Eichorn Health Manifesto
Growing up, I had few interactions with the healthcare system. We didn’t have electricity or other modern conveniences. As a young child I learned the value of hard work. I pumped water using a windlass, I milked cows by hand, I carried hot water in buckets to wash clothes and more than once burned my legs in the process. My “toys” were often things like using a rake as play farm equipment. As a family we did the farm work, invested in the community through our church, and were involved in our small school. Our lives were suddenly disrupted when my father was diagnosed with cancer and we moved to the US for treatment.
Thinking back, I had tremendous respect and unparalleled confidence in the modern healthcare system at that time. As a 15 year old boy, I was quite in awe of the providers at Mayo clinic who cared for my dad.
After finishing high school, I worked as a farm hand for some time, then worked in a factory for several years. I then decided to become a nurse as I felt healthcare would be the best avenue for me to help people live better lives and suffer less. I worked for 5 years as a nurse initially in the cardiac care unit and then later in the ER. I very much enjoyed my job as a nurse. I felt that the more knowledge I had, the more I would be able to continue the mission of helping people live better lives. As part of this journey, I decided to go to medical school.
When I started medical school, I fully anticipated becoming either an ER doc or an ICU doc. God has a funny way of changing plans though, and I ended up choosing family medicine as an avenue where I could develop more long-term relationships and help patients live a more abundant life.
Early in medical school, I had an almost complete trust in the system. I tried to apply what I was learning to my own life in every way I could. Oh, I could tell you stories of how proud I was of myself for starting to use “heart healthy” oil spreads instead of butter.
One of the pesky problems that had followed me throughout my life and into my time as a medical student was my weight. Despite my best attempts, I could not conquer it. I did my best to cut out saturated fats. I tried to eat mostly grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, pulses, fish, and nuts. I never felt like I could completely cut out red meat, but I sure did try. I took pictures of myself on the scale, felt the shame of having obesity, would resolve to try harder, would do well for several days, and then would fail again.
So, it makes sense that my first true distrust of mainstream medicine was in the arena of nutrition- particularly as it relates to weight gain. By the time I started my residency in family medicine I had obesity along with several conditions including hypertension, heartburn, and depression. Then to top it off, I had an A1C consistent with prediabetes….which sent me deeper on a search for truth.
A number of things happened soon after, I don’t recall exactly in what order. Dr Abigail Annan was one of the faculty at our residency and she talked a lot about the research behind carbohydrate restriction, particularly in weight loss. I read the book “The Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz, I read “The Obesity Code” by Dr Jason Fung, and I listened to a TED talk by Dr Sarah Hallberg on reversing diabetes. This led me down the rabbit trail of nutritional research and I learned that much of what I was taught regarding nutrition was verifiably false. I tried this crazy think called a “fad keto diet” and was finally able to lose weight and keep it off. I felt better. The other diseases I had improved tremendously and have since mostly resolved.
Over the years my thoughts on nutrition have morphed some, but these days I still eat mostly red meat, organs, eggs, dairy, fish, berries, and some other plant foods. I eat them not because of them being “keto”, but because it’s what humans have been eating for thousands of years. They make me feel better, research supports it as a healthy choice, and overall my health has improved remarkably based on blood tests. But still, much of the food guidelines parroted by medical professionals are based on junk science and are wrong.
Another very important influence was following the cases of Professor Tim Noakes and Dr Gary Fettke and how they were ostracized by the larger medical community for their viewpoints. I followed their legal proceedings and I recall the relief I felt when Professor Tim Noakes won his court case as I knew there was a possibility I could be prosecuted for prescribing carbohydrate restricted diets as well. Why do those who seek truth have to fight so hard against the mainstream medical views?
I then had this crazy thought that maybe if the medical literature regarding nutrition was wrong, what about other topics…..things like vaccines, adding fluoride to water, vitamin D, statins, blood pressure control, “normal” levels on labs….the list goes on and on.
These questions have continued to bother me. As part of addressing these questions, it’s become very important for me to address specific risks and benefits and allowing patients to choose what is right for them. My views are not mainstream.
I think the literature supports the use of low carb/keto diets particularly for patients with obesity and/or diabetes. I realize this is becoming a bit more mainstream these days.
Statins (i.e. Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor) are way over prescribed. Informed consent is almost never used in helping patients decide whether taking a statin is right for them.
My search has led to many unanswered questions about the safety and efficacy of vaccines in general.
It prepared me to be a bit more open to an alternative narrative on Covid.
I’ll admit, early on I was scared of Covid. I was dressing up in gowns/gloves before the healthcare organizations advised it here in Michigan. My family quarantined entirely for a period of weeks early on. Time went on, I went back to work in person. I took care of many patients with Covid. Some died, but I also took care of many patients without Covid who suffered because of the restrictions put in place.
I’ll never forget the one patient who called me the “Angel of Death” early on in his hospitalization which was not due to Covid. His impression about the reason for not allowing visitors was that they would then see how terribly we were treating him. After many weeks in the hospital, he died. I didn’t take care of him the entire hospitalization, but I admitted him and I was taking care of him when he died. He wasn’t allowed to have family come see him until the day he died. Covid restrictions have serious consequences. He spent the last several weeks of his life in a hospital. Alone. With no visitors allowed because of hospital policy.
There was much ado about treatments early on and the debate continues. My regret is that I didn’t advocate more for treatments that we know work.
The censorship on medications also leads into a different discussion about FDA approvals. Usually if people tell me about a medication being approved/unapproved by the FDA I bring up the fact that Oxycontin was approved by the FDA. It took years until we realized meds like vioxx, thalidomide, or DES were causing problems. Also, the FDA recently approved Aduhelm because it decreased the rate of clinical decline a tiny bit in one study but not in the other study. So maybe fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me?
Then you get into the Covid vaccines. They’re new. We were given information about their efficacy that turned out to be false. Now the narrative has shifted to protecting from severe disease instead of preventing you from getting Covid. Maybe the Israel data should be talked about more. Talk about trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results!
Then there’s the risk that’s not being reported. I know from clinical experience that possible vaccine adverse events aren’t being reported the way they should. I’ve taken care of multiple people with things such as DVT’s, MI’s, dyspnea, thrombocytopenia, and some just weird neurological symptoms that were temporally associated with the vaccine (i.e. onset hours to weeks after administration) but until I saw the patient, they were not recognized (and thus not reported) as a possible adverse reaction. Can I say they were caused by the vaccine? No, I can’t. But if it’s not reported, then we’re not going to know.
What bothers me even more is providers saying that “no, there’s no way this can be caused by the Covid vaccine” even though they can’t find a different explanation for the symptoms.
And why have so many athletes died suddenly in the last year?
So given all this, how am I supposed to counsel someone on risks/benefits. Add to that I risk losing my board certification and license if I spread “misinformation” about Covid or the Covid vaccine. What’s misinformation? I don’t know. And if I don’t know these answers, how do people feel right about mandating the Covid vaccine? I know in the last several years there has been discussion about lying to patients about mandating treatments to promote the greater good. Are we being lied to? I know Fauci has said more than one lie. Remember the oh I told you medical grade masks don’t work. Yea, I just said that so that there would be enough masks for healthcare workers. Are there other lies? I don’t know. When you have medical ethicists arguing that you should lie to promote improved social behavior it’s hard to know what to believe.
I’ve taken care of many patients who are so frustrated with their providers. They get scorned by their providers. Lectured at. I’ve seen notes written by providers ridiculing their patients for their health choices. It’s terrible. With reason, many patients don’t trust the healthcare system at all anymore. In the last year I’ve had several patients tell me they would rather die at home than go to the hospital.
And so I had several patients with oxygen saturations dipping to 80% who were managed with home oxygen in addition to taking medications that we're not supposed to prescribe for Covid. But the patients lived and as far as I know are all doing fairly well.
The healthcare system, which is better called the medical industrial complex, is being obliterated. And in the long term, I think that’s a good thing. I mean, imagine a world where hospitals close because they are no longer needed. The people are healthy and no longer need the vast number of services needed now. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Where do we go from here? Healing will come for many people, but you need to seek it out. There is an Ark that is picking up passengers to carry people to an abundant life. And thankfully there’s room for more than Noah and his immediate family.
Picture the medical industrial complex as an institution that provides life jackets for people to float in the stormy waters of a worldwide flood of disease. Those life jackets keep you afloat, but you suffer in the storm until you die. We need doctors who practice medicine to help people get on the Ark. Once you’re on the Ark, the goal is you won’t need those life jackets anymore.
So what is that Ark?
That Ark is the nexus of regenerative agriculture and a sound monetary system. Regenerative agriculture provides a sustainable source of food that will bring healing in a way that no medicine can. The sound monetary system takes the control away from the global conglomerates that sell you junk food substitutes so that they can again profit by selling you medicines.
I realize that by necessity the medical industrial complex relies on people being sick to finance “healthcare.” While the system is broken, it is also important to avoid throwing out the baby with the bath water. There is a place for healthcare providers to be integrated into a community that prospers.
One of the most important ways to start decreasing the dependence on the healthcare system is to make sure your food is nutritious. Given the importance of food in our health, it’s important to know where your food comes from and how it was grown or raised. Buy direct from the farmer if at all possible. Or raise it yourself. For further discussion of how important is to know the source of your food check out the Texas Beef Initiative at https://beefinitiative.com/. This goes far deeper than just healthy food. There is so much information there on how you can weaponize your health.
I’ve learned a lot over the last several years. I know there’s a lot I don’t know. I believe the direct primary care model of healthcare provides the ability for me to practice medicine in a way that is meant to get people on the Ark rather than just providing lifejackets. If you’re interested in direct primary care as a model of care, check out https://dpcalliance.org/ and feel free to check out what my wife and I are doing over at www.citadelhealthcenter.com.