Monday, April 4, 2011

Challenge Day 4: Crazy Cures

I heard about the WEGO Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge from Brass & Ivory and signed up on a whim. I figured it might be the kick I need to blog more regularly. I'm starting on Day 4, which you should all see as me entering the party in a fashionably late kind of way. Today's challenge prompt: Do a search for a crazy headline or "cure" for your disease and talk about it.

The Only Cure to Multiple Sclerosis is Revealed Again
My quick, perhaps irreverent, summary of this fine piece of scholarship: a doctor discovers the cure (the ONLY cure!) for MS in 1940 and helps tons of patients. Other docs get mad, call him a quack and take him to court. But don't worry, he eventually gets his license back and helps more patients. All the docs are still mad at him, though, and do all they can to suppress what he does because they really like prescribing drugs. This doc knows there is no need for drugs, because the ONLY cure for MS is simply a change in diet. The article says the cure has finally been revealed again (meaning the specifics of this wonder diet, I suppose) but there is no mention of what it consists of or even where to find this information.

Anyone whose response to reading this article is joy and hope and optimism and relief is probably less than mentally sound. However, there is some at-least-verging-on-legit literature out there about CAM nutrition-based treatments, and while I certainly don't think the word cure is appropriate, I also don't easily dismiss all of these claims. That being said, I've long had one of the healthiest diets amongst people I know and I know that plenty of other MS patients have even healthier diets. Yet here we are, still patients. Good nutrition is obviously a vital component of overall health. It may even have a positive effect on the disease process (like avoiding foods that cause, and enjoying foods that fight inflammation, for example) and can be an important component of an overall treatment plan. But a cure? Come on. And don't even get me started on the shakes and teas and herbs and their curative magic. Again, I'm not saying these things can't possibly be beneficial, but come on now. Do at least a cursory glance at some of the basic concepts of science and some of the basic things we know about the disease. I hope researchers continue to study nutrition in relation to this and other diseases and I will listen carefully to what they have to say. I will also listen to (certain) holistic medicine folks on the subject. I will not, however, listen to all the crazy scammy nonsense floating around.

See you tomorrow for a haiku or two! I'll be channeling Peace Be With You.


Peace Be With You said...

Thanks for the shout out. I look forward to seeing your work.



Lisa Emrich said...

So glad that you've joined the challenge. :)