MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

The 30 most recent comments from all posts are listed below. Click on the post title to go to the comment on the post’s page.

  • Comment by Dr Julian Money-Kyrle on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Saturday 20 April 2019: 17:04 "There are far more deaths caused by modern medicine than by herbal medicine" Do you have any evidence to back up that claim? We already know that the claims about the number of deaths in the USA due to medical errors are impossible if you actually look at the numbers and were arrived at using unsound methods of analysis from data which had been collected for a completely different purpose by people who had no training in statistics or epidemiology and extrapolated to a different population altogether. I don't know of any data that has been collected about herbal medicine so as far as I no there is no safety record at all, good or bad. This is one of the reasons why it is so important to highlight this sort of adverse reaction. "Also, the person who died could have had previous undetected liver issues." Yes, they could. However, if an apparantly healthy person develops acute fulminant hepatitis usually it turns out that their liver was fine to beging with and the problem is toxicity from something that they have been exposed to. If this happened unexpectedly following ingestion of a prescription medicine it would be thoroughly investigated and alerts would be sent out to all doctors, even if causation hadn't been established. "One swallow does not make a summer." That is a reckless position to take if you are treating patients.
  • Comment by Dr Julian Money-Kyrle on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Saturday 20 April 2019: 16:04 Well of course they are if you add all these together, but that wasn't really what the post was about.
  • Comment by Dr Julian Money-Kyrle on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Saturday 20 April 2019: 16:04 jm, I don't think you have read my post very carefully. I did not say that we knew the exact mechanism of action of pharmaceuticals, because very often we don't. But a prescribing doctor does have a lot of detailed information about the drug which I won't go to the trouble of explaining a second time. I do not regard the Washington Post or any other newspaper as a substitute for a university course in pharmacology, or a reliable source of information about anything.
  • Comment by Michael Kenny on Another serious complication after chiropractic neck manipulation Saturday 20 April 2019: 16:04 @D(ialate) & C(urettage): many of us are still waiting for you to tell us what valid-and-reliable tests you and your 15,000 close friends use to determine which “intervertebral segment” you intend to pop? And is it based on “misalignment”? “Fixation”? “Hyopomobility”? Or some other, as of yet indeterminate arcane judgement? And if it is simply desultory and generates non-specific effects do you really believe you need to be in a “doctor profession” soliciting people with REAL health issues? And how do YOU make sure the segment you crack IS indeed the problem...vs the one 1” above or below it? Palpation? X-Ray glasses? The book of Revelations? And do you have really, really tiny fingers that can grab onto a fixated 3rd cervical vertebrae in a 100 pound girl? Or do you just crank-the-spine and take your chances? Or do you simply prescribe exercises like a wannabe PT or exercise physiologist without the proper license? Always interested in the science behind quackery.
  • Comment by Lenny on Some people claim that we can save money with homeopathy – well, they are wrong! Saturday 20 April 2019: 12:04 Roger If homeopathic hospitals are going to be as effective as you believe, how come the ones in the US aren’t still there? If you can provide us with any credible evidence of homeopathy’s effectiveness in treating anything other than Heavy Wallet Syndrome, please provide it. Conventional medicine HAS proved its superiority over the imaginary powers of shaken water, Roger. That you fancifully believe otherwise is your problem, not conventional medicine’s. You are claiming homeopathy to be effective. It is up to you to prove it.
  • Comment by Edzard on Some people claim that we can save money with homeopathy – well, they are wrong! Saturday 20 April 2019: 12:04 1) your claim is misleading: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/are-medical-errors-really-the-third-most-common-cause-of-death-in-the-u-s-2019-edition/ 2) if homeopaths want to prove a point, it should be they who set up this experiment. 3) I did work in such a hospital and published my recollections of the experience https://www.amazon.co.uk/Scientist-Wonderland-Searching-Finding-Trouble/dp/1845407776 you should read it! it might prevent you from posting further such nonsense.
  • Comment by Roger on Some people claim that we can save money with homeopathy – well, they are wrong! Saturday 20 April 2019: 11:04 Homeopathy costs are more expensive up front, because that is when the doctors spend the most time with the patient. You walk into a conventional doctor's office with arthritis and limp out 15 min later with a prescription for a pain killer. The costs for conventional medicine are backloaded when a few years later the patient's health collapses under the load of 8-12 drugs. Most of the expense of conventional medicine is in the last few years of life with massively expensive tests, drugs, and procedures to maintain a poor quality of life.
  • Comment by Roger on Some people claim that we can save money with homeopathy – well, they are wrong! Saturday 20 April 2019: 11:04 Conventional medicine is the 3rd leading cause of death in the US (300,000 per year, or about two 911-scale disasters per week) and the leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Per capita US spends more than double what every other wealthy country spends, while ranking in the 30's in health results. Lets set up a homeopathic hospital like there used to be in the US and still are in India, and have it go head to head with a conventional hospital and compare cost-effectiveness. Wouldnt our conventional medical establishment be happy to prove its supposed superiority in such a clear experiment rather than just having "skeptics" spouting off about it?
  • Comment by Björn Geir on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Saturday 20 April 2019: 10:04 As usual dear “jm”, your personal opinion is not shared by those who think critically. https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/science-based-medicine/
  • Comment by Edzard on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Saturday 20 April 2019: 10:04 so, please do explain where this particular post is wrong or misleading!
  • Comment by jm on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Saturday 20 April 2019: 07:04 If you were to successfully complete a course on critical thinking, you wouldn't be able to trust sciencebasedmedicine's info. You really have to pick one or the other. That site is best enjoyed with a huge grain of salt.
  • Comment by Chez on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Saturday 20 April 2019: 03:04 One ladies negative reaction. The amount she was taking blew my mind. I have been on these herbal medicine my therapist told me one to take for one month and I had to return for check up. Upon returning I was told to cease taking and my body would now take over. So it comes down to people thing more is better. Dosage is so important to follow instruction and A qualified therapist
  • Comment by RichardR on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Friday 19 April 2019: 22:04 Herbal medicine has a really great long term safety record Sure. So does not intervening at all.
  • Comment by RichardR on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Friday 19 April 2019: 22:04 OK, and now some homework for you to do: make an educated guess what would happen if we would stop using all and any 'pharma meds' tomorrow. Would less people die? Or more? Please support your answer with proper reasoning and calculations.
  • Comment by Dr. Health on Canadian naturopaths may no longer call themselves ‘medically trained’ Friday 19 April 2019: 21:04 It is true as it happened to me recently.
  • Comment by DC on Another serious complication after chiropractic neck manipulation Friday 19 April 2019: 20:04 Ron. The new header here says...if you make a claim in a comment, support it with evidence.
  • Comment by Ron Jette on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Friday 19 April 2019: 19:04 "There are far more deaths caused by modern medicine than by herbal medicine." As indicated above, please remember: if you make a claim in a comment, support it with evidence. Is it even possible to measure that? Please pass along the evidence.
  • Comment by Ron Jette on Another serious complication after chiropractic neck manipulation Friday 19 April 2019: 19:04 Come on, DC. You asking for evidence made me spit out my tea. Now, the whole table's a mess!
  • Comment by Ron Jette on Another serious complication after chiropractic neck manipulation Friday 19 April 2019: 19:04 Hey! Let's leave fortune tellers out of this, okay? I think they deserve better than to be compared with the quackery of chiropractic. At least they have really cool outfits.
  • Comment by Ron Jette on Another serious complication after chiropractic neck manipulation Friday 19 April 2019: 19:04 Excuse with for troubling YOU with the fact that subluxations don't exist, no matter how successful you've been at convincing WHO they do. It's wonderful what science can teach us!.
  • Comment by Edzard on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Friday 19 April 2019: 19:04 "a case report ... should be validated by detailed clinical studies" YOU SEEM TO HAVE AN EXCELLENT UNDERSTANDING OF BOTH THESE METHODOLOGIES!
  • Comment by Moosadum on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Friday 19 April 2019: 19:04 Just look at the dose... Every medicine is toxic if not taken in appropriate doses. The biggest problem is self medication is so prevalent in using herbal medicine thinking that it 'it is natural/herbal so it would have no harm'. A qualified physician in traditional medicinal systems would know that the dosage is extremely important. And this is only a case report and should be validated by detailed clinical studies. These types of publication is only guiding the public to revere these herbal medicines.
  • Comment by DC on Another serious complication after chiropractic neck manipulation Friday 19 April 2019: 18:04 Bjorn...How does taking a proper history and exam make chiropractic safer? Do you mean spinal manipulation? Bjorn...From what I have experienced and seen... So now we are swamping personal experiences? Bjorn...Use of in office x-ray, “Subluxation Station”, “Nervoscope” and other gimmicks seems standard... Evidence that these are "standard"? Bjorn...Chiropractors regularly ignore clear signs of osteopenia, disregard age-related risks Evidence?
  • Comment by jm on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Friday 19 April 2019: 18:04 Julian, "The point is that when a doctor prescribes a drug, he has a lot of information available including exactly what is in it and what it does. The same can’t be said for those prescribing herbal medicines." This (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/07/23/one-big-myth-about-medicine-we-know-how-drugs-work/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.6a4ca0f060be) is from a Washington Post article is from 2015, so maybe things are different now. But at the time, they wrote: "Knowing why a drug works has historically trailed the treatment, sometimes by decades. Some of the most recognizable drugs -- acetaminophen for pain relief, penicillin for infections, and lithium for bipolar disorder, continue to be scientific mysteries today." I always assumed that the main danger with herbal prescriptions was that in a lot of places, anyone can hang out a shingle and call themselves an herbalist - with minimal or no training. Or google your symptoms, and buy herbal medicines on Amazon. A prescription from a Doctor of Traditional Medicine really isn’t all that different than a prescription from a modern MD of allopathic medicine, if the Post article is accurate: "Here’s how we actually develop a surprising number of treatments: good old-fashioned observation, trial and error, and luck. Detailed scientific understanding of how a drug works often comes, ironically enough, near the end of the process.” The process is the same in traditional systems. Traditional Medicine doctors use different models for anatomy, physiology, and pathology - and if someone doesn't understand the models, they might argue the “detailed scientific understanding” part. But I have yet to meet anyone that has taken the time to (even superficially) understand a traditional model and come to the conclusion that the model is “unscientific”. Whatever system you prefer, medicine has inherent risks. So it goes.
  • Comment by Marianne Creyf on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Friday 19 April 2019: 18:04 I agree with Helen Murray. Also, the person who died could have had previous undetected liver issues. One swallow does not make a summer. There are far more deaths caused by modern medicine than by herbal medicine. Now that doesn't mean it's information that should be ignored, but investigated and put in perspective. Herbal medicine has a really great long term safety record, it is true that certain herbs should be prescribed only by qualified herbalists with robust training. Attacking herbal medicine over an isolated case seems like using any means to justify a position. I don't mind a logical, well supported view, but unfortunately ( at least in this article) I haven't found any evidence of such reasoning.
  • Comment by Edzard on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Friday 19 April 2019: 16:04 why don't you book a course of critical thinking? and subsequently, please read this: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/are-medical-errors-really-the-third-most-common-cause-of-death-in-the-u-s-2019-edition/
  • Comment by RG on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Friday 19 April 2019: 16:04 Pharma meds kill https://www.npr.org/2011/09/27/140849083/prescription-drug-deaths-major-killer-in-the-u-s
  • Comment by Edzard on Fatal liver failure after long-term intake of a popular and ‘time-tested’ herbal remedy Friday 19 April 2019: 15:04 thank you for posting another idiotic comment.
  • Comment by Edzard on Another serious complication after chiropractic neck manipulation Friday 19 April 2019: 15:04 too generous!
  • Comment by Dr. G. Almog on Another serious complication after chiropractic neck manipulation Friday 19 April 2019: 15:04 "the WHO is a joke when it comes to alternative medicine, you know that, don’t you?" Since Chiropractic is not an alternative medicine the WHO position on that matter is irrelevant. I guess you have difficulties with the definition of Chiropractic as a health care profession and its OK... you are entitled to your own personal thoughts and believes.
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