Extreme Alternative Medicine May 17, 2009 9:52:24 GMT -5
Post by nicole on May 17, 2009 9:52:24 GMT -5
From: Neurologica by Steven Novella, MD
A Bit of Extreme Alternative Medicine Nastiness
"All interventions have their risks. No medical treatment that actually does something is completely without risk. That is why the standard method for evaluating a treatment is to assess the risk vs benefit ratio, as applied in an individual clinical situation. Risks are therefore justified if they are outweighed by the benefit. It is therefore not reasonable to cite instances of bad outcomes in order to impugn a treatment or a profession, without putting such outcomes into the proper context of the benefit of such treatments.
Of course - if there is no benefit to the treatment because it is based upon abject pseudoscience, then any risk is unacceptable. Here are two recent tales of risk without benefit - otherwise known as malpractice and incompetence, euphemistically referred to these days as complementary and alternative medicine.
Dawn Page wanted to lose a few pounds so she consulted a nutrition therapist/life coach, Barbara Nash, who was trained at the College of Natural Nutrition. I can understand why this seemed perfectly reasonable to Page - she was seeing a trained professional nutritionist. That’s precisely the problem - the average citizen (lacking in honed skeptical skills) innocently seeking a health professional can easily wind up in the hands of an outright quack.
Nash prescribed for Page a hydration detoxification program, which included drinking 4 pints of extra water per day and reducing salt intake. There is no science behind such a program. The idea is to purge mysterious and unnamed toxins from the body. This is old-school quackery.
Any competent health-care professional should be able to tell you that such a treatment is dangerous. It is a prescription for disaster, a good idea only if you are trying to harm or kill your patient. It is designed to waste the body of salt producing dangerously low levels of sodium and chloride in ......."