Medicine

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Category archives for Medicine

If there were a parallel universe, and in that universe medicine, instead of being based on science, was simply a gemisch of various folkways and superstitions, medicine in that universe would be called “naturopathy”. “Remember. Hey, how come this never works with water?” I’ve discussed the absurdity of naturopathy nux vomica ad nauseum, but a…

From the medical journals

Common osteoporosis drugs do not increase the risk of unusual fractures (probably): Bisphosphonates (such as Fosamax and Actonel), a class of medications used to prevent fractures in osteoporosis, are effective in preventing certain types of common back and hip fractures.  As we’ve developed more patient-years of experience with the drugs, we’ve found certain problems, such…

The Pill and altmed idiocy

We’re now fifty years into the history of oral contraceptive pills, and we’ve learned an enormous amount. We’ve learned about various therapeutic uses of the Pill and unanticipated risks. We’ve learned to adjust the amount of medication to a lower effective dose. We’ve given women the opportunity to very effectively control their own fertility in…

Bad science, done badly. It’s bad.

So-called “morgellons syndrome” is an interesting phenomenon. This syndrome is not at this point generally recognized by the medical community, but its sufferers describe many different systemic symptoms, such as “brain fog” and fatigue, and characteristic skin lesions which they describe as containing or extruding an unknown substance. The patients are most often diagnosed as…

You pulled that out of where?

Last week I gave you a refresher course on the invalid arguments used by altmed boosters. The Turf Battle Fallacy and Pharma Shill Gambit are classics for a number of reasons. The most amusing thing about these gambits is their hypocrisy.   The alternative medicine movement is  essentially a collection of businesses selling unproven supplements…

Who doesn’t hate smallpox?

Smallpox was one of the world’s most devastating diseases, and its eradication one of medicine’s most spectacular successes. Over the course of a couple of centuries, this disease went from killing and maiming millions (200-500 million in the 20th century alone), from helping to depopulate the Americas of their original populations, to an historical artifact.…

Alternative medicine is very profitable. Herbs and supplements are a multi-billion dollar industry. The practice of primary care medicine is not terribly lucrative, and adding on some “integrative medicine” can turn that around. A primary care doc can significantly increase their income by selling supplements and offering unproven tests and treatments. These are not covered…

So I gave that talk yesterday at the Great Lakes Homeland Security Expo. It went better than I had expected, as the audience was willing to be interactive and ask tough questions. The audience was a mixed group of health care professionals, first responders, communications directors, and disaster planners. Most had facebook accounts, and many…

Update on fake diseases

I’ve been a bit busy lately and haven’t been able to update you on some important developments in the field of imaginary diseases. Update 1: Chronic Lyme Disease So-called “chronic Lyme disease” (CLD) is a diverse constellation of symptoms which are often attributed to Lyme disease, but without objective evidence of infection with the organism…

Dana Ullman is an idiot. Or maybe insane. I’m not sure which, but his latest article at the Huffington Post reveals such a severe defect in rational thought that it must be one or the other (charitably speaking). He calls it “Lies, Damn Lies (sic), and Medical Research,” and the point of it is quite…