In this recent interview, Dr. Berg asks Dr. Westman about his experience using keto as a primary medical treatment. While we’d encourage you to watch the full 36-minute interview available at the bottom of this article, if you’re short on time you can scan this summary of questions and answers:
WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO COME TO SEE YOU, ARE THEY LOOKING FOR KETO OR FOR LOSING WEIGHT? DO THEY KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT KETO?
Most come for obesity and diabetes treatment. Some have already seen my videos and know what to do on a keto diet and others have no idea that I use a keto approach. Many are referred from other doctors.
WHAT’S YOUR QUICK ANSWER ON DEALING WITH PATIENTS’ DOCTORS THAT ARE ANTI-KETO?
We’re trying to fix that in our new company, HEAL Clinics, by making keto doctors available and training them ourselves. However, if a patient’s doctor says it is unsafe or going to kill their patient, that doctor is clearly out of touch… the patient at that point knows more than the doctor does. If a patient is healthy overall, they don’t need their doctor to do this. It can be done with proper coaching alone. But if the patient is taking medications, the medications can quickly become too strong. If medications are involved, the patient must have a doctor.
YOU DID A CLINICAL STUDY THAT DROPS THE USE OF INSULIN. GIVE ME THE NUMBERS. With 50 people affected by type 2 diabetes, we were able to take 90% off insulin in 7 weeks.
PEOPLE AFFECTED BY TYPE 2 DIABETES WHO ARE ON INSULIN DON’T REDUCE THEIR RISK OF HEART DISEASE, DO THEY?
No. With insulin you’ll never fix the underlying problems.
YOU WERE PAST PRESIDENT AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF THE OBESITY MEDICINE ASSOCIATION (OMA)? I got into the OMA to teach the keto diet. Five to ten percent of the folks in OMA now use the keto diet. The OMA guidelines approve the use of a keto diet as a safe and effective way to treat obesity. So, despite what many may think, there is a national organization that endorses the use of the keto diet.
WHEN YOU WERE RUNNING THE OBESITY MEDICINE ASSOCIATION (OMA) AND WOULD SPEAK EVERY YEAR AT SYMPOSIUMS ABOUT KETO, WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE? The organization has been around 70 years. Going back to when Dr. Atkins and others were practicing, they already knew that low-carb worked. It was a matter of whether people would do the diet, if it was mainstream enough, and if doctors would push back and say you can’t eat that much fat. That’s changing now. Most of those doctors in the OMA use some sort of medication first, but then use a low-carb or low-calorie diet in addition to it. In my practice, I rarely use medication. I’m not opposed to medicine, I just find that now I can take it away. Ninety-five percent of my patients are uniquely keto without medication.
WHAT IS THE OBESITY SOCIETY?
There are three major organizations in the United States that address obesity. The Obesity Society are the researchers. The Obesity Medicine Association are the medical and clinical doctors. The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery are the surgical group.
WHAT KIND OF TREND ARE WE SEEING WITH NEW MEDICAL DOCTORS? IS THERE TRAINING OR ONGOING SEMINARS FOR DOCTORS TO LEARN THE KETO BASICS? Sadly, the well-intentioned groups that are addressing obesity are still teaching doctors old nutrition standards – or teaching new FDA-approved medications. It’s easier for a doctor to prescribe a pill or a shot than to address food.
THERE’S A HIGH PERCENTAGE OF PEOPLE ON MEDICATION. IDEALLY THERE WOULD BE A PLACE IN EVERY CITY WHERE THESE PEOPLE CAN GO THAT IS KETO FRIENDLY, PROVIDES EDUCATION, AND HANDLES MEDICATIONS. THERE IS NO ONE I KNOW DOING THAT BUT YOU. CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR PLAN? The company I co-founded, HEAL Clinics, is running an equity crowdfunding campaign to support our mission of creating clinics. This is not a donation. You own part of the company. As the company gets profitable, you gain from that investment. All the work I did to publish papers in a university setting didn’t change anything. I want change. So, I’m going to the grass roots people. Individuals with as little as $480 can change the world. I realized that to get to the millions of people who need this, we must do something beyond one doctor’s clinic.