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Theoretical question for those debating vitamins, supplements, etc
Posted: 24 November 2013 10:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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macgyver - 24 November 2013 08:30 PM

Of course there will be people who have unintended consequences even with the most extensively studies treatments but I don’t see how that leads to the argument that we should therefor open our minds to less tested or completely untested treatments which is essentially what Alt Med is.

I never said we should or shouldn’t open our minds to Alt Med, what I said was that we shouldn’t have blind faith in modern medicine any more than we believe an alt med will cure us.  There’s a big difference and it seems to me, many accept modern medicine on blind faith, just as much as those who accept Alt Med on blind faith, if not more so, just because it is modern medicine and they believe it’s been studied thoroughly for safety and efficacy.  Sometimes, with modern medicine, patients are guinea pigs and sometimes medical scientists find that they made a mistake saying that a medicine is totally safe- one example being Tylonal, in which we found, due to some people dying, like Nicolette Larson, from liver failure associated with overuse of acetaminophen, which at the time, didn’t carry a warning and doctors didn’t make every effort to warn the public, maybe thinking it was safe too (big oops for medical science there, causing many to think it was so safe).  Larson and others accepted [their understanding of] medical science on blind faith and took more than the bottle stated or habitually used it, others mixed and matched products with acetaminophen, thinking it was so safe to use, only to die from liver failure because of it.  Now, we have warnings all over the place not to take more then one medicine with acetaminophen in it.  Were they just dumb asses not using their heads about medicine or were they too accepting about a product’s safety without thinking and questioning medical professionals or both?  Asking questions of your doctor and others in the medical field is the only way to learn about medicine and treatments, in which to make an informed decision and choice, not blind faith in one’s doctor and allowing him/her to do as they please, without question.  Even the medical community advises people to ask questions of their doctors and be fully informed about the medicine and treatment(s) s/he Rx’s, pharmacists even provide information, giving the patient information in making an informed decision as to take it or not AND at the same time, it is recommended patients tell their doctor, esp a new doctor or various doctors, if they see more than one doctor for various ailments, all the medications they are taking, including OTC meds and supplements.

Take the new Nyquil PM.  I read the ingredients to see what was in it and guess what?  If I had bought it and used it (which I wasn’t, because I have no issues sleeping, but it was curiosity), I’d be over dosing on my allergy medication.  If not for questioning the product, reading the label, and asking the pharmacists if my knowledge of antihistamines was correct (which it was) I would have taken two different types of antihistamines, which is potentially dangerous.  I bet you right now, there are people making that mistake, not questioning the product and safety, just to sleep.

All I’m saying is, we need to educate ourselves about modern medicine, just as we educate ourselves about alt meds, and not accept it on blind faith.  If we accept medicine, of any sort, on blind faith, without questioning and educating ourselves, it becomes unsafe without any efficacy. There’s no misconception there at all.  The misconception is when you accept, without question, that modern medicine has been thoroughly tested for safety and efficacy, not even asking anyone in the medical field if this medicine safe with this or that and other questions.

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Posted: 25 November 2013 03:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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All this makes me wonder, does the bark from all species of willow contain salicylic acid?  Of not, a lot of people might make willow bark tea out of the wrong willow bark. Does anyone here know?

In addition, we know a person can die from an overdose of aspirin. I wonder if one could overdose on willow bark tea.

Lois

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Posted: 25 November 2013 05:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Lois - 25 November 2013 03:30 AM

All this makes me wonder, does the bark from all species of willow contain salicylic acid?  Of not, a lot of people might make willow bark tea out of the wrong willow bark. Does anyone here know?

In addition, we know a person can die from an overdose of aspirin. I wonder if one could overdose on willow bark tea.

Lois

Yes, they can die from an overdose of willow bark tea, depending how it’s made and how much they drink.  However, I can’t answer the question as to if all willow bark has salicylic acid, but it is a good question, which I don’t think would hurt to research.  I do know those in Europe and even some American Indians used willow bark tea, so it’s properties were known in both Europe and at least parts of the Americas.  Dandelion tea, Dandelion soup, May Apple soup, for example and something my great grandmother loved, can cause GI problems if made wrong or at the wrong time of year and/or with the wrong part of the plant.  In the case of May Apples, they’re pure poison if one makes it at the wrong time and gets the wrong part of the plant.  Sassafras tea is made from the roots of sassafras trees and people would get the roots at a specific time of year when I was going up.  So any time one plays around with this stuff and tries to make their own, they’d better know what they are doing, hopefully fully instructed by their elders, who know, or it could end up deadly.  It’s not something you play around with.

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Posted: 25 November 2013 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Lois this conversation has diverged a bit but you are correct. Patients should ask questions. Doctors are not mind readers. We may think we have explained things clearly but patients have different levels of comprehension so its difficult to know whether a patient has fully understood everything we’ve told them. Everyone learns differently and not everyone has the same working vocabulary so sometimes I have to explain things more than one way before a patient understands what I am trying to tell them. We may also assume some things are just common knowledge or common sense ( ie. don’t take twice the recommended dose of a drug) but that may not always be the case for everyone

You make a good point about OTC meds and it goes back to what I said above. One would think that common sense alone would tell anyone that they should not take medication above its recommended dose.You would think that any rational person would realize that ignoring medication directions could result in harm but as previously stated not everyone has the same level of understanding. This is a real problem when making meds OTC. Meds are put over the counter when its felt that they are relatively safe when used as directed and that access to them without a prescription would benefit the public. Its a delicate balance though. We are not a homogenous population in terms of intelligence and education so ther is always the risk that someone may misunderstand directions or use poor judgement.

You also pointed out an issue with OTC meds that needs correction and hasn’t been adequately addressed. Many OTC products are combination meds with more than one active ingredient and the average person may not even realize they are taking two preparations with the same drug in them. It would make a lot of sense especially with cold and pain products for the ingredients to be coded in such a way that someone would be able to easily determine that the product they are taking has something in it that is also in another preparation they are using. Two preparations may have antihistamines in them but different antihistamines so that you wont realize this unless you have a medical or chemistry degree. Perhaps they could have a panel on the label with a purple block of color for pain relieving ingredients, a red block of color for antihistamines and a yellow block for decongestants etc. In big letter they could explain that one should not take two products with the same color blocks on the side. Its been a problem for a long time and recently they addressed the acetaminophen issue by putting labels saying “this product contains acetaminophen” but that only addresses one ingredient and is easily overlooked. The FDA really needs to rework that.

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Posted: 25 November 2013 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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macgyver - 25 November 2013 06:06 AM

Lois this conversation has diverged a bit but you are correct. Patients should ask questions. Doctors are not mind readers. We may think we have explained things clearly but patients have different levels of comprehension so its difficult to know whether a patient has fully understood everything we’ve told them. Everyone learns differently and not everyone has the same working vocabulary so sometimes I have to explain things more than one way before a patient understands what I am trying to tell them. We may also assume some things are just common knowledge or common sense ( ie. don’t take twice the recommended dose of a drug) but that may not always be the case for everyone

You make a good point about OTC meds and it goes back to what I said above. One would think that common sense alone would tell anyone that they should not take medication above its recommended dose.You would think that any rational person would realize that ignoring medication directions could result in harm but as previously stated not everyone has the same level of understanding. This is a real problem when making meds OTC. Meds are put over the counter when its felt that they are relatively safe when used as directed and that access to them without a prescription would benefit the public. Its a delicate balance though. We are not a homogenous population in terms of intelligence and education so ther is always the risk that someone may misunderstand directions or use poor judgement.

You also pointed out an issue with OTC meds that needs correction and hasn’t been adequately addressed. Many OTC products are combination meds with more than one active ingredient and the average person may not even realize they are taking two preparations with the same drug in them. It would make a lot of sense especially with cold and pain products for the ingredients to be coded in such a way that someone would be able to easily determine that the product they are taking has something in it that is also in another preparation they are using. Two preparations may have antihistamines in them but different antihistamines so that you wont realize this unless you have a medical or chemistry degree. Perhaps they could have a panel on the label with a purple block of color for pain relieving ingredients, a red block of color for antihistamines and a yellow block for decongestants etc. In big letter they could explain that one should not take two products with the same color blocks on the side. Its been a problem for a long time and recently they addressed the acetaminophen issue by putting labels saying “this product contains acetaminophen” but that only addresses one ingredient and is easily overlooked. The FDA really needs to rework that.

I was the one who said patients should ask questions and all, not Lois.  Thank you, I’m glad we could find some common ground and understanding.  However, I think common sense should apply with any drug used a medication, even if it’s peppermint tea for an upset stomach.  BTW, I don’t have a medical or chemistry degree and I knew two different antihistamines are bad to ingest, as well as recognize when an ingredient is more or less doubling up, even if it is two different types of the same thing, and what can interfere with the medications I take.  So I don’t think you need a chemistry or medical degree to know this, but I do think one needs to educate themselves about their medications and all.  Anything short of educating yourself on what the doctor gives you or treats you with is blind faith and very dangerous, just as taking something like willow bark tea or any alt med without any education about it.  Even mixing St. John’s Wart with an anti-depressant, such as Proxac or Valium could be deadly, even if you think you know about St. John’s Wart.

[ Edited: 25 November 2013 06:23 AM by Mriana ]
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Posted: 25 November 2013 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Mriana, there are a number of differences between willow bark and aspirin, and there are good reasons to prefer one over the other.

Willow bark has an inconsistent, unpredictable, and complex mixture of active chemicals in it, so every time you take it you get something different. And, unfortunately, the current regulations in the U.S. don’t require any quality control for “natural” herbal products, so pretty often these things turn out to be contaminated with heavy metals or even undisclosed pharmaceuticals. Aspirin, on the other hand, has a predictable and consistent amount of a known substance in it, and this quality is regulated. So aspirin is safer and more predictable than willow bark.

The fact that a plant has a chemical in it which, when identified, isolated, and tested turns out to have medical benefits doesn’t mean that eating the plant is equivalent to taking a medicine made from it. Millenia of trial and error experimentation with plants found a few useful substances. A few centuries of controlled scientific experimentation have found thousands. It is the method of identifying the risks and benefits of something that really distinguishes science-based medicine from folk medicine. Science-based medicine is, of course, imperfect and mistakes are made because it is a human activity and humans are imperfect. But the whole point of the thing is thhat science is a process for compensating for this imperfection, and it really does work better than anything else we’ve come up with so far. There is no “blind faith” here, simply a conclusion based on pretty good evidence.

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Posted: 25 November 2013 09:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Yes, humans are fallible, but it seems to me, for humans to go from willow bark to synthetic components of the ingredient/element that helped with pain, seems to me that we’ve come a long ways, but we still have quite a ways to go.  Even so, without questioning (this even includes vets) then we are taking the dr’s word on blind faith, without educating ourselves about what the dr is giving us or even our pets.  This isn’t the best example, because it isn’t ancient meds v modern meds, but it does deal with alternative treatments and without knowledge of thyroid problems (which run in my family), I would not have known even a fraction about what I know when one of my cats developed an over active thyroid problem.  I knew to ask, “My mother had Grave’s Disease, they killed it with radioactive iodine and now she has to be on thyroid medication for the rest of her life. Will Suga’Ray need to be on it for the rest of his life?”  The answer, of course, was yes and she was pleased that I knew something about thyroid problems, albeit in humans.  When she started talking about a $1000 surgery, radiation, etc etc, I had to stop her and say, “Doctor, I love my cat, but there is no way I can afford a $1000 surgery.  Is there another way to treat this?”  We went with just the thyroid medication and we were, luckily, able to get his thyroid levels down.  Of course, she did say, if it didn’t work, he could still live a quality life without the surgery, which I question, but she probably said it because I also said I wasn’t ready to give up on him just because I couldn’t get him surgery and he had a thyroid problem.  Even so, I had all the information I needed to weigh the risks and benefits of a treatment that was within my means, with a good potential that he would still have a quality life without surgery, even if it ended up we only brought down from 10 to 8 (or whatever it was) with medicine, instead of lower like we succeeded in doing, and at 15 years of age, that risk wasn’t too bad, IMO.  I took a risk in treating my cat’s over active thyroid and did well, without being pushed into something I could not afford, but only because I did not blindly accept my cat’s dr’s first recommendation.  I questioned it and in the end, did well by both my cat and me- $22/month medicine for the rest of his life (for now at least) v $1000, up front, surgery (which he didn’t actually need).  Either way, he’d still be on medication for the rest of his life, but the cheaper route worked without the questionable surgery.

My point is, 1. if we don’t educate ourselves, we won’t know the questions to ask, even when talking to a vet 2. if we don’t question the doctor’s recommendations, then we’ll never know if there was an alternative way of treating an illness- ie costly surgery for a 15 y.o. cat v medication that may or may not bring it back to within normal 3. we could spend more money than we really need to spend or can afford, if we just accept things blindly 4. even those treatments could have side effects, which we need to know about and understand, as well as success and failure rates 5. we cannot make an informed decision without knowledge and if we blindly accept medicine/treatment, then we are not making informed decisions about our health or our family’s health (including pets).  6. blindly accepting a treatment without question, could end up costly.  7. without asking questions, we cannot weigh the risks and benefits of various treatments and make an informed decision.  Granted, my neuro-psychology studies and Biomedical classes, as well as family experiences with various illnesses deal with humans, I have some basis to work off when talking to my cats’ doctor, another psychologist or psychiatrist or my own doctor, making every attempt to keep up with more recent findings, and not everyone has such advantages, but that doesn’t mean they can’t try to educate themselves and ask questions, instead of blindly taking/accepting any medicine/treatment a doctor gives them.

IMHO, we should question everything when it comes to medicine, whether if it’s willow bark tea v modern day aspirin or surgery v medication alone.  To do otherwise, is, IMO, to accept on blind faith.

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Posted: 26 November 2013 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I absolutely agree that it is our responsibility to be educated patients (and veterinary clients). I find it much easier to work with well-informed clinets in making decisions about their pets. I think the idea of blind obedience to doctors is passe even among doctors, and I certainly don’t think macgyver or I are advocating it.

Still, no one can be an expert on everything, and much alternative medicine is supported by smart, educated people who believe their medical judgment is equal to that of their doctors, even when the evidence is clearly against them. There is a reason we pay people to help us with their expertise, and some level of trust is required. I don’t second guess my tax accountant or my airplane pilot much because I know I’m not qualified to evaluate their judgment in most cases. Even in medicine, where I have extensive education and experience, I take my doctor’s recommendations very seriously. I had to have a minor surgery last year, and after a week of intensive research I met my surgeon, and I had a clear plan for what I wanted her to do. She listened and then explained quite reasonably why she felt a different plan was more appropriate. I took her advice because even as an educated consumer of healthcare services, I recognize that she was likely to be a better judge than I in this case.

So no one here would suggest not questioning anything and everything. But when thoughtful, evidence-based opinions about medical subjects are offered here by healthcare professionals, they seemed to be frequently rejected without due consideration, or characterized as just another kind of bias. I think the idea of pure relativism, where all opinions about scientific subjects are considered equivalent, or the idea that everyone can be an independent expert after a Google search, are just as dangerous as slavish obedience to purported authority figures. I don’t claim to know how one strikes the perfect blanace between the two, but I just offer the suggestion that a balance is what we should be seeking.

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Posted: 26 November 2013 07:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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If a doctor can give a reasonable reason as to why they think their way is better, then we should listen to what they have to say, but jumping right to surgery isn’t always the best plan, esp if there is a reasonable alternative (not talking about alternative medicines), like there was in Suga’Ray’s case.  Sometimes the less extreme works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it still behoves us to ask questions before jumping to expensive extreme measures.  I think we need to think about everything we put in and do to our bodies, even with modern medicine.  I think it’s reasonable to even questions the use of Botox, even though it’s part of modern medicine (cosmetic surgery).  What thinking person would ingest botulism (Clostridium botulinum to be exact, an acute toxin) or any other known toxin?  Yet, they put it under their skin to remover wrinkles.  Makes no sense to me and makes me wonder if Botox is short for [bo]tulinum [tox]in and the women who use it aren’t thinking or are just plain uneducated.  Luckily, despite or in spite of FDA approval http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin#Cosmetic (why I’m not sure) and doctors who agree to do the procedure, no one has yet died from it that I’ve read and yet, you say we shouldn’t second guess doctors or the FDA?  Sorry, but when I think about botox, I have to laugh about not second guessing doctors.  I bet, if I went into my doctor and told her I want to get rid of the lines on my forehead, she’d probably suggest botox.  Sorry, but I’m not that anxious to put a highly toxic substance, which causes food poisoning, under my skin just to get rid of my squint mark or worry lines on my forehead OR even use it to rid myself of migraines.  I would strongly question her if she suggested it for my migraines and I’m not making this crap up:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/botox/MY00078  The Mayo Clinic?  Seriously?  Willow Bark or Botulism?  Humm…  Common Mckenzie, you can’t be serious that you wouldn’t question a dr, and even the FDA’s approval, who wants to try botulism to help one suffering from migraines?!  I don’t mean to laugh, but surely you would question such a dr and even the Mayo Clinic on this one.

Alleged medical uses of botulism, not limited to cosmetics, some of which are found on the Mayo Clinic link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin#Medical_and_cosmetic_uses , which can cause side effects, not limited to “weight loss by increasing the gastric emptying time”.  It’s also a neurotoxin, besides botulism: drugs dot com/cdi/botox.html Oh and correction, at least according to Wiki (yes, not a medical source, but still, you’d have to be an idiot not to think death possible)- it apparently has caused some deaths.  Sounds as bad as doctors once recommending patients to take up smoking for their asthma, which some did in the past.  You seriously can’t mean it when you say we cannot second guess our doctors, even with modern medicine.  Sorry, but IF any doctor recommended Botox for my migraines, I’d be out of there in a heartbeat and seeking a second opinion!  No way in hell am I using food poisoning to treat my headaches or remove my wrinkles!

[ Edited: 26 November 2013 07:45 PM by Mriana ]
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Posted: 26 November 2013 08:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Mriana - 22 November 2013 04:22 PM

It is possible to end up stranded out in the wild, but I don’t think mountain climbers would have access to willow bark trees.  Hunters, campers, and hikers, maybe, but as you said, one would need to be able to identify the tree correctly and know how to make the tea.  Very few of us now days know how to identify various trees and plants, unless our elders took the time to teach us.  My great grandmother enjoyed May Apple soup, BUT you have to catch it at the right time of year AND use the right part of the plant or it is pure poison.

That reminds me, I worked at a day care once and there was poke weed growing all around the play ground.  The staff and owner had no idea what the plant was or that it was poison, even upset that I tried hard to keep the kids away from it, until I told them, along with how to get rid of it, so the children don’t eat the berries.  They didn’t believe me and proceeded to look it up on the internet.  They finally acknowledged I was right and killed the poke weed as I told them to do.  I’m often amazed how little people know about plants and trees in today’s society.

Let’s hope nobody mistakes a machineel or a water hemlock for a willow (both are found in the US. The water hemlock is quite common.)

Lois

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Posted: 26 November 2013 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Common Mckenzie, you can’t be serious that you wouldn’t question a dr, and even the FDA’s approval, who wants to try botulism to help one suffering from migraines?!...You seriously can’t mean it when you say we cannot second guess our doctors, even with modern medicine. 

I begin to wonder if you even read my posts since you consistently attribute comments and positions to me that I haven’t stated or implied! I said outright, “I absolutely agree that it is our responsibility to be educated patients ” and “no one here would suggest not questioning anything and everything.” I cannot imagine how you got the impression that I was suggesting not questioning doctors from anything I actually said.

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Posted: 26 November 2013 08:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Lois - 26 November 2013 08:04 PM
Mriana - 22 November 2013 04:22 PM

It is possible to end up stranded out in the wild, but I don’t think mountain climbers would have access to willow bark trees.  Hunters, campers, and hikers, maybe, but as you said, one would need to be able to identify the tree correctly and know how to make the tea.  Very few of us now days know how to identify various trees and plants, unless our elders took the time to teach us.  My great grandmother enjoyed May Apple soup, BUT you have to catch it at the right time of year AND use the right part of the plant or it is pure poison.

That reminds me, I worked at a day care once and there was poke weed growing all around the play ground.  The staff and owner had no idea what the plant was or that it was poison, even upset that I tried hard to keep the kids away from it, until I told them, along with how to get rid of it, so the children don’t eat the berries.  They didn’t believe me and proceeded to look it up on the internet.  They finally acknowledged I was right and killed the poke weed as I told them to do.  I’m often amazed how little people know about plants and trees in today’s society.

Let’s hope nobody mistakes a machineel or a water hemlock for a willow (both are found in the US. The water hemlock is quite common.)

Lois

I agree, esp when it is obvious even people who own daycares don’t have a clue what poke weed (or other obnoxious weeds) is, how children could be attracted to eat the berries, and be poisoned, sometimes dying.  Very few people know their plants and weeds any more.  I’m just grateful my grandparents and great grandmother had the sense to teach me what they knew, including telling that poke weed berries are “for the birds” and could kill me if I ate them.  They were diligent about teaching me these things and I’m glad, but I wouldn’t recommend anyone try to make and eat May Apple soup.  One has to be extremely precise about when they make it or they die and I don’t want to be responsible for that by trying to teach them.  I won’t even try it due to the preciseness of it.

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Posted: 26 November 2013 09:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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mckenzievmd - 26 November 2013 08:23 PM

Common Mckenzie, you can’t be serious that you wouldn’t question a dr, and even the FDA’s approval, who wants to try botulism to help one suffering from migraines?!...You seriously can’t mean it when you say we cannot second guess our doctors, even with modern medicine. 

I begin to wonder if you even read my posts since you consistently attribute comments and positions to me that I haven’t stated or implied! I said outright, “I absolutely agree that it is our responsibility to be educated patients ” and “no one here would suggest not questioning anything and everything.” I cannot imagine how you got the impression that I was suggesting not questioning doctors from anything I actually said.

Because you were talking about not second guessing… To be exact:

There is a reason we pay people to help us with their expertise, and some level of trust is required. I don’t second guess my tax accountant or my airplane pilot much because I know I’m not qualified to evaluate their judgment in most cases. Even in medicine, where I have extensive education and experience, I take my doctor’s recommendations very seriously.

I took her advice because even as an educated consumer of healthcare services, I recognize that she was likely to be a better judge than I in this case.

Frankly, if I thought she was a better judge (at least in my case), I wouldn’t have asked my 15 y.o. cat’s vet if there was an alternative to a $1000 surgery, along with radiation costs, because I didn’t wish to euthanize him over an over-active thyroid I couldn’t afford if we went to extremes before trying something else first.  If I hadn’t asked and reminded her of my financial limitations, then we never would have tried just the medication alone to see if it worked before going to extremes.  Yes, I have some knowledge of human thyroid problems, but only due to seeing some family members having thyroid problems, including Grave’s Disease, but I don’t know about cats with thyroid problems, except to assume that medication, with or without the surgery is a lifetime.  However, it was seeing the human experience that gave me the ability to know what questions to ask concerning my cat. Some things can and sometimes do carry over to other animals and in this case, some of it did, enough to ask the right questions before jumping to extremes.  Fifteen, as you know, is a pretty good age for a cat, but if his life would not be quality without surgery and all…  :(  I’m glad she opted for just the medicine to see if that alone worked and it did, leaving me with just paying for blood work, for a while until stable and then every 6 months, and the cost of his med every month, saving me the $1000 surgery and whatever radiation would have cost me or worse euthanasia, if he were to have no quality of life any more.  I will have Sug for a while longer, thank goodness, at a financial rate I can afford for now and hopefully can continue to afford for the rest of his life.

So, second guessing a doctor isn’t always a bad thing and sometimes still workable if the lesser extreme doesn’t work.  Sometimes, even in medicine, you just can’t use the big hammer before you try using the little hammer, which sometimes works well.  Except with migraines, which one will try almost anything to get relief.

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Mriana
“Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark.” ~ Iris Hineman (Lois Smith) The Minority Report

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Posted: 26 November 2013 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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This describes other problems with alternative ‘meds’.
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/new-concerns-about-the-safety-and-quality-of-herbal-supplements/

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Posted: 29 November 2013 07:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Mriana - 26 November 2013 07:37 PM

If a doctor can give a reasonable reason as to why they think their way is better, then we should listen to what they have to say, but jumping right to surgery isn’t always the best plan, esp if there is a reasonable alternative (not talking about alternative medicines), like there was in Suga’Ray’s case.  Sometimes the less extreme works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it still behoves us to ask questions before jumping to expensive extreme measures.  I think we need to think about everything we put in and do to our bodies, even with modern medicine.  I think it’s reasonable to even questions the use of Botox, even though it’s part of modern medicine (cosmetic surgery).  What thinking person would ingest botulism (Clostridium botulinum to be exact, an acute toxin) or any other known toxin?  Yet, they put it under their skin to remover wrinkles.  Makes no sense to me and makes me wonder if Botox is short for [bo]tulinum [tox]in and the women who use it aren’t thinking or are just plain uneducated.  Luckily, despite or in spite of FDA approval http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin#Cosmetic (why I’m not sure) and doctors who agree to do the procedure, no one has yet died from it that I’ve read and yet, you say we shouldn’t second guess doctors or the FDA?  Sorry, but when I think about botox, I have to laugh about not second guessing doctors.  I bet, if I went into my doctor and told her I want to get rid of the lines on my forehead, she’d probably suggest botox.  Sorry, but I’m not that anxious to put a highly toxic substance, which causes food poisoning, under my skin just to get rid of my squint mark or worry lines on my forehead OR even use it to rid myself of migraines.  I would strongly question her if she suggested it for my migraines and I’m not making this crap up:  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/botox/MY00078  The Mayo Clinic?  Seriously?  Willow Bark or Botulism?  Humm…  Common Mckenzie, you can’t be serious that you wouldn’t question a dr, and even the FDA’s approval, who wants to try botulism to help one suffering from migraines?!  I don’t mean to laugh, but surely you would question such a dr and even the Mayo Clinic on this one.

Alleged medical uses of botulism, not limited to cosmetics, some of which are found on the Mayo Clinic link:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulinum_toxin#Medical_and_cosmetic_uses , which can cause side effects, not limited to “weight loss by increasing the gastric emptying time”.  It’s also a neurotoxin, besides botulism: drugs dot com/cdi/botox.html Oh and correction, at least according to Wiki (yes, not a medical source, but still, you’d have to be an idiot not to think death possible)- it apparently has caused some deaths.  Sounds as bad as doctors once recommending patients to take up smoking for their asthma, which some did in the past.  You seriously can’t mean it when you say we cannot second guess our doctors, even with modern medicine.  Sorry, but IF any doctor recommended Botox for my migraines, I’d be out of there in a heartbeat and seeking a second opinion!  No way in hell am I using food poisoning to treat my headaches or remove my wrinkles!

Mriana this whole long paragraph is an example why its problematic for patients to question everything that a doctor or any professional does. Just because something doesn’t seem right on the surface doesn’t mean there isn’t a perfectly good rationale behind it. I spend a great deal of time answering questions and educating my patients I have an extensive self written and published web site that I provide to help my patients understand why we do certain things and how they can better take care of themselves but when it comes right down to it we don’t have the time to give our patients a medical degree. You wouldn’t expect your architect to discuss load bearing with you before he designs your house. It would be equally impractical for your physician to explain in exquisite detail the pathophysiology of every disease and the pharmacology of every treatment.

Getting back to your example yes botox is botulinum toxin. This is no secret and never has been despite your implication. When you get botulism from tainted food its very different than what your doctor is doing when they give you a botox injection. When you develop botulism the clostridium botulinum spores in the persons body release botulinum toxin into the blood stream. It then travels through the entire body to nerve endings everywhere and block nerve signals leading to generalized paralysis. When a doctor injects botox they are injecting a very small amount of botulinum toxin directly at the site where they want to block a specific nerve. The dose is very small and usually can not travel to other sites to cause generalized paralysis. As with any treatment there is always the rare chance of an unintended side effect but that’s true of everything in life not just medical treatments. Botox is a very logical approach to a number of problems. Wrinkles get better because the muscles under the skin that wrinkle the skin become paralyzed. Headaches may improve if the scalp muscles are similarly paralyzed, and other conditions like dystonias may also respond very dramatically to this treatment. I myself have a condition called spasmodic dysphonia and have received botox injection in my vocal cords periodically for 25 years with complete resolution of my symptoms.

You can do all the research you like but if you dont have the education to understand the subject matter and it leads to incorrect conclusions as you did in the case of botox then you are doing yourself a disservice. At some point you need to find a health care professional you trust or your research will lead you to bad decisions. You would never design your own bridge after a little internet research. You wouldn’t consider representing yourself in court after reading a few law books, and although I am all for patients asking me questions I dont know what makes people think that a quick Google search makes them qualified to argue or contest the treatments their doctor recommends. I think there is a fine line between asking intelligent questions and being confrontational with a professional. Unfortunately the internet has given people an unjustified sense of confidence in their medical knowledge that seems to be causing more people to step over that line leading to mistrust and counterproductive confrontations with their health care providers.

[ Edited: 29 November 2013 07:44 AM by macgyver ]
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For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, obvious,.... and just plain wrong

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