I am Dr Joe Amagada, otherwise known as Dr Joe. For some reason people tend to make a hash of my last name. I don’t think I have the most tongue-twisting last name.
I’ve seen worse but somehow it doesn’t roll off the tongue easily, so it was better to just go with my first name. At least informally anyway and run with that. It’s just easier and less problematic.
Married with 3 kids – One girl and 2 boys. The girl is about to dump the tag of “teen ager” as at the time of writing. The boys are in the last stretch of teen-aging. I will be glad when they all shed the teen age tag and purge themselves of adolescence.
That should usher in a new era of maturity. Well, that’s my hope anyway and indeed should entitle me to parenting duties ‘tax rebate’.
Born in the countryside in the Beatles decade, I have always been a shy dude and still remain so till this day. Was not that exposed until my teens when I hit the city and boy, was that an experience. I felt dizzy and was like a rabbit caught in headlights. Bizarrely, I walked towards the headlights rather than away from it.
Little wonder I needed glasses in my late thirties. All that photo-exposure must have done some damage to my eyesight.
I have lived in 3 countries, the last one being good ol’ Great Britain, where I still reside and ply my trade today. It is a little rainy and cold but I love it all the same. There aren’t many places where you can walk in to a medical facility, receive 1st class care and walk out without spending a dime or waiving a health insurance card. Not many and that’s just the start.
Having lived in both the developing world and the developed world, I believe I have great insights into health and healthcare on both divides.
What are my qualifications?
Do you really need to know this? Okay, if you insist. Here we go. I am a doctor first and foremost and also a Gynaecologist & Obstetrician on the specialization level.
I have a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery degree and on the postgraduate end, I am a Member and now Fellow of The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. So I go with these letters after my name, MB,BS & FRCOG. Impressed? Hmm Nope. The idea was not to show off but to let you into a window of my cerebral achievements. Seeing as our relationship is virtual at least at the moment anyway until our paths accidentally cross each other’s, you may want to know for real whom you are relating to online.
So how did I come about this blog?
Well, I had become fed up of the way conventional medicine (I am not dissing conventional medicine by the way) goes about managing some disease conditions. The emphasis has been to prescribe more and more meds.
Don’t get me wrong, some conditions will not improve without a good old dollop of pharmaceutical pills and that’s fine. However, there are lots of medical conditions that could do with a different strategy outside of conventional pharmaceutical help.
Do not blame your doctor by the way. It’s how we were brought up in medicine and in any case he has 10 more patients waiting to be seen by him/her outside the consulting room anyway. He/She hasn’t got a lot of time. So, prescribe, prescribe and prescribe some more is what we are trained to do, until we get the patient to the promised land. It doesn’t have to be like that all the time though.
Orthodox medicine missing a trick?
Take for instance, type 2 diabetes. We tell the patient upon making the diagnosis. Watch what you eat, avoid sugars and do some exercise without any specifics. 6 months to a year later, no improvement and what do we do?
Prescribe Metformin. In the event the patient blood sugars still not improving which happens 8 out of 10 cases, the next step will be to add a sulfonylurea med like glibenclamide, gliclazide or some other medication that suits our fancy. Blood sugar profile still not behaving, up we slap on Insulin. There, that should do it.
Insulin will probably sort the blood glucose levels out but at a huge cost. Not necessarily financially but physical and emotional cost to the patient.
What conventional medicine has forgotten to do there is neglect the root cause of the problem – Insulin Resistance. In this instance all conventional medicine does is treat the symptom NOT the disease. The root cause is Insulin resistance. And you can’t fix insulin resistance with medications. You may temporarily fix blood sugar levels in the very very short term with Metformin but not for long.
But you can fix insulin resistance with a complete overhaul of a type 2 diabetic’s nutrition and cleverly targeted exercise regime. It might take a couple of weeks but it can be done. You just need to know the nitty gritty and commit yourself to the task.
I can tell you that if you can fix the patient’s insulin resistance, he/she will not need the glibenclamide, the gliclazide, the metformin or the pharmaceutical insulin for that matter. I have now come to the realization that Hippocrates was right when centuries ago he said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”
My personal realization came about when the threat of having a 3rd medication prescribed for me was looming in the horizon for my metabolic syndrome. I told myself, there has to be another way. Ain’t going to start a 3rd medication.
> If anything I should be thinking of coming off these 2 meds not adding more.
That’s how my journey started and it turned out to be a journey of optimizing my health NOT with more Big Pharma stuff but with little strategies that include altering my nutrition amongst other things. Whilst in the thick of this paradigm shift (at least for me anyway), I came across this book “How Not To Die” by Michael Greger M.D. What a title? Bound to grab your attention, right? It grabbed mine and got a copy for myself.
I would encourage you to pick up a copy for yourself here on Amazon.com and UK residents, here on Amazon.co.uk. It is a good read. Oh, need I remind you. That book is a New York Times Bestseller. What does that really mean?
> Okay, Wikipedia says “The New York Times Best Seller list is one of the best-known bestseller lists for the US. This list tracks national and independent book stores, as well as sales from major Internet retailers such as Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble”.
Wikipedia doesn’t say how many copies have to be sold for a book to qualify for the Bestseller list but I suppose the threshold will be up there somewhere.
It’s certainly a #1 Bestseller on UK & US Amazon. That much I know at least when I bought my copy, it was.
> The description on Amazon states “The book ‘How Not To Die’ gives effective, scientifically-proven nutritional advice to prevent our biggest killers – heart disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes – and reveals the astounding health benefits that simple dietary choices can provide”
Indeed, the book lived up to that description. I liked it when I read it and it does something similar to what I do here on this website. Provide science-based alternative methods of optimizing your health. The book also gave me the reassurance (as if I needed one) that I was doing something right with my life.
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Essentially I had opted to move my frame of mind in the direction of Lifestyle Medicine. Yep, I am now officially a Lifestyle Doctor because I truly believe that certain simple lifestyle measures can halt, reverse or prevent a lot of the major diseases killing us in the Western world.
> Measures that move patients from the perpetual cycle of prescriptions and yet more prescriptions making them just a little bit better but never healing them completely to a mindset of enabling them take control of their health and jumping off safely from the jaws of poly-pharmacy.
Do you know what’s weird? All of these is not new. The science behind these measures has been around for a good while yet. Only not taken seriously. Even better these measures are being refreshed with new research. Old ideas, polished with new research evidence.
> So most of what you will read here is the product of my personal journey towards optimizing my health. Sharing that with you is a privilege. Hopefully you will pick up one or two nuggets that you can apply to your own personal circumstance. This blog represents my own little contribution to the democratization of information powered by internet technology.
WebMD does the hydra-headed bits of conventional medicine and I do the not-so-serious stuff over here. But don’t be fooled, you will learn practical health tips that will move the needle (no pun intended) in the Wellness direction for you.
What makes this website unique?
- The emphasis of my posts are about metabolism as a starting point
- The manipulation of nutrition to our advantage
- And this is very important. I use myself as a “guinea pig” if you like. The recipes you see on this website have been tested by me for their metabolic relevance and suitability for consumption. I test my blood glucose results on all the recipes. The recipes haven’t just been cobbled together as you find elsewhere. The ones here have been tested. If a recipe doesn’t pass my test, it doesn’t make it to a live page. Period.
Now whilst you are on this blog as my guest, can I ask you a little favour (“favor” for my American friends – why ditch the “u” by the way), please do add your comments to any post you read here. Something positive, I should add, not crappy comments.
Add comments that contribute to the wellness of the community, and you do have a couple of friends, don’t you? Then share the posts you come across on this blog with your friends and family. It helps this resource to extend its reach and makes me feel I am contributing something to mankind.
Oh and it makes me sleep better too.
So here we are. Come with me on the journey as I share science-backed tips that have helped me optimize my health in the mix of my medical knowledge.
Above all else…Stay healthy and Have fun!