This Interview will Give you Hope for the Future of Healthcare
Dr. James Loomis: “This is Too Important”
Why would a well-established doctor close his successful medical practice in St. Louis to move to Washington D.C.? Leaving the home he had known for 30 years, to join a team of revolutionaries with the PCRM, Dr. James Loomis did just that. His personal journey will inspire you to take control of your own health. His continuing work will give you hope for the future of medicine.
The 3 Month Prescription: “Let Food by thy Medicine”
To any outsider, Dr. James Loomis seemed like a relatively healthy guy. An avid athlete, he was in-shape, maintained a healthy weight, and generally felt good. Like most people, by saying “I eat healthy”, he meant he didn’t eat too many cookies or doughnuts. His dietary reliance on meats, cheese, and refined flours could be burned off by his regular running, swimming, and biking routines.
Then he got injured. The impact on his knee meant he had to cut out the running. His diet caught up with him, and he began to put on the pounds. His blood pressure started to rise. He had trouble sleeping, requiring the assistance of a CPAP machine. He was even prescribed medication for heart arithmea. He began “collecting doctors” who gave him an arsenal of medications to combat the symptoms of poor health. As a physician, he understood the goal of getting better numbers. Yet he found himself drowning in a list of unappealing side effects with yet another pill, and he slowed down.
That night, on a whim, he found the movie Forks Over Knives streaming on Netflix. The theme was “Let Food by thy Medicine”. This clicked with the physician. He decided that night to write his own prescription: 3 months on a plant-based diet. What did he have to lose? He was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
“Let Food by Thy Medicine”
The next 3 months, during a St. Louis summer, he changed his lifestyle. Much like a child learning how to walk, his conscious effort soon became subconscious. Cooking at home was easy, expanding his variety of fruits and vegetables. Going out to eat became easier as he learned to call ahead and make special requests.
Within 3 months, the doctor’s science experiment had impressive results:
- He lost 30-40 pounds quickly
- His CPAP was gone
- His energy level increased
- As his knee rehabbed, he was able to start running again. By January 2102, he was running multiple half-marathons and had lost another 30-40 pounds
Skeptics in the doctor’s lounge questioned the protein levels of his new vegan diet, often while chowing down on white-bread sandwiches and bags of fried potato chips. The proof spoke for itself.
Taking Back your Own Health: Are You Really “Doing Great”?
Too often, Dr. Loomis has heard patients say they are “Doing Great” while managing a medicine cabinet full of pills. Often we will tell ourselves, “If I’m not sick, I must be well”. Modern medicine is often focused less on health care and more on sick care. Some doctors might offer general lifestyle advice to quit smoking or exercise more often. Ultimately, though, you must be your own advocate.
- What is the quality of your life?
- Are you improving your health? Or merely hiding symptoms?
- If you aren’t satisfied with your health, seek change.
The doctor offers a helpful analogy to tackle the daunting challenge of change. Think about moving to London. Suddenly, you’ll find yourself in a city where everyone drives on the opposite side of the street. You have to change to adapt to this new behavior. You’ll have to learn new driving behaviors, have more caution as a pedestrian, and become much more aware of how to even catch a bus. Suddenly, something that was subconscious (driving on the right side of the road) is now strikingly forward in your consciousness. Then you learn. You adapt. Within a few months, driving, walking, and hailing a cab again become subconscious.
A dietary change can be treated the same way. While it may seem like an unusual, foreign behavior at first, it merely takes practice. Within a few months, it can become second-nature.
The Future of Medicine: “This is Too Important”
Inspired by his plant-based approach to medicine, Dr. Loomis closed up his medical practice in St. Louis to join a team of doctors in Washington D.C. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is dedicated to using nutrition to treat the diseases common in America. As a team, they have shown encouraging progress in tackling our reliance on pills and prescriptions. At the PCRM:
- Patients all get a free 12-week class focused on nutrition and lifestyle
- They are involved in aggressive outreach all over the DC area, plus academic, medical, and vegan-centric conferences nationwide
- The PCRM’s College of Lifestyle Management has grown from 200 to 1100 people
- Medical students from George Washington University and the armed forces’ University of Health Services rotate through PCRM curriculum
- Medical school curriculum is being rewritten to include more nutrition
- The most exciting aspect of these changes? The demand is coming from within. Just as Dr. Loomis let the effects of his plant-based lifestyle speak for itself, other physicians and healthcare practitioners are also seeing the results. Revolution is in the air, and the message is catching fire.
For More Information:
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: http://www.pcrm.org/
- Forks Over Knives: https://www.forksoverknives.com
- See Dr. Loomis in the up-coming movie: “The Gamechangers”: http://gamechangersmovie.com/