FSM News & Articles
The Chiropractic Industry: This makes me so sad. This patient was seeing her chiro for “gut issues”, mentioned she had blood in her stools and her chiro did not refer her to a medical practitioner. Bloody stools is one sign of bowel cancer and can also be seen in inflammatory bowel disease or certain gastrointestinal infections. The patient ended up having fairly advanced bowel cancer with delayed treatment. This cannot and should not ever be treated by a chiropractor or kinesiologist. The response of the chiropractic board seemed to put the onus of responsibility on the patient. Disgusting.
Confessions of a former iridologist: This is the interesting story of a fully trained iridologist who lost faith in his practice. A curious man with a questing mind, he received some medical training that, at first, informed his iridology practice but eventually led him to question the rationale behind iridology. To wit, that the iris receives innervation from all parts of the body and can show irregularities in the body before disease sets in. Investigating further, he found there were no nerves connecting to the iris and he realised his profession was a scam. He abandoned his livelihood with the intention of studying medicine because he still wanted to help people.
More than one-third of cancers can be avoided if Australians modify their lifestyle:Published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, the study showed smoking, ultraviolet radiation, body weight, diet, and alcohol, contributed to 90% of all preventable cancers.
Vaccines and autism – A thorough review of the evidence (2019 update): Fallacyman does a deep dive showing us the state of the literature on the widely debunked Autism/Vaccine false controversy. He not only shows the state of the science, but also where the anti-vaxxers develop their arguments from. If you argue with anti-vaxxers, this page will likely be a useful resource. “I have three key target audiences here. First, to any parents who are concerned about vaccines and are truly and sincerely looking for good information… Second, for those who have already reviewed the evidence, but are tired of explaining it over and over again in debates… Third, for those who are not particularly interested in the autism/vaccine debate, I hope that this post will provide a nice worked example of how to critically analyze a large body of literature.”
Today’s Abused Health Concepts
Whole system, multi-modal studies –Naturopaths use deceptive tactics to support pseudoscience: It is common (even here on the FSM page) for naturopathy proponents to claim that it is one cannot assess naturopathy using studies of isolated treatments because ‘the treatments are individualized, holistic, and the therapy must be assessed as a whole’. They will also reject studies looking into isolated components of therapy, claiming that only ‘holistic’ studies count. In fact this naturopathic approach is just confounded non-data. This allows naturopaths ignore the contrary evidence while also cherry picking the studies that have significant bias and ZERO ability to falsify their claims.
Let’s imagine that I have started a new type of medicine called electroism, in which I argue that electrical imbalances … cause most diseases, and to cure [them]…, you need to eat healthy, exercise, and periodically [shock] yourself with a 12-volt battery. Now, imagine that multiple studies look at the effects of [shocking] yourself with a car battery and conclude that it is not a good idea. I then respond by saying that those studies are invalid because you can’t look at just one piece of electroism in isolation. You have to look at the whole system together, and when you do that, electroism is beneficial.
Do you see the problem? Do you see how I have deceptively manipulated things to make it look like electroism works? My ridiculous electroism method includes both utter nonsense ([shocking] yourself) and things that are known to cause improvements and are fully embraced by the medical community (i.e., diet and exercise). Thus, by insisting that electroism can only be studied as a whole, I can make it look like electroism is beneficial … My example may seem silly, but that is precisely what naturopathy does and what this study did.
Probiotics are touted as good for the gut. They may be trouble for the immune system: With new research about microbiome effects coming out every day, it’s clear we’re yet to understand everything about the curious relationship between our gut bugs and our health. Recent evidence seems to suggest that probiotics can undesirably dampen the immune system.
Thanks to Science
Funnel-web spider venom could protect stroke victims from further brain damage: The potentially deadly venom from funnel-web spiders might be used to prevent brain damage immediately following stroke. The protein of interest has been isolated from the venom and found to have an effect on ion-channels in neurons which are involved in cell death following stroke. A recombinant (synthesised) version of the protein might be useful as medication for first-responders, like paramdedics, to administer to stroke patients to minimise brain damage.
Great Moments in Health & Science
The Invention of the Artificial Pacemaker: In people for whom the heart’s natural electric rhythm is erratic and cannot be safely controlled with medications or other treatments, the artificial pacemaker can keep the heart in a regular and safe rhythm. Modern pacemakers are very small and can be implanted underneath the skin.