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14-03-2014, 12:15 PM
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 11:36 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(14-03-2014 10:07 AM)docskeptic Wrote:  Full Circle's thread got me thinking. There are some really weird and questionable medical practices out there. I would lump chiropractic medicine, osteopathic medicine and homeopathy together in there. In addition there is a host of other similar practices-reiki, ayurvedic, aromatherapy, etc. which all fall in the woo category.

As an allopath, I would only consider treatments that have scientific validation or are based on reasonable scientific assumptions.

If people within the TTA community have questions about anything medical related, please feel free to post them (or PM me if confidentiality is desired) and I'll do my best to answer your questions as fully and honestly as I can. I'm sure Mark Fulton and any other medical professionals in the forum would not mind jumping in as well.

Let me take this opportunity to once again introduce quackwatch.com to the TTA community. It's a comprehensive database of questionable medical practices, maintained by Stephen Barrett, MD, an unsung hero of the skeptic community.

Doc

Thanks for starting this thread. I have a huge problem with chiropractors. I prefer to call them Chiroquackters. At any rate, wouldn't it be just as well to have a good massage instead? My understanding it that the cracking one hears at the chiropractors is the same as cracking ones knuckles. It does nothing.

What's your opinion of acupuncture?

dancefortwo,

I concur. The snapping or cracking sounds that we hear when joints are cracked are caused by sudden fluid shifts or ligament shifting or stretching. However, the sound has a profound psychological effect suggesting that "something" just happened and is used to that effect by those who manipulate the spine or joints.

Oh boy, acupuncture. I suppose I should start by saying that acupuncture is based on the traditional Chinese theory that we have energy lines or meridians on our body through which Qi (energy) flows. Disruption of these lines are what cause illness. Acupuncture works by "unblocking" the meridians and restoring normal Qi flow.

Once again, there is no scientific rationale for such a belief. There is no evidence for the so-called Qi or energy meridians. No study has shown a benefit from acupuncture that cannot be attributed to placebo. Sham acupuncture (done without penetrating the skin but which "feels" like actual acupuncture) achieves results as good as acupuncture and placebo.

Acupuncture is probably safe, but in unhygienic conditions could be responsible for transmission of blood-borne illnesses.

Doc
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14-03-2014, 01:15 PM
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 12:03 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(14-03-2014 11:48 AM)docskeptic Wrote:  Evenheathen,

I would avoid this. The "science" behind it is highly doubtful to say the least. The supporters claim that inducing a low blood sugar with insulin "opens up the receptors" on cancer cells and make them more sensitive to chemotherapy allowing doctors to use lower doses of medication, with less side effects as a consequence.

There is no scientific basis for this claim. Moreover, the side effects of hypoglycemia can be dangerous, occasionally even fatal.

Here's the American Cancer Society's stand on the treatment, "Despite supporters' claims that insulin potentiation therapy has been well researched, no scientific studies that show safety and effectiveness have been published in available peer-reviewed journals. These claims cannot be verified."

Hope that helps!

Doc

My understanding is that it works just like a PET scan does. Cancer cells love sugar, so why wouldn't it work similarly?

From here, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/154877.php

Quote:When it is inside the radiotracer will go to areas inside the body that use the natural chemical. For example, FDG (fluorodeoxyglucose - a radioactive drug) is tagged to glucose to make a radiotracer. The glucose goes into those parts of the body that use glucose for energy. Cancers, for example, use glucose differently from normal tissue - so, FDG can show up cancers.

If you can target cancer cells with a radiotracer by manipulating glucose levels, why wouldn't it also work with chemo?

(I'm not advocating this treatment, BTW. Just interested in a solid viewpoint having listened to my friend rave on about it for a while now)

Evenheathen

It is true that neoplastic cells are more glucose avid than normal cells. In fact, they are more resource hungry than normal cells overall which is how cancer kills. I still fail to see the rationale. Insulin drops glucose levels. Are they trying to starve the cancer cells? If so, it won't work. The body has mechanisms like neoglucogenesis or glycogenolysis that will release glucose in an emergency. Any blood sugar low enought to kill cancer cells would likely kill the host as well.

The claimed rationale is that low sugar levels "open up" the chemoreceptors on cells and make them more sensitive to chemotherapy drugs and I fail to see how that could happen.

Do you know of any citations that support the claims? Let me know.

Doc
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14-03-2014, 01:43 PM
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 12:15 PM)docskeptic Wrote:  
(14-03-2014 11:36 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Thanks for starting this thread. I have a huge problem with chiropractors. I prefer to call them Chiroquackters. At any rate, wouldn't it be just as well to have a good massage instead? My understanding it that the cracking one hears at the chiropractors is the same as cracking ones knuckles. It does nothing.

What's your opinion of acupuncture?

dancefortwo,



I concur. The snapping or cracking sounds that we hear when joints are cracked are caused by sudden fluid shifts or ligament shifting or stretching. However, the sound has a profound psychological effect suggesting that "something" just happened and is used to that effect by those who manipulate the spine or joints.

Oh boy, acupuncture. I suppose I should start by saying that acupuncture is based on the traditional Chinese theory that we have energy lines or meridians on our body through which Qi (energy) flows. Disruption of these lines are what cause illness. Acupuncture works by "unblocking" the meridians and restoring normal Qi flow.

Once again, there is no scientific rationale for such a belief. There is no evidence for the so-called Qi or energy meridians. No study has shown a benefit from acupuncture that cannot be attributed to placebo. Sham acupuncture (done without penetrating the skin but which "feels" like actual acupuncture) achieves results as good as acupuncture and placebo.

Acupuncture is probably safe, but in unhygienic conditions could be responsible for transmission of blood-borne illnesses.

Doc

I've had acupuncture for sciatica and my theory is that all the little pin pricks sort of redistribute the pain to other parts of the body so the mind forgets about the original pain.....for a while anyway. That's totally unscientific, more of a hunch on my part. I've also had this happen naturally. I once hurt my right shoulder cross country skiing but a few days later banged my left hand, causing my right shoulder pain to completely disappear....for a while anyway. The brain is an amazing thing as it deals with pain. This might be the same principle behind people who practice bee sting therapy for arthritis.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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14-03-2014, 01:51 PM
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 01:15 PM)docskeptic Wrote:  Are they trying to starve the cancer cells? If so, it won't work.

Well yes, but that's not the effect. After dropping glucose levels (to an almost dangerous level, but closely monitered) low levels of chemo are introduced to the system along with sugar which the sugar-starved cancer cells gobble up like gangbusters. So it's essentially chemotherapy, but at low concentrated doses thereby reducing the awful side effects from traditional chemo and they also put the patients on high levels of supplements to help the body recover/deal with the treatment.

Like I said, it works just like the PET scan, but with chemo instead of the radio dye-stuff.

The other benefit that I see is that great care is taken to analyze blood work beforehand to determine which chemo would work best with whatever cancer they are targeting.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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14-03-2014, 01:59 PM (This post was last modified: 14-03-2014 02:21 PM by docskeptic.)
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 01:43 PM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(14-03-2014 12:15 PM)docskeptic Wrote:  dancefortwo,



I concur. The snapping or cracking sounds that we hear when joints are cracked are caused by sudden fluid shifts or ligament shifting or stretching. However, the sound has a profound psychological effect suggesting that "something" just happened and is used to that effect by those who manipulate the spine or joints.

Oh boy, acupuncture. I suppose I should start by saying that acupuncture is based on the traditional Chinese theory that we have energy lines or meridians on our body through which Qi (energy) flows. Disruption of these lines are what cause illness. Acupuncture works by "unblocking" the meridians and restoring normal Qi flow.

Once again, there is no scientific rationale for such a belief. There is no evidence for the so-called Qi or energy meridians. No study has shown a benefit from acupuncture that cannot be attributed to placebo. Sham acupuncture (done without penetrating the skin but which "feels" like actual acupuncture) achieves results as good as acupuncture and placebo.

Acupuncture is probably safe, but in unhygienic conditions could be responsible for transmission of blood-borne illnesses.

Doc

I've had acupuncture for sciatica and my theory is that all the little pin pricks sort of redistribute the pain to other parts of the body so the mind forgets about the original pain.....for a while anyway. That's totally unscientific, more of a hunch on my part. I've also had this happen naturally. I once hurt my right shoulder cross country skiing but a few days later banged my left hand, causing my right shoulder pain to completely disappear....for a while anyway. The brain is an amazing thing as it deals with pain. This might be the same principle behind people who practice bee sting therapy for arthritis.

You are absolutely correct. That's how medications like topical analgesic creams (IcyHot, BenGay or capsaicin) work. They distract the pain fibers which are now busy carrying signals from the skin to the brain, ignoring signals from the deeper tissues.

Bee stings (apitherapy) may work the same way, although current studies show that it is no different from placebo. It is possible that some chemicals in the venom may function as an anti-inflammatory agent, but which one it is hard to day, since bee venom is a mixture of many chemicals.

Doc
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14-03-2014, 02:20 PM
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 01:51 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  
(14-03-2014 01:15 PM)docskeptic Wrote:  Are they trying to starve the cancer cells? If so, it won't work.

Well yes, but that's not the effect. After dropping glucose levels (to an almost dangerous level, but closely monitered) low levels of chemo are introduced to the system along with sugar which the sugar-starved cancer cells gobble up like gangbusters. So it's essentially chemotherapy, but at low concentrated doses thereby reducing the awful side effects from traditional chemo and they also put the patients on high levels of supplements to help the body recover/deal with the treatment.

Like I said, it works just like the PET scan, but with chemo instead of the radio dye-stuff.

The other benefit that I see is that great care is taken to analyze blood work beforehand to determine which chemo would work best with whatever cancer they are targeting.

OK. I see the rationale. Even so, I disagree.

For one thing the chemotherapy molecule would have to be attached to the glucose molecule like the radio-labelled 2-FDG in PET scans, otherwise while the cancer cells may uptake the glucose, the chemotherapeutic agent would be left in the cold.

Secondly, if that's the case, the normal cells in the cancer patient should also gobble up the chemotherapeutic agent just as avidly during hypoglycemia, causing unwanted cell death.

Third, not all cancer cells act the same. Some cells may even resemble normal cells with the only difference being genetic, while others may be undifferentiated aggressive cells. Cancer cells from different organs act differently. For example, thyroid cancer cells would look and act very differently from, say, a lymphoma cell. In other words, they would not all process glucose the same way.

Here's a disclaimer from Dr. Ayre (the chief proponent of IPT): "while individual anecdotal case reports over forty years suggest that this treatment may be effective, there is at present no collection of scientific data to validate insulin potentiation therapy as a treatment for malignant neoplastic diseases, or cancer."

Doc
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14-03-2014, 07:06 PM
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 10:13 AM)Colourcraze Wrote:  Does this
[Image: benefits-of-cupping-therapy.jpg]
Actually do anything?
no
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14-03-2014, 07:14 PM
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 10:15 AM)theophilus Wrote:  Why do you include chiropractors and osteopaths in this group?

Chiropractor: Glorified masseuse...without the happy ending.

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14-03-2014, 07:26 PM
RE: Medical advice
Why is pain from nerve damage so hard to manage? For over four years now I have been dealing with it particularly under my shoulder blades with it causing numbness and tingling in my arms and hands. Sometimes my hands just seem to spaz out and I drop things, usually with no warning. I must say it is better than it was, but damn! I also experienced several months where my breast bone felt like a toothache.

Regular pain meds helped me at least sleep though they really didn't ease the pain. Things like Lyrica were only effective with a high enough dose to make me sleep. I have tried massage, a TENS machine...everything I can think of. Of course doctors don't want me addicted so I haven't had pain meds in a long time and I just gave up on the Lyrica.

All this is from a bilateral mastectomy. Some days it seems like it will never end. Will it? Is there anything I can do that will help? I am really tired of chronic pain.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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14-03-2014, 07:42 PM (This post was last modified: 14-03-2014 07:47 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Medical advice
(14-03-2014 07:26 PM)Anjele Wrote:  Why is pain from nerve damage so hard to manage? For over four years now I have been dealing with it particularly under my shoulder blades with it causing numbness and tingling in my arms and hands. Sometimes my hands just seem to spaz out and I drop things, usually with no warning. I must say it is better than it was, but damn! I also experienced several months where my breast bone felt like a toothache.

Regular pain meds helped me at least sleep though they really didn't ease the pain. Things like Lyrica were only effective with a high enough dose to make me sleep. I have tried massage, a TENS machine...everything I can think of. Of course doctors don't want me addicted so I haven't had pain meds in a long time and I just gave up on the Lyrica.

All this is from a bilateral mastectomy. Some days it seems like it will never end. Will it? Is there anything I can do that will help? I am really tired of chronic pain.

Poor you! You should experiment to see what works for you.

Try some oral magnesium powder every night (at least a teaspoonful.) Don't just take magnesium tablets, they're usually useless.

Try high dose omega 3's

Try GABA

Talk to your doctor about trying neurontin, also you can try mixing neurontin with lyrica.

You can also talk to your doctor about using a tricyclic antidepressant or an SNRI antidepressant. These drugs have been useful in treating chronic pain even though the patient is not clinically depressed.

PS also talk to your Doctor about the unlikely possibility that fate has thrown you a curved ball and you've developed bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome.
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