White Coat Underground

Archives for December, 2009

Winter mornings

My kid is growing, and I’m of course ambivalent about it. It’s not that she’s becoming some sort of giant—she’s still a tiny little thing, but now she picks up books and starts reading them. When she does, I usually start shouting excitedly, but she reminds me that I’m not allowed to be excited. She…

Endocrine disruptors—the one true cause?

A common theme in alternative medicine is the “One True Cause of All Disease”. Aside from the pitiable naivete, it’s implausible that “acidic diet”, liver flukes, colonic debris, the Lyme spirochete, or any other problem—real or imagined—can cause “all disease” (in addition to the fact that most of these ideas are intrinsically mutually exclusive). One…

Another tricky day

I wanted to sleep in this morning, but somehow it’s tough to change gears that quickly. I don’t normally get up too early—6:30—but I really felt like sleeping in. I made it to 7:00. That early, I have the house to myself, so I brewed up a pot of some killer new coffee that Dr.…

Disturbing pseudo-psychology in HuffPo

When Major Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire on his comrades at Ft Reed, he gave no indication of his motives, other than a generic shout of “God is great!” Generally we think of terrorist acts as involving a conspiracy rather than the actions of an individual, but the difference is unlikely to matter to the…

How well do we understand sore throat?

He looked sick—really sick. He was sitting on a stretcher in an ER bay, flushed, breathing a bit quickly, but his youth seemed to compensate for the acuity of his illness, and he didn’t feel nearly as bad has he looked. His fever was 104, his systolic blood pressure was in the 90s, his heart…

Remember the Zicam debacle? To catch you up, Zicam has been promoted for years as a “homeopathic cold remedy”. It is of course neither. Since it contains measurable amounts of zinc, it isn’t “homeopathic”, and since there is no cure for the common cold, it’s not a remedy. In addition to having neither of it’s…

Today, the 21st annual World AIDS day, comes at a time when AIDS has become an everyday fact of life. Conservative estimates have over 33 million people living with HIV world-wide with an adult prevalence of 0.8%. This is a common disease, but its distribution is unequal. Due in part to economic, cultural, political, and…