On Friday, October 7th, I met with Dr. Richard K. Bernstein in his office. It was a wonderful experience and he was very personable, funny and incredibly willing to talk.
Since there's so much information regarding the technical aspects of his program (links included at the end of this post), my goal was to get to know Dr. Richard K. Bernstein as a person.
How Dr. Bernstein discovered that eating low carb was the missing link to normalizing blood sugar levels (after discovering that normalizing BG levels were possible and could prevent & reverse complications)
Dr. B's family and their history of autoimmune disorders
Whether his family also eats low carb
How Dr. Bernstein personally deals with stress and what he recommends to his patients
How we can all help his message live on
Dr. Bernstein's obviously a fighter. He doesn't fight with anger or force, but with his incredible technical knowledge, experience, problem solving and persistence. At 83 years old, he still sees new patients in his office, even though he could have retired years ago and his eyesight is not as good as it used to be. He loves to sing and I've also heard he also loves painting.
There are so many things I wanted to ask and just didn't have time. Other questions have come up after listening to our interview. I got a glimpse into the life of Dr. B, though: his family and his practice; and for that, I'll be forever grateful.
At the very end of my interview, after the recording was stopped, I asked Dr. Bernstein what I can personally do to help his cause. He made me start the recording again and his answer surprised me:
(To hear the approx 3 minute recording, click the box below)
Dr. Bernstein: For years, I've been training medical students who come here to my office as an elective in their third year, and all they get is a month or two and they just learn that it's important to control blood sugars. Usually the ones who pick this option are people either who have diabetes or have relatives with diabetes. It doesn't do a hell of a lot in one or two months.
I don't know of any doctor anywhere in the world who knows the many tricks for normalizing blood sugars in diabetics of both types. And you heard some of the tricks yourself, which are oddball things and there's a huge amount to learn, and no one knows it. And when I'm gone, the only remnant would be the tricks I've disclosed on videos and things like that.
So, Samantha (Dr. B's Executive Director) and my son sort of jointly sparked an idea in my head. I've long wanted to have someone who would spend at least a year with me, learning everything, and it might take more than a year, it might take two years.
Many people have expressed a desire, but there's always an obstacle. They can't afford to be without an income for a year. So what Samantha and my son sparked was the thought that there are people out there who have independent incomes or come from affluent families (or my addition: doctors who want to take a sabbatical year) who can afford to spend an year or two without any income.
We should solicit, try to screen young physicians who are interested in diabetes, want to learn as much as possible and can afford to do this. And I'd be glad to spend the time for one or two years, even more than one person.
Lisa: I think that's a wonderful idea. We all want your knowledge to live on and to spread even further than it already has.
Dr. Bernstein: I was planning to live forever but some statisticians tell me that there's at least a 50% probability that I'm wrong.
So, anyway, that's one thing. Spreading the word.
The thing is, most of us aren't physicians (or other medical profesionals and even fewer people can spend a year in an unpaid apprenticeship, but we all have doctors, friends and family. The more that we talk about this, the more of a chance Dr. Bernstein's practice will live on.
I'd love to spend a year or two with Dr. Bernstein and honestly, I have the flexibility to do it but I'm not a physician (although my husband asked me after this interview if I now want to become go to med school in my 40's like Dr. B. The thought HAD crossed my mind!) I'm currently discussing other options/ideas with Dr. Bernstein's office and will let you know if anything comes of it.
Short of finding an understudy, we all must take Dr. Bernstein's example to heart. He's fought mainstream rejection since he first discovered the 'why and how of normalizing blood sugar levels'. He's fought for 40 years and has never given up on us. We must also be change-makers.
If we can each help spread Dr. B's concepts to a few people, who can then change their lives for the better, it's all worth it.
Will we have rejection and pushback? yes
Will it be discouraging at times? yes
Do we have an obligation to help others? yes
We've personally seen the benefits of a low carb/intensive insulin regimen. How can we NOT yell this from the rooftops and talk about it to everyone who will listen?
For the people who won't listen, be the gentle whisper in their ear. Lead by example. Be there when that person is ready with questions. Don't push, don't demean.
Many of us (myself included) took a while to accept the concept of low carb eating, but we got here eventually and that's all that matters.
This movement doesn't need to be forceful but it does need to be persistent.
Be the change-maker.
(And if you're a medical professional and want to train with Dr. Bernstein, please contact his office TODAY!)