Sh*t naturopaths say

Naturopathic-Medicine-Week-Square

I mentioned yesterday that this week is Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014, or, as I like to call it, Quackery Week. At the time, I wasn’t sure when or if I was going to do another post about the quackery that is naturopathy this week. I was going to play it by ear and see what came up. Then, one of my commenters mentioned this subreddit, Read what naturopaths say to one another. Conclusion: manipulative, poorly trained, and a threat to public health. Now, I’m not a big fan of Reddit, largely because I can’t figure out how to find things easily, and I hate the sheer ugly and user hostile format, not even considering other unpleasant issues with it.

Be that as it may, this particular subreddit has some interesting tidbits culled from what is advertised as a .zip file with a bunch of .txt files representing a Yahoo! Group named Naturopathic Chat. The file is in dBase3 format and, according to the person who tried to upload it, zipped to 62 MB. A lot of the conversation consists of people saying how they want to download it but don’t trust the dodgy upload sites to which the file had been uploaded. (As well they shouldn’t!) One comment, however, has a bunch of links to various excerpts from the e-mails. It’s instructive indeed to peruse them, particularly if you’re sympathetic to claims of naturopaths.

Naturopaths, as regular readers know and as I’ve railed about since the very beginning of this blog, like to claim that they are well trained to be primary care health providers, a delusion that leads them to try to get states to change their laws to given them that privilege, along with prescribing rights. Across the river from where I live, Ontario made the mistake of granting naturopaths prescribing rights, with an unintended consequence, namely that they can’t find enough pharmacists to test their knowledge of drugs and prescribing. Meanwhile, they lobby states for increased scope of practice and Medicare for reimbursement for their services. Never mind that they regularly demonstrate themselves to be grossly unprepared for the role of primary care practitioner, which is not surprising given their lack of training and how steeped they are in pseudoscience. So little of what’s on that subreddit will likely be a surprise to regular readers here.

Even in that small sampling available on the subreddit, there are plenty of examples of just why naturopaths should never be allowed to be primary care practitioners—hell, why they shouldn’t be allowed to be health care practitioners of any kind. Perusing them, I was naturally drawn to this one on IV peroxide:

Hi there,

Looking for experiences that anyone has had with results from IV hydrogen peroxide therapy.

A patient who is ultrasensitive is considering this but hesitant since she reacts so severely even to the minutest amount of homeopathic drainage. I am concerned as well.

Just that she she has severe dysbiosis and many methods we have tried she reacts to.

Any thoughts?

Thank You
Anna Bunda ND
Ottawa, Ontario

Intravenous hydrogen peroxide, of course, is not indicated for, well, anything. Of course, what I’m wondering is what homeopathic drainage has to do with intravenous peroxide therapy or why sensitivity to “homeopathic drainage” would predict problems with intravenous peroxide? But what is homeopathic drainage, anyway? Don’t ask. OK, I’ll tell you. It’s a form of homeopathic “detoxification,” as described here and here. Here’s what Homeopathy Today says about it:

Homeopathic drainage therapy is one of the best ways to promote body`s natural process of detoxification. Clinical experience in homeopathy has shown that some homeopathic medicines are able to improve blood circulation and help the body gently release the accumulated toxins and wastes from all cells and tissues. Homeopathic drugs have a drainage action when prescribed in low potencies (3X,6X, 3C, 5C).

Homeopathic drainage therapy is very useful and effective in every detox program. Complex preparations containing mixtures of such drainage medicines are available and widely used for maintaining health and well-being. The length of treatment may last from 3-10 weeks and usually depends on the person`s state of health. Homeopathic drainage therapy is natural, safe and compatible with other therapeutic modalities. It also minimizes detox side effects.

I do so love how “low potency” in homeopathy-speak means stronger concentrations of homeopathic remedies, you know, not the super ultra-dilutions like 30C. A 30C dilution, as you recall, consists of 30 serial 100-fold dilutions, or a 10-60 dilution, which is, of course, nearly 37 orders of magnitude more than Avogadro’s number, meaning that a 30C homeopathic dilution is incredibly unlikely to contain a single molecule of the starting substance, other than what might have been carried over as a contaminant on the glassware used to do the dilutions. In other words, the “strongest” homeopathic remedies are water. In contrast, 3C and even 5C (albeit to a lesser extent) could have enough compound left to be pharmacologically active, while 3X and 6X could definitely have pharmacologically active compound. In other words, “low potency” homeopathic compounds are actually the only ones that might do anything, although, given that most of these herbal remedies that form the basis of homeopathic remedies, are not by themselves generally known to do much of anything. I suppose aloe might actually be useful for “detoxification of the rectum,” if by that you mean “soothing,” as aloe soothed a particularly bad sunburn I acquired during a certain tropical vacation over 20 years ago.

As for the rest, there’s the ever popular Strychnos nux vomica, which is derived from a tree that produces strychnine. If I were to apply Food Babe reasoning, I’d cringe in horror because it’s active ingredient is still used in pest control products, in gopher bait, and in some rat poisons, but in reality it’s never been shown to have therapeutic value for any condition.

But I digress. Another naturopath is only too happy to help out and tells exactly how he administers IV peroxide:

Anna,

I do a lot of IV H2O2 mostly for acute viral infections, it works very well if this is your goal for treatment.

Mix in 250cc D5W 2.5cc of 3% H2O2, add 5 Manganese sulfate (0.1mg/ml) to prevent phlebitis and irritation on the veins from the peroxide, also add 1cc of Mag sulfate 500mg to help dilate vessels. Drip time is approx 2 hrs.

You may want to half the above formula in the same volume of carrier solution and infuse over 3 hrs for the sensitive person as an initial treatment and then go to full strength if tolerating. Be ready with Benedryl if a reaction occurs.

Jeff Hanson ND
The Nevada Center

See the bizarre mixture of quackery (remember, IV peroxide is not a treatment for infection, viral or otherwise) and seemingly conventional medicine, with manganese sulfate and magnesium sulfate being given, as well as a good old standby of conventional medicine, Benadryl, being available in case of hypersensitivity reaction. And, of course, given that chronic Lyme disease is a favorite bogus diagnosis of quacks everywhere, an undefined disease characterized quite properly as the latest in a series of many labels that have attempted to attribute medically unexplained symptoms to infections, and that antibiotic treatment is not warranted and for which there are many unvalidated tests sold in the clinics of naturopaths and other dubious practitioners.

For instance, a naturopath named Renee Lang of Biologic Integrative Healthcare asks whether IV peroxide is good for “stubborn Lyme infection,” and is told by Stacey Rafferty:

I have used H2O2 a fair amount in the vast protocols needed to treat lyme. I believe it addresses the co-infections the best. Almost all lyme patients have EBV, mycoplasma, yeast et.... I am not convinced H2O2 helps with borrelia. If one is using HCl along with H2O2, the immune stimulation that occurs with HCl might be the therapeutic value.

HCl is hydrochloric acid, for those without a background in chemistry. So, here we have a naturopath injecting not just peroxide but hydrochloric acid, into patients. I’m guessing that’s mighty rough on veins, as rough on veins as some chemotherapeutics, although the 3% peroxide is diluted 1:100, which is relatively dilute and we don’t know what concentration of HCl was used along with H2O2. One wonders if Rafferty puts a Portacath in to administer this toxic concoction. It’s probably not nasty enough to do really serious damage to veins unless she’s giving it every week, but I’d be worried about extravasation, just as I would be for chemotherapy.

Consistent with the love naturopaths bear for the nonexistent entity that is chronic Lyme disease, there’s a letter from a naturopath about her child upon whom a tick was found. The tick was removed by a physician, and the discussion turns to all sorts of concerns about—you guessed it—chronic lyme disease. Naturally, this naturopath is waiting for homeopathic nosodes, which homeopaths think protect agains infection. There’s the usual recommendation for nosodes and “naturopathic care,” but one naturopath named Kathleen Riley helpfully suggests:

Are you able to see the site of the tick bite? If you can , I recommend using a drawing salve until the site is no longer visible. Research presented at a past ILADS conference demonstrated live spirochetes at the bite site when it remains inflamed, even if the bite was a year before. To prevent a possible reservoir of Lyme, I have all my patients use a drawing salve on the bite site until it is no longer visible. This is in addition to using homeopathics and antimicrobials for a minimum of 3 weeks and monitoring for symptoms for 3 months after the bite. Earth Botanical Harvest's Herbal Compound Ointment has been useful for extracting remnant mouth parts. Patients have also successfully use old fashioned black salve for this purpose.

Black salve? That’s downright delusional. It’s basically acid that burns away skin lesions. It’s not for nothing that I once referred to it as “cutting, poisoning, and burning naturally.”

There were a bunch of other discussions, many of which involved anything other than purest quackery, such as this discussion where—of course—chelation therapy is highly recommended for a patient with cardiovascular disease on Plavix (an antiplatelet drug that slows coagulation) and aspirin because he’s had cardiac stents. Jeff Hanson helpfully suggests:

Are you able to do IV Na-EDTA chelation with this patient? Refer to the Alt Med Review from June 2007 regarding chelation, dual anti-platelet tx, and stents. In this review article, "studies demonstrate EDTA inhibits platelet aggregation...... via three mechanisms while it maintains a safety factor my not inhibiting collagen-induced aggregation...whereas, Clopidogrel inhibits by only one". I have seen a number of patients outlive the expected life of their stents and not requiring re-stenting. Chelation is one of those treatments you can hang-your-hat-on for stable angina sx and cardioprotection post stenting. Chelation is not proven to remove arterial plaque but I have seen clinically in 2 pts receiving this tx that did a before and after Carotid Intima Media Thickness scan, they saw a 50% reduction in the amount of carotid plague and artery thickness. I would recommend 20-30 IV's 2x/week then 1 tx monthly as maintenance. Don't include vitamin C in formula because it can promote inflammation (see "alt med review" original study from March 2009 on EDTA and Vit-C). In addition, ozone tx with Major Autohemotherapy before chelation can promote RBC oxygen utilization and add a boost to the chelation tx.

I would not use chelation in replace of Plavix at least for 6-12 months. The standard of care is too use dual antiplatelet therapy for those at a high risk owing to a history of MI, stroke, or for those undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions for secondary prevention of clots. I think you can get away with removing the ASA with Nattokinase, fish oil (4gm), anti-inflammatory diet, and chelation...more then enough protection. Follow the fibrinogen levels (target 250-300) and bleeding time (in-office proceduce...target 3-4 min), along with CRPhs and perhaps Lp-PLAC.

He wouldn’t use chelation in place of Plavix for 6-12 months? Good to know, given that the recommendation was to use Plavix and aspirin for six months but apparently now is to use it for a year after stent placement to prevent clotting. (The things I learn talking to cardiologists about my patients when asking if I can take them off of Plavix for a few days to do an operation! I can operate safely when a patient is on aspirin. Plavix, not so easy. It’s not unlike operating on a patient on coumadin.) Of course, as we know, chelation therapy for cardiovascular disease is also quackery, the recent clinical trial known as TACT notwithstanding.

I could go on and on, but instead I’ll close with—of course!—what naturopaths think about vaccination. Let’s just say they aren’t very enthusiastic about them, pulling out old tropes about vaccinations during the baby’s first year, and they like Dr. Sears, although, surprisingly, one naturopath actually mentioned the CHOP website. Of course, that brought out another naturopath pulling the “pharma shill gambit” on the CHOP website. In fact, this naturopath, Doug Cutler, is in my neck of the woods and states plainly at various points:

Agreed. But the sad reality, is that the "study" is being performed today with our children as the guinea pigs. Absolutely shameful that the biggest medical fraud (perpetuated by Big Pharma) continues to indoctrinate the public ("milk does a body good") that vaccines are safe and effective. As you stated, we still don't know the longterm vaccine safety so hoping that they are safe and effective for the "greater good" is unacceptable and completely immoral until we fully know.

You are right though, we need to question our personal "dogma/bias". I fully believed in vaccines until my intimate association with hundreds of mothers that had vaccine injured children, changed that entire belief set completely around. The same amazing mothers that knew more about vaccines than any doctor or scientist out there, hands down. Then with my training and knowledge of environmental toxins, just analyzing the actual ingredients of each vaccine, one by one - I could never in good conscience justify those known toxic ingredients to have a free pass directly (no detox roadblocks) to a baby's brain.

And:

My disclosure, I am opposed to all sources of toxins therefore I am against vaccines whose one size approach fails to account nutritional statuses, toxic burden of mom/child and genetic polymorphisms that are at epidemic levels. 10 vaccines from birth to 6 years in 1983 and 36-38 vaccines from birth to 6 years in 2010. Insane.

No, being as antivaccine as Cutler is is insane. He goes on and on against vaccines in the course of several longer-than-average entries in the discussion thread. You know, I might have to explore his website further. It is, as we say in the biz, a “target-rich” environment, and I always wonder about someone who is this antivaccine. In any case, “naturally,” other naturopaths throw out links to the National Vaccine Information Center and its highly deceptive Vaccine Ingredient Calculator. To be fair, there were a couple there, one in particular, criticizing the conspiracy mongering and antivaccine misinformation being spread there, even going so far as to state that “placating anti-vaccination isn't responsible for our community and does nothing to further the profession,” but I actually think that one naturopath summed up the true case thusly:

Asking naturopaths to accept vaccinations is comparable in my mind to asking dentists to give up amalgams. It touches on some very deep beliefs in the professional group :)

Those beliefs are, of course, overwhelmingly antivaccine and baked into the very DNA of naturopaths, beginning in naturopathy school. This is not surprising, because, contrary to the whitewash campaign of “Naturopathic Medicine Week 2014” promulgated by credulous legislators, naturopathy is quackery.

You know, maybe I should make “Sh*t naturopaths say” a recurring feature right here on the old blog.

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If you transplanted 16th century "healers" into present-day society and gave them access to drugs (and human beings to experiment on), the results would be much the same.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

And HCl and H2O2 are not nasty chemicals? I rather don't want to have those injected in my veins. And about the HCl, how much should it be diluted? I still remember an experiment with a bone, put in HCl, which ompletely disapeared.

Um... lets just say I would hate to have to rely on one of these guys for my health. seriously, injecting people with peroxide and hydrochloric acid ? Why not throw in a little cyanide, too ?
Oh wait, they do that with Laetrile , peach pit extract and "vitamin b-17" Hey, at least they aren't directly poisoning anyone... oh wait. they are. NDs don't believe in "First, Do No Harm" I suppose ? "hey, it didn't kill the other 100 people I tried it on! " What exactly is "natural" about hydrogen peroxide ? Do you get little blonde white cells in your blood?

Somehow the 'c' in completely disapeared as well.

Isn't 6X ( 10^6 = 1:1,000,000) and 3C (100^3 = 1:1,000,000 the same potency, assuming proper dilution practices?

I think you should correct that, if I'm right Orac. I thought it was quite embarrassing that Homeopathy Today didn't know this.

"Almost all Lyme patients have EBV, mycoplasma, yeast, etc" Really? Then maybe their symptoms are caused by the EBV and mycoplasma and not by the non-existent chronic lyme infection!

I wonder whether that hydrogen peroxide/manganese solution turns purple for the permanganate you're making.

[Other point about homeopathy fixed and deleted. Late night.]

I have to wonder about the manganese sulfate mixed into the peroxide solution. Manganese dioxide catalyzes rapid decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. Dr J's answer suggests the sulfate would have the same ultimate effect.

I wonder if they infuse the hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide at the same time. Any chemists want to weigh in on what would happen if they did this?

If it were 6X, it would be succussed 6 times. If it's 3C it's only succussed 3 times. That would make all the difference in the world for potency. I suppose. Maybe.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Isn’t 6X ( 10^6 = 1:1,000,000) and 3C (100^3 = 1:1,000,000 the same potency, assuming proper dilution practices?

For those of us in the reality-based world, it is. If you're a homeopath, then it matters whether you used three dilution-succussion steps or six to prepare that potion. But we knew already that homeopaths are math-challenged, since they seem to be unaware that Avogadro's number corresponds roughly to a 12C dilution. Indeed, they sometimes dilute by 40C or more, which would give you approximately one atom (or less) out of the entire observable Universe. That's why homeopathy is such a reliable marker of idiocy: anybody who took a high school chemistry class should have learned Avogadro's number.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Entirely off topic but reminded by Avogadro's number: I have heard that if you ever got a Mole of moles in one spot in space, they'd be crushed by their gravitational field into a planetoid the size of the moon. https://what-if.xkcd.com/4/

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

You know, maybe I should make “Sh*t naturopaths say” a recurring feature right here on the old blog.

Yes you should. Absolutely.

By Harold Gaines (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

IV HCL? That's ACID... Don't those NDs know that ACIDITY in the body causes CANCER?!

"...aloe might actually be useful for “detoxification of the rectum,” if by that you mean “soothing,” as aloe soothed a particularly bad sunburn I acquired during a certain tropical vacation over 20 years ago."

Wow! What were you doing to get a sunburn there? ;-)

Mephistopholes @12 -- That's probably not too far from wrong.

Here's a wonderful mnemonic -- the mass of the earth is 10 moles of kilograms, within a few percent.

By palindrom (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

But Chris @14 -- air is natural, don't you know.

Hopefully everyone reading this thread knows that injecting sufficient air into a vein leads to a quick and very unpleasant death.

By palindrom (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

@RobRN

IV HCL? That’s ACID… Don’t those NDs know that ACIDITY in the body causes CANCER?!

But they're giving it with H2O2, which is a base, so it's okay. Granted, from a bit of poking around I did, it seems that if they use sufficiently high concentrations of both (e.g., 30% HCl solution and a 30% H2O2 solution), they'll produce Cl2, or chlorine gas. I'm sure that would have some anti-microbial effects, but probably not in a good way.

Now, I’m not a big fan of Reddit, largely because I can’t figure out how to find things easily, and I hate the sheer ugly and user hostile format, not even considering other unpleasant issues with it.

It strikes me as something like Usenet with the Curezone interface as the only available newsreader, all frosted over with a W—dia-like culture of in-group moderation.

Here is the link for the study they use to justify local treatment applied to the cervix (a caustic substance applied to remove the lesions).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19679625

But that's if there is a satisfactory colposcopy.
I wonder who performs the colposcopy or does the biopsy to analyze the results.

And what do they consider "satisfactory"?

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Chelation is one of those treatments you can hang-your-hat-on for stable angina sx and cardioprotection post stenting.

Wait, what? I thought chelation was supposed to be for treatment of heavy metal toxicity. Which does have legitimate medical uses, but is routinely abused in, e.g., certain autism "treatments". What is the alleged heavy metal poisoning associated with stents?

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Can anyone else make sense of "genetic polymorphisms that are at epidemic levels"?

Is he really saying that the underlying problem is that not everyone has the same alleles, or that there are people who have two different alleles for something?

What is the alleged heavy metal poisoning associated with stents?

It's more TACT-related blabbering.

Eric Lund -

As i understand it the idea is to remove calcium from the arteries. I assume someone somewhere one time was chelated for heavy metals and their atherosclerosis improved therefore chelation must be the bees knees for cardiovascular problems. Those with more knowledge than I can probably provide numerous reasons why this would not work, never mind the lack of evidence of efficacy.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

I have all my patients use a drawing salve on the bite site until it is no longer visible.

Given the commonplace AHM NOT TAKIN YUR PETROLEUM POISON MEDICINZZ!! line, it's cute that one common "drawing salve" is basically dark sulfonated shale oil.

I have all my patients use a drawing salve on the bite site until it is no longer visible.

Given the commonplace AHM NOT TAKIN YUR PETROLEEUM POISON MEDICINZZ!! line, it's cute that one common "drawing salve" is basically dark sulfonated shale oil.

using homeopathics and antimicrobials for a minimum of 3 weeks ... Earth Botanical Harvest’s Herbal Compound Ointment ... old fashioned black salveIt's like a child playing with a chemistry set.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Not sure how I managed the double post, sorry.

There's an old joke about Hydrogen Peroxide:

Two men walk into a bar. The first orders some H20. The second one says "Sounds good. I'll take some H20 too."

The second man DIED.

Chelation is one of those treatments you can hang-your-hat-on for stable angina sx and cardioprotection post stenting.

This is weirdly entrancing. It's like listening to people who honestly think they're qualified to practice medicine because they've watched a lot of bad daytime soaps set in hospitals. It's [technobabble here] medicine, which would be hilarious if only they didn't actually then do this stuff to real people.

By The Grouchybeast (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Christopher Hickie

Hydrogen peroxide IV? Really. Let’s just create some air emboli when H202 dissociates into water and oxygen–

palindrom

Hopefully everyone reading this thread knows that injecting sufficient air into a vein leads to a quick and very unpleasant death.

To my very pleasant surprise, it takes more than you would think.

I go to the Red Cross and donate platelets. It's a nifty procedure, where they take blood out of one arm, mix it with with an anticoagulant and saline, put it in a centrifuge with a coupla chambers and reservoirs and pump it back and forth between them, separating the plasma, platelets and red cells, saving the platelets, mixing the red cells and plasma back together, and sending it back into the other arm. There are tubes running everywhere, and several pumps to route it back and forth. I've donated a few hundred times, and how the machine works is a mystery to me. Everything should get twisted up, but somehow it doesn't.

The centrifuge is in a closed chamber (it spins at something around 1200 RPM, so you wouldn't want to bump into it), but all the pumps are out in the open. Everything the blood touches is sterile, and is single use tubing and supplies, and the nice Red Cross people have to route the tubes thru the pumps for each donor.

The donation process takes a while. Most people watch a movie, but I'm fairly platelet rich, and it doesn't take me that long. I bring in my iPod, crank up the rock and roll, and spend my time dozing, thinking, or just watching what's happening.

One time, I glance over at the machine, and I note that there is a drip of... well, something, but not blood (or at least, not red blood). I look down, and I note that the return line has bubbles in it. I've read a spy story or two, and know that you can kill someone by injecting air into a vein, or so they say, and that's just exactly what I'm seeing. But I've a needle in each arm, and I can't disconnect myself (and believe me, I would have) so I called for assistance.

I told them the machine was leaking fluids, I'm seeing air bubbles, and that I'm sure that it wasn't a good thing. All of nice people came running to have a look. They must have agreed, because they instantly hit the emergency stop switch and disconnected me.

What they didn't do was call an ambulance, or really anything at all to save my life. Instead, they were talking about how the tube slipped in the pump and eroded a hole in the tube, and that, because the closed sterile field of the tubes was breached, I might come down with something in the next few days. Never mind that, I say, why aren't I dead or dying?

According to them, it would take several feet of air in the lines to cause death, and a few bubbles aren't anything to worry about (other than the fact that it's unsterile).

So I have a concrete datapoint that says a few cc's of air won't cause death, rapid or otherwise. Anybody know how much it does take?

According to this press release, Senator Harkin proclaimed last week "Naturopathic physicians ought to be licensed in all 50 states!".

I'm so glad he's leaving.

"My disclosure, I am opposed to all sources of toxins therefore I am against vaccines whose one size approach fails to account nutritional statuses, toxic burden of mom/child and genetic polymorphisms that are at epidemic levels"

Yet his wife administers botox to folks.

Yep, he's against 'all toxins' all right - all toxins he can't profit from.

Johnny@33 -- That would make sense. Long, long ago I had a summer job in a vet research lab, and they'd kill rabbits with an air injection -- it was a big syringe, but hey, it was only a rabbit. It was pretty gross to watch, though.

By palindrom (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

@Dawry
But botox is natural and natural is good. Well, at least, I suppose that is their line of reasoning.

"Senator Harkin proclaimed last week 'Naturopathic physicians ought to be licensed in all 50 states!'. I’m so glad he’s leaving."

You shouldn't be. His seat is likely to go to tea Party loon Joni Ernst who just announced she has 'sources' who have revealed to her that Iraq DID have WMDs, and it was all covered up in a black helicopter conspiracy. She's a climate change denier, wants to impeach Obama; not only supports privatization of Medicare, and repeal of the ACA, but believes states have a right to nullify federal law and supports legislation that would allow local law enforcement to arrest federal officials “attempting to implement” federal health care provisions. She's for a personhood amendment (natch), supports Hobby Lobby, wants to defund Planned Parenthood, and (back to the black copters) has accused the feds of being involved in a secret UN conspiracy to destroy family-farming in Iowa (as if the corporate Ag folk backing here haven't already done that...)

And what will we have once ACA is gone: "common sense, free-market alternatives that put patients first, and health care decisions back in the hands of each of us rather than Washington bureaucrats." Combine that with Ernst's advocacy of de-regulating EVERYTHING, and it sounds like a free pass for quackers to me.

Oh yeah, she's a gun nut, and gung-ho for more mid-east wars, which might be a little more dangerous to public health than naturopathy.

She's currently up by 4% points.

And you do know those Senate Resolutions mean exactly nothing, right? And are typically passed as salve to some constituency on matters that are NEVER going to come up as legislation... The declaration of naturopathy week is not a sign naturopaths are nearing formal recognition, it's a sign they're NOT nearing formal recognition. Watch the actual bills...

@ Dawry, Renate

But botox is natural and natural is good. Well, at least, I suppose that is their line of reasoning.

And yet, as someone ranted on another thread, Clostridium bacteria in guts are bad.
I have some difficulties keeping up with the logic of the alt-med worldview. Cognitive dissonances and all that.

By Helianthus (not verified) on 08 Oct 2014 #permalink

Johnny @ #33 - they tell us in med school it takes about 10cc of air to kill someone (so we don't need to be THAT anal about a little bit of air in the syringe/tubing)

Re the naturopaths and the HPV stuff - most of the HPV-related changes regress anyway, so the naturopaths think their "treatments" work. And they used outdated terminology for classifying the lesions. Hmph.

When they say genetic polymorphisms they probably mean epigenetics - like when homeopaths say "it's got somethin to do with quantum physics'. Sounds all sciencey. There must be a whole lot of DNA methylation and histone acetylation going on somewhere that they can have an effect on with their magic potions.

And what will we have once ACA is gone: “common sense, free-market alternatives that put patients first, and health care decisions back in the hands of each of us rather than Washington bureaucrats.” Combine that with Ernst’s advocacy of de-regulating EVERYTHING, and it sounds like a free pass for quackers to me.

Googling "homeopathy" + "Mises Institute" suggests that there is a lot of common ground between medical quackery and voodoo economics.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

I actually read the newest 'Vaccination' thread linked on the Reddit page, and amidst the predictable WTF there were a few signs of 'ND's having second-thoughts about vaccinations in the wake of the pertussis and measles outbreaks. Nothing an SBM approach would endorse, but this comment struck me:

I choose to recently have my 15 year old son vaccinated with MMR. I also had him vaccinated with DPT several years back when we had an outbreak of pertussis.Our family regularly associated with friends with newborn infants and I felt morally and ethically moved to not be the weak link that could possibly transmit pertussis to another.

And this will twist the SBM mind:

I have always been supportive of not vaccinating, but last summer when my daughter had pertussis, I started questioning it. If someone gets measles and ends up with encephalitis, the consequences of that can be life long. 30% of measles cases develop complications. (In the recent outbreak in California, about 1/3 ended up in the hospital) What about if you end up in the hospital from measles and then develop another infection. These infections are all getting more virulent. They are mutating, not only due to vaccinating, but due to GMOs and toxins in the environment. There are no ways to get away from these things.

There you have it!
Want to save your kid from GMO toxins? Get the MMR!!

herr doktor bimler -

It's always interesting to see the more radical libertarian economists tying themselves in knots over homeopathy. Here is a product which is conclusively proven to have no effect* and widely known to have no effect* yet generates billions in sales. It absolutely cannot be squared with humans being rational utility maximisers without redefining 'rational' and 'utility' of of all recognition..

By Andrew Dodds (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

the more radical libertarian economists tying themselves in knots over homeopathy

The chief argument seemed to be that allopathic control of medical licensing is "medical fascism", therefore logic demands that homeopathy must be effective. It was along similar lines to the arguments we see from libertarian AGW-deniers. "Any attempt to control CO2 emissions would require regulations and organisation, which would be Bad, therefore AGW can't be happening".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

oops meant to post on today's topic BLUSH!

going there now...

By brewandferment (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

So I have a concrete datapoint that says a few cc’s of air won’t cause death, rapid or otherwise. Anybody know how much it does take?

I've seen an estimate of 200 cc, though I imagine it depends on where it's injected.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

Dorothy Sayers bears a lot of the blame for spreading the idea of "single air bubble = untraceable murder weapon", in "Unnatural Death".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

@HDB: to be fair to Ms Sayers, they don't say how big the syringe was, and also the argument was they were going to inject into a vein.

When I was in nursing school, they rather stressed that a few bubbles were nothing to worry about in an IV, but you didn't want to forcibly inject a syringe full of air into anyone (meaning a 10cc syringe).

I'd like to read the reddit files, but the links aren't doing anything when I click. Advice?

@ Stepeh #46--nice attempt at mimicry of a real physician by the white-coated, stethoscope-wearing naturopath at that link. I'm sure naturopaths know how to use one given all the hospital-based training they didn't do .

By Christopher HIckie (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

And screw all naturopaths that say MD's don't want to find "the root of the problem". If all we had were naturopaths, we'd still be chewing on roots and not have the slightest science-based clue about the "root of the problem".

By Christopher HIckie (not verified) on 09 Oct 2014 #permalink

mho:
main page:
http://www.reddit.com/r/medicine/comments/2cm43z/read_what_naturopaths_…

There's an alphabetical list of linked files under:

marxesq 11 points 2 months ago*
For those that rather not download from this site, here's a Pastebin mirror of some of the files. Couldn't upload them all because of free account limitations... I may continue uploading tomorrow if there's interest.

Beginning with:
ASD child chelation - Feb 2012
autoimmune progesterone dermatitis - Oct 2013
Bad numbers I - Nov 2010

Right-click (Win) or Ctl-click (Mac) "Open Link In New Tab/Window" on any of those dated lines. If that doesn't work, it might be some pop-up blocker thing in your browser. Try a different one if you have ore than one on your computer (e.g. try Chrome/IE/Safari if you usually use Firefox...) Some of the links are broken, but most seem to be working...

@ Stepeh #46–nice attempt at mimicry of a real physician by the white-coated, stethoscope-wearing naturopath at that link. I’m sure naturopaths know how to use one given all the hospital-based training they didn’t do .

Stay tuned. That particular post features (in part) in "Sh*t naturopaths say, part 2." :-)

Thanks to kaitch, Krebiozen, and MI Dawn for responses to my query.

I don't have a chance to fondle syringes very often, (other than my non-calibrated marinade injection device, or a caulking gun), and being a true blue American sort of guy, I got out my 5 pound block of Silly Putty and my ruler and carved out a 10cc chunk. It didn't seem to be a huge amount, but I startred rolling it out to be about the size of an IV line, and it got really long really fast.

The power of multiplication.

@ 54',If all we had were naturopaths, we’d still be chewing on roots and not have the slightest science-based clue about the “root of the problem”.'
I especially love this part, because when you see them offer treatment (homeopaths too) it's always directed at a symptom. The irony also kills me that there is a multistate effort to expand ND prescribing practices to include all those nasty allopathic big pharma meds that they would NEVER use in their practice; you know, those things that they were never actually trained to properly prescribe. So now they are to take a quick course to "get them up to speed". Better their hands than those awful (trained) M.D.s and D.Os, right?

By Patrick Arambula (not verified) on 10 Oct 2014 #permalink

I find this blog and the responses fascinating. My approach to anything in life has alawys been to try and be objective, at least initially until I can gather all my information. Living in Arizona we have a great number of Natorpaths in this state and I have a number of friends who have sought one out. They have always came back with a positive experience. I have looked up their education and it would seem that they have a total of roughly 90+ hours of pharmacology during school, which is close to the MD equivalent and without doubt more then a Nurse Practitioner, so can someone help me to understand all of the discussion about a lack of education? I also looked into the actual patient hours and again, this appears to be very similar to the MD training and far exceeds that of an
NP. Can someone help out here.

By Healthy on Az (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

I also looked into the actual patient hours and again, this appears to be very similar to the MD training and far exceeds that of an
NP. Can someone help out here.

Just keep reading here. All is revealed.

This vitriolic turf protection is ridiculous. You have cherry picked a few things that very few NDs do and decided to turn it into an attack on the whole profession. I'm sure you could all find something that one of your colleagues does that is a little Bizzarre, or not to your liking.
I have worked in internal medicine offices, hospitals, and in general family practice settings. I prescribe drugs as much as anybody. But whenever I can avoid it, I do, and very successfully as far as patient outcomes. Patients love it when some doctor is able to prescribe, but has enough training and herbs, nutrients, diet, physical medicine, or counseling to help them avoid it.
What's amazing to me is that medical doctors are convinced that only drugs work and surgery work of all the millions of substances, approaches, preparations available on the planet, in spite of decent evidence to the contrary in many cases. Could that be a little bit shortsighted?

Sam - what would you say is the benefit that NDs provide that would not better be performed by another profession more closely aligned to MDs - say, by nurse practitioners or physicians' assistants?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Sam: "What’s amazing to me is that medical doctors are convinced that only drugs work and surgery work of all the millions of substances, approaches, preparations available on the planet, in spite of decent evidence to the contrary in many cases. Could that be a little bit shortsighted?"

Perhaps, but can you tell me how an ND would better than an MD or DO for the following things experienced our extended family? Be sure to provide something more than case studies, provide the PubMed indexed study showing what is in the ND tool kit works better for:

1. An infant having seizures, that first start with a shiver and then start getting longer and stronger and more often?

2. Obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy where the abnormal heart muscle growth starts to block the aortic valve?

3. A genetic form of hypertension, where almost everyone in the family could expect to die a slow painful death between forty and fifty.

4. Massive asthma attack from mold after a swamp cooler was turned on.

5. Recurrent strep throat infections in two out of three kids, all under age eight, for three months (hint the actual number of kids with strep was three, can you figure how that was found out?)

6. Cancer

7: Broken bones

8: Bacterial pneumonia

This vitriolic turf protection is ridiculous. You have cherry picked a few things that very few NDs do and decided to turn it into an attack on the whole profession.

Sam, I'll remind you that homeopathy is an integral part of training as a naturopath: all homeopaths must embrace homeopathy as a valid and effective treatment modality in order to be a naturopath. That alone is sufficient to tar the entire 'profession'.

I’m sure you could all find something that one of your colleagues does that is a little Bizzarre, or not to your liking.

But not something every one of his colleagues mustdo in order to be in that profession, as is the case with naturopathy and embracing homeopathy.

"But whenever I can avoid it, I do, and very successfully as far as patient outcomes."

Can you offer any objective evidence that patient outcomes following naturopathic treatments without any use of pharmaceuticals equal or exceed outcomes when patients receive either naturopathy with pharmaceuticals or pharmaceuticals alone? After all, the plural of anecdote isn't 'evidence'.

"Patients love it when some doctor is able to prescribe, but has enough training and herbs, nutrients, diet, physical medicine, or counseling to help them avoid it."

Patients may indeed love it. That attests only to the popularity of the approach, and not in any way to its safety or efficacy.

"What’s amazing to me is that medical doctors are convinced that only drugs work and surgery work of all the millions of substances, approaches, preparations available on the planet, in spite of decent evidence to the contrary in many cases."

What decent evidence, with resepct to what illnesses/injuries, are you referring to here? Let's see some.

Dang--blockquotes switched to quotes, Hoperfully all's clear in context.

You have cherry picked a few things that very few NDs do and decided to turn it into an attack on the whole profession.

If the training and licensing are so uniformly rigorous, why are they doing it? Is the curriculum inadequate to, say, provide someone with the tools to realize that "structured water" is nonsense, much less a magic shower head?

If it's a matter of "very few NDs," why are examples so easy to find? Why, in contrast, is it so difficult to find a disciplinary action by a naturopathic licensing board? What in the process affords the barest degree of confidence in consumer protection?

Oy. From Narad's link:

You now have the choice of purchasing the original units or Dynamically Enhanced Units. Both structure the water, which means it is molecularly changed – just as a diamond and coal are the same substance but they are different structurally. The structured water from these units is an active sacred geometric form. Drinking and bathing with this sacred water will potentially bring your whole being into alignment ... Nothing physical is being deposited or physically added to the water by the units. What happens is that the structured water is being dynamically and energetically enhanced by the energy in the added materials.

What? No claims that the water is also alkaline? Maybe they'll jump on that bandwagon with a subsequent machine.

By Woo Fighter (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

Some patients may love it when a doctor offers them an ongoing course of exercise and dietary change instead of medication or surgery, but a lot of people have trouble sticking to that.

I had a rotator cuff injury about a decade ago. My primary doctor sent me to an orthopedica surgeon. He in turn sent me for physical therapy, and said that if that didn't work I should come back and he would try a cortisone shot, and if that didn't work surgery, and "I hope I never see you again."

The PT was work, sometimes painful work, and I'm still doing the stretches and exercises as maintenance. The PT won't work for everyone, even if they're diligent, but not everyone is going to put in the persistent effort when the shoulder in question is already in pain. (That's aside from the insurance companies that don't cover PT, or only a few sessions, but do pay for cortisone and surgery--but that's a different shape of problem.)

But my doctor, and the specialist--who, indeed, I never saw again--didn't want to use drugs, and they didn't want to cut me open. They wanted me to do the work.

What? No claims that the water is also alkaline? Maybe they’ll jump on that bandwagon with a subsequent machine.

Long since taken care of.*

* No, I feel no urge to find the original. A quick check into the "#hearthiswell" metrics coughed up "Fenvir" as the most influential (re-)/twattering. An FTC complaint a day keeps the dishes away, or something.

^ (Speaking of which, I can't believe that I missed "Yes, according to The US National Institute of Health, Undaria pinnatifida, or Fucoidan, is 'significantly more active against clinical strains of HSV-2 and HSV-1 than Acyclovir'" the first time around.)

Indexing an article in Pubmed is equivalent to an imprimatur from the US NIH. Didn't you know that, Narad?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 11 Oct 2014 #permalink

"Scientist", how does one doctor committing fraud prove that naturopathy works better than real medicine, or answers my question in comment #64?

Chris - it doesn't, and that's the point. Every profession has questionable practitioners. MDs, DOs, NDs, DCs, RDs etc. etc. Not all naturopaths practice the same and making gross generalizations about any group of individuals just doesn't make a lot of sense.

I don't know any NDs who consider themselves better than an MD or DO in general, or as better health care providers for the conditions you listed. Integrative medicine is a thing, have you heard of it?

By Scientist (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

Promoters of black salve as a treatment for cancer claim it is safe to use because it only attacks cancer cells, leaving normal tissue undamaged.

How, then, is it useful as a drawing ointment for extracting tick parts? Are ticks made from cancer cells?

"Scientist": "Integrative medicine is a thing, have you heard of it?"

Yes, but it does not mean it works. The NDs are trying to sell themselves as primary health care providers who are better than "allocates." If you read the nonsense they write as noted above they claim to provide superior care, even with their worthless and sometimes dangerous methods..

You tried to argue that "an MD committed fraud therefor NDs are..." well what? That they are valid? That they exist?

Try a less vapid argument.

Not all naturopaths practice the same and making gross generalizations about any group of individuals just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

If we look at the education and training they receive, we see that it includes great swathes of pseudo-science, but I suppose it's possible they just spend hundreds of hours learning about this BS but never use it. However, when we look at conversations naturopaths have had with each other about their practice, they describe routinely using these pseudo-scientific modalities, and when we look at naturopaths' websites we see they advertise the very same pseudo-scientific treatments. I find it very hard to escape the conclusion that naturopathy is largely based on pseudoscience.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

@ Scientist

Every profession has questionable practitioners

Yes, but one should distinguish between a bug and a feature.

Someone, MD, ND or otherwise, does something clearly written as wrong in some book of rules supposedly accepted by the whole profession, it's a bug. Something which, in a perfect world, ought not to be.

Someone has been trained to use methods which, by themselves, contradict the known physical rules of the universe (homeopathy), have repeatedly been shown not to be working that much (acupuncture), or belong more to the arsenal of a priest than of a physician (faith healing)... That's a feature. The profession has been implemented to be this way.
In this context, "gross generalizations" aren't out of line: we are talking about the education NDs are supposedly sharing, if being a licensed ND means anything.

If you tell me now that a ND licence is just a bit of paper and that NDs don't share much in term of rules and accepted practices, you are not really helping your cause. Why should we consider the professional claims and requests of a group of people if all they have in common is their title?

By Helianthus (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink

@Scientist - there may be a couple of things that NDs do that "may" be of value, but again, as has been posted above, when the vast majority of the curriculum is based around "fantasies" like homeopathy, that is a systemic problem.

Serendipitously, TMR has a new post wherein an ND discusses intuition for ASD parents- getting in touch with that 'gut feeling' ( which turns my stomach-btw-). Her article is rife with woo as you might expect.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 13 Oct 2014 #permalink