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Homeopathy

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by 9-10ths_Penguin, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    This thread is a continuation of a discussion between @Trailblazer and me in another thread. The last post over there:

    That wasn’t actually one study; it was a meta-review of many studies of homeopathy.

    The only studies out there that show that homeopathy has any effect beyond placebo are poor quality studies. There are countless high quality studies showing that homeopathy is not effective at treating any medical condition.

    Makes sense that treating his asthma with water didn’t work.

    They can do considerable harm, actually:

    - they often lead to delay of real treatment, since many homeopathy fans will try homeopathy for a while before seeing a real doctor. Over that time, the person’s condition can worsen. People have died because of this.

    - because homeopathic “remedies” aren’t subject to the normal government oversight and regulation that real medications have, they often have poor quality control, resulting in things like bacterial contamination, dangerously high levels of toxic ingredients, and undeclared active ingredients:

    Massive recall of homeopathic kids’ products spotlights dubious health claims

    Food agency warns of belladonna danger in US homeopathy product

    Homeopathic Nasal Zinc Linked to Loss of Smell

    homeopathic medicinal products: Topics by Science.gov

    Hopefully. In the worst cases, the homeopathic preparation causes real harm, or the person’s condition gets worse because of lack of real treatment and is much harder to treat once they get seen by real doctors.

    Psychiatric drugs are serious business that need care when prescribing them, but they’re only prescribed when they’re better than the alternatives.

    If someone does need psychotropic medication, telling them to switch to homeopathy instead is effectively telling them to go off their mess altogether. This is unethical, especially when it’s done by someone who purports to being a medical professional.

    Of course homeopathic preparations have no side effects; they have no active ingredients (if you don’t count the quality control issues I mentioned earlier). They also have no treatment effect.

    You don’t think that homeopathic companies make big money as well?

    And you say that the drug industry has suppressed positive studies about homeopathy... so you do agree that the scientific literature does say that homeopathy doesn’t work (even if you think this is because of a conspiracy)?

    Except for a few things, such as homeopathy, everything that’s sold for human consumption is inspected and confirmed to be safe, whether it’s the medicine you take or the food you eat. Homeopathic “remedy” producers generally don’t even have to go through the checks that, say, bottled water would have to go through to confirm that it’s being produced in a way that contaminants or undeclared ingredients won’t make it into the product.

    And you don’t know anyone who ends up taking homeopathic preparations long term?
     
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  2. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!

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    Hello again....... :)
    I didn't read all the above because I just have questions of my own for you.

    I understand that homeopathy dilutions are extremely weak, but I do wonder just how sensitive our bodies can be to traces of elements?

    I don't think that we know enough about homeopathy to discard it........ I don't think that we should spend National Health resources upon what could be described as 'cures with unknown values' because we've got a long waiting list for knee, hip and other very tangible procedures, but funds for further research into 'other medicines' might be of value?
     
  3. sun rise

    sun rise "Imagine a world where love is the way."
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    I would not call the amount of zinc in such products to be at a homeopathic level. There's quite a bit, at least in the lozenges available today, and thus not at the "dilute it until there's nothing left".
     
  4. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Living Dead Girl

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    Zoloft launched me into a manic state, while Effexor kicked me into hypo-mania. But yet there are tons of people who can live a functional life because of psychotropic medications. Finding something that works for me has been an adventure, but even Advil and Tums come with side effects. And when someone presents with suicidal ideations, the possible benefits are very likely to outweigh the possible risks.
    That post also shows your ignorance of how psychotropic medications and mental health treatment work, because pretty much anyone in the field, myself included, will emphasis that medications for most people are prescribed with the intention of them being used as a crutch. When they were last prescribed to me, it was to help get past the lack of motivation, fatigue, and other things that come along with depression that make it harder to do anything to address your depression, such as engaging in enjoyable activities or even getting out of bed. From their it is up to the client to participate in their treatment, which includes cognitive behavioral therapy to address issues revolving around the mental illness and to develop coping mechanisms and methods, with the goal being on eventually having less therapy and if possible less medication. Believe me, insurance doesn't want to pay for the services or medications any more or longer than they have to, and insurance probably has more pull and weight to throw around than pharma (pharma can make whatever they want, no one is getting it unless insurance covers it).
     
  5. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Though "conventional medicine" has it's failings in treating psychological problems, at least doctors are usually aware that they might have to try multiple medications to find the right treatment. And for some there are no right medications yet. There are trials being conducted to find more and better treatments and standards have been made stricter so even any "wonder drug" is unlikely to reach markets without being seriously tested for efficacy and dangerous side effects.

    With homeopathy, you're not getting anything physically effective else than a placebo. What's worse, because the standards of homeopathy are comparatively low, they may besides the imaginary homeopathic component add something real that is actually harmful to patients. The "nasal zinc" example in this thread being a fine example of that.

    There's a joke that basically points out all the errors of homeopathy:
    New Age terrorists develop homeopathic bombNewsBiscuit | NewsBiscuit
     
  6. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Living Dead Girl

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    Far too often I feel people underestimate really just how young psychology and psychiatry are. It's barely over 100 years old, far younger than even the smallpox vaccine. Psychotropic meds haven't been in use for a century. And it seems people want to overlook the risks associated with "regular" meds. Opiate prescriptions, for example, are killing scores of people. This isn't happening with Prozac or Trazadone.
     
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  7. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    While what you say is true, delaying medical treatment can also be a good thing as a good percentage of prescribed medicines are completely unnecessary and are thus harmful.

    Given the massive risk of multi drug resistant bacteria negating the usefulness of antibiotics, more people using placebos could be a good thing.
     
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  8. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Homeopathic preparations don't necessarily have to be diluted to nothing to still be homeopathic.

    They often are, since one of the principles of homeopathy is that the more dilute a preparation is, the stronger the effect, but some "low strength" homeopathic products can have non-negligible amounts of active ingredients on purpose.

    But then there's also the problem of medications that are marketed as homeopathic but deliberately have "allopathic" ingredients - sometimes undeclared - to create the desired effect. This is less common, but has happened a few times: for instance "homeopathic"-labelled painkillers containing real doses of ASA and the like.

    ... which is more about the lack of regulation in the homeopathic industry, but that traces back to genuine homeopathy as well. Real medications get evaluated by regulators (e.g. the FDA in the US) to confirm that they're safe and effective. The homeopathic industry has - successfully - pushed hard to avoid this for themselves because they know their products aren't effective, but in the process, they've created a system where virtually any product with the word "homeopathic" on the label doesn't get evaluated to see if it's safe.
     
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  9. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    If we dilute a substance to the point where it's astronomically unlikely that there is even one molecule of the original substance in the dose you're taking, then there's no "trace" left to possibly be sensitive to.

    Like I said: homeopathy has been studied to death. It just doesn't work.
     
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  10. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Homeopathy is bunk, but there are plenty of other home remedies that can help people. The problem of psychosis is that the very integrity of the mind is at question. One should presume this is not treatable in a solo context. It's not a proverbial skinned knee.

    Antibiotics have massive intestinal flora issues, so rarely have I ever taken anything but echinacea and vitamins. Though, honestly, the biggest thing I've ever done for my health is the vitamins occasionally you get a wound or something that takes too long to heal or have to work around sick people. I probably value that plant as much as many value THC. :D There are few things echinacea won't kill, and I've used it for everything from a tooth abscess (wisdom teeth, blah) that I couldn't get treated until later because the dentist was closed to an infected toenail. It's never not worked, and I never got sick with it like I do the antibiotics. People take antibiotics and find themselves with foot fungus or jock itch because it kills everything and the fungus multiply. This never happens with the echinacea -- it seems to just aid your body to kill the bugs without those side effects. Honestly, it works even faster... Stuff the medical establishment obviously can't make a lick of money on so they don't let you know. :D

    Certainly, I still recommend a doctor for anything serious or unknown but I don't bother if I just got a bad cold or anything minor. I haven't actually been sick for years except for what was related to my recently discovered diabetes. (That's been probably going on for ten years, but I had not known until the last three...) Anyway, that problem is addressed... I don't even take that medication since I no longer have a need. :D It's amazing what you can do with a proper diet.
     
  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Sounds like you have some wonky ideas about the risks of delaying treatment, but regardless...

    It’s seriously unethical for a medical professional - or even a homeopathic “doctor” pretending to be a medical professional - to pass off placebos as real medicine. Deal with overuse of prescription medication and improper use of antibiotics with education, not deception. Patients have a right to informed participation in their own care.
     
  12. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    If it's cancer then of course it's a problem, many other things it's a good thing.

    Patients and doctors are biased towards treatment and most treatment is unnecessary.

    Placebos don't work if you know they are placebos, and people won't go to treatments they think don't work.

    The idea that everything can be fixed if only people were more rational runs into the problem that people aren't rational in the first place.

    As such, homeopathy as currently used in medicine serves the role of preventing much unnecessary treatment.

    Whether the harms outweigh the benefits I don't know, but there certainly are real benefits. There is a decent case that expanding it's use would lead to improved public health.
     
  13. Jumi

    Jumi Well-Known Member

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    Of course, I don't want to dismiss the dangers myself. I'm just saying that the standards and trials are higher for evidence based medicine than the alternatives. If I had to pick between water with negligible trace elements and something that was produced according to strict scientific standards, I'd choose the latter. Same for something that hasn't passed trials with basically disproven theory behind it and something that has passed trials, I'd just go with the latter.
     
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  14. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    To add to .9's reply:

    Most homeopathic medicines are diluted beyond the trace element amount. They are diluted until it is extremely unlikely that one molecule of medicine is left of the starting dose. People tend to think that medicine can be infinitely diluted when that is not the case. For example in eighteen grams of water there are 6.022*10^23 molecules of water. That is called Avogadro's number. And a solution of beyond that number means that you are unlikely to have any molecules at all of the medicine at all. The originator of the idea advocated repeated solutions to the point where one particle out of 10^60 would be medicine. You can't find water that pure. You can read more here:


    Homeopathic dilutions - Wikipedia

    Homeopathy is based upon water having a memory. Supposedly it can remember the few grams of medicine that it was mixed with last week but not the metric tons of poop that it was mixed with last month.
     
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  15. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    To be fair, Hahnemann did come up with homeopathy quite a long time before Avogadro’s Number was calculated, so he can be excused for not immediately rejecting his theory as violating basic science.

    Modern homeopaths... not so much.

    It’s occurred to me before that if homeopathy actually worked, the effective ingredient in every homeopathic preparation would be whatever they sanitize their vials with.
     
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  16. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Riboflavin
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    Often, people try to justify unethical behavior on the grounds that it's necessary or expedient.

    You don't know? If you're going to argue for violating patients' rights, shouldn't you figure out first if you're getting anything for the cost?
     
  17. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Homeopathy has repeatedly shown itself to be little more than profitable bunk, but hope springs eternal.

    If only one could find a homeopathic remedy for willful ignorance.
     
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  18. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member
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    What is really sad is how ignorant so many people are.

    Conventional medicine can be very dangerous and it is often unnecessary, but people are so brainwashed by the medical establishment that they really think they need it. That is good for the doctors and the drug companies that make the big bucks.

    I am not saying conventional drugs are never necessary. I am not a fanatic.

    Most people who talk about homeopathy have no idea what it is, how it works, or what it does. They just speak out of complete ignorance. I went to school for four years and got a degree in homeopathic medicine so I know how it works and why it works.

    I have to go to work now. I will get back to this thread later when I have more time.
     
  19. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    If you know how it works then you appear to know far more than your instructors did, since none of them seem to know how it works. You right now appear to be projecting. If anything you would have to be the one posting out of complete ignorance since whenever homeopathic "cures" have been tested they did no better than placebos. Unless you can find a ground breaking properly done peer reviewed study to the contrary.

    In the U.S. homeopathic "medicine" has to come with a label that tells people that it essentially does nothing.

    By the way, where does not go to get a "degree in homeopathic medicine"? That would be a first.
     
  20. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    I can't think of a thread that could benefit more from this poetic rant:

     
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