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(USA Today)   New book raises alarms about alternative medicine, makes anti-vaxxers seem sane   ( ) divider line
    More: Scary, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Paul Offit, Arthur Caplan, Langone Medical Center, Deepak Chopra, Lyme, herbalism, shopping bags  
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3806 clicks; posted to Geek » on 18 Jun 2013 at 10:01 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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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: 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

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.

[ image 478x599]

/a mercury enema will cure all your ills

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.


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

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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