JAN
13
0

How UTI's can cause depression

As some may know I am infectious disease doctor. Urinary tract infections (UTI) butter my bread. Figuratively speaking. There is an enormous amount known about the pathophysiology of UTI’s and how E. coli  binds to uroepithelial cells to cause infection.  It is both a common and complex problem. But for all our knowledge, chronic and recurrent UTI’s remain a vexing problem.

One reason for recurrent UTI’s is not due to altered chi along meridians fixed by needles. That would be ridiculous. Much to my embarrassment, Clinical Infectious Disease (CID), the flagship journal of my specialty, published Recurrent urinary tract infections among women: comparative effectiveness of 5 prevention and management strategies using a markov chain monte carlo model  and included acupuncture in their analysis. Really.  They thought a pseudo-medical intervention divorced from reality to be worthy of consideration.

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5455 Hits
JAN
12
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Points of Interest: 1/12/2014

Taken all at once they could result in spontaneous human combustion: Dr. Oz Has Featured No Less Than 16 Weight Loss Miracles. Why Is There Still an Obesity Epidemic? This is a quite the discussion in India, the opposite of what is occurring in the US: Prescribing real drugs may dilute the reputation of homeopaths in India.  Like I have said before, combining cow pie with apple pie does not make the cow pie better, it makes the apple pie worse. Politicians, Muslim scholars join vaccination effort as violence hinders Pakistan polio drive. Sad that anyone would let children get polio. Or let children die of cancer. Inquest opened into death of child removed from cancer treatment in 2009.

 

2795 Hits
JAN
12
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Understood

Science-based medicine, obviously, does not have the answer to everything.  Maybe someday, but not now.

In my practice the medical problem with no good etiology or treatment is chronic fatigue syndrome.  As I have mentioned elsewhere, in some cases I suspect CFS is similar to post-infectious arthritis, a reaction to an infection that has come and gone.  But suspect is not know.

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3390 Hits
JAN
12
0

Points of Interest: 1/11/2014

A unique form of stem cell therapy by an alternative practitioner: "In five cases, Welker pulled fat from patients' bodies, processed it in some way, then injected the solution back into the patients' bodies."

Of course you don't know what the dead did: "The majority of cancer survivors are those with positive mindsets and continuously prayed for internal strength to fight the disease."

On occasion reality triumphs: "The White House released an official statement confirming denial of all Medicare reimbursements for acupuncture services by licensed acupuncturists." 

2752 Hits
JAN
11
2

A Perfect Example of Why This Organization is Needed

It is still odd to my mind. As a rule, major Universities not have departments of Astrology or Bigfoot Studies or UFO studies or Economics. Except, perhaps, as part of the Sociology Department as part of the study of human superstitions.

They recognize that these disciplines have no basis in reality and are worthy as study as part of a reality based curriculum.

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Recent Comments
Janet Camp
Thank you for your integrity.
Friday, 23 January 2015 01:54
Janet Camp
Thank you for your integrity.
Friday, 23 January 2015 01:54
5246 Hits
JAN
11
0

Points of Interest: 1/10/2014

Every year Portland Magazine lists its Top Doctors. This year they have the tops in Acupuncture, Chiropractic, and Naturopathic Medicine. I suspect their selection process is flawed if they have a way of differentiating one pseudo-medical practitioner from another. When the head of AETNA, a major health insurance company, supports pseudo-medicine I know that Sisyphus had it easy: "The CEO says he has dropped 48 pounds since changing his diet and no longer consuming eggs and dairy products, after blood tests revealed he has a sensitivity to them. He is also an advocate of naturopathy and integrative nutrition. Many conventional doctors dismiss the effect of nutrition on immune health, he says. “I look at my allopathic doctor and say, ‘You’re 30 pounds overweight. How’s your nutritional therapy working for you?’” I always say West Coast, Best Coast, but maybe not for vaccines: Idaho ranks second-to-last in the nation for vaccination levels among its kindergarteners, behind Oregon. Less than 60 percent of Idaho’s 2-year-olds are vaccinated, reports the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 11 percentage points below the national average. It’s a cultural epidemic in the American West — Alaska, Washington state, Colorado and Arizona also top the list. It’s a trend founded not in science but in fear.
2354 Hits
JAN
10
0

An Offer You Can Refuse

I don't know if this will work or not, but here is an offer. There are Skeptics in the Pub and other meetings that I cannot visit in person to preach the good word. That is assuming I would be wanted.

I was thinking of attempting a Max Headroom.

Skype is not a good way to do a lecture or talk, but I could Skype into any small meeting and I could be pimped about issues concerning SBM.

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3302 Hits
JAN
10
0

Points of Interest: 1/9/2014

Tax dollars in action (or inaction) with two pieces of nonsense at once when a military MD "uses a sensor to locate an acupuncture point." No point in having reality as part of the cirriculum in India: Allopathy Subjects will not include in Homeopathy. The efficacy of pseudo-medicine: "Almost 25% of patients with gout reported using complementary and alternative medicines, but their disease activity did not differ from patients avoiding such treatments after 1 year".  But at least the CAM was more expensive.

 

2283 Hits
JAN
08
0

Scant hours spent do not a Doctor make

Training in Internal Medicine is 7 years (4 in Medical School, 3 in residency), about 19,000 hours. It takes another 5600 hours, an extra two years, to be an ID specialist, assuming an 8 hour day I do not think I ever worked in my life.

Not a single student is even remotely ready to take care of patients after 4 years of medical school much less after a year and a half. It is why we have residencies: so we can learn from our elders and (hopefully) betters how to care for the sick.

Even after residency and fellowship most doctors are competent, but it takes another 5 or 10 years to get good.

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4926 Hits
JAN
07
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Points of Interest: 1/7/2014

Humans are not the only animals that have useless pseudo-medicine inflicted upon them. “*Veterinary interests also might be served if the AVMA stays out of an ongoing debate about the scientific and medical merits of homeopathy — at least that’s what the Executive Board believes.*” . But they agree upon jerky. We probably need a veterinary wing of the Society. Pseudo-medicine kills breast cancer patient with a cesium overdose: “Cesium chloride is an alternative treatment that “supposedly increases the pH level of cancer cells to kill them, while not altering the pH of healthy cells,” ” Neither quality or quantity. "According to the American Chiropractic Association, the course of study to become a chiropractor includes 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience in “orthopedics, neurology, physiology, human anatomy, clinical diagnosis including laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, exercise, nutrition rehabilitation and more.” And all of applied to the pseudo-medicine of subluxations. To get training in Internal Medicine is 19,000 hours and 25,000 to be an ID specialist, assuming an 8 hour day I do not think I ever worked in my life.
2413 Hits
JAN
07
0

First Day Live: Lots of Pain

I feel like 'Bones' McCoy.  Damn it Jim, I'm a doctor, not a programmer.  So it has been definitely proven I am not a flawless Joomla programmer.

There are a series of issues I will work on tonight:

1) ebook downloads.  I think I fixed the issue, but I have to go back and fix every ones permissions who paid for a membership.  It will hopefully be done tonight,

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3288 Hits
JAN
06
0

Friends, Koreans, countrymen. Lend me your ears.

Certainly this is the case where ear acupuncture was used as an adjunct to weight loss and found to be effective, only if you lend credence to terribly done clinical trials. Almost every error that could be applied to a study, was.

Patients received 5 point ear acupuncture, 1 point ear acupuncture or sham acupuncture for 8 weeks:

Those who received five-point acupuncture had needles placed 2 millimeters deep in one outer ear taped in place and kept there for a week. Then the same treatment was applied to the other ear... Other patients received similar treatment with one needle or with sham acupuncture where the needles were removed immediately after insertion.

 I suspect that there was such a high drop out in the sham treatment as because they knew they were not getting acupuncture. A lousy placebo renders an already  silly and poorly done trial completely meaningless, like most of the acupuncture trials.  

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5523 Hits
JAN
05
0

Points of Interest: 1/5/2014

The Ethical Case Against Homeopathy.  I have wondered if all of complementary and alternative pseudo-medicine is unethical since they are not based on realtiy and efficacy, such as it is, requires deception. 
2443 Hits
JAN
04
0

Science-Based Medicine Delivers

 

Then another brief flurry of hope with double drug therapy that was followed by an almost tangible sense of depression and sadness in those who took care of HIV patients. No matter what we did the virus mutated and the disease progressed.

Then there was triple drug therapy and I remember thinking, well, this may add a couple months but the virus will mutate again, and people will die.  Nope.

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3126 Hits
JAN
04
0

Points of Interest: 1/3/2014

What we have to look forward to if unvaccinated:

"As healthy as my lifestyle seemed, I contracted measles, mumps, rubella, a type of viral meningitis, scarlatina, whooping cough, yearly tonsillitis, and chickenpox, some of which are vaccine preventable. In my twenties I got precancerous HPV..."

Read the entire article about Growing up without Vaccines. 

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2228 Hits
JAN
02
0

Points of Interest: 1/2/2014

If you are not supported by reality: Abusing the Algorithm: Using Facebook Reporting to Censor Debate. How anti-vaxers are using Facebook rules to shut down criticism.   The toptic was is also discussed on Science-Based Medicine: Facebook’s reporting algorithm abused by antivaccinationists to silence pro-science advocates. The Australian Vaccination Network, an anti-vaccination group, had to change their name because it was misleading.  They tried for  Australian Vaccination – Sceptics Network and  Australian Vaccination Skeptics.  Both were denied.  I liked Misinformation For All.
2205 Hits
JAN
02
0

Popcorn

I found an announcement for a lecture on homeopathy and the speaker is going to give free door prizes as follows:

• An emergency homeopathy kit, valued at $100;

• An international travel homeopathy kit, valued at $165;

• A family homeopathy, kit valued at $250. Harriet Hall has discussed these kits and they contain nothing that could have any efficacy, although I cannot find the exact contents of the kits offered here. That is a serious chunk of change for collection of virtually nothing.  It would make a nice charitable donation or business expense on the tax form.  I wish my water was worth that much, and I drink Bull Run water, best in the world.  I wonder how Oscar would have categorized homeopathic products.  
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4803 Hits
JAN
01
0

Day One. The First Blog Entry

It occurred  to me that most of the efforts concerning Science-Based Medicine (SBM) have been accomplished by individuals.  When these individuals die their work often dies with them.  Organizations can be resilient and continue long after their original membership is gone.  Organizations can keep the past alive so that each generation does not have to reinvent the efforts of those who proceeded them.  I want all the work and effort of SBM to live. Forever.

I also think the issues around SBM are more important than the limited attention provided by other organizations, both medical and skeptical. While medical and skeptical organizations are concerned  with issues surrounding SBM and the ever expanding influence of Integrative, Supplements, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (iSCAM), it is usually peripheral to their main mission.

In medicine there are often organizations devoted to specialized areas of interest and they add to, not detract, from more broad-based organizations.  There are, for example, organizations devoted to Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases (a subset of Internal Medicine) and fungi or endocarditis (both subsets of Infectious Diseases).  All these organizations enhance the understanding and participation in medicine and allow for those with specialty interests to participate and those areas of interest.  Similarly we hope this organization enhances the both the medical and skeptical communities.

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4112 Hits
DEC
31
0

7 +/- 2 Paragraphs of Idle Thoughts

One of the issues I have with writing for the Science-Based Medicine Blog is repetition.  If I have covered a topic in the past I feel I should not have to write about it again. But I have realized that while everything is available on the internet, it can be difficult to find and impossible to remember. People coming upon this blog for the first time will have no idea what preceded it and it is unlikely they will go back to read the old entries.  So repetition will be good. The assumption will be that each entry is an island, unique onto itself.  The issue will not be how many times can we demonstrate that, for example, homeopathy is uber-goofy, but how we can do so in a unique and memorable manner.  I have given myself a challenge.  Wish us luck.

I have worked at the same position for 23 plus years and there is only one other doc who has practiced as long in my hospital.  I have an institutional memory and remember the old days, when there were no CT scans, cephalosporins had two generations, and there was no electronic medical records.  I anticipate the Society will be a repository of Science-Based Medicine memory.  Every generation will have to renew the battle against pseudo-medicine, but hopefully the Society will be a scaffold upon which they can build.

The blog will be mostly about medicine and pseudo-medicine: how the former, despite the flaws inherent in every human endeavor, delivers and how the later, because of the flaws inherent in every human endeavor, does not.

2868 Hits
DEC
02
0

Short Attention Span

I write this entry on December 2, 2013 and work on the first iteration of the site is almost done.

The purpose of the Society Blog?

I see it has having three components.

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2650 Hits