Tag Archives: health care

Boy the ant-vaxxers have gone to a new low

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg posts a photo of his baby about to get vaccinated. Look how the anti-vaxxers respond:


Facebook is not your doctor…

…you take them to the emergency department!



The American Medical Association has weighed in on Obama’s new health care package:
The Allergists were in favor of scratching it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.
The Gastroenterologists had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.
Meanwhile, Obstetricians felt certain everyone was laboring under a misconception, while the Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.
Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!” while the Pediatricians said, “Oh, grow up!”
The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.
Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing and the Internists claimed it would indeed be a bitter pill to swallow.
The Plastic Surgeons opined that this proposal would “put a whole new face on the matter”.
The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were p…….d off at the whole idea.
Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas, and those lofty Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no.
In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the assholes in Washington.


How to Loose Weight?

You get bombarded with this everywhere you go. There is no doubt that we are facing an epidemic of obesity and all the personal and society costs associated with obesity (and debates about who should pay for it), The weight loss industry is a very lucrative industry in both the offline and online worlds. Weight loss is simple. Just make sure you burn more calories than you take in. Why do so many make it so complicated?

Grounding? WTF?

I just found out about a thing called grounding or earthing. It occurs when we are barefoot in contact with the earths surface and the electrical exchange between the earth and body is supposed to have some health benefits. The main promoter of this concept is a company with products to sell, which on its own should be enough to set off alarm bells. There does appear to be a lot of research done on grounding, but as explained here, there does appear to be a problem with all that research ranging from the lack of a control group to a lack of blinding of those doing the measurements to the research being done by the company that sells the product. No research to date, that stacks up to critical appraisal shows that grounding works. This is pure snake oil.

Plantar Fasciitis Snake Oil

I just got over a bout of plantar fasciitis or heel pain. The plantar fascia is a long ligament that attached to the base of the heel bone and supports the arch of the foot. It is a common problem in runners and there is so much crap written about it on running websites and so many snake oil salesman on the web touting their magical cure that ‘doctors don’t even know about’. WTF?

Good to see some science based commonsense being written about it in some places (I picked up this one on Twitter as I noticed a lot of physical therapists re-tweeting it, so that says something about it. If you got plantar fasciitis read it and take notice of it and don’t fall for the hucksters! … the article has even been translated into Vietnamese.

WTF? Chinese Foot Binding!

I had not heard of this before and it was insane. Chinese foot binding is what moms and dads did to their little girls in China to make them more sensual so they could get a better price for them to marry off! The practice involved binding the foot tightly when the girl was little so that the foot never grew. This caused a lot of pain and deformity and life long disability, but was considered good practice, especially in rural China. A smaller foot was considered more erotic. Fortunately the practice has since stopped due to changing social norms and social pressures, but it was abhorrent! Here are some videos and discussion on it.

Why do people fall for reflexology?

This one continues to amaze me because it just shows how gullible people and and how the fraudsters that perpetuate it can keep a straight face when they peddle their pseudoscientific woo.

Reflexology is supposed to be a alternative medicine practice in which various organ systems are located to different zones or regions on the feet and hands. Apparently practitioners can detect problems with these organs by palpating the different zones and then using stimulation via massage can help improve the health of those organ systems.

The problem with this is it is just one big scam. This is snake oil at it best!

Two reasons:
1. There is not even a slightest hint of any physiological link between the zones of the feet or hands and different organ systems of the body. No scientist has been able to find anything or even a hint of anything to account for claimed links. There is absolutely no evidence of these links. Its just a mystical hoo-doo voo-doo link.

2. Every single systematic review of the randomized controlled clinical trials of reflexology all have reached the same conclusions: it does not work any better than a placebo. There is no evidence that it works.

So why do some people who have had a reflexology treatment feel better:
1. Placebo
2. Everyone feels better after a foot massage (even without the nonsensical spin put on it by reflexologists)

A booster for the circulation?

This product called the Circulation Booster has just started to show up being promoted on late night TV (which should be a red flag on its own). This product claimed to improve the circulation. I was intrigued as my mother has a problem, so I looked into it a bit further (which probably was not a good use of my time given that I should have known what I would find as it was on late night TV and all I could find on their website was testimonials).

Turns out that the advertising regulators down in Australia and across in the United Kingdom have come down on the company for the claims that they made. There certainly seems to be a lot of comments that it can’t work at improving blood flow down to the foot as claimed. A walk around the block is properly better for the circulation.

If products are to really have any credibility rather than get labeled as snake oil, they need to produce the scientific evidence that what they do works; get rid of testimonials and celebrity endorsements; and stay of the late night TV advertising (like the toning shoes!).

Who pays society’s share of the obesity epidemic costs?

No matter where you look and no matter what figures you look at, the obesity epidemic figures look bad. The future impact on society in terms of productivity and health care costs as well as the costs to individuals and their families are horrific. The impacts range from a very high incidence of diabetes in those with diabetes, more arthritis, more cancer and even the foot is affected by obesity.

While there are some specific medical conditions that can lead to obesity, the most common causes are just an imbalance in the amount of energy taken in (ie food) and the energy expended (ie exercise) and that boils down to personal responsibility.

Is it time that those who contribute to the increased cost that are burdening society not pay more tax to contribute to that burden?