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Food is Medicine: Scott's Extraordinary Story

When Scott found out he had diabetes, he knew had to make a change. With the help of his McFarland Clinic physician, Scott changed the way he ate and has seen results.

Scott had known that he had a problem with the way he was eating.

"I have tried in the past [to change his diet] and had limited success for a short time," Scott said. "Then I would always revert back to eating the old way...lots of pop, lots of hamburgers and fries and stuff like that."

The eating habits eventually caught up with Scott when he went to his annual physical and found out he had Type 2 Diabetes.

"My weight was probably at the highest it had been in a long time. I could see an ongoing problem. That was a big change in my thinking about health in general."

Setting a Goal

Scott's doctor, McFarland Clinic Family Medicine physician Dr. Michael Bird, had a goal for him.

"Initially there was some diabetic education, and he needed some medication to get his blood sugar down," said Dr. Bird. "But my biggest goal with him was to have him make a change in lifestyle."

Dr. Bird referred Scott to a book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman titled The End of Diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman had previously written another book called Eat to Live, which emphasizes scientific data, real patient outcomes and common sense diet tips.

Food is Medicine

Together with McFarland Clinic Nephrology specialist Dr. Jacob Alexander, Dr. Bird developed an educational piece entitled "Food is Medicine: A Guide to Good Health and Nutrition," which debuted early in 2017.

"The main points are increased vegetables, less meat and dairy," said Dr. Bird, citing a decrease in calories consumed and an increase health-promoting nutrients. Following the tenants of "Food is Medicine," patients can potentially lose weight, maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol, lessen the symptoms of diabetes, reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, and enhance their sense of well-being.


Scott said that after reading Dr. Fuhrman's work, which forms part of the basis for "Food is Medicine," "it really did turn on a light bulb in my head." He started eating better, and the results were clear. He dropped about 40 pounds in a year, and he has been able to reduce his medication.

Dr. Bird said he is pleased with Scott's progress. "The success that he's had has given him more power to realize how much control he has over his health," he said.

Scott's wife Kathy noticed not just a physical change, but an improvement in his well-being.

"He's got more energy. He takes more initiative. He's more engaged," said Kathy. "This is not just about a diet or a physical change. This changes a whole person and the dynamics of [our] relationship for the better."

Scott cites a change in his attitude toward eating and says he will not be reverting to his old diet like he had done in that past.

"This is the way we're going to be eating from now on," Scott said. "So if we continue on this [lifestyle], we will see good things happen."

Tagged As: Food and Fitness

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