Medical quackery upsets me very, very much

Ulairi wrote:

Can we throw Chinese medicine believers under this bus too? It's bullsh*t.

I hats when folks (in particular hippie white folks) make a distinction between "western" and "eastern" medicine like they are equivalent disciplines separated only by geography and history. Whenever I encounter that I respond with the correction "evidence based" and "superstitious " medicine.

Paleocon wrote:
Ulairi wrote:

Can we throw Chinese medicine believers under this bus too? It's bullsh*t.

I hats when folks (in particular hippie white folks) make a distinction between "western" and "eastern" medicine like they are equivalent disciplines separated only by geography and history. Whenever I encounter that I respond with the correction "evidence based" and "superstitious " medicine.

Yup. No one actually checks out the history; specifically that most of 'Chinese' medicine was codified under Maoist China, and had big-ass 'only use this if we can't afford proven medicines since we're completely bankrupt as a nation' stipulations which were cut out of the woo-tastic 60s translations.

Well there was a Chinese herbal lozenge to stop smoking that was sold over the web, and on ebay. It actually also had ground up Chantix in it that the buyer was never told of. Here is the thing about Chantix, because my dad took it to stop smoking. If you take Chantix while at the same time using a gum, or a patch, or still smoking, it can stop your heart. A patient proscribed Chantix has to sign a form stating that they will not take any other nicotine products while on the pill.

In short. Why are you buying drugs from a country where you would not drink the tap water?

KingGorilla wrote:

Well there was a Chinese herbal lozenge to stop smoking that was sold over the web, and on ebay. It actually also had ground up Chantix in it that the buyer was never told of. Here is the thing about Chantix, because my dad took it to stop smoking. If you take Chantix while at the same time using a gum, or a patch, or still smoking, it can stop your heart. A patient proscribed Chantix has to sign a form stating that they will not take any other nicotine products while on the pill.

In short. Why are you buying drugs from a country where you would not drink the tap water?

Pretty much.

Oddly enough, the folks I find championing the whole "alternative medicine" stuff tend to be a weird cocktail of newage (rhymes with "sewage") hippies and paranoid, antigovernment libertarians (i.e.: gun hording anarchists). The former are generally motivated out of some kind of anachronistic belief that pre-modern peoples lived to 120 and never suffered from an ailment until the Age of Enlightenment. The latter are generally motivated by odd conspiracies that the "gubmint" is interfering with the market for safe and effective cures like radium rejuvenators.

Needless to say, sending them to Third World backwaters where government is either toothless and/or disinterested in public drug safety may neatly apply to both parties.

There's a third type of person - people with conditions that are resistant to proper medicine. Not just terminal people either; think chronic conditions with some sort of debility involved. Those people will try just about anything in the hopes it will do something.

I run into this with my mother all the time. She's been a diabetic her whole life, has arthritis, and the usual list of stuff you'd expect a 65 year old to be dealing with, and her cancer. The list of half-baked nonsense she's been duped into thinking might help her various troubles has been long and illustrious over the years.

She'll try just about anything she can afford, and keeps excusing stuff that didn't work as not working because she started taking it so late and the damage was already done, which is a lovely, toxic blend of horsesh*t she's had fed to her by quacks and their apologists, denial, and guilt because she blames herself for my problems. (On an ancillary note, never underestimate the lengths someone who spent most of their life in a violent abusive relationship to blame themselves for stuff.) Now that I've been diagnosed with the diabetes it's even worse, because she's forever insisting I start using some snake-oil or other now, so it will work for me like it couldn't for her.

"No, Mom, I'm not going to start huffing clary sage and no, it's not because I used to be a Mormon. It's because it smells like feet and doesn't really do anything." True conversation. :eyeroll:

Right now she's on an arnica kick for neurapathy (hers and mine), and I spent about an hour last time she called me fending that off. Only thing that got me off that one was in the end she didn't really know if I should eat it or smear it on me someplace. I'm sure once she consults whatever mountebank hit her with this notion and figures that out I'm sure she'll be back on that.

I've been guilty of it myself over the years. Years ago I bought one of those piezo-electric devices where you zap yourself with a little pen-like thing that where you hurt. I convinced myself it helped for over a year. And maybe it did, in the sense that since I thought it helped I powered through some stuff that I might not have otherwise. But it doesn't really do jack.

Telling someone to just "look stuff up" isn't as helpful as you would hope, even with the whole Internet to call on. On top of the way the quacks game the search engines and get people to repeat their garbage in more reputable-looking publications, educating yourself without a lot of other supporting knowledge is really difficult. That's how they get you.

To use my own idiocy for an example, electroanalgesia is a real thing, so if you look stuff up it can sound really good if you've been told to suck it up and deal by your doctor (true story). But it's not particularly useful at the extremely low voltage/amps generated by the device they'll sell publicly and not applied that way. It's very difficult to understand that if you didn't really understand the measurements for electrical current, how your body transmits micro-voltage, or the fact that electricity from hitting a quartz crystal is identical to a current of the same wattage/amperage from a battery.

That is what hits me hardest in the tearducts, momgamer. I was truly upset when I first heard about the Miracle Mineral Solution treatment for Crohn's, childhood leukemia, HIV/A[IDS and Herpes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYXu5...

Miracle Mineral Solution is what we know of as sodium chlorite-a mild bleaching agent, and oxidizing agent. Some of it is actually just bleach.

Acupuncture is fairly harmless when sterilized needles and gloves are used. Drinking bleach is just about never safe. I even tell people not to use this method of water sterilization when camping, because if you mess up the mix you are in a world of hurt-it is tough to mess up boiling vigorously for 5 minutes.

KingGorilla wrote:

That is what hits me hardest in the tearducts, momgamer. I was truly upset when I first heard about the Miracle Mineral Solution treatment for Crohn's, childhood leukemia, HIV/A[IDS and Herpes.

The FDA has also publish a warning about the Miracle Mineral Solution:

The product instructs consumers to mix the 28 percent sodium chlorite solution with an acid such as citrus juice. This mixture produces chlorine dioxide, a potent bleach used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment. High oral doses of this bleach, such as those recommended in the labeling, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration.
KingGorilla wrote:

Acupuncture is fairly harmless when sterilized needles and gloves are used.

Unfortunately, not everyone in the "alternative medicine" crowd actually accepts in the germ theory of disease. And getting poked with needles does carry some risk, such as the risk of getting a collapsed lung or even getting nerve damage, if the needle is inserted in the wrong place or inserted too deeply, which has happened. See for instance this study:

Acupuncture is frequently employed to treat chronic pain syndromes or other chronic conditions. Nevertheless, there is a growing literature on adverse events (AEs) from treatments including pneumothorax, cardiac tamponade and spinal cord injury

There are certainly safer forms of placebo!

Speaking of Placebos.
Radio Lab recently re-aired this one.

It goes into placebos, witch doctors, and faith healers.

I don't know if its a placebo, but the Pentagon found that it's effective in treating PTSD this year and is now covering it on soldier's insurance.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/art...
http://nccam.nih.gov/health/acupuncture

Full disclosure: I've never used acupuncture.

KingGorilla wrote:

That is what hits me hardest in the tearducts, momgamer. I was truly upset when I first heard about the Miracle Mineral Solution treatment for Crohn's, childhood leukemia, HIV/A[IDS and Herpes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYXu5...

Miracle Mineral Solution is what we know of as sodium chlorite-a mild bleaching agent, and oxidizing agent. Some of it is actually just bleach.

Acupuncture is fairly harmless when sterilized needles and gloves are used. Drinking bleach is just about never safe. I even tell people not to use this method of water sterilization when camping, because if you mess up the mix you are in a world of hurt-it is tough to mess up boiling vigorously for any amount of time.

ftfy

I dunno, sometimes when I hit the six-minute mark on boiling, I get all confused and don't know whether I'm supposed to throw the salt over my left shoulder first, or start boiling the eye of newt.

Exzyleph wrote:

cardiac tamponade

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IMAGE(http://heartoftheschool.edublogs.org/files/2010/09/beating_heart.gif)

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IMAGE(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Bkd5Kn74Qy8/Tl6zU2XFQJI/AAAAAAAAABw/Gbjc7P-DFQs/s1600/cl-3m_tampon.jpg)

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Can I revive this thread to talk about the pamphlet I got yesterday about the hidden dangers of the flu vaccine?

By all means!

Everytime I get a flu vaccination, I get a bad cold. Thus, I don't get the vaccination, as I have the ability to do things like wash my damn hands and not greet everyone I meet with a handshake that is immediately followed by me licking the hand and rubbing my eyes. Haven't had the flu in years, and while I do still occasionally get winter colds, there hasn't been anything near the two to three week long colds of the vaccination times.

Demosthenes wrote:

Everytime I get a flu vaccination, I get a bad cold. Thus, I don't get the vaccination, as I have the ability to do things like wash my damn hands and not greet everyone I meet with a handshake that is immediately followed by me licking the hand and rubbing my eyes. Haven't had the flu in years, and while I do still occasionally get winter colds, there hasn't been anything near the two to three week long colds of the vaccination times. :P

Last year was the first time I got a flu vaccination. It was also the first year in which I didn't get sick the whole year. Definitely getting the vaccine again this year.

Demosthenes wrote:

Everytime I get a flu vaccination, I get a bad cold. Thus, I don't get the vaccination, as I have the ability to do things like wash my damn hands and not greet everyone I meet with a handshake that is immediately followed by me licking the hand and rubbing my eyes. Haven't had the flu in years, and while I do still occasionally get winter colds, there hasn't been anything near the two to three week long colds of the vaccination times. :P

I'm the exact opposite. I usually got at least one knock down 2-3 week flu and got annoyingly sick another 2 or 3 times most years for most of my life. I started taking the flu vaccine 4 years ago and not only have I never gotten sick from the vaccine, but I have never had a flu or even anything I would call a cold since.

Someone tweeted this great blog post by science writer Tara Haelle debunking the biggest flu/flu vaccine myths.

It's well written, has links to all the relevant science, and since it was written by a woman it actually convinced one of my crazy relatives to re-think her stance on this and she got her flu shot yesterday. I still fully expect the "see, I feel sick" call, but the answer to that one is in the post as well.

And Demosthenes, you should really read her answer to Myth #21. The flu is an airborne virus; hand washing and your other precautions are not as helpful as you might think.

wordsmythe wrote:

Can I revive this thread to talk about the pamphlet I got yesterday about the hidden dangers of the flu vaccine?

Eh, if you're not in the risk group there's not much point in getting one, IMO. They only immunise (statistically) for the predicted prominent strain - it doesn't stop you from getting the flu anyway but it might reduce symptoms of related strains to the one you were inoculated against.

I suppose one real hidden danger is thinking that it will really protect you from getting any flu strain...

momgamer wrote:

Someone tweeted this great blog post by science writer Tara Haelle debunking the biggest flu/flu vaccine myths.

It's well written, has links to all the relevant science, and since it was written by a woman it actually convinced one of my crazy relatives to re-think her stance on this and she got her flu shot yesterday. I still fully expect the "see, I feel sick" call, but the answer to that one is in the post as well.

And Demosthenes, you should really read her answer to Myth #21. The flu is an airborne virus; hand washing and your other precautions are not as helpful as you might think.

Still ain't gotten the flu! Next you're going to tell me that I should vaccinate my kids because there's no chance they'll get autism.

NOTE: VACCINATE YOUR D*MN KIDS!

While I recognize that I'm probably just lucky, and likely my much greater personal hygiene is what has stopped my massive colds... I haven't had a problem since... and frankly, I need more reasons to use my sick days. I never use them, and that is just paid days off flying out the window.

I work with people that work in many school buildings on a daily basis. This is my fifth or sixth year getting the shot. They schedule a day and send the nurses to our offices now, but the shot is still optional. This year we had an additional whooping cough/tetanus/some other nastiness shot option, but I didn't take it. I hate needles. Hate isn't really strong enough but it will do. I suffer the flu shot. As much as I hate needles, Influenza is terrifying. I'd rather roll the dice on the vaccine having the right combo of strains than trying my odds at not running into infected people.

Edited in some clarification.

Duoae wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Can I revive this thread to talk about the pamphlet I got yesterday about the hidden dangers of the flu vaccine?

Eh, if you're not in the risk group there's not much point in getting one, IMO. They only immunise (statistically) for the predicted prominent strain - it doesn't stop you from getting the flu anyway but it might reduce symptoms of related strains to the one you were inoculated against.

I suppose one real hidden danger is thinking that it will really protect you from getting any flu strain...

I disagree, especially since the flu shot is not 100% effective. Your statistically improved immunity reduces the likelihood of exposing people who are in the risk group to the flu thus improving their chances of avoiding getting sick. You're not just getting vaccinated for yourself, but for everyone else around you.

imbiginjapan wrote:

I disagree, especially since the flu shot is not 100% effective. Your statistically improved immunity reduces the likelihood of exposing people who are in the risk group to the flu thus improving their chances of avoiding getting sick. You're not just getting vaccinated for yourself, but for everyone else around you.

I work at a hospital, and every year the flu shot drive is a HUGE effort to get all the employees vaccinated. It's not so much for our own benefit, but for the benefit of reducing patient exposure to the virus. I'm 100% in support of that.

momgamer wrote:

Someone tweeted this great blog post by science writer Tara Haelle debunking the biggest flu/flu vaccine myths.

Thank you for that link. I live in a community with a pretty strong group of moms against vaccines, and last flu season I got into it with them. I've been wondering how to approach it this year and that gives me a good start.

I've never had a flu shot, but if I were required for a job in a hospital or something similar to have one, I'd go get it. I used to have to get TB skin tests pretty regularly for a volunteer position at a shelter.

What I personally despise are cleanses.

I have friends who do cleanses all the time based on self-diagnosed allergies/ailments and, more recently, a self-diagnosed candida infection. And there's no method to this madness because one of the friends in particular says she has temporary allergies that will be cured when she cures herself of the candida infection she knows she has. She's been on cleanses for months at a time and cuts out everything but home-made coconut milk yoghurt and then wonders why every other food makes her feel barfy/bloated/constipated/gassy etc.

I suppose I ought to be grateful that she's not doing the "sh*t-spackle" cleanse. This one requires you to take pills that actually cause the rubbery poo that is supposedly the poo that's been clinging to your insides for years and years. So you pay money to cause the issue that you're supposedly paying money to cure.

What?

So I just linked that article on my newspaper's Facebook discussion page (which gets a lot of activity). First response:

"No flu vaccines for our family. There are just as many spurious articles in favor of vaccines as there are against. It really is a personal choice." (smiley face hers)

Edit - Oops, second response:

"No flu vaccines for our family either. Agreed, it is a personal choice. This article just angers me, because these aren't true facts, just one's opinion. I hope people do some serious research before they choose whether or not the flu shot is right for their family."

I just don't know how to reach these people and it bugs the sh*t out of me.

Demosthenes wrote:
momgamer wrote:

Someone tweeted this great blog post by science writer Tara Haelle debunking the biggest flu/flu vaccine myths.

It's well written, has links to all the relevant science, and since it was written by a woman it actually convinced one of my crazy relatives to re-think her stance on this and she got her flu shot yesterday. I still fully expect the "see, I feel sick" call, but the answer to that one is in the post as well.

And Demosthenes, you should really read her answer to Myth #21. The flu is an airborne virus; hand washing and your other precautions are not as helpful as you might think.

Still ain't gotten the flu! Next you're going to tell me that I should vaccinate my kids because there's no chance they'll get autism.

NOTE: VACCINATE YOUR D*MN KIDS!

While I recognize that I'm probably just lucky, and likely my much greater personal hygiene is what has stopped my massive colds... I haven't had a problem since... and frankly, I need more reasons to use my sick days. I never use them, and that is just paid days off flying out the window. :D

I like to call using sick days when I'm not actually sick "mental health days," also known as "sick-of-working" days.

Farscry, I'm totally with you. Quackery (especially anti-vax) infuriates me. Throughout my life, I've been around a number of hippie-minded folks, so I've heard things, and tried things, and kept an open mind where I can. I have been rushed to the ER once after a reaction to some home-made herbal hair tonic. I went into anaphylactic shock, and if not for the first responders with their oxygen masks, I don't know if I would have made it. The herbalist's response? "Oh, uhh. Sorry. You must have had an unknown allergy."

I know I've mentioned my experiences with a chiropractor quack. Chiropractic alone is something I can support for legitimate back and spinal problems, but she went on to hit Quackwatch Bingo with everything else she pushed. Her colleague informed me after I'd recently had a skin biopsy done that I 'didn't have cancer' (I really did), and that I should try curing a horrible sinus infection by sticking silver nitrate up my nose.

My main chiropractor's last visit with me was after my cancer surgery, when she told me that the sun doesn't cause skin cancer, and that sunblock is just Big Pharma nonsense made to make a buck. She proudly boasted that she never puts it on her kids. She was anti-vax, even leaving pamphlets about it lying around the office. ...I found out a couple of years ago that she was diagnosed with breast cancer. :/ I still feel bad for her.

I've had self-proclaimed 'healers' tell me I could will breast cysts away. And I was told that I could fix my messed-up reproductive organs with a vegan diet. Armchair doctors told me I was a fool to have the surgery done. I was deteriorating, and in so much pain, over so much time every month I couldn't hardly breathe. Post-surgery? Pain free for the first time in over 20 years.

I have no patience for quackery. None. It's one of the few things I'll come out of the quiet about. ^^;

Mimble wrote:

I've never had a flu shot, but if I were required for a job in a hospital or something similar to have one, I'd go get it. I used to have to get TB skin tests pretty regularly for a volunteer position at a shelter.

What I personally despise are cleanses.

I have friends who do cleanses all the time based on self-diagnosed allergies/ailments and, more recently, a self-diagnosed candida infection. And there's no method to this madness because one of the friends in particular says she has temporary allergies that will be cured when she cures herself of the candida infection she knows she has. She's been on cleanses for months at a time and cuts out everything but home-made coconut milk yoghurt and then wonders why every other food makes her feel barfy/bloated/constipated/gassy etc.

I suppose I ought to be grateful that she's not doing the "sh*t-spackle" cleanse. This one requires you to take pills that actually cause the rubbery poo that is supposedly the poo that's been clinging to your insides for years and years. So you pay money to cause the issue that you're supposedly paying money to cure.

What?

I swear, Vancouver has an over abundance of people like this. I know two different people that say the exact same thing as your friend. Does one of them run a day care? :p

Just asked my wife about vaccinations in Japan. From her perspective, everyone gets them yearly and there is no weird push back.

Personally, I can't remember the last time I had a vaccination. That's completely out of laziness and being a single male. Now that I'm married, planning to start a family, and moving to Vancouver, I'll start getting vaccinated.