Homeopathy and cycle helmets

This sub-forum all discussions about this "lively" subject. All topics that are substantially about helmets will be moved here, if not placed here correctly in the first place.
User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby meic » 10 Aug 2015, 2:11pm

I have never met anybody who opted out of conventional treatment because they wanted to PAY to see a homeopath as a first port of call for a serious condition.

I have met thousands who were dissatisfied with conventional treatment because it failed them and then turned to alternative therapies (or religion) AFTER being failed by conventional treatment. It isnt sugar pills that are dangerous, so much as poor conventional care, exaggeration of the effectiveness of treatments and iatrogenic problems.

It is the fact that patients are left so disgruntled by the experience of the conventional care that they turn to "quacks" that gets the medical profession so worked up that they try and "engineer" a case against homeopaths in the first place.
If everything was rosy with conventional medical care they would just "laugh off" the homeopaths.

The pharmaceutical world is riddled with dangerous side effects and calling sugar pills dangerous is rather like a London HGV driver, doing a left turn, calling a cyclist without a helmet dangerous.
Yma o Hyd

Psamathe
Posts: 11292
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby Psamathe » 10 Aug 2015, 2:46pm

meic wrote:I have never met anybody who opted out of conventional treatment because they wanted to PAY to see a homeopath as a first port of call for a serious condition....

In the case of my "family member" whilst they did not pay for a homeopath (they probably would have as they are wealthy), they did reject conventional treatment before it even started. so some people do behave in such a manner.

meic wrote:...
The pharmaceutical world is riddled with dangerous side effects and calling sugar pills dangerous is rather like a London HGV driver, doing a left turn, calling a cyclist without a helmet dangerous.

It is the availability of and promises behind these diluted sugar pills that create a danger. Your comments are focusing on only one aspect of "danger". It is a broader thing. So whilst some conventional pharmaceutical products do have dangerous side effects, these would normally only be prescribed when the condition they are treating is serious enough for the risks to be small in relation to the condition being treated and where the expected outcome is a decent improvement over having no treatment atall.

For example, should I have a really serious worsening condition and I get to feel disillusioned with the conventional treatments I am receiving (maybe my expectations are too high, maybe the correct level of treatment still needs establishing, maybe the condition takes time to respond, etc.) then that there is an alternative presented and one that makes big promises even supported by our future king), provides me with an option and in such circumstances some people do take the alternative (the diluted sugar pill).

I have never taken conventional medicine's calling homeopathy dangerous as meaning that they think taking a dilute sugar pill is dangerous. So comparisons with side effects of conventional drugs are taking comments out of context.

Ian

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 15051
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby mjr » 10 Aug 2015, 2:58pm

Psamathe wrote:i.e. when I (and others) refer to the danger it is not the danger of diluted sugar pills but the danger of discontinuing proved treatments. And it does happen - one of my distant family members was suffering and rather than follow conventional treatments she instead searched the internet and decided a "dietary solution" was the answer so for years went through avoiding various types of food (and when it didn't work, more internet searches and a different type of food stopped, etc.). Fortunately (as the condition is not fatal) now she is following proper medical treatments and her life is a lot easier.

The "proper medical treatments" have probably improved in that time, too. I'll offer an explanation of some cases of the reverse: sometimes the initial evidence on medical treatments that "proved" them was misleading. Even ignoring the conspiracy theories and accusations about Big Pharma desperate to recoup the costs of drug development so doctoring the results, simple statistical theory will usually show that there's a small but non-zero chance of misleading trial results, in addition to a possibility that there could be problems caused by long-term use for non-fatal conditions that are currently incurable. For example, one of the statins used to treat high cholesterol, cerivastatin aka Baycol and Lipobay, was withdrawn only after 6 or 7 years, following deaths.

Even if not fatal, sometimes those treated will decide that they can no longer tolerate the side effects of "proper medical treatments" and spend time testing whether less invasive methods, such as diet modification, could work for them - and to be fair, certain diets do seem to work some of the time for some of the people for some of the illnesses. Not many, but the cost of trying such things for chronic conditions is usually relatively cheap compared to patented medicines, although it requires some determination to stick to it. If it's a chronic and not imminently-fatal illness, why not try things like diet first? Does the NHS rush to prescribe because they think we're mostly weak-willed and telling us to change our lifestyle is a waste of time?

Testing alternatives seems to be more common if the sufferer is treated by medics who take the attitude that it's their way or the highway, rather than listening to the patient when being told how quality of life is being harmed by the medicines. I wonder if that's because once we're labelled as refusing treatment, then we might as well try other stuff while we struggle to get a referral to another clinic?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby meic » 10 Aug 2015, 3:01pm

So comparisons with side effects of conventional drugs are taking comments out of context.


Well it may be "out of context" though I dont see how.

On the one hand you have conventional medicine with a long history of side-effects, not infrequently fatal ones.
On the other hand you have little sugar pills (not diluted by the way, just infused with a drop of "magic" alcohol) with no conceivable side effects worth mentioning.

When considering whether a treatment is dangerous, it would be essential to my mind to consider the side effects as part of the overall package and clearly on this score homeopathy is winning hands down. :mrgreen:
As is praying. :wink:

There are certainly occasions when treatment was totally ineffective and harmful side effects did occur, medical science isnt perfect and there is still a gamble in life. With hindsight they would clearly have been much safer resorting to homeopathy (or refusing treatment), instead of taking that conventional treatment.
Yma o Hyd

AlaninWales
Posts: 1585
Joined: 26 Oct 2012, 1:47pm

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby AlaninWales » 10 Aug 2015, 3:12pm

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/complementary-alternative-medicine/Pages/what-is-scientific-evidence.aspx
Still, the use of treatments in conventional medicine is not always based on scientific evidence.

Quite.

One needs to be careful in one's claims for conventional medicine. One other issue is that the placebo effect is frequently discounted: And yet we know that it is a real and (usually) useful reaction. The nocebo effect is just as real and 'conventional' maligning of alternatives before they are understood can invoke this.

Psamathe
Posts: 11292
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby Psamathe » 10 Aug 2015, 3:18pm

meic wrote:
So comparisons with side effects of conventional drugs are taking comments out of context.


Well it may be "out of context" though I dont see how.

On the one hand you have conventional medicine with a long history of side-effects, not infrequently fatal ones.
On the other hand you have little sugar pills (not diluted by the way, just infused with a drop of "magic" alcohol) with no conceivable side effects worth mentioning.

When considering whether a treatment is dangerous, it would be essential to my mind to consider the side effects as part of the overall package and clearly on this score homeopathy is winning hands down. :mrgreen:
As is praying. :wink:

There are certainly occasions when treatment was totally ineffective and harmful side effects did occur, medical science isnt perfect and there is still a gamble in life. With hindsight they would clearly have been much safer resorting to homeopathy (or refusing treatment), instead of taking that conventional treatment.

You are missing the point I have been making. It is not about the diluted sugar pill treatment being dangerous. It is the availability of and claims made about the diluted sugar pill that are dangerous (through how some people behave with the availability of such offerings).

I agree with your points about medical science not being perfect and mjr's comments about trials, etc. But the significant difference about a scientific method is that t is open to scrutiny, accepts being questioned and the search for more/better data, is happy (and normally welcome's) alternative ideas that can be examined, etc. Homeopathy however does not seem prepared to subject itself to such scrutiny and thus has to be considered more of a belief system (maybe closer to a religion than a treatment regime).

Ian

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby meic » 10 Aug 2015, 3:24pm

I'll give an example. In the upbringing of my two children we were frequently advised to give the children Calpol, every parents cabinet has a bottle of the stuff. Paracetamol isnt administered in our house as a treatment for fever only for severe headaches.

http://rsh.sagepub.com/content/128/6/32 ... ;128/6/320

It is still common practice to routinely recommend Calpol for childhood fevers.

In low doses paracetamol isnt very dangerous but accidents do happen, swallow a bottle of homeopathic remedies and you are not going to upset more than your teeth. Medically I cant see the point of Calpol at all.
Yma o Hyd

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby meic » 10 Aug 2015, 3:31pm

You are missing the point I have been making. It is not about the diluted sugar pill treatment being dangerous. It is the availability of and claims made about the diluted sugar pill that are dangerous


I am not missing the point I am countering it with the fact that opting into the medical treatment is also dangerous.
You can not just say that taking homeopathic treatment is dangerous because you miss the potential benefits of conventional medicine without considering that this also means you are protected from the potential harm from taking your conventional medicine.

I dont know the current success rate for chemotherapy but I think it is still less than half. So most people who choose to undertake it would have been better off resorting to homeopathy instead!
Yma o Hyd

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby meic » 10 Aug 2015, 3:38pm

Alan:

In your link it said

Currently, NICE recommends the use of a complementary and alternative treatment in a limited number of instances


I cant help but think that if a treatment is recommended by NICE it can no longer call itself an Alternative treatment!
As soon as you are accepted by the system you are just a medical treatment, not an alternative treatment. :?
Yma o Hyd

User avatar
bovlomov
Posts: 4202
Joined: 5 Apr 2007, 7:45am
Contact:

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby bovlomov » 10 Aug 2015, 3:55pm

meic wrote:I'll give an example. In the upbringing of my two children we were frequently advised to give the children Calpol, every parents cabinet has a bottle of the stuff. Paracetamol isnt administered in our house as a treatment for fever only for severe headaches.

http://rsh.sagepub.com/content/128/6/32 ... ;128/6/320

It is still common practice to routinely recommend Calpol for childhood fevers.

In low doses paracetamol isnt very dangerous but accidents do happen, swallow a bottle of homeopathic remedies and you are not going to upset more than your teeth. Medically I cant see the point of Calpol at all.

The use of Calpol (and similar) in this country, with the encouragement of GPs and other healthcare professionals, has been scandalous. Not only is it on the weekly shopping list for many families - the first resort for any ailment - but it is being routinely recommended as a prophylactic antipyretic before vaccination, even though there is evidence that it supresses the antibody response.

Beside the active ingredients there is a cocktail of additives (preservatives, sweeteners and colourings) that are harmful, especially for children, and that have been banned in many other countries. While some of these additives may be deemed 'necessary' ingredients in a medical context, they should certainly not be ingested routinely, whenever a child can't sleep or feels a bit peaky. One day people will look back with horror at this madness.

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby meic » 10 Aug 2015, 4:09pm

Homeopathy however does not seem prepared to subject itself to such scrutiny and thus has to be considered more of a belief system (maybe closer to a religion than a treatment regime).


On the surface that seems a perfectly reasonable request but it isnt.

I think that most homeopaths do truly believe in what they are doing (as you say closer to a religion than atreatment regime). They are NOT just pharmaceutical dispensers (that is how they disparagingly describe GPs :mrgreen: ). Their treatment is a combination of the homeopaths diagnosis of the patient AND the illness. You can not just test the remedies on a random selection of sick people.

The only way to test it would be to issue one homeopath with a set of blank remedies and another equally good homeopath with their normal remedies. As they actually believe in their treatments, you can understand they would no more sanction this than would a GPs surgery have a "placebo only" policy for its patients in order to prove its clinical credentials.

The homeopaths DO test/find their own new medicines in their "provings" which are their equivalent of medical research.
As they have never accepted that conventional medicine is superior to themselves they are no more going to relinquish their provings for double blind testing than are regular scientists going to relinquish double blind clinical trials in favour of provings.
Yma o Hyd

Mike Sales
Posts: 4505
Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby Mike Sales » 10 Aug 2015, 4:14pm

meic wrote:
The homeopaths DO test/find their own new medicines in their "provings" which are their equivalent of medical research.
As they have never accepted that conventional medicine is superior to themselves they are no more going to relinquish their provings for double blind testing than are regular scientists going to relinquish double blind clinical trials in favour of provings.


So there is a parallel with helmeteers then?

User avatar
meic
Posts: 19355
Joined: 1 Feb 2007, 9:37pm
Location: Caerfyrddin (Carmarthen)

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby meic » 10 Aug 2015, 4:24pm

At least a homeopath gives you something to make you get better, my doctor doesnt give me anything except an appointment so far in the future that I have cured myself (or died) by then.

Which is rather like helmets, they may be of no use but you have at least done something, as something needed to be done to improve your chances and you cant just do nothing, even if nothing works.
Yma o Hyd

Psamathe
Posts: 11292
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby Psamathe » 10 Aug 2015, 4:36pm

meic wrote:
You are missing the point I have been making. It is not about the diluted sugar pill treatment being dangerous. It is the availability of and claims made about the diluted sugar pill that are dangerous


I am not missing the point I am countering it with the fact that opting into the medical treatment is also dangerous.
You can not just say that taking homeopathic treatment is dangerous because you miss the potential benefits of conventional medicine without considering that this also means you are protected from the potential harm from taking your conventional medicine.

I dont know the current success rate for chemotherapy but I think it is still less than half. So most people who choose to undertake it would have been better off resorting to homeopathy instead!

(My bold). Errr I think not. You need to look at what is being treated and what will happen if it remains untreated.

Ian

Psamathe
Posts: 11292
Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:56pm

Re: Homeopathy and cycle helmets

Postby Psamathe » 10 Aug 2015, 4:41pm

meic wrote:At least a homeopath gives you something to make you get better....

Then maybe you could furnish us with some proof ?

meic wrote:... my doctor doesnt give me anything except an appointment so far in the future that I have cured myself (or died) by then....

If you have conditions that will kill you within the wait for a GP appointment I suspect you would qualify for an emergency appointment. If you have something that will kill you within 2-3 weeks, I think any GP surgery would find an appointment. And if you cure yourself with a couple of week I would think you would not need a doctor nor a homeopath.

Ian