Wednesday, May 18, 2022

About me

Why I started this website to help you make better health decisions
  • B. Tech., Electrical Engg, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay 1983—87
  • M.S., Electrical Engg, Princeton University, USA, 1987—91
  • CEO, medical informatics firm Analgesia Technologies, 1993 — 2013
  • Preventive health consultant since 2002
  • Health industry blogger since 2009
  • Student of anti—ageing science since 2007
  • Marathon runner since 1989
Hi! I'm

Madhur Kotharay

  • For the last 17 years, I have been meeting thousands of people like you, as a part of my profession in preventive health.
  • They would discuss their health problems and ongoing treatments. They would ask me, "the doctors are doing their job; but what can I do more, at my end?"
  • Or, they would say things like, "my mother has diabetes", or "my father died from cancer", or "I am getting old". So, "what can I do to prevent getting a dreaded disease?"
  • I would spend a lot of time with them explaining what exactly was or can be wrong with them, what did their test reports mean, or what treatment their doctor was administering, and why.
  • I would tell them what the new research in the world is saying about their condition, what they can do at their end to heal faster or cope up better.
  • I would suggest what foods they should eat, what dietary supplements they should have, and what exercises they should do.
  • Sometimes, we would discuss what options they have in different fields of medicine: allopathy, homoeopathy, ayurvedic (Indian traditional medicine), physiotherapy, etc.
  • All for no fees, of course, since most of them were my acquaintances, friends or their contacts. I was expected to be their trusted friend or well-wisher.
  • At the best, they would buy some dietary supplements from me. But since most of them were scattered worldwide, they would buy things from their local pharmacies or shops. So, I had no commercial incentive in the advice that I gave. Obviously, there was no possibility of any conflict of interest.
  • Also, I always believed that they should do their own homework before making an informed health decision.
  • So, in my interactions, I would give them reference links to research articles from reputed sources. Occasionally, I would give, or suggest, a book about their condition.
  • They would say things like:
  • "Thanks for telling me all this. Now, I know what is going on with me", or
  • "So, what I read on internet was just a hogwash?", or
  • "Why doesn't my doctor tell me all this?", or
  • "But, I was told that I have no other option", et cetera.
  • They would call, or write back, month after month, with a better and improving health condition.
  • Sometimes, they would slacken; they would stop doing some right things. After all, everyone is a human being. And things would get worse. They would still call.
  • All I had to make sure was never to utter, "I warned you so". They were smart enough to know what and when they had done wrong.
  • No credits to me, for all this. I simply told them from the wisdom that already existed in the scientific and medical world. My only strength was I was far more up-to-date than them, and I had no axe to grind.
  • Or, maybe, I was the privileged one. I was lucky enough to straddle two of the biggest fields of science:
  • 1) Engineering for the first 26 years of life (4 years each at two of the best universities in the world: Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay for undergrad studies in Electrical Engineering; and Princeton University, USA for graduate studies in Semiconductor Physics), and
  • 2) Medicine for the next 26 years (CEO of a medical informatics company for 20 years and with an overlap, 17 years in the preventive health industry).
  • In case you did not connect the dots, the two fields follow exactly opposite philosophies: Engineering follows algorithmic thinking; Medicine follows Evidence-based science.
  • All this helped me see the medical field from the eyes of an engineer. If medicine A is expected to help condition B, and if B does not improve, medicine says don't use A; while engineering asks what prevented A from improving B.
  • For treating pneumonia, you need medical thinking - "if a medicine, unexpectedly, does not show improvements in clinical trials, just forget it and use some other medicine that is known to work; you don't have the luxury of going wrong with a pneumonia patient."
  • For calcium supplements for healthy bones, you need engineering thinking - "why is the fracture rate increasing with calcium supplements? Don't dump the calcium supplements yet because logically, fractures should not increase after taking calcium. Is something else causing this effect?"
  • Well, it turns out the answer lies in magnesium. If you increase your calcium intake, you need to make sure you also get enough magnesium. Else, you are going to get more fractures, and heart attacks, and kidney stones. Long live engineers!
  • It is good to be knowledgeable, but can you make money from that, at the end of the day?
  • Well, I was never a good salesman. So I compensated for that by studying my subject matter thoroughly.
  • If you can't sell to a customer, make sure your knowledge is so good that the customer prefers to buy from you. That strategy has its weaknesses but its main strength is you can never be a fake.
  • It suited my personality perfectly. I am an intellectual with a big ego. If my name goes on a claim, it better be right. And that is an easy thing these days because you have access to so many authentic medical journals on internet. So I would always have enough medical references with me to defend any of my views or advices.
  • It worked like a charm. It worked because I just advised people from their point of view, for their benefit, not mine nor someone else's.
  • It worked with hundreds and hundreds of people, who became our loyal customers.
  • Then, over the years, I started getting some interesting requests.
  • Some learned ones would ask me:
  • "Is there any website or a book where I can find all this information?"
  • When I would say "no", they would exhort:
  • "Madhur, why don't you write a book about all this? I am sure there are thousands like me around the world, who would also find this quite useful."
  • I would laugh it off. Me? Writing a book? Nah.
  • But deep down, three personal events in 1997, 2006, and one recently in 2019, were telling me that I had to write a book, or something equivalent.
  • Well, so here it is: the book.
  • This website is that book; my Magnum Opus, if you will.
  • This website was not written in a month.
  • It took tens of thousands of hours of reading, learning and interacting with real people, solving their real problems, to come up with this condensed bit of information.
  • One caveat:
  • Like everyone else, I am a human being. I can go wrong, and I often have. So I always give a corresponding reference link to the claims that I make.
  • It is the job of the reader to go through the evidence that I offer and take her own call.
  • All I can say is the person most qualified to take care of your health is you, not me, nor your doctor. You are the only human being who will ever live in your body for all your time on this planet. Make it a good one.
  • And this website is my attempt to give you enough ammunition to become that best person in the world, to take care of your health.
  • Do write to us on health.sachet@gmail.com or to me personally, on madhur.kotharay@gmail.com, if you have any suggestions or questions.
  • With best wishes,

Madhur Kotharay

1. Website Layout

How is the website organised + how to find information fast

2. Who and How?

Depending on your intent and interest, different ways of browsing this website

3. List of Articles

List of all articles on this website in chronological order