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Bill and Hillary Clinton go woo with Dr. Mark Hyman and “functional medicine”

Dug the Dog strikes again.

I was all set to write about a mass of pseudoscience published in a prominent online news/comment site, one that addressed a topic near and not-so-dear to my heart, mainly EMF and cell phone radiation as an alleged cause of cancer and many health problems. Ready to rip into it with gusto, I did have a bit of reservation because I had recently addressed the very same topic when Dr. Oz engaged in a bit of fear mongering about it. It must have been posted to various breast cancer forums or forums dedicated to discussing the purported health issues due to cell phones, because every so often, for the last three months, outraged commenters would show up and lash out at me. But, then, I was made aware of an article that appeared in the New York Times a couple of days ago that brought up memories of something I haven’t written about for a long time.

Squirrel!

Besides, I can always blog about the other execrable article on my not-so-super-secret other blog. That’s what it’s there for.

In any case, the NYT article appeared, appropriately enough, in the Fashion & Style section, not the Health section, and is entitled “He Tells the Clintons How to Lose a Little. Dr. Mark Hyman: Advising the Clintons on Their Health.” It’s written by Amy Chozick, a reporter I’ve never heard of, probably because I know the names of most, if not all, of the health reporters for the NYT and national news outlets, but am blissfully unfamiliar with reporters covering the fashion and style beat. Actually, it turns out that Chozick is a political reporter “with a focus on covering Hillary Clinton.” Obviously her focus isn’t on covering health, as her article makes clear.

The article demonstrates one thing, and that’s how good Dr. Mark Hyman is at schmoozing powerful celebrities like the Clintons. In fact, after reading this story, I’m less likely to be supporting Hillary Rodham Clinton for President in 2016, because the article makes it clear that the Clintons are Hyman’s friends and that they rely on him for advice with respect to health matters, including, increasingly, health policy. If she’s elected, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if Hillary Clinton taps Hyman as a health advisor. For all we know, she might make him Surgeon General or give him a major advisory role in health policy. It all apparently began not long after Bill Clinton had his quadruple bypass surgery ten years ago. Hillary Clinton apparently found Hyman—how, it’s not clear—and viewed him as a “30th anniversary present” to her husband designed to keep him healthy after his health scare:

One of the first things Dr. Hyman did was to wean Mr. Clinton off his previously prescribed vegan diet. Despite persistent news media reports that he is vegan, Mr. Clinton does occasionally eat fish and lean protein. “It’s hard being a vegan to eat enough good, quality protein and not have too much starch,” Dr. Hyman said over lunch at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York. “I know a lot of fat vegans.”

Dr. Hyman, who made a name for himself advising the moneyed urbanites who retreat to Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Mass., met Mrs. Clinton at a fund-raiser in New York when she was in the Senate. The two quickly dived into a wonky conversation about childhood obesity and his philosophy of healthful eating. “She then called me and we’ve just become friends,” he said.

If there’s anyone who embodies the concept of “integrative medicine,” in which pseudoscience and unscientific medicine are “integrated” with science-based medicine and innocuous advice like eating more vegetables and fish, it’s Dr. Hyman. As the article points out, he is known for practicing “functional medicine,” but what the article does not point out is exactly what “functional medicine” is. Actually, that’s not a straightforward question, because what constitutes functional medicine has never been clear to me, although it’s clear that a lot of it is pseudoscience. Let’s see what Chozick says about it:

His latest book, “The Blood Sugar Solution: 10-Day Detox Diet,” a sequel to his best seller “The Blood Sugar Solution,” provides a 10-day cleanse for quick weight loss, but the splashy promise of pounds shed is mostly a way to get readers to quickly experience the benefits of healthy eating, he said. “Writing books, you kind of have to come up with the way to get people’s attention. I would probably call it something different if I had a choice.”

More broadly, he embraces a wellness philosophy called “functional medicine,” or the practice of addressing the root causes of chronic diseases (from diabetes and arthritis to insomnia and fatigue) through dietary and lifestyle changes, rather than diagnosing them and prescribing traditional medicine to treat the symptoms. Weight loss is a nice side effect, he said.

And:

“He did amazing blood work on me and a lot of other people I know,” Mr. Clinton said, adding that it all started with “a very sophisticated biomedical analysis and he basically gave them their whole lives back.”

I note that “sophisticated” doesn’t necessarily equal science-based, as you will see.

What is this “functional medicine” thing, anyway?

I’ll get straight to the point (unusual for me, I know, but I console myself that I used—for the umpteenth time—my favorite Dug the Dog joke to start out the post, even though it only occupied a paragraph). Functional medicine is pure pseudoscience, as Wally Sampson has explained. It postulates “imbalances” in hormones and neurotransmitters, oxidation-reduction, detoxification and biotransformation, immune function, inflammation, and cell structure. It’s all so vague that these “imbalances” could mean almost anything, and when practitioners of “functional medicine” refer to them, they usually do. Arguably the most famous practitioner of “functional medicine” is Mark Hyman, known for creating “Ultrawellness,” the very name of which should tell you pretty much all you need to know about functional medicine. Indeed, it just seems to be a label used to encompass a whole lot of alternative medicine practices being “integrated” with real medicine. As our one of our founding bloggers and now emeritus Wally Sampson put it:

Functional Medicine – What is it?

After extensive searching and examination, my answer is still – only the originators of “FM” know. Or, at least one must assume they know, because so far as I can see, I certainly see nothing that distinguishes “FM” from other descriptions of sectarian and “Complementary/Alternative Medicine” practices. A difference may lie in the advocates’ assumptions to have found some “imbalance” of body chemistry or physiology before applying one or more unproved methods or substances. From what I could determine, the “imbalance” or dysfunction is usually either imaginary or at least presumptive. And the general principles are so poorly defined as to allow practioners vast leeway to apply a host of unproven methods.

Indeed, I haven’t been able to figure out what, exactly, distinguishes functional medicine itself from quackery, as functional medicine recommends treatments full of supplements, dietary manipulations, and “detoxification.” It’s the sort of treatment that practitioners of “autism biomed” quackery, chiropractors, and naturopaths love, in which “imbalances” must be measured through a battery of lab tests and corrected with whatever woo functional medicine practitioners can dream up. That, very likely, is what constituted that battery of “sophisticated” blood work that so impressed the Clintons, rather than any actual science. Of course, when you don’t understand medicine or science, any battery of blood tests with levels of lots of blood components with fancy names being tested, accompanied with science-y sounding explanations of what the results all mean, will often seem hugely impressive. Even seriously sophisticated people in other realms will often be taken in. Actually, it’s often those very sophisticated people who are most impressed because they think they understand when they don’t. The Dunning-Kruger effect and motivated reasoning can indeed affect even people like the Clintons—or maybe especially people like the Clintons. After all, it is the most intelligent people among us who are most skilled at making arguments and (often unconsciously) cherry picking data to support our own arguments, particularly lawyers like Bill and Hillary Clinton. Sadly, functional medicine has even found its way into academic—or, as I like to put it these days, quackademic—medicine.

But, let’s get back to the question: What, exactly, is “functional medicine,” anyway? I thought it was worth going straight to the source, the Institute for Functional Medicine (the chair of whose board of directors is—surprise! surprise!—Mark Hyman), to find out how much, if at all, functional medicine has changed since the last time I looked into it. If you take a look at the IFM’s page What Is Functional Medicine? you’ll see quite rapidly that it’s a very nice package of woo “integrated” with sensible science-based advice, all tied up with a rhetorical bow of buzzwords common in “complementary and alternative” medicine (CAM) and “integrative medicine,” buzzwords and catch phrases such as:

  • “Patient-centered care,” which is touted as “personalization” of medical care and “listening to patients,” in which ” functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual,” whatever that means.
  • “Understanding the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease,” again, whatever that means, given that the functional medicine view of the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex chronic diseases tend to resemble the science-based view of the origins, prevention, and treatment of complex chronic diseases only occasionally, and then only by coincidence or through the co-opting of SBM paradigms as somehow being “alternative” and “functional” (because, you know, alternative and functional are cooler).
  • “Integrating best medical practices,” which is, of course, the “best of both worldsfallacy.

Functional medicine claims to be guided by six core principles:

  • An understanding of the biochemical individuality of each human being, based on the concepts of genetic and environmental uniqueness;
  • Awareness of the evidence that supports a patient-centered rather than a disease-centered approach to treatment;
  • Search for a dynamic balance among the internal and external body, mind, and spirit;
  • Familiarity with the web-like interconnections of internal physiological factors;
  • Identification of health as a positive vitality not merely the absence of disease emphasizing those factors that encourage the enhancement of a vigorous physiology;
  • Promotion of organ reserve as the means to enhance the health span, not just the life span, of each patient.

It all sounds well and good—on the surface, that is. I could (and would) point out that the “understanding of the biochemical individuality of each human being, based on the concepts of genetic and environmental uniqueness” seems custom-made to cater to the belief among some of the woo-prone that they are special snowflakes, so utterly unique that treatment must be tailored to their finest uniqueness. Alternatively, as Wally pointed out five years ago, “biochemical individuality” is an expression invented by Dr. Roger Williams of the University of Texas 50 years ago to justify administering massive doses of vitamins and other supplements in order to achieve “optimum health.” Linus Pauling, proving that Nobel Laureates can be taken in by pseudoscience, adapted the concept, along with other treatments involving massive doses of vitamins, into the idea of “orthomolecular medicine,” a type of medicine that seems to have at its very core the concepts that all disease is due to some sort of vitamin or nutrient deficiency (or “imbalance”) and that, if some vitamins are good, massive amounts more are even better. It’s no wonder that functional medicine frequently goes hand-in-hand with orthomolecular medicine.

Of course, it’s a typical massive straw man to claim that, somehow, functional medicine treatments—or whatever “alternative” or “integrative” treatments you care to name—are “individualized,” and science-based medicine is not. It’s actually rather amusing to contemplate that over the last ten years there has been a large move towards what has been called “personalized medicine,” based on genomic profiling and other tests but that the movement has been renamed to “precision” medicine. The reason? To paraphrase the National Research Council report on precision medicine, “precision medicine” refers to tailoring the medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient. It does not literally mean the creation of drugs or medical devices that are unique to a patient but rather the ability to “classify individuals into subpopulations that differ in their susceptibility to a particular disease, in the biology and/or prognosis of those diseases they may develop, or in their response to a specific treatment,” thus allowing the concentration on those who will benefit, “sparing expense and side effects for those who will not.” The NRC also points out that the term “personalized medicine” is also used to convey such a meaning but that the “term is sometimes misinterpreted as implying that unique treatments can be designed for each individual.” In other words, “precision medicine” just slices groups of patients with a disease into smaller and smaller categories for purposes of deciding therapy, not to the point where each patient gets a different treatment.

In contrast, as I’ve described before, in the world of alternative medicine, be it “functional medicine” or whatever, the “individualization of treatments” and a “holistic approach” tend to mean “making it up as you go along” or, basically, whatever the practitioner wants them to mean.

I like to quote Humpty Dumpty from Lewis Carroll’s Through The Looking Glass:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

Functional medicine practitioners are masters of bending language to their wills, just like Humpty Dumpty, and to them “individualized” or “personalized” medicine means whatever they want it to mean, as Wally Sampson has described again and again and again and again. It’s a pseudoscientific medical “specialty” that mixes dietary recommendations both reasonable and quackery-laden with the treatment of nonexistent or inadequately-validated “imbalances” in various nutrients and hormones in the body

Perhaps, you think, I paint with too broad a brush. Maybe Dr. Hyman is different. So let’s look at what he does.

Dr. Hyman, revisited

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the world of woo, it’s that one of the fastest ways to find out what a practitioner is doing—actually doing—is to head on over to his website. Dr. Hyman actually has at least two. First, there’s his own website, which has its own store. Then there’s his UltraWellness Center, apparently because “wellness” isn’t enough and “ultrawellness” is so much better—so much more “ultra.” From the UltraWellness Center website, it didn’t take long for me to find a link to the website for Dr. Hyman’s latest book The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet. It’s endorsed by Dr. Oz and Dr. Amen, so you know it must be good woo, and on that website there was a link to a quiz to determine whether you need “detoxing.” Here it is:

Do You Need to Detox?

  1. Do you crave sugar and carbs?
  2. Do you have belly fat?
  3. Do you have trouble losing weight?
  4. Do you have FLC syndrome (Feel Like Crap – fatigue, brain fog, digestive issues, mood problems, allergies, joint pain, skin problems, autoimmune disease)?

If you answered YES to even ONE of the above questions, keep reading.

Yes, apparently if you crave sugar and carbs, have a bit of belly fat, have trouble losing weight, or feel run down, you need detoxification! A naturopath couldn’t have said it better! At least 75%, if not much more, of the adult population is likely to answer “yes” to at least one of those questions; so apparently everybody needs “detoxification.” And, of course, Dr. Hyman is right there, ready to sell you the supplements you need to detoxify, including his PureLean Pure Pack, PGX Fiber, and Vitamin D3, which, or so Dr. Hyman claims, can do these wonderful things for you:

The 10-Day Detox Diet Basic Kit includes all of the supplementation needed to support healthy blood sugar balance while on the 10 initial days of the program or the basic plan after transition. The unique combination of supplements in this kit is designed to provide a foundation for cellular sensitivity to insulin as well as sustain the metabolism of fats and sugars. This bolsters healthy metabolism, blood sugar balance, cholesterol levels, and more. These supplements should be taken every day for the rest of your life for maximum effect.

So what’s in these supplements? The PureLean Pure Pack includes:

  • Multivitamins and minerals
  • MacularSynergy Complex, which is described as a “proprietary blend of lutein and zeaxanthin—two of the most crucial nutrients for macular function.”
  • Metabolic GlycoPex, described as a “unique combination of alpha lipoic acid, cinnamon, and l-carnosine provides critical antioxidants and phytonutrients that help improve insulin sensitivity, scavenge free radicals, and support healthy blood sugar levels.”
  • Metabolic LipidPlex, described as a “special blend of green tea catechins, taurine, and more supports insulin sensitivity, healthy fat burning, and metabolism.”
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid with GlucoPhenol, described as “useful in supporting healthy nerve function in those with diabetes and pre-diabetes: and a “powerful antioxidant and mitochondrial booster.”
  • Omega-3 Fats, described as “crucial for healthy cardiovascular, nervous system, and immune function.”
  • Magnesium
  • Taurine, described as a “powerful antioxidant” that “supports healthy cardiovascular, nervous system, skeletal muscular, and retinal function.”

Not only is Dr. Hyman a basic supplement hawker, but he sells PGX Fiber, which is widely touted as a fiber that expands in the stomach to produce a feeling of fullness, alleviating hunger pains, the idea being that if you take 2 to 5 g of it before a meal you will eat less. I did a quick PubMed search for the fiber and found a smattering of in vitro studies, rodent studies, and preliminary clinical studies (small pilot studies and a small randomized trial) suggesting that PGX might be useful for such purposes, but nothing particularly compelling. That’s better than the evidence base that exists for the average supplement, but nowhere near enough to advocate widespread use of the supplement for “detoxification” and lowering cholesterol and glycemic index of foods. Like most supplement hawkers, Dr. Hyman runs ahead of the evidence. But, hey, if you buy his 10-Day Detox Diet Starter Package, he’ll give you a 10% discount on your first order of The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet supplement support kits. You’ll need it, given that the supplements above cost $140 for a four week supply. To ease the anxiety over the price, you might want to buy some of Dr. Hyman’s UltraMind (sounds like a supervillain) supplements to calm your mind. Certainly, I was tempted to do just that after reading Dr. Hyman’s claim that the laws of thermodynamics “doesn’t apply in living, breathing, digesting systems.” That might require a post of its own sometime.

Or maybe I need Dr. Hyman’s Thyroid Support Kit or his Essentials Kit for Men, the latter of which he tells me “should be taken every day for the rest of your life for maximum effect.” Of course it should. I’ve always wondered why it’s considered so unethical and such a conflict of interest for physicians to sell medications that it’s illegal under most circumstances, but to the “integrative medicine” and alternative medicine crowd it’s apparently perfectly fine for a physician like Dr. Hyman (or Dr. Joe Mercola or alternative practitioners like naturopaths) to manufacture and sell the very supplements they prescribe to their patients, even going to the point of recommending supplements without pointing out that they own a supplement company. Perhaps Jann Bellamy can help me out with that one. (Stay tuned.)

In any case, we can see the consequences of how Dr. Hyman defines and treats disease in several examples, such as an article in which he touted anecdotal evidence for the “personalized treatment” of dementia, in which he actually had the temerity to paint current medicine as “obsolete,” like bloodletting or phrenology, and touts functional medicine as finding the “true cause” of disease. It’s rare to see a case of such massive projection outside of the antivaccine movement. Indeed, Dr. Hyman has been known to engage in a bit of germ theory denialism, stating:

We are the same – we need to have a healthy soil or terrain in order to be healthy.

In fact, Louis Pasteur on his deathbed realized this – and it is the terrain, NOT the germ, that is the most important determinant of health.

This explains why giving zinc to malnourished children in the third world can reduce death from infections by over 75% – it doesn’t stop exposure to the bugs, but zinc boosts immunity, helping the children stay healthy.

So by believing in this “germ theory” of disease, medicine has ignored one of the most important scientific ideas of the last century – that our health is determined by the interaction of our genes and our environment.

Anyone who cites the myth that Louis Pasteur somehow “recanted” germ theory on his deathbed is deep into germ theory denialism. Hyman was also attacking a straw man, in that science-based medicine already does take into account the “terrain,” which can modify susceptibility to disease, be it infectious disease or other diseases. Much of the rest of what Dr. Hyman teaches when he gives his course of functional medicine includes the usual alt-med claptrap, such as a woo-ish take on inflammation, hormones, gut and digestive health, mind-body interactions, mitochondrial metabolism, and, of course, detoxification, the other One Quackery To Rule Them All (other than homeopathy, of course). Indeed, take a look at the brochure for the Institute for Functional Medicine 2014 course on detox. (Seriously, it’s offering a course on detox.) It’s chock full of detox pseudoscience, with competencies to be acquired including understanding the “synergistic” effects of toxins, developing “personalized dietary protocols to support detoxification and elimination pathways,” and applying “various nutraceuticals, botanicals, pharmaceuticals, and lifestyle interventions to increase mobilization, biotransformation, and elimination of toxic compounds in the body.”

I thought I was reading an outline of a naturopathy course.

Such proclivities routinely lead Dr. Hyman to do things like mangle systems biology and cancer research. He’s even appeared to ascribe to the antivaccine view that vaccines cause autism, without, of course, explicitly saying that vaccines cause autism—although he does support all sorts of “autism biomed” quackery for autism and recently has been Tweeting support to antivaccine crank Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. He’s also been known to criticize science-based medicine as being “for sale” based on a paper that doesn’t really provide compelling evidence to support such a conclusion, all the while neglecting to note that he has minimal to no evidence to support the supplements he sells and that he sells the very supplements that he recommends.

Conclusions

These days Dr. Hyman appears to be becoming more and more well-known. For example, Chozick’s article mentions that Dr. Hyman has recently appeared on The Dr. Oz Show. I was half-tempted to look up the episode and see what sorts of woo he discussed with Dr. Oz, but this post has already grown long enough. Actually, I did look up the videos (part 1, part 2, part 3). Maybe I’ll do a full post on them if I can stand to watch. In any case, apparently he’s touting something now that he calls “diabesity,” apparently a term that Dr. Francine Kaufman coined in 2008 for a book. It refers to the combination of type II diabetes and obesity, for which he combines reasonable recommendations (avoiding processed sugars) with unsupported recommendations (“detox” from your “addiction” to carbohydrates), opining that “diabesity can be caused by or worsened by many things: inflammation, environmental toxins, gut problems, hormonal imbalances and nutritional deficiencies” and that “customizing the program according to your specific triggers will help you get the best results.” Of course.

Unfortunately, Dr. Hyman appears to be one of those “integrative medicine” doctors who’s very good at sounding reasonable as he “integrates” pseudoscience and unsupported medical modalities into science-based medicine. He gives the game away by the way he attacks science, touts anecdotal evidence over science, and subscribes to ideas based on prescientific thinking, such as “detoxification” and “imbalances” of hormones, vitamins, and nutrients that could easily be imbalances in the four humors or the five elements. Particularly depressing was this passage from Chozick’s article:

These days conversations with the former first couple usually focus on the functional-medicine movement and health policy, Dr. Hyman said. And he has spent time working with the pastor Rick Warren on “The Daniel Plan,” a diet based on community and biblical principles that helped 15,000 of Mr. Warren’s congregants at the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., lose a combined 250,000 pounds. “We have the knowledge to relieve needless suffering for millions of people,” Dr. Hyman said. “People like Hillary get it, Bill gets it.”

Before she left the State Department, Mrs. Clinton invited Dr. Hyman to her Washington home to discuss working on health-related issues at the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

Pastor Rick Warren? A diet based on Biblical principles? And this is the guy who, if Chozick’s article is to be believed, seems to be Hillary Clinton’s primary advisor on health and medicine? This is disturbing indeed.

If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic Party nominee in 2016, I’m likely to have a real dilemma. Should I vote for her, knowing that she’s likely to appoint people like Dr. Hyman to health policy positions? It won’t be an easy choice, because, to me, at least none of the current likely Republican candidates with a shot at becoming the nominee is acceptable—and for so many more reasons than just having a health advisor who is the world’s most famous practitioner of the woo known as “functional” medicine. Yet, there you have it. Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, before meeting Dr. Hyman, she didn’t use to be into what I would consider woo, at least not as far as I can tell. I was half-tempted at the beginning of this post to crack a lame joke about how Hillary Clinton, when she found Dr. Hyman to take care of her husband, wasn’t actually trying to keep him around for decades to come at all, but then I thought better of it. The reason is that she clearly does take Dr. Hyman and his functional medicine woo seriously, just as Senator Tom Harkin took a lot of alternative medicine seriously and Representative Dan Burton took the antivaccine view that vaccines cause autism seriously. Does she take him seriously enough to try to take his ideas and put them in health policy if she is elected President in 2016? I don’t know, but we might find out.

Posted in: Politics and Regulation, Public Health, Science and the Media

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132 thoughts on “Bill and Hillary Clinton go woo with Dr. Mark Hyman and “functional medicine”

  1. The question is, does Hyman actually believe in functional medicine, or does he know it’s codswallop designed simply to enrich him and his fellow travelers?

    I think I know the answer but I’m not revealing it here because I like to avoid legal problems.

    -Steve

    1. nancy brownlee says:

      I would imagine that Hyman, if pressed to justify himself, would slide out on the same grease that’s lubricated Oz’s slithering progression- that “complimentary and alternative” bullshit is for millions an appealing pathway to better diets, better exercise habits, and ‘more holistic’ health goals. Insistence of clarification just leads to reiteration, in increasingly small circles of self-reference.

  2. mouse says:

    Wow, that’s pretty disappointing about the Clintons. I would have thought they would be too sensible to be taken in by someone like Hyman.

    I would like to disagree with a bit of this observations, though. “Even seriously sophisticated people in other realms will often be taken in. Actually, it’s often those very sophisticated people who are most impressed because they think they understand when they don’t. The Dunning-Kruger effect and motivated reasoning can indeed affect even people like the Clintons”

    From the sound of it, the Clintons are taking the advice of someone that has the credentials to be knowledgable in the field of medicine. I don’t see how believing the advice of a MD can be called Dunning-Kruger. In fact it should be the opposite, NOT believing an MD on a medical topic should be an overestimation of knowledge.

    Also, I would think that the Secretary of State of a nation doesn’t have much time to be surfing the internet reading blogs about the dangers of “functional medicine”. So, maybe the Clinton’s are less likely to recognize a medical scam than the average person.

    Just IMO, though.

    As an aside, I wonder what a battery of tests, looks like. I feel like every time I go to the doctor these days, she orders a battery of blood tests – but it’s probably just the average amount for my symptoms and appropriate follow-up on previous tests. From the perspective of a non-science person, it’s amazing the different things one can look for in blood and urine.

    1. David Gorski says:

      You’d think that Hillary would have known at least enough to Google Mark Hyman’s name if she was considering him to become her husband’s doctor.

      1. mouse says:

        Sure a quick Google doesn’t take much time. But you just get promotional sites and HuffPo (which is probably a positive for the Clintons). It seems to me, to figure out the problems with his approach without previous knowledge of the topic, you’d have to do more in depth digging.

        On the other hand, one would hope that the Clintons would have developed some skepticism on medical approaches…due to their encounter with the healthcare proposals in the 90s. So, like I said, I would have thought they would be more sensible. So clearly a lack of skepticism, and probably a good dose of confirmation bias (amongst other things). But I don’t see that Dunning Kruger is appropriate.

        Now, if there was talk of a political appointment I’d expect vetting by people more knowledgeable in medicine, meaning, not having time wouldn’t be an appropriate excuse at all.

      2. lee says:

        Maybe she still bears him a grudge. I know I would.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      One would hope that reasons like this, or even simple consumer protection, would be enough to prompt some sort of accreditation, consumer protection or regulatory agency to, say, not accredit this nonsense. Protecting the Clintons, protecting the consumer, in either case one would think that a reasonable use of the resources and authority of the state would be ensuring Hyman and his ilk were prevented from making unfounded claims.

      1. mouse says:

        Agreed, WLU!

  3. Jann Bellamy says:

    I am also a former Hillary admirer who is now conflicted about whether to support her (presumed) run for the presidency.

    Unfortunately, as I just found out this morning, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education approved the Institute for Functional Medicine as a CME provider in 2006. http://www.accme.org/find-cme-provider/institute-functional-medicine. Fortunately, the public can file an official complaint about an organization’s approval. http://www.accme.org/about-us/accountability-to-the-public/complaints-process.

    1. ConspicuousCarl says:

      Will Hillary Clinton, if elected, be appointing the bureaucrats who will arbitrarily decide exactly what Section 2706 means?

      1. Windriven says:

        One hopes not. I’d love to see that stricken but am not holding my breath.

      2. Jann Bellamy says:

        That’s a risk I had not considered. Good point. I am not clear on how all that is shaking out right now. However, I do know that HHS has wisely decided that naturopaths do not have to be in an insurer’s network of providers. With Dr. Hyman as an advisor, who knows?

        1. David Gorski says:

          Well, he is an MD; so he might not side with the naturopaths. Rather, he might instead seek to legitimize woo for MDs to practice. :-)

  4. Windriven says:

    The Clinton’s embrace of woo is perhaps less surprising to me. They are politically astute – even opportunistic though that carries more negativity than I intend. But I am at a loss to think of actions on either Clinton’s part that suggests acute critical thinking. I would argue that embracing a popular form of soft woo is entirely consistent.*

    Beyond that I have little sympathy for educated people who succumb to the siren song of shamans and quacks. Part of any meaningful education is mental discipline and critical thinking. This is especially true for physicians who have, I believe, an ethical responsibility to avoid quackery and to avoid using their position of trust to mislead their patients – even if the intent is benign.

    * If anyone thinks this a diatribe against Hillary, I would note that I am likely to vote for her in 2016 if only because she is shaping up to be the least poor choice. Neither party has much bench depth and neither seems to have a clear vision for the future. All the money that we spend on politics in this country and this is the best we can do?

    1. mouse says:

      I bet Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t fall for Hyman. ;)

      1. Windriven says:

        Likely not, mouse. I’d like to see her run, myself. But she is rather farther left than the centerline of the electorate … for today, at least. I suspect that as the GINI drifts higher and the middle class continues to erode you’ll see a steady shift to the left.

        We generally do a lousy job of choosing presidents in this country. I blame this on the politicians themselves who have structured political debate in this country to one long serial false dichotomy. It is too bad that the ‘Third Way’ seems to have sagged. That could have been useful ballast to keep the ship upright.

    2. lee says:

      More and more, most of “all the money” spent on politics comes from an ever more precious few and given how they make their money (destructive rent-seeking behavior) and their concomitant elitist and typically right wing political views, things are going to get worse before they get better.

  5. DavidCT says:

    It is always a matter of priorities when supporting a presidential candidate. I have never been impressed with the Clintons when it comes to health care. We will have to wait until we see what the end result of the primaries is. John MaCain was a reasonable choice but adding Sara Pailen (Sp?) made Obama the only choice. I would prefer Elizabeth Warren to Hillary but either is in general more reality based than anything on the other side.

    As long as reimbersment levels are what they are for primary care, the need for additional profit centers will keep alternatives in the mix. Quackademics simply provides cover. With the post-modern mentality of many of the potential customers, reality is just another opinion. Trying to reason with such people is more than a little discouraging ….but you already know that

    1. ca1879 says:

      I agree. While our focus on science based medicine disposes us to see woo everywhere, it is generally more self limiting than that because of the lack of efficacy. A comprehensive health system that includes a small fraction of nonsense is preferable to an exclusive system that punishes those least able to defend their interests, and supports the same irrational practices.

  6. goodnightirene says:

    A link to the Times article was posted in Friday’s comments by the way. I read it and hoped you would take it on, so thanks; I think it’s the first time something I reacted to actually got covered!

    The thing you have to know about the Clintons is that they are surely influenced by daughter Chelsea who has been vegan since childhood and who had a gluten-free wedding cake (“Chelsea is allergic to gluten” reported the NY Times). It is Chelsea who got Bill to go vegan. I have yet to meet a vegan who isn’t into at least some level of woo (nor do I know any fat vegans). At the same time, I confess to being nearly vegan, but only as a means to calorie control, not because of any wooish ideas.

    I’ll still vote for Hill for the same reasons as Windriven. I think she would respond to being exposed to a wider variety of advisors once in office. She is basically sensible and very smart, though not specifically educated in science, as is so often the case. She was smitten with some other altie while first lady (I don’t recall the specifics), but got over it once it was exposed.

    It needs to be our job to expose this stuff, rather than reject otherwise decent candidates (decent being a relative term, of course). Perhaps this post will somehow make its way to the Clintons.

    1. David Gorski says:

      It might make it to the Clintons, but I highly doubt anyone other than a low level staffer will read it, if even that.

      1. irenegoodnight says:

        Now, don’t be so modest! (it’s not like you!

        I link to this blog and your not-so-secret-other one all the time in NY Times comments and did so with this article and so–even though I am an eternal pessimist–I will have hope in this case.

        1. David Gorski says:

          Well, we did get the attention of the director of NCCAM four years ago. Unfortunately, we haven’t managed to do much more than that. Clearly nothing much has changed there…

    2. Frederick says:

      I have a friend, she is vegan, and have a REAL gluten intolerance,( a one that was diagnose by a real Med) that’s does not make you a wacko-quack believer, She has 2 master, a PHD in biology and at the end of her med school, She the Best friend of my wife, and we 3 have a lot of discussion about science and pseudo-science, she is going to be a great SBM Doctor. ( and now that I read this blog i have a lot more to talk about, and a real better understanding of medicine thank to the great bloggers here.
      There also a couple of friends who are vegans ( although me and my wife eat everything, we can eat vegan food 50% of the time, because we like it). But they all do it for animal right, and environmental concern. They both sometime do eat cheese, on rare occasion. A little cheat on you principles sometime can me needed not to become crazy!

    3. embeetee says:

      Meet a vegan who’s not into woo, my daughter, firmly SBM camp.

      1. Trae Palmer says:

        Awesome to hear that your daughter is a woo-free vegan — we need more people like her out there ! I’m also a vegan who tries to steer clear of some of the crazier claims in the vegan community (and there are a whole lot> of ‘em).

    4. unethical_vegan says:

      erm…how many vegans do you actually know?

    5. Lost Marble says:

      It was a vegan who directed me to this site!

    6. Rina says:

      Is not Bill Clinton a plant based whole food dieter that has reversed his heart disease? I’ve seen him on tv talking about Dr Esselstyn and and Dean Ornish, both SBM doctors (MD) who advocate a whole foods and plant based medicine diet. I has reversed even the most serious of heart disease. It is not just vegan, it is eating whole foods in their unrefined state, avoiding processed and refined foods, no added oils.

      I know Dr Hyman wants to get his hands on Bill C but as far as I have heard he is sticking to the WFPB diet that has arrested and reversed his heart disease.

      1. Andrey Pavlov says:

        both SBM doctors (MD) who advocate a whole foods and plant based medicine diet. I has reversed even the most serious of heart disease. It is not just vegan, it is eating whole foods in their unrefined state, avoiding processed and refined foods, no added oils.

        What does “whole food” mean? Can one eat fish in an “unrefined state?” To my knowledge Ozzy Osbourne is famous for once eating a “whole food” when he (unwittingly) bit the head off of a living bat.

        As for processed foods – there is nothing inherently wrong with them. They are good to avoid simply because they tend to be packed with lots of extra calories, sugars, fats, and salts making it much too easy to over indulge in them. But assuming you kept that all in check, there is nothing magically worse about processed foods (nor anything magically better about “whole” foods, whatever that means).

        As for completely reversing CAD – no data to support that either. Yes, we can regress athersclerotic plaques with dietary modifications. Yes that is a laudable goal. But no, we don’t know that we can completely reverse them and we also don’t know that doing so will actually prevent heart attacks or other serious events. People tend to think (including some physicians) that an atheroma is something that is physically triggered to cause an event. This is true but only in the minority of cases. There are 6 grades of atheroma, with 6 being rupture. The idea seems to be that if you shrink the size of an atheroma that it will no longer be able to rupture, implying a sort of physical strain against the artery wall. This is simply not the case. Size is the least important facet of the grade of an atheroma. So you could, very, very easily, have a grade 5 atheroma that shrinks… and then still ruptures and causes a heart attack or stroke. It is about the entire milieu of the atheroma and the size and lipid profile of the person are only part of the equation. So far, the only part we can modify to some degree, which is why we focus on it.

        But there is research ongoing to try and characterize why what looks like a really nasty atheroma doesn’t rupture in one person but a more benign looking one ruptures and kills another person.

        Life (and biology) is just not as simple as you would like to make it out to be.

        1. EG says:

          Esselstyn’s first 12 year study show marked reductions in coronary events compared to those who did not follow the regimen. He has a new follow up study publishing shortly that shows similar results for a much larger cohort over a long period of time. When you see a population that has the number of coronary events as we see in America, any reduction over a long period of time in a cohort, even a small one, is notable.

  7. Frederick says:

    Wow, That’s a real shock it like the day I discovered that Beck is a Scientologist ( and that Seinfeld WAS one but not anymore), still like his music, but man it’s like a plane that crashing to the ground. Crash boom, my respect goes in flame.

    Of course I’m not a American, but The Clintons always had my respect, Bill was not the perfect president, but when you look at what Bush did after him, it is hard not to see how bad bush was ( I’m my opinions of course). Of course, the Fact that Dr. Wackadoodle is their friend do not mean she will automatically give him power. We can still hope that she will be intelligent enough to know that, those kind of ‘alternate medicine’ are not widely accepted and will not risk losing support for that ( support from science-group for example). And if supporter of SBM do enough noises, it might make her realize that she was scammed. After all, I don’t think she became secretary of state without a little ability to think straight and to ask for real proof and evidence to take a position., it is more likely that if presented with sound evidence, she will realize her mistake. Of course, That could also be the total opposite.
    If i was a american I would of course vote democrat ( even thought that are not as close a ‘left wing’ as i want them to be), wait until you she who else is going to compete with her. Of course beside that there’s a lot of good reason to vote for her. and a LOT of reason not to vote republican, lot of them are also deep into woo, into stupid laws like giving gun to people, Pro-life, creationism. And of course Sarah Palin, she is by herself a argument NOT to even look a republican party :-).

    It still a shame.

    1. irenegoodnight says:

      I very much enjoyed both of your comments above and agree with the gist of it. I have a German friend in Dusseldorf who writes me in English that reads very much like yours so now I am used to it getting!

      1. Frederick says:

        Thank. yes I know that I have to work on My English Grammar and syntaxes. It’s not that much different from French, but enough different to make me difficult.

    2. Denise B says:

      Oh, I don’t know – I always admired Bill, but maybe the way he fell for the ideology of deregulation and “free” markets is the precursor of his falling for Dr. Hyman. Economists are self-serving woo purveyors also, and everything they say needs to be looked at far more skeptically than is usually done.

  8. lee says:

    I can add this to the list headed by NAFTA and financial deregulation for not supporting anyone named Clinton.

    1. irenegoodnight says:

      I will still vote for Hillary over Christie/Cruz/AnotherBush/or whatever other loon they come up with. It’s that or emigrate and no one wants old people.

      1. Windriven says:

        @irene

        I don’t have the same visceral reaction to Christie that I have to Cruz and some of the others. And my objection to Jeb Bush is also one of my objections to Hillary – we don’t need dynastic rule in this country. Beyond that I don’t know much about Jeb Bush’s positions other than that he was apparently a reasonably competent governor.

        What I’d really like to see is a candidate with a clear vision for the future, demonstrated ability to surround themselves with first rate managers, and the stomach for realpolitik with Congress and with the international community. John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan hit the trifecta. Several others have hit two out of three but none since Clinton. Its about time for another three-fer.

    2. Windriven says:

      Sins of the husband?

      Billy Bob didn’t do deregulation on his own. Do the names Phil Gramm, Jim Leach, and Thomas Bliley ring any bells?

  9. Zoe says:

    I agree with the core of this article, and I don’t really like the Clintons for a host of other reasons. But if we start rejecting politicians for their stupidity or lack of knowledge regarding SBM, we’d likely eliminate a lot of them. I would think Hilary would be smart enough to appoint someone more respected. Or at least someone who donates the most money to her campaign. Side note, I stopped in for the medical marijuana post I thought was coming today? :p

    1. David Gorski says:

      I’ll get around to it when I get around to it. Remember? Squirrel! :-)

      Basically, I make no promise when I’ll do it, because it can always be displaced by something that catches my interest more at the time I’m writing, as happened this week. (Same as every week.) ADHD, you know, at least with respect to blogging. Sometimes I don’t determine what I’m going to write about until sitting down on Sunday—sometimes Sunday evening.

      I will do it—eventually.

      1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        ADHD, you know, at least with respect to blogging.

        Have you considered trying marijuana? I hear it’s great for that :P

        1. Zoe says:

          Ha ha. Guess I’ll keep checking back then.

  10. Frederick says:

    I gonna drift a little off topic.
    I find it quite weird that, the opposite way Our democracy is going. Here in Quebec, ( and in the rest of canada) we started to limit personal contribution to political parties and tighten the laws around that. Lately a lot scandal of corruption, conflict of interest and others illegal system to obtain contract from the government ( right now mostly surrounding the PLQ parti liberal du quebec, they are not “liberals” they are right wing “Money first” party also couple of mayor of the biggest cities where accused of corruption), so those change in the laws where needed. But on your side, in the US you are loosing them, deregulation of the limits of contributions, for example. You are going totally the opposite way. Frankly, I think it is bad, I really won’t help the problems you have your democracy ( all Democracy are flawed of course, it is just a humans construct, as imperfect as he is).

    1. CHotel says:

      Since you brought the topic up, just wanna say that I was super pumped to see the election results the other week. I mean, like you say the PLQ aren’t the best people in the world, but the Seperatists (I don’t bother using their real name) are just straight up insane. As much as the rest of us make fun of Quebec sometimes (as I’m sure you do with English Canada), we do like having you guys around.

      1. Frederick says:

        Happy to learn that I’m insane, I was wondering what was wrong with me, Dam I’m a SEPARATIST. Of course news channel and newspaper of the ROC are incapable of reporting correctly whatever the “EVIL SEPARATIST” are saying or doing or the logical argument behind that point of view ( despite them using those argument: to calm down the people in alberta thinking that the Quebec received to much money, their government deconstructed the myth that we receive tons of their money and demonstrated that it is not that much, funny that a one of our argument) So anyway a so I won’t hold any grudge or take personal your comment. And I of course don’t want to start a debate about that issue here, It is totally inappropriate and off topic, I guess that we will agree on that.

        1. CHotel says:

          I agree that this isn’t the place for a political debate, but I don’t really want to leave on a sour note like this so I’d like to clarify my insanity notion: the fact that they want to seperate from the rest of Canada and become a sovereign nation is just bonkers. There are many other things they stand for I agree with and might vote for if I lived in La Belle Province, they’re a strong party. I agree that the arguement is misrepresented in some places (Alberta is a mess by the way, I think we can agree to not care what they think), but the logistics would be a nightmare and the consequences are completely unpredicatable and could be severe. It goes far beyond the monetary concerns as well, there are massive implications in every single area of life.

          So you as a voter, I don’t not think is necessarily crazy. The rest of what the party hopes to accomplish, not for sure crazy (except for some parts of that new value charter they tried to impose). Seperating from Canada, crazy. Sorry if I offended, that’s just my opinion.

          1. Frederick says:

            That’s ok, I’m use to it :-) And you are totally in you right of not believing in that option. And beside money, there’s a lot of other reason for me being a souvrainiste, like cultural reason for example.

            But over the years, I become convince that not only it will better for Quebec, but for the whole canada, in fact i think that each province should manage their own thing, and that way we could really allied our countries in a REAL confederation. So Back to SBM :-)
            Happy that this is settled.

  11. Stella B. says:

    SBM provides so many negative prescriptions. “Stop doing X.” “Y doesn’t work.” “You’ll have to live with condition Z.” Even smart people are tempted by the promises of success via sCAM. I’m a skeptical physician who’s been reading Dr. Gorski’s thinly veiled writings under another name for nearly twenty years now and I still find myself flirting with the idea of wasting some money on PRP, because “it seems” to help other people when SBM is out of viable options for my own issue.

    Also, WJC vetoed the repeal of Glass-Steagall. It was passed out of Congress a second time with increased safeguards (hah!) and a veto-proof Senate vote and so he signed it.

    1. Windriven says:

      @Stella B

      I think you might be mistaken about the Clinton veto. Clinton issued 37 vetoes but this doesn’t seem to be one of them. There was a good deal of difficulty getting a bill through conference committee. And John Dingell – not usually one of my favorite legislators – quite presciently argued that the bill would result in banks that were too big to fail.

  12. CHotel says:

    This is pretty disappointing. Bill was the Keynote speaker at the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists Midyear Conference in 2012 when I was there presenting a poster, and his was one of the best talks I’ve ever seen. He talked about all the public health promotion and other medical work that he had done both while in office and with the Clinton Foundation, abroad and in the States. His attitude towards all the progress they wanted to make seemed so simple, refined, and damn near logical that it was super refreshing to see. Stressing teamwork with the people you’re trying to change, common goals, taking a series of small steps towards a larger goal, all the things we know SHOULD be done but never are. (One example I remember was when they went to Coca Cola and basically said “None of us want your sugary drinks contributing to obesity and diabetes in kids, but we can’t ask you to stop selling and lose profit since you’re a business, so let’s change what gets sold in the schools to some less sugary options.” Just, astoundingly rational.) He even talked about his own experiences, with different care providers, when he turns to his GP vs his Cardiologist vs his Pharmacist, etc. Based on how much reason and knowledge he showed during that speech, I would never have expected something like this.

  13. Marion says:

    One must remain skeptical. How much is this really mentally inferior subhuman morons like Bill & Hilary Clinton actually giving a damn about worthless medical woo of Mark Hyman, versus, Mark Hyman falsely claiming endorsement by a former President?

    Could somebody stop taking this “First Spouse (lady)” excrement seriously?

    A president’s 3rd cousin bares a closer genetic relationship than just some random person who marries them.

    And, would self-proclaimed “rationalists” and “skeptics” please stop pretending that their science-based / evidence-based scientific method way of logistically & mathematically modeling the world, which works amazingly & spectacularly for a great many clearly defined scientific things (Big Bang, evolution, climate, physiology & medicine), can be used – without massive massive massive modification – to come to their easy brainless utterly biased conclusions (usually libertarian ones) in the field of politics & economics, i.e. everyday life, i.e. cause & effect of organisms?

    As soon as you put a VERB after a NOUN, and that noun is a LIVING ORGANISM,
    and you say: “X did this” , “X saved the world”, “X protected your freedom”, “X destroyed the economy”, then NONE of your traditional math/logic models that you use for describing cause & effect for deterministic events applies.

  14. Marion says:

    Good, Frederick. Glad to hear there are non-wooshit-believing vegans like my friends & family out there.

    BTW: I brought up chiropractic to my rheumatologist yesterday, because I wanted to know that he is firmly an SBM-advocate. I told him about this website, that I read it frequently, and that chiro is a scam. He took the approach of saying he didn’t want to speak badly of anyone, but THANKFULLY he then opened up and said chiro is a religion, based on old 19th century philosophy, and that it has no evidence to support it.

    Phew! Without much prodding, I was glad to hear my RA doc of 10 years is firmly in SBM camp.

  15. stanmrak says:

    A quick check on Bill’s medical history is quite alarming. Whatever treatment or advice he was getting prior to his conversion didn’t do much good. And he had access to any doctor he wanted.
    http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/g42.htm

    BTW, don’t believe those diagnoses of “allergies.”

    1. Windriven says:

      Yeah stan, those presidents and their stupid allopathic doctors… Let’s see Jimmy Carter is, as I recall, older than dirt. And Bush 41was skydiving at what, 80?

      Billy Bob’s biggest health problem seems to stem from serial consumption of Big Macs.

  16. dh says:

    The main reason people fall for this nonsense (pseudo-supplementation) is that they are unwilling to make the real, decisive lifestyle changes necessary to improve their cardiometabolic health. Those changes are actually fairly straightforward but they do require willpower and self-discipline. People would much rather take a gobfull of useless supplements than exercise or change their diets. Therefore, we will always have quacks who push things like detoxification through supplementation.

  17. dh says:

    In addition, as some of the previous commentators have mentioned, being a vegan does not necessarily mean you engage in woo. There are sound environmental, economic and ethical reasons to be a vegan, as well as health reasons (lower rates of cardiac disease and colorectal cancer, for example).

    1. Andrey Pavlov says:

      There are sound environmental, economic and ethical reasons to be a vegan

      #1 and #3 – sure. I think that can be a reasonable argument.

      #2 – debatable. Sadly in many regions, even in developed nations, fresh produce is expensive or just tough to come by or both. But sure, overall…. probably.

      as well as health reasons (lower rates of cardiac disease and colorectal cancer, for example)

      Not so conclusive. In fact, the data seem to point towards worse overall health outcomes for vegans. Vegetarians fare better and, depending on the literature, are roughly on par or slightly worse than omnivores with a low meat consumption. High meat consumption is associated with worse outcomes. For the most part this is independent of obesity, though they do tend to trend together.

      I would agree that a sensible vegetarian or ovo-lacto or pescatarian or low meat consumption diets are roughly on par with each other in terms of overall health outcomes and are collectively the “better” diets.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      I was an environmental and economic vegetarian, and occasional vegan, for years. Now I still eat little meat relative to the North American norm, but I do love my dead pig. I wish I liked fish more, but I simply don’t.

      The ethical objections bother me less. Life in a CAFO or industrial farm isn’t pleasant, but then again – is being eaten alive by wolves, the final act of many animals, any better? And given the opportunity, a cow, pig or chicken would happily kill and eat you without a second thought.

      As for health consequences, veganism may have some points in its favour – but some against it as well. Malnutrition is one (protein, iron and vitamin B12 – yeah you can supplement, but eating meat you don’t have to and that is rather the point), amenorrhea is another. Humans are meant to be omnivorous, veganism is not the nutritional approach our gut evolved to deal with.

      1. mouse says:

        ” And given the opportunity, a cow, pig or chicken would happily kill and eat you without a second thought.”

        :) Yeah – gotta watch out for those carnivorous cows.

        1. Frederick says:

          It’s my fault, when i was younger, we had a farm, and a cute BB cow liked to licked my hand, like a dog. I was like 9-10 years old. I Always thought it was for affection… now i know it is because she tasted human flesh… and want MORE!!

          1. mouse says:

            :) My mom grew up on a farm. She did have a chilling story about. having to leap a stall wall due to a charging bull, but never mentioned flesh eating cows. She seemed rather fond of them. Disliked pigs, though. When an animal licked our hands, she’d always say they liked the salt from our perspiration.

          1. n brownlee says:

            @WLU Some decades ago, my tiny mind was boggled by a home video of some sheep who where enthusiastically gobbling up the eggs and new-hatched chicks of some ground nesting birds… wha?!? she thought. More videos soon surfaced, and a whole lot of them are on (where else) YouTube. I love to show them to vegans.

          2. mouse says:

            WLU – Sorry – a story of a hand feed deer eating steak from a fork or wild herbivores eating carrion does not diminishment my amusement of the image of a cow that would kill and eat me given half a chance.

            But of course any large animal can be a danger to humans*….it’s just the premeditated homicidal characterization that’s got me chuckling.

            *Backpacking in Glacier when I was a kid there was a couple of deer that were very intimidating – and you really don’t want to get gored by a buck when you’re a 12+ mile hike from a trail head.

            1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              For the longest time I was certain that some branch of the horse family had evolved to be carnivorous, but extensive searching keeps turning up Greek myths. Which is a shame, because that would be hilariously terrifying. The lips pull back and what you see … FANGS!!!

              I take great comfort in the fact that, given the chance, there isn’t an animal, plant or bacteria living that wouldn’t kill and eat me. Nature sucks :)

            2. n brownlee says:

              Male deer are ferocious in the spring, and so are wild turkeys, the bastards. I’ve known quite a few ferocious cows, too, that would knock you down and stand on your head, especially if they thought you had a candy bar in your pocket.

      2. Zoe says:

        Interesting study that just came out in Cell Metabolism this month btw.

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304125639.htm

  18. An all new name is needed!

    Smart Medicine; An inclusive array of therapeutic options that are safe, have been used with success for decades, earthy or natural as possible, non-toxic and also follows all the biophysical laws.

    1. Windriven says:

      “An inclusive array of therapeutic options that are safe, have been used with success for decades, earthy or natural as possible, non-toxic and also follows all the biophysical laws.”

      The all new name is: Moderate Exercise. I’m all for it. Of course it is useless or nearly so for most infectious diseases, broken bones, cancer, aortic aneurysm, allergies, asthma, kidney failure, ischemic stroke, myopia, septal defects, appendicitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, polio, the heartbreak of psoriasis, dismenorrhea (although extreme exercise can cause amenorrhea), cholecystitis … are you getting the idea here, Steve?

      We don’t live in an idiocracy. Yet. Thank goodness.

      1. I know I’m an oddball to this group! That is because I know better that to think “science” without common sense, altruism and honor is absolutely worthless. YES this place is absolutely worthless if it does not accept all aspects and methods of science (soup to nuts), fairness, logic, sound reasoning and is comprehensive of all options. Plus a constructive goal would make your efforts sincere too.

        1. Harriet Hall says:

          Are you saying we have no common sense, altruism, or honor? Are you intentionally insulting us? Are you saying medicine is worthless unless it offers ALL options, including proven, unproven, and disproven? Do YOU accept all options? Done any bloodletting lately?

          1. “Are you saying we have no common sense, altruism, or honor?”
            What are you all attempting to accomplish with this blog? Then I will be able to answer this with better insights.

            “Are you intentionally insulting us?”
            Who is us? Does that include me too?
            How do you define an insult?
            Expressing flawed facts of each idea is how debates and discussion are carried out. The aim is flawed facts. If The person takes it personal then that is a personal choice.

            “Are you saying medicine is worthless unless it offers ALL options, including proven, unproven, and disproven?”
            There are many worthless therapies and from my experience a lot of the standard of care options, I would never recommend. Never is a big word, but here is a short list; Joint replacements, spinal fusions, ulna nerve revisions, TG nerve open brain surgeries, etc .

            “Do YOU accept all options?”
            NO of course not.

            “Done any bloodletting lately?” YES!
            Well not directly but I refer them to the local Vampires.
            Hemochromatosis, Treatment Options, stage 2, 3, or 4 disease:
            1st, phlebotomy, Patients should be started on a phlebotomy regimen. Phlebotomy should continue until the transferrin is <50 micrograms/L., then start maintenance phlebotomy with serum ferritin goal ≤50 micrograms/L.

            1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              Bloodletting was not based on the removal of excess iron from the blood, the reason why it is used for hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis occurs in only 0.6% the population, so the apparent success of bloodletting had nothing to do with its objective effects. Bloodletting “worked” because it calmed patients, gave them and their doctors an illusion of control, and because there was nothing else to offer. Bloodletting was based on the assumption of the 4 humors, which didn’t exist, not on an excess of iron in the blood.

              You can’t claim a connection between hemochromatosis and bloodletting as a driving factor in prescientific medicine. That’s not why they did it. You idiot.

              This blog attempts to provide consumers with a scientific perspective on the nonsense flogged about in the guise of CAM, to demonstrate how science, including basic science, informs our understanding of medicine and treatment in powerful and effective ways, and how relying on that basic science to discount certain modalities a priori allows you to save time and resources. Since CAM modalities are always based on nonsense that bears no relation to reality, CAM is generally the criticized entity.

              That is what the contributors to this blog are attempting to do.

              You know what’s funny – you seem to take personally our criticisms of your failure to grasp the scientific literature, and how your experience may deceive you. Yet here you are bleating about how we shouldn’t take criticisms personally. Once again, like all CAM promoters, you are asking for a double-standard that favours your income stream.

              You hypocrite.

    2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      One would think “smart medicine” would involve having the best science behind its recommendations. One would note that the most “natural” medicine would have only poppy milk and willowbark for pain, no antibiotics, no surgery, lots of infections, lots of deaths due to cancers eating away at your body in horrible agony, and lots of deaths from diseases that can be prevented by vaccination. Earth, and nature, don’t care if humans live or die. No law of nature says that humans must live long, healthy lives. Only humans, working against nature, can foster this goal.

      1. I know you don’t care about people just damming me (easy target), we need less antibiotics, less surgeries, less technology and more humanity, old school diagnosticians and fairness in the system. Have you been under a rock, we are still dying of those diseases plus from the stupidity of overtreatment and polypharmacy. Superbugs, over use of replacement surgeries, nosocomial infections, medication errors, cardiac studies, MRIs, illogical ordering of studies … all because of a key denial of myofascial pain and dysfunction. Don’t yall get it, if the only option a person in pain has are pills that person is trapped in the science dogma.

        “Only humans, working against nature, can foster this goal.”
        I really don’t fear nature as much as I fear the blog! The dogman and narrow views are astounding. A sane society will foster healthy lives, exactly what you guys are advocating against.

        1. Windriven says:

          Many of us here would celebrate humanity and fairness. It’s all the exclusions that you list that isolate you in this crowd.

          1. If you all could only read, study, experiment and try outside of your present knowledge base you will understand.

            “Hello” from downstream, “there are a lot of wounded soul that are caused by flawed upstream beliefs, practices and laws.” ” Can you please look a little closer at what the hell is going on!!!”

            1. Windriven says:

              “If you all could only read, study, experiment and try outside of your present knowledge base you will understand.”

              Steve, this has become a tiresome refrain. Far too much time has been invested by bloggers and commenters here addressing your ‘if only.’ Now I’ll give you mine:

              If only you would study science and the scientific method, if only you would learn why the scientific method evolved and the many ways that the fruits of the scientific method have reshaped the human condition, if only you would learn the cognitive flaws that the method and its corollaries correct for, if only you would apply this profound system to study the ailments that interest you, you would actually do some real and lasting good.

              Most of us think your heart is in the right place Steve, but your head is up your ass.

              Asking repeatedly that we study that which has been studied, that we embrace ideas that have no plausibility, that we accept the writings of your codelusionals without evidence; those things aren’t going to happen even if you ask a thousand more times. So don’t.

              If you have something new to say or ask, then say it or ask it. But don’t just repeat the same tired crap over and over and over. It diminishes you. It obviates any chance that anyone will take anything that you say seriously. Instead of being a guy with crazy ideas your words become the inarticulate drone of a gnat, an irritation to be suffered through rather than an engaging interlocutor.

            2. David Gorski says:

              If you all could only read, study, experiment and try outside of your present knowledge base you will understand.

              Oh, I understand. I understand only all too well. It is you who do not.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Doctors in the past had humanity aplenty, people still died. Humanity didn’t cure bacterial infections or prevent viral ones. Only science does that. Medical errors, superbugs and your other examples are areas that need to be fixed – but abandoning science will merely return humans to the age where doctors had nothing but sympathy to offer. And people died. Babies died. Children died. Diabetics died. Women with breast cancer died. Because doctors had nothing else to give but a hand to hold while lives slipped away.

          Fuck humanity, I want a doctor who can give me something more than a sympathetic pat on the shoulder. I want the very opposite of you. I want something effective.

          When I had arm, shoulder and wrist pain, my doctor didn’t give me pills. He gave me a referral to a physiotherapist, who gave me exercises that fixed my arm, shoulder and wrist pain. So fuck you and your caricatures , fuck you and your lies, fuck you and your ridiculous pretenses, you worthless hack. Take all of your ignorant, masturbatory self-congratulations and shove it up your ass. I fear for your patients, I am disgusted with your narcissistic efforts to justify your ineffective work and your failure to deliver real effects to your patients. Your sanctimonious snobbery helps nobody but your own ego. Merely because you obstinately refuse, deliberately close your eyes to your own ignorance and inability to grasp your own failures doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

        3. David Gorski says:

          I really don’t fear nature as much as I fear the blog! The dogman and narrow views are astounding. A sane society will foster healthy lives, exactly what you guys are advocating against.

          You should fear nature, or at least have a healthy enough respect to know that nature cares nothing for you and will kill you without a second consideration based on just bad luck.

          Fortunately, nature also provides the raw materials for human intellect, though the tool of science, to bend it to prevent it from killing you.

          1. I have a different view, I do not fear nature. Nature is predictable, reliable and consistent.

            I fear humanity!! human are gullible, fickle and are responsible for most to the deaths.

            Mother Nature is truth!

        4. Dave says:

          Please show us even ONE post here that advocates against a “healthy life”.

      2. mouse says:

        WLU “Only humans, working against nature, can foster this goal.”

        Nah – Don’t let SSR’s nonsense push you into a position more extreme than you would arrive at individually. The reasons humans work to cure cancer is because it is in our nature – our brains, thumbs which are our advantage are natural characteristics. Many of the amazing discoveries human’s have made are from observing nature or using nature, think Quinine, Velcro, small pox vaccine. We are reliant on natural resources and sadly, when we approach the earth (dirt) with an attitude of working against nature, we can end up with this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dust-storm-Texas-1935.png

        Nature does not care about us, because it’s nothing as simple as one personality it’s an incredibly complex web of interactions, it’s good for us, it’s bad for us….mostly it’s really big.

        1. weing says:

          @MTR,

          Are you sayin’ nature is a honey badger?

          1. mouse says:

            Hehe – You know I didn’t know honey badgers were a real thing, but I found a video on youtube. They kinda remind me of my rat terror – I mean terrier. Yeah – nature’s like that.

            1. Windriven says:

              ” You know I didn’t know honey badgers were a real thing”

              Apprently you missed this Crislip Classic.

              1. mouse says:

                I read it, but past up the link… I just watched the Nature program on honey badgers with the kids last night. “Masters of Mayhem”. Damn, those are some smart critters. They showed one taking a rake and propping it against a wall to climb over the wall. My rat terrier is pretty smart, but no where near that smart (luckily).

  19. George Jung says:

    The fallacies I see on this site are basically twofold: Firstly, The practice of human medicine never was, is not now, and probably never will be one-hundred percent a “science.” Back in my early days – the 1940s – one went to the local physician, whose office was usually at his residence. When things got a bit “involved,” we were referred to a “specialist” in the nearest town or city. These specialists usually had their offices in a “Medical Arts Building.” That’s right, back in those days there was less hubris and more honesty: The practice of medicine was considered more art than science, and, in my opinion, it still is an integration of art and science. And this brings me to…

    Secondly, we have the pseudoscience of the one-size-fits-all, fast-lane medicine. After a brief consultation, the patient gets to toddle off to the pharmacy to obtain a dose of the latest fad drug… which may be efficacious or may not be. A drug that may have honest science behind it, or the politically-promulgated, pseudoscience of the USFDA.

    Whether one calls it hubris, stupidity or pseudoscience, the so-called “scientific” “standards of care” certainly lack credibility. Often, treatment modalities are slathered on an unsuspecting public without adequate testing and/or for other considerations.

    Now in my eight decade, I’ve lived through at least two such unscientific, quack episodes. The blatantly unscientific overuse of antibiotics, even though it was common knowledge that prominent antibiotics pioneers – such as Almroth Wright and Alexander Fleming, back in the 1920s or 30s – had warned of the consequences. And this is still going on today! And then there’s the unscientific notion that everybody needs a statin drug (or any fad drug). Everybody? Really? I recall a sermon by Dr Norman Vincent Peale about how the doctors of the day were “handing out drugs like candy.” Yes, from the pulpit of Marble Collegiate Church, in NYC.

    I don’t consider practitioners of alternative medicine of being without fault, but their treatment protocols are much less harmful than those of most allopathic MDs I’ve used.

    Sorry for the long diatribe; felt the need to cover a lot of ground.

    1. weing says:

      “A drug that may have honest science behind it, or the politically-promulgated, pseudoscience of the USFDA.”

      How do you tell the difference? Are you saying that what comes from the USFDA is politically-promulgated pseudoscience? What is your evidence for that claim? You want the FDA to demand more testing before allowing drugs to be used on the unsuspecting public? What would constitute adequate testing in your view?

      “I don’t consider practitioners of alternative medicine of being without fault, but their treatment protocols are much less harmful than those of most allopathic MDs I’ve used.”

      So your consideration or gut-feeling is what we should use to determine whether a treatment protocol is more or less harmful? Efficacy be dammed? Why do I waste my time weighing risks vs benefits?

      1. George Jung says:

        “How do you tell the difference?”
        You tell by being part of the “scientific” experiment. If your outcome is good, fine; if it is contraindicated, too bad.

        “Are you saying that what comes from the USFDA is politically-promulgated pseudoscience?” I’m saying “it may’ be or “it may not be.”

        “What is your evidence for that claim?”
        The evidence submitted in the course of malpractice and product-liability litigations.

        “So your consideration or gut-feeling is what we should use to determine whether a treatment protocol is more or less harmful?”
        No I don’t; it’s what I should use. It’s a matter of ethics.

        “Efficacy be dammed? Why do I waste my time weighing risks vs benefits?”
        I’m not sure I understand your point… but how do you explain the decades and billions of prescriptions of antibiotics to treat the common cold? Where’s the science? Where’s the efficacy?

    2. Harriet Hall says:

      “The fallacies I see on this site are basically twofold”

      The fallacies you think you see are not there. You are imagining straw men. We have never claimed that medicine is 100% science or that one size fits all; we do not recommend treatments that have not been properly tested; and we don’t advocate giving statins or any other drug to “everybody.”

    3. Andrey Pavlov says:

      I won’t belabor the point but it is worth making it extremely clear that your understanding of how medicine is actually practiced, what medicine should be, and what we advocate here is a complete straw man; a caricature far removed from reality.

      You’d do well to peruse this site further and see that. Particularly the fact that our very own Dr. Gorski has explicated that medicine does not equate to science, but should instead be firmly based in science. Hence the very name of this blog – Science Based Medicine. You can find more information here

      1. George Jung says:

        Your points are well taken. I too applaud science-based medicine, heck, I’ve been using it for over 60 years! But I don’t deal with “scientists” per se, I deal with medical doctors who sometimes know less than I do! The bottom line for me is: Whatever works and is relatively free of “side effects” is what I’m looking for. And if that requires my being a patient of an “alternative” physician, so be it. If my treatment can be done efficaciously w/o drugs, great! If not, then, by all means I’ll submit to drug therapy.

        1. Wow a practical concept!! :)

        2. n brownlee says:

          “The bottom line for me is: Whatever works and is relatively free of “side effects” is what I’m looking for. ”

          The problem, of course, is what you mean by “works”. And “free of”. And, oh yes, “efficacious”. And how they are evaluated. But then, that’s what this website is about. And whether you’d rather have someone like Drs Crislip, Novella, Pavlov, or Hall attending you, or a mendacious numbskull like Rodrigues.

        3. Windriven says:

          ” I deal with medical doctors who sometimes know less than I do!”

          Well I can tell that you are an especially brilliant guy! You know more about health care than people who invested 8-12 years studying medicine. Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket George, the Nobel Committee needs to recognize your towering intellect.

          Douche.

          1. @ windriven, Ignorance is blissful!! Just because you have a medical textbook, or can read RCTs, or google search and make logical sense out of what you know. REMEMBER that is all you know!!!

            Would you prefer to see a med school grad, an intern or a 20 yr practitioner to care for a family member?

            The didactics of medicine are logical for educational purposes then in the real world one realized the flaws, imperfections and dangers.

            A robot can practice textbook or vending machine medicine but it takes decades to sift thru all the words and view the patient as an individual. If you have no other tools except the ones given to you in traditional med school, your wisdom and experience will be stunted.

            1. Windriven says:

              “A robot can practice textbook or vending machine medicine but it takes decades to sift thru all the words and view the patient as an individual.”

              Your frequent repitition of the ‘vending machine medicine’ trope does not make it a fixture in healthcare, only a hobgoblin of your disordered thinking process.

              You must come to grips with reality. Medical science does not have a clean solution for every human illness. That fact does NOT suggest that charlatanry has a useful place in healthcare.

              If your computer is broken and the technician tells you that the motherboard is fried and that your computer cannot be saved, would you think slaying a goat and placing a its entrails on the keyboard a valid alternative? Because that, in essence, is what you recommend to those for whom you believe medicine has not provided relief.

              1. You or y’all are very confused as to what medicine is suppose to be and how the human body will tolerate our ignorance and stupidly.

                Sit in the chair of a family practice doctor w only after a few years experience and see how many failures you will begin to accumulate. Without viable alternative your life and the lives of your patients not be optimal.

                Thank God!!

              2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                You or y’all are very confused as to what medicine is suppose to be and how the human body will tolerate our ignorance and stupidly.

                Why are we “confused” merely because we don’t take you at your word, or ignore the clinical and scientific literature that contradicts most of your statements? Medicine is supposed to cure disease and ease suffering through the ethical use of interventions. Generally most doctors here would think that lying to patients is unethical, as is ignoring contradictory data. I’m not sure why you think it’s OK, but I’m guessing it’s because you get off on portraying yourself as some sort of miracle worker for the desperate patients who keep coming back to you.

            2. weing says:

              “If you have no other tools except the ones given to you in traditional med school, your wisdom and experience will be stunted.”
              So, now you are blaming your med school for your incompetence?
              How did you ever make it through a residency program?

              1. I am smart enough to have pass the boards x 5. :)

                Wise enough to realized that a lot of the standard of care protocols do not help 20-30% of patients – no matter how you wish, pray, mix and match different pharmaceutical (Hoodoo, Sorcery and Alchemy) or have been referred to the Mayo Clinic.

                These 20-30 % of patient can not be left to suffer and the answers to their care in within the textbooks of my authors.

                No blame to anyone, I was following orders. Now that I have found the missing therapies in the authors I refer to often.

                IMO, if you are not practicing out of these textbooks you are doing your patients a disservice. That is OK now because the standard of care as set will possibly protect you in a court of law. Once the new protocols are set-up (an they will have to) and you remain stubborn, you will be liable.

                Gee actually you may be liable now that you have the list of my authors!! Better check with your malpractice liability insurance company.

        4. Windriven says:

          And look, you have the accolades of Steve Rodriguez. You’re halfway to stardom.

          1. Sometimes I can sense if someone has an open mind, is willing to learn and a will to help people.

            1. Windriven says:

              “Sometimes I can sense if someone has an open mind, is willing to learn and a will to help people.”

              Oh bullcrap. You have no sense at all, much less some spidey sense of people’s motivations. What you have are feelings. Congratulations, so does my dog.

              1. What are your motivations??

              2. Windriven says:

                “What are your motivations??”

                An egalitarian society composed of a happy, healthy, and secure populace.

                You can’t build that with wishful thinking. You can’t hope that into being. You can only have that society by applying logic, reason, and a scientific approach to every aspect of our public policy. I would like to see magical thinking, superstition and unwarranted fear disappear.

                The ‘healthy’ part of that ideal means basic health care that is accessible to and affordable by all. We spend half again as much per capita as many other industrialized nations, all for mediocre outcomes*. That means that if we spent per person what, say, Germany does we’d save roughly the equivalent of the US defense budget every year. You can cure a lot of social ills with that kind of money.

                sCAMmery is one tiny thread in the cable of stupidity that stands in the way of having that kind of health care system and that kind of society.

                The ills that drive human misery mostly derive from sloppy, wishful, undisciplined thinking and a cowardly willingness to go along to get along**. Well pardon me but eff that. I’m not going along. And if I ruffle some feathers along the way, I can live with that.

                * And a lot of that owes to poor primary care for those on the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum.
                **OK, greed and a blind hunger for power too

              3. “sCAMmery is one tiny thread in the cable of stupidity that stands in the way of having that kind of health care system and that kind of society.”

                You and I see an aspect of this relativity. My journey is radically different than anyone here! My hard knocks have taught me a lot and wish not to see another or suffering patients go thru this gauntlet. I know what does not work and have an idea as to what does work.

                We’ll remain at loggerheads with no trust due to group bias and disrespect.

                When you are ready your teacher will appear.

              4. Windriven says:

                Stephen, No one here wants people to suffer. Many of those here have dedicated their lives to improving the human condition.

                The difference is that they embrace a proven, though arduous and sometimes frustrating, system to guide their work. That system ,the scientific method, has done more to recast the human condition than all the unfounded beliefs held at one time or another since our forebears lifted their knuckles from the dirt so as to grasp a stone.

                You say, “When you are ready your teacher will appear.” I wish that for you. My teacher appeared when I was 13 and I have been fortunate to have several more great teachers since. I hope that someday, someone somewhere touches a chord that awakens you. Your passion for your patients is clear. I only wish you would embrace the tools that would empower that passion.

                Sadly, the more likely outcome is that we will:

                “[Remain] at loggerheads…”

              5. “dedicated their lives to improving the human condition.”
                That is interesting because that is why I am here too! There are only a few tools in medicine that are so profound and they are needles. So balance and reason is my job. Dang what a tough job.

                Acupuncture is a viable options for a lot of medical conditions if everyone was specking and could actually discuss the truth.

                Bias and dogma + ulterior motive block any sensible conversations.

                Whoever tainted the waters did a great gob.

              6. Windriven says:

                I’m sorry, Steve. You are too fucking crazy for me. Talking with makes me feel like Alex in Wonderland. I’ve tried everything I know but your delusions are impregnable. We’re done, buddy. Namaste.

              7. @windriven

                You have absolute no idea what I know or how I think. NO one here does.

                To be fair and real, my Medical Acupuncture Group members are all still on the journey, most have no idea too. I can’t hook the ones who are on the road already. It’s like they are distracted by the ancient mythology that they can not see what they are truly doing.

                I’m here to balance truths. I’m there to fast forward their mastery.

                Read my authors, visit an alternative clinic and get up to speed.

            2. Windriven says:

              “You have absolute no idea what I know or how I think. NO one here does.”

              Steve, the issue isn’t what you know, it is what you don’t know. And many of us here have quite a clear understanding of at least some of what you don’t know.

  20. weing says:

    “You have absolute no idea what I know or how I think. NO one here does.”

    Yes we do. You know squat and think as well as you write, that is, badly.

  21. Thank you for knowing what I know which is actually not possible. For a scientist that is illogical and presumptive … how does one know what another is thinking?

    Because you never went to med school in the 80s, worked in ERs, worked in small group and large groups, took and Acupuncture course, read all the books I have read and saw tens of thousands of patient encounters.

    Actually I do know “squat” esp the squat that I know and apparently the squat you’ll refuse to want to know. UNscientific and ignorant!

    My writing, spelling, prose are mine and none of your business or concern. Let’s stick with the science! Have you done any extra reading? Let’s move forward!!

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      My writing, spelling, prose are mine and none of your business or concern

      Yeah, except for the fact that we have to try to figure out the idea you’re trying to convey. Clarity helps people take you seriously, and in your case makes people suspect you think as poorly as you write.

      How do you square your beliefs with the fact that the scientific literature consistently finds that it doesn’t matter where you put the needle, that you don’t need to use a needle, and that you don’t need to penetrate the skin for “acupuncture” to be effective?

      How do you track those patients who are dissatisfied with your services?

      Ah, that’s right – you do neither, because that would interfere with your confirmation bias.

      1. It’s very difficult explaining to someone who has no idea or concept of a discipline and even refuses to educate themselves.

        So when I say Hua Tuo Jia Ji points you can relate.

        If you would have learns fir prior discussion, an acup point is just a starting point or guide. It may or may not be the best point to use. Experience, trials and response will usually determine the best point.

        OH crap!!! That is it!!! You have to talk to patients, understand their concerns, trust what they say and follow their lead. Counter to vending maching medicine. That’s why it is foreign to you guys. You do not consider what a patient states as scientific.

        The only scores I keep are the large numbers of failures that I see that have improvement. Which begs questions or concern; 1. no one seems to be keeping tract and the free market is wrecking havoc on uninformed citizens.
        This site is just as bad as an infomercial for Giraffe Poop Pep Pills.

        Yes, the outcomes need to be scored!

    2. Windriven says:

      “Actually I do know “squat” esp the squat that I know and apparently the squat you’ll refuse to want to know. UNscientific and ignorant!”

      You confuse what you know with what you believe. This lies at the very root of your problems with science.

      It is neither unscientific nor ignorant to refuse to waste time studying practices that have been debunked. We don’t study humors, alchemy, homeopathy, reiki, astrology or transubstantiation for the same reasons. Science isn’t just the process of learning and refining our understanding of what is. It is also the process of defining what isn’t. Despite your protestations to the contrary, acupuncture isn’t.

      1. Please it’s irresponsible, negligent, dishonest, malpractice and fraudulent to make those statements to the public — presenting yourself or this site as reputable!

        People think you guys know what you are talking about.

        You should have more respect for your free speech rights.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Your rhetoric is completely bias and your research is surface at best.
    Bottom Line!! You obviously just do not understand what FM is nor do you have it correct. FM IS science-based, evidence based healthcare. In fact, what the doctors teach is all found on PubMed peer reviewed articles.
    Yes, invidividualized care DOES INDEED mean that people are getting completely different treatments than others.
    The author speaks with such conviction, yet continuously says that there not even sure what FM is. Until you actually learn what it is, besides give your un-educated opinions about what you found on the IFM website. I’d ask that no one listen to this person’s ranting, which is all it is at best.
    FM aka Nutritional Therapy is what is getting people healthy. Thyroid hypofunction left to the “conventional care” standard of treatment, puts everyone in the same box either on Synthroid or Armor. Yet, there’s 6 patterns of possible HT’ism, only 1 of which will even respond to hormones. Most is reversed using functional medicine/nutritional therapy. Adrenal fatigue, similarly isn’t even considered yet the evidence is there. Many go sub-clinically sick for years and years until they can be diagnosed, only to receive one of two things, pharmaceutical drugs to suppress, or removal of a diseased organ, which often is just a result of a deeper problem and the weakest organ got the attention, the problem remains and that is what FM finds and fixes to achieve balance to.
    The author is absolutely WRONG is his claims that FM practitioners think mass vitamins is better, in fact it’s quite the opposite, the oath is to offer little as possible to aid the body into recovery to suggest it in a direction of healing, not to force it with any one drug or herb that makes it do anything.
    Again, I say your tyrant was ill written, and completely all based on only this author’s unadvised opinion and you know what they say about opinions!!!!

    1. n brownlee says:

      Either you are SSR, or you’re another refugee from the same country. I’m thinking Urantia.

      1. Dang! Such language and disrespect for someone who has an opinion and possibly personal experience with the illness.

        Shameful … anywhere except this unhealthy site.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Feel free to leave, your ignorant comments help nobody.

  23. David Gorski says:

    You obviously just do not understand what FM is nor do you have it correct. FM IS science-based, evidence based healthcare. In fact, what the doctors teach is all found on PubMed peer reviewed articles.

    Define Functional Medicine.

    Please. Can you do that for me? Tell me exactly what it is. Then we can talk about evidence bases.

    Quite frankly, I understand what FM is far better than you do.

    1. https://www.functionalmedicine.org/files/library/six-core-principles.pdf

      Gee another name for “other” practitioner (traditional/nontraditional) which is what I attempt to do. Combine mix, match, try and see, do no harm, stay away from high-technology, opiates, patient centered, eye-ball to eyeball, hands-on, personalized touch medicine.

      OH — I would add an admonition:
      If you think you have an answer or solution with FM or complex chronic pain problems … you are fooling yourself and the patient. The classical methods are less useful than the cumulative improvisation method using the simplest of needle tools. The most important person is the conductor, the audience and the instrument which is the patient.

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