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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Medical Information We Can All Use

Medical information we can all use.  Have you ever met someone you really respected?  I mean trusted completely?  I have, let me share if you would.  I first met this man six days after I was born.  My mother had researched the best pediatricians and found Dr. Lendon Howard Smith.  We had to drive 15 miles to his office, but my mother insisted on his care, for this I will be forever grateful.
            In his office everything was my size, going to visit him was like going to a favorite uncle’s house.  He always had a warm smile and an even warmer hug.  He remembered my pet’s names and whether I was taking ballet, asked when my last swim meet was and checked on past injuries without looking at his chart.  He was the last of a dying breed of Doctors who really cared.
            Why am I telling you this?  Because he may have saved my life and prevented injury to my children years later and he, even though he has passed, may help you and yours too.  A friend reminded me of him today, his son received stitches for the first time and Dr. Smith had created the stitch fairy for me since I seemed to get them and not like them at all when I was little.  The stitch fairy made them okay.
I remember the last time I saw my Doctor, it was on Oprah (he was also on the Tonight Show 62 times) and he was talking about ADHD and ADD and how they were a farce made up by and for the drug companies (I know this will offend some, but bear with me please).  I listened intently being a young mother and followed his directions as I always had.  Meyaka (my oldest daughter, now 25), this is why you did not eat candy for a really long time and why I have always tried to cook meals rather than buy the already prepared packaged meals.  I need you to know, I am not getting anything for writing this, this is coming from the heart.  Here is a really funny video with him explaining part of it:  Wow, is this not what Dr. Oz and many others are saying now?
            I don’t keep in touch with his family, so am only guessing on some things, but I think he had a pivotal moment in the early 70’s which changed his life and career forever.  Please look these over and tell me what you think. 
            Looks to me like he got in trouble for prescribing Ritalin for hyper activity and heroin use, what do you think?  Don’t they use it for those things today?  Oh well, changed his life, mine and whole lot of other peoples.  He developed the attitude that he could cure these things without drugs.  He researched and had parents who went along with him on the diet changes needed to help these children.  He discovered that food allergies and too much sugar were to blame for much of it. "ADHD is not a disease; it is a nutritional deficiency."—Lendon H. Smith
            He then went on the write two different books on the subject Feed Your Kids Right (1979) and Food for Healthy Kids (1981).
            The real personal point I wanted to make though, was this, my mother was very thin.  5 feet 7 inches tall and 95 pounds, I was so adopted!  My parents thought a woman needed to be very skinny, as a result, Mom took me to The Weight Loss Clinic at the ripe old age of 12.  Yep, you heard me right, sorry Mom and Dad, but you were out of your minds on this one.  After this appointment she had made one with my wonderful Dr., watch out Dr. Smith, here she comes!  I so wish I could go back in time to warn him.  She walked in high and mighty talking about this wonderful program and how I would loose weight.  She showed him all the info and turned to me with a big smile and what she thought would make me want to stick with it, “Charlie, you will be able to drink all the diet soda you want.  Won’t that be fun?”  At this point, I will duck, as I did then.  The words began to fly.  He started out trying to tell her politely why this was a really bad idea.  She told him they assured her it was medically sound.  He told her I was NOT over weight and what she was purposing could have grave repercussions on my health. She told him he did not know what he was talking about.  Pretty sure he called my Mother irresponsible, lazy and nuts all in one breath.  Fairly sure she told him where he could put it and this would be the last time he would have to.  Point is, I spent that summer weighing my meat and doing everything in exact portions.  I also spent it pouring diet sodas down the drain.  I stood up to my Mother and stayed in the office for a minute as he requested, she steamed in the hall (paid for that one later).  My wonderful Dr. Smith apologized to me and told me that I would naturally loose weight with-in a year or so anyway once puberty hit.  He told me to eat all the veggies I wanted and humor my Mother.  And he said, “There is something wrong with the sweeteners in diet soda, please don’t drink it.  Trust me on this”.  I did and I am so glad I did.
            What he found later would prove him right and help many people.  Here is a short paper he wrote:  and also a series on it on YouTube:  There are seven parts to the series.  Now my children you know the story behind why Mommy would never drink diet soda or give it to you.
I did not see him again until he walked into Willamette Week Newspaper when I was 18 and working reception there.  He remembered me without having to be reminded and I got my last big hug.  He was a rebel who questioned authority and was made to stop practicing in 1987 due to his belief’s, many of which have been proven now.  I am confident the rest will be proven to have the same merit.  He must be laughing his hind end off.  Rest in peace you wonderful man and thank you for all the chances you took to protect all of us.

Lendon Smith, M.D. 
1921 – 2001

These are my personal opinions.  Please research for yourselves.  If you would like more information on Dr. Smith and his research, you can find it here:

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