Brad Jacobs, MD, MPH, ABIHM

The personal experience that changed my opinion about healthcare

Dr. Brad Jacobs reflects on the pivotal moments in his personal life which inspired him to push for awareness of integrative medicine and changed his opinion about healthcare.

The Interview

There are some pivotal points in my life that have affected where I am today. As you reflect back on your life, you sort of look at the branch points. You start to look back at some of the doors that opened and the choices you made.

As I started getting exposed to the martial art world, I started understanding that there’s a whole new way to view the world. That we are energetic beings and that we’re whole systems and that the conventional medical world is one perspective, but there’s many others.┬áThat opened my mind up to a world of possibilities, because what I thought, what I took as fact, actually was an illusion.

Then it really got real for me several years later when a family member of mine, who was HIV-positive, went into liver failure and then basically went into a coma. No one knew why; she had just delivered a baby. Her baby was HIV negative. She was on HIV treatment — AZT at that time. What we didn’t know, but we knew later, was she was one of four people that had this happened to them; the other three people died.

I started doing research, and thanks to some friends, found out from the CDC that this might be related to HIV drugs causing what’s called mitochondria toxicity — which was sort of a new concept back then. I said I think I do what’s going on and I think you need to give her basic nutrients: vitamin B2, vitamin B12, vitamin B6. She’s in the ICU, in a coma, young mother, and they’re response was, “No, we can’t do that.” And my response was, “You’re giving her medications that are toxic, that are expensive, that may help, may not help, what’s wrong with giving her some vitamins? I’m just going to give them to her myself.”

So I started doing it, in the ICU. The nurse would sort of walk out of the room knowing what I was doing. And the doctors didn’t know about it at first, then started to know about it, but never wanted to talk about. She’s the only one of four people that lived. That dropped me into the need to really change the system. I knew I wanted to change the system in theory, but my personal experience with this really has made it a main piece of where I want to spend my time.

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