Someone yesterday was not very happy with my attitude towards naturopaths, as evidenced in my post yesterday about the death of a young woman named Jade Erick due to intravenous infusion of curcumin by—you guessed it—a naturopath. Amusingly, that someone going by the ‘nym of JR said that he or she didn’t “like the tone of this article and it’s complete disregard for naturopaths.” Well, JR, you’re right. I do have a complete disregard for naturopaths because they are quacks who mix a small amount of good advice about diet and exercise with a whole lot of pure quackery (like homeopathy) and sell it to patients as being somehow “natural.”

Basically, naturopaths are fake doctors, but they crave the acceptance of real physicians. Whether it’s because they really believe that they are physicians or because, deep down, they know they are fake doctors, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a little of both. Either way, above all their professional organizations strive for legitimacy in the form of being licensed by all 50 states. They even have a goal of having naturopaths licensed in all states by 2025. But it’s more than that. In states where they are already licensed, their goal is to expand their scope of practice to come close to that of real physicians.

So I can’t believe that I missed this story that was going around a couple of weeks ago from the Denver CBS affiliate about Naturopathic Doctors Illegally Calling Themselves ‘Physicians’:

I can’t resist mentioning here that I think that letting naturopaths refer to themselves as “doctors” or “naturopathic doctors” is bad enough, because most people don’t make that big a distinction between “doctor” and “physician.” Als, their favored abbreviation for their degree of”ND” looks and sounds and awful lot like a real doctor’s degree of MD. Be that as it may, things are a bit different in Colorado than in a lot of states that license naturopaths. For one thing, there is a law specifically stating that naturopaths cannot refer to themselves as “physicians.” The law came about this way:

The death of Sean Flanagan in 2003 touched off a storm. Ill with cancer, he received treatment from a man who called himself a naturopathic doctor practicing in Wheat Ridge.

Sean’s father David Flanagan told CBS4’S Rick Sallinger three years later about his dismay.

“We’ve got people like Brian O’Connell who can claim to be a doctor and use the word, put it on his scrubs, wear a stethoscope like he’s somebody important,” he said.

Although Flanagan died from cancer, Brian O’Connell’s actions may have sped up his death.

He was sent to prison and legislation was later passed by the state to register naturopathic doctors. In the law one point was made very clear: naturopaths cannot refer to themselves by a key word: “physician.”

I had never heard about this case (at least, I couldn’t remember having heard about it); so I did a little Googling. It turns out that O’Connell ran Mountain Area Naturopathic Associates. Consistent with what David Flanagan said in the interview above, in his office O’Connell displayed numerous degrees and certifications claiming he was doctor and a naturopath. In an investigation, the Colorado Medical Board found that O’Connell had no license to practice medicine in Colorado and was not certified as any kind of health care worker. It also turned out that O’Connell’s only medical-related “training” had come from a correspondence school in Arkansas called the Herbal Healer academy. As Naturowatch notes, in 2003 the school’s proprietor Marijah McCain agreed to a consent judgment under which she paid $10,000 and was barred from disseminating certificates stating that the holder is an “ND, NMD,” or similar designation that would indicate that the holder is a doctor or physician.

Naturowatch also notes:

  • O’Connell told the family that he personally had “cured” many patients suffering from the same type of cancer he had. He also showed them a plastic bag containing an object he claimed was a cancerous tumor removed from a patient and claimed that he had a black salve that would draw cancerous tumors from the body. Flanagan had failed a course of chemotherapy and his cancer was progressing. Also, black salve is not just quackery, but disfiguring quackery. It’s a caustic substance derived from plants that literally burns.
  • The family paid O’Connell $7,400 for “photoluminescence” treatments in which blood was removed from Sean Flanagan’s body, exposed to ultraviolet light, and then returned to the body along with a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide. Both of these, UV blood irradiation and intravenous hydrogen peroxide, are also quackery. Basically, it’s UV blood irradiation combined with hydrogen peroxide therapy.
  • The boy developed a blood infection because O’Connell’s wasn’t exactly careful about sterile technique.

Also:

O’Connell also injected this hydrogen peroxide solution into a 17-year-old girl, which caused her to go into cardiac arrest. Another patient of O’Connell’s had terminal liver cancer and was told by O’Connell that a “black salve” compound would pull the cancer out of his body. Instead it created open, bleeding wounds that continued until his death, prosecutors said.

In other words, even though he didn’t have the “ND” degree, O’Connell was a typical naturoquack. Ultimately, he was convicted. In 2006, he pleaded guilty to theft, perjury, criminally negligent homicide, practicing medicine without a license, and 3rd degree assault. As a result, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison, which was a salutary outcome which is all too rare when quacks are prosecuted.

As a result of this case, when Colorado passed a law registering—not licensing—naturopaths, the law made it very clear that naturopaths are not allowed to refer to themselves as physicians. Now, I’m not exactly clear on the difference between licensure and registration, but apparently registration provides for a much less rigorous degree of scrutiny of naturopaths than licensure would. Basically, according to Colorado law, naturopaths who have gone to the top tier naturopathy quack academies, like Bastyr University, and as a result have the “ND” degree can call themselves “doctor” but not physician. All other naturopaths are forbidden from calling themselves “doctor” or “physician.” Of course, one wonders why such naturopaths are even allowed to practice, although I suppose that, despite what “NDs” claim, there really isn’t any substantive difference that I’ve ever been able to find in the level of quackery practiced by NDs or non-ND naturopaths. Basically, licensed naturopaths are no safer than any other naturopath.

Be that as it may, even though the law expressly forbids it, naturopaths gonna naturopath:

Larry Sarner and Linda Rosa of the Colorado Citizens for Science and Medicine conducted a survey of websites and claim most naturopathic doctors violate the Colorado Medical Practices Act and State Statutes.

Sarner said, “It would be almost hard not to believe they are medical doctors given their own discussions of it.”

Some naturopathic doctors claim they are licensed. They can’t be. The state of Colorado says they are simply registered, which carries less scrutiny.

Not surprisingly, Roanne Houck, the president of the Colorado Association of Naturopathic Doctors, makes excuses:

“Well, many of the doctors have moved here from other states such as Oregon or Washington,” she said.

They may be called physicians there, but in Colorado, for naturopaths that’s not allowed.

Naturopathic doctors may now also go by “Registered Naturopathic Doctors” in Colorado after new legislation was passed earlier this year.

That’s nice. It’s still confusing and potentially deceptive, leading patients to think that naturopaths are actually physicians.

Just for yucks, I looked up Houck’s practice website, Gunnison Main Street Clinic. I noticed that it offers the usual naturopathic quackery, such as The One Quackery To Rule Them All (homeopathy), “detoxification,” acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, and something called Ortho-Bionomy®, which is basically a form of osteopathic manipulation that I’d never heard of before.

Of course, at least Colorado doesn’t let naturopaths use the term “physician” to describe themselves. Lots of other states, where naturopaths are licensed and not just registered, do let naturopaths use terms like “naturopathic physician,” the favored term of organized naturopathy. Naturopaths continue to push for this, because they know that language feeds impressions. If they can win the legal right to be called “naturopathic physicians,” chances are that a lot of people won’t know the difference between that and real physicians and that legislators will be more likely to expand their scope of practice to reach their Holy Grail, being considered primary care physicians in all 50 states.

Comments

  1. #1 jrkrideau
    At the bottom of the lake (the bottom end that is)
    August 15, 2017

    As I mentioned in another thread, I have some business cards that call me an Applied Nutritionist (If you feed me, I’ll comment on the food) but I have had a least one person think it was serious. I made up some silly cards with some left-over business card stock

    Give me a white coat (CDN$ 20 ) and a stethoscope, not sure of the price but I think I can get one for under CDN$ 50, and I’m in business.

  2. #2 Alain
    August 15, 2017

    jrkrideau,

    Probably I’d be the one close enough for you to come here in a reasonable timeframe to get feed and comment on my food 🙂

    Alain

  3. #3 Eric Lund
    August 15, 2017

    most people don’t make that big a distinction between “doctor” and “physician.”

    As someone who has earned a Ph.D., I have the right to put “Dr.” in front of my name, but I almost never do so, and this is a big reason why. To most people “doctor” means “medical doctor”, except in contexts where it might mean dentist, veterinarian, or optometrist. The handful of occasions where I do use the title, or other people address me by that title, are within the context of my field, where it is clear that the Ph.D. is meant.

    At least one guy I know, who engages in lots of international travel both work- and family-related, has always been careful to avoid revealing both his Ph.D. and his occupation to the airlines. He is afraid someone will see “Dr. [redacted], research physicist” on a passenger manifest and incorrectly assume that he is a physician.

    I can see how a layman would mistake a naturopath for a medical doctor. Naturopaths use a fair amount of medical-sounding jargon and talk about treating patients. You need to know a bit about naturopathy and real medicine to spot the difference between the two. Most people who have no background in either subject don’t, and of course it’s not in the interest of naturopaths to make the distinction in an honest fashion.

  4. #4 LindaRosaRN
    Colorado
    August 15, 2017

    This year, the Colorado legislature was disturbed to learn that many registered naturopaths in the state are illegally calling themselves “physician,” along with other misleading terms, such as “primary care provider.” A number of them claim to have attended “medical school,” or to have the same education as MDs, but with a “specialty in natural medicine.”

    As a result, the sunset bill has an amendment that requires NDs in Colorado to use the title “Registered Naturopathic Doctor” or “RND” in an attempt to reduce the ND/MD confusion. (As an RN, I’m not all that happy with this, though I applaud it as a partial solution.)

    What I find much more disturbing are the dangerous practices being offered by Colorado’s RNDs. While the “educated” naturopaths obtained regulatory status in part because of the Flanagan case, it is possible today to find RNDs in the state who use the same insane practices as that “traditional naturopath” who was sent to prison.

  5. #5 darwinslapdog
    OffRoad--for now
    August 15, 2017

    Heh–I wouldn’t even bother to credit ND’s with giving decent dietary advice. Their diet advice is as wooish as the rest of their bag of woo. It’s a lot of deprivation, esclusions, and utter stupidity like “fat is good for you!” and “calories aren’t all alike”. They jump on the bandwagon of the latest fad, be it gluten, paleo, or coconut oil. No matter how well you supposedly eat, they still pump you full of supplements as well. I also doubt that their exercise advice is any better. Who needs to pay someone to tell you to take a 30-minute walk most days?

  6. #6 REH
    Texas
    August 15, 2017

    FYI – There are real med schools that are teaching real medical classes and procedures to those who desire to treat patients w/o drugs. They are in med school for 4 years and are highly qualified to treat patients. They are also trained to work along with or refer to a medical doctor, if necessary, since they generally do not prescribe drugs. Please do not generalize all
    Nautropaths to be like the ones you have described above. Seeking online certifications and then trying to treat patients.
    This is why licensing is necessary; to distinguish between the good and really qualified and those that are not.
    Please see the ND program at Bastyr University, I have seen what they teach there and am confident that those who graduate from their program will be fantastic doctors.

  7. #7 Pat Vandell
    Mt
    August 15, 2017

    So if NDs are bogus then how do you explain my naturopathic doctor fixing 2 health issues I’ve had in the past when MDsy just wanted to push dangerous medications. How do you explain that?

  8. #8 sadmar
    August 15, 2017

    There really isn’t any substantive difference that I’ve ever been able to find in the level of quackery practiced by NDs or non-ND naturopaths.

    I’ll excuse Orac from the task, but someone should look harder. While the worst practices of the worst Bastyr-degreed NDs may be as risky as those of diploma mill quacks like Brian O’Connell, that’s also true of the worst of licensed MDs who have degrees from respectable med schools. In the aggregate, though, there’s no comparison between MDs and correspondence school quacks. As weak or even misdirected as ‘education’ at Bastyr may be, it’s hard to believe it would lead to wacko with the same regularity and intensity as the no-real-training-at all naturos. It also seems like the unlicensed naturos pop up more off in the dramatic cases recounted here. like the death of Fikreta Ibrisevic.

    Orac has noted that a lot of well-meaning young people are drawn to naturopathy school, as Britt Hermes was, believing it will lead to career in ‘legitimate’ health-care. They at least would seem to believe they need a training for that that describes itself as “rigorous”, and are trying to learn to be ‘good’ providers who can help patients with something resembling a ‘standard of care’ – albeit one that is ‘alternative’ and weakly defined. It strikes me that this must contrast to the sort of person so confident in their idiosyncratic ‘natural’ gifts as ‘natural healers’ that they’d hang out a shingle on the basis of nothing but a mail-order diploma, if even that.

    While I have always thought natuopathy licensing is a bad idea, I’m at least willing to entertain that letting unlicensed naturopaths continue to have free run is a worse idea. There may be better answers than licensing ‘real’ NDs, but I’m not sure they’re practical politically. The Colorado example illustrates a couple things. One is that no legal approach matters unless there’s adequate enforcement. But another, on the less-dim side, is that regulation can take different forms, and the differences matter. NDs want to have licensing come with increased scope of practice, but that doesn’t have to be the case. I don’t see the point of ‘you can’t call yourself a “physician”, but you can call yourself a “doctor”.’ How about prohibiting both?

    I believe the naturopathy associations open to all who claim the rubric, not just NDs, are vehemently against licensing. Maybe if they’re afraid of it, we might want to take their reasons a bit more serlously.

    • #9 Orac
      August 15, 2017

      I’ll excuse Orac from the task, but someone should look harder.

      You are naive. I’ve been looking for years and failing to find a substantive difference. I’d be happy for someone else to give it a try and prove me wrong in my assessment. I suspect I will wait a long time.

      But another, on the less-dim side, is that regulation can take different forms, and the differences matter. NDs want to have licensing come with increased scope of practice, but that doesn’t have to be the case. I don’t see the point of ‘you can’t call yourself a “physician”, but you can call yourself a “doctor”.’ How about prohibiting both?

      The problem is the degree. The degree is “ND,” which stands for “naturopathic doctor” or “doctor of naturopathy.” The only way to get NDs to stop calling themselves “doctor” would be to abolish the degree.

  9. #10 Dangerous Bacon
    August 15, 2017

    “So if NDs are bogus then how do you explain my naturopathic doctor fixing 2 health issues I’ve had in the past when MDsy just wanted to push dangerous medications.”

    What were these “health issues”?

    Give NDs credit, they’re pretty good at reducing wallet bloat.

  10. #11 Chris
    August 15, 2017

    REH: “Please see the ND program at Bastyr University, I have seen what they teach there and am confident that those who graduate from their program will be fantastic doctors.”

    Last time I looked they still had classes in homeopathy, which is just a whole bunch of nothing. They also do other nonsense like acupuncture, Reiki, etc.

    We had a relative who decided the Bastyr educated naturopath was smarter than the actual medical doctor. So she dropped her real meds for the very expensive homeopathic pills the naturopath sold her. They did nothing.

    She suffered from chronic pain, and the naturopath actually told her to record every ache and pain. Which is pretty much the worst advice you can give someone with pain:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/well/live/the-secret-life-of-pain.html?_r=0

    An ND stands for “Not a Doctor.”

  11. #12 Chris
    August 15, 2017

    Pat Vandell: “How do you explain that?”

    How do we explain your anecdote? We don’t because we have no evidence of anything.

    Here is an idea, publish all of your medical records on a website so we can all read them. Then you might get an explanation. The mostly likely reason is something we call “tincture of time.”

    Also, REH, the guy who killed that poor woman with IV curcumun was a graduate of Bastyr.

  12. #13 jrkrideau
    At the bottom of the lake (the bottom end that is)
    August 15, 2017

    #2 Alain
    Perhaps around Chrismas when there are lots of tourtières around?

  13. #14 TroubleMaker
    August 15, 2017

    “Basically, naturopaths are fake doctors, but they crave the acceptance of real physicians. ”

    No, what they crave is the perception of legitimacy in the marketplace so that they can make more money. They don’t care a whit about what’s real.

  14. #15 Panacea
    August 15, 2017

    REH: Bastyr . . . . what a laugh. They teach homeopathy, and if you teach homeopathy you are teaching people to treat illness with water. If I know nothing else about them, I know enough to know any degree from that school is worthless.

    Of course, you’re symptomatic of the problem since you refer to their program (of which I suspect you are a graduate) as “med school.” What Bastyr offers is not med school. I know more about medicine than any “graduate” of Bastyr, and I’m a nurse, not a physician.

    Pat: “So if NDs are bogus then how do you explain my naturopathic doctor fixing 2 health issues I’ve had in the past when MDsy just wanted to push dangerous medications. How do you explain that?”

    Well, since you’ve given me nothing to go on, there really is NOTHING to explain. You don’t say what “health issues” you are talking about, which makes me think they’re bogus conditions like “chronic Lyme.”

    sadmar: You’ve just given us a classic example of a false equivilency. Really, you’re better educated than this and you know better.

    You cannot make an apples to apples comparison of naturopaths, whose “care” is not based on anything resembling reality to actual physicians who finished medical school, then turn around and try an qualify what you just said to somehow lessen how bad that actually was.

    Even an incompetent physician knows more than any naturopath, and at least they can be held accountable in some way for any harm they do, be it before their employer, the Medical Board, or in a court of law.

    Licensing naturopaths is a horrible idea. It makes it easy for quacks to fool patients into thinking they are state sanctioned. The naturopath board is like the fox guarding the hen house; they are even worse at disciplining their own that many Medical Boards are.

    Eric Lund: re use of Doctor as a PhD. I know what you mean. It is the reason why some physicans oppose doctorally prepared nurse practitioners from using the title “doctor” when seeing patients, even though there’s little evidence that patients are confused about who’s treating them. Heck, I’ve had patients call ME “doc” knowing I’m a registered nurse, not an NP or a MD/DO. You correct the patient and move on.

    I do have an acquaintance who is a pyschologist; he has a PhD but hasn’t passed his licensing boards yet. He tried to insist people address him as “Doctor” in social setting. No one did, and he got a lot of odd looks as he should.

    I once knew a dentist who insisted on being addressed as “Doctor” in all settings, and even signed his name as “Dr. Soandso, DDS.” Colleagues told me he never got over not getting into medical school, and viewed being a dentist as second best.

    I have no doubt that is what drives many naturopaths.

  15. #16 sadmar
    August 15, 2017

    @ Orac

    If you had any systematic evidence there was no distinction between the aggregate of NDs and the aggregate of basically self-appointed naturos, wouldn’t you cite it in every post? All I’ve seen here the Tim Caulfield-ian surveys of sketchy treatments listed on web sites, and that’s hardly evidence of frequency and degree of harm. I’m certainly not claiming there is a difference, I just don’t see that your observations are sufficient proof there isn’t one.

    I shall ask you, and anyone else, what practical agenda do you advocate to prevent the harms suffered by folks like Sean Flanagan, Fikreta Ibrisevic, and Jade Erick? Let me even grant that the agenda might not be that practical, since there are so many obstacles. Just ‘no licensing’ doesn’t seem to cut it, since clowns like ‘Chemo Is For Losers’ Gonzalez are running amok now. Give me a plan with any real chance to make things better in terms of these grievous harms and I’ll be there for it. I’m not going to sweat too much over the average ND shilling worthless supplements to the worried well, or even chronic pain sufferers like Chris’s relative. That sucks, of course, but let’s just focus on measures that could curb the worst abuses for a start.

    I’m serious. ‘What is to be done?’

    • #17 Orac
      August 15, 2017

      Easy, if you don’t necessarily need practical. Don’t license quacks like naturopaths and actually enforce existing laws against practicing medicine without a license. That would be a start.

  16. #18 Politicalguineapig
    August 15, 2017

    Sadmar: I shall ask you, and anyone else, what practical agenda do you advocate to prevent the harms suffered by folks like Sean Flanagan, Fikreta Ibrisevic, and Jade Erick? Let me even grant that the agenda might not be that practical, since there are so many obstacles.

    Well, to begin with, why SHOULD anyone do anything? Ms. Erickson was an adult, free to do whatever dumb thing she pleased. If she couldn’t live with eczema, that’s her and her family’s problem, not anyone else’s.
    I think that if getting actual health care was viable (ha-ha, not in the States, ever) we’d see a huge dip in naturopathic business, but there’s always a few ding-dongs who will fall for any old lie.
    I think that kids shouldn’t be treated by naturopaths, and every parent who does that should be watched closely, and if possible arrested, but we should let dumbasses be dumbasses. (I do sympathize with Ms Erikson’s family, but come on, eczema isn’t life threatening.)

  17. #19 squirrelelite
    August 15, 2017

    Since there is no naturopathic standard of care, it’s hard to distinguish which naturopaths are doing it “right”.

    By their own definition, naturopathy includes homeopathy.

    http://www.naturopathic.org/content.asp?contentid=59

    But when you see what methods they share with each other, it sounds like a Jane Austen village apothecary mixing up this tincture or that potion and hoping the patient will get well in a few days.

    That’s why I like to think of them as Nineteenth century Doctors.

    My challenge for the “good naturopaths” is the following:

    1. Provide a citation for your approve methods of treatment (standard of care). Otherwise it’s make it up as you go along.

    2. What are the three biggest improvements in naturopathic practice in the last 20 years?

    3. What three treatments have been generally abandoned and are no longer being taught in naturopathic schools because they were either found to be ineffective, had too many risks, or a better method was found?

    My plan for the general medical system would be:
    1. taxpayer supported single payer
    2. increase reimbursements for most office care so Medicaid patients aren’t an assigned expense/semi-pro bono category, and doctors can earn a reasonable living treating them.
    3. increase scholarships for medical school so graduates don’t come out of school with a huge debt burden.
    4. increase general medical research funding
    5. put some backbone and teeth in state medical boards so they can weed out at least the worst offenders.

  18. #20 Narad
    August 15, 2017

    As someone who has earned a Ph.D., I have the right to put “Dr.” in front of my name

    “Right”?

  19. #21 Alain
    August 16, 2017

    Orac,

    You have my permission to give my email address to jrkrideau.

    jrkrideau, please ask Orac for my email address. In the meantime, I’ll get something prepared for December around xmas 🙂

    Alain

  20. #22 Alain
    August 16, 2017

    Oh btw, everyone who can make it to Montreal, QC, Canucksland is invited (around xmas).

    Al

  21. #23 Gouri Godase
    Australia
    August 16, 2017

    I disagree with your article.As i am able to function today only because of naturopathy.Doctors had no answer to my glandular fever .

  22. #24 prn
    August 16, 2017

    I’m not particularly satisfied with what I see/hear for some naturopaths. I, of course, reject “homoeopathy as a placebo effect” as a moment of intellectual bankruptcy in the face of natural chemistry. Historically, homoeopathy simply may have had advantages to the extent it avoided some truly harmful medicines (e.g arsenicals, mercurials and god knows what else) and (heroic) practices; or provided some benefit with herbs, fasting, sunshine, fresh air, or basic medicine (e.g. bone setting).

    I see Colorado’s statutes as having first amendment issues when someone has a degree or paperwork from another state telling them that are a natural medical doctor or physician. One might get into specific wording of discussions and ads, but the first amendment is an area that needs some rejuvenation in medicine.

    Even if one says that ND’s are just techs in disguise, they are far better for some subjects than “regular” MDs and the ADA/AND pygmies. I view them more as 2nd generation post apocalypse survivors with stunted educations along with mature MDs, who in their 40s, 50s, 60s realize that they have seen (or read medical literature) some better natural results than “standard”. To me, a doctor that can’t even get the story on vitamin C and D straight therapeutically is pretty glaringly limited in their knowledge base.

    Much of what I see in “evidence based medicine” failures salvaged by natural medicine might be better classed as evidence avoided, -ing medicine.

  23. #25 Nona
    United States
    August 16, 2017

    Traditional medicine in USA is corrupt. People need alternative to be treated. Treatment with herbs thats how traditional medicine strated before it became corrupt with big farma. 3 people died from natural treatment? Did y count how many people dying from traditional treatment daily in U S A? Number is hundreeds if not thousand. You against NDS BECAUSE IT TAKES MONEY away from corrupted traditional medicine.. You dont care about people. My friend just died listening his Md and taken 20 prescription drugs daily. I have cured myself with herbs and alive and well. NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE EXIST. NO MATTER HOW MUCH U WANT TO SUPPRESS IT JUST TO HAVE A MONOPOLY OF CORRUPTED MDS.

  24. #26 MI Dawn
    August 16, 2017

    @Panacea: when I was practicing as a CNM, a lot of my patients would refer to me as their doctor. They knew the difference between me and the MD in the office, but it was easier for them, I guess. Like you, I’d correct them the first time then move on. If they repeated it, I’d generally ignore it unless it impacted their care (i.e. they wanted me to do something I couldn’t legally, so the MD would need to do it).

  25. #27 Super mouserrr
    Riverside
    August 16, 2017

    Not all NDs are crooks, but all NDs are not physicians .

  26. #28 Politicalguineapig
    August 16, 2017

    Gouri Goudase: Doctors had no answer to my glandular fever .

    Yeah, that’s because it’s nonexistent. Unless you meant ‘hot flash’ or ‘thyroid inflammation,’ which take some time to resolve.

  27. #29 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    August 16, 2017

    The term ND should be changed to DN: Doctor of Nothing.

  28. #30 Chris
    August 16, 2017
  29. #31 shay simmons
    August 16, 2017

    As someone who has earned a Ph.D., I have the right to put “Dr.” in front of my name

    On the other hand, as my old man used to say (PhD German Languages/Literature), “I’m not the kind of doctor who does anybody any good.”

  30. #32 doug
    August 16, 2017

    PGP, “glandular fever” is real enough, and is known in much of the world as infectious mononucleosis. It is caused by a virus, so only anti-viral agents are of “curative” use, and they are rarely employed. A quack can make mono appear to go away, simply because it goes away without treatment in the vast majority of cases.

  31. #33 Old Rockin' Dave
    August 16, 2017

    PGP: “Glandular fever” is the term generally used in the UK and some other countries for mononucleosis.
    Gouri Godase: Mononucleosis is a bear to go through, but it is generally self-limiting, lasting for weeks, even months, but gets better in time without specific treatment. Since you tried reality-based medicine first, and more than one provider (You wrote “Doctors”, plural.), you probably spent a few weeks seeking help from them. By the time you came to the naturopath and underwent her treatment, the disease had just about run its course in you.
    In other words, your body did the work, and the naturopath happened to show up at the right time.

  32. #34 Francesco
    Montreal
    August 16, 2017

    This article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the best article I have ever seen written in the published literature documenting the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm.
    Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Killing 225,000 People Every Year

    The author is Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and she desribes how the US health care system may contribute to poor health.

    ALL THESE ARE DEATHS PER YEAR:

    12,000 — unnecessary surgery
    7,000 — medication errors in hospitals
    20,000 — other errors in hospitals
    80,000 — infections in hospitals
    106,000 — non-error, negative effects of drugs
    These total to 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes!!

    What does the word iatrogenic mean? This term is defined as induced in a patient by a physician’s activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially of a complication of treatment.

    Dr. Starfield offers several warnings in interpreting these numbers:

    First, most of the data are derived from studies in hospitalized patients.
    Second, these estimates are for deaths only and do not include negative effects that are associated with disability or discomfort.
    Third, the estimates of death due to error are lower than those in the IOM report.
    If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000. In any case, 225,000 deaths per year constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer. Even if these figures are overestimated, there is a wide margin between these numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death (cerebrovascular disease).

    Another analysis concluded that between 4% and 18% of consecutive patients experience negative effects in outpatient settings,with:

    116 million extra physician visits
    77 million extra prescriptions
    17 million emergency department visits
    8 million hospitalizations
    3 million long-term admissions
    199,000 additional deaths
    $77 billion in extra costs
    The high cost of the health care system is considered to be a deficit, but seems to be tolerated under the assumption that better health results from more expensive care.

    However, evidence from a few studies indicates that as many as 20% to 30% of patients receive inappropriate care.

    An estimated 44,000 to 98,000 among them die each year as a result of medical errors.

    This might be tolerated if it resulted in better health, but does it? Of 13 countries in a recent comparison, the United States ranks an average of 12th (second from the bottom) for 16 available health indicators. More specifically, the ranking of the US on several indicators was:

    13th (last) for low-birth-weight percentages
    13th for neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall
    11th for postneonatal mortality
    13th for years of potential life lost (excluding external causes)
    11th for life expectancy at 1 year for females, 12th for males
    10th for life expectancy at 15 years for females, 12th for males
    10th for life expectancy at 40 years for females, 9th for males
    7th for life expectancy at 65 years for females, 7th for males
    3rd for life expectancy at 80 years for females, 3rd for males
    10th for age-adjusted mortality
    The poor performance of the US was recently confirmed by a World Health Organization study, which used different data and ranked the United States as 15th among 25 industrialized countries.

    There is a perception that the American public “behaves badly” by smoking, drinking, and perpetrating violence.” However the data does not support this assertion.

    The proportion of females who smoke ranges from 14% in Japan to 41% in Denmark; in the United States, it is 24% (fifth best). For males, the range is from 26% in Sweden to 61% in Japan; it is 28% in the United States (third best).
    The US ranks fifth best for alcoholic beverage consumption.
    The US has relatively low consumption of animal fats (fifth lowest in men aged 55-64 years in 20 industrialized countries) and the third lowest mean cholesterol concentrations among men aged 50 to 70 years among 13 industrialized countries.
    These estimates of death due to error are lower than those in a recent Institutes of Medicine report, and if the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000.

    Even at the lower estimate of 225,000 deaths per year, this constitutes the third leading cause of death in the US, following heart disease and cancer.

    Lack of technology is certainly not a contributing factor to the US’s low ranking.

    Among 29 countries, the United States is second only to Japan in the availability of magnetic resonance imaging units and computed tomography scanners per million population. 17
    Japan, however, ranks highest on health, whereas the US ranks among the lowest.
    It is possible that the high use of technology in Japan is limited to diagnostic technology not matched by high rates of treatment, whereas in the US, high use of diagnostic technology may be linked to more treatment.
    Supporting this possibility are data showing that the number of employees per bed (full-time equivalents) in the United States is highest among the countries ranked, whereas they are very low in Japan, far lower than can be accounted for by the common practice of having family members rather than hospital staff provide the amenities of hospital care.
    Journal American Medical Association July 26, 2000;284(4):483-5

    Folks, this is what they call a “Landmark Article”. Only several ones like this are published every year. One of the major reasons it is so huge as that it is published in JAMA which is the largest and one of the most respected medical journals in the entire world.

  33. #35 Politicalguineapig
    August 16, 2017

    Doug and ORD: I’d never heard of glandular fever before, so I assumed it was a nonsense diagnosis like ‘adrenal fatigue’ or ‘Chronic Lyme.’ I’ve heard of mono before, as I knew a guy who spent most of a year out of high school with it.

  34. #36 Chris
    August 16, 2017

    Francesco,

    Yawn:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/01/08/the-three-musketeers-of-woo-attack-scien/

    Claims that there are problems with science based medicine does not prove naturopathy is better. Especially when they still push homeopathy.

  35. #37 JustaTech
    August 16, 2017

    Francesco @34: A few comments on your 17 year old paper.
    1) Please do no conflate or mistake the way that health care is delivered with the science behind medicine. One of the many reasons why outcomes in the US are worse is lack of access to care due to income, which was much more common in 2000 than it is now (but who knows about the future).

    2) Has anything changed in the past 17 years? Do you have data on if the rates of death from these causes have gotten worse, stayed the same or gotten better? Also, can you please convert these to #/100,000 population? That really helps everyone see the scale of the problem.

    3) What about continuous quality improvement programs at hospitals? What about the changes to the way Medicare/Medicaid are paid based on patient re-admission?

    4) Do you have a viable alternative? What is the victim of a traffic accident, who is bleeding internally, supposed to do? A woman in labor with breech twins? A Type I diabetic? Unless you have a solution that is *at least* as good as the current standard of care, why should anyone switch?

    No one denies that there are problems. Scientists and doctors and nurses and tons of other people in health care are working to fix them. But just because airplanes can crash doesn’t mean I’m going to try a magic carpet.

  36. #38 Panacea
    August 16, 2017

    Narad: Yes, right. When you’re granted a doctoral degree it comes with “all the rights and privileges there pertaining to.” You have to do something pretty extreme to get your doctorate rescinded.

    prn: basically you’re saying homeopathy is better because it didn’t have the side effects or toxicity of medications that we no longer use . . . because we have safer alternatives that work better, with fewer side effects.

    I would never say ND’s are techs in disguise. That gives them way too much credit. A certified medical assistant or a certified nursing assistant has least has valid training in real procedures or care that actually work. I always listen to my CNAs; they may not know why something is wrong, but when something goes wrong they often know it before anyone else does!

    Since what you think about vitamin C and Vit D are largely bullshit, you really aren’t in a position to complain about what physicians do and do not know.

    doug; the thing that scares me about naturopaths and mono is it can have pretty serious sequelae. I’d hate to see a naturopath tell a high school athlete they can go back to a contact sport too early.

  37. #39 Narad
    August 17, 2017

    When you’re granted a doctoral degree it comes with “all the rights and privileges there pertaining to.”

    This phrase is meaningless outside of the granting institution. There is no legal “right” conferred to the use of a regulated title by having a random Ph.D.

  38. #40 prn
    August 17, 2017

    prn: basically you’re saying homeopathy is better because it didn’t have the side effects or toxicity of medications that we no longer use
    That’s only part of it. I cited actual historical interventions like herbs, sunshine and fasting that have a physiological basis.

    . . . because we have safer alternatives that work better, with fewer side effects.
    Ummm, in a number cases, modern medicine is more self congratulatory than effective or safe.

    I would never say ND’s are.. I always listen to my CNAs…Since what you think about vitamin C and Vit D are largely bullshit, you really aren’t in a position to complain about what physicians do and do not know.

    Thanks for your opinion. IRL it is important to be aware some of ” the cartoon thought bubbles” when we encounter obstruction, interference or assault from less informed medical personnel disconnected from reality.

  39. #41 Panacea
    August 17, 2017

    Narad: Here we go. Look, physicians do not own the title “Doctor.” It’s an academic title, not a professional one. Anyone who completes a course of study that confers a doctoral degree has every right to use it. You better believe when I earn my DNP, I will use the title Doctor (though mostly with my students, more than likely).

    The professional title is physician. MDs and DO’s can use it and NO ONE else.

    Physicians who think otherwise, just need to get over themselves. And if they can’t, then they f***ing need to stop referring to their medical assistants as “nurse.”

    prn: please cite a peer reviewed source showing that fasting has physiological health benefits (I will concede it has spiritual health benefits in moderation).

    I’m aware that sunshine has physiological health benefits in regards to treating mild jaundice of the newborn, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Please cite a peer reviewed source showing it has any other medical use.

    I’m aware that many modern medications have their basis in plants. Please show me a peer reviewed source that proves to me willow bark tea is safer and more effective than aspirin. Preferences don’t count.

    “Modern medicine more self congratulatory?” Dude you are alive and healthy because of modern medicine, even if you eschew it. Modern medicine has meant that people who would have died 50 years ago, live, and live better. That medicine isn’t perfect, and we sometimes still get bad outcomes is not the fault medical science, though I will agree that how we have allowed our capitalist system to so influence who gets access is a major problem.

    As for thought bubbles . . . you realize what you just said applies to you far more than it will ever apply to me, right? Because naturopathy has no basis in any science.

  40. #42 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    August 17, 2017

    prn: 1 year 7 days ago if I had seen a DN (doctor of nothing), I would be dead. I had a widow maker heart attack, with less than a 6% survival chance. I did even better than just survival because I have no detectable heart muscle damage. This happened because of the care from our ANP (I work in a health center) and everyone else along the way. A DN would have been running circles just trying come up with some weird concoction to try to treat something (he/she would not have the skills or equipment to do things right). They may have enough skill to dial 911 but I am not sure about even that.

    Oh by the way, our med department considers me there rock star because I beat the odds so well.

  41. #43 prn
    panecea
    August 17, 2017

    prn: please cite a peer reviewed source showing that fasting has physiological health benefits
    I’m aware that there are physiological changes are easy to spot, amongst many fast types and durations. The “proved benefit” game is a partisan operation that a “civilian” might only prefer to wade into when they have substantial skin in the game..

    I’m aware that sunshine has physiological health benefits in regards to treating mild jaundice of the newborn, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
    Did something happen to vitamin D deficiencies.

    …proves to me willow bark tea is safer and more effective than aspirin.
    It may be more likely that a naturopath asks whether you would benefit more by reducing the salicylates to under 100 mg (0, 40, 81, 100) and adding serrapeptase or another, rather than just going all out with willow instead of Bayer.

    “Modern medicine more self congratulatory?” Dude you are alive and healthy because of modern medicine, even if you eschew it. Modern medicine has meant that people who would have died 50 years ago, live, and live better. That medicine isn’t perfect, and we sometimes still get bad outcomes is not the fault medical science, though I will agree that how we have allowed our capitalist system to so influence who gets access is a major problem.

    I don’t automatically eschew everything medicine sells, I am simply a critical and discerning customer with a strong, independent technical view of the world.

    As for thought bubbles . . . you realize what you just said applies to you far more than it will ever apply to me, right?
    That’s fine, you might learn something…

    Because naturopathy has no basis in any science.
    You’re confused. Naturopathy is a smorgesbord with many treatments originating in the old medical literature. Some of them surviving because of their clear superiority at the ground level, against so many commercially based attacks.

  42. #44 CJTX
    August 17, 2017

    “Some of them surviving because of their clear superiority at the ground level, against so many commercially based attacks.”

    Name ONE and link to credible research on it.
    We’ll wait.

  43. #45 JustaTech
    August 17, 2017

    prn @43: The sun also causes burns and cancer. So, you know, moderation?

  44. #46 prn
    August 19, 2017

    CJTX: “…Name ONE”
    Polysaccharide Krestin, aka PSK, a Coriolus versicolor hot extract discovered at home by a Japanese chemical engineer over 50 years ago.

    In the US, this is a naturopathic oncology supplement. I’ve bought it for some years now. It was the leading oncology drug in Japan for over a dozen years and has hundreds of medical and scientific papers on it. MSM oncologists in the US know very little about it and probably wouldn’t figure it out to save their lives.

    Of course, if they did, they wouldn’t be so MSM anymore. Which is roughly how a lot of MSM MDs went natural…

    • #47 CJTX
      August 19, 2017

      1) You named something but failed to provide links to credible research proving it works. Soooooo, 50% success rate at most?

      2) Being forced to google it, most of what I found says there’s no evidence to support the claim its effective, much less that it is “clearly superior” as stated in your original comment. I also find no credible mechanism for it to work.

      3) I found a few glowing studies – but I have neither the education, skill or experience to evaluate them and will therefore leave that to others.

      4) I find no evidence to support that it “was the leading oncology drug in Japan.” Assuming it was for the sake of argument, the popularity of its use is not evidence of its efficacy. That’s an ad pop fallacy. Also, why “was” it the leading drug, implying it is no longer the leading drug? Perhaps actual drugs came into use?

      5) “MSM oncologists in the US know very little about it” Why should they if there’s no evidence it works or can work, other than having a hobbyist’s interest in mushrooms.

      6) ” probably wouldn’t figure it out to save their lives.” Not sure what this even means? But, see #5.

      7) MSM and “natural” are not two sides of the same coin. You know what they call ‘natural medicine” that works? Medicine.

  45. #48 prn
    August 19, 2017

    #42 Rich Bly
    Ocean Shores
    August 17, 2017
    prn: 1 year 7 days ago if I had seen a DN (doctor of nothing), I would be dead.
    a speculative statement

    I had a widow maker heart attack, with less than a 6% survival chance. I did even better than just survival because I have no detectable heart muscle damage….They may have enough skill to dial 911 but I am not sure about even that.
    The question is whether advanced nutritional methods could have entirely prevented a heart attack by stopping or reversing one or more processes. Even started up to the preceeding days.

    I have to admit that my views derive from MDs, but they are often the same guys that might influence techie naturopaths.

    Oh by the way, our med department considers me there rock star because I beat the odds so well
    …especally if insurance paid all the bills…

  46. #49 Politicalguineapig
    August 19, 2017

    PRN: Did something happen to vitamin D deficiencies?

    You obviously don’t drink milk. Most commercial brands add vitamin d to it. And between that and you know, eating food, people have a lot fewer deficiencies now.

  47. #50 prn
    August 19, 2017

    pgp@49:
    Partly depends on what you call deficient e.g. under 20 ng/mL or 32 ng/mL, the daily amount needed to achieve that level, and what other problems you’re dealing with that might have therapeutic implications at higher levels.

    If you need 8000 – 15,000 iu per day to get to 32 ng, that’s a lot of milk…and obviously, hitting 60 – 100 ng/mL means more.

  48. #51 Politicalguineapig
    August 20, 2017

    I think they were going for the minimum that would prevent rickets in kids. Which is actually fine for most people since they really don’t need much more than that. One thing about vitamins is that they don’t really stay in the system; if someone has more than they need, the minimum stays and the rest goes. This is why supplementing doesn’t really work unless there’s a defeciency already present.

  49. #52 prn
    August 20, 2017

    Overt rickets is almost a medievally dangerous standard for vitamin D dosing. I wouldn’t be surprised if endocrinologists sometimes called such knuckle draggers, “bone heads” in private.

    Different vitamins have much varied residence times, that can individually vary with disease condition by orders of magnitude. And although I know you don’t want to be listed as a supporter of alt meds on deficiencies, benefit related to deficiency is only “often true”, not solely true.

    There are immunological and pharmacological phenomena where some pronounced therapeutic effects are not remotely deficiency related, even focally. e.g. vitamin D in the 50,000 – 300,000 iu per day range or high dose IV vitamin C multiple times per day.

  50. #53 Politicalguineapig
    August 20, 2017

    PRN: Overt rickets is almost a medievally dangerous standard for vitamin D dosing. I wouldn’t be surprised if endocrinologists sometimes called such knuckle draggers, “bone heads” in private.

    That’s kind of blamey, prn.
    There are plenty of people who have vitamin defiencies who simply don’t notice, until it starts interfering in their lives.It’s not intentional, most of the time. I have an iron defeciency right now, partly because that’s something I’m prone to, partly because my diet has become a bit more vegetarian.
    In most cases, a general physician can spot worrying signs before someone develops full-blown rickets or jaundice.

    I support supplementing as needed, but it’s not a cure all, and in most cases, it simply results in expensive waste products.That’s not supporting alternate medicine, it’s supporting what works.

    The rest of your post is simply your usual gabble, which means you have nothing to say, really. I’d also like to note that IV administration is usually a surgical procedure for a good reason. Do you know what an edema is?
    There’s a reason most reputable doctors prefer people to take their vitamins orally. Also, poking holes in veins constantly isn’t a really good idea.

  51. #54 Old Rockin' Dave
    August 20, 2017

    “I have an iron defeciency right now, partly because that’s something I’m prone to, partly because my diet has become a bit more vegetarian.”
    My daughter has been a strict vegan for years, and she is deficient in nothing. As a young adult woman, you might expect some degree of iron loss through menses, but instead is a highly capable amateur athlete – she does acroyoga and I have seen her lift and support a man nearly twice her weight. My advice is to do your homework like she does.
    PGP, IV placement is only done by surgeons or other trained personnel when a semipermanent IV access needs to be placed into a central vein or a cutdown needs to be done to access a peripheral vein. Otherwise, peripheral lines are put in at bedside by nurses, PAs, nonsurgical MDs, LPNs, IV techs, etc. Actual administration of IV fluids and medications is usually done at bedside by RNs.
    prn, I also was saved by modern medicine. I had a mitral prolapse, and even though I took all the precautions, against the odds I had bacterial vegetations on my mitral and aortic valves, and was going into heart failure. My internist’s partner took one listen and sent me to a cardiologist to be sent to a hospital for admission. After a few days of tests (cardiac catheterization, transesophageal echocardiogram, and more) I went to the OR and had the two infected valves replaced. I had to take IV antibiotics five hours a day for a month before I was considered out of the woods. I still take a calcium channel blocker for prophylaxis of atrial fibrillation.
    By the time I sought help for my extreme fatigabiity, I was in all likelihood days away from the vegetations breaking loose and causing me to stroke out and quite likely to die. I don’t know of any so-called alternative medicine modality that would have helped me, and if I believed in any of them I might have delayed effective treatment long enough to die. Can “advanced nutritional methods” keep bacteria that once in the blood will settle down on an abnormally configured heart valve away? If so, I’d like to see the evidence. And how would you know if worked? Even if I hadn’t taken the recommended antibiotic premedication the odds of my valves becoming infected were fairly small, and how would you measure what doesn’t happen? Any study that withheld the antibiotics would be morally and ethically monstrous, and malpractice to boot.

  52. #55 herr doktor bimler
    August 20, 2017

    “Bacterial vegetations” is a delightful term that would not be out of place in a monologue from one of the rustic characters in ‘Cold Comfort Farm’.

  53. #56 Politicalguineapig
    August 21, 2017

    ORD: I am working on that actually. I’ve been training in martial arts for years, and I jog and walk regularly. I cook a lot, and I’m tweaking my diet continously.

    ORD: IV placement is only done by surgeons or other trained personnel when a semipermanent IV access needs to be placed into a central vein or a cutdown needs to be done to access a peripheral vein. Otherwise, peripheral lines are put in at bedside by nurses, PAs, nonsurgical MDs, LPNs, IV techs, etc. Actual administration of IV fluids and medications is usually done at bedside by RNs.

    Yes, I am aware of this, but I don’t know if PRN is. He (?) seems to believe having holes poked in him constantly by untrained people is somehow a good thing.

  54. #57 Panacea
    August 21, 2017

    PGP: well, he’s trying to defend naturopaths by reclassifying them as technicians when even they don’t call themselves that. So yeah, he’s basically full of it.

    Re #43, prn said regarding fasting: “I’m aware that there are physiological changes are easy to spot, amongst many fast types and durations. The “proved benefit” game is a partisan operation that a “civilian” might only prefer to wade into when they have substantial skin in the game.. ”

    So you admit there is no evidence of physiological benefit from fasting.

    Your “proved benefit” is a dodge. This is science. You either have the data or you don’t. And you don’t.

    Re aspiring: “…proves to me willow bark tea is safer and more effective than aspirin.
    It may be more likely that a naturopath asks whether you would benefit more by reducing the salicylates to under 100 mg (0, 40, 81, 100) and adding serrapeptase or another, rather than just going all out with willow instead of Bayer.”

    My, my. That sounds suspiciously like the practice of medicine. And suggesting anyone add an unproven substance to regular aspirin in my mind is even worse than drinking willow bark tea, since we do know it can be effective if it’s prepared properly (it is why we figured out to isolation salicylic acid after all).

    Prn said, “I don’t automatically eschew everything medicine sells, I am simply a critical and discerning customer with a strong, independent technical view of the world.”

    If that were true you wouldn’t be advocating unproven treatments.

    Prn said, “That’s fine, you might learn something…”

    From you? Not a chance. You don’t know anything.

    prn said, “You’re confused. Naturopathy is a smorgesbord with many treatments originating in the old medical literature. Some of them surviving because of their clear superiority at the ground level, against so many commercially based attacks.”

    Please. This is science. If there were real, solid evidence anything in this smorgasbord worked, we would know it. The evidence is weak and unconvincing. And given that naturopaths never said their treatments don’t work, don’t work for everyone, and do say every treatment works for everything, the BS is strong with this one.

  55. #58 Dangerous Bacon
    August 21, 2017

    As for the allegedly “pronounced therapeutic effects” of high dose vitamin D supplementation:

    “…according to a review led by the University of Auckland’s Associate Professor Mark Bolland…published in the latest British Medical Journal that involved research colleagues at the University of Auckland and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland…scientific evidence does not support the use of vitamin D supplements to prevent disease, except in a small group of people at high risk…Bolland and colleagues make the case (based on a comprehensive search of published evidence) that existing clinical trials show vitamin D supplementation does not improve musculoskeletal outcomes.”

    “There is no high quality evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplementation is beneficial for other conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and some cancers – and ongoing trial results are unlikely to alter these conclusions,” he says.”

    “The study authors suggest people at high risk should be counselled about sunlight exposure and diet, and low dose vitamin D supplements considered on an individual basis.”

    “Otherwise we conclude that current evidence does not support the use of vitamin D supplementation to prevent disease,”

    https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/news-events-and-notices/news/news-2016/11/vitamin-d-supplements-unnecessary-for-healthy-adults.html

  56. #59 Politicalguineapig
    August 21, 2017

    Panacea: well, he’s trying to defend naturopaths by reclassifying them as technicians when even they don’t call themselves that. So yeah, he’s basically full of it.

    Agreed. I do kind of wonder how PRN’s avoided infection or scarring or embolisms. I don’t even like professionals like nurses or phlebotomists drawing blood or giving me shots. But I understand that they are trained and do those procedures often.
    Where does a naturopath get training to administer IVs? Do they just poke and hope?

  57. #60 Johnny
    127.0.0.1
    August 21, 2017

    Polysaccharide Krestin, aka PSK, a Coriolus versicolor hot extract discovered at home by a Japanese chemical engineer over 50 years ago.

    In the US, this is a naturopathic oncology supplement. I’ve bought it for some years now.

    So what are you doing with all this PSK?

  58. #61 Panacea
    August 21, 2017

    PGP: learning to insert a peripheral IV really isn’t that difficulty. It just requires practice and use of good technique. I can teach anyone to start an IV, but I can’t teach everyone to be a good nurse. Nursing’s skill set is cognitive, not tactile. The skills are simply tools.

    Anyone can take a course in basic phlebotomy from any community college. That teaches you how to draw blood, and the challenges behind it. It’s not a great leap beyond that to learn to advance an angiocath.

    There are tons of videos on You Tube.

    How naturopaths acquire the skill, I’m not sure. Maybe they get a licensed physician or nurse to train them. But as I said; this skill requires practice to get any good at it.

    I have to wonder how many pokes their patients get before they get the line. I also have to wonder what their aseptic technique is like, and how they’re priming their lines.

  59. #62 Politicalguineapig
    August 21, 2017

    Panacea: well, he’s trying to defend naturopaths by reclassifying them as technicians when even they don’t call themselves that. So yeah, he’s basically full of it.

    Yup. I’m just wondering how he’s managed to avoid infections, embolisms and scarring. Are naturopaths even trained to put in IVs? Or do they poke and hope?

  60. #63 Panacea
    August 21, 2017

    There’s only one formal school of training for naturopaths that I know of; Bastyr. I don’t know if they train naturopaths to do IVs, or how they learn. Most other programs are little more than diploma mills so I’m afraid to ask how they learn. Self taught maybe, or take a CC class in phlebotomy. But if you don’t use good aseptic technique, there is a risk for infection, infiltration and phlebitis that is not insubstantial. That can lead to venous scarring yes.

    I imagine most of their patients are young and healthy. Those are usually “good sticks” easy to get a line.

    It would be interesting to try and figure out just how bad they are.

  61. #64 Old Rockin' Dave
    August 21, 2017

    Big news! I have found a homeopathic remedy that really works!
    I consulted a homeopath for treatment of a dark substance on my hands. He didn’t say anything, he just took a little dirt from a potted plant, and after diluting it to 30C, he poured it over my outstretched hands. The dark stuff was stripped away like magic! It’s great! I’m going to do this all the time!
    All this time I thought they were full of s**t, but now I’m a convert.
    I’m inspired, so much that I have begun experimenting with a homeopathic cure for dehydration. Any number of substances diluted to 30C or more are showing promising results. It’s been so simple that I wonder why homeopathic medicine never took this one on.

  62. #65 Narad
    August 21, 2017

    Do you know what an edema is?

    A novel turn of phrase?

  63. #66 Politicalguineapig
    August 21, 2017

    Panacea: Eek.

  64. #67 herr doktor bimler
    August 21, 2017

    Do you know what an edema is?
    A distant relative in The Adams Family? She only appeared in 3 episodes.

  65. #68 Narad
    August 22, 2017

    There’s only one formal school of training for naturopaths that I know of; Bastyr.

    There are a few more, with NCSM perhaps being the heaviest hitter after Bastyr.

  66. #69 Narad
    August 22, 2017

    ^ NCSM SCNM

  67. #70 Politicalguineapig
    August 22, 2017

    hdb: I meant embolism, and accidentally typed edema.

  68. […] Respectful Insolence: Naturopathy: When fake doctors cosplay real doctors […]

  69. #72 JR
    utah
    September 6, 2017

    I don’t understand why the hate against NDs just because they want to try to treat people more naturally and not have the first instinct for every problem be writing a prescription.
    Why is this called scienceblogs if you are going to unscientifically bash a profession that gets educated in science.
    NDs get science based training the same as MDs and DOs. They can also prescribe actual medication just like other doctors because of the fact that they are real doctors.

    The article is mainly citing an individual who was not licensed for anything and using it to condemn all legitimate NDs. Why are you not trashing all MDs? Plenty of them screw up also. Every profession seems to have shady individuals or those who aren’t as good as someone else.
    Just because you don’t agree with all the other subjects the ND has studied doesn’t mean they are less entitled to be called a doctor. I don’t agree with pharmaceutical reps meeting with MDs trying to encourage them to push more drugs on patients but that doesn’t mean the medical doctor is less qualified to be considered a doctor.

    Which is what I’m seeing here that people disagree with homeopathy or acupuncture or something else that is less mainstream and they aren’t comfortable with it so they are trying to force their negative opinion to be fact.

    Mainstream medicine has multiple drugs all capable of treating the same condition because everybody is different. Just because one drug works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for somebody else with the same issue.

    http://www.naturopathic.org/education

    Read the FAQS as well and be informed before just stating negative opinions and being disrespectful to an entire profession.

    Guess what? When I went to my MD years ago and was told my blood work showed I had high cholesterol, his first response was to offer a natural solution.
    He told me I needed to start eating healthy and exercising. Does that mean that this actual medical doctor is a quack because he offers first common sense instead of medication?
    I of course being extremely lazy at the time was honest with my doctor and told him I’d consider trying some healthy food but didn’t see myself exercising anytime soon. He then gave me some samples of cholesterol medicine and said if these were working he’d write a prescription and again urged me to consider exercising and eating healthy foods.

    I eventually got tired of the side effects from prescription drugs and wanted to do things more naturally and so changed my diet with some occasional exercise thrown in. I still see the same medical doctor when needed and have never seen a naturopathic doctor. Now that I’m more educated that popping pills isn’t always the best solution since it only masks the symptoms and doesn’t resolve the root cause, I’d definitely consider seeing an ND for their expertise.

    Too much of the comments and articles on this website seemed to be fear based. I’ve seen comments from other articles as well where others present valid opposing arguments and links to other sources to support their viepoint and still so many on here are dismissive and refuse to consider the possibility that they might be wrong.
    If people want to try some new age method to solve their issues and they believe it works than why is it problem to anyone else, if no one forces you to do it and you can keep with your same traditional method?.
    I’m not saying one is better than the other I just think there needs to be more tolerance and acceptance of others and this website doesn’t seem to have much regard for anything that goes outside of the author’s opinion.
    sometimes I’m disappointed by humanity and so I felt compelled to say something. Example: my employer offered 4 hours paid time to go volunteer for any non-profit during the month of august. They had hoped for a 65% participation, at the end of the month less than 30% actually volunteered.
    Just one of many things I guess I’ll never understand.

    Thanks for reading this comment. Have an awesome day!

  70. #73 squirrelelite
    September 6, 2017

    @JR,

    You seem to be someone who is looking for a friendly discussion, but has a naive or limited understanding of what naturopathy actually is and how naturopaths treat diseases. So I’ll offer you my thoughts.

    If naturopaths would only “try to treat people more naturally” and also quickly refer their patients to a better trained physician when that doesn’t work, we wouldn’t be nearly as concerned about them.

    But they do things like injecting curcumin, a spice, directly into the bloodstream, injecting stem cells into the spine, sticking pins into the back, and many other things that don’t seem very natural.

    And using treatments that don’t work or can actually harm the patient can delay getting the needed treatment and sometimes lead to the death of the patient. Unnecessary deaths that might have been prevented do upset us.

    There are many problems with naturopathy, but a key problem is that there is no standard of care. That means that there are no rules on how to diagnose or treat anything. And that lets the naturopath do pretty much whatever they think will work.

    And, their training is a laundry list of various methods that have been abandoned by standard medicine in favor of prescribing medicines that have been tested and found to work.

    So I suggest you look for the standard naturopathic treatment for eczema and Hodgkins’ lymphoma, and search in Pubmed for a study that shows it is effective.

    Also, to be scientific, naturopaths need to keep trying to improve their methods, so can you find any examples of treatments that have been abandoned by naturopaths because they were found to be ineffective or had too many harmful side effects?