Episode 112 Summary
Belinda Fettke was a photographer by trade and enjoyed sharing other peoples’ stories - She was content behind the scenes, but following an extraordinary set of circumstances involving her husband, practicing orthopedic surgeon Dr Gary Fettke, she put down her camera, found her voice, and she now chooses to use that voice to loudly yell about a lack of transparency in research and nutritional policy. We are delighted to have her on our podcast. This is the first of a three part mini-series with Belinda.
Dr Gary Fettke is a practising orthopaedic surgeon in Tasmania, Australia - Early in his career he rarely saw patients with complications of diabetes, but by 2014-2015 every single week he was seeing patients suffering from non-healing ulcers requiring debridement and sometimes amputations. He began to ask himself why this was occurring and what could be done to help these patients.
Gary Fettke had faced his own health battles - In 2000 he was diagnosed with an aggressive pituitary tumour which required surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The only dietary advice he received at the time was to increase his orange and fruit juice consumption. This was advice that he followed. He followed the dietary guidelines perfectly. His cancer management required chemotherapy on and off for 11 and a half years. After reading David Gillespie’s book “Sweet Poison” and a conversation with a holistic pharmacist along with receiving a very negative prognosis for his cancer he took his health into his own hands and decided to give up sugar, and never touch it again.
It’s important to remember that decreasing sugar for health doesn’t just mean giving up sucrose or table sugar - Bread, pasta, cereal, many fruits, especially juices, chips and starchy vegetables all break down into sugar when we eat them. Following these changes in Dr Fettke’s diet he was able to come off chemotherapy. This made sense to Dr Fettke as in a PET scan the cancer cells light up brightly as they absorb sugar faster than regular cells. Following his own health battle and incredible turn-around Dr Fettke began to consider that his own patients with type 2 diabetes and complications may benefit from reducing their own intakes of sugar. Excited to be able to help his patients he had a discussion with the dietetic department at the hospital while visiting a patient.
Dr Gary Fettke was reported to the medical board and investigated for two and half years for talking about nutrition - Strangely this occurred even though nutrition was not under the jurisdiction of the medical board. He was silenced and told that even if low carb healthy fat were to become accepted best practice that he was not allowed to talk about it. Best practice was withheld from a doctor. At this point wit her husband silenced, Belinda Fettke stepped out from behind her camera, gave up her photography career and found her voice and chose to speak out loudly about this, harnessing the power of social media to encourage their supporters to campaign on their behalf. The Fettke’s also appealed the outcome through the National Ombudsman. Belinda Fettke has dedicated herself to investigating who was behind this and why the rule-keepers of the guide-lines would not change their minds even when presented with promising science and increasing evidence on the potential health benefits of low carb real food. Belinda discovered that various cereal companies were paying dieticians to influence, protect and actively defend cereals, grains and sugar messaging in the face of decreasing sales.
After two years of campaigning, the National Ombudsman referred Gary Fettke to a different AHPRA board and the case was thrown out within a week - Gary was exonerated. Dr Gary Fettke’s advice, suggesting that people lower their carbohydrate intake and reduce carbohydrates and sugars was helpful advice for many individuals with type 2 diabetes. He was silenced, not because his advice was dangerous, but because it was threatening to impact on the profitability of processed food companies.
Following this court battle Belinda Fettke has become a keen researcher and investigator - She is deeply interested in the food guidelines, who is behind them and why they are being so fiercely defended.
Like Real Life Medicine, Belinda Fettke is keen to see an end to the “band-aiding” of dietary and lifestyle diseases - Many of these conditions can be prevented, cured or managed with appropriate lifestyle changes. Awareness needs to be raised about this. She also advocates for patients to be given the option to change their diet and change their lifestyles, rather than only being offered medications. Another focus is on increasing the health span of people, not only their lifespans. Belinda cites Medical Tourism as a growing problem, an unfortunate phenomenon where the elderly spend their final years visiting various doctors rather than holiday destinations.
Belinda Fettke describes herself as a change-agent challenging the health benefit claims of low-fat high-carb dietary and health guidelines promoted as the ‘Gospel Truth’.
She has spent the last 8 years delving into the history of vegetarianism and ‘nutrition science’ only to discover the unexpected influence of religious ideology, and its intersection with commercial vested interests, intent on demonising animal protein and fats. Their symbiotic relationship has shaped our ‘plant-biased’ dietary and health guidelines for over 100 years.
Belinda’s concerns have included a lack of transparency in research and nutrition policy that may negatively impact health outcomes for people with Type 2 diabetes, in particular, and the attempts to ‘silence’ healthcare professionals from discussing the health benefits of ancestral diets and evolutionary science.
She is not anti-vegan, nor anti-religion. She is pro-choice, especially when it comes to health!
www.belindafettke.com (coming soon)
Episode 112 - Out on a limb for trying to save limbs
Dr Lucy Burns (00:00): Good morning, gorgeous listeners, Dr. Lucy here. And you know I don't have Dr. Mary with me at the moment, but instead I have the most fabulous guest who I think you will love. She's a passionate, smart, clever woman who has done the most phenomenal amount of reading, digging, delving into some of our very long held beliefs in medicine. And I would love to introduce to you this morning the gorgeous Belinda Fettke. Welcome to the podcast Belinda.
Belinda Fettke (00:34): Thanks so much, Lucy. It's a pleasure to be here.
Dr Lucy Burns (00:38): I mean, I obviously know your story very well and I know certain sections of our audience will also, but I would love you to share with us because I know not everyone will know your story and your husband's story. And I think it's a phenomenal insight into how you got started on, on your incredible, I guess, detective skills. So yeah, I'd love you to share that with us.
Belinda Fettke (01:01): It's been a very interesting journey, Lucy. I was a professional photographer. I shared other people's stories. I sort of stayed outta focus a little bit behind a camera for a very, very long time. And so it was a very challenging thing for me to watch. My husband, as an orthopedic surgeon here in Tasmania for 20 years, was unfortunately seeing the effects of the tsunami of type two diabetes that was crashing onto our shores. He had a catchment area of about 120,000 people and I would say when he first started medicine, he might see someone with the complications of diabetes, I don't know, once or twice a year at the most. By the time 2014, 2015 came on, he was seeing someone in his public health clinic every single week requiring debridement of non-healing ulcers, sometimes removal of toes, fore foot whole foot, and unfortunately even lower limbs.
(02:05): And this was becoming so, like his clinic was just full of people who had non-healing ulcers. And he just went, this does not make any sense! What on Earth is happening? And will go back one step. He had his own health issues back in 2000. He was diagnosed with a very aggressive pituitary tumor and it was very advanced at the stage. So I'm not challenging the fact that he required surgery. He required radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but at no time was he told anything about potentially dietary changes that he could instigate to improve his health outcomes. In fact, he was told that water was fairly boring and so really orange juice and fruit juices and different things were gonna be a much better option. And he took that on board. He followed the Australian dietary guidelines. He was educated with the dietary guidelines. It was what, six to 11 servings of carbohydrates per day back in 2000 or earlier when he was a medical student.
(03:11): And that six to 11 serves has changed now to one serve, one piece of toast. But at that time it was two pieces of toast. So you could follow the guidelines and eat 22 pieces of toast if you wanted, as long as you had low fat margarine on there. And I'm sure jam was a discretionary thing that you could definitely put on if you wanted, or honey was “healthy”. Um, and he certainly loved cereal for breakfast, all of those wonderful things. And now he was drinking a lot of juice. If you consider his diet, he was an orthopedic surgeon working really long hours. The hospital provided sandwiches and junk foods and juices and all of those things for overnight if he was on a long night as well. So when he was diagnosed with his cancer, he had surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. He was on chemotherapy on and off for 11 and a half years.
(04:01): And it wasn't until he read a book, David Gillespie's Sweet Poison that someone said to him...
Dr Lucy Burns (04:09): Ah, that's a great book! Yes!
Belinda Fettke (04:10): Yes! “Have you thought about reducing sugar?” And he went, what on Earth would a lawyer know about sugar <laugh> and health that me as an orthopedic surgeon, I've studied medicine? What would he know that I wouldn't know? This is 2011. So coincidentally, at the same time, we've got a pharmacist here who's very holistic and she said to Gary, I've been considering, you know, your case and I'm wondering if maybe you should think about going onto metformin. It's very interesting. The trials that they're having on metformin are showing that people are either getting less cancer or their cancer seems to be going into remission as a not part of the drug. The drug was for type two diabetes and it takes the sugar out of the bloodstream and pushes it into the tissues, but maybe sugar outta the bloodstream would help your cancer.
(05:05): So those two things sort of triggered a spark in him. And he went, “You know what, I'm, I can't keep doing this.” In 2011, they said that they didn't think there was anything else they could do. He had further surgery in 2004. So he said, “I need to take my own health into my own hands.” And he started surfing the net. He became Dr. Google and um, found some amazing people in America, Dominic, D’Agostino and Colin Champ, who were looking at sugar and carbohydrates in the role of cancer. So he, honestly, that day that he had his light bulb moment, he gave up sugar and he's never touched it again. It took a little while, and I'm honest with this, it took a little while for him to work out that carbohydrates are simply glucose sugar. Because I think you learn things in medical school in the first year or two about physiology and biochemistry, and then all they teach you is to bandaid sick care, medicate or operate.
(06:04): And you completely forget that those original bits were even an option. And honestly I reckon it took five months for him to go, “Wait a minute, you know, I'm eating chips, I'm eating this, I'm eating, you know, a lot of fruit and veg, a lot of fruit, and these are actually just sugars and carbohydrates.” So he also went on a very low carbohydrate diet and saw incredible results for himself. In fact, he was able to come off chemotherapy under supervision and he was getting better results on a low carbohydrate healthy fat diet than he was having the chemotherapy. So for him, this was amazing. His PET scan, when he had it originally lit up like a Christmas tree, to glucose, that's how they diagnosed the cancer <laugh>. And so
Dr Lucy Burns (06:54): Yes!
Belinda Fettke (06:55): Yeah! You don't think about it. He didn't think about it. He was a specialist doctor and he did not consider that this is lighting up to sugar. So he actually had to scan recently and they said that the glucose was picking up so much more. So he would be better off having, considering keeping on with his low carb diet than any of even the newer cancer therapies that they've got, the chemotherapies. So he's gone, well, I'd rather have that and not be sick. So it's definitely the way to go for him. So then he thought, well, I'm seeing all these people who have got type two diabetes and the complications of type two diabetes and insulin and sugar and diet. And he started to put two and two together.
Dr Lucy Burns (07:38): Yep. It's so interesting. You know, it makes, and you know, I often look at my own training and think when I went through medical school, which was uh, late eighties, early nineties, we were taught that type two diabetes is due to excess fat. And I just accepted that. That seemed reasonable and it was nothing to do with sugar. Which, now I look back and think how on earth? And again, I think as a young medical student, you know, you believe what you're taught because you know, they're the doyens or the gurus. So of course. So you know, when people were going, yeah, it's nothing to do with sugar, they need to be on a low fat diet. I was doing the same thing. I'm going, yep. So everybody I came across, I'm going, no, no, you need to reduce your fat. You're eating too much fat. It was all about that. And nothing, nothing about sugar. And like you just described with Gary, the concept that flour
Belinda Fettke (08:31): <laugh> Bread!
Dr Lucy Burns (08:32): Is actually a sugar. Yeah. Bread is sugar. I did not join those dots together.
Belinda Fettke (08:37): And it's fascinating isn't he had a very high carb diet and you know, breads, cereals, rice, pasta, they were the base of our meals. We followed the food pyramid to a tee! That was the base and everything else was, is a bit of topping. I actually never gave up butter cause I grew up loving butter <laugh>. But Gary was a margarine, margarine, margarine man. So he was the low fat skin off cut, fat off the meat, everything. He just wanted all of that to be completely right. So anyway, he looked at this for his patients and he thought if my patients can reduce sugar, then their outcomes may improve. And suddenly another light bulb moment was when he was in the hospital one day and one of his patients with a very badly ulcerated foot, the meal came round for him and it was the diabetic meal plan.
(09:35): And when Gary looked at it, it included three desserts per day. It was high carbohydrate, low fat. And he said, wait a minute, this menu is going to cause my patients to have fluctuating glucose levels all day on and off. They'll be high, they'll be low, they'll be crashing, and this is not going to help this ulcer heal. So he ended up having a discussion with the dietetic department and he went in there really excited to tell him about what he'd found out about sugar <laugh>.
Dr Lucy Burns (10:08): Yeah, yeah,
Belinda Fettke (10:09): You can imagine, Gary, you've met him, his enthusiasm.
Dr Lucy Burns (10:11): Oh yeah.
Belinda Fettke (10:12): Yes. He went in there and he said, really love to talk about this. Well, I'm actually not quite sure whether they didn't wanna hear about it or they didn't want Gary to be the first one to talk about it in the hospital. So rather than embracing and being excited by the findings that Gary was discovering, he was reported to the medical board and investigated for two and a half years for talking about nutrition, which isn't even under the AHPRA medical board because dietetics was considered too low a risk to public health to warrant the money to set them up under the umbrella. So it was outta their jurisdiction. But they investigated him for two and a half years and came to the conclusion that even if low carbohydrate, healthy fat LCHF principles were ever to become accepted best practice, Gary could still never talk about it.
(11:05): So they were withholding best practice from a doctor. I mean, the whole thing was such a joke. So as you say, I stepped out from behind my camera <laugh> and I gave up my photography career and I went, I have to work out why my husband who is doing the right thing, who's improving health outcomes and other doctors that I was meeting and other people in this low carb space, why they could talk about the science till they were blue in the face. And the rule keepers of the guidelines were not changing their minds. And I thought, something is seriously wrong here. Are you the same? Did you just go, why aren't the guidelines changing?
Dr Lucy Burns (11:46): Look, it's, you know, again, for us, so this is Mary and I, it's a little different in that we, we were, were enlightened probably by people like Gary by his story. And initially we were all very worried that we would be silenced because Gary was silenced and he was not allowed to talk about nutrition. And so as a GP seeing people in the community, if I'm not allowed to talk about nutrition, then what? You know, I guess everyone was very frightened, initially worried, worried about the, um, ramifications on their, on their license, on their ability to practice and and the ability to help people.
Belinda Fettke (12:26): Absolutely. And do you know, I think we were told by a senator very early on, you either go very quiet and you hide down low or you go super loud and can I just say that thank you to the incredible people that supported us on Facebook and other social media platforms. But Facebook in particular, they actually wrote to the AHPRA medical board, you know, this is just the public going, this is ridiculous. I'm seeing incredible results. Why are you stopping this doctor from talking about it? And I don't think they were used to the public jumping up and down. So <laugh> and, um, anyway, so the only way we could challenge this determination that was handed down lifelong and non-appealable in the court of law was to go to the National Ombudsman and appeal the process. So to appeal a process, we had to prove that they had not used the right information that they'd bullied Gary, that they'd, which is, I can't tell you how much we could prove it to them, but I guess finding under, um, freedom of information, finding that 845 page document that the administration at the Launceston General Hospital had sent to AHPRA.
(13:36): And within those, we were to find two documents from the head, the CEO of the Dietician's Association of Australia at that time, demanding that Gary be silenced. So then we were able to start, you know, challenging, you know, this is the LGH colluding, the Launceston General Hospital colluding with the dietician's association and is AHPRA also part of this group? So my original research started in 2014 because I looked at the expert witness that was brought in by the medical board to determine if an orthopedic surgeon with a catchment area of 120,000 people almost in Antarctica, like we're so far down, we're almost off the map.
Dr Lucy Burns (14:16): Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Belinda Fettke (14:18): And to determine if an orthopedic surgeon with about 5,000 people following him on social media at that time was dangerous. And he was at the time Gary Fettke No Fructose. So mostly he was just talking about sugar publicly and about his patients reducing sugar. So I thought the expert witness must work for the sugar industry. And I must admit, I had cognitive dissonance and I was determined to work out where this man was coming from. So I actually wrote to him at every email I could find before I determined he was maybe influenced by vested interests. And I wrote to him, I just said, Gary sounds so much like you, you sound like an incredible person who's looked at all these things you've had, you know, life experiences. And I didn't get a reply from any of them. Soon I went right, you’re in my bad books now <laugh>, I'm gonna find out who you work for!
Dr Lucy Burns (15:06): Yeah, yeah.
Belinda Fettke (15:07): Yeah, I tried the nice, I really, really tried the nice and then I went, no, okay, so he didn't work for the sugar industry, he worked for Sanitarium and Sanitarium claims to be the biggest breakfast cereal, the most important breakfast cereal Aussie kids or Wheat Bix kids. And that started to make sense when I looked into it. I uncovered some documents and the Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturing Forum was a group of four cereal industries and it was Sanitarium, Nestle, Kelloggs and Freedom Foods. And this group was using the hashtag #cerealforbrekky. And unbelievably they were paying the Dieticians Association of Australia $23,000 a year to use their members. So were their members aware they were being used for this money? I don't know. But they were to use their members to influence, protect, and actively defend not only cereals and grains, but sugars messaging because their cereal sales were down. Unbelievable! Cereal for brekkie targeting doctors for talking about low carb because their cereal sales were down. It had nothing to do with health.
Dr Lucy Burns (16:17): Do you know what's so interesting to me, Belinda? Is that I, I used to think, ah, you know, like people would talk about, oh, you know, these people are being influenced or whatever and being paid. And there was a dinner that I sat at, this is in 2018, and I sat next to a dietician who looked like a lovely, lovely girl. Uh, and she told me that she got paid $2,000 per post if she hit a certain number of people that liked it. And I just thought, oh my god!
Belinda Fettke (16:47): Yeah, these documents for the ABCMF Cereal for Brekkie, they had, we've done this post, how many dieticians have reposted it? How many have done it? But my concern is, were the general population of dieticians aware that they were being used for this sponsorship money? And you know, the young dietician, because Gary has got loops for his orthopedic surgery and can look at minute vessels. So AHPRA doesn't quite understand redacting in the way that they should and they redacted out lots of things. But they sent her Facebook posts, which she'd used as evidence as to Gary talking about sugar, reducing sugar. And they left all of her friends on the side, they blocked out her name and different things, but didn't have any idea of how to do it. So I was a big Facebook user at the time for my photography and I said to Gary, oh, this is all of her friends!
(17:41): We'll be able to work this out fairly easily. We're a small community. So we've known from the beginning who the dietician was, but she was really young. I believe she was used by her association and probably egged on by some of the more senior staff at the Launceston General Hospital, who knows. And then this feeling, as you say, I've been educated, sugar is not the problem, it's fat. I am doing the guidelines. You know, all of those things. And so, okay, you can understand why she would report Gary, but the fact that the medical board decided to investigate it for two and a half years, Gary was providing him with a thesis like every week he was getting more and more research, which is collated on the what? The public health collaboration, is it the PHC?
Dr Lucy Burns (18:30): Oh the PHCUK.
Belinda Fettke (18:31): PHCUK. Yes. And also diet doctor, they've got all the research depository, um, Virta Health, there's so many groups that are collecting all of this, but Gary was sending it. He was underlining and highlighting all the bits that were important, sending it to AHPRA, after two and a half years, they had one meeting with him. And after listening to him present, his lawyer had to be behind him. He wasn't allowed to give him any cues. And they asked one question, do you think recommending your patients reduced sugar is specific medical advice? Oh gosh, Gary said, “Yes, of course I do!” And that was it. Silence. But two years it took with the National Ombudsman. And finally the case was within one week of going to a different AHPRA board, the entire case was thrown out and Gary was fully exonerated from any vexatious allegations that had come his way. No patient complaint, no patient harm. And he considers that was the defining moment when any doctor could talk about nutrition that was going to improve their patient's health outcome. That was 2018.
Dr Lucy Burns (19:41): You know, that's the thing I wanna highlight to our listeners is that what Gary Fettke was recommending was not woo woo. Like he wasn't suggesting things that were ridiculous. He was suggesting that people reduce their carbohydrate load and carbohydrates and sugars. You know, we use those words interchangeably now. And you know that Mary and I will talk often about sweet sugar and savory sugar, because I think a lot of people will use, when they hear the word sugar, they think of table sugar that you, you know, and people go, I don't have any sugar. I don't have any, you know, I don't have sugar in my tea or sugar in my coffee, but as you and I both know, there's sugars hidden in all of our foods and our processed foods, et cetera. So he wasn't recommending weird and wonderful concoctions, but yet he was silenced because this recommendation was threatening the, you know -
Belinda Fettke (20:41): - establishment.
Dr Lucy Burns (20:42): Yeah, the establishment and the monetary investments of processed food companies.
Belinda Fettke (20:47): Absolutely. And so that's where my research started. And then I just became fascinated about looking into the vested interests and working it out. And I started to look at the guidelines and Gary did a presentation for CrossFit in 2016, and he actually highlighted all the processed food on the dietary plate that Eat Health put out. And um, and he said, you know, you can hardly find the animal proteins and fats on this graphic. They're just barely there. So I started saying, well, where's the meat gone? And came to the understanding over a couple of years that Gary wasn't only in trouble for recommending people reduce sugar and processed carbohydrates. He was in just as much trouble for recommending people include animal proteins and fats in their diet. And that was completely unexpected. So then I started talking about the plant biased dietary guidelines and who's writing these guidelines?
Dr Lucy Burns (21:52): Yep. And I think that's a really good point because you know, so many people assume because the guidelines are written and published and produced, that they're based in really robust research. And they're often not, as you've discovered.
Belinda Fettke (22:07): As we've discovered, and interestingly, even looking at the current Australian dietary guidelines review for 2023, it was meant to be done every five years, I think, but they haven't done it since 2013. So they are in the process of looking at it again. And unlike the American Dietary Guidelines Committee, which as Nina Teicholz was able to show, were highly compromised by the food and pharmaceutical industries, like, unbelievably. And also one person had devout religious beliefs that demonized animal proteins and fats. So these people were highly conflicted. The Australian Dietary Guidelines Committee are just NH and MRC funding, NH and MRC funding, NH and MRC funding over and over and over again. But you have to consider, these people are so entrenched in academia and funding from the NH and MRC that they're not gonna talk outside the guidelines. The NH and MRC are the keepers of the guidelines in Australia.
(23:14): So I think you can have one extreme where they're all food industry funded and they can have the other extreme where they're protecting the food industry funded guidelines. So it'll be an interesting concept going forward. But I think we need to work out, I've been with a little group having a chat and we've just said, we just need to work out how we can get the committee to look into the health benefits of low carbohydrate and maybe like the Australian Diabetes Association, which James Muecke, I have to say has spearheaded the charge into there to get low carbohydrate considered as a safe option in the management of diabetes. It's actually in the guidelines now. Now we just need to get it into education. But it has gotten a step into there. And James Muecke, who was the Australian of the Year in 2020, he's definitely been a mover and shaker in that space.
Dr Lucy Burns (24:05): Uh, but how interesting is it? So James Muecke is, you know, for our listeners who perhaps aren't familiar with him, he's an ophthalmologist and he has spent his lifetime saving people's eyesight from the complications of type two diabetes. So there's a whole heap of parallels with Gary Fettke. So Gary, orthopedic, looking at feet, James Muecke, ophthalmologist looking at eyes and seeing the damage and the devastation for the person affected and then trying to address the root cause of this problem. Because bandaiding it and you know, I think people need to be mindful that the bandaiding, like doctors can make a hell of a lot of money outta bandaiding, eye injections and chopping off feet if they want to, you know, and I think when I spoke to Gary once he, he would be so happy to put himself out of a job. It's really, really helpful to note that these people are doing it for non-vested interest. Their vested interest would actually be to continue the current guidelines so they've got plenty of work. But this is actually really, really going back to that deep cause of actually trying to help our population.
Belinda Fettke (25:14): Exactly. It's, and as Gary says, and many including you and Mary would understand, it brings joy back to medicine to see people actually improve their health. You don't go into medicine to just watch people get sicker and sicker. And the big concern with type two diabetes is the number of young people that are developing type two diabetes. Now, I had an article that stated in 2012, 2,210 to 24 year olds had been diagnosed with a dietary and lifestyle disease and they will end up being bandaided because at the time, certainly in 2012, type two diabetes was still considered a chronic and progressive disease. That's what the guidelines said. So doctors were not empowered with the knowledge that potentially you could improve these people's outcomes. They were entrenched in an education model that bandaided sick care. And at the time they said they reckoned that 400 more children or 10 to 24 year olds would be diagnosed every year from that. So if you extrapolate that, and that would be a minimum because type two diabetes has gone far more outta control than that. But that would be potentially six and a half thousand, 10 to 24 year olds that have been diagnosed with a disease that will in turn give them complications at a much younger age. Type two diabetes was originally called uh, what? Um, mature onset.
Dr Lucy Burns (26:45): Adult onset.
Belinda Fettke (26:46): Adult onset. Well mature onset originally. This is before you, Lucy.
Dr Lucy Burns (26:50): Yeah, absolutely.
Belinda Fettke (26:52): Yes. And it happened to people who were retired and so the government didn't need to invest a lot of money and resources into it because they might develop type two diabetes in their seventies and a lot of people died before the complications took over. They might be dying developing those complications, but they weren't necessarily dying of them. And as this group have gotten younger and younger and younger and now consider 10 to 24 year olds and they're at, they're actually notable cases down to the age of three, but 10 to 24, those children have already started getting harm from a disease before it's diagnosed. Because if these children, these 10 to 24 year olds are prescribed medication, instead of being given the option to change their lifestyle and change their diet specifically into considering low carbohydrate and getting rid of that sugar that's, you know, really affecting their bodies to produce insulin, which they can't do. So giving them exogenous insulin, they're potentially going to start losing limbs, losing eyes as James and Gary would see in their forties. And this is terrible. Terrible, Lucy.
Dr Lucy Burns (28:23): I mean, we talk quite a bit about the idea that medicine is very good at keeping people alive these days. And if you look at our longevity, you know, we have the average age of death is, you know, moving closer and closer to a hundred all the time. We are very good at keeping you alive. What we're not very good at is at giving you quality of life and the concept of lifespan versus health span. Our health span is shrinking. The years in which we are healthy and living a vibrant active life are getting less and less.
Belinda Fettke (28:53): Yes. And um, Gary termed medical tourism to a lot of people who end up in that structure, their retirement, instead of traveling and being involved in all sorts of communities and different things, they end up just going from one doctor to the next doctor to the next doctor. And we know people who, that's their entire conversation because they're medical tourists.
Dr Lucy Burns (29:17): Yes, absolutely. It's almost normalized, isn't it? If you are in your seventies or eighties, it's, yeah. Oh, what appointments have you got this week? And it's, yeah. The list of five people to see.
Belinda Fettke (29:27): Yeah, so it's fantastic. Real Life Medicine is exactly what we need and we need to be considering the concepts of lifestyle. We need to be considering all sorts of things.
Dr Lucy Burns (30:10): That was the first of three episodes of my chat with Belinda Fettke. Next week, we continue our wonderful conversation on Belinda's research, and how institutions have influenced the medical bodies that are supposed to look after our health.
Dr Lucy Burns: So my lovely listeners that ends this episode of Real Health and Weight loss. I'm Dr. Lucy Burns.
Dr Mary Barson: And I'm Dr. Mary Barson. We are from Real Life Medicine. To contact us, please visit https://www.rlmedicine.com
Dr Lucy Burns: And until next time, thanks for listening. The information shared on the Real Health and Weight Loss Podcast, including show notes and links provides general information only. It is not a substitute, nor is it intended to provide individualised medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor can it be construed as such. Please consult your doctor for any medical concerns.