For years postmenopausal women were told that estrogen was safe. Now they’re being told that estrogen is dangerous. Women are confused. The media haven’t helped; they’ve only increased the confusion and created some myths. Alternative medicine offers the option of herbal remedies they say are safer than estrogen. Suzanne Somers… read more "Hormone Replacement Therapy"
Thoughts on Neuroplasticity
I recently read a fascinating book, The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge. He describes case histories and research indicating that the brain is far more malleable than we once thought. We used to think each function was localized to a small area of the brain and if you lost that… read more "Thoughts on Neuroplasticity"
Science and Chiropractic
In the comments to a previous blog entry, a chiropractor made the following statements: 1. Chiropractic is a science.2. Chiropractic is based on neurology, anatomy and physiology.3. Chiropractors are doctors of the nervous system.4. Chiropractic improves health and quality of life. I offered to write a blog entry on the… read more "Science and Chiropractic"
Ultrasound Screening: Misleading the Public
There is a new industry offering preventive health screening services direct to the public. A few years ago it was common to see ads for whole body CT scan screening at free-standing CT centers. That fad sort of faded away after numerous organizations pointed out that there was considerable radiation… read more "Ultrasound Screening: Misleading the Public"
Gary Schwartz’s Energy Healing Experiments: The Emperor’s New Clothes?
Gary Schwartz says his experiments reveal our natural power to heal based on our ability to sense and manipulate human energy fields. Has he discovered scientific truths, or has he only demonstrated the human talent for self-deception. Gary Schwartz believes many things. He believes in psychics, mediums, and life after… read more "Gary Schwartz’s Energy Healing Experiments: The Emperor’s New Clothes?"
Glucosamine Update: A New Study and a New Product
When I recently wrote about glucosamine, I discussed the evidence up through the New England Journal of Medicine study of 2006, which I thought was a pretty definitive study showing that neither glucosamine, chondroitin or a combination of the two was more effective than placebo. Subsequent studies have continued to fuel the controversy. One 2007 study showed that… read more "Glucosamine Update: A New Study and a New Product"
Antibiotics for Sinusitis
You’re a patient. That cold just isn’t getting better and you have purulent drainage from your nose, and your face hurts and your teeth hurt. You probably have sinusitis, right? You go to a doctor to get an antibiotic. You’re a doctor. Deep down, you know there’s a good chance the patient has… read more "Antibiotics for Sinusitis"
The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics
There is an organization that calls itself The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics(THINCS). Its members “thinc” they are smarter than the average doctor. They “thinc” that cholesterol has nothing to do with cardiovascular disease and that we have been deluded into waging a “cholesterol campaign” for which the scientific evidence… read more "The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics"
Does Glucosamine Really Work?
Glucosamine and chondroitin, used separately or together, are among the more popular diet supplements. They are used widely for osteoarthritis, especially of the knee, and have been better studied than most other diet supplements. But do they really work? The journal of my medical specialty, American Family Physician, recently published… read more "Does Glucosamine Really Work?"
Akavar 20/50 and Truth in Advertising
Over the last few months, I have had a truly surreal experience. It started when I noticed a two-page full color spread in TV Guide magazine advertising a product called Akavar 20/50. It contained the same claims that so many bogus weight loss products do: eat all you want and… read more "Akavar 20/50 and Truth in Advertising"