I never in a million years thought I’d be writing a blog post involving Selena Gomez.
Gomez, as many, if not most, of you are probably aware is currently a young pop star and actress who got her start as a child actress. Oddly enough, she was on Barney & Friends with Demi Lovato. These days, Gomez specializes in the variety of overproduced, lightweight pop that I don’t really listen to, although, ever since I subscribed to Apple Music, I’ve been known to listen to songs by performers like Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato just to see if I could figure out why they’re so popular. So far, I haven’t been able to. Gomez clearly has a good voice, but it’s buried under sweetening, doubling, and other studio wizardry that, when overused as it seems to be in most pop music these days, irritates the crap out of an old fart like myself. But, hey, to each his own. Truly, I have become my parents, complaining that all pop music sounds the same. Of course, old fart that I am, I can’t help but mention that we have actual scientific evidence that, compared to 50 years ago, today’s pop music really does all sound alike because it’s even more formulaic. That’s not to say that there isn’t still great music out there. I discovered a lot of it over the last few years after having emerged from a period of being pretty much oblivious to any music more recent than the early 2000s. It’s just not on the pop charts.
Be that as it may, I only mentioned all this as kind of a background as to why I never thought I’d be writing about Selena Gomez. But then, the other day, my Google Alert for “alternative medicine” popped up a most unexpected story, Selena Gomez ‘Seeking Alternative Treatments For Lupus’: Organic Diet, Juicing & More. The first surprise to me was that Selena Gomez apparently has lupus. Being as oblivious as I am to the sort of pop music Gomez produces, I had had no idea that she even had lupus, but she was diagnosed a few years ago and has been .undergone treatment for lupus up to and including chemotherapy. I’ll get into that later. For now, here’s what the story I saw is reporting. I take it with a grain of salt because it’s not Gomez herself saying it but rather an unnamed source:
Selena Gomez, 24, has had it with pills, steroids, and bed rest. She’s planning to take her lupus, a disease in which the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue, from a whole new angle: holistically. Selena told fans in early September 2016 that she’s struggling with lupus-related panic attacks and depression, but now she’s determined to turn her life around. She’s enlisted a new team of holistic doctors, naturopaths, and acupuncturists.
“Selena Gomez has not experienced a lot of relief from classic western medicine, and is seeking alternative treatments for her lupus diagnosis,” a source close to the singer told HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. “She wants to begin ‘chelation therapy,’ which is a method of pulling toxins and metals out of the body. She’s switched to an all organic, grain-free diet, and thoroughly ‘detoxed’ her house. All her soaps, beauty products, and cleaning supplies are natural and organic.”
And that’s not all! “She’s also juicing 3 times a day. Her new team of doctors thinks drugs will only cover up the problem, but [these methods] will really help, if not cure [her lupus]!” Hopefully this works out for Selena! She revealed in 2015 that she had major problems with some of the traditional medicine that she tried. Selena told her fans that she had undergone chemotherapy to treat the illness. She was weak, nauseous, and her hair thinned as a result. Poor Selena!
OK, again, this is just an unnamed source interviewed by a Hollywood gossip website. Still, it doesn’t sound implausible. If it’s true, the only good thing I can say is that apparently Gomez herself is keeping it silent (unless, of course, she wanted that source to leak the information). Before I look at the quackery, let’s first take a look at lupus.
Contrary to Dr. House’s famous admonition, sometimes it is lupus. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks normal organs and healthy tissue. The mechanism involves an immune response against the patient’s own tissues by autoantibodies (antibodies to self), most commonly antinuclear antibodies (ANA). The attack of these antibodies against normal tissue does what immune activation does: It results in inflammation. Unfortunately, the manifestations of SLE are protean, and its severity can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms include joint pain and swelling, rashes, hair loss, chest pain, mouth ulcers, lymphadenopathy, fatigue, and many others. It’s also a disease whose symptoms can wax and wane markedly, with periods of remission, during which the sufferer is relatively symptom-free, interspersed with “flares,” when symptoms become much more troublesome and serious. It’s a lot more common in women than in men, and it is not infrequently diagnosed
If you want a disease that is perfect for quacks, it’s SLE. Its manifestations can be so varied and its course can wax and wane so markedly that it’s been called the “great imitator,” with a delay in diagnosis of years being more the rule rather than the exception:
Imagine yourself as a young woman who by all accounts appears healthy. One day you experience flu like symptoms, see your physician, and are sent home with the usual: sleep, hydrate, take two of these, and you get better. But do you? Some time passes and you become sick again, this time with a different gamut of symptoms including recurring infections, joint pains, headaches, fatigue, depression, rashes, etc. As a result, you find yourself in and out of this complicated domestic health care delivery system, seeing one physician/specialist after another and are left with little to no answers.
Fast forward a few years. You’re now in your mid-twenties and have found a personal physician who took the time to listen to your story of diverse symptoms. After reviewing your current symptoms, laboratory tests, and medical history, you finally have the answer to the question you’ve been asking yourself for years: Why am I always sick? You have systemic lupus.
To get an idea of how hard SLE can be to diagnose, take a look at the American College of Rhematology’s criteria for diagnosis. For purposes of diagnosis and inclusion in clinical trials, a patient has a diagnosis of lupus if any 4 out of 11 symptoms are present simultaneously or serially on two separate occasions.
- Malar rash (rash on cheeks)
- Discoid rash (red, scaly patches on skin that cause scarring)
- Serositis: Pleurisy (inflammation of the membrane around the lungs) or pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane around the heart)
- Oral ulcers (includes oral or nasopharyngeal ulcers)
- Arthritis: nonerosive arthritis of two or more peripheral joints, with tenderness, swelling, or effusion
- Photosensitivity (exposure to ultraviolet light causes rash, or other symptoms of SLE flareups)
- Blood—hematologic disorder—hemolytic anemia (low red blood cell count), leukopenia (white blood cell count<4000/µl), lymphopenia (<1500/µl), or low platelet count (<100000/µl) in the absence of offending drug
- Antinuclear antibody test positive
- Immunologic disorder: Positive anti-Smith, anti-ds DNA, antiphospholipid antibody, and/or false positive serological test for syphilis
- Neurologic disorder: Seizures or psychosis
You get the idea. When the criteria for diagnosing a disease are so broad, it’s a tough disease. So patients with SLE are frequently not diagnosed right away and misdiagnosed before the correct diagnosis is arrived at. Once diagnosed, the treatments can be difficult and not provide as much relief as patients would like. Basically, the treatment involves trying to prevent flares and decreasing their severity when they do occur. drugs used include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antimalarials (which are also useful for lupus), steroids, immunosuppressives, and biologics (such as Belimumab (a type of agent referred to as a B-lymphocyte stimulator protein inhibitor).
The chemotherapy that Gomez received was almost certainly cyclophosphamide. It is a chemotherapy drug, one that is part of the standard of care multimodality treatment of breast cancer. The dose used in lupus is lower and the course of treatment is shorter, but the drug is the same. That Gomez received cyclophosphamide indicates that she must have had severe manifestations of the disease because the drug is so toxic that it is generally reserved for the most severe complications of SLE, such as severe kidney inflammation or other organ-threatening complications, such as brain inflammation. Basically, cyclophosphamide is an alkylating agent that targets rapidly dividing cells, and during severe inflammation immune cells are rapidly dividing. That’s the rationale.
So let’s circle back to alternative medicine for lupus. First of all, there is no known alternative medicine that affects the course of the disease. In fact, some herbal medicines are suspected to provoke or worsen flares. Reading between the lines, if this source is accurate, it doesn’t sound as though Gomez is using alternative medicine in addition to conventional medicine; i.e., as “complementary” medicine. Regular readers know that I’m no fan of so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), now more commonly known as “integrative medicine” because integrating quackery with real medicine does not benefit patients and degrades the science of medicine by diluting it with pseudoscience.
Whenever I hear a story of someone getting together a “team of holistic doctors,” I get worried, because if the whole team is “holistic,” that generally means that there are no science-based doctors involved or, at best, there might be an “integrative medicine” practitioner who buys into the woo. Certainly the description of treatments being offered suggests this to be true, particularly given that the team is described as being composed of “holistic doctors, naturopaths, and acupuncturists.” I could have told you that there were naturopaths involved if you just told me the treatments Gomez is undergoing, nearly all of which consist of some form of bogus “detoxification,” such as the “grain-free” diet, the “detoxing” of her house, the juicing, and especially the plan to begin “chelation therapy.” As I’ve described before, naturopaths and other alternative medicine practitioners love to invoke The One True Cause of All Disease, and often that One True Cause is unnamed, undefined, but ubiquitous “toxins” that are making you sick. Unfortunately, chelation therapy is not only ineffective, but it is potentially dangerous. True, it’s probably safer than cyclophosphamide, but cyclophosphamide works. Chelation therapy doesn’t. So chelation therapy is all risk, no benefit. No doubt, if this story is true, Gomez is paying big bucks for these quack treatments.
Unfortunately, SLE is the sort of disease that quacks love because it is so difficult to diagnose and treat and because it has such variable manifestations and relapsing course. The drugs used to treat it have significant side effects and can even be toxic, which is unfortunately the case when drugs target an overactive immune system. Naturally, a young woman with a busy career that depends upon her ability to sing and dance would chafe at the limitations SLE imposes, the unpredictability of the disease, and treatments that are not as effective as we’d like them to be. Being only 25, facing the prospect of a life with this disease and lifetime treatment with these drugs must certainly be unappealing. So it’s understandable why Gomez might want to try something “nontoxic.” It’s understandable, but a mistake. Many are the SLE sufferers who discovered the hard way what a mistake going off their drugs was when their disease symptoms came roaring back.
What worries me about this story if it’s true is this. If Gomez experiences a prolonged period of remission while she’s using all this quackery, you can count on her publicist revealing it and there being laudatory stories about how “brave” she was to have chosen this course. This, in turn, might persuad others with SLE to follow a similar course. That’s the problem with celebrities choosing woo over medicine; they have influence. That’s why I’m hoping this story is nonsense but fearing that it isn’t.
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"...irritates the rap out of an old fart like myself."
Misspelling or deliberate? ;)
Chelation can be dangerous, but it is not ineffective. Chelation has been shown in dozens of studies to remove lead, mercury, and cadmium from the body.
It is ineffective against anything other than acute heavy metal poisoning, and lupus is not due to acute (or even chronic) heavy metal poisoning. Neither is autism, another common use for chelation. Ditto heart disease.
"In fact, some herbal medicines are suspected to provoke or worsen flares. " Too bad none of them were cited so skeptics like myself can decide if they do or not and exactly which ones are proven to be a problem for patients diagnosed with SLE.
I don't know the entertainer in question, but I have to applaud her for rejecting the poison, and the butchering, she would most likely have to endure if she went to a quack.
"Butchering"? She has lupus. No one's going to operate on her to treat lupus. Truly, you are a silly man. You didn't even bother to read the post, clearly.
Hopefully she has a good vodka practitioner in her holistic team. Otherwise it's not properly holistic, IMHO.
Since there is no list of herbal treatments being given to Gomez, the author could not cite anything she receives as being worse. Chelation is explicitly mentioned, so its lack of effectiveness was worth citing.
And #5, butchering? WTF
I think Zach sums up the, "best practice" debating skills around here.
How do you respond to, WTF?
@Quack, sorry Dr Gorski . . . No, on second thoughts, Quack is more accurate.
Seeing as though you're slow on the uptake, this was my point.
After ineffective, and the dangerous allopathic medicine to treat lupus, this will surely ensue.
Wow, that's dumb even by your standards. The surgery described there is a kidney transplant to replace the function of kidneys destroyed by lupus nephritis.
No Dr Quack, I'm stating that the kidney transplant, will be needed as a result of years of toxic medication to treat the lupus.
The problem, of course, is that it isn't the "toxic medication" that causes renal failure. It's severe lupus attacking the kidneys.
Don't bother Pete with facts. They are inconveniences to him and challenge his delusions. Best to simply ignore him as he wanders off on a litany of posts consisting almost exclusively of argument by assertion and insults.
Since she dated Bieber for years, I wouldn't expect her to know the difference between a doctor and a donkey.
Originally developed as a chemotherapy drug (to treat cancer) and used as an immunosuppressant (to treat lupus).
SIDE EFFECTS: Side effects of cyclophosphamide include:
Mouth sores (stomatitis)
Cyclophosphamide causes kidney failure, and it also may affect the heart and lungs. Cyclophosphamide suppresses production of blood cells from the bone marrow, including white blood cells (leukopenia), red blood cells (anemia) and platelets (thrombocytopenia). Leukopenia reduces the ability of the body to fight infection, thrombocytopenia impairs the ability of blood to clot, and anemia reduces the ability of blood to carry oxygen. Cyclophosphamide suppresses the immune system which may result in serious and sometimes fatal infections. Severe allergic reactions also may occur. Cyclophosphamide may cause inflammation of the urinary bladder with bleeding (hemorrhagic cystitis). This can result in lower abdominal pain from the bladder, problems urinating due to blood clots, and anemia due to loss of blood.
Todd W. + Orac.
Disciple = Guru.
PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING SAFETY:
Use of cyclophosphamide during pregnancy may affect the fetus. Fetuses exposed to cyclophosphamide may be born with missing fingers, toes and a poorly-developed heart. Cyclophosphamide should not be administered during pregnancy.
Cyclophosphamide is excreted in breast milk and could cause serious problems in the nursing infant.
Nothing to see here.
Move right along.
Originally developed as a chemotherapy drug (to treat cancer) and used as an immunosuppressant (to treat lupus).
Known as the "gold standard" -- the best drug -- for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Rheumatrex may cause severe and sometimes fatal side effects. These may include bone marrow, blood, liver, lung, kidney, or skin problems.
Rheumatrex may cause birth defects or fetal death.
It's probably nothing folks, so carry on.
As you were.
We don't want you to stop taking your medication.
Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? Great book by T. Caulfield on, among other things, the outsized influence of celebrity on society. Nothing like celebrity woo to give it undeserved attention.
You know absolutely nothing about Methotrexate. Yes, MTX is used to treat autoimmune illnesses and it is used in a much lower dose for treating RA.
I know because I used it for several years to treat my RA. I had zero side effects......Next time you might want to actually talk to people who use MTX. The vast majority will tell you it is very effective for treating RA
Yeah, Mr. Harris is making enough of a nuisance of himself through his frequent posting that I might have to put the brakes on him. He'll still be allowed to comment, but his comments will not be approved right away and comments that consist of nothing more than insults will not be approved at all. How soon I approve his comments will depend on how well Mr. Harris behaves. If he's nice, I'll approve them right away. If not, well, it could be several hours before they see the light of day, particularly if he floods the blog.
I rarely ban any commenter, but Mr. Harris is cruising for one right now due to the volume and obnoxious idiocy of his comments.
Perhaps Peter Harris would like to grace us with his regime for treating or even curing Lupus since he's convinced he can do better. It would also be appropriate to provide evidence for his superior treatment.
If he were to produce such a comment, I would approve it rapidly. I'm not holding my breath waiting, though.
The slimeball David Wolfe has given his "expert" opinion on Ms. Gomez' chemo treatment: https://www.davidwolfe.com/dangerous-trend-selena-gomez-chemotherapy-tr…
But the comments are heartening.
I can't help but notice that these "natural", "holistic" practices never vary: organic diet, juicing, gluten-free, chelation... Which are all variations on the "detox" model. Because of the evil humors, or rather "toxins", of course.
For a discipline that likes to advertise itself as holistic and patient-centered, CAM is remarkably one-size-fits-all! You have cancer? Lupus? Autism? Heart disease? All are down to toxins, all get treated with the same mix of detox practices. That's not holistic, that's unicistic!
I'd like to hear Mr. Harris' cure all, too. What the DA doesn't get about autoimmune diseases- and the 200 or so types of cancer- is there are seven billion distinct, individual examples of our species. My wife battled Crohn's for decades until a drug was developed that was effective for HER. I would bet my last peso that his treatment regimen includes organic tomatoes, juicing and shoving coffee up his backside.
"I can’t help but notice that these “natural”, “holistic” practices never vary"
I'm selling X. Therefore you need X. It didn't work? You need more X.
CBD does not cause a 'high'.
Aww. No studies to show.
Organic seems to be the one commonality between almost all quackeries. Has anyone ever seen a quack advising people to avoid organic? Even those quacks who spout conspiracy theories about government are proponents of government regulated organic.
The only thing missing from prescription is wheatgrass and crystals to change to the vibrations around her.
I was called away from previous discussions so didn't find out if Mr. Harris ever cited his qualifications or CV.
I wonder if his naturopathy education was at the Jeremiah Jeffrey Hunter College of Naturopathy.
Personally, I'd change her diet to boost her immune system!
It is impossible to determine how many Autistic children are suffering from heavy-metal poisoning. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Wait for it....
Well, Selena is no doubt doing the proper thing. Everything that Allopathic medicine has to offer for Lupus is pathetic. From Wikipedia:
Uh huh. Just like cancer and CVD. The cause has been know for decades but the cure is so cheap and simple that it is being consistently ridiculed a suppressed.
Either that, or Allopathic medicine is full of incompetent cretins that cannot figure anything out.
And what does "homeopathic medicine" have to offer? This is the alternative to "allopathic," peculiar capitalization or not.
Peebs @32: Do you understand what an auto-immune disorder is? It is when the body's immune system attacks itself.
So when you say you'd "boost her immune system!" what you're saying is "I would make her much, much sicker".
It's like pouring gasoline on a fire.
So, Rebecca, what is the cause? I'd really like to know. I have a close friend with lupus. Any information would be appreciated.
Pete @18 seems to be surprised that medications can be contra-indicated during pregnancy.
I bet he'd prescribe tansy, lady's mantle and alcohol during pregnancy. They are all *natural*.
It is quite simple to determine whether a specific child is suffering from heavy metal poisoning. Take a blood sample and check the concentrations of heavy metals. If the amounts are more than de minimis, you confirm the diagnosis.
The reason such blood tests are not performed on most children, autistic or otherwise, is because most doctors will only order these tests in cases where they have specific reason to suspect heavy metal poisoning. Autism is not sufficient grounds to suspect such poisoning. Rather, there are specific neurological factors that would raise suspicion, or specific environmental factors such as a domestic water system with high lead levels (such as happened in Flint).
If the doctor confirms a diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning, then chelation is likely indicated. That's true whether the patient in question is autistic or not. If there is no evidence of heavy metal poisoning, then chelation won't help, again regardless of whether the child is autistic.
Eric, you're answering our incompetent persistent troll who is not remotely interested in facts.
Wrong. This is not so simple. It is well-known that blood levels are a poor indication of total body burden. Lead and mercury have a great affinity for tissues, and lead and aluminum have a great affinity for bone.
I'm having a hard time imagining a more mistargeted citation than PMC 4027918.
Which is why diagnosis of metal toxicity does not rely upon a single blood/urine sample. I'm curious as to why you are evading the question about "natural" treatments for Lupus.
I have a hard time imagining how Narad couldn't be a paid shill of some sort.
Who signs your paycheck Narad?
Narad, you mean a study of adults with coronary artery disease that did not find any link with heavy metals isn't relevant to a conversation about lupus? Shocking.
Anyone with a brain can see that I was simply refuting Eric Lund's ignorant statement that:
Does anyone need more proof that the blood lead, mercury, cadmium, and aluminum levels do not accurately correlate with the total body burden?
Nobody. It's all wire transfers from an offshore account. Try to put some effort into this while it lasts.
Hey, where's "Mark DePaun" in this convo? Gone already?
Lazy, stupid and evasive...not a good combination.
True. there is intracellular, extracellular, and interstitial space that holds the bulk of heavy metals -- A blood test only checks intravascular space and is non-conclusive for heavy metal load.
I'm betting Rebecca is our morphin' troll.....
Modern medical treatments now allow lupus patients to live a normal lifespan. Sixty years ago people died within 5 years from it.
Peebs was taking the piss with respect to the way every second supplement or herb is purported to "boost the immune system" as if that is inherently a good thing.
Peebs was taking the piss with respect to the way every second supplement or herb is purported to “boost the immune system” as if that is inherently a good thing.
"Everything that Allopathic medicine has to offer for Lupus is pathetic."
We are experiencing a drought this year. Everything that science has to offer for this is pathetic. So I did a rain dance.
I have a hard time imagining how Narad couldn’t be a paid shill of some sort.
Fortunately I have a more fertile imagination.
The Argument from stupidity Lack of Imagination is not particularly convincing.
I guess the cure for SLE must be a spell from the Dark Arts, perfected by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named? Correct, Harris? Or, should I say .. Mr Wormtail??
@ Herr Doktor
What is your PhD in? Or are you a poseur?
And you would be correct.
Rebecca @60 -- "Herr Doktor Bimler" has been commenting here for years.
I don't know who he is, exactly, but I can attest that he's plenty smart, and often very funny.
My own PhD is in astronomy.
Narad, by the way, who was disparaged earlier, is another long-time commenter. He has spooky knowledge of scientific typsetting that indicates that he's spent quite a bit of time deep inside the academy.
You're apparently out of your league.
"You’re apparently out of your league." A few currants short of a cake?
Coming from a guy that thinks thimerosal is a stable molecule.
Aren't you the idiot that said:
When this is obviously no the case. Take Merck’s ProQuad®, for example; which includes: 21 mg of sucrose, 11 mg of hydrolyzed gelatin, 2.4mg of sodium chloride, 1.8 mg of sorbitol, and a few more milligrams of salt and protein per 0.5mL.
Using a simple subtractive calculation would put this vaccine at around 91% water.
You are an arrogant twat of the third kind, who routinely authoritatively asserts things that are demonstrably false.
Stupidity so bad that I feel I have to comment rather than just peacefully lurk
Having just reviewed a PhD where sheep were fed lead (you can't do this to humans of course) I can tell you that a single blood sample can very clearly that someone has been exposed to lead at levels high enough to cause toxicity issues. Yes, the correlation between lead concentrations in the blood and the concentrations in tissues is only moderate, but that's not the question. The question is can you have lead toxicity without elevated blood values. The answer is absolutely not; the correlation with tissues isn't an issue it's a yes no question
Bunker has an almost-PhD in physics, and a PhD in psychology. I have a sort of almost PhD in literature, which we'll see about, but yeah, hdb is pretty frigging smart, a good sight smarter than me.
OK. Well give the Herr Doktor an honorary doctorate. 🎓
My irony meter just imploded into a singularity smelling faintly of worn socks. I wonder why that is...
What is your PhD in?
Contributions to multidimensional scaling methodology. If you have multiple dimensions you want scaled, come to me.
When I checked this forum in the morning, at one point I couldn't stop laughing.
Here we are, with Orac taking the high moral ground, with a disingenuous diatribe.
Talk about hypocrisy!
Everything he accuses me of, he himself has committed numerous times.
And everything and anything his disciples have said in the past, he's allowed to be posted, and he has even applauded the comments at times.
Here I am, using the exact same approach as others here, which is vigourously standing up for my beliefs, and hitting back at others where I think appropriate, and yet somehow, I'm labelled a troll, and accused of, "the volume and obnoxious idiocy of his comments."
This "science" Forum has a long history through the years, of inappropriate and foul language, from Orac, and from the commentators.
I was recently described as a c#@T, but somehow that was allowed.
I don't even use that word, and I very rarely use the F word.
And yet somehow, my "...comments that consist of nothing more than insults..."
The regular commentators here, have used foul language over the years, and yet nothing has been done until I came along.
Just one example; http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/04/11/fun-with-a-naturopathic-ra…
And as I said, the C word is widely accepted here.
Again, another example; #79, #80. http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/01/12/andrew-wakefield-in-it-for…
And; "You can take your ignorant raging idiocy and fuck yourself in your your senile, menopausal cunt." from;http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2014/01/23/on-orac-isis-pseudonymity-…
Needless to say, that the word dickhead has been used liberally over the years on this forum.
"If he’s nice." Which is a reference to me of course, but the pole position hypocrite himself, Orac, uses smear, sarcasm and denigration, when he writes about people he disagrees with.
Example? The story I 1st commented on, Orac repeatedly refers to a website (Thinking Moms’ Revolution (TMR) as the "Drinking" Moms Revolution.
How funny. . . And how year 8 high school (Sophomore year to you Americans) the language is.
It's not very edifying, and yet, here he is criticising me!
And he accuses me of; "...obnoxious idiocy..."
"...through his frequent posting that I might have to put the brakes on him...particularly if he floods the blog."
Well, I get accused of not stating enough, in the way of evidence, when I make my claims, regarding the complete lack of safety and efficacy, in allopathic medicine.
And now I'm being accused of flooding the blog.
I made the accusation that, like all pharmaceutical drugs that treat modern-day diseases, in this case Lupus, of how dangerous they are, so I found as much evidence as I could on Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), to back up my claim, and it seems that now; "Mr. Harris is cruising for one right now due to the volume..."
And yet again, in a masterful display of hypocrisy, it seems that Orac, can post any old nonsense, and pass it off as information.
It must have been a slow day back in 2006, when there was no medical news around, so the topic of the day was, "The Worst Band Names Ever."
Yes, I may have been a little too forceful yesterday, when replying to elitesquirrel, and MI Dawn, but when I have everyone attacking me, from every direction, I will come out swinging.
I'm proud of my profession. I've successfully treated around 2700 clients, with safety and efficacy, and not costing the taxpayer 1 cent I might add.
This blog clearly resembles the classic characteristics of a cult.
You have a cult leader, Orac, you can say anything with impunity, no matter how ridiculous and insulting, and the disciples, gleefully and slavishly follow without question.
So hey Orac, if you want to nobble my free-speech, then as you Americans would say, knock yourself out.
Poor baby. Don't like it? Start your own blog. It is not "inhibiting" your free speech not to let you comment on a blog, as the First Amendment does not obligate me to provide you a platform. In fact, I could decide who gets to comment on any criteria I want, and I choose pretty liberal criteria. It's very rare for anyone to be banned, no matter what they say, and this "putting the brakes on" happens only occasionally. So stop whining and either contribute something substantive. Or don't. I do not care.
#69 I prefer magic mushrooms for multidimensional quandaries.
Love how Mr Harris acts as if Orac didn't explicitly say that cyclophosphamide is toxic. The point isn't to deny there are adverse effects, some of them severe ; it is that we have nothing that has been proven better.
@Peter Harris, this comic refutes your free speech argument perfectly.
What do you do to treat cancer? I am curious.
Poor Peter. Everyone is picking on him. "Forceful" isn't quite the term I'd have used, Peter. "Infantile" maybe, or "Asinine" fits better.
Then you boast: I’m proud of my profession. I’ve successfully treated around 2700 clients, with safety and efficacy, and not costing the taxpayer 1 cent I might add.
Bully for you. So nice to know you make your clients pay cash instead of taking insurance. But then, at least here in the USA, most insurances do require that your treatments be 1) medically necessary and 2) as effective as the standard of care for that disease and cost the same.
What did your clients have and how did you treat them? I'll even give you an out: give us grouping like "40% had chronic sinusitis that I cured with XXX".
With "Rebecca" and "Paul," my Fucklesworth killfile entries have now topped 20. (Setting up the backup account in advance was far too obvious, Travis.)
I have a related illness - Vasculitis PAN - and I've gone through the cyclophosphamide regime, after a spell in intensive care for kidney failure - these diseases can get properly serious.
Hmmm. Maybe I should have asked for juicing woo in the ICU. After all, I really WAS having trouble with 'toxins'. That's what happens with kidney failure. Lots of toxins in your blood. You feel very horrible, and then you die. Maybe cupping?
Cyclophosphamide for autoimmune conditions is pretty lightweight, as far as chemo goes. Most people feel a bit off form for a couple of days and that's it. Maintenance therapy on something like Azathioprine is even easier. However, the steroids can make you put on weight..
Given that these diseases can lead to nasty complications, going down the woo path might be downright dangerous. I was able to ignore a whole raft of symptoms (*cough* denial *cough*) until getting very seriously ill indeed; being surrounded by a load of people who were against me going to hospital might well have killed me.
Top four links are quoting three trolls (well, one of the three is Lilady quoting the troll) resorting to curse words when their claims are not taken seriously. Sound familiar?
But to Peter Harris. I'm sure our host is a reasonable guy and would allow you your full range of expression (references to incontinence and feces included) when you use it to post relevant links you've been asked for, or evidence you've been asked to support your (as of now) unfounded claims.
It is also relatively telling how dispersed the "damning" quotes are - there are after all total of ,tens of thousands of comments on this blog.
Lilady chastising the troll for his bad language, no less.
I apologize for missing your cogent reply yesterday. Would you give me the thread name and comment # please.
I did dig back and found your link to an explanation of homeopathy. Unfortunately it didn't mention my specific question.
Number 65 was supposed to read Bimler, of course. That's what I get for commenting on a phone.
He has a real one numpty as opposed to being a window-washer like you.
Once again, Peter Harris does his country proud: "And as I said, the C word is widely accepted here." Just another example of Australian cultural supremacy, I suppose.
Moving beyond that,why do you still fail to answer any substantive questions?
As for cults, you blindly follow a belief system that is completely devoid of any evidence, logic, or even plausibility, and respond with anger and avoidance when challenged.. Sounds like a cult to me.
I'm pretty sure that "here" meant RI, although the word is a more general epithet in places other than the U.S.; I've certainly had it directed at me from an Australian Scot Netherlander friend with no particular force behind it.
If Peter Harris is so priggish, perhaps he should stick to holding hands and chanting Skies of blooo..., find your calm center... rather than wandering around online being an apparently completely self-unaware, raging asshole.
MA @ 55/56: Ah, I see. You can imagine how I can get confused around here.
And it seems like a good thing to remind the lurkers. I'm forever seeing things like that on FaceBook, and then the angry responses from friends with auto-immune diseases.
We're a cult? Who knew?
You haven't yet signed over all your worldly possessions over to Orac? Where have you been?
We're a cult? Paid shills?
Oh come on!
Surely they have not yet discovered The Truth About Us?
It is so much more nefarious an imbroglio of internecine warring factions with geopolitical connotations.
Perhaps a simple - but fashionable- psychologist who has of late been assigned to more literary exploits could explain it in GREAT DEAL
but CRAP I'm tired now.
In other news...
Unfortunately, conspiracy theories reign supreme in woo-topia not just in Donald Trump's PFC ( if there is indeed a PFC under that frightening hair)
- Natural News is again engaging in candidate assassination speculation -( sound familiar? like unarmed security people?- courtesy of the Donald the other day)
- prn.fm announces a new website to be unveiled tomorrow BECAUSE the old one has been hacked TO PIECES by you-know-who
( most probably, us). The Daily Woo-cast has deteriorated into 15 minutes of woo and 45 of bizarre political speculation in the style of Alex Jones and Breitbart- or maybe worse if that is possible.
I suppose that loony right wing conspiracy mongering is not so difference from what Orac *et Compagnie* study.
I suspect worse from Jake and Dan .
May I join your cult? What do I get for joining?
(Tote bags are nice. Just saying . . . )
Trump is a Private First Class? You mean that bozo actually managed to get promoted once?
Back in MY day....
The analysis here should be less about Selena Gomez and more about Hollywood Life by Bonnie Fuller.
I have no clue, of course, what Ms. Gomez's actual healthcare decisions might be. But knowing how celebrity gossip items are written, my guess is that the lead - "Selena has had it with pills, steroids, and bed rest!" is wholly the interpretation/fabrication of author Susan McCoppin. If Gomez was just seeking to supplement conventional care with chelation, a restricted diet, juicing and what-not, there's no melodrama. The point of the 'story' is to exploit the sort of conflict that captures their readers imaginations. In this case, the payoff is a poll at the bottom of the copy: "HollywoodLifers, what do you think? Is the organic approach the way to go, or should Selena stick with white coats and stethoscopes?"
The word choices display an obvious bias as to who are the good and bad in this soap opera. The earlier reference to juicing is even preceded by a breathless infomercial-esque "And that’s not all!" (But wait, there's MORE!)
Hollywood Life's editorial staff may well be genuinely woo-ey, but if so, this is probably just 'natural selection' - in that they wouldn't be pushing this angle if it didn't appeal to the readership enough to drive traffic. That the audience for this variety of gossip (quite different from the snarky 'smart' gossip exemplified by the late Gawker) is into reading fluffy woo-paeans is hardly surprising. The whole celebrity fascination is rife with all manner of magical thinking...
However, it's also a realm of escapist fantasy, that at some level most of it's devotees understand doesn't map in any way onto their lives, any more than old-school magical fantasies about princes, princesses, warriors and wizards. If anything, fascination with celebrities is rooted in how utterly different and magical ('white' and 'black') their personas and experiences are from the dull, all-too-reality-bound quotidian existence of the fans.
So it's likely the vast majority of readers who follow the Gomez alt-med story won't be lining up for woo services any time soon. Which is not to say there's nothing to worry about here. But the story is symptom, not cause. If Selena's adventures in holistic healing will function as a vicarious 'liberation' narrative, the question is 'why and how do the fans feel trapped such that they need liberating?'. The 'tell' is the framing of 'the organic' (natural, comprehensible, inviting, useful THINGS) against 'white coats and stethoscopes' _ a metonymy for cold, uncaring, bloodless, intimidating PEOPLE, i.e. physicians.
What strikes me about this is that pop culture NEVER characterized doctors in this way in my youth. Kildare, Casey, Welby, McCoy, Hawkeye, Aucshlander, Doogie Howser, Dr. Quinn... until the mid-90s, pop-culture MDs were loci of wisdom and compassion. Whatever the medical strengths and weaknesses of contemporary heathcare in the US, the hyper-rationalized assembly-line medicine of watch-that-clock, in-and-out quick office visits, understaffed/overstuffed hospital wards and other patient-as-interchangeable-meat-machine procedures has led to too many people seeing conventional medical practitioners not as sources of comfort, knowledge and healing, but of uncertainty and fear.
[Actually, I think there's some projection in this, in that doctors are taking the heat for the insurance companies and the people in the business office who make you feel like you're filling out a mortgage application before they let you see the doctor, or even get admitted to the ER...]
Hollywood Life has gioosed-up some gossip about Selena Gomez to exploit these negative feelings about the medical establishment as clickbait to sell more advertising. But you can't create tabloid fantasy narratives to assuage anxieties that don't actually exist. That's the things about tabloid crazy: Taken literally it's not just nonsense, but as often as not full-out bonkers nonsense, yet it somehow acts figuratively to resonate with very real issues and life situations of its audience.
In short, then, the only way to stop the crazy may be to fix the underlying problem - which would mean reforming the delivery of conventional medicine to make it a more user-friendy experience.
OK, I'm confused about C-words and Australian cultural supremacy... Are we talking about 'l' or 'n'; going in cu_t, or are different people thinking of the two different words and talking past one another? All I can say is that the very strong Australian women I know use 'c.u.n.t' as a general pejorative descriptor for individuals of all genders, and equally often ironically as an endearment, and do not consider such uses a reproduction of misogyny. Which, however, often riles up folks from the U.S., where the connotations are different. and "What a bunch of cunts! I love you all!" just leaves them puzzled.
Narad, "I’m pretty sure that “here” meant RI, although the word is a more general epithet in places other than the U.S.; I’ve certainly had it directed at me from a ... friend with no particular force behind it."
The word is tossed around pretty freely by Australians, even used as a generic term for "person". It may appear harmless in that context, but it carries an unspoken connotation that is not a credit to its users.
We don't do totes. PLEASE.
Do I look as if I would use a tote?
HOWEVER as a bonus for signing we should probably offer recording equipment, tiny cameras or various spyware to assist us in our undercover work
Whilst we're on the subject of Oz and c-words...
I just learned ( AoA) that VAXXED! was pulled from an Ozian film fest that was to show the miserable pile of woo... er FILM
RuPaul uses it as an acronym
I once received a purse as a gift with a free Spiegel catalog. It was light blue with black piping and handles – for all the world, it looked like a miniature bowling-ball bag.
It performed yeoman duty in hauling pounds and pounds of pennies to the bank, though.
Narad, I actually have a black tote from Vogue which I used ONCE- totes! - to carry a wet swim suit in.
Truly, my travels usually involve a small carry on bag for clothes and a gigantic leather purse with multiple hidden compartments where I keep money, ID, tickets, camera, phone, pharmaceuticals, skin care, sunblock, makeup, earrings, a hat, a scarf ( no tie), secret stuff etc etc etc
DW: "Natural News is again engaging in candidate assassination speculation"
I like the prediction that even though Hillary Clinton is already dead, she'll be assassinated anyway.
Even if you acknowledge that most of the NN chatter is utterly loony, they could well be right about one thing.
"According to the latest insider buzz I'm hearing, a staged event of historic magnitude is set to take place in the next six days that will end the populist rise of Donald Trump and allow totalitarian globalists to seize control of America through political means."
Yeah, it's quite possible that Trump will drop his drawers or otherwise flame out during the upcoming debate, thus allowing the globalists, chemtrail-sprayers and vaccinationists to triumph with their zombie stooge, HRC.
I know I'm kind of late to this party, but I have a different take on it, which is based on my own experience.
I did know Selena Gomez had lupus, and it's become a part of her celebrity brand. I don't think she's too happy about it, and not just because she'd rather not have lupus. To give an example, the tabloids have been all over her weight fluctuations, and she's responded with interviews about how shallow Hollywood is about weight. But to anyone who knows what to look for her weight gain screams steroid bloat. In any case, she's explained it when she was unable to meet professional obligations, and otherwise not discussed it much.
Now we get to my own experience.
Selena Gomez is besieged with people who tell her to try quackery. She gets hundreds of message *every day* from fans who want her to do. People send her pictures of poop that she might see if she cleansed. Complete strangers ask her to come to their clinic for a free colonic, in exchange for sharing her private medical information. She gets suggestions for all sorts of incredibly weird stuff like fabric softener. (Personal experience here. Yes, it happened. Not on the clothes.) The point is, by now she's been listening to this junk for years.
Since lupus is a horrible disease, she probably felt miserable enough to try a few of these things out. And then her doctors recommended chemotherapy and steroids because she was getting worse. She took the medical treatments, and wasn't happy about the side effects, but she dealt with them and moved on.
At least this is my guess, based on her public presentation of the issue. She doesn't want people to know her business, and she's not about to gush about crap that's *already* been proved worthless.
@ Dangerous Bacon:
Oh great and prescient Dangerous One! You know the Truth.
Since I listen to SEVERAL political wonks**, I heard a few startling predictions:
- Snoozefest debate.
- as Trump gets closer in toss-up states, Republican bigwigs (big Whigs?) endorse HRC to save their party from certain destruction due to his malign influence
- women get really piss-d off and vote accordingly.
- fact checkers, a million strong at home, defy the Donald
** no names mentioned
re lupus and weight gain
One of my innumerable cousins was diagnosed with lupus at age 30 and gained a great deal of weight which impacted her life tremendously. She worked in medical technology/ administration and was very unhappy about her failure to conceive as well.
Fortunately, she was advised to seek out an expert in another city who UNdiagnosed her. She had NO lupus. She lost weight and had a baby at age 40.
@71 - Gorski.
I had another chuckle, when I read the quacks response; "Poor baby."
Obviously, he's trying to paint me as some type of sook, when its him that is throwing the toys out of his cot.
But hey, when it's clearly been demonstrated that you are a hypocritical fool, you desperately find some other spin to put on your reply, just to avoid the obvious.
But what can you expect from a pseudo-maven, and chief dribbler.
The threat I gave you, to ban me from your "ship of fools," wasn't a test of your willpower, because, quite frankly in the future, I won't have much time to come over to this forum and cracks some coconuts, because my sabbatical is almost over, and I won't be having much time writing on any blog.
But don't worry, I'll drop in from time to time, just to give you, and your Kool-Aid drinking disciples, a dose of reality, and a lesson in magnanimity.
I knew of a doctor, who had chronic Crohn's disease.
He battled the disease for many years.
This doctor's father however, lived life with the basic principles of good nutrition, with organic produce, and other simple practices to keep the body healthy.
The son (the doctor) died a few years ago, aged 35.
The father, lives on into his 70s, and as we say in Victoria, he is as fit as a Mallee bull.
I guess you don't need me to state the bleeding obvious.
September 20, 2016
"The problem, of course, is that it isn’t the “toxic medication” that causes renal failure. It’s severe lupus attacking the kidneys."
You still don't get it do you.
Maybe because as a doctor, willful ignorance, is stock-in-trade in your "profession."
You still don't understand why I referred to the treatment, as butchery, when that will be the ultimate conclusion to such a toxic pharmaceutical drug, in this case, a possible kidney transplant.
I will make it very clear again. Most pharmaceutical drugs, with their accompanied appalling side-effects, will result in surgery, as a direct consequence of taking pharmaceutical drugs.
In this case of lupus, the drug Cytoxan is a classic example.
But the sick part of all this is that, the drug is given to lupus patients, whose lupus is affecting their kidneys, and the drug will eventually destroy that organ, it's meant to save.
And they call Cytoxan the "gold standard" drug regimen for treating severe lupus.
You cannot make this shit up.
If these appalling situations arose in any other field of science, this would be laughed at, and ridiculed endlessly, and then completely banned.
But just imagine, the howls of indignation, if it was found that some natural and holistic remedy, destroyed the very organ it was meant to help.
I'm sure the allopathic's would be up in arms, and complaining loudly.
But because it is a pharmaceutical drug, sorry poisoning, then all is well, and don't you dare stymie the profits.
"Love how Mr Harris acts as if Orac didn’t explicitly say that cyclophosphamide is toxic. The point isn’t to deny there are adverse effects, some of them severe ; it is that we have nothing that has been proven better."
That would have to be the dumbest, and most ignorant comment I've read on this blog all week. . . But give it time, shortly, there'll be another dumb and ignorant comment to overshadow it.
"My irony meter just imploded into a singularity smelling faintly of worn socks. I wonder why that is…"
In between acting like Twat yourself over the weekend on other blogs, did you find time to answer my 2 simple questions?
I guess not, after repeatedly banging your fist on the under-side the computer desk, then maybe it's a little painful to hit the keyboard.
I know what you think is the obvious lesson. However, without knowing why the son died, there really aren't any useful conclusions that can be drawn.
No wonder you keep missing the answers already given when you keep losing the relevant thread as well.
"I guess you don’t need me to state the bleeding obvious."
That the son suffered from Crohn's disease due to genetic and/or environmental factors that did not affect his father?
Or that you are prone to jumping to conclusions based on inadequate/faulty evidence and then cover for your errors with abusive blather?
*I'm reminded of the late J.I. Rodale, who boasted that he was going to live to 100 due to his superior diet and lifestyle, then suffered a fatal heart attack during taping of the Dick Cavett show (he actually said "I've decided to live to be 100" and "I never felt better in my life" during his taped interview).
He didn't die of hubris, but it couldn't have helped.
I am not a doctor but my reading indicates that Crohn's doesn't have a significant effect on lifespan, certainly not halfing it.
For all we know, the son got hit by a bus.
At least Gomez apparently hasn't fallen for UV blood therapy, advertised to treat lupus and a bevy of other conditions (numerous celebrities with "chronic Lyme disease" have gotten on the UV therapy bandwagon).
Good new article on this quackery in Forbes:
Hey Orac, i woke up this morning to find that you did not post all of my comments.
So, not only are you a quack and hypocrite, but you can add coward to the list.
Oh, please. The only comments I didn't let through consisted primarily of insults and ad hominems. Try rephrasing them without the attacks, and I'll let them through like the ones I did.
" So stop whining and either contribute something substantive. Or don’t. I do not care."
Again, more Bullshit from yourself.
Why don't you have the courage to post my comments, and let others decide.
Maybe if i use the words F&%#ing C$@t, i would get posted?
Poor baby. Don't like it here? I don't care. Piss off.
Quel Swiftian repartee!
"I don’t care."
Really, then post my comments.
HA HA HA.
You cannot tolerate apposing views!
Just get a VPN and come back with different names. You can usually make a few statements without being insulted that way. This little coterie of modern medical apologists will usually give a newbie [sock] more consideration than what you are receiving at the moment.
Oh, Chucklesworth, I'm from NANAE land. Where there's a will, there's a way. A really, really effective way.
Yes, your M.O. was noted some time ago. You're also pretty much down to a single comment as far as recognition goes. Where you find some form of self-validation from this hobby is anybody's guess.
More to the point, though, Harris isn't bright enough for that.
Have you considered the possibility that it is not the number of posts you or Peter Harris generates that invoked the response, but the content of said posts?
I think they're pretty much orthogonal. Travis Schwochert seems to have a completely different set of problems from Harris's.
// "The Demo-cat"
// "Ted Striker",
// "Robert Hayes",
// "Lars \u00D8rnsted",
// "Jeff Bollyn",
// "Rafaela Gonzalez",
// "Avocado Aficionado",
// "Tenfold Shrew",
// "animal support",
// "Animal Support",
// "Under Protest",
// "Annabel Lee",
// "Under the Bridge",
// "Lord Windemere",
Your the one with the Aardvark fetish.
"Do I look as if I would use a tote?"
My humblest apologies.
Spy gadgets are better that tote bags, anyway.
Yes, 'Orac's People' spend a lot of time spying so we'd better have the best gadgets. There's a shop nearby.
Unfortunately, my own efforts have been thwarted of late because some of the most accomplished woo-meisters I survey have switched over almost entirely to politics, chiefly of the anti-HRC variety.
- Mike Adams of Natural News
- Gary Null of prn.fm spends a short time on 'natural health' and most of his woo-hour maligning her ( also supposedly anti-Trump, more for Stein)
- Jake Crosby ( Autism Investigated) is a Trumpy fanboi as well.
- not true for AoA and TMR unfortunately.
We should be glad they spend less time misleading their audiences about health and vaccines.
Peter Harris, you seem to be under the impression that Orac is obligated or required to post your comments. He's not.
An analogy, if you will. If one of us walked into your office waiting room and started insulting you, shouting and using derogatory language, you would be 100% within your rights to demand that we leave.
Or even if we just said pointless things like "you have a bad taste in music." or "that painting is ugly" or "obviously wombats are better", you could still ask us to leave and enforce it.
All of us, lurkers, long-time commenters, antagonists, trolls and sockpuppets are here by Orac's whim and no other. If you can't play by the (very generous) rules, then he is allowed to ask you to leave.
@ Denice Walter
"There's a shop nearby"
There was one in my suburb, as well. Alas, it's long gone and has been replaced by a Krav Maga dojo.
The move from health woo-mongering to Trump-mongering is not an improvement. The net amount of idiocy spawned hasn't changed, just shifted.
"Why don’t you have the courage to post my comments, and let
Because people already decided you're an asshole and they've shown you the door. Courage, my ass.