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(USA Today)   New book raises alarms about alternative medicine, makes anti-vaxxers seem sane   (usatoday.com) divider line 112
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3803 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Jun 2013 at 10:01 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-18 09:50:41 AM  
Let's see here, vaccines don't work, but this stuff does.  They won't listen to their doctor's advice, but they have no problem believing a schook with a bottle of water and pocket of crystals.  And they won't go to a specialist for the migranes that they've been having, but they think that they'll add ten years to their life by sleeping on a magnet pillow.

i218.photobucket.com

We're wasting our time.
 
2013-06-18 09:59:03 AM  
About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.
 
2013-06-18 10:08:29 AM  
Unfortunately, alternative medicine will never die out thanks to the placebo effect.

It may make them feel subjectively good, but give me hard-science-based medicine every time.
 
2013-06-18 10:09:09 AM  
With the crazy cost of healthcare it's no surprise that more folks are trying out grandma's home remedies.
 
2013-06-18 10:11:36 AM  
Elixirs and liniments are still cool though, right?
 
2013-06-18 10:12:15 AM  

KawaiiNot: With the crazy cost of healthcare it's no surprise that more folks are trying out grandma's home remedies.


You see, this is what I was thinking as well. But then the article says the ALTERNATIVE medicines are bilking people's money too. Someone needs to do a cost comparison, because I'm pretty sure that while they are both scams, alternative medicine is cheaper than going to the hospital.
 
2013-06-18 10:12:37 AM  
The hypocrisy of people decrying "Big Pharma" while enabling modern-day snake oil salesmen to live a better life than most doctors is breathtaking.  Sort of like decrying the elitist limousine libruls while enabling a single pastor to have five Ferraris "for the Lord".
 
2013-06-18 10:15:13 AM  

Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.


I wonder what they're counting there.  I mean, does giving a kid some ginger ale for an upset stomach or a popsicle for a sore throat count?
 
2013-06-18 10:17:21 AM  
 
2013-06-18 10:20:25 AM  

EatHam: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.

I wonder what they're counting there.  I mean, does giving a kid some ginger ale for an upset stomach or a popsicle for a sore throat count?


Do you balance a quartz crystal on the kid's head and waft sage smoke over him while he's drinking his soda or eating his popsicle? If not, they probably don't count it.
 
2013-06-18 10:20:55 AM  
Let's not get carried away, smitty.
 
2013-06-18 10:22:25 AM  
I work for a pharmaceutical company, so I'm getting a kick, etc.
 
2013-06-18 10:23:23 AM  

give me doughnuts: Do you balance a quartz crystal on the kid's head and waft sage smoke over him while he's drinking his soda or eating his popsicle? If not, they probably don't count it.


I really don't want to believe that half of Americans are balancing quartz crystals on the kid's head.
 
2013-06-18 10:25:34 AM  

EatHam: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.

I wonder what they're counting there.  I mean, does giving a kid some ginger ale for an upset stomach or a popsicle for a sore throat count?


I bet that counts reasonable, commonly-accepted treatments like a zinc lozenge when you feel a cold coming on, or a drill for when you need to drain the evil spirits out of your head.
 
2013-06-18 10:26:33 AM  
My sister got non-FDA-approved treatment for melanoma in the bahamas and germany.  She's been cancer free since '05.
When my family insisted I see him for "peptide therapy" that would cure my manic-depression,  I looked him up.  He is being sued by several patients for telling them to get off of their chemo or radiation therapy, and to do some alternitave shiat, and then they died.  So I count my sister as lucky.

Also, my Architect's wackadoodle wife once insisted that I take some crap for my headache and congestion.  She said each dose had exactly one atom of silver (or was it gold) in it.  I told her no thanks, and explained that there is no way in chemestry to put a single atom per dose in a bottle and sell it to people.  She didn't believe me.

/CSB^2
 
2013-06-18 10:27:33 AM  

EatHam: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.

I wonder what they're counting there.  I mean, does giving a kid some ginger ale for an upset stomach or a popsicle for a sore throat count?


Mint/lemon/ginger for sore throats, gingko for...something, flat coke for an upset stomach, marshmallows for wound care - some of these remedies have chemical reasons. Are they "alternative" or not?

I absolutely like the idea of evidence-based study (the kind the Institute I used to work for did) - like playing music to speed healing. There is an incredible amount of neglect shown for the psychological side of medicine (well, apart from the field of psychiatric medicine), but things like environmental treatment for Alzheimer's, while not "medical" (no shots, drugs or activities), is certainly "therapeutic" (aids in recovery/healing/symptom mitigation).

// they basically doll up a room to look like the patient's "old" life - period set pieces, music, smells (scent is great at memory-association), etc - which aids in cognition/recall
 
2013-06-18 10:29:39 AM  

Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.


When my doc (a D.Ph., btw) was helping me get my blood pressure and chemistry (cholesterol & triglycerides and blood sugar) under control last year, she was insistent that I stop taking vitamins during treatment. It wasn't that she disliked them, she said, but that their interactions with prescription are real and not clearly understood or documented, and that for the year or two I'd have to take meds it was better to stay off them.
 
2013-06-18 10:31:26 AM  

Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.


I suspect they're including stuff like drinking green tea because it's an anti-oxidant.
 
2013-06-18 10:32:53 AM  
Big AltMed: Preying on the gullible, the desperate, and the stupid since the beginning of time.
 
2013-06-18 10:34:15 AM  

Pontious Pilates: EatHam: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.

I wonder what they're counting there.  I mean, does giving a kid some ginger ale for an upset stomach or a popsicle for a sore throat count?

I bet that counts reasonable, commonly-accepted treatments like a zinc lozenge when you feel a cold coming on, or a drill for when you need to drain the evil spirits out of your head.


Hang on, is zinc "alternative"? I was sneezing like a foo' the other day so went to the pharmacist to get some antihistamines, they also recommended I get some vitamin c with zinc pills to help stave off a cold. I'd be most perturbed if it turned out that zinc hasn't been proven to have any effect, and they just sell it because alternative medicines have become so popular it's commonly-accepted without proof. When a pharmacist recommends something it had better been proven to work.
 
2013-06-18 10:35:14 AM  
Although I do have to kinda agree with this

"If there is a placebo effect that brings back salivation to these people who can't eat or talk, who cares?"

Use it (the placebo effect) for little things, but for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, don't try to cure cancer with it.
 
2013-06-18 10:36:16 AM  
Billy Nye needs to come over from the thread on the Main page and kicks these peoples' asses, scientifically speaking.
 
2013-06-18 10:40:38 AM  

Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.


A lot of is probably stupid people going to a chiropractor and detox bullshiat.
 
2013-06-18 10:40:40 AM  

Slaxl: Pontious Pilates: EatHam: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.

I wonder what they're counting there.  I mean, does giving a kid some ginger ale for an upset stomach or a popsicle for a sore throat count?

I bet that counts reasonable, commonly-accepted treatments like a zinc lozenge when you feel a cold coming on, or a drill for when you need to drain the evil spirits out of your head.

Hang on, is zinc "alternative"? I was sneezing like a foo' the other day so went to the pharmacist to get some antihistamines, they also recommended I get some vitamin c with zinc pills to help stave off a cold. I'd be most perturbed if it turned out that zinc hasn't been proven to have any effect, and they just sell it because alternative medicines have become so popular it's commonly-accepted without proof. When a pharmacist recommends something it had better been proven to work.


I'm just thinking of the stuff you can pick up in the crunchy, granola medicine sections of high end grocery stores and health food places, etc. Rose hips, St. John's Wort, Eel Farts, etc, etc, etc... Mixed in with all that crazy stuff are some pretty commonly accepted "alternative" therapies. I don't think "alternative" necessarily means a doctor would never advise you to take it.
 
2013-06-18 10:41:10 AM  

Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.


I know that some definitions include such practical treatments as massage therapy, and oddly enough, it turns out that chiropractic can be effective in treating a small subset of asthma cases (apparently mild nerve pressure in the neck can make the chest muscles tighten up). Putting massage and Airborne in the same category isn't helpful.
 
2013-06-18 10:44:53 AM  

meat0918: Although I do have to kinda agree with this

"If there is a placebo effect that brings back salivation to these people who can't eat or talk, who cares?"

Use it (the placebo effect) for little things, but for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, don't try to cure cancer with it.


I guess it depends how you look at it. This belief in something that isn't really curative is exactly what the problem is to begin with. If you're not going to correct them on that why should they believe you when they extend the same principal to cancer?

These people are too stupid to separate empiricism from personal experience. Reinforcing that negative trait for convenience on minor problems isn't going to end well for anybody when they later have a major problem.
 
2013-06-18 10:46:49 AM  

IlGreven: The hypocrisy of people decrying "Big Pharma" while enabling modern-day snake oil salesmen to live a better life than most doctors is breathtaking.  Sort of like decrying the elitist limousine libruls while enabling a single pastor to have five Ferraris "for the Lord".



I've never had a friend overdose and die from wearing rose crystals or Acupuncture.

Put 2 in the ground last year from pills. 44 and 41 years old.
 
2013-06-18 10:49:26 AM  

Nurglitch: Elixirs and liniments are still cool though, right?


Snake Oil is where it's at.

Guaranteed.


to do nothing
 
2013-06-18 10:50:49 AM  

Intrepid00: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.

A lot of is probably stupid people going to a chiropractor and detox bullshiat.


I've found the best chiropractors are people who didn't want to finish PT school. My wife goes to one and he basically cobbles parts of massage with parts of PT.
 
2013-06-18 10:52:52 AM  

Pontious Pilates: I don't think "alternative" necessarily means a doctor would never advise you to take it.


Some of those things actually do have medical effects. There's two problems there, though:

1. Dumb people use them to self-treat things they self-diagnosed. If you're not willing to change your own oil because you're not a mechanic, why the dick-flying fark would you try to fix your own body when you're not a doctor?

2. Just because eye of newt might have "an effect" on some condition doesn't mean there aren't actual medicines that have a bigger, quicker and safer effect.

Lots of medicines are derived from herbs and vegetables and whatnot. The difference between the medicine and the bullshiat is that one has been carefully measured and combined with other ingredients to achieve maximum affect and minimum downside while the other one is just some retard rubbing poison ivy in his eyeballs.
 
2013-06-18 10:52:58 AM  

meat0918: Although I do have to kinda agree with this

"If there is a placebo effect that brings back salivation to these people who can't eat or talk, who cares?"

Use it (the placebo effect) for little things, but for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, don't try to cure cancer with it.



If you want to bring salivation to them, just wave a cheeseburger under their nose.
 
2013-06-18 10:53:29 AM  

FarkinHostile: I've never had a friend overdose and die from wearing rose crystals or Acupuncture.

Put 2 in the ground last year from pills. 44 and 41 years old.


Get smarter friends.
 
2013-06-18 10:54:08 AM  

Pontious Pilates: I'm just thinking of the stuff you can pick up in the crunchy, granola medicine sections of high end grocery stores and health food places, etc. Rose hips, St. John's Wort, Eel Farts, etc, etc, etc... Mixed in with all that crazy stuff are some pretty commonly accepted "alternative" therapies. I don't think "alternative" necessarily means a doctor would never advise you to take it.


Overall, the scientific evidence supports the effectiveness of St. John's wort in mild-to-moderate major depression. It's been prescribed by doctors in Germany for over 50 years.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/st-johns-wort/NS_patient-stjohnswor t


I wouldn't put it  in the same category as Eel farts. More like opium to treat pain. In other words, it works.
 
2013-06-18 11:01:39 AM  
That magnetic bracelet not only is fashionable but it turned my wrist green and took some of my arthritis pain away.  It was a godsend.
 
2013-06-18 11:04:23 AM  

skozlaw: FarkinHostile: I've never had a friend overdose and die from wearing rose crystals or Acupuncture.

Put 2 in the ground last year from pills. 44 and 41 years old.

Get smarter friends.



One of the two was brilliant. Regardless, 38,329 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2010. How many died from wearing quartz? Zero.

"First, do no harm." Sound familiar?

Big Pharma is not some innocent victim just doing good while being lied about by hippies as implied by the poster I responded to. Not by a long shot. That was my point. Knowing how much damage pharmaceuticals can do, it's not crazy to seek other treatments first before running to farking pills, even if it's just something triggering the placebo effect.  It least that wont cause your kidneys to shut down, or suffocate in your sleep.
 
2013-06-18 11:06:42 AM  

Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine


Now you see this is where things become very airy fairy, when I get a stinker of a head cold I'll make up a bowl of boiling water with some menthol crystals and eucalyptus oil mixed in.  Breath the steam in and it does clear you sinuses up a treat for a bit.    So clearly it works, people have done it for donkey years as well.

But me doing that rather than taking Sudafed or such means I'm using "alternative medicine" in some surveys even though I also use prescribed or OTC medication as and when needed, so the real question is what exactly are we defining as "alternative medicine" that 50% of a nations population are using?  And are 50% of them using these alternatives instead of or as a compliment to normal medicine as it 'can't do any harm and you never know'?

A lot of these studies/surveys are run as a "if you aren't in group A you must be in group B" affair which isn't very indicative of what is really happening.  I'm not saying there aren't total kooks out there but 50% of Americans exclusively using alternatives in favour of drugs?  You lot are dumb but you aren't quite THAT dumb.

FarkinHostile: I've never had a friend overdose and die from wearing rose crystals or Acupuncture.

Put 2 in the ground last year from pills. 44 and 41 years old.


Please, elaborate.  What exactly would you describe as their mental state prior to the overdose?  Were they happy, easy going and in good spirits or were they depressed?  Keep in mind depressed doesn't mean "a little bit sad" when answering.

Whilst doctors do make mistakes a lot of overdoses are taken by people who are very depressed about what is happening to them, the condition they are dealing with and/or how it is affecting their lives.

I'd agree, people don't die from wearing the rose crystals.  They just die of TB, Cancer, AIDS, Septicaemia and such instead.
 
2013-06-18 11:07:50 AM  

EatHam: I wonder what they're counting there. I mean, does giving a kid some ginger ale for an upset stomach or a popsicle for a sore throat count?


give me doughnuts: Do you balance a quartz crystal on the kid's head and waft sage smoke over him while he's drinking his soda or eating his popsicle? If not, they probably don't count it.


Actually EatHam's question is extremely important, and your mocking dismissal of it isn't helping.  Big Pharma and Alternative Kooks both have agendas to make each other look bad, and whereas I've heard the stories about some kid dying because the parents tried homeopathy instead of taking the kid to the damned ER, Big Pharma has also paid out numerous settlements because they knew their products didn't work AND killed people and bribed the FDA to approve it anyway.

So while I won't "balance a quartz crystal on a kid's head" and the last time I experienced chest pains I went to ER because that was by far the smartest thing to do, I'm sure my own home remedies would be enthusiastically blacklisted as "alternative" by any study with Big Pharma behind it, because they want you to believe there's an epidemic of ignorance only they can save us from.

Really, methodology is everything here.  I know a few alternative kooks but if there's any hypocrisy at work, it's that they still go to the doctor if they're genuinely afraid of dying.  The really bizarre shiat is mostly used on relatively minor symptoms like the sniffles or even natural processes like aging.
 
2013-06-18 11:10:21 AM  

PainInTheASP: Let's see here, vaccines don't work, but this stuff does.  They won't listen to their doctor's advice, but they have no problem believing a schook with a bottle of water and pocket of crystals.  And they won't go to a specialist for the migranes that they've been having, but they think that they'll add ten years to their life by sleeping on a magnet pillow.

[i218.photobucket.com image 600x403]

We're wasting our time.


For years I've suffered off and on with back problems. Probably a compressed disc in my lower spine. Point being, I tried chiropractic treatment. Made it worse (IMHO chiro is a complete waste of money and the "doctors" are charlatans making huge amounts of money for doing nothing). I tried traditional M.D. doctors, and the one guy said I might have bone cancer because a blood test came back higher than normal with some such protein in my blood (I'm still around 10 years later so somehow I don't think it was bone cancer). Tried ART (active relief therapy). Tried physiotherapy. The only thing that remotely works for me is acupuncture and I kind of wonder if it's the placebo effect at work in that case.
My point is you try just about anything to get relief from whatever ails you. The problem is most of us aren't very intelligent, and have to trust what someone is telling us. We base our opinions on the emotional response (what makes us comfortable or what we hear aligns with what we believe) and less on logic. We're still very primitive when it comes to medicine. The best doctor is like the best mechanic. A lot of times, he's the best guesser.
 
2013-06-18 11:12:24 AM  

Nurglitch: Elixirs and liniments are still cool though, right?


no, stick with the leaches.
 
2013-06-18 11:18:13 AM  
Time to trot out this old saw.

Do you know what you call 'alternative medicine' that actually works?

Medicine.

That's how we got aspirin.  The scientific method.
Observation: Lots of people drink willow bark tea to reduce aches and pains.
Hypothesis: There's a compound in willow bark that actually does those things.
etc.
 
2013-06-18 11:18:50 AM  

FarkinHostile: 38,329 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2010


Awwwww, that's cute. You mingled illicit and prescription drugs in the same statistics. How wonderfully dishonest of you.

FarkinHostile: How many died from wearing quartz?


The same number that got better from it. Actually, I'd imagine that, while low, through indirect incidents some number greater than zero actually died which means more than got better, but whatever.

FarkinHostile: That was my point


You don't have a point. You can either try to do something that works or you can sit around with your thumb in your ass doing something that's guaranteed not to. You've chosen to defend the latter on the basis that the former isn't perfect so you're a useless crapsack as far as I'm concerned.
 
2013-06-18 11:23:31 AM  

FarkinHostile: I've never had a friend overdose and die from wearing rose crystals or Acupuncture.

Put 2 in the ground last year from pills. 44 and 41 years old.


People don't die from lots of things. I probably do hundreds of things every day that kill fewer people every year than prescription medication.

That doesn't make those things useful substitutes for medicine. Lack of physical effect does not equate to effective medicine. Quite the opposite.
 
2013-06-18 11:26:36 AM  

What depresses me is walking down the aisle of a damned pharmacy and seeing hundreds of instances of

*these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA

I don't mind the existence of alt-med, but it shouldn't be distributed next to real treatments of any sort.
 
2013-06-18 11:31:24 AM  

Vaneshi: Please, elaborate. What exactly would you describe as their mental state prior to the overdose? Were they happy, easy going and in good spirits or were they depressed? Keep in mind depressed doesn't mean "a little bit sad" when answering.



One was quite depressed. The other was ok. Both were accidental. The deal is they both had abused pharmaceuticals for years. But it was ok because, you know, a DOCTOR prescribed them, and they know what they are doing....right? But eventually you take one too many because you forgot how many you took, and you die in your sleep.


Whilst doctors do make mistakes a lot of overdoses are taken by people who are very depressed about what is happening to them, the condition they are dealing with and/or how it is affecting their lives.
 
You are on the money with one of them. Of course, his answer to being depressed was more pills, so it ended up being a vicious cycle ending in his death.

I'd give my left nut to have had him be "irrational" and "stupid" and use yoga or  some other quackery. He'd still be alive.

Look, I'm not against using pharmaceuticals when absoloutly necessary, but the drug companies are not some benign do gooders out to alleviate human suffering. They are about PROFIT. They lie about effectiveness, safety and side effects all the time. "Big Pharma" is NOT your friend. Sure, the Snake oil salesmen are ripping off people, but call me when they kill over 38,000 people a year in the US.

Getting sad. Out of this one.
 
2013-06-18 11:39:39 AM  

skozlaw: meat0918: Although I do have to kinda agree with this

"If there is a placebo effect that brings back salivation to these people who can't eat or talk, who cares?"

Use it (the placebo effect) for little things, but for the love of all that is good and pure in this world, don't try to cure cancer with it.

I guess it depends how you look at it. This belief in something that isn't really curative is exactly what the problem is to begin with. If you're not going to correct them on that why should they believe you when they extend the same principal to cancer?

These people are too stupid to separate empiricism from personal experience. Reinforcing that negative trait for convenience on minor problems isn't going to end well for anybody when they later have a major problem.


Fair enough.

Let me rephrase it then.

Maybe doctors should add a little theater and especially warmth to their doctoral routines.  One of the biggest reasons alt med "works" is because its practitioners provide some rudimentary psychotherapy by just listening to the patient and appearing interested in their problems.

I've tried to find it, but I remember some supposed study that looked at patient outcomes and found that the cold, sterile doctor's office, with it's flat white paint and blueish fluorescent lights, etc had lower positive outcomes than doctors with offices in warm colors, natural light, etc.

Presentation matters.  We know this for food and apply it to great effect.  Why aren't we doing it for medicine?  Is it hubris?
 
2013-06-18 11:42:21 AM  
One of my coworkers was diagnosed with leukemia several years ago. Her doctor referred her to a leukemia specialist over in Durham, so off she went to get treatment. Except, the treatment made her hair fall out and she kept getting sick from the dosage. She went online and found some website touting the medicinal properties of some herb or vegetable or something, and she dropped her treatment in favor of eating lots of whatever plant the website recommended. When I asked her why she stopped the treatment, she said "well the plants have the same chemicals in them that the drugs do, only in natural form". Me pointing out that the drugs concentrate that chemical so she didn't have to eat a pound or two of the plant every day didn't stop her; that process was 'artificial' and ruined the beneficial properties of the plant.

Long story short, she's back on chemical treatment for her leukemia after it got worse during the time she stopped taking the drugs.
 
2013-06-18 11:43:02 AM  

Vaneshi: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

Now you see this is where things become very airy fairy, when I get a stinker of a head cold I'll make up a bowl of boiling water with some menthol crystals and eucalyptus oil mixed in.  Breath the steam in and it does clear you sinuses up a treat for a bit.    So clearly it works, people have done it for donkey years as well.

But me doing that rather than taking Sudafed or such means I'm using "alternative medicine" in some surveys even though I also use prescribed or OTC medication as and when needed, so the real question is what exactly are we defining as "alternative medicine" that 50% of a nations population are using?  And are 50% of them using these alternatives instead of or as a compliment to normal medicine as it 'can't do any harm and you never know'?


That's not alternative medicine.  Menthol and eucalyptus oil have a known therapeutic effects on respiratory ailments.

Alternative medicine is using a Neti Pot.
 
2013-06-18 11:50:21 AM  
meat0918:
That's not alternative medicine.  Menthol and eucalyptus oil have a known therapeutic effects on respiratory ailments.

Alternative medicine is using a Neti Pot.


Actually it IS alternative medicine as it's the raw, unrefined and packaged version (which in this case would be Vick's Vapour Rub or similar) depending on who you talk to and how a survey is conducted.   You and I may not see it as such but that doesn't mean others won't and record it as such.

Which was kinda my point.
 
2013-06-18 12:03:30 PM  
I don't care what you say about placebos, that shiat works.
 
2013-06-18 12:03:56 PM  

FarkinHostile: Look, I'm not against using pharmaceuticals when absoloutly necessary, but the drug companies are not some benign do gooders out to alleviate human suffering. They are about PROFIT. They lie about effectiveness, safety and side effects all the time. "Big Pharma" is NOT your friend. Sure, the Snake oil salesmen are ripping off people, but call me when they kill over 38,000 people a year in the US.


The pharmaceutical companies also operate under strict regulation that forces them to properly test the effectiveness of their products and publish the results before they are released. Despite their flaws and profit seeking real medicine does what it says on the tin.

As for the quacks, I don't have the information to assess their body count. Most of their bollocks is largely harmless, yet clearly people do indeed die for relying upon it instead of any actual, effective treatment.

Please do tell me which is worse. The one whose remedy kills because it is impossible to test on all potential body chemistries and determine long-term effects within the time framework of a legitimate study or the one who kills by lying to convince others to neglect their health needs?
 
2013-06-18 12:05:24 PM  
Whenever I feel my asthma acting up, I eat something with onions.

Would that count as alternative medicine?

Sure, I still keep my inhaler around, but I prefer not to use it.
 
2013-06-18 12:05:51 PM  

DjangoStonereaver: Unfortunately, alternative medicine will never die out thanks to the placebo effect.

It may make them feel subjectively good, but give me hard-science-based medicine every time.


My favorite quote from a college anthropology class I took: "9 times out of 10 whatever is ailing you will go away on its own. This makes it really hard for locals to beleive that modern medicine offers them anything better, given that their shaman has a 90% success rate"
 
2013-06-18 12:11:33 PM  

Vaneshi: meat0918:
That's not alternative medicine.  Menthol and eucalyptus oil have a known therapeutic effects on respiratory ailments.

Alternative medicine is using a Neti Pot.

Actually it IS alternative medicine as it's the raw, unrefined and packaged version (which in this case would be Vick's Vapour Rub or similar) depending on who you talk to and how a survey is conducted.   You and I may not see it as such but that doesn't mean others won't and record it as such.

Which was kinda my point.


Ugh.

I hate ambiguity.
 
2013-06-18 12:16:08 PM  

ikanreed: What depresses me is walking down the aisle of a damned pharmacy and seeing hundreds of instances of

*these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA
I don't mind the existence of alt-med, but it shouldn't be distributed next to real treatments of any sort.


What disturbes me more about American pharmacies is that the medicines are in the back, but in the front by the checkout counter is loads of candy, soda, cigarettes, and other tobacco products.

It's a bizarre dichotomy.  Like the two parts of the pharmacy are at war with each other.

Like going to an AA meeting in the backroom of a liquor store.
 
2013-06-18 12:23:03 PM  

brakiachi: DjangoStonereaver: Unfortunately, alternative medicine will never die out thanks to the placebo effect.

It may make them feel subjectively good, but give me hard-science-based medicine every time.

My favorite quote from a college anthropology class I took: "9 times out of 10 whatever is ailing you will go away on its own. This makes it really hard for locals to beleive that modern medicine offers them anything better, given that their shaman has a 90% success rate"


I wish Fark had a 'Like' button.  I am so stealing this.
 
2013-06-18 12:26:01 PM  

FarkinHostile: IlGreven: The hypocrisy of people decrying "Big Pharma" while enabling modern-day snake oil salesmen to live a better life than most doctors is breathtaking.  Sort of like decrying the elitist limousine libruls while enabling a single pastor to have five Ferraris "for the Lord".


I've never had a friend overdose and die from wearing rose crystals or Acupuncture.

Put 2 in the ground last year from pills. 44 and 41 years old.


Did your friends take the pills as their doctor prescribed?  If not, it sounds like it's their fault they are in the ground.
 
2013-06-18 12:28:58 PM  

Slaxl: Hang on, is zinc "alternative"? I was sneezing like a foo' the other day so went to the pharmacist to get some antihistamines, they also recommended I get some vitamin c with zinc pills to help stave off a cold. I'd be most perturbed if it turned out that zinc hasn't been proven to have any effect, and they just sell it because alternative medicines have become so popular it's commonly-accepted without proof. When a pharmacist recommends something it had better been proven to work.


zinc has some clinical studies that show it can help shorten the duration of a cold. its small, but why not? as others have mentioned, i wonder what alternative means in this context. i will use various "home" remedys for minor stuff rather than take a pill, but they are usually backed by some sort of scientific reasoning.
 
2013-06-18 12:40:55 PM  
imageshack.us
 
2013-06-18 12:43:26 PM  

Doc Daneeka: What disturbes me more about American pharmacies is that the medicines are in the back, but in the front by the checkout counter is loads of candy, soda, cigarettes, and other tobacco products. It's a bizarre dichotomy.


Stores are always organized with high-margin items being the easiest to access, and the actual reason the customers go there the least.

America's legacy is tasking our brightest minds in psychology to cure mental illnesses blur the line between sociopathy and efficiency.
 
2013-06-18 12:43:44 PM  
encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com

What alternative medicine in my house looks like
 
2013-06-18 12:47:18 PM  

deanis: [encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com image 275x183]

What alternative medicine in my house looks like


Well... you should be safe from scurvy and malaria, at least.
 
2013-06-18 12:53:38 PM  

dragonchild: Doc Daneeka: What disturbes me more about American pharmacies is that the medicines are in the back, but in the front by the checkout counter is loads of candy, soda, cigarettes, and other tobacco products. It's a bizarre dichotomy.

Stores are always organized with high-margin items being the easiest to access, and the actual reason the customers go there the least.

America's legacy is tasking our brightest minds in psychology to cure mental illnesses blur the line between sociopathy and efficiency.


Still, doesn't anyone find it bizarre that a store who's main purpose is to sell medicines to make people well, also sells tobacco and junk food?
 
2013-06-18 12:57:56 PM  

meat0918: Why aren't we doing it for medicine? Is it hubris?


For one thing, and this is just a guess, I'd think that culinary careers draw more "artistic" and people-oriented people while medicine draws people who are more analytical. The doctor's job is primarily to analyze all the symptoms and craft a solution while the chef's job is to present an attractive and enjoyable meal. Almost anybody can feed themselves, they need a chef to do it in a fun way, not just to get the sustenance. Not everybody can cure their own cancer, however. They need a doctor because the alternative is death.

Personally, I don't have a problem with that, especially considering other deficiencies we have in our health system right now. If a person has every opportunity to partake of the available information and care and still chooses not to, let them die. In a day and age when so many other people have done so much work for them and they still can't manage to survive, they probably shouldn't survive. I'd rather worry about moving on to trying to help the next person than putting on a dog and pony show for them so they don't go off and stuff "healing" crystals up their nose and bay leaves in their bunghole instead of going for their dialysis.

If you're too stupid to survive in a world where everybody else did all the work for you, just go die. There are far more deserving people for your place in line anyway.
 
2013-06-18 12:59:54 PM  
Interesting how the article seems to group the legitimate herbal remedy people into the same group as the "crystal healing" nut jobs.  Yes herbs do work much of the time for the right malady. No not cancer and stuff like that but for stomach upset, aches and pains, etc.

You get a very large percentage of your drugs from plants and herbs.


AcetyldigoxinCardiotonicDigitalis lanata (Grecian foxglove, woolly foxglove)AdonisideCardiotonicAdonis vernalis (pheasant's eye, red chamomile)AescinAntiinflammatoryAesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut)AesculetinAntidysenteryFrazinus rhychophyllaAgrimopholAnthelminticAgrimonia supatoriaAjmalicineTreatment for circulatory disordersRauvolfia sepentinaAllantoinVulnerarySeveral plantsAllyl isothiocyanateRubefacientBrassica nigra (black mustard)AnabesineSkeletal muscle relaxantAnabasis sphyllaAndrographolideTreatment for baccillary dysenteryAndrographis paniculataAnisodamineAnticholinergicAnisodus tanguticusAnisodineAnticholinergicAnisodus tanguticusArecolineAnthelminticAreca catechu (betel nut palm)AsiaticosideVulneraryCentella asiatica (gotu cola)AtropineAnticholinergicAtropa belladonna (deadly nightshade)Benzyl benzoateScabicideSeveral plantsBerberineTreatment for bacillary dysenteryBerberis vulgaris (common barberry)BergeninAntitussiveArdisia japonica (marlberry)Betulinic acidAnticancerousBetula alba (common birch)BorneolAntipyretic, analgesic, antiinflammatorySeveral plantsBromelainAntiinflammatory, proteolyticAnanas comosus (pineapple)CaffeineCNS stimulantCamellia sinensis (tea, also coffee, cocoa and other plants)CamphorRubefacientCinnamomum camphora (camphor tree)CamptothecinAnticancerousCamptotheca acuminata(+)-CatechinHemostaticPotentilla fragarioidesChymopapainProteolytic, mucolyticCarica papaya (papaya)CissampelineSkeletal muscle relaxantCissampelos pareira (velvet leaf)CocaineLocal anaestheticErythroxylum coca (coca plant)CodeineAnalgesic, antitussivePapaver somniferum (poppy)Colchiceine amideAntitumor agentColchicum autumnale (autumn crocus)ColchicineAntitumor, antigoutColchicum autumnale (autumn crocus)ConvallatoxinCardiotonicConvallaria majalis (lily-of-the-valley)CurcuminCholereticCurcuma longa (turmeric)CynarinCholereticCynara scolymus (artichoke)DanthronLaxativeCassia speciesDemecolcineAntitumor agentColchicum autumnale (autumn crocus)DeserpidineAntihypertensive, tranquilizerRauvolfia canescensDeslanosideCardiotonicDigitalis lanata (Grecian foxglove, woolly foxglove)L-DopaAnti-parkinsonismMucuna species (nescafe, cowage, velvetbean)DigitalinCardiotonicDigitalis purpurea (purple foxglove)DigitoxinCardiotonicDigitalis purpurea (purple foxglove)DigoxinCardiotonicDigitalis purpurea (purple or common foxglove)EmetineAmoebicide, emeticCephaelis ipecacuanhaEphedrineSympathomimetic, antihistamineEphedra sinica (ephedra, ma huang)EtoposideAntitumor agentPodophyllum peltatum (mayapple)GalanthamineCholinesterase inhibitorLycoris squamigera (magic lily, resurrection lily, naked lady)GitalinCardiotonicDigitalis purpurea (purple or common foxglove)GlaucarubinAmoebicideSimarouba glauca (paradise tree)GlaucineAntitussiveGlaucium flavum (yellow hornpoppy, horned poppy, sea poppy)GlasiovineAntidepressantOctea glazioviiGlycyrrhizinSweetener, treatment for Addison's diseaseGlycyrrhiza glabra (licorice)GossypolMale contraceptiveGossypium species (cotton)HemsleyadinTreatment for bacillary dysenteryHemsleya amabilisHesperidinTreatment for capillary fragilityCitrus species (e.g., oranges)HydrastineHemostatic, astringentHydrastis canadensis (goldenseal)HyoscyamineAnticholinergicHyoscyamus niger (black henbane, stinking nightshade, henpin)IrinotecanAnticancer, antitumor agentCamptotheca acuminataKaibic acudAscaricideDigenea simplex (wireweed)KawainTranquilizerPiper methysticum (kava kava)KheltinBronchodilatorAmmi visagaLanatosides A, B, CCardiotonicDigitalis lanata (Grecian foxglove, woolly foxglove)LapacholAnticancer, antitumorTabebuia species (trumpet tree)a-LobelineSmoking deterrant, respiratory stimulantLobelia inflata (Indian tobacco)MentholRubefacientMentha species (mint)Methyl salicylateRubefacientGaultheria procumbens (wintergreen)MonocrotalineTopical antitumor agentCrotalaria sessilifloraMorphineAnalgesicPapaver somniferum (poppy)NeoandrographolideTreatment of dysenteryAndrographis paniculataNicotineInsecticideNicotiana tabacum (tobacco)Nordihydroguaiaretic acidAntioxidantLarrea divaricata (creosote bush)NoscapineAntitussivePapaver somniferum (poppy)OuabainCardiotonicStrophanthus gratus (ouabain tree)PachycarpineOxytocicSophora pschycarpaPalmatineAntipyretic, detoxicantCoptis japonica (Chinese goldenthread, goldthread, Huang-Lia)PapainProteolytic, mucolyticCarica papaya (papaya)PapavarineSmooth muscle relaxantPapaver somniferum (opium poppy, common poppy)PhyllodulcinSweetenerHydrangea macrophylla (bigleaf hydrangea, French hydrangea)PhysostigmineCholinesterase inhibitorPhysostigma venenosum (Calabar bean)PicrotoxinAnalepticAnamirta cocculus (fish berry)PilocarpineParasympathomimeticPilocarpus jaborandi (jaborandi, Indian hemp)PinitolExpectorantSeveral plants (e.g., bougainvillea)PodophyllotoxinAntitumor, anticancer agentPodophyllum peltatum (mayapple)Protoveratrines A, BAntihypertensivesVeratrum album (white false hellebore)PseudoephredrineSympathomimeticEphedra sinica (ephedra, ma huang)nor-pseudoephedrineSympathomimeticEphedra sinica (ephedra, ma huang)QuinidineAntiarrhythmicCinchona ledgeriana (quinine tree)QuinineAntimalarial, antipyreticCinchona ledgeriana (quinine tree)Qulsqualic acidAnthelminticQuisqualis indica (Rangoon creeper, drunken sailor)RescinnamineAntihypertensive, tranquilizerRauvolfia serpentinaReserpineAntihypertensive, tranquilizerRauvolfia serpentinaRhomitoxinAntihypertensive, tranquilizerRhododendron molle (rhododendron)RorifoneAntitussiveRorippa indicaRotenonePiscicide, InsecticideLonchocarpus nicouRotundineAnalagesic, sedative, traquilizerStephania sinicaRutinTreatment for capillary fragilityCitrus species (e.g., orange, grapefruit)SalicinAnalgesicSalix alba (white willow)SanguinarineDental plaque inhibitorSanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot)SantoninAscaricideArtemisia maritma (wormwood)Scillarin ACardiotonicUrginea maritima (squill)ScopolamineSedativeDatura species (e.g., Jimsonweed)Sennosides A, BLaxativeCassia species (cinnamon)SilymarinAntihepatotoxicSilybum marianum (milk thistle)SparteineOxytocicCytisus scoparius (scotch broom)SteviosideSweetenerStevia rebaudiana (stevia)StrychnineCNS stimulantStrychnos nux-vomica (poison nut tree)TaxolAntitumor agentTaxus brevifolia (Pacific yew)TeniposideAntitumor agentPodophyllum peltatum (mayapple or mandrake)a-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)Antiemetic, decreases occular tensionCannabis sativa (marijuana)TetrahydropalmatineAnalgesic, sedative, tranquilizerCorydalis ambiguaTetrandrineAntihypertensiveStephania tetrandraTheobromineDiuretic, vasodilatorTheobroma cacao (cocoa)TheophyllineDiuretic, bronchodilatorTheobroma cacao and others (cocoa, tea)ThymolTopical antifungalThymus vulgaris (thyme)TopotecanAntitumor, anticancer agentCamptotheca acuminataTrichosanthinAbortifacientTrichosanthes kirilowii (snake gourd)TubocurarineSkeletal muscle relaxantChondodendron tomentosum (curare vine)ValapotriatesSedativeValeriana officinalis (valerian)VasicineCerebral stimulantVinca minor (periwinkle)VinblastineAntitumor, Antileukemic agentCatharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle)VincristineAntitumor, Antileukemic agentCatharanthus roseus (Madagascar periwinkle)YohimbineAphrodisiacPausinystalia yohimbe (yohimbe)YuanhuacineAbortifacientDaphne genkwa (lilac)YuanhuadineAbortifacientDaphne genkwa (lilac)
 
2013-06-18 01:06:26 PM  
I'm tired of all the advertising that "alternative medicines" are able to do without having to prove that their product actually does anything.  Big Pharma sucks, but at least they generally have to prove effectiveness.
 
2013-06-18 01:07:20 PM  

mrlewish: You get a very large percentage of your drugs from plants and herbs.


Indeed.  No one is saying that "alternative therapies" have no effect.

The problem is that it's impossible to say what kind of physiological effect they have, whether beneficial, harmful, both, or negligble - until they've gone through proper, rigorous, and controlled scientific studies.  The same intensive scrutiny that traditional drugs go through.

Of course, if they did rigorous studies of these herbal remedies, identify the active compound, put it through safety and efficacy studies, determine proper dosing, conduct clinical trials, and find some to be safe and effective - it would no longer be "alternative medicine."  It would be "mainstream medicine."
 
2013-06-18 01:09:08 PM  

mrlewish: legitimate herbal remedy people


That's not a thing.

mrlewish: You get a very large percentage of your drugs from plants and herbs.


Specifically, you get it in the form of medicine which is a tested and regulated concoction of the effective chemicals from those plants and herbs in a concentration and distribution specifically designed for maximum efficacy. Sometimes also in combination with additional chemicals which can further increase the efficacy or reduce undesirable side effects.

i1.cpcache.com
 
2013-06-18 01:09:50 PM  
I wonder which big pharma company paid for this book.
 
2013-06-18 01:29:25 PM  

Archie Goodwin: Nurglitch: Elixirs and liniments are still cool though, right?

Snake Oil is where it's at.

Guaranteed.


to do nothing


Oil of wintergreen does wonders for relieving muscle pains
Eating hot peppers will relieve nasal congestion
A strong hot toddy, a hot shower and an electric blanket (aka self induced fever) will whip a cold's ass
Clove oil will numb a toothache right now.  It works on minor cuts and burns too

Yeah, snake oil.
 
2013-06-18 01:36:22 PM  
Meh, if people are stupid enough to trust placebos and snake oil peddlers, let them die.
 
2013-06-18 01:37:27 PM  

Slaxl: Pontious Pilates: EatHam: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.

I wonder what they're counting there.  I mean, does giving a kid some ginger ale for an upset stomach or a popsicle for a sore throat count?

I bet that counts reasonable, commonly-accepted treatments like a zinc lozenge when you feel a cold coming on, or a drill for when you need to drain the evil spirits out of your head.

Hang on, is zinc "alternative"? I was sneezing like a foo' the other day so went to the pharmacist to get some antihistamines, they also recommended I get some vitamin c with zinc pills to help stave off a cold. I'd be most perturbed if it turned out that zinc hasn't been proven to have any effect, and they just sell it because alternative medicines have become so popular it's commonly-accepted without proof. When a pharmacist recommends something it had better been proven to work.


Vitamin C does nothing.  Zinc might do a little (Singh M, Das RR. (2011). "Zinc for the common cold". In Singh, Meenu. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2 (2): CD001364. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub3. PMID 21328251. )
 
2013-06-18 01:39:54 PM  
dragonchild:  Big Pharma has also paid out numerous settlements because they knew their products didn't work AND killed people and bribed the FDA to approve it anyway.

[Citation Needed]
 
2013-06-18 01:42:16 PM  

deanis: What alternative medicine in my house looks like


Well, if you're dumb enough to water down very expensive gin, then you must be dumb enough to believe every snake oil purveyor you meet.
 
2013-06-18 01:46:40 PM  
I know a guy who has spent the last 6 months trying to treat his wife's MS and arthritis with alternative diets and "medicine."  He's finally allowing her to take the medications the doctors have been trying to put her on that he's refused.

So, this crap doesn't surprise me at all.
 
2013-06-18 01:50:33 PM  

Doc Daneeka: Still, doesn't anyone find it bizarre that a store who's main purpose is to sell medicines to make people well, also sells tobacco and junk food?


Yes.  It was one of the eye openers in the 'docurama' "Sicko" (which I know, as which most of his stuff, was biased to hell and back).  In the US pharmacies sell washing powder and chocolate bars... now I could understand if it was medicated washing powder and such (with addatives or ingredients removed to help with dermatalogical conditions) but Daz and Persil.  Very weird.

I did like the response from the Pharmacist though:  I didn't go to medical school for 8 years to sell you washing powder.
 
2013-06-18 01:51:11 PM  
Tim Minchin's Storm seems appropriate:

http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U
 
2013-06-18 01:55:12 PM  
"Medicine" is what works, based on evidence and science. If it doesn't work, it's not medicine. When viewed in that light, "alternative medicine" pretty much means "doesn't work." An alternative to "what works" is a pretty boneheaded approach if a person is ill.

As a side note, homeopathy may be one of the dumbest thing I've ever heard of people believing in.
 
2013-06-18 02:04:35 PM  

DeArmondVI: "Medicine" is what works, based on evidence and science. If it doesn't work, it's not medicine. When viewed in that light, "alternative medicine" pretty much means "doesn't work." An alternative to "what works" is a pretty boneheaded approach if a person is ill.

As a side note, homeopathy may be one of the dumbest thing I've ever heard of people believing in.


I know I could make a decent amount of change if I sold homeopathic remedies around here.

Except I'd get in trouble with the Homeopath's certification and the licensing board of the state.

First step to getting rid of homeopathy is to get the states to stop recognizing it and classifying it with doctors and nurses.
 
2013-06-18 02:11:39 PM  

Vaneshi: Doc Daneeka: Still, doesn't anyone find it bizarre that a store who's main purpose is to sell medicines to make people well, also sells tobacco and junk food?

Yes.  It was one of the eye openers in the 'docurama' "Sicko" (which I know, as which most of his stuff, was biased to hell and back).  In the US pharmacies sell washing powder and chocolate bars... now I could understand if it was medicated washing powder and such (with addatives or ingredients removed to help with dermatalogical conditions) but Daz and Persil.  Very weird.

I did like the response from the Pharmacist though:  I didn't go to medical school for 8 years to sell you washing powder.



Because if they didn't and were restricted to ONLY pharmaceuticals then somebody nearby would probably be opening someplace to pop in and grab a snack and sundries while you waited  for the pharmacist to fill your order.  You see that's how demand and markets actually work.  If shiat doesn't sell then off to the clearance rack with it, otherwise order some more. It's there because people want it to be.  God forbid you ever see a hospital gift shop.
 
2013-06-18 02:20:32 PM  

deanis: [encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com image 275x183]

What alternative medicine in my house looks like


Fights heart disease, malaria, and scurvy.  Nothing wrong with that.
 
2013-06-18 02:22:12 PM  

lilbjorn: I wonder which big pharma company paid for this book.


Well, certainly not the ones who are producing your herbal remedies.  Which is most of them.
 
2013-06-18 02:22:48 PM  

question_dj: I know a guy who has spent the last 6 months trying to treat his wife's MS and arthritis with alternative diets and "medicine."  He's finally allowing her to take the medications the doctors have been trying to put her on that he's refused.


Without knowing this guy's story personally, I can't make a real judgement call on his behavior. If the alt. diet & 'medicine' consisted of veggies/vitamins he was going to buy at the grocery store anyway - and if the prescribed medications were going to cost more than his mortgage/electric/car payment - can you really fault someone for trying less expensive 'alternative medicine' in that case?
 
2013-06-18 02:24:54 PM  

jack21221: Tim Minchin's Storm seems appropriate:

http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U


meat0918: DeArmondVI: "Medicine" is what works, based on evidence and science. If it doesn't work, it's not medicine. When viewed in that light, "alternative medicine" pretty much means "doesn't work." An alternative to "what works" is a pretty boneheaded approach if a person is ill.

As a side note, homeopathy may be one of the dumbest thing I've ever heard of people believing in.

I know I could make a decent amount of change if I sold homeopathic remedies around here.

Except I'd get in trouble with the Homeopath's certification and the licensing board of the state.

First step to getting rid of homeopathy is to get the states to stop recognizing it and classifying it with doctors and nurses.


Wait, how do you license a homeopath?
 
2013-06-18 02:25:15 PM  

Intrepid00: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.

A lot of is probably stupid people going to a chiropractor and detox bullshiat.


I wonder if it includes people that self medicate with OTC vitamin supplements? (as opposed to when advised due to a measured/expected deficiency by a doctor ro whatever)
 
2013-06-18 02:26:41 PM  

Intrepid00: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.

A lot of is probably stupid people going to a chiropractor and detox bullshiat.


I could see a chiropractor as being useful for short-term relief of back or neck pain.
 
2013-06-18 02:30:48 PM  

Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.


Given that "alternative medicine" = "everything not given to you by an allopathic doctor", that sounds about right.
 
2013-06-18 02:36:41 PM  

DeArmondVI: "Medicine" is what works, based on evidence and science. If it doesn't work, it's not medicine. When viewed in that light, "alternative medicine" pretty much means "doesn't work." An alternative to "what works" is a pretty boneheaded approach if a person is ill.


With all due respect, I've suffered from various health problems since I was a wee lass. I've tried just about every FDA-approved medicine I could reasonably afford - all of it prescribed by licensed physicians - and yet here I am, 35+ years later, with the same damn health problems. In my case, obviously "medicine" doesn't always work.

Until science invents a new procedure or medication, I'm pretty much on my own. I don't automatically put my faith in alternative therapies, but I've got nothing to lose in trying some out at this point.
 
2013-06-18 02:39:06 PM  

meanmutton: jack21221: Tim Minchin's Storm seems appropriate:

http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U

meat0918: DeArmondVI: "Medicine" is what works, based on evidence and science. If it doesn't work, it's not medicine. When viewed in that light, "alternative medicine" pretty much means "doesn't work." An alternative to "what works" is a pretty boneheaded approach if a person is ill.

As a side note, homeopathy may be one of the dumbest thing I've ever heard of people believing in.

I know I could make a decent amount of change if I sold homeopathic remedies around here.

Except I'd get in trouble with the Homeopath's certification and the licensing board of the state.

First step to getting rid of homeopathy is to get the states to stop recognizing it and classifying it with doctors and nurses.

Wait, how do you license a homeopath?


Homeopathy is considered valid medicine under US law and is regulated by the FDA.
 
2013-06-18 02:45:26 PM  
I honestly don't get why people think pharmaceutical companies are out to kill them.

This just in guys: A pharmaceutical company won't make money if they purposefully KILL THEIR CUSTOMERS.

I do believe that the pharmaceutical companies do tend to spend less on research for completely curing diseases rather than alleviating symptoms (again, they don't make money if they eliminate the reason for someone having to purchase their stuff), but they aren't out to kill you.
 
2013-06-18 02:48:13 PM  

efgeise: I honestly don't get why people think pharmaceutical companies are out to kill them.

This just in guys: A pharmaceutical company won't make money if they purposefully KILL THEIR CUSTOMERS.

I do believe that the pharmaceutical companies do tend to spend less on research for completely curing diseases rather than alleviating symptoms (again, they don't make money if they eliminate the reason for someone having to purchase their stuff), but they aren't out to kill you.


That's why we need to change patent law for pharmaceuticals.

Cure a disease = 80 year patent
Maintenance = 12 year patent
 
2013-06-18 03:05:31 PM  
Doctors need to put their feet down about this crap. If you think you know better than medical professionals, stay home and die however seems best.
 
2013-06-18 03:21:48 PM  

Uncontrolled_Jibe: Vaneshi: Doc Daneeka: Still, doesn't anyone find it bizarre that a store who's main purpose is to sell medicines to make people well, also sells tobacco and junk food?

Yes.  It was one of the eye openers in the 'docurama' "Sicko" (which I know, as which most of his stuff, was biased to hell and back).  In the US pharmacies sell washing powder and chocolate bars... now I could understand if it was medicated washing powder and such (with addatives or ingredients removed to help with dermatalogical conditions) but Daz and Persil.  Very weird.

I did like the response from the Pharmacist though:  I didn't go to medical school for 8 years to sell you washing powder.


Because if they didn't and were restricted to ONLY pharmaceuticals then somebody nearby would probably be opening someplace to pop in and grab a snack and sundries while you waited  for the pharmacist to fill your order.  You see that's how demand and markets actually work.  If shiat doesn't sell then off to the clearance rack with it, otherwise order some more. It's there because people want it to be.  God forbid you ever see a hospital gift shop.


Does the hospital gift shop sell cigarettes?

No, of course not.  That's completely at odds with their mission as a hospital.

The same should hold true of pharmacies.
 
2013-06-18 03:24:01 PM  

dragonchild: Actually EatHam's question is extremely important, and your mocking dismissal of it isn't helping. Big Pharma and Alternative Kooks both have agendas to make each other look bad, and whereas I've heard the stories about some kid dying because the parents tried homeopathy instead of taking the kid to the damned ER, Big Pharma has also paid out numerous settlements because they knew their products didn't work AND killed people and bribed the FDA to approve it anyway.



Yes, it's all because of me that Granny's home remedies aren't respected by Big Pharma and their hired poisoners. It's all a part of my diabolical scheme.
I'm going after her homebaked cookies, next.


/mwa-ha-ha
 
2013-06-18 03:26:24 PM  

FrancoFile: efgeise: I honestly don't get why people think pharmaceutical companies are out to kill them.

This just in guys: A pharmaceutical company won't make money if they purposefully KILL THEIR CUSTOMERS.

I do believe that the pharmaceutical companies do tend to spend less on research for completely curing diseases rather than alleviating symptoms (again, they don't make money if they eliminate the reason for someone having to purchase their stuff), but they aren't out to kill you.

That's why we need to change patent law for pharmaceuticals.

Cure a disease = 80 year patent
Maintenance = 12 year patent


The biggest problem is that we've cured the easy things.  We've got all sorts of vaccines, antibiotics, anti-fungals, creams and gels and such for killing parasites, etc.  The things that are left -- cancers and Alzheimer's and genetic diseases and heart disease and organ failure -- are really, really hard to fix and relatively easy to assist.
 
2013-06-18 03:29:54 PM  
www.biography.com

Hey guys, what's going on in this thread?
 
2013-06-18 03:40:42 PM  
Marijuana is the cure!
 
2013-06-18 03:59:30 PM  

efgeise: I honestly don't get why people think pharmaceutical companies are out to kill them.

This just in guys: A pharmaceutical company won't make money if they purposefully KILL THEIR CUSTOMERS.

I do believe that the pharmaceutical companies do tend to spend less on research for completely curing diseases rather than alleviating symptoms (again, they don't make money if they eliminate the reason for someone having to purchase their stuff), but they aren't out to kill you.


I know this is a popular belief, but its completely ridiculous.  If a pharma came up with a cure for a common and serious disease, they would be all over it.  It would give them a huge competitive advantage.

The reason why cures are rare is that a lot of human diseases (cancers, degenerative diseases, auto-immune diseases, etc.) are farking complicated and much of the underlying biology is still being worked out.
 
2013-06-18 04:02:52 PM  
PainInTheASP [TotalFark]
2013-06-18 09:50:41 AM


Let's see here, vaccines don't work, but this stuff does. They won't listen to their doctor's advice, but they have no problem believing a schook with a bottle of water and pocket of crystals. And they won't go to a specialist for the migranes that they've been having, but they think that they'll add ten years to their life by sleeping on a magnet pillow.

Well why would they trust doctors? The left has been preaching that those evil men are in it just to get rich and sell prescriptions.
 
2013-06-18 04:08:39 PM  
Meh. This is a problem that solves itself.

upload.wikimedia.org

/a mercury enema will cure all your ills
//forever
 
2013-06-18 04:21:19 PM  

FarkinHostile: One of the two was brilliant. Regardless, 38,329 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2010. How many died from wearing quartz? Zero.


32,000 died from car accidents:  http://www.nhtsa.gov/PR/NHTSA-05-11

I guess we should all stop driving because some people die, right?  Since that's apparently the only metric of efficacy.  And if you want to split hairs, tons of people die from wearing quartz.  Not because it kills them directly, but because by putting their faith in stupid superstitious they allow themselves to die from preventable causes.  Even someone as brilliant as Steve Jobs.  

Big Pharma is not some innocent victim just doing good while being lied about by hippies as implied by the poster I responded to. Not by a long shot. That was my point. Knowing how much damage pharmaceuticals can do, it's not crazy to seek other treatments first before running to farking pills, even if it's just something triggering the placebo effect.  It least that wont cause your kidneys to shut down, or suffocate in your sleep.

Big Pharma is a Big Business, like all other businesses.  No, they don't care about you the consumer.  Nor does any other business.  But there's no money in killing one's customers.  When you consider how many billions of prescriptions there are each year, 30,000 deaths is trivial.  Especially since most of those deaths are from abuse and misuse, not from legitimate reactions to the regiment.  But by all means, let's ignore reality and focus on irrelevant statistics to be scary.
 
2013-06-18 04:26:10 PM  

DeArmondVI: "Medicine" is what works, based on evidence and science. If it doesn't work, it's not medicine. When viewed in that light, "alternative medicine" pretty much means "doesn't work." An alternative to "what works" is a pretty boneheaded approach if a person is ill.

As a side note, homeopathy may be one of the dumbest thing I've ever heard of people believing in.


That's not the case in every situation.  As mentioned above, the neti pot is considered alternative medicine, but it "works" for some things.  It's not usually the best treatment, so doctors usually don't prescribe it first, but it's harmless when done correctly so if a patient brings it up, doctors can discuss it as a secondary option.  And it's even been recommended as an adjunctive treatment in at least one peer reviewed journal.
 
2013-06-18 04:53:59 PM  
My mother is in her mid-80's, and has her problems. But she watches this Dr. Oz guy all the time on daytime TV, and when ever I have seen her over the last year or so, he inevitably gets a mention ("Dr. Oz says...").

She had to see her primary care doctor a  month ago for something and asked him, "have you ever heard of Dr. Oz?", to which he grumbled "I wish I never had..."
 
2013-06-18 05:13:28 PM  

meanmutton: Slaxl: Pontious Pilates: EatHam: Sybarite: About 50% of Americans use alternative medicine

I really want to be surprised that the number is that high, but I'm kind of not.

I wonder what they're counting there.  I mean, does giving a kid some ginger ale for an upset stomach or a popsicle for a sore throat count?

I bet that counts reasonable, commonly-accepted treatments like a zinc lozenge when you feel a cold coming on, or a drill for when you need to drain the evil spirits out of your head.

Hang on, is zinc "alternative"? I was sneezing like a foo' the other day so went to the pharmacist to get some antihistamines, they also recommended I get some vitamin c with zinc pills to help stave off a cold. I'd be most perturbed if it turned out that zinc hasn't been proven to have any effect, and they just sell it because alternative medicines have become so popular it's commonly-accepted without proof. When a pharmacist recommends something it had better been proven to work.

Vitamin C does nothing.  Zinc might do a little (Singh M, Das RR. (2011). "Zinc for the common cold". In Singh, Meenu. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2 (2): CD001364. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001364.pub3. PMID 21328251. )


Good stuff, I came here thinking Vitamin C was the proven and Zinc was the untested thing, and I learn it's the opposite... Actually, I say "learn", I'm slightly drunk now, so I didn't read anything, and I might not remember in the morning anyway. So you could have posted a link to Sesame Street and I'd nod my head and say "yes, proof indeed!"
 
2013-06-18 05:25:36 PM  

meanmutton: jack21221: Tim Minchin's Storm seems appropriate:

http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U

meat0918: DeArmondVI: "Medicine" is what works, based on evidence and science. If it doesn't work, it's not medicine. When viewed in that light, "alternative medicine" pretty much means "doesn't work." An alternative to "what works" is a pretty boneheaded approach if a person is ill.

As a side note, homeopathy may be one of the dumbest thing I've ever heard of people believing in.

I know I could make a decent amount of change if I sold homeopathic remedies around here.

Except I'd get in trouble with the Homeopath's certification and the licensing board of the state.

First step to getting rid of homeopathy is to get the states to stop recognizing it and classifying it with doctors and nurses.

Wait, how do you license a homeopath?


Not sure, but I think it has something to do with whether you are a top or a bottom.
 
2013-06-18 05:51:18 PM  

StandsWithAFist: question_dj: I know a guy who has spent the last 6 months trying to treat his wife's MS and arthritis with alternative diets and "medicine."  He's finally allowing her to take the medications the doctors have been trying to put her on that he's refused.

Without knowing this guy's story personally, I can't make a real judgement call on his behavior. If the alt. diet & 'medicine' consisted of veggies/vitamins he was going to buy at the grocery store anyway - and if the prescribed medications were going to cost more than his mortgage/electric/car payment - can you really fault someone for trying less expensive 'alternative medicine' in that case?


It's based from a complete and total distrust of medical science.  In his mind, since diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and MS don't have cures and their causes aren't fully understood,  that means that the pharmaceutical corporations are lying, and keeping people sick on purpose.  He tried to tell me that it was "toxins" and "leaky gut" that was causing the arthritis, not a genetic deficiency. It seems he's read things on the internet and is trying to dictate to his wife's physician, what drugs the physician should be prescribing, now that he's exhausted his leaky gut hypothesis.  But he rejects anything that the specialists tell him and his wife, and thinks that they should treat her in the way he demands.  It's bizarre.
 
2013-06-18 06:21:24 PM  
ecx.images-amazon.com

Proven effective at lightening you wallet.
Unfortunately, stupidity may not have a cure.
 
2013-06-18 07:57:55 PM  
We don't need MSM lamestream medicine when we have good old-fashioned down-home sense and ancient Chinese secrets and Indian burial grounds.
 
2013-06-18 09:34:05 PM  

Uncle Tractor: Meh. This is a problem that solves itself.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 478x599]

/a mercury enema will cure all your ills
//forever


Actually, some people did an evolutionary analysis awhile back and found that Darwin is precisely the reason it perpetuates.  People who are sick and use alternative treatments stay sick longer, so they end up telling more people about their treatment.
 
2013-06-19 03:38:55 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: Archie Goodwin: Nurglitch: Elixirs and liniments are still cool though, right?

Snake Oil is where it's at.

Guaranteed.


to do nothing

Oil of wintergreen does wonders for relieving muscle pains
Eating hot peppers will relieve nasal congestion
A strong hot toddy, a hot shower and an electric blanket (aka self induced fever) will whip a cold's ass
Clove oil will numb a toothache right now.  It works on minor cuts and burns too

Yeah, snake oil.


snake oil
noun - informal
a substance with no real medicinal value sold as a remedy for all diseases

sarcasm
noun
the use of irony to mock or convey contempt - see Fark

All of your examples actually do something, therefore are not snake oil.
 
2013-06-19 06:27:02 AM  

Slaxl: Hang on, is zinc "alternative"?


Not really, no.  Zinc inhibits the proper protein folding (or replication, I cant remember exactly) in Rhinoviruses (the kind that cause the common cold).  SCIENCE!!!
 
2013-06-19 03:04:27 PM  

skozlaw: FarkinHostile: 38,329 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2010

Awwwww, that's cute. You mingled illicit and prescription drugs in the same statistics. How wonderfully dishonest of you.


I consider myself a fan of yours, but I'd like to point out that over 60% of those overdoses were from prescription, not illicit drugs.  He made the point poorly, but I believe the point still stands.

Mrs. Ajax is an MD and can also walk through a park and point out what plants you can use to treat what minor ailments.  Not cancer, not broken bones, not organ failure, but the common everyday OTC ailments we are used to grabbing a pill for.  I think there is plenty of room for development of prescription drugs from observing natural phenomena (see the previous post re: willow bark tea) but we shouldn't dismiss out of hand folks that prefer to make their own OTC variants out of herbs and whatnot.  The problem is, the folks doing this get lumped in with the crystal/magnets/trulybatshiat folks because they are outside what has become the mainstream.  There's room for both once profit is taken out and advancing our understanding of the world and our own bodies is put back in the drivers seat.  Right now, you end up with the AMA suing the chiropracters because the AMA wants a monopoly on deciding what is "medicine"
 and what isn't.
 
2013-06-19 03:50:52 PM  
For those wishing to form your own opinion on the efficacy and safety of vaccines, start with Neil Z. Miller's research.
 
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