Purpose: the purpose of this page is to challenge current thinking about health disclaimers within the United States.
Disclaimers, such as those found adjacent to nearly every piece of health advice available in the US, nearly always include some form of the following:
- Consult with your doctor before beginning any supplement.
- Talk with your physician before starting any dietary supplement.
- [do this] before [touching this pill].
The exact form of the sentence doesn’t really matter. It’s BS. Why?
Most doctors — physicians especially — have almost no formal training regarding nutrition in general, none regarding mineral supplementation, and fewer still have any idea that lithium is an essential dietary mineral, like sodium, potassium, calcium, or magnesium. Moreover, the medical community will likely take several decades to solidify recommendations for the minerals on this website. Are you willing to wait? Do you think a new healthcare bill will actually result in improving your health this year or this decade? I’m not waiting.
And that’s not their fault, of course. They’re not scientists. They entered their career mostly to “help people” or to make money (often by “helping people”), and they were indoctrinated into a profession that’s good at what it’s good at: savings lives from emergencies, fixing broken bones and gunshot wounds, and avoiding fast-acting diseases and illnesses. But today, most of us don’t deal with gunshot wounds or uncontrollable bleeding. In the world of today, death creeps slowly, through chronic symptoms that change little day to day, and traditional physicians aren’t really helping us much.
For example, many Americans should be experimenting with a high quality magnesium supplement and not wasting their time with a “multivitamin,” but nobody is telling them this.
All statements and recommendations on this website are intended to help Americans improve their health. I am not a licensed doctor, and after the time I’ve spent in universities, I have no interest in ever wasting 6+ years of my life becoming one. But I do care deeply about your individual health and the collective human health of the planet.
The most important lesson to remember is that you are the only expert regarding your body. Your doctor is a good go-to expert if you have a gunshot wound, a progressive cancer, uncontrollable diarrhea/vomiting, or other acute health issues.
Otherwise, trust yourself.
As a rule, the older the doctor, the better they are to fix an extremely specific, short-term (i.e. “acute”) problem: a gunshot wound, an exploding appendix, a failing kidney. Note that these are often problems requiring immediate surgery.
Also as a rule, the younger the doctor, the more they are likely still in “learning” mode and are open to nutritional supplementation.
Even more succinctly: the younger your doctor, the more likely he or she is open-minded.
As such, the rest of this page is meant to serve as a primer for those who want to converse with their doctors or healthcare practitioners.
- Vitamin D:
- Most doctors are coming around to this supplement, although unfortunately many still recommend against direct sun exposure out of irrational fears about skin cancer. By 2020 most doctors will probably be familiar with vitamin D blood tests and supplement recommendations to correct deficiencies. Unfortunately it won’t likely be until 2040-2050 that most doctors recommend adequate, direct sunlight without sunscreen.
- Vitamin D recommendation: you can expect to have a fair conversation with your doctor about vitamin D supplementation, however, be very skeptical about their recommendations regarding sunlight exposure. On that latter note, trust your skin more than your doctor.
- Scientists are in full-swing of researching magnesium supplementation and its effects on the human body. As such, younger doctors are more open to discussing such supplements, but they’re still on the conservative, skeptical side. This is in part because the various magnesium blood tests aren’t really good at “diagnosing” the status of magnesium throughout the body’s various organs.
- Magnesium recommendation: you should do your own experimentation. A conversation might be worthwhile, but be very skeptical.
- Calcium recommendation: do your own experimentation, but tell your doctor. Remember that there are several forms of calcium to supplement with. If you are not an older woman, expect your doctor to laugh or smirk at you when you mention calcium, then proceed to disregard his/her skepticism.
- Scientists are only beginning to research this essential mineral, and the RDA proposed in 2002 hasn’t even been adopted yet.
- Science marches on slowly. While there will be more research in 2020-2030, recommendations for lithium supplementation may not even begin to percolate into the slow-moving medical community until the 2040s or 2050s.
- One of the challenges with lithium is testing.
- Serum (blood) lithium levels tells little, and even so, there is almost no research for doctors to read about. It’s no wonder that doctors have no idea if there’s not even a consistent test for anyone to use .
- There’s a test that analyses a simple hair sample (literally: a strand of your hair): Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, or HTMA.
- It’s an excellent idea: hair tissue keeps an ongoing record over the past few weeks/months of mineral status, and by testing that hair, we retrieve a very rough timeline of the status of . Also, there are many strong anecdotes from satisfied customers out there. Moreover, it’s been used for decades.
- Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, this type of testing hasn’t become mainstream. As such, it hasn’t been thoroughly vetted and perfected — or rejected — by any community, let alone the medical community. I’ve been tempted to pay for it myself, but after reading the arguments against the test, decided to save my money. If you strongly disagree, please contact me.
- Again, the younger your doctor, the more open-minded he/she likely is, although…
- Lithium recommendation: you should do your own experimentation. Tell your doctor you’re going to supplement with lithium at your discretion. You might do this in order to officially inform a member of the medical community that more patients are aware of lithium as an essential dietary mineral. Then, proceed to ignore his/her response (especially if it includes laughter). If you really want a good conversation, do your homework on HTMA, send supporting links to your doctor before your visit, and be prepared to discuss this at length. Most doctors will simply ignore you, more often than not because they will not (or cannot) spend that kind of time on an individual patient.
[17 April 2017: Minor edits; this page is in need of a major revision!]
[3 March, 2017: Edited/revised.
28 February, 2017 [created]
To-do: [add zinc, calcium, iron, and types of testing)