Dr. Brooke Goldner’s Journey: Telemedicine, Autoimmune Recovery, and Plant-Based Diets
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Dr. Brooke Goldner is the author of Goodbye Lupus, a book and a program dedicated to helping people combat autoimmune conditions like Lupus.
It’s a condition that she struggled with from the age of 16. She underwent chemotherapy, suffered a mini-stroke, and lived with the constant threat that this debilitating condition could eventually claim her life.
But after training as a doctor and then marrying an expert in nutrition and metabolism, she eventually discovered ways to overcome her illness.
After 16 years, she has been symptom-free and completely healthy, doing things that her doctors warned she would never do.
It’s an inspiring and heart-warming story, and that’s not the end of it, as Dr. Brooke Goldner has used her knowledge and experience to help other people suffering from autoimmune conditions.
Via the use of telemedicine services, Dr. Brooke Goldner has changed the lives of thousands, and she isn’t finished yet!
The following guide outlines her story, process, and business in more detail. It also goes into depth about telemedicine and telehealth, looking at the ways that these technologies will change the world for the better.
The article and guide below will cover:
Autoimmune Conditions: What are autoimmune conditions, and can they be cured and managed without medication? It’s something that Dr. Brooke Goldner has experienced directly, and she also teaches it to others, but how does it work and how did it work for her?
Whole Food Diets: How did Dr. Brooke Goldner use a whole food plant-based diet to turn her life around? She openly admits that she stumbled onto this solution by accident, but her discoveries will surprise you.
What is Telemedicine? Before we look at the ways that telemedicine can benefit doctors, patients, hospitals, and other caregivers, we need to address what it actually is. If you’re new to this term, it may surprise you to know that you’re probably already using some aspect of telemedicine when you communicate with healthcare providers and benefit from their services.
Telemedicine vs Telehealth: What is the difference between telehealth and telemedicine? They are often used interchangeably, and they cover similar areas, but there is a notable difference and it’s one that will be addressed below.
Telemedicine Benefits: How can telemedicine benefit the world in a post-pandemic world? It’s a question that is quickly being answered as hospitals and clinics all over the world begin seeing telemedicine as a way to find solutions for problems caused by the pandemic, including infectious patients filling hospitals and doctor’s waiting rooms.
The Future of Healthcare: What will the future of healthcare look like and why is it set to become one of the biggest and most advanced industries in the world? As noted in the guide below, it’s an industry that offers countless opportunities for innovative people who want to do something that benefits the world.
At the end of this guide to telemedicine, you will find Dr. Brooke Goldner’s $100,000 question. It’s a recommendation that could change your life and boost your business, one that could generate 6-figures of revenue.
It’s a simple recommendation, but it’s one that all entrepreneurs must heed, especially those in the healthcare and telemedicine sectors.
Telemedicine, Autoimmune Recovery, and Plant-Based Diets
Dr. Brooke Goldner is an incredibly knowledgeable and educated individual. But what makes her unique is that she has suffered through—and recovered from—the condition that she treats.
She has been there and done that, and that provides her with a very unique perspective. In fact, as we shall discover in this guide, her own journey and recovery was the catalyst for the work that she does now.
In the video embedded below, you can learn more about Dr. Brooke Goldner’s work on autoimmune diseases and why she advocates strongly for a whole food plant-based diet.
In the following guide, I’ll touch upon many similar topics that were discussed in the video, including Dr. Goldner’s harrowing journey as a lupus sufferer.
But one of the reasons I asked Dr. Goldner on the show was to talk about the potential for telemedicine, one of the most promising technologies out there right now.
Telemedicine is something that I have touched upon in the past, including in a discussion on smart home technologies. It’s something that could change the way that common conditions are treated, and as these treatments often happen remotely, it’s very pertinent for the world that we’re living in right now.
After all, if you can reduce the number of patients crowding into waiting rooms at clinics and hospitals, you can reduce the spread of disease while providing the healthcare system with a much-needed break.
With that said, let’s dive into these topics, covering the story of Dr. Brooke Goldner and her thoughts about telemedicine technology and what it will mean for the future of healthcare.
Brooke Goldner’s Journey: Following a Plant-Based Diet for Lupus
Dr. Brooke Goldner was diagnosed with lupus at a young age. After grueling chemotherapy treatments, her body eventually went into remission and while she still had the threat of this horrible disease hanging over her, she was able to live a normal, functional life.
Dr. Goldner eventually went to medical school where the stress of her work and studies led to a plethora of health problems, including a transient ischemic attack (also known as a mini-stroke) that suggested the lupus was getting worse.
Things were looking pretty bleak for Dr. Goldner, but she graduated, fell in love, got engaged, and with support from her husband-to-be, she began fighting back. Her husband was an expert in metabolism and how it could be manipulated to lose weight and build muscle, and as she was keen to lose weight for her wedding day, she asked for his advice.
Dr. Goldner switched to a whole food plant-based diet, lost a lot of weight, and began feeling better.
It was all according to plan—she looked the way she wanted to look, and she dropped several dress sizes.
But when she visited the doctor for her usual tests, Dr. Goldner was surprised to see a massive improvement. And so were her doctors. In fact, they were so surprised that they assumed they had made a mistake and ran the tests again.
There was no sign of Lupus. Dr. Goldner’s tests were completely normal, and the disease has not reared its ugly head for over 16 years now. She stopped her medications, continued to follow the diet, and has been living healthily and happily ever since.
As you would expect, Dr. Brooke Goldner is now a firm believer in the power of nutrition and has used it to help many other lupus sufferers to heal themselves.
Her books have highlighted the power of following a plant-based diet, including the potential for weight loss, disease prevention, and general health. If you’re suffering from lupus or other autoimmune diseases, or you just want to learn about the health benefits of a whole food plant-based diet, I recommend picking up a copy of Goodbye Lupus or checking out Dr. Goldner’s site at GoodbyeLupus.com.
Is Diet All That You Need to Fix an Autoimmune Disorder?
The exact cause of autoimmune disorders is unknown. However, there are a few theories, and contrary to what many people seem to believe, it’s not down to bad luck.
If you’re perfectly fit, healthy, and free of disease and genetic issues, your risk of being struck down by an autoimmune disorder is very low.
Some of the leading theories suggest that autoimmune disorders are triggered by bacteria or viruses. It may also be the result of extreme stress, bad diet, and other lifestyle and environmental conditions. As Dr. Goldner notes, there have even been cases of these conditions being triggered by medication side effects.
The good news is that many autoimmune conditions can be managed by lifestyle and dietary changes, as noted by Dr. Goldner.
You might not be as fortunate as she has been, but by improving your diet and introducing a balance of macronutrients and micronutrients, your body will be better equipped to manage the symptoms and the disease itself.
Take Dr. Goldner’s own journey as an example.
At one point, she had her lupus under control. She was still taking medication and had undergone chemotherapy, but she was able to live relatively normally.
That changed when she was at medical school. Like all students, she was working more, sleeping less, and stressing constantly, and that triggered a flare-up in her condition.
When she graduated, fell in love, and achieved some balance and peace in her life, she noticed some improvements, and when she changed her diet, her symptoms disappeared completely.
Dr. Goldner notes that it is possible for a change of diet to drastically improve the symptoms of autoimmune disease and believes that it can also remove all signs of the disease.
But she adds that dietary changes may not be enough if there are inherent problems with the patient’s lifestyle, including their activity levels and stress levels.
The same is true for your health in general.
If you switch to a whole food plant-based diet, you may notice some changes in your health, wellness, and body composition. But if you’re still drinking heavily, smoking, and not exercising, you’ll still struggle for breath when you climb the stairs, and you’ll still disappoint your doctor every time you get a checkup.
Why is a Plant-Based Whole Food Diet Effective for Autoimmune Diseases?
Chronic inflammation is the source of many common diseases and diet is one of the main triggers for inflammation.
If you introduce more anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant foods into your diet, you can reduce this inflammation and decrease the risk of developing a host of chronic illnesses.
Whole fruits and vegetables are full of healthy compounds that can fight inflammation and support the body’s natural defenses. It’s not just about vitamins and minerals, either.
Someone who eats only whole foods will get more fiber, polyphenols, and nitrates, all of which are known to greatly reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. These compounds also help to support a healthy gut—another source of inflammation.
Diet works because your body relies on those nutrients to survive.
The idea that disease is all down to bad luck and can only be treated by copious amounts of medication is one born out of denial (it’s easier to subsist on junk food and soda if you convince yourself that it’s not going to kill you) and a need for quick fixes.
Of course, a change in diet can’t cure everything and, in most cases, eating healthily is more about prevention than cure. However, if you can reduce all of the causes of inflammation, you could see some notable improvements in your condition.
If you suffer from an autoimmune condition and want to know more about the benefits of a whole food diet, check out Dr. Goldner’s book or website.
What is Telemedicine?
Dr. Goldner’s journey was made possible by something known as telemedicine, a word that you will have seen a lot more of over the last few years and one that is becoming more and more important in this ever-changing world.
In simple terms, telemedicine is the practice of delivering healthcare remotely.
Let’s use Dr. Goldner’s work as an example and suppose that you are a lupus sufferer living in Europe.
You have heard about the amazing work that Dr. Goldner is doing, your story is very similar to hers, and you believe that her teachings can help you.
Twenty or thirty years ago, your only option for a face-to-face meeting and personalized advice would be to fly to the United States.
Sure, it would get the job done, but only at the expense of several thousand dollars.
And what happens if you don’t have that money, or you’re restricted by quarantines and lockdowns?
Thankfully, in the digital age, there are cheaper and easier solutions, as you can connect with Dr. Goldner using a webcam, email, instant messaging, and more.
You can arrange for a doctor’s appointment to happen virtually. Dr. Goldner will still see you and you can still explain all of your symptoms. You can even show her how those symptoms are affecting you, both in terms of your mental health and wellbeing, and in physical symptoms like rashes and blotches.
That’s essentially what telemedicine is. It’s about using technology in a way that will benefit the patient, practitioner, and the healthcare service on the whole.
Sure, it would make more sense for certain patients to have that face-to-face visit, but if they don’t live nearby and can’t make the trip, that’s where telemedicine steps in. It uses modern technology to bridge the gap and improve the level of care that patients receive.
On Dr. Goldner’s website, you can book a consultation with her, which will be conducted through a webcam.
It is a one-on-one appointment that aims to address your issues and help you to find a solution.
She also sells health courses that can be completed online.
And Dr. Goldner’s work is just a glimpse into the many telemedicine options that are available to modern practitioners.
There are many more examples in which telemedicine can be used to benefit patients who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access the level of care that they need.
The Advancement of Telemedicine Technology
There are a few ways in which technology is being used to advance the healthcare sector. These improvements can be boiled down to three main areas:
1. Remote Appointments
This is the area of telemedicine that Dr. Goldner has been using to help her clients. It’s also an area that has been utilized by many online doctors, specifically those who prescribe weight-loss medications using video conferencing software.
The purpose of remote appointments is to limit the number of patients in the waiting room, thus making life easier for the practitioner and the patient.
The doctor can receive test results and then connect with the patient to discuss them. Remote appointments can also be used for regular checkups and for when the patient just wants to quiz the doctor about prescriptions, symptoms, and mental health problems.
There are numerous benefits to remote appointments, including:
Faster and Simpler
Traditionally, if the doctor wanted to talk to a patient about test results, they would call them. It meant that the patient would need to book an appointment, wait for several days, spend some time in the waiting room, and then eventually speak with the doctor.
With telemedicine services, those results can be discussed via phone or text, and if a face-to-face meeting is preferred, it can be arranged via video conferencing software.
Lower Infection Risks
The events of 2020 have stressed the importance of keeping sick and infectious people out of waiting rooms.
As the pandemic was taking hold and numbers were climbing, clinics all over the world were reporting a sharp increase in the number of patients who booked appointments because they had a cough or head cold.
They spent time in the waiting room and when they eventually saw a doctor, there was nothing that could be done for them. They were told to rest, drink lots of fluid, and take medication to keep their temperature down, after which they were sent home.
In that time, they could have infected several and even dozens of people.
It was an unnecessary risk and it’s one that has existed for decades, long before COVID-19 appeared. Patients know that there are no treatments for viruses. They know the old spiel of “rest, drink plenty, and keep your temperature down”, and yet they still flock to clinics in their millions.
Remote appointments will give them the peace of mind that they so desperately need while ensuring that they’re not spreading their viruses.
As the pandemic has proven, it doesn’t matter how many times you tell people to wear a mask, wash their hands, and maintain social distancing, there will always be those who misunderstand (or downright refuse) and place the lives of others at risk.
Imagine how many lives we could have saved if everyone who had minor symptoms (and zero risks) from COVID-19 just stayed at home and waited for it to pass.
If clinics all over the world implement remote appointments, it could save millions of lives if there is another pandemic.
Less of a Strain on Healthcare Services
As infection rates increase, more strain is placed on the healthcare system.
It’s not just about COVID-19, either. Even before the pandemic, many clinics were at capacity and were unable to deal with the many patients clogging their waiting rooms.
People have died in hospital waiting rooms because the staff hasn’t been able to reach them in time.
It’s not the fault of the hospital, though, as they are often understaffed and overrun. In many cases, the burden falls on the patients who go to the hospital and demand attention for minor issues.
That’s not to say that those people need to be punished. You can’t punish someone who is scared for their health, even if they don’t have any symptoms, and even if they are hypochondriacs visiting the waiting room for the third time that week.
They still need to be treated. They still need attention. You can’t take a chance when it comes to health.
However, if you give those people access to remote doctor appointments—be it a quick phone call, Skype conversation, or even a Live Chat with a medical professional—you could reduce the bodies in waiting rooms and ensure that everyone gets adequate care and no one is overlooked.
For a patient with severe anxiety, a trip to the doctor’s surgery or hospital is more than a routine appointment. It’s something that terrifies them to their core, something that they worry about for weeks. They may even refuse to make the appointment because they are too scared to step inside the waiting room.
Such issues are very common, and they are becoming even more common in a post-pandemic world. We’re all a little more anxious about crowded spaces, especially when they’re full of coughing and sneezing patients.
By providing these patients with an alternative option—a meeting that can be conducted in the comfort of their own home—will ensure that more anxious patients are treated.
No more missed appointments. No more suffering in silence.
Of course, there are patients who prefer being in a doctor’s office and seeing their practitioner face-to-face, even if they don’t really have any symptoms or issues. But many younger generations prefer the comfort of their own homes and devices.
Ideal for Patients in Rural Areas
There are clinics serving most parts of the United States. If you’re in a major city or town, you won’t need to travel very far to get help. But that’s not true for the country’s most rural areas and it’s definitely not true in the rest of the world, where it’s possible to live several hours away from the nearest clinic.
Imagine living in a place that is so rural it takes you several hours to get to a hospital or clinic. It seems absurd that such places exist, but they do, and they are more common than you might realize.
Even in the United States, there are people who can’t drive, aren’t very mobile, and have to travel for 30 to 60 minutes to get to a clinic. It means they need to take bus journeys or taxi rides just to go for a checkup, and so they often avoid doctor’s appointments altogether.
With telemedicine, they can make those appointments without leaving the home.
Elderly patients, disabled patients, and individuals suffering from social phobias can also benefit from telemedicine, even if they are living smack-bang in the middle of a city.
2. Interactive Services
Interactive services provide a high level of care without requiring any in-person contact. It’s a complete clinical service that can be conducted using the internet, phone calls, and specially designed applications and programs.
For instance, let’s say that you have an 80-year-old grandmother who, until recently, was perfectly fit and healthy. But then she decided to move away to the middle of nowhere, she lost her mobility, and now she’s stranded without friends, caregivers, or even medical professionals there to help her out.
She refuses to leave the house and her fear of contracting an infectious disease also makes her paranoid and reluctant to let anyone into her home.
By introducing her to the world of telemedicine and technology, she could benefit from all of the following:
Telenursing: Your grandmother can contact skilled nurses over the phone to talk about her conditions, after which they can prescribe her with treatments. It’s a low-cost service that is available for people in your grandmother’s position and it’s designed to reduce the burden on hospitals. She will only be referred to a doctor or a hospital in the event that she shows serious symptoms and they believe that her health is at risk.
Telepharmacy: With a simple phone call, your grandmother can arrange for medication refills and dosage changes. She can also get prescriptions and advice over the phone from a skilled pharmacist.
Telerehabilitation: Using webcams, a rehabilitation specialist can help your grandmother to regain some of her mobility, showing her exercises, guiding her on nutrition and medication, and delaying the loss of her mobility.
Medication Reminders: In the event that your grandmother becomes forgetful, there are medication dispensers that will sound alarms and release the required medication at the required time. She will never forget to take another dose and you don’t need to worry about her overdosing, either.
Mobile Alert Systems: By connecting a mobile alert system to your grandmother’s landline, and asking her to wear a pendant or wristwatch, she will constantly be in touch with a dedicated emergency service that can arrange for help to be sent as and when needed. You can also get added fall detection features and, if you’re worried about her wandering off, the same service is available using GPS technology.
This is just a sample of some of the technologies that are available to help with your grandmother and it gives you an insight into the usefulness of telemedicine, specifically for individuals who live alone or struggle to communicate with others.
Also, as noted in my discussion with Matt Higgins, the pandemic has turned millions of technophobes into Zoom and Skype experts.
Seniors who previously refused to use computers are now experts at social media, video conferencing, instant messaging, and texting, as these technologies were the only ways that they could stay in touch with their children and grandchildren.
It means that telemedicine interactive services should be easier to adopt and more widely embraced, and as time passes and the older generations are those who didn’t grow up with the internet but used it throughout their adulthood (much like myself), telemedicine will surely become universally-embraced.
3. Remote Monitoring
You feel a little flutter in your chest one day. It feels uncomfortable, abnormal, and it makes you anxious. After a little panicking and some frantic Googling, you dismiss it as being nothing serious and get on with your life.
The next day, it happens again, and again. But when you visit the doctor, your description isn’t enough for a diagnosis and as your blood pressure and heartbeat are fine during the appointment, they don’t know what it is.
This scenario happens, and the outcome would usually be to ignore the issue and hope it goes away (rarely a good idea) or to undergo a series of extensive and expensive testing.
Alternatively, you can wear a heart monitor that tracks your heart throughout the day and then feeds this information to your doctor. If you ever feel that flutter again, it will be recorded on the monitor.
Maybe you just had an ectopic heartbeat, which is perfectly normal and happens to most people. Maybe you have an undiagnosed heart condition that needs to be treated immediately. Whatever the result, that heart monitor will be able to give you the answer that you need.
Some conditions don’t reveal themselves with a quick check of your vitals, and that’s where remote monitoring services can help, but there’s more to it than that.
Remote monitoring can also be used to:
Monitor elderly individuals who are at risk of falls and may be exposed to harm as a result of dementia or serious mobility issues.
Ensure that patients are taking medications and that those medications are having an effect.
Help individuals with chronic illnesses to monitor their own health.
It places some control in the hands of the individual and this can cause problems, but practitioners understand when patients are reporting incorrectly and using applications incorrectly, and so that will be factored into the equation.
4. Telehealth vs Telemedicine
Although the words telehealth and telemedicine are used interchangeably, there are some distinctive differences between these two terms.
Telehealth is used to refer to a wider spectrum of technological services while telemedicine is used in relation to clinical services.
For instance, telemedicine covers prescriptive services, such as booking an appointment with a doctor and arranging for treatments. Telehealth encompasses telemedicine, but it also covers aspects relating to the business side of healthcare, including meetings and training.
The Benefits of Telemedicine
Technological benefits are usually one-sided.
In a discussion with Reid Blackman, for instance, we spoke about how machine learning and AI can greatly benefit big companies but may also take away jobs and even entire professions.
Where telemedicine is concerned, however, everyone benefits.
It takes the burden away from overburdened healthcare systems. It provides patients with a safer, faster, and simpler way to get healthcare. And that’s not all, because as the population climbs and more people live to a ripe old age, there will always be a need for better healthcare systems.
And the great thing about telemedicine is that it’s not an “if” technology. It’s not the stuff of science fiction. It’s something that has already been implemented into healthcare settings around the world, with those integrations expedited by the pandemic.
From a business point of view, there is a wealth of potential in telemedicine.
On the one hand, you have people like Dr. Goldner, who has created programs and services to cater to the needs of a wide range of people all over the world.
Dr. Goldner has used telemedicine to reach and help more people, and the work that’s she doing now may not have been possible 30 or even 20 years ago.
There are many doctors out there who operate entirely through video conferencing, prescribing drugs designed to treat weight loss and to help with other common problems.
They are still doctors. They are still educated, and they definitely know what they are doing. But they are using the techniques of entrepreneurs and e-commerce gurus to grow their business.
On the other side, you have the innovators that are designing new gadgets and systems for use in telemedicine.
These creators are establishing companies that could be the Googles and Apples of tomorrow, companies that are seeking their share of an inevitable monopoly.
Healthcare is already one of the biggest sectors in the United States, but that will only increase.
The population won’t stop growing, and—unfortunately—we’re not going to reach a point where we’re all immortal and invulnerable to harm. It’s a recession-proof, depression-proof business that will flourish regardless of what’s happening in the world, and that’s why so much money is being spent on new services and products.
The future of telemedicine is very bright and very promising, and if you have a passion for helping people and a knack for tech, it’s something you might want to look into!
To borrow a phrase that was used throughout the pandemic: telemedicine is the new normal.
The $100,000 Question
This Week With Sabir always ends with the $100,000 question. It’s the premise of the show. The question that serves as the cherry on top of the cake; a single recommendation that has helped the entrepreneur to succeed and could provide 6-figures in value for you and your business.
For Dr. Brooke Goldner, the most important thing is to keep your integrity and remain authentic.
It’s advice that works for all businesses and all professionals, and it’s a recommendation that I’ve also heard from several other This Week With Sabir guests, but it’s even more important in the healthcare setting.
Many young entrepreneurs have lied about their pasts and even their credentials. They have done whatever it takes to get to the top and craft the perfect persona.
If you suddenly discover that the CEO of your favorite beverage brand is older than claimed and doesn’t have as many qualifications as previously stated, you might be a little annoyed, and their investors and collaborators would be even more annoyed, but that sort of thing will blow over eventually.
If you made the same discoveries about a doctor who has been advising you with healthcare programs and even recommending/prescribing medications, you’ll be glad to see the back of them.
We expect more from healthcare professionals and the same expectations are extended to the world of telemedicine and online health brands.
Always be yourself. Always be honest. Not only will it set you on the right path and ensure that you only do what you know is right, but it will prevent any reputation-damaging discoveries at a later date.
That’s Dr. Goldner’s advice, and it’s clearly something that she has followed throughout her career, as she’s an incredibly honest and genuine person, and that authenticity is evident when you speak to her or watch her.
See the section below to learn more about Dr. Brooke Goldner, including her experience, her work, and how you can get in touch.
About Dr. Brooke Goldner
Dr. Brooke Goldner is a best-selling author, the founder of www.GoodbyeLupus.com, creator of the Hyper-nourishing Nutrition Protocol for Lupus Recovery, and is the author of 3 best-selling books, Goodbye Lupus, Goodbye Autoimmune Disease, and Green Smoothie Recipes to Kick-Start Your Health and Healing. Dr. Goldner was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Nephritis with stage IV kidney disease at 16 years old and made a startling recovery from her disease at 28 years old using her protocol, which uses supermarket foods.
She has been symptom-free ever since, with normal lab results and no trace of disease in her body. Now, she educates physicians and patients on how to heal and achieve vibrant health using her protocol and supermarket foods. Dr. Goldner’s Hyper-Nourishing Healing Protocol has helped patients with Lupus and a multitude of other diseases and has starred in videos and documentaries such as Eating You Alive, Whitewash, The Conspiracy Against Your Health, Goodbye Lupus, and Super Healthy Meals for Your Family.
She has appeared on TV news and media outlets such as The Home & Family Show, RTVi News, Natural News Radio, Health Conspiracy Radio, Wellness Radio, and has been featured on the front cover of Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine 3 times, including the most recent issue of Fit Over Forty.
She is a regular contributor to T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Dr. Goldner graduated with honors from Carnegie Mellon University for her genetic research in Leukemia and neurobiology. She received her M.D. from Temple University School of Medicine and was Chief Resident at UCLA-Harbor Residency in Psychiatry. She also holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University.