Pain, silence, lessons, and more…

FSM Friends’ News and Articles

Most people don’t realise long-term opioid use can make pain worse, research finds: As more and more is learned about the opioid crisis, it is also becoming clear that many patients are unaware of side effects, and may not realise what is contributing their distress. It has also been found that long term opioid use can actually increase pain sensitivity.  However solutions to pain management are often not as simple as merely removing or reducing opioids. “Associate Professor Vagg said in Australia, as many as 150 hospitalisations a day were due to people having too much, too little or the wrong type of opioid medications.”


Will Beijing silence critics of folk medicine? “In 2015, researchers found that nearly 90% of the TCM remedies marketed in Australia included undeclared ingredients such as antibiotics, painkillers, lead and cadmium. In recent years, evidence has accumulated that local governments, especially those home to large TCM businesses, are becoming less patient with the skeptics. In 2018, a physician in Guangzhou blogged that Hongmao Medicinal Wine, a TCM product popular in hundreds of Chinese cities, is “poison from heaven” that has no medical benefits. In response, police arrested the doctor and detained him for months.”

This HIV/AIDS specialist explains its similarities — and differences — to COVID-19: We’ve been down this road before, when we confronted the epidemic that was AIDS. And while AIDS was not a major public health emergency in some parts of the world, in America it was huge. For those living in San Francisco in the 80s, as i did, it was in your face every day. HIV and COVID-19 are very different viruses and cause vastly different diseases. However, the lessons to be learned here relate to the response to the virus and controlling the spread. And how our expectations of producing an effective vaccine could well be ill-founded.

Great Moments in Health and Science 

The history of the thermometer:  Quick and accurate temperature measurements are an important vital sign in medical practice, and have a lengthy history.

Today’s Abused Health Concept

Herbal supplements – COVID-19 related. ANSES warns against taking food supplements that could lower the body’s immune response: Herbal products are not automatically safe nor automatically beneficial. French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) has identified a number of food supplements as having a counter-productive effect on the body’s natural defences against the coronavirus. These include plants containing salicylic acid derivatives, similar to aspirin, such as:

• willow,
• meadowsweet,
• birch,
• poplar,
• goldenrod and
• polygala,

as well as plants containing other herbal anti-inflammatories, such as:

• harpagophytum,
• echinacea,
• turmeric and
• cat’s claw (also referred to as the healing vine of Peru), and plants of the genera Boswellia and Commiphora (known for their gum-oleoresin, and referred to respectively as frankincense and myrrh).

This highlights the often repeated lesson that taking supplements without a good evidence based reason is unlikely to provide benefits and can easily cause or increase harm.