I have several friends who will query facebook about health issues, particularly making dietary changes. And the answers they get always vary depending on who’s answering. Sometimes they end up more confused than when they started. Because every opinion has a “study” to back it up and they are suddenly reading links til Christmas. And, God forbid anyone say “in moderation,” because no one can seem to get behind the very legit theory of moderation.
Everything that is good for you, can be bad for you. Even spinach in too large quantities. Even the sun. Even exercise. Even water (ask me how I know about that one!).
What you will find when you examine the comments on posts asking about the healthiness of coffee or juice cleanses or whatever, are that the people who are most vehemently in favor of one thing or another, have made a choice to follow that protocol or eat food only cooked a certain way or whatever. And typically they made that choice based on purely anecdotal evidence and THEN found research to back them up. And nothing wrong with that, but you pretty much have to read it all and say honestly, “this is my friend’s opinion based upon choices she has made.”
But why do we choose to trust certain experts over others? Well, we tend to believe they are telling the truth, that’s why. Last week 10 doctors sent a letter to Columbia University asking for cardio-thoracic surgeon and tv star Dr Mehmet Oz to be removed from it’s staff. Dr Oz has had to testify before Congress for endorsing a bunk product and he’s quite influential. He has made pronouncements on diet, exercise, surgical procedures. He is often endorsing organic foods. And people eat his advice up. It should be noted that not all of these doctors signing this letter have completely pure hearts or intentions. It’s been revealed that at least two are heavy endorsers of GMOs. But that shouldn’t surprise us, because there is money to be made on all sides of the health care debate.
I often see posts and comments about how medical doctors are in the pocket of big pharma, and therefore out to make the most money all of them can. I see things saying all doctors are liars, thieves, and charlatons. And while in some cases, that may very well be true, well, it’s true on the other side too.
WaPo had an article yesterday on Belle Gibson, the health food guru and cookbook author who claims that her diet cured her of a rare and incurable brain cancer. Except: none of it was true. Gibson was never diagnosed with cancer. It was a very elaborate money-making hoax uncovered by journalists at an Australian newspaper who began to realize that Gibson’s story had large holes in and sweeping generalities and could not give any specifics when requested. And finally, she broken down and told the truth.
Many people are rightly angered and feel betrayed. I don’t blame them, they put their trust whole-heartedly in a person, and that person let them down.
I struggle with trusting God and not myself or my family members or friends or husband or whomever. I often turn to others before God which is so stupid I am sitting here shaking my head just writing it. Prayer, Bible study, the Sacraments, God will speak to me there and guide me. If I let Him. If I trust Him. This is true not just in health issues, but everything. And I somehow doubt God is telling me very often, “well, ask your over 700 friends on facebook!” God will use our friends and family to guide us in our decisions, but often we have to be very careful to ensure that we are listening to God when He tells us whom to ask or confide in, and whom not to.
Life is so incredibly complex. It doesn’t have to be. If we could just, “let go and Let God”…if we could just put our trust in the only place it was intended…