Part 3 in a series on why articles on ‘nutrition’ and nutritional advice from ‘experts’ on diet is a waste of time, energy and effort [for the non-medically institutionalized population].
This article that was posted in Men’s Health.com, and then was posted at Bicycling.com
I would expect to read a thorough biological/neurological/physiological explanation as to why we get leg cramps, and then based on the thorough explanation a scientifically proven (and based on real science not the pseudo-science that passes as research these days, as in ‘research’ paid for by companies seeking to “prove” [wink wink] that their product works) solution as to how to stop and/or prevent cramps.
But that is not what the article delivers. The article starts with this…
THEY HAVE YET TO FIND THE CAUSE OF CRAMPS!
First, that should be the end of the article because if there is no known root cause that consistently is appearing in the scientific literature then what more is there to say besides stayed tuned… when research comes up with something we will let you know.
Second, the article should apologize for the false marketing of the title: (a) the title promises to explain why we get leg cramps… it cannot because we do not know, and (b) it promises solutions as to how to eliminate cramps… it cannot because we do not know.
The writer goes on to say… there is research and some linkages between sitting and various prescribed drugs and there are some linkages with neurological pathologies (as in neurological diseases), and no scientifically reliable or valid connection has been found between the commonly held belief that cramps are caused by electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.
That should be the end of the article as I stated above, but no! Despite it being repeated several times in the article that there is no known cause for cramps, and only scant linkages, with direct correlations unable to be drawn… the writer goes on to offer solutions to stop cramps.
This sums up the validity to nutrition advice, to the ‘science’ that nutritional experts stand on…
THERE IS NONE BECAUSE THEY HAVE NONE!
SO THEY MAKE UP WHATEVER THEY WANT…
AND THEN PREACH IT AS IF ITS THE TRUTH
Nutritional advice and the so called nutrition experts are drawing conclusions where there are no conclusions to be drawn and worst of all they are developing prescriptions of diets, of supplementation, of hydration and recommending them to patients as if any of it is based on truth. Its not. They have nothing to stand on, so the bests they can do is make up stuff and sell it to you hoping that when things don’t work out, you don’t come back and blame them.
In medicine and in health care in general there is supposed to be a basis for intervention, and that basis is you intervene ONLY if you can assure the patient that the intervention you recommend will not cause harm. Do not cause harm is the foundation of any true health care professional. In nutrition, the concept of do no harm clearly does not exist. If you do not know what causes cramping, that shouldn’t stop you from providing recommendations to stop or eliminate or prevent cramping… just guess, and hope it works out is the standard operational procedure it seems! That’s right they are guessing when they suggest that you should hydrate, drink a fluid with electrolytes, take magnesium, calcium, Vitamin D, eat bananas, Gogi berries, or whatever it is they recommend.
If all they are doing is hoping and guessing that they are right, then what are the chances that they are wrong? Exactly! This isn’t healthy intervention, its gambling with your health hoping that what worked in one or two isolated cases (usually what worked for themselves) will work for you… they went gluten free, so now everyone else on earth needs to be gluten free.
To offer “recommendations” based on guessing… is malpractice when you hold yourself out to being a professional. Until there is consistent valid and reliable and peer reviewed data in the field of nutrition… there should definitely be no diets prescribed to anyone, let alone ‘experts’ in nutrition. What are they experts in when there is no science to back up any protocol?
But we live in a society where we cannot just stand by idle… someone has to do something! Yet what we should be doing is… nothing, UNTIL we have the evidence that we are not going to do harm to anyone. But no, we would rather risk doing harm by “doing something”. Its ignorance of epic proportions to believe that ‘good intentions’ will turn bad advice, into good.
But its only food and water… what harm can be done? Seriously? Educate yourself by reading the prior post… and perhaps you will wake up to realize that in the past 3-4 decades of nutritional advice from so called nutritional experts the world has ended up dealing with epidemics in obesity, in diabetes, in metabolic disorders.
Finally, I challenge you to confront any of those so called experts in nutrition and ask them where they got their education and clinical experience. You may be shocked to learn that they have none, or they are “self taught” by reading a couple posts on Facebook, or they took a 1hr course at a personal training or coaching conference, or those who believe have ‘a lot’ of education have what amounts to one whole course that lasted an agonizing couple of hours. In any other health care profession, there is usually 2-3 years – years, not hours… years – of study to acquire the basic understanding of how the body functions. Its 2-3 years of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, psychology, etc… and then the study of pathologies begins, and only after that does the study of how to remedy those pathologies get discussed. In nutrition… the belief is that you don’t need any of that nonsense… you go straight to recommending everyone to go gluten free, low carb, massive amounts of protein, and make sure you drink 1 gallon of water a day (if they are on diuretics… wait, what’s a diuretic… my point exactly).
You wouldn’t trust your car to someone who took a couple hour course… yet we trust our health with con-artists who pose as nutrition experts who promise that if we listen to them our health will be restored, our aches and pains resolved.