFULLY.

Because if they have they will discover that these pamphlets do NOT say that eating fruits and vegetables will make you lose weight.

Instead they will say something awkward like this:

Eating plenty of fruit and vegies not only contributes to good health, but also protects against a number of diseases and helps maintain a healthy weight. – Go For 2 and 5 Campaign

OR

People who eat more fruits in an overall healthy diet have lower risks of some chronic diseases. – US ChooseMyPlate Government Program

Did you read that?

Lots of feel good statements, but little more.

In fact if really pressed they will sound very convincing:

Eating more fruit and vegetables can reduce the risk of overweight and obesity – Go For 2 and 5 Information bulletin

Until that is you dig a bit deeper. Why would they say ‘can’ reduce the ‘risk’? What about someone who is already overweight or obese and wanting to lose weight. Why wouldn’t they emphasize these results because surely that’s where the biggest impact will be?

Now, before you tell me I hate fruits and vegetables, no I don’t.

They are in fact worthwhile in so many other ways for your health and eating enjoyment.

I just hate simplistic advice that doesn’t deliver the results it pretends to claim, and this can apply to fruits, vegetables, legumes, meat, fish, and anything that is promoted as being more than it actually is.

So why would they say such vague ‘motherhood’ statements?

Simply because they know that the evidence that eating fruits and vegetables, or in fact any so-called ‘healthy food’ to lose weight has no evidence to support it. It’s not what you eat as much as it is the way you eat it.

People have funny ideas about food. One of the things I’ve discovered is that sometimes when people think something’s healthy, they really haven’t worked out what they mean by that.

I first encountered this when a woman came to see me who had managed to lose by herself about 20 kilos. Unfortunately, she put it all back on. However, even when she lost 20 kilos, she had about another 20 kilos to lose. So I asked her what she’d done to lose those first 20 kilos. She was all serious when she looked me in the eye and said, “I ate nothing but salad and salad vegetables for 9 months.” And she said after about 3 months, she’d lost the original 20 kilos but then she stabilized and plateaued and no matter how much longer she kept going she was unable to lose anymore.

Now, the first thing I realized was that I didn’t believe that someone could actually just eat salad, vegetables and nothing else. Not choosing it, not anything else like that, for that amount of time. And it’s probably very unhealthy to do that. But knowing her, I actually took her seriously. What I asked her instead was, “How did you manage the fact that on that sort of diet you didn’t end up hungry? You didn’t end up with times where you didn’t feel like you had enough and you wanted more?”

She said something very interesting. She said, “Well, I was eating all these healthy food so what I decided to do was just allow myself to eat more of it.” I said, “Interesting. What did you eat?” She said, “Basically, I stuffed myself so full with carrots that I couldn’t eat anymore and so I stopped being hungry and craving other things”. So it turned out that on almost the calorie content of carrots alone, she had managed to maintain her weight about 20 kilos over what it should be for her height.

But she’s not alone. Just today, I had someone come to me, and in talking to them about what they were doing, they complained they were snacking. I said, “Well, that snacking is probably giving you enough calories to end up making your weight going”. And he looked at me, as the lady before her done, and said, “But it’s healthy.” And I said, “It’s probably very full of nutritious vitamins, minerals, fiber, all that good stuff but it also has calories.” And he said, “But it’s not like if I was eating biscuits or something. I’d know that was unhealthy.” I said, “Well, they both have calories and right now for your weight, it’s not about your health, it’s about the amount of energy putting in your body compared to what you’re using up”.

This idea that something is healthy doesn’t mean it gives you allowance to do whatever you like with it or to it. Respond to your body. If it wants “healthy stuff”, that’s fine. If it wants stuff that “not healthy”, that’s fine too. It allows your body to find a balance and responding what I think is an emotionally and physically healthy way to all types of food.

Do You Want Lasting Weight Loss? Adelaide’s Dr Martin Russell Recommends….

I recommend that you do NOT use diets for long-term weight loss. Not sure what else you could do? Well watch this video for some starting ideas…


Want more information about this approach?

If you are in Adelaide and you want to discover the 4 complete steps for weight loss that works without dieting or extra exercise, then you have found the right place. Simply put in your first name and best email address and then click Submit…

Adelaide South Rotary – May 2013

“A Different Approach To Psychiatry”
Adelaide South Rotary – 9 May 2013
– Updated Notes –

Adelaide South Rotary picture
Many thanks Adelaide South Rotarians!

Psychiatry is in decay – but it is not in decline – and there is an alternative.

Professor Iain McGregor, Professor of Psychopharmacology, School of Psychiatry, University of Sydney, in promoting his recent book “Meds for Heads” with a tour of speaking engagements to psychiatrists he had this in his introductory blurb…

“Australia’s use of prescription psychotropic drugs has escalated recently with a more than doubling of antidepressant and atypical antipsychotic drugs over the past 10 years. Many commonly used prescription psychotropics are old drugs with questionable efficacy and troubling side effects. Very few novel compounds are coming down the pharmaceutical pipeline.”

Going back to the 1980’s my two take-away learnings about Psychiatry during my medical training were:

  1. Diagnosis is subjective – there are almost no blood tests, scans or even physical examination findings.
  2. First step is to rule out a non-psychiatric condition – eg blood test – syphilis, HIV, even scanning for a brain tumour

NOTE: the commonest ‘medical conditions’ I currently find in patient’s referred to me are…

  • insomnia / sleeping problems (including sleep apnoea)
  • low testosterone (related to testicular damage, eg from alcohol, or ‘male menopause’)

So when I finished in medical school, I decided that I wouldn’t be a psychiatrist, I’d be a GP.

I can still prescribe medication, make the DSM-IV diagnoses, order tests, access Medicare, and, it turned out that unlike a psychiatrist, I can do this and see patients directly – ie no referral needed.

Psychiatry is in decay.

1990’s had an initiative by the US Government, the “Decade of the Brain”, but all the research did not change the take-away lessons.

In the 2000’s It still did not change, but in fact got worse.

Dr Irving Kirsch (Ph.D), Professor of Psychology, University of Hull, UK was publishing studies that he subsequently turned into a book in 2010 “The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepessant Myth”

The book outlined 3 key points

  1. When ALL controlled studies are analyzed, anti-depressants are not much better than a placebo (a sugar pill.)
  2. Anti-depressants have side-effects that mean that patients and doctors in the studies work out over time if they are getting placebo or not.
  3. When you give an ‘active placebo’ (a sugar pill with an added ingredient that produces side effects) so they can’t tell the difference, the benefits of anti-depressants disappear.

However, to quote Irving Kirsch page 152:

WARNING: DO NOT DISCONTINUE ANTI-DEPRESSANTS WITHOUT CONSULTATION

And I agree – see your doctor to get a proper plan for reducing or removing these medications!

Psychiatry is not in decline

These are massively profitable and best-selling drugs. The momentum and vested interests of drug companies is clear.

There is also the need of the psychiatric fraternity to put psychiatry on a legitimate ie medical/biological footing.

Neither of these will change.

Also as a society the government is paying the bills, and we are currently in the phase of ongoing expansion of government influence and expenditure, so this will not change soon either. The population is more and more looking to external sources to fix problems – whether it is pills, practitioners, or government programs.

These two influences will at some stage stop and reverse, but for the short and medium-term future they are still on the rise.

Disease-mongering  from Wikipedia:

Disease mongering is a pejorative term for the practice of widening the diagnostic boundaries of illnesses, and promoting public awareness of such, in order to expand the markets for those who sell and deliver treatments.

There is an alternative

Health-mongering – from me

Seeing healthy and normal responses, where others see disease and illness.

There are two aspects of the alternative which are

  • Character (Vs Personality / Personality ‘disorder’)
  • Life Skills

For example, Rotary is an organization based on someone’s ‘character’. So in reverse to psychiatry, Rotary is in decline but not in decay.

As another example of character, my first venture into teaching others Marketing back in 2003 was “Word of Mouth Magic”, which dealt with word of mouth reputation, referrals, recommendations etc ie character. For specific psychiatric situations and conditions, “Life Skills” may mean digging beneath the ‘diagnostic label’ eg Depression, for the actual symptoms and issues. For example any of these issues can cause someone to end up on the ‘merry-go-round’ of practitioners, medicines, therapists etc etc, but can be usefully addressed with Life Skills. The way ‘healthy / normal’ people would resolve these issues, can be taught to others as well.

  • sleeping problems – the Early Morning Waking of Depression for example.
  • “overwhelm” / “stress” / “too much to do, too little time”
  • hopelessness / lack of meaning and purpose in life
  • pain issues – especially back pain, tension headaches, neck, hips, knees joints
  • weight loss / eating – WITHOUT dieting.

If you have any questions then feel free to contact me (Martin) at DrMartinRussell.com