Elie Jarrouge, MD, talks about his own inspiring health journey & his plans to attend upcoming Symposium for Metabolic Health
Dr. Elie Jarrouge is a board certified internal medicine doctor who followed the conventional medical advice of what a healthy lifestyle is supposed to be, yet ended up overweight, with high blood pressure and pre-diabetes.
“It wasn’t until I was willing to question everything I learned, and search for the truth, that I was able to reclaim my health,” said Jarrouge, who will be attending the Symposium for Metabolic Health in San Diego August 25-28.
Jarrouge was healthy and athletic as a teen, but like many of us, the demands of life began to take a toll as he got older. During his time in medical school and residency, the long hours and grueling schedule took his focus away from his own health, and the effects began to mount.
“I wasn’t paying attention to my health and my weight began to climb,” said Jarrouge. “I’m five feet, nine inches tall, and by the time I was about 29, my weight had gone up to 195 pounds. I had chronic back pain, frequent back spasms, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and sluggishness.”
He experimented with a variety of different diets, including Whole30 and paleo, before learning about the ketogenic diet, and eventually carnivore. He then added intermittent fasting to his routine, and sustainably lost a total of more than 30 pounds.
“I now weigh 162 pounds and I’ve never felt better in my life,” said Jarrouge. “I haven’t had a problem with back pain in a few years, my high blood pressure has resolved, I am no longer pre-diabetic and I’ve had no problem maintaining my weight.”
Jarrouge’s personal success with therapeutic carbohydrate reduction (TCR) led him to start thinking about how he could use lifestyle tools to help patients who were frequently struggling with many of the same challenges he had overcome.
While still working as a hospitalist, he began teaching patients about the root causes of their conditions and explaining that many of their problems were unlikely to be solved by medicine alone.
Jarrouge joined the Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners (The SMHP) and began looking for ways to expand his knowledge about metabolic health, and the profound effects lifestyle change can have on a patient’s health and quality of life. Last August, he attended the Symposium of Metabolic Health in San Diego.
He also started Metabolic Health MD, a medical and coaching practice focused on helping to reverse chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases with direct remote medical supervision and coaching.
His last shift as a hospitalist was last December, and he has been working full-time in new practice ever since.
Jarrouge believes in the value of conventional medicine, but says the epidemic of obesity and metabolic disease can only be resolved when people learn how to change themselves.
“It’s not going to be solved with a prescription or a pill,” he said.
When asked about the most important factors involved in successful outcomes, Jarrouge said “That’s a big, philosophical question. I always tell people, you need to understand why you want something. Most people are not motivated to change, and sometimes not changing has to be worse than changing in terms of suffering and struggle.”
But he added that the system is not designed so that patients receive the advice they need in a way that is actionable for most. “Most practitioners in a clinic only have five to seven minutes with a patient, because to make money you have to see 30 to 40 patients in a day.”
He also noted that many practitioners are themselves unhealthy and have no idea how to implement healthy lifestyle changes themselves, so the idea of successfully advising patients how to do so is a difficult concept.
“Most people have failed many times, so naturally, they’re skeptical that simple lifestyle changes can transform their health,” said Jarrouge.
“I tell people it’s your food environment that is making you sick. Everything you put in your mouth is either making you sicker or healthier. So if everything you’ve done hasn’t worked, we have to do something different.”
Jarrouge said he starts with three extremely simple steps for most people.
“Eliminate junk food, eat more protein, and don’t eat if you’re not hungry,” he said, “and that’s what will get you 80% of the way. And then you can fine tune later.”
Jarrouge explained that focusing on protein and eliminating junk foods also significantly reduces the quantity of carbohydrates and seed oils being consumed.
He helps his patients and coaching clients fix their hunger and satiety, develop metabolic flexibility, and lower insulin levels, while also improving sleep, increasing exercise, and reducing stress.
Jarrouge encourages his clients and patients to take control of their lives by learning as much as they can about metabolic health and how they can improve their quality of life. He believes attending conferences is one step people can take to learn and build valuable connections.
“At last year’s conference there was not a single presentation that I didn’t love,” he said. “I was especially interested in the presentations that addressed addiction and mental health issues.”
Jarrouge said he believed the Symposiums are a great way for individuals to take control of their own health.
“People have to hold themselves accountable and take responsibility. The system is not going to fix their health. And the people who are taking responsibility are finding answers.”
“These conferences are a great way, and it’s really nice to connect. Everybody is helpful and they want to help other people.”
Visit the Symposium of Metabolic Health – San Diego 2022 event page to register for this unparalleled conference!