Friday, December 6, 2019

Retrospective #293: The HEAL Clinics: Diabetes and Medical Weight Loss: RIP

As I said in #292, I am not angry at doctors, in general, “even though they are aware… that the Standard of Care they are required to use to treat [Type 2 diabetics] will trap patients in a lifelong regimen of drug management, obesity and escalating diabetes.”  These clinicians, I said, “are in a tough spot.” There exists, however, on the fringes of mainstream medicine, a growing cadre of doctors who have broken from the pack. These are the “Young Turks.”
The army of sheep – the obese, pre-diabetic and diagnosed Type 2s out there who are being herded into “a lifelong regimen of drug management, obesity and escalating diabetes – are ready to be rescued. But these Young Turks are also in a tough spot. It’s hard to herd sheep whose doctors lead them to follow the current treatment protocol.
In early 2015, when I originally wrote this post, one Young Turk who appeared on the scene was Eric Westman, MD, MHS, Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University and Director of the Duke Lifestyle Clinic. He is perhaps best known as a co-author of both “The New Atkins for a New You” and “Cholesterol Clarity.” He was also then president of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians. “Bariatric,” for the cognoscenti, simply means having to do with weight.
Dr. Westman’s new venture was as Co-founder, President and Chief Medical Officer of HEAL Clinics, a 2014 start-up. The quote, “will trap patients in a lifelong regimen of drug management, obesity and escalating diabetes”, was lifted from a Private Placement Memorandum for HEAL Clinics. It is part of Dr. Westman’s Manifesto, “Benefits of HEAL Clinic’s Low-Carb Lifestyle – Putting Diabetes in Remission.” The rest of this blog is quoted from the PPM.
“Type 2 diabetes occurs when a person consistently eats too many carbohydrates. All carbohydrates (except for the fiber content and small amounts of vitamins and minerals) convert to blood sugar (glucose). When one consumes excessive carbs, the pancreas produces excessive insulin. It is both the excessive levels of glucose and insulin that produces harmful and chronic inflammation, damaging our cells and organs.”
“Excessive carbohydrate consumption is encouraged by the U. S. Dietary Guidelines and the food industry, which provides tens of thousands of highly processed, sugar and other carb-laden foods to entice us. Studies show that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. It is this combination of our own desire to eat excessive carbs and the food industry’s desire to sell carb-filled products that has created our obese and unhealthy population….”
“Many people not yet diabetic or pre-diabetic are asymptomatically obese, that is, obese but do not have symptoms yet, though they are at high risk of developing pre-diabetes and subsequently diabetes by consuming excessive carbohydrates. A segment of our population is normal in weight but still suffers from Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes.”
“Since excessive eating of carbohydrates can cause Type 2 diabetes, it can be put into remission by following a Low-Carb lifestyle. The HEAL Low-Carb Protocol is far more preferable to doctors prescribing medications and insulin that are expensive and have potentially dangerous side effects. It is well documented that the standard ‘pills-and-needles’ treatment method rarely puts diabetes into remission. However, it is certain that following HEAL’s Low-Carb Protocol will put almost every person with Type 2 diabetes into remission.”
“A Low-Carb lifestyle is not the medical establishment’s standard of care for Type 2 diabetes even though it is a safe, effective, and well-researched way to put the disease into remission. Perversely, many of the prescribed medications, such as insulin, cause weight gain and increase food cravings, making it difficult for a patient to lose weight. Most of the blood sugar control medications have side effects, many of them serious. The current treatment protocols trap patients in a lifelong regimen of drug management, obesity and escalating diabetes.” [The emphasis added by me.]
HEAL Clinics was a network of premium-priced, medically-supervised, low-carbs clinics across the USA. In mid-2019, after 5 years of operations, Heal Clinics ceased operations, “because the business model was not viable.”
Dr. Westman: “My passion has always been to bring the benefits of a keto lifestyle and the remission of type 2 diabetes and obesity without medications to the masses. To that end, I hope HEAL Clinics has helped educate and spread awareness. But as a business model we’ve concluded that HEAL Clinics cannot be financially sustained.”
HEAL Clinics did help to spread awareness to the general public of the benefits of the low-carb lifestyle – of helping patients with obesity and Type 2 diabetes lose weight and put their diabetes in remission. Thank you, Dr. Westman.


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