Dr John Thorsell Itriago was years into his training as a surgeon when a chance accident caused him to shift the focus of his medical practice. While John remains a gifted surgeon, during his own convalescence from ankle surgery after a snowboarding accident, he came across a book that changed his whole perception of what it is to be a physician. That book was about the harm our modern eating habits are doing to our bodies.
All the way through high school in Venezuela, John wanted to be a surgeon. He won a place at the most prestigious medical school in the country and as he studied medicine, he came to love his subject more and more. He knew from the beginning of his career that he wanted to spend his life helping people.
Training to be a doctor involves learning an enormous amount of complex bio-chemistry. It includes many months of study of the metabolic system and exactly how our bodies turn the food we eat into the things we need: the fuel that keeps us going and the building blocks for growing and renewing cells. What may surprise many people is that almost nothing is taught in medical school about what that food actually ought to be in order to maintain a healthy body. It was during his own detailed research into the thousands of studies on the effects of different foods that John realised he could offer so many patients help to stay healthy instead of seeing them when they had become seriously ill.
The healthcare cost of obesity is now $56 Billion in Australia alone and that figure keeps rising. For John, this represents so much suffering and is such a terrible waste, especially when healthy eating will save lives by preventing all that sickness and misery. So, John’s ongoing research has led him to work with leading experts in the field of creating health through eating well and he now mixes allopathic (‘Western’) medicine with the use of naturally sourced supplements to support his patients to make the change to a healthy life.
From his practice in Mosman, John’s new mission in life is to educate as many people as possible on how to eat delicious, satisfying, healthful whole foods to restore and maintain their health and wellbeing. He helps his patients not only to lose weight but also to restore their natural health. John’s patients feel much better as they ‘eat themselves better’, nourishing their whole systems with foods that their bodies can readily digest and use to keep them well.