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Old 01-19-05, 11:03 PM
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Some interesting info I found on the web...

if any of this is inappropriate - please let me know/delete it.

I have been doing some research (via the web) on nutritional/dietary treatments for ADD/ADHD, and I thought I would pass the information along to those on the forum interested in using a medication free/med-reduced form of treatment.

http://www.healing-arts.org/children...utritional.htm

A site by John M. Dye, ND

Quick summary: Gives info on possible (some 'tested') treatments with diet change to help symptoms of ADHD. Talks about supplaments, food allergies, mineral deficits, fatty acid deficits and so forth. I cannot speak for Mr. Dye's creditablity ... but you are free to look and decide for yourself.

Another article that I thought was interesting ....

"Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) responds well to a diet change

Over 10% of school age children in USA are nowadays diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and the corresponding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). That is an alarmingly huge number. There wasn't such an epidemic in the 1800s, and even now the problem is concentrated in the USA. Why? What has changed?

Your doctor may tell you that diet change does not help and that Ritalin or other drugs and counseling are the only effective treatment, but that is not so! In a recent study, researchers compared a group of children treated with Ritalin to another group which received a mix of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids, essential fatty acids, phospholipids, and probiotics. Both groups showed significant and essentially identical improvement. The treatment was based around these known eight risk factors for ADD/ADHD: food and additive allergies, heavy metal toxicity and other environmental toxins, low-protein/high-carbohydrate diets, mineral imbalances, essential fatty acid and phospholipid deficiencies, amino acid deficiencies, thyroid disorders, and B-vitamin deficiencies. They concluded: "These findings support the effectiveness of food supplement treatment in improving attention and self-control in children with AD/HD and suggest food supplement treatment of AD/HD may be of equal efficacy to Ritalin treatment."
(Outcome-based comparison of Ritalin versus food-supplement treated children with AD/HD. Altern Med Rev. 2003 Aug;8(3):319-30.)


The following information is mostly paraphrased from Dr. David William's popular Alternatives Newsletter September 1999 issue. Dr. David Williams is an medical doctor and a medical researcher who studies scientific research and travels around the globe researching natural cures and nutrition for different illnesses. He is not taken in by any kind of hype and thoroughly researches the matter before reporting the working solutions in his newsletter.

Food additives and insensitivities

The finger points back to the unnatural chemicals used abundantly all around us and in our food supply, and to the gravely deficient diets that most Americans eat. People in the past were better off with their whole grains and less variety than us today with tons of variety of processed food robbed of its nutrition.

Children with ADD are commonly treated with a drug Ritalin, instead of looking into nutritional deficiencies and insensitivies to chemicals and foodstuffs. Ritalin can be very dangerous in the long run. It has some same properties as cocaine. For example, researches at the Brookhaven National Laboratory at Upton, New York found that when Ritalin was given to cocaine users, they couldn't distinguish the Ritalin high from a cocaine high. One study at University of California at Berkeley found that Ritalin users were three times more likely to develop a taste for cocaine. The same researchers form The Brookhaven Laboratory have followed 5,000 children with ADHD till adulthood, and found that when ADHD-diagnosed children reach adolescense, they exhibit higher rates of alcohol and drug abuse and are involved in more criminal activities and accidents compared to non-ADHD children. Their problems follow them into adulthood, too, with depression, divorce, and low self-esteem.

Ritalin is not a cure. It is a quick-fix for behaviorial problems that does not address the underlying cause. Fortunately, there is help. Studies in Australia and the U.S. have shown that almost three-quarters of ADHD-diagnosed children show remarkable improvement when placed on diets which elimiate dyes, preservatives and foods commonly associated with allergic reactions (cow's milk, wheat, soy, eggs, corn, chocolate, yeast, orange and apple juice). In the 1970's, Dr. Benjamin Feingold found that many of the hyperactive children were allergic to artificial flavors, colorings, preservatives, and the salicylic compounds found in aspirin and many berry fruits.


Sugar to blame again

Another factor causing hyperactivity in these children is they have difficulty with glucose metabolism, or in other words blood sugar problems. Normally, when you ingest sugar, pancreas releases insulin, which stops blood sugar from rising too high. At the same time, adrenal glands release certain hormones to keep the insulin from driving blood sugar levels too low. According to research, ADHD children release only about half the amount of these hormones as normal children. It was found that this uncontrolled drop in blood sugar significantly decreased brain activity in these children.

It was also found that the ADHD children unconsciously become physically hyperactive in an effort to force their adrenal glands to release more of these hormones (catecholamines). These children are unconsciously placing their bodies under stress trying to 'squeeze' more hormones from their already weakened adrenal glands.

As a solution, Dr. David Williams recommends avoiding sugar and high carbohydrate foods, as well as strenghtening the adrenal glands with a product called Drenamin. In some children, a thyroid imbalance may be contributing to ADD and/or ADHD. If avoiding sugar and high carbohydrate foods and taking Drenamin does not cure the problem, Dr. Williams recommends taking thyroid glandular supplement Thytrophin and the liquid iodine supplement Iosol.

Magnesium deficiency

Other considerations are different nutritional deficiencies. The majority of Americans doesn't meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium, including children. A deficiency of magnesium can present common psychiatric symptoms including depression, anxiety, restlessness, and irritability. Depressed patients have been found to have lower levels of magnesium. Several studies show that ADHD children are deficient in many common minerals, most often in magnesium, zinc, and iron, and that magnesium supplementation significantly decreases the hyperactivity symptoms in these children.




Why does the 'standard American diet' cause magnesium deficiency? Did you know that
  • 99% of the magnesium in sugar cane is lost when it is refined to white sugar.
  • 80 - 96% of magnesium content in wheat is removed when refined to white flour.
  • Consumption of soft drinks (pop or soda) decreases the body's absorption of magnesium.
  • The typical high-dairy, high fat North American diet contains almost four times as much calcium as magnesium. This unbalanced ration coupled with the high fat content tends to suppress magnesium absorption.
  • Further, high levels of dietary or supplementary calcium tend to suppress magnesium absorption.
  • Refined salt is practically void of magnesium.
So why not switch to whole wheat flour, sea salt, and use natural sweeteners like stevia, molasses, and dried fruit in place of sugar? The processed foods are one of the main causes of most any disease in the modern world!


Essential fatty acids

It has been found that many ADHD children have a deficiency of essential fatty acids (EFAs). This could be either because they cannot metabolize them properly, or because they cannot absorb EFAs normally from the gut, or because their EFA requirements are higher than normal.

The main omega-3 essential fat is ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), from which the body makes EPA and DHA (other omega-3 fats). DHA is very important for the brain. For the conversion from ALA to DHA the body needs adequate supply of vitamins C, B6, B3, and enough zinc and magnesium. Also, if the diet contains too much omega-6 fats in comparison to ALA (as is usually the case in western diets), then the conversion is slowed down.

The best source of ALA is flax seed and flax oil, but when adding flax to the diet, one needs to make sure that the child is not deficient in the other vitamins and minerals that are needed for the conversion to DHA. To err on the safe side, one could also eat oily fish like salmon, trout, herring, or sardines, which contain DHA (mackerel is an oily fish too, but often has high mercury levels)."

Again, I cannot vow for this information's correctness, I just thought it was a good read.


I, myself, am starting to look into suppliments to manage my ADD symptoms. I am getting to the point that Adderall, like the others - even non-stimulants, are too hard on my heart (it ups my heart rate to 110-130 in resting and makes my blood pressure go from my normal 100/60 to 135/95). Not to mention that it gives me the urge to smoke 1-2 packs in one sitting while one it.

If anyone else has found other means ... please feel free to drop me a message. Thanks.
- Ane -
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Old 01-20-05, 12:30 AM
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These were fascinating links... thank you so much for posting them. I have nothing to add, as I'm just beginning to research this, but I'll post anything useful I find.

Right now, I'm searching for a specific diet/meal plan that incorporates the nutrients or removes the foods that have been found to affect adhd. I haven't found anything yet -- please let me know if you find anything like this.
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Old 01-20-05, 03:45 PM
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Very interesting info. Thank you.
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Old 01-20-05, 04:07 PM
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Thanks for this info. I am not on meds and I have been looking for any such info that might help me deal with my ADD, BPD, Panic attacks. so I appriciate it a lot.

Nachi
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Old 01-20-05, 09:20 PM
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Not a problem ....

I don't want to have to depend on additictive medications (more so since my personality type is the kind that *is* addictive in nature - I either do it or I don't - there is no gray area for me it seems ) to function.

I will post more info, as I find it, to this thread. and I encourage you to do the same ...

thanks again.
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Old 01-20-05, 09:32 PM
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Thank you for sharing that! I dont understand the "why all of a sudden so much ADD" now rather than for instance the 1800's. I hear this a lot from the natural folks (usually someone selling something) and the logic is strange, its called medical advancement!! It takes decades for a disorder to first, be recognized, then it is persecuted, then the mainstream medical finally labels it. The disorder isnt new, the diagnosis is! There is literature on Thomas Edison and others possibly having ADD. Also, the ritalin comparison to cocaine is ridiculous!! Did these people have ADD? of course they got the same high! Their brain didnt have the same lack that an ADD'ers brain does! I think the next wave will finally be an awareness that amphetamines, when used properly, are safe. Not risk free, but when compared to the possible psycological damage done by ADD, the risk can be minimal. Medicating ADD should not ever be looked down on. It is an individual decision, weighed by the effects of the meds vs. the lifestyle/emotional effects of untreated ADD. The mental disorder depression went through this same cycle untill it was finally accepted as a "real" disorder. The poor people who were epileptics 100 years ago, were sent to a priest to be excorsized! Its all about education.
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Old 02-08-05, 12:55 PM
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Interesting info reply

Hi My name is Linda nad I have a 9 year old son who was diagnosed a year ago with ADHD. He has severe food allergies as well as asthma too and has always been a challenge. He is our fourth child of five. The others don't have any of these issues thankfully!

I was very interested in the info you posted and have seen this in action. I never would have believed diet and supplementaion could have so much to do with ADHD issues. We have been adding different supplements into our son's diet over the past year and the teachers at the school have seen a marked change in behavior and focusing ability. So much so, that the guidance couselor frequently sends parents to me if they are seeking alternative help for ADHD. I've been so glad that we haven't needed to put our son on Ritalin or another drug.

Last year I read a booklet called Attention Deficit Disorder/A Drug Free Approach Using Four Simple Strategies by Gemma Gorham. Since then we've gradually been able to implement different components of the plan. We only are using ideas from the book that apply to our son's situation. For example, one section of the book lists supplements and what they help with in the body. If our son doesn't have issues with mood swings and the supplement deals with that issue, then we don't use that for him.

We also have found a product called Stress Relief Complex that has been wonderful and we saw effects within 15 minutes of giving it to him. The other supplements I believe are more of a long term help dealing with nutritional deficiencies or the bodies inability to process certain nutrients. The Stress Relief contains theanine , ashwagandha root and tyrosine. It helps calm him down and he's not drowsy at all. He says it also helps him focus better. I've read about theanine and found that it is an amino acid found in green tea. Ever wonder why you get a buzz from the caffeine in coffee but you feel relaxed when you drink a cup of tea? There is caffeine in the tea too! The theanine counteracts the caffeine and helps release the neurotranmitters in your brain that produce the calming effect.

Anyway, sorry to ramble. I'm willing to send a copy of the 16 page booklet to anyone interested if they provide a mailing address.

Here is an outline of the booklet:
1) Identify and Treat Underlying Conditions/hypoglycemia/food allergies/Candida overgrowth
2) Optimal Nutrition/Healthy diet/Food supplements
3)Non-toxic environment/non-toxic cleaning products/environmental and chemical toxins/water and air
4) Supportive strategies/Appreciate uniqueness/special schools/counseling/self-esteem/structure, order and predictability/support groups and networking

Hope this information is helpful!

Linda
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Old 03-31-05, 12:15 AM
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Just the info I was looking for . Thanks
Mike
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Old 04-26-05, 12:00 PM
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I agree with a good diet as being the first thing to do when trying to fight add. Who would disagree anyway? I good diet can make wonders.

However i can only laugh when they compare Ritalin with cocaine. You know, someday people will be forbiden to exercise because it makes or brain release dopamine into the synapse. You don't want that exercise drug junkies getting their daily dosage. Think of the kids!
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Old 09-12-07, 09:40 AM
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I want to revive this discussion

I believe that artificail sweeteners contribute or cause depression. (among other things.)

I read some articles a couple years ago about the myriad side effects that come with a diet that includes artificial sweeteners.

I quit ingesting them for a long time and recall my moods were more stable and positive and my health was better (general aches and pains went away ESPECIALLY).

I seem to have forgotten this experience for a time and have been drinking diet sodas for a few months as part of an effort to lose weight.
BUT
I have been feeling more and more depressed and "foggy" and even took 2 4 hour naps last weekend--for no apparent reason.

Sunday it occured to me that artificial sweeteners were the only thing I added to my diet--SO, I stopped ingesting them.

As of yesterday my mood is much brighter. I've been looking at the bright side of things that irritated the crap out of me before. Such as, I have been very irritated lately by stupid people consistently doing stupid things. I mean--the same people I run into on a regular basis in public.

Yesterday I realized how fortunate I am that I have an IQ well above average and in most things--I'm NOT stupid. I do stupid things like anyone...but I'm NOT stupid.
People who are stupid don't really have a choice in the matter. You can't go workout or take a pill or get therapy to eliminate stupidity. It's just the way they are always going to be...and I'm OK with that--for the first time ever.

I'm actually happy about stuff like that.
On the more positive (totally non-judgemental side) I realized that I'm blessed with a healthy family that leads a fairly normally life in a great community. My kids are great even when they do "annoying kid things".

Removing artificial sweeteners was the only change I've made to anything in my life before the little light switch flpped on and I realized this new outlook.

I know what you're thinking: "will it cure my ADHD?" NO, but it is one of many things that helps me get through the ADD DAY.
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And I'm sick of giving people advice. They don't listen. They don't really want to deal with their issues. They just want to whine and complain and have someone else listen and tell them everything is going to be OK!


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Old 10-08-07, 06:51 AM
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Re: Some interesting info I found on the web...

If anyone is looking for a diet that eliminates the possible triggers for intolerances, behavioural issues, I recommend they look at www.fedupwithfoodadditives.info/
Sue Dengate is well known in Australia for her work with food intolerances. She has written a number of books, one of them is called Fed Up With ADHD. She promotes the FAILSAFE diet. There is an incredible amount of info on the site. She has recently done a research study in a primary school where all of the children were put on the diet for 2 weeks at school and all the parents were educated to continue it at home. The behaviour of the children improved dramatically whether they had diagnosed conditions or not. Even the children commented on how much better the could concentrate.
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Old 10-08-07, 10:45 AM
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Re: Some interesting info I found on the web...

Actually I'm glad that you posted that. People need to be made more aware of the bogus treatments being pandered on the internet.

Here is the thing. While a good diet is important to health Mr Dye is full of misinformation. Mr Dye is a "naturopathic physician" It is likely that he is not an MD at all.

Go to http://www.quackwatch.org and read up on Naturopathy

You might want to start with this link: http://quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRela...turopathy.html


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Old 10-08-07, 12:10 PM
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Re: Some interesting info I found on the web...

Speedo, I do very much value your position as a moderator here,as well as your comments as a poster, and would like to address your thoughts and opinions regarding CAMS in general as bogus and quackery, and this is as good a place as any since these are addressed by the OP.

In my searching for CAMs (complimentary alternative medicine) it has been my experience in sharing with others that some of these therapies and treatments do assist many individuals greatly in many ways, if only to take the edges off, particularly when someone is not able to or chooses not to take medications.

John Dye, ND, is a staff physician at the Southwest College of Natruopathic Medicine, an accredited medical institute. He does not have a medical degree, he has a naturopathic degree. (Many NDs do also have an additional medical degree, but not all.) Here is a link to the college's website and staff information:

http://www.scnm.edu/medcenter/physicians.php

Also from the college website some general questions regarding NDs and NMDs from their FAQ section:

How are naturopathic and conventional physicians alike?
Naturopathic and allopathic (conventional) physicians are both required to study the biomedical sciences at a four-year accredited graduate medical school. Included in this rigorous curriculum are biomedical sciences such as anatomy, physiology, neurology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, cardiology, minor surgery, and others. Both kinds of physicians can diagnose a disease, predict its course, and prescribe treatment.

Do we accept insurance?
Many insurance carriers cover naturopathic medicine in the U.S. and Canada. However, there are still many limitations as to what therapies are covered. Since naturopathic physicians use alternatives to costly techniques and drug therapies, more insurance companies are beginning to investigate expanding coverage of this cost-effective healing method.

How are naturopathic physicians educated?
After completing a standard premedical undergraduate curriculum, aspiring naturopathic physicians enter into a four-year medical program. The first two years of naturopathic medical school consist of education in the basic biomedical sciences similar to that of conventional medical school. The second two years emphasize clinical education in natural therapeutics. Upon successful completion of the four-year program, graduates receive the degree of Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine.

How are NDís regulated?
In states that license naturopathic physicians, including Arizona, the profession is regulated. In these states, naturopathic physicians must pass either national or state board examinations and must have received an education from an accredited four-year, graduate level, naturopathic medical school. Their actions are subject to review by a state board of examiners to ensure protection of the patients.

Southwest Naturopathic Medical Center is governed by the State of Arizona Naturopathic Physicians Board of Medical Examiners www.npbomex.az.gov. The primary duty of the Board is to protect the public through the regulation of the practice of naturopathic medicine. The Board Accomplishes Its Mission by administering and enforcing laws and rules relating to naturopathic physicians, receiving and responding to complaints, certifying physicians as specialists, certifying physicians who dispense, approves and certifies medical assistants, approves educational and training programs for physicians and interns.


Here is some additional facts regarding naturopathy:

http://www.healthy.net/asp/templates...Article&ID=508

DID YOU KNOW THAT:

  • In 1983 the World Health Organization recommended the integration of naturopathic medicine into conventional health care systems.2
  • In 1994 Bastyr University of Natural Health Sciences, a naturopathic medical school, was awarded almost $1 million in research funds from the National Institutes of Health's Office of Alternative Medicine to research alternative therapies for patients with HIV and AIDS.3
  • Graduates of accredited naturopathic medical colleges are required to have more hours of study in basic sciences and clinical sciences than graduates of Yale or Stanford medical schools.4
  • The "anti-cancer" diet recognized by the National Cancer Institute was first published in a naturopathic medical textbook in the 1940s.5
  • Graduates of accredited naturopathic medical colleges receive more formal training in therapeutic nutrition than M.D.'s, osteopathic physicians, or registered dietitians.6
  • The government of Germany now requires conventional doctors and pharmacists to receive training in naturopathic techniques because they have been found to be so cost-effective.7
  • Today there are over one thousand licensed practicing naturopathic physicians (N.D.'s) in the United States.8
  • As of August 1996, twelve states in the U.S. and five provinces of Canada now license naturopathic doctors as primary-care physicians. (It is projected that all fifty states will license naturopathic physicians by the year 2010.)9
  • Three accredited colleges educate and train naturopathic doctors in North America.10
  • The County Council in Seattle, Washington, established the nation's first government-subsidized naturopathic medical clinic.11
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Old 10-08-07, 01:21 PM
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Re: Some interesting info I found on the web...

The link I posted above says it all. http://quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRela...turopathy.html

If It is not based on good medical and scientific practice It's not something that I'd care to try to qualify. There are just too many scams. In general naturopathy offers sound dietary advice, and little else. It's not really medicine at all. Supporting it as an alternative to modern medicine is not only wrong but dangerous. Using it to supplement good medical practice seems harmless enough, but the benefit is questionable as there is no support for naturopathy in fact.

Let me apply a metaphor here... Suppose I have a duck, and I really dislike the fact that it is a duck. I'd rather it were a cat. I can paint the duck to look sort of like a cat, and maybe if I used enough imagination I could dress the duck to look like a cat, but that does not change the fact that it is a duck.

The fact is that naturopathy doesn't really do much. No matter how you paint it, it still lacks a basis in medical and scientific fact.


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Old 10-08-07, 02:01 PM
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Re: Some interesting info I found on the web...

It is true that many people, myself included believe that diet has an effect on our behaviours ADHD or no ADHD. It may be that those with ADHD are more susceptable to particular dietary regimes and chemical compounds.

However given the fact that ADHD has only recently been generating research activity it is hardly surprising that in this complex area scientific evidence is often based on small scale studies and is subject to issues with confounding statistical influences.

(Confounding, for those not of statistical nature is a particular term in statistics used to describe when an experimental design may not be capable of proving the hypothesis being tested as the result could be due to a different factor not isolated in the experiment. Experiments undertaken by researchers who do not understand this basic concept should be treated with scepticism.)

Unfortunately the Alternative Health sector repeatedly make claims not backed up by replicateable, statistically valid peer reviewed experiments. Given the fact that many other treatments are able to produce statistically valid experiments to prove similar hypotheses for similar therapies and given the high level of interest in the efficacy of alternative medicines I find this rather surprising.

Having done statistics at University and been involved in undertaking peer reviewed research I am saddened by the continual lack of understanding of the basics of statistical theory in people putting forward claims for alternative treatments and those accepting these claims who should know better.

As far as I am concerened many alternative therapies may indeed be very effective however until REPLICATEABLE, double blind, statistically sound peer reviewed evidence is produced then the treatment should be regarded as UNPROVEN.

I am particularly concerned at the mention in this thread that US and Canadian Insurance companies may be funding unproven therapies BECAUSE THEY ARE CHEAPER than proven mainstream therapies. Across Western cultures at present there appears to be a weakening of belief in science and the general acceptance of the efficacy of alternative therapies without proof is an example of that. I find the possibility that healthcare providers could move towards encourage patients to undertake unproven treatments on the basis of their reduced cost worrying.

In science if you think something may be the case, you design an experiment to prove or disprove it and both results are equally valid in adding to the total of human knowledge....you put your money where your mouth is. Alternative therapies often appear extremely unwilling to submit to such rigourous testing, and before people say "but it costs too much"...yes it may do to put a new drug through full testing but it does not cost much to undertake a postgrad level simple and robust experiment on a treatment already in use that can give sound publishable evidence.....I know this because I have done it.

/soapbox

kilt
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