Is Midstream Urine Collection Necessary?

There’s considerable evidence that the standard procedure for urine specimens, with cleansing and mid-stream collection, may not be necessary. Is it time to change? In November 2020, I reviewed Paul Offit’s book about when doctors refuse to believe evidence. I have just become aware of another example. The evidence for diagnosing urinary tract infection (UTI) by the

Is Magnesium the Underlying Cause and Treatment for Everything?

Carolyn Dean believes magnesium deficiency is the cause of a great many diseases and recommends that everyone take magnesium supplements, preferably the one she sells, ReMag. I remain skeptical. This is magnesium. Do you need more of it? I was recently asked about the book The Magnesium Miracle, by Carolyn Dean. The word “miracle” in the

Don’t Believe What You Think

A new book by Edzard Ernst provides a concise course in critical thinking as well as a wealth of good science-based information to counter the widespread misinformation about SCAM. Edzard Ernst was once a practitioner of alternative medicine. As the world’s first professor of complementary medicine (at the University of Exeter, UK) he led a

Prenatal Screening Tests for Chromosome Abnormalities

Science has made remarkable advances in prenatal screening, but false positives and false negative results can occur, and there are ethical concerns.Having a baby used to be like opening a surprise package. You didn’t know anything about the baby until it was born. The obstetrician or midwife would announce “It’s a boy” or “It’s a

A Test For Earlier Diagnosis Of Autism? Not Convincing

[Este artículo está disponible en español. La traducción al español apareció por primera vez en la revista Pensar.] Autism is diagnosed on clinical grounds by observing the child’s behavior. There is no blood test or any other objective test to diagnose it. But that hasn’t stopped people from claiming to have found one. Among other

¿Test para un diagnóstico temprano de autismo? No es convincente

[This article is also available in English. Thanks to Pensar for the Spanish translation.] El autismo se diagnostica por motivos clínicos al observar el comportamiento del niño. No existe un análisis de sangre ni ninguna otra prueba objetiva para diagnosticarlo. Pero eso no ha impedido que la gente afirme haber encontrado uno. Entre otros candidatos,

Skin pH: Salesmanship, Not Science

People are being encouraged to worry about the pH of their skin and to try to change it. These concerns and interventions are not supported by scientific evidence. You have probably heard of the alkaline diet. Public knowledge of pH, the scale by which acids and bases are measured, is plagued by misinformation. People who

Everlywell: At-Home Lab Tests That Don’t Make Sense

EverlyWell offers 34 at-home tests for everything from IgG tests for food sensitivities to a Sleep and Stress test. Most of them make no sense and are likely to mislead customers. Here we go again! First I wrote about Theranos, then SmartJane, and now EverlyWell. More companies are jumping on the at-home testing bandwagon; apparently the convenience and

Smart Jane Test of Vaginal Health: Clever Marketing, Questionable Science

Gonorrhea. The SmartJane test is not the way to diagnose this. The uBiome company’s SmartJane test claims to use state-of-the-art DNA sequencing technology, machine learning, artificial intelligence, statistical genetics, algorithms, and other proprietary innovations so women can assess their own vaginal health. Customers collect samples with vaginal swabs and mail them in for processing. They

Too Many Tests

Doctors order too many tests. Some are useless, some are harmless (except for the cost), but some can lead to serious bodily harm. Misconceptions about tests Many people, even doctors, tend to think of tests as giving consistent, reliable, yes/no answers. They think a test can make a diagnosis, but that’s not how it works.

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