by laura (5139 Posts), Thu Jul 31, 2003 11:20 am
I agree with Erin- it's not the notion that nutrition is important that riles us- it's THIS MAN SPECIFICALLY. Most reputable scientists don't have promotional websites that look and sound like an infomercial. Still, despite his shoddy, outdated science, and ridiculous hyperbole, a certain segement of the "unhindered living"/labor to the sound of the whales/doctors are butchers contingent takes his word as gospel- and endanger women's lives by underestimating the origin and complexity of the disease.
In my opinion- 'malnutrition' theories like this (perhaps specifically this one, I'm not sure)helped my first midwife nearly kill me by blowing off my hypertension and swelling until I was nearly in kidney failure. And I'm not the only one- I've read where midwives, referencing this Brewer diet, advise each other to modify sick women's diets by adding protien instead of running 24 hr urines or monitoring their blood pressure or refering them to a perinatologist- after all , it's not illness, it's malnutrition. Well, people die from that attitude.
Now, if the nutrition theory was accurate- why are preeclampsia rates constant throughout the world- and places where they have healthy diets and ample food have comparable preeclampsia rates as places of famine?
Preeclampsia is primarily a disease of first time mothers. 85% of cases of PE are in primagravidas- since the 'cause' of preeclampsia is malnutrition and a starved liver, does that mean that the low rates of recurrence are indicative that the women involved drastically improved their diets in subsequent pregnancies?
Does Dr. Brewers "0%" rates include women with lupus, kidney disease, or clotting disorders? No? Well, how can he tell? A great number of women with underlying disorders are asymptomatic during their childbearing years, as the illness will emerge later. How is Brewer able to screen these women out, since for many of them, there are no clinical indications of their underlying disorders? You said that perhaps my salt sensitivity made me a "special case" but really, 0% doesn't permit for "special cases"
And most importantly- why is Dr. Brewer so resistant to follow the normal channels of scientific/academic inquiry? Anyone can write a book or set up a website declaring that they have the "answer"- it's the ability of other people to replicate your results in a controlled setting that establishes proof. Now, for whatever reason, he is unable or unwilling to do this.
YOU are not saying his diet is one size fits all- but HE is. And 0% is not negotiable- he's either right, or he's wrong- HE hasn't permitted himself much leeway. Well, the problem is that I just don't believe 0%. And if he's wrong about that, he's wrong about it all.
It's great that you have good enough medical care that you can dabble in this- if this guy is wrong, then you're still covered. Well, I'd say a huge part of the problem is that many of us are having a hard time finding providers with sufficient knowledge about the disease competent to help us. We're not covered to begin with.
If you have a personal belief that this may help, then go for it- but as far as I'm concerned it has too little scientific proof backing it up and too many unanswered questions for us all to blithely jump on the bandwagon with you. And the problem is, if you follow what he says, and he's wrong, the potential loss is not face or ego- it's life.
Allie 5-13-98 (35 weeks-pre-e)
Baby Camille 4-17-03 (36 weeks- htn and oligo)