The modern age has brought with it questions of how best to maintain our health without synthesized drugs, whose complete effects are not fully known. How did our ancestors keep certain diseases at bay? How did they treat illness? These questions often plague us as we look for a more natural way of living. The carnivore diet is one of many that has touted benefits which include weight loss and reversal of some major chronic diseases, simply by the food we eat. Will these interventions cause waves in the conventional medicine circles? In this article, we will delve into this perspective and shed much needed light.
What is conventional medicine?
Conventional medicine can be described as the type of medicine that those who control the medical education system have deemed to be the most appropriate system of medical care. In the United States, conventional medicine consists primarily of drugs and surgery, which are the most widely used treatment methods. Other treatments such as nutritional therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture and herbal medicine, are not generally considered to be a part of conventional medicine, even though they have been shown to be safe, effective and relatively inexpensive.
Complementary and alternative medicine
Alternative medicine is defined loosely as a set of products, practices, and theories that are believed or perceived by their users to have the healing effects of medicine, but whose effectiveness has not been established using scientific methods, or whose theory and practice is not part of biomedicine, or whose theories or practices are directly contradicted by scientific evidence or scientific principles used in biomedicine
Many different areas make up the practice of complementary and alternative medicine. In addition, many parts of one field may overlap with the parts of another field. For example, acupuncture may also be incorporated into conventional medicine. Examples of Complementary and alternative medicine include:
- Traditional alternative medicine. This field includes the more mainstream and accepted forms of therapy, such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and Oriental practices. These therapies have been practiced for centuries worldwide. Traditional alternative medicine may include:
- Chinese or Oriental medicine
- Body Touch has been used in medicine since the early days of medical care. Healing by touch is based on the idea that illness or injury in one area of the body can affect all parts of the body. If, with manual manipulation, the other parts can be brought back to optimum health, the body can fully focus on healing at the site of injury or illness. Body techniques are often combined with those of the mind. Examples of body therapies include:
- Chiropractic and osteopathic medicineMassage
- Body movement therapies
- Tai chi
- Diet and herbs. Over the centuries, man has gone from a simple diet consisting of meats, fruits, vegetables, and grains, to a diet that often consists of foods rich in fats, oils, and complex carbohydrates. Nutritional excess and deficiency have become problems in today’s society, both leading to certain chronic diseases. Many dietary and herbal approaches attempt to balance the body’s nutritional well-being. Dietary and herbal approaches may include:
- Dietary supplements
- Herbal medicine
- External energy. Some people believe external energies from objects or other sources directly affect a person’s health. An example of external energy therapy is:
- Electromagnetic therapy
- Mind. Even standard or conventional medicine recognizes the power of the connection between mind and body. Studies have found that people heal better if they have good emotional and mental health. Therapies using the mind may include:
- Senses. Some people believe the senses, touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste, can affect overall health. Examples of therapies incorporating the senses include:
- Art, dance, and music
- Visualization and guided imagery
The carnivore diet as an alternative medicine
Many people embark on the carnivore diet as a lifestyle change to reap the benefits of the diet as a whole. On the other hand, others take it to help manage and cure the chronic health conditions they have. As no conclusive scientific studies have been carried out to prove or disprove these curative claims, the onus remains strictly with the “patient”, of whether to experiment with this diet.
Conditions that have been reported to be helped by the carnivore diet are:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Some auto immune diseases
- Leaky Gut
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Brain fog
- Other mental conditions
Are the carnivore diet and other alternative medicine forms likely to impact conventional forms of medicine?
In this age where information is available to everyone at the click of a button, more and more people are beginning to take their health into their own hands. Engaging in forms of alternative medicine such as the carnivore diet is one such decision. Case by case, this intervention might have significant changes in ones’ health. Does this mean that conventional medicine will be out of business? Not necessarily. Primary healthcare is still gotten from medical practioners as is methods of measurement and monitoring.
However, once knowing their status, more people will opt to either compliment their conventional treatment with alternative means or fully embark on an alternative method like the carnivore diet to manage their condition.
More scientific studies should be carried out within conventional circles to prove or disprove these methods and to build on them for better comprehensive care.
Will we see a shift from conventional medicine?
Although the carnivore diet is very safe for most people, caution should be practiced when practicing it. It is also advisable that medical supervision be sought in people taking medications for diabetes or high blood pressure. Because rapid changes are experienced in patients following a carnivore diet, when medication is not adjusted accordingly, there is a risk of low blood sugar or dizziness. A doctor can help you track the improvements the diet is causing through blood tests and other monitoring techniques. That way, you can get hard facts about whether or not the diet is working for you.
- Sharecare (2019): What is conventional medicine? Retrieved from https://www.sharecare.com/health/health-care-basics/what-is-conventional-medicine
- John Hopkins Medicine (2019): Types of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/types-of-complementary-and-alternative-medicine
- Wikipedia (2019): Alternative medicine. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_medicine