Medicine has always been echoed in every aspect of my life
I was born in China into a family of Chinese medical doctors. I spent the earlier part of my childhood growing up on the floor above my grandfather’s clinic in a rural coastal village in southeastern China. One day when I was 3 years old, I woke up, ran downstairs naked, picked up my grandfather’s stethoscope and ran around to avoid being caught by my grandmother while my grandfather and all the patients in his waiting room laughed.
A couple of weeks after I turned 7 years old, I moved to Houston, TX. It was a culture shock to be in a totally new country and a completely different culture. However It didn’t take too long for me to learn the language and assimilate into an already diverse culture. I found that the best way I learned was to learn about everyone around me. Everyone had unique stories, came from different cultural backgrounds, and had fascinating views on life as they see it. It was at that time I began collecting stories. These stories inspired me to learn about everyone so that we can all rise together. I knew that when I grew up, I wanted to be an inspirer.
Dr. Ruan and his mother
Dr. Ruan and his family
Many things can be taken away from you, but it’s your story that will always be unique to you
My father was a doctor and professor at University of Texas Medical School and my mother opened a successful traditional Chinese medicine practice utilizing acupuncture and herbal therapies. I grew up with very unique views on healthcare. Being in a very scientific family with a holistic background seemed normal to me.
My family always stressed on using food as medicine rather than pharmaceuticals
My mother always stressed getting enough vegetables and phytonutrients in us when we were sick. With every illness we had, we looked at our behaviors (lack of sleep, poor nutrition) to see what we did to make our immune system fail us in the first place.
After attending medical school, I realized that the focus on nutrition was minimal. During my residency training, while I received some of the best medical training in New York City, I still lacked true knowledge in preventative care.
I sought to learn how nutrition affects our bodies. I began my research in nutrition by studying the concepts of functional medicine, Chinese medicine, and buried my head in many nutrition journals.
I found that many chronic diseases can not only be treated by optimizing nutrition, but they can also be reversed
In 2015 I noticed that by using the dietary recommendations by current guidelines, I had tremendous trouble in trying to get people off of medicine for Type 2 Diabetes. It was at this time I began creating my own diet plan for my own patients.
My philosophy in practicing medicine truly lies in the focus on reversing chronic disease. Although not all chronic illnesses can be cured, we can focus on significantly improving our quality of life by working together to put an end to unnecessary suffering.
Ever since I was 13 years old I always imagined that I would be a good father. My sister was born when I was 13 years old and I helped my parents take care of her. Even as a pre-teen, I enjoyed changing diapers, reading her bedtime stories, and rocking her to sleep when there is a storm outside.
I became a father in April of 2014. It was a moment that any father would remember. That feeling of falling in love again with a tiny little girl that fit in my palms was intoxicating. That moment was just as magical 18 months later when my second daughter was born.
My two daughters are too young to understand what I do right now. When they become older, all they have to do is search the internet for my name to read my words. The age of passing down heirlooms is transformed into the ability to pass down stories written by the original author. The undiluted words of a human etched in the fabric of the internet, leaving a permanent electronic trail for future generations to discover.
Everything I write here reflects on the legacy I want to leave for them. My daughters inspire me to empower every human on this earth with the gift of knowledge and the gift of stories.
In December of 2015, I noticed that whenever I refer my patients out for diabetes education, they would still have the same or even high blood sugars after the classes. At first I was convinced they weren’t compliant with the plan. Then I looked a good hard look at the American Diabetic Association guidelines and thought to myself the carbohydrate intake was still pretty significant.
In addition, my patients who were well controlled Type 2 diabetics, when they were hospitalized, I would have a much harder time controlling their diet because the hospital dubbed “diabetic diet” was once again allowing to much carbohydrates. Sure, acute illness also contributes to high blood sugars, but those who weren’t that sick still had poorly controlled blood sugars.
I started really diving deep into nutrition, functional medicine, and using food as medicine principles to create a dietary plan that not only changed my patient’s lives but promoting diabetes reversal rather than just diabetes management, but it also changed my own life. I started to have more meaningful conversations with my patients about food. To find out more click HERE