You MUST Do Your Own Research When it Comes to Health |

You MUST Do Your Own Research When it Comes to Health

admin July 31, 2020

Recently, Forbes published an article called “You Must Not ‘Do Your Own Research’ When it Comes to Science.”  The author, and astrophysicist and science educator, asserts the same tired old lines that experts often do: the average person is dumb.  They can’t understand the depth and breadth of all the knowledge in the field, in order to put new information into proper context, and ought to just let experts explain to them what the right decisions are.

This has been the party line for years from “science experts.” And, to some extent, they have a point. But then again, they don’t.

This is why, generally, they’re wrong.

Listen to Science Experts…Sometimes

The concern with “lay people” looking at scientific research has been that they do not have the education to understand it.

It’s true, that studies are not always easy to read.  To get the full picture, you have to understand how studies are designed, statistical modeling, power, what conflicting studies say, what larger confirming (or refuting) studies have concluded, and the greater context into which the knowledge fits.  It’s not simple to pick up a study on, say, sugar consumption, and know exactly the right amount of sugar any individual can/should eat.

Scientists become concerned that the average person is just going to read headlines, or maybe abstracts, and pick out the sentences and phrases that back up what they want to believe, which fits their biases.  And, okay, since most of us don’t have endless amounts of time to really read all the studies, and our education system is woefully lacking, sometimes we will do that.

But in most regards, it’s actually okay.

Health is Personal

Here’s what they’re missing: there are a lot of different fields of science.  There’s astrophysics like the author is in.  There are paleontology and marine biology…  All of these fields, and many more, deal with parts of the world around us.  Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about those fields on a day-to-day basis, because unless we’re enthusiasts, they don’t affect us.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember the last time that a bunch of people confronted marine biology experts and told them that they had ‘done their research’ and they thought the biologists were wrong…  Because why would they?  Marine biology doesn’t affect us physically.  We leave the science to the scientists.

But health is an entirely different animal, and simply cannot be treated the same manner.

Health is the care of our own bodies.  It’s personal.  It’s not something out there that the experts can discuss and debate and work on for years while we hardly know it’s even going on.  It’s something that affects us daily.

Asking us to acquiesce to the experts on paleontology or marine biology is not like asking to acquiesce when it comes to our own well-being.

Health research changes yearly.  Sometimes even weekly.  We’ve all seen the experts quibble over whether eggs or coffee are good or bad for us for decades now, and there’s still no firm consensus on that.  (As with many health topics, it seems to depend on what kind of coffee or eggs, what quantity and how frequently it’s consumed, what works well with your body, etc.)

We can’t wait for experts to “figure it out,” nor can we assume that what they believe today is the complete and final truth.  We also can’t take any health advice as fully universal, because although trends may be present, everyone is just a little bit different.  And we want to be healthy now.

What happens if an expert is wrong about a marine habitat and how an animal interacts with it?  Maybe the new information makes it to the media, and if we see it at all, we think “Cool, and now we know that.”

But what happens if they are wrong about an aspect of our health?  We are the ones who pay the price.  We live with the consequences of doing or not doing something.  How do we tell people that, when it’s literally their lives, that they don’t have a say? That they “shouldn’t” be doing their own research? That their feelings, thoughts, knowledge, or experiences don’t matter?

And yet that’s what they’d like us to believe. That somehow, we should abdicate control of our own bodies to “experts.”

You MUST Do Your Own Research When it Comes to Health

Your body is yours, and it’s the only one you have.

When it comes to staying well, it’s completely on you.  Our medical system is not set up to keep people healthy. It’s set up to detect and manage disease.  It is up to you to figure out what combination of diet, exercise, and other wellness activities make you, individually, feel your best.

Even if doctors were trained on wellness — which they’re not — they don’t have time to thoroughly examine a patient’s lifestyle and counsel them when they are already healthy.  They’re too busy.

If you want to be healthy, it’s up to you to do that research, to figure out what makes the most sense to you.  If you should drink the coffee or eat the eggs (or not).

But, let’s get back to that point at the beginning: what does the average person do when research is varied and complicated?  Do they slog through it and miss details, or do they “trust the experts?”

The answer is: both.

When it comes to health challenges, sometimes an expert’s guidance is helpful.  If you need an expert, seek one out.  Ask them questions.  Do some reading on your own, too, and bring that reading in to run by the expert to see if they can explain parts you might not have understood or if they have conflicting research for you.  Many times, patients have helped themselves by bringing new information to their doctor’s attention.

Any good doctor will want to partner with a patient in this manner.  After all, they can see you for 15 minutes and write you a prescription and give you some advice, but you have to go live with it.

It’s also important to trust your instincts and your lived experiences.  The author of the Forbes article, who has no expertise in biology or health, claims that vaccines “essentially never” cause side effects beyond local soreness and that any side effects are so rare they’re probably just a coincidence.

But if you or a loved one get a vaccine and have a bad reaction, trust that experience.  Without sounding cliche, a lot of research is biased, poorly done, underfunded, and conflicting.  And as I mentioned above…you can’t wait for research to “catch up” to your lived experiences and validate you, because you only have one life.

I’m not suggesting that people never read the research (I do often).  I’m not suggesting people never consult with experts and include their advice as part of their research (they should).  “Research” means articles, studies, expert consults, and lots more, until you are satisfied with your answer and willing to live with whatever the outcome will be.

We’re all human.  And that’s kind of the point.  One group of humans does not get to tell the rest of us what it means to be humans and how to best care for ourselves.  We all get to decide that on our own!

How do you feel about this — do you do your own research?

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  1. I agree with that. Because sometimes when we see something and when we do deep searching about it, we realized that our perspective on that particular research will change.


  2. Absolutely I do my own research, I have little faith in the mainstream medical field which is driven my money, greed and big pharma. To them if I am injured by their recommendations or worse yet (for me) I die its Oh Well, next!!!!! My body, my life, my decision!!!! Thanks for posting and I would love to share this………


  3. There’s also the question of whether a particular doctor is competent and up to date. When we get a car repaired, we shop around for not only the best deal, but for a mechanic who is good at his job, honest, and experienced in the area needed. But every doctor is supposed to automatically be good at reading and keeping up with research? Honest? Unbiased? A good diagnostician? My husband worked in surgery for 20 years, and there are surgeons out there literally killing people, or maiming them. Don’t think that there other doctors, nurses and technicians will put a stop to it, because they won’t. And the best bedside manner was seldom an indicator of proficiency or even ethics.


  4. I’ve been doing my own research since I was 22 years old and decided my health was my responsibility and I was not allowing some stranger to make choices for me and my health.
    I’d had two babies in the hospital in 1975 and 1978, and both were very abusive and I was not given a choice in anything. I was very young and had been raised to believe “Doctor knows best”. This mantra was also preached on the many Doctor themed TV shows at the time.
    I’d made up my mind after I’d had my daughter that I would NEVER pay someone to abuse me again. I would not tolerate that type of behavior from a plumber or electrician, or anyone else, so why would I accept this from a doctor?
    From doing my homework, I know that the average doctor only has about 4 hours of nutrition classes. Nutrition plays a huge role in our health and doctors should be studying nutrition more thoroughly, but since the pharmaceutical companies run the medical schools, write the curriculum, and teach that ‘only’ pharmaceuticals can heal, which is bogus, most doctors continue to be ignorant on the importance of nutrition in the health of themselves and their patients.
    Because of the terrible experiences I had with the births of my first two children, I decided I would have home births. I ended up home birthing the next 6 children at home ‘unassisted’ (no medical). I did tons of research on natural birth and also took herbs to help with labor and delivery. I had 6 awesome and natural births at home.
    I had a miscarriage in 1984, and after bleeding for 5 weeks I decided to try to heal myself with herbs as we really could not afford surgery (D&C). It took three days and then I passed something, and within 5 days all bleeding was stopped. I became pregnant with my 4th child 5 months later. (I’d had a blood test that showed I was indeed pregnant).
    I am abbreviating my stories as they would be much more in depth- just covering the basics.
    I’ve been studying and practicing home remedies and herbals for the last 39 years. A visit to a doctor is only something beyond my scope (such as a broken leg or arm). There is a time and place for a doctor, but for simple things such as colds, pleurisy, pink eye, etc, there is an herb and a remedy for that.
    I always find it very condescending when the media tells us we are not ‘smart enough’ to do our own research. I know how to read, retain what I read, have excellent comprehension skills, and I know how to dissect information and to look at it multi-faceted. I may not be Einstein, but I am also not a moron.
    With all this said, I research everything, not just medical issues. I have a huge library of over 3000 books. I have both fiction and non-fiction. I also live within a mile of our local public library. I also belong to many awesome websites (such as this one).
    I adopted a more natural and self-sufficient lifestyle as a very young woman and continue to live this life. I will live this life until the day I die.


  5. I whole heartedly agree with what’s written in the article. I’m a federally-funded research scientist (a math professor), and I’ve spent my entire life in poor health and being mistreated by medical professionals. I have no training in a medical or health-related field, but I can ask good questions that somehow are never discussed in the mainstream media.

    When it comes to anything with health, the most “science based” thing I can think of as an individual is to continually ask questions and learn as much as possible before deciding what to do. We should all be encouraged, enabled, and empowered to ask questions and make decisions about our own health.


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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