Herbal Supplements: Unregulated, Ineffective, And Potentially Deadly
Posted: 28 November 2012 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]
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If it’s natural, it’s good for you.  Like strychnine and fluorine!

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This is a great article for those of us who know an annoying, chemistry-fearing, all-natural hippie type.  I make no assumptions that any of here don’t already know all this, it’s just nice to see it stuffed in one, easy to link to article.

I should send this to my aunt.  She works in pharmeceuticals and loves making fun of the natural=healthy goobers.

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Posted: 28 November 2012 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I just went through this whole discussion with a patient about a half hour ago. her son is a gym rat and had her convinced that she needed to take a particular supplement he had heard about from the “experts” at the gym because thats where all the most knowledgeable people hang out of course. Fortunately she is a very intelligent person and was skeptical from the start so educating her was not difficult.

Thanks for the link DM. For anyone who is interested here’s a link to a something i wrote on the subject. I have it posted in all of my exam rooms. I find its a helpful conversation starter for people who are conflicted about these things and might otherwise not bring the subject up during their visit.

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Posted: 20 January 2013 10:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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sherry schultz - 20 January 2013 10:35 PM

Since the dawn of time, soothing herbs have comforted the grief and eased nervousness and anxiety. For chronic emotional upset, some herbs are very effective in reducing anxiety. Depending upon your individual stress levels, you may benefit from including herbs in your diet.

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Posted: 21 January 2013 09:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Since the dawn of time, soothing herbs have comforted the grief and eased nervousness and anxiety.

Hemlock is VERY soothing indeed. The side effects kinda suck, but what the hell, it’s all natural!  red face

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Posted: 21 January 2013 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Once, broke and depressed, I tried self treating with St. Johns wort.  I read up on it on the web, and it seemed to be inexpensive, safe and have a real chance of being effective.  I gave it a try, started taking the recommended dosage and, WHAM, went into a series of “O my god, it’s the end of the world, I’m gonna die” panic attacks, heart palpitations, chest pains, cold sweats.  My primary care doctor couldn’t find any medical cause, but when I went to the psychologist I’ve seen for anxiety issues over the years, she immediately told me that in her experience St. Johns wort seemed like it did help with some types of depression, but was usually a disaster for depressed people who also suffered from anxiety disorders.  I stopped taking it and life was much better.  When it comes to herbal medicine the experience made a disbeliever out of me.  I do seem to like to learn things the hard way.

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Posted: 21 January 2013 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I do seem to like to learn things the hard way.

At least it didn’t cheer you up just enough to the point where you decided to hang yourself.

Some bona fide anti-depressants have been known to do that.

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Posted: 21 January 2013 09:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 21 January 2013 03:42 PM

I do seem to like to learn things the hard way.

At least it didn’t cheer you up just enough to the point where you decided to hang yourself.

Some bona fide anti-depressants have been known to do that.

It’s a little more complicated than that. Many more lives are saved by anti-depressants than are lost. People die of antibiotic allergy, we don’t throw those away. We monitor more closely for signs of reaction, which is what should be done with the anti depressants.

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Posted: 22 January 2013 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It’s a little more complicated than that. Many more lives are saved by anti-depressants than are lost. People die of antibiotic allergy, we don’t throw those away.

I didn’t say we should either. However, this stuff shouldn’t be used lightly. The same applies in spades to these over the counter “Supplements” where their real effects are poorly understood, and unlike prescription meds, nobody offers a warning about any of that.

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Posted: 22 January 2013 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 22 January 2013 07:42 AM

It’s a little more complicated than that. Many more lives are saved by anti-depressants than are lost. People die of antibiotic allergy, we don’t throw those away.

I didn’t say we should either. However, this stuff shouldn’t be used lightly. The same applies in spades to these over the counter “Supplements” where their real effects are poorly understood, and unlike prescription meds, nobody offers a warning about any of that.

Absolutely.

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