JUL
31
0

More Metastasis of Pseudo-Medicine

Oregon has a problem with prescription pain pills .  Oregon leads the nation in the abuse of such drugs, federal statistics show, with the state's rate of prescription drug abuse 39 percent higher than the national average. Why that is, I do not know. As an Infectious Disease doctor I prescribe a narcotic about once a year. There are a real pr...
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4920 Hits
JUN
16
0

Points of Interest 06/15/2015

Should I go to naturopathic school? and The Morality of Practicing Medicine. More must reads from the Naturopathic Diaries.

Surgical treatment of cervical disc protrusion causing intracranial hypotension following chiropractic manipulation. We describe a woman with intracranial hypotension provoked by a combination of calcified disc protrusion and chiropractic manipulation who required surgical intervention for definitive treatment. Intracranial hypotension is a rare but increasingly well recognized cause of orthostatic headache that arises due to spinal cerebrospinal fluid leakage from meningeal diverticula or dural perforations.

Not-a-doctor Clement in Ireland pushing treatment that cures “every known disease”

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3921 Hits
JUN
07
0

Chiropractors down 1-9 in bottom of the ninth

The 2015 legislative sessions have ended in many states and others are drawing to a close in June. (Some legislative sessions are longer and a legislatures meet year-round, but we're not concerned about those here.) Chiropractors, as is usual, had a number of practice expansion and other favorable bills introduced across the country. So far, nine didn't pass and one remains pending, but only by the skin of its teeth. One bill unfavorable to practice expansion didn't pass, giving chiropractors their sole victory for this season. 

First, the win: In a rare pushback against chiropractic scope expansion, a bill was introduced in Idaho repealing a rule of the state Board of Chiropractic Examiners allowing chiropractors to prescribe, sell and compound vitamins, minerals, herbal medicines, homeopathic remedies and glandulars. In case you aren't familiar with glandulars, they are made from animal organs sourced in slaughterhouses and are prescribed by naturopaths and chiropractors for fake diseases, such a "adrenal fatigue," and other uses. In addition to the gigantic "ickiness" factor, they are unsafe and pose a risk of contracting "mad cow" disease. Unfortunately, the bill didn't pass.

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3833 Hits
APR
19

Chiropractors managing herpes?

The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) periodically conducts a survey of chiropractors to see what they do in their practices. The NBCE's Practice Analysis of Chiropractic 2015 is out now and provides an intriguing inside look at this insular group of health care practitioners. The survey certainly deserves more than one look, but I provide some initial observations here.

First, the Analysis is not good news for the group of chiropractors trying to rebrand themselves as primary care physicians.  In actual practice, they hardly ever see the diseases and conditions the average MD or DO PCP would diagnose and refer or treat. For example, asthma, COPD, respiratory infections, colitis, ulcers, UTIs, angina, thyroid disorders, anemia, menopausal issues, and ENT disorders were seen once or twice a year, and in some cases not even that frequently.

Yet, with a hubris that far exceeds their actual experience with these problems, they reported in many cases that they "co-managed" these issues with other health care professionals. Chiropractors virtually never saw a case of appendicitis, yet reported that they co-managed 21% of these cases and managed 5.1% by themselves. (Surely that is a statistical anomaly and a chiropractor didn't actually manage a case of appendicitis!) They saw less than 1 case per year of herpes simplex or herpes zoster, but co-managed almost half of the cases.

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Recent Comments
Guest — HerpesFish
Does Chiropractors really manage herpes?
Monday, 20 April 2015 03:54
Alex
Greetings to the general public, i want to inform the public how i was cured of HERPES Simplex Virus by a Doctor called Osas. i v... Read More
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 23:29
10933 Hits
APR
17
9

Chiropractic, Sex and Exorcisms

I have numerous Google alerts covering a variety of topics so I can have content pushed to me every day rather than having to search for it. The 'Chiropractic' alert rarely has any content of interest. It is mostly advertisements for chiropractic services or infomercials. Unlike the other pseudo-medicine alerts, there is little science in the feeds.

And unlike the other pseudo-medicine alerts, there are occasionally reports of various disciplinary actions against chiropractors. I do not report these in the Points of Interest, as I figure that there are dirt balls who will take advantage of patients, both financially or otherwise, in all fields.

But this one caught my eye: Iowa chiropractor admits exorcisms and bartering sex for treatment of patients. It wasn't the sex I found odd, but exorcisms.

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Recent Comments
John Reed
I follow and appreciate this blog regularly, but would be more apt to share it with others if you used more care in proofreading y... Read More
Saturday, 18 April 2015 16:00
Mark A Crislip
I would not have noticed that error in a 1000 years. I have written well over a million words in the last 8 years on various bl... Read More
Saturday, 18 April 2015 22:40
Guest — Guest
The April 17 entry is misspelled "Points of Inerest" A spellchecker should've caught that one. Also, your nickname "sbmsdictator" ... Read More
Tuesday, 21 April 2015 01:58
8654 Hits
APR
05
0

Naturopaths de-licensed in Idaho, practice expansion nixed in North Dakota

April 2 was a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day for naturopaths, only without the heart-warming ending.

First, not only did an expansive licensing bill fail to pass in Idaho, naturopaths were actually de-licensed by the Idaho Legislature.  I suppose the Governor could veto the de-licensing bill, but there are no indications that he will. After all, only 5 of the 100 Idaho naturopaths are actually licensed. 

Idaho first licensed naturopathic "doctors" in 2005.  Because of difficulties that aren't quite clear to me, the licensing statute was never fully implemented. The naturopaths tried to remedy that for several years but failed each time. This year, they came roaring back with an expansive licensing bill.  As always, licensing turned into a bone of contention between the traditional naturopaths and those who have degrees from naturopathic "medical" schools. 

House Bill 181, pretentiously titled "The Naturopathic Medical Physicians Practicing Act," offered an entirely new iteration of the naturopath.  Gone was the usual statutory language defining naturopathy in terms of the "body's self-healing ability," i.e., vitalism.  "Naturopathic medicine" was defined as "a distinct and comprehensive system of primary health care practiced by naturopathic physicians" and "natural health care services" as a "broad domain" including "diagnosis and treatment," but left the content of naturopathic practice largely up to a Board of Naturopathic "Physicians" using the vague standard that the practices permitted by the new law must be "consistent with naturopathic education and training."

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16309 Hits
APR
02
0

Points of Interest 04/01/2015

More States Pass ‘Right to Try’ Laws, But Will These Make a Difference?Forsch Komplementmed. 2015;22(1):30–5. doi: 10.1159/000377644. Epub 2015 Feb 18. How to Handle Worsening of Condition during Treatment - Risk Assessment in Homeopathic Practice.”The concept of ‘homeopathic aggravation’ which is unique for homeopathy may impose a particular risk as it allows the health status of the patients to deteriorate before there is a possible improvement. In that respect it is imperative to distinguish homeopathic aggravations from adverse effects.” They really are delusional.Forsch Komplementmed. 2015;22(1):24–9. doi: 10.1159/000376555. Epub 2015 Feb 19. Mind the gap! Lay and medical perceptions of risks associated with the use of alternative treatment and conventional medicine. “While CAM users considered conventional medicine as potentially risky and related this to experiences of severe adverse effects, CAM was perceived as natural and safe. Doctors’ risk perceptions were quite the contrary, mainly because of lack of scientific evidence for CAM as a safe and beneficial treatment option.”Medical community skeptical about Ontario’s move to regulate homeopathsHow To Avoid Being Fooled By Health Claims: A Few Simple Rules5 Crucial Lessons From The Recent Measles Outbreak
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4410 Hits
MAR
28
3

Florida retracts cease and desist order and fine against Brian Clement

In February, the State of Florida issued an order telling Brian Clement to cease and desist from the unlicensed practice of medicine. It ordered him to pay a fine as well. In March, the State said "never mind!" In an e-mail to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Department of Health said:

"After further review of the investigative materials, it was determined that there is insufficient evidence to pursue further legal action in this matter."

It's hard to imagine what the Department might consider sufficient evidence, considering the sorry legacy of Mr. Clement and his visits to Canada, where he lured the families of two Canadian girls suffering from cancer to his West Palm Beach clinic, the Hippocrates Health Institute. Both families withdrew the girls from chemotherapy and conventional medical treatment in favor of traditional aboriginal medicine and the quackery offered at Hippocrates. One of the girls later died. The other, according to the CBC, remains on a Clement-prescribed raw foods diet

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Recent Comments
Guest — brenda hill
Not surprised. I, a Canadian, tried to alert Florida health authorities to an upcoming presentation in Miami by Jim Humble's Genes... Read More
Sunday, 29 March 2015 20:32
jeepers creepers
Not surprised. I, (a Canadian), tried to alert Florida authorities to an upcoming Dec 2014 Miami presentation from Jim Humble's Ge... Read More
Sunday, 29 March 2015 21:16
Firth Forth
I'm really sorry to learn that the medical board backed down. I'm sure a lot of work went into filing those complaints-its despica... Read More
Tuesday, 31 March 2015 05:10
12778 Hits
MAR
24
0

Energy: You Keep Using That Word.

Energy You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

My undergraduate degree, back in the dark ages, was in physics. I remember studying all the kinds of energy, the ability to work:

  • Kinetic (≥0), that of the motion of a body
  • Potential, A category comprising many forms in this list
  • Mechanical, The sum of (usually macroscopic) kinetic and potential energies
  • Mechanical wave (≥0), a form of mechanical energy propagated by a material’s oscillations
  • Chemical, that contained in molecules
  • Electric, that from electric fields
  • Magnetic, that from magnetic fields
  • Radiant (≥0), that of electromagnetic radiation including light
  • Nuclear, that of binding nucleons to form the atomic nucleus
  • Ionization, that of binding an electron to its atom or molecule
  • Elastic, that of deformation of a material (or its container) exhibiting a restorative force
  • Gravitational, that from gravitational fields
  • Rest, (≥0) that equivalent to an object’s rest mass
  • Thermal, A microscopic, disordered equivalent of mechanical energy
  • Heat, an amount of thermal energy being transferred (in a given process) in the direction of decreasing temperature
  • Mechanical, work an amount of energy being transferred in a given process due to displacement in the direction of an applied force.

There are a lot of different kinds of energy. What is not on this list? All the unmeasured and unmeasurable energies that define many of the pseudo-medicines. Qi, innate intelligence, reiki, therapeutic touch, etc. All the mystical and magical energies purported to be felt and manipulated by their practitioners.

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12305 Hits
MAR
22
2

Will Minnesota require "misinformed consent" for vaccination?

A favorite tactic of anti-vaccination ideologues is the "informed consent" gambit.  By exaggerating adverse effects of vaccines, anti-vaccinationists can scare patients or parents into refusing immunization for themselves or their children.  SFSBM Board chairman David Gorski calls this tactic "misinformed consent," and rightly so. 

It is therefore with skepticism that I view House Bill 1978 and Senate Bill 1870 (the bills are identical) recently introduced in the Minnesota Legislature. The bills have several suspicious provisions which seem tailor-made to raise unfounded parental alarm.

First, the bills require health care providers (physicians, PAs and APRNs) to give patients, or their parents, vaccine information statements from the CDC. No problem there. But the providers must also give them

information provided by the manufacturer with the vaccine, including the package insert . . .

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Recent Comments
Jason Brown
Thanks for the heads up. Will be contacting my legislators.
Sunday, 22 March 2015 22:02
Dorit Reiss
They tried to add this as an amendment to the recent bill adding an educational requirement to the Personal Belief Exemption. It's... Read More
Monday, 23 March 2015 19:30
4957 Hits
MAR
18
1

Lyme: Two Guidelines Compared and Contrasted

Unfortunately, in public discourse science and reality do not necessarily triumph over pseudo-science. Last year, New York passed a bill to allow

rogue doctors (to) be able to shill their non-evidence-based treatments without worrying about intervention.

the bill

prohibits the state Office of Professional Medical Conduct from investigating a licensed physician based solely upon the recommendation or provision of a treatment that is not universally accepted by the medical profession.

Those protections include, but are not limited to, treatments for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

A similar bill is now before the Oregon Legislature, House Bill 916. A public hearing on the bill will be Monday, March 30th.

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Firth Forth
This comment has nothing to do with the substance of your article, which I found very informative. I do really like this metaphor:... Read More
Saturday, 21 March 2015 21:22
8678 Hits
MAR
14
0

ND as Primary Care. Talking Points.

The are two bills before the Oregon Legislature concerning naturopaths.

House Bill 2523 that

Requires managed care organization to allow chiropractic and naturopathic physicians to serve as attending physician for injured workers for life of claim.

HB 3301 that says (bold is the new language)

“Naturopathic medicine” means the discipline that includes physiotherapy, natural healing processes, [and] minor surgery and primary care and has as its objective the maintaining of the body in, or of restoring it to, a state of normal health.

Both bills are in committee. Both bills should remain there to die.

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14068 Hits
MAR
12
0

A Legislative Death: Vaccine Exemptions

Today it was announced that they are altering their approach to increase the vaccination of Oregon children.

Rather than removing all the non-medical exemptions, a new proposal would

“…would allow parents to prove their child’s immunity from a vaccine-preventable disease and to use a vaccine catch-up schedule for those not in compliance with the state-mandated plan.”

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5316 Hits
MAR
07
0

Chiropractic drug wars heat up again

The International Chiropractors Association is once again girding itself for battle with its brethren in the American Chiropractic Association over chiropractic scope of practice.

The ICA represents the "straight," or pure subluxation-based, chiropractors. The ACA, on the other hand, started off as an organization representing the "mixers," those who incorporated diagnoses and treatments beyond the "detection" and "correction" of the non-existent subluxation via spinal "adjustments."  It was this branch that briefly held the promise of moving chiropractic beyond pseudoscience and into some form of evidence-based musculoskeletal specialty with a concentration on back problems. This transition might not ever have happened, considering what they were up against, but a few chiropractors evidently tried. 

Hopes of  a progression from pseudoscientific cult to mainstream practice has been pretty much dashed by overreachers, who have concocted a grand scheme to rebrand chiropractors as primary care physicians. This effort has been met with resistance by an odd-bedfellows combination of straight chiropractors (the ICA), medical doctors and pharmacists. 

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11214 Hits
FEB
27
2

Asking Frauds to Testify

There is a bill being considered in the Oregon Legislature to tighten vaccine exemptions, limited to those with a medical indication. A good idea, since Oregon, my state, has a 9% unvaccinated rate, highest in the nation. Go Oregon.

As part of the response to the bill, Oregon chiropractors brought in Andrew Wakefield to testify. Yes. That Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield was going to be hosted at the home of a Oregon Chiropractic Association lobbyist and his visit was requested by the Oregon Chiropractic Association.

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Recent Comments
Janet Camp
Every now and then I’m okay with being FROM Portland. Vaccination and the fluoride debacle are two of those times. Kind of makes y... Read More
Friday, 27 February 2015 23:43
Janet Camp
Every now and then I’m okay with being FROM Portland. Vaccination and the fluoride debacle are two of those times. Kind of makes y... Read More
Friday, 27 February 2015 23:43
6329 Hits
FEB
14
2

Supplements have no 'active' ingredient. Just like every CAM.

A brouhaha the last few weeks has been the realization that there is a disconnect between the label on a supplement bottle and the actual ingredients. Often the supplements contain no ‘active’ ingredients, and I put active in quotes as these substances really do nothing. Supplements producers were substituting one inert substance for others.

When evaluated, they often found there was no there there.

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Riley Williams II
There is a decent chance all of those come from the same or similar manufacturers. The stores just pay to have their own labels an... Read More
Monday, 16 February 2015 22:02
Riley Williams II
There is a decent chance all of those come from the same or similar manufacturers. The stores just pay to have their own labels an... Read More
Monday, 16 February 2015 22:02
8505 Hits
JAN
25
0

Naturopaths put the moves on Mississippi

Fresh from the legislative losses in 2014, naturopaths are busy filing new licensing bills. Perhaps in search of a state where their licensing hasn't been rejected over and over, they somehow persuaded Rep. Rita Martinson to introduce a whopper of a bill in Mississippi. (House Bill 725) Best I can tell, no naturopathic licensing bill has ever been introduced in the Mississippi legislature.  

Naturopaths are already practicing in Mississippi, they simply aren't licensed to do so. Let's look at a couple of their websites, to see what kinds of treatments naturopaths are already offering.  Here's "Sarita" Elizabeth Cox, who is also an acupuncturist. As a graduate of the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education-accredited National College of Natural Medicine, Cox would be eligible for naturopathic licensing should this bill become law.  According to her website, she offers "amethyst biomat treatments and rentals":

Offering far infrared heat waves and negative ionization, the amethyst biomat can be used for balancing and maintaining health as well as detoxification. It is paired with select meditative and brain wave altering headset audio to help change habit patterns, achieve relaxation and optimize health. As this quantum energetic is cumulative, three and six session packages are available. Amethyst can be added on to any treatment. Both the mini mat and full length professional mat are available for rental.

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15921 Hits
JAN
11
4

A defense of the FDA's letter to Herbalife

The FDA wrote a letter to Herbalife, a dietary supplement manufacturer, in December. It was not a warning letter, mind you, just a letter saying the FDA is concerned about an Herbalife broadcast ad and YouTube video which, in the FDA's view, mischaracterized the FDA's role regarding dietary supplements. 

If the name "Herbalife" sounds familiar, it may be because of a very public battle going on between hedge fund investor William Ackman and the company.  Herbalife is a multi-level marketing company, which means people who distribute Herbalife products are compensated for the sales of others they bring is as Herbalife distributors.  Ackman thinks Herbalife is actually a pyramid scheme, and has made a billion dollar bet that the company's stock will decrease in value.  In November, Herbalife agreed to a $15 million settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by a distributor who alleged its business model is just that: a pyramid scheme. 

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Recent Comments
Guest — Rob
The font style you are using for quotes is difficult to read. A clean simple font without the effects would be much easier to rea... Read More
Monday, 12 January 2015 19:33
Guest — Rob
The font style you are using for quotes is difficult to read. A clean simple font without the effects would be much easier to rea... Read More
Monday, 12 January 2015 19:33
Janet Camp
I doubt that even one in 1,000 people would even know what the DSHEA is. Even fewer are aware that there is no need for even a dai... Read More
Friday, 16 January 2015 21:05
20106 Hits
JAN
04
2

2014: A losing legislative season for naturopaths, chiropractors and acupuncturists

In 2014, SFSBM's "Legislative Updates" tracked 35 bills impacting, for better or worse, CAM practitioners: naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, TCM and "alternative medicine practitioners."  It was a losing season for them, a winning season for us.  Let's review.

Naturopaths attempted to gain licensing with a broad scope of practice in 10 states. They want to be licensed as primary care physicians in all 50 states and their 2014 licensing bills reflected this desire.  They failed in 9. One bill, in New Jersey, remains pending because New Jersey is one of only 2 states (Virginia is the other) where 2014 bills carry over to the 2015 sessions.  Maryland did pass a licensing act, but it fell short of the PCP scope of practice (including drug prescribing privileges) naturopaths wanted.  Nor did they get their own regulatory board.  They will operate under the jurisdiction of the Maryland Board of Physicians.  In the 8 other states where licensing legislation was introduced, including New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Massachusetts, naturopathic licensing bills failed, and not for the first time.  

Naturopaths did get an expansion of their scope of practice in Connecticut, but, again, did not get prescribing privileges. In Arizona, they will now be able to practice "telemedicine," and in Utah, they will be able to perform minor office procedures and inject local anesthetics, nonscheduled prescription drugs and "natural substances" percutaneously in limited locations.  

On the other hand, a bill that would have eliminated important restrictions on naturopaths treating pediatric patients did not pass in Colorado, where they are barred from treating children under 2.  For patients under 8, they must advise parents about the CDC-recommended vaccination schedule, tell parents that they are not physicians, and advise them to have a relationship with a licensed pediatric health care provider. Those restrictions remain in place. A bill in Hawaii increased their continuing education requirements. 

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Recent Comments
Yokomondo
There was a hearing a couple days ago on North Dakota's SB 2194: http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/64-2015/bill-actions/ba2194.htm... Read More
Thursday, 22 January 2015 11:42
Yokomondo
There was a hearing a couple days ago on North Dakota's SB 2194: http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/64-2015/bill-actions/ba2194.htm... Read More
Thursday, 22 January 2015 11:42
7906 Hits
DEC
07
16

SFSBM pleased to report that its Report displeases Maryland naturopaths

The Science-Based Medicine blog has done a terrific job of educating the public about pseudo-medicines such as chiropractic, acupuncture and naturopathy.  As well, SBM has exposed the the tools of their trades -- homeopathy, the detection and correction of subluxations, colonic irrigation, moxibustion, cranial sacral therapy (the list could go on and on) -- for what they are, which is quackery.  But we who blog for SBM and some of its readers came to realize something more was needed to stem the tide of bamboozlement that befuddles the public daily.  Thus, the Society for Science-Based Medicine was formed as a separate organization where we who oppose this quackery and deceit could join together and do something about it.

We also realized that education alone was not enough.  The "root cause" of much of the pseudo-medicine unleashed on the public is the government itself, mostly the state legislatures. These legislatures, full of scientifically clueless legislators, pass state practice acts giving licenses to practice a health care profession to those imminently unqualified to diagnose and treat patients.  This gives practitioners what is tantamount to a license to steal from patients by using fake diagnoses such as spinal misalignments, adrenal fatigue and unbalanced qi. Insult is followed by the injury of fake treatments like subluxation correction, glandulars (dissected animal glands) and acupuncture. 

What to do? One thing we decided to do is to keep tabs on state bills which either give licenses to practitioners of pseudo-medicine or seek to alter their scope of practice, usually for the worse by expanding it. Even if SFSBM didn't have the resources to hire lobbyists to fight these bills, our readers can contact their legislators and give them a good dose of scientific reality.  

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Recent Comments
Nick J
as the sponsor of the resolution that created National Naturopathy Week, I'd recommend forwarding this to US Senator Mikulski (D-M... Read More
Monday, 08 December 2014 21:12
Nick J
as the sponsor of the resolution that created National Naturopathy Week, I'd recommend forwarding this to US Senator Mikulski (D-M... Read More
Monday, 08 December 2014 21:12
Riley Williams II
Glad to see my tax-deductible dollars at work.I cannot wait for the naturopathic response on Thursday.
Monday, 08 December 2014 22:08
12518 Hits