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Stealth advertising for Dr. Mark Hyman and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine

Over the weekend, I came across a local news story from Toledo about Chris Tedrow, a patient who was treated at Dr. Mark Hyman’s Center for Functional Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. Let’s just say that it was, in essence, free advertising for functional medicine nonsense. The Cleveland Clinic should have had to pay the Toledo ABC affiliate to air it.

One topic that I revisit frequently is quackademic medicine. As regular readers know, the term “quackademic medicine” refers to the creeping infiltration of unscientific, pseudoscientific, and mysticism-riddled medicine into academic medical centers and medical schools. It’s a phenomenon that’s been occurring over the last 25 years or so, with traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, naturopathy, and even The One Quackery To Rule Them All, homeopathy, finding their way into what should be bastions of science-based medicine. We’re talking big names here, like Harvard, Stanford, the University of California, the University of Michigan, NCI-designated comprehensive cancer centers, and, yes, the Cleveland Clinic, which is home to Dr. Mark Hyman, functional medicine guru.

Now, you’re probably thinking at this point: The Cleveland Clinic? Not again? After all, I’ve been hammering the Clinic for its creation of a traditional Chinese medicine herbalism clinic, its opening of its Center for Functional Medicine run by über-quack and functional medicine guru Dr. Mark Hyman. A year and a half ago, the culture of tolerance for “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” quackery led to the director of its Wellness Institute, Dr. Daniel Neides, to go off on an antivaccine rant, which is what happens when you let magical thinking take hold. Naturally, the leadership was shocked—shocked, I say!—that antivaccine sentiment existed among the faculty in its Wellness Institute, but that didn’t stop them from doubling down on the pseudoscience and quackery (other than antivaccine pseudoscience, which embarrassed the leadership and resulted in a lot of bad PR).

Unfortunately, the Cleveland Clinic’s functional medicine program has been wildly successful, leading CAM proponents to laud it as “disruptive.” Sadly, functional medicine mixes the worst of both worlds, combining massive overtesting and overtreatment with quackery. That success, it appears, seems to be driven by carefully selected anecdotes fed to credulous media sources, anecdotes like that of a patient named Cindy Tedrow, who lives in a small town in northwest Ohio, about 130 miles west of Cleveland. Here’s her story as it showed up on a local Toledo TV station’s news broadcast, under the title, Local woman who lived with chronic illnesses for 44 years gets relief.

A northwest Ohio woman suffered from a number of chronic health problems for decades, including hypothyroidism, arthritis, fibromyalgia , heart problems and autoimmune deficiencies. She wasn’t sure she would ever be cured, but a trip to Cleveland changed all that.

Cindy Tedrow lives with her husband on a farm in Delta. She dealt with that long list of health problems for 44 years As you can imagine, it was physically and emotionally draining. Cindy says a trip to The Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine was a prayer answered, “Some days just walking would take all the energy I had.”

Here’s the video:

This news report is basically pure propaganda for the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. The Cleveland Clinic could easily have paid to air parts of it as an advertisement, but in the end it got free advertising. What about Ms. Tedrow’s story itself? Let’s take a look at how it was presented:

As the years went by Cindy’s health problems continued to pile on, “When the seizures started that was the worst. The seizures were extremely scary. My dog Molly even alerted me to a few of them before I had them. It was amazing because she had no formal training to do that.”

The seizures were in addition to the long list of other ailments like chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, dysautonomia and blood sugar issues, “I was on 22 prescriptions at one time, and it kept getting worse. I wasn’t going to give up though, I had a family to raise. I also had faith and I knew that someday I would get answers.”

OK, so she had a seizure disorder. That’s bad. She also had a whole lot of chronic conditions, including what sounds like it was probably type II diabetes (blood sugar issues), although I can’t be sure from this report. Next up, we get the usual blather about “holistic” medicine, straight from Dr. Mark Hyman himself:

Cindy enrolled in the Functional Medicine Program at The Cleveland Clinic, “For the first time in 44 years someone said to me we can help you.”

The program is designed to treat the body as a whole organism rather than a collection of organs. Dr, Mark Hyman is an internationally recognized physician in the field of functional medicine,”We removed Cindy’s impediments to health. We gave her the ingredients to her health. We gave her a whole food diet, eliminated inflammatory foods. We gave her nutritional and lifestyle support. Within a short time, she not only lost 80 pounds, but she was able to get her energy back and truly regain her life.”

According to Dr. Hyman, Cindy say a more than 60% reduction in all her disease symptoms in just eight weeks, “Functional medicine is a new way to think about disease that gets to the root cause. It doesn’t focus on the symptoms, it focuses on the questions of why you have those symptoms.”

First, let me just say how much I detest how “integrative” and “functional” medicine doctors have claimed the term “holistic” as their own, as though no one does “holistic medicine.” As I’ve said many times before, such doctors posit what is in essence a false dichotomy: Either embrace dubious medicine and pseudoscience or you aren’t truly being “holistic.” You have to accept Dr. Hyman’s “make it up as you go along” mish-mash of scientifically defensible medical advice plus dubious claims, such as “inflammatory foods,” the removal of which is often portrayed as a panacea that will cure whatever ails you.

Dr. Hyman likes to think that he’s practicing a radical new form of medicine that takes account of the “whole person” or all organ systems, but he’s not. Not really. As I’ve discussed before, Dr. Hyman likes to take the emerging science from systems biology and basically mangle it, as he did, referring to it as the “original precision medicine,” a claim that, whenever I hear it, makes me want to run to my liquor cabinet and hit the scotch. Fortunately, I can resist, particularly given that I’m on call this week and can’t afford to imbibe anything stronger than iced tea, but don’t get me started on some of the utter nonsense that he’s spewed about cancer and autism or how he appears to want to turn back the clock in science to emphasize anecdotes over clinical trials.

In reality, as I’ve described before and illustrated with an actual case report of functional medicine use in a breast cancer patient published by functional medicine practitioners, what functional medicine really involves is running dozens—or even hundreds—of laboratory tests and then trying to correct every abnormality in every vitamin, mineral, or enzyme level they detect using supplements. Then they add quackery, like traditional Chinese medicine. It’s not for nothing that I refer to functional medicine as the “worst of both worlds,” as I mentioned above. It combines the massive overtesting and overtreatment of every laboratory abnormality found that conventional medicine is too often guilty of and then adds the pseudoscience and quackery of alternative medicine, selling it as a package with (usually) uncontroversial lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise.

In Ms. Tedrow’s case, I can’t help but think that the loss of 80 lbs is almost certainly responsible for most of her improvement. If you’re that overweight and lose that much weight, chances are good there will be improvement in symptoms common in chronic fatigue syndrome, such as joint pain, low energy, and the like, and it’s very likely that your type II diabetes will come under much better control. It’s also not as though there aren’t dietary interventions that can be helpful in chronic fatigue syndrome. There are, but they’re very limited. Also, a battery of tests of the sort ordered by functional medicine doctors isn’t necessary to identify them. Indeed, obesity is associated with migraine, with the chances of having migraines increased in those who are obese, a risk that increases as someone gains weight and changes physical stature from normal weight to overweight to obese. Basically, obesity is a modifiable risk factor for migraine. Now, I will say one good thing about the functional medicine program at the Clinic. If its doctors and nutritionists were able to get Ms. Tedrow to alter her diet and lifestyle in such a way that she managed to lose 80 lbs in a few months, that is a good accomplishment and probably explains a whole lot of her improvement in symptoms. It’s just that you don’t need pseudoscience to accomplish that.

Not surprisingly, the Cleveland Clinic’s marketing department is using Ms. Tedrow’s story. She’s appeared in a press release and on one of its podcasts, The Comeback. There, I learned a bit more about her story than what appeared in the Toledo news report. For instance:

Cindy: It was it started after the birth of my first son and within three months after he was born I would get up in the morning and I, I’d make the bed and that would be it, I could hardly function during the day that I but I did. I was a new mom and kept going and as things progressed something else would happen. They discovered I had mitral valve prolapse, I got worse eventually and I was saying to you earlier that when my second son was born I always tease him, because he’s a little Eveready bunny, that when he was born he sucked all my energy out of me and he got all my energy that’s when I really started taking a turn for the worse. Blood sugar issues, fainting, fainting was a problem for me my whole life. Diagnosed with dysautonomia, Potts then, and then when I was 42, I had a hysterectomy and that’s when things went really, really downhill. That’s when the seizures started but I kept, I kept going and I kept pushing, I kept, I was teaching and I basically through the years, it was to the point I would take everything I had to get through the week and then I would recover all weekend so I could teach again on Monday. I kept searching and searching and searching, going from one specialist to another specialist and at one point I was 21 medications, prescriptions, getting worse and it was to the point then the seizures were so all consuming, I never knew when they would I would have them, I started having them in school. One day in school, I remember I was teaching and the kids were looking at me very strange and they said Mrs. Tedrow are you all right? And I had had a seizure and I was speaking and it didn’t make sense.

This leads Dr. Hyman to lay down his usual line of word-heavy, meaning-light, but very impressive-sounding blather:

Hyman: Cindy was talking about this whole list of problems that she had that all seem unrelated from seizures, to fatigue, to fibromyalgia, to migraines, to irritable bowel and she was a mess and I joke, we take care people with a whole list of problems which is why we call ourselves holistic doctors, right? Because we’re dealing with all these things that aren’t disconnected, they’re all related and functional medicine is a model of thinking about how to solve the puzzle of chronic disease. You went to doctor, after doctor and we’re trained as subspecialists or specialists who look at the body is a series of different parts, you each have a specialist for different parts, we don’t actually understand how everything is connected. So, functional medicine is about connecting the dots about understanding the patterns in the story that lead to the symptoms. The symptoms are just factors that are caused by something. So we’re working at the cause level what’s the root cause, why as opposed to what, we can give labels to a disease like fibromyalgia or seizures but the question is why are they happening? And so at the Center for Functional Medicine at Cleveland Clinic we’ve designed a program called Functioning for Life which is a 10 week program that’s immersive, you do it as a group together because we find that people do better together. Friend power is better than willpower to change behavior and change lifestyle and we, it’s a foundational lifestyle program but it’s also designed to actually create health you know functional medicine, we don’t just treat disease we actually create health and often, and when we create health, we just take away the things that cause imbalance in the body and giving the things that create balance, the body often just recovers on its own. It’s like disease goes away as a side effect of creating health and that’s really the approach and it’s, it’s pretty novel and new and it’s based on emerging research that teaches us how the body is one whole dynamic system and through that approach we’re able to help people like Cindy get rid of problems that they’ve had for decades that haven’t been able to be helped with traditional methods and every doctor does their best but the question is, you know, they’re not taught how to think differently, they’re not taught, for example, the power of food. Food is the most powerful drug on the planet. Period. There is no drug, for example, that can get people off of insulin in ten days but using this approach we see type 2 diabetics literally get off insulin, or relieve migraines, or seizures, you know, you were on seizure medication on fairly high doses that were making you sleepy and groggy and causing dysfunction and were still not even working and when we dealt with the underlying causes your seizures got better and you said what you’re saying to me earlier before the show, before we started this show, that you now don’t have any seizures, you’ve been able to reduce your medications and are you driving again? Yes, you’re driving again where you couldn’t drive before. I mean this is a massive change in your life, from a, a few simple things that have profound effects.

We create health and disease goes away as a side effect? To travel back in time some 35 years, gag me with a spoon. The bottom line is that what Dr. Hyman is describing above is a support group. Did Dr. Hyman do anything that a science-based primary care doctor couldn’t? I would say no. Ms. Tedrow seemed to be a victim of too many specialists and needed someone to take control and start pruning medicines. There’s nothing new or radical required to achieve that, and Dr. Hyman’s insistence on wrapping it all in functional medicine woo-language is infuriating.

We also learn that some changes that occurred with Ms. Tedrow are not as impressive as advertised:

Kyle: Cindy you were on 21 medications before you started this program. How many are you on today?

Cindy: I think I’m down to 16, I think now, 15 or 16 but I have asthma and a lot of those are asthma and sinus issues.

Hyman: Those get better at all?

Cindy: Yes, actually they have. My sinuses have gotten a lot better. Usually in the fall, and I live on a farm, so and I’m allergic to dust, in the fall it was terrible, it was terrible. But I did very well this fall. Yeah I did very well.

So Dr. Hyman only decreased the number of medications that Ms. Tedrow is on from 21 to 15 or 16? She’s still on at least 15 different medications? That doesn’t sound so miraculous to me. Any halfway decent primary care doctor could have winnowed a regimen of 21 medications down by that much. And she’s now on a bunch of what look like essential oils. Overall, I’m guessing she’s on the same number of different compounds.

So what has Dr. Hyman accomplished with Ms. Tedrow? To his credit, his team has enabled her to change her diet and stick with it so that she successfully lost a lot of weight, with a resultant major improvement in her overall health and decrease in many of her symptoms. If you don’t know what functional medicine really is, you might be very impressed by that. I also can’t help but note that Delta is a small town in an area with a lot of farms. The nearest medical center is a small community hospital, and the nearest large hospitals are in Toledo. The nearest heavy-duty academic medical centers are in Cleveland (Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic) and in Columbus (The Ohio State University). So, chances are that many of Ms. Tedrow’s doctors were ill-equipped to handle a patient as complex and with as many medical problems as she had.

Don’t get me wrong. In the end, I’m happy that Ms. Tedrow is doing so much better now, but I remain unconvinced that most of her improvement isn’t due to her successful loss of 80 lbs. That Dr. Hyman’s team could enable her to do that does him credit. That being said, all the functional medicine pseudoscience and woo-babble (like Star Trek technobabble, only with medical woo) are unnecessary. Dr. Hyman has never been able to demonstrate that they add anything to the basics of improving patients’ diets and getting them to exercise, plus removing unnecessary medications, and, as I’ve documented before, I do know that he spews a lot of pseudoscience in justification of “functional medicine.” I also know that when local news stations pick up on local human interest stories like this they’re doing nothing more than given places like the Cleveland Clinic free advertising.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

44 replies on “Stealth advertising for Dr. Mark Hyman and the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine”

So at least in part, the magic of functional medicine is due to the Hawthorne effect? The novelty of being the focus of so much attention and intense effort, even if it’s largely full gas in neutral?

There’s also the fact that this was a cherry picked case. Perhaps results were not typical.

Maybe a bit of Hawhorne but a good dietitian, carefully controlled diet, perhaps some physio and exercise with even that small pruning of medicine probably had real effects.

autoimmune deficiencies

I’d love to be deficient in the autoimmunity department. The video also seems to have gone bye-bye, or something.

Completely annoying how you’ll never hear it in the news when a non-quack physician convinces a patient to make a major lifestyle change. Kind of like when a machinist makes a bearing versus when Uri Geller bends a spoon.

A non-quack physician successfully treating a patient, whether by medication or by simple lifestyle change, is a “dog bites man” story. Ms. Tedrow’s case is more of a “man bites dog” story, at least at first glance. The problem is that your typical journimalist doesn’t bother to look beyond the surface to see whether the quack doctor’s claims hold up or whether, as Mike notes above, this is a cherry-picked example. That’s what bothers me about stories like this: a lack of evidence that the reporter has made any attempt to apply basic BS filters to the story. Certain claims in this story are not proven, but the report doesn’t mention anything along those lines. As Orac said in the OP, it was basically a free advertisement.

It’s more than “man bites dog”. This stuff comes under the heading of “human interest” stories. These play an important role in the overall offerings of news sources in that they’re an upbeat counterweight to all the negative aspects of “if it bleeds it leads” hard news coverage. Reality being as harsh as it is, forms of magical thinking are frequently involved, implicitly if not explicitly, and the happy-news reporters have been thoroughly socialized not to dig for any dirt that may lie under the surface, or even include any down-sides they may have heard of about whatever thing they’re lauding. In short, they’re selling smiles, warm thoughts, and above all else HOPE, and they’re if they mess that up, they’ll lose their jobs.

With dozens upon dozens of tests, you will always find some anomalies. You end up chasing statistical noise. I’ll stick with my doctor’s approach. When I showed up with a high level of iron in a routine blood test, there was concern of hereditary hemochromatosis (I do have some family history). She looked me over, found no symptoms, waited a few weeks, repeated the test…. Totally normal. Six months later, still normal.

Hyman: “We gave her nutritional and lifestyle support.”

Evident translation: We put her on lots of supplements.

So what’s the cost of all the testing and supplements? How does it compare to enrolling a patient in a non-drug weight loss/exercise and counseling program?

I think it’s important to note that they probably did give her good “nutritional and lifestyle support”. As jrkrideau says “a good dietitian, carefully controlled diet, perhaps some physio and exercise with even that small pruning of medicine probably had real effects.” It’s true that it’s hard to get this kind of treatment from conventional medicine, not because the doctors are against it, but because the HMOs and insurance companies don’t want to pay for it. I do think establishment MDs aren’t as proactive as they should be in pushing for such services to be part of standard care. They’re not opposed to it, but not FOR it enough. They’re more or less content to just issue the standard advice, and leave the patients on their own to comply, which just doesn’t work. (If they could do it without support, they probably would already have done so…).

So we get this bad situation where the quacks like Hyman get to claim this turf as something special of their own, and add all kinds of unneccessary extra costs for useless tests and supplements. The cost of which, and the lack of insurance coverage, never get mentioned in the “human interest” stories the press loves to publish, making easy work for the PR flacks who push them out.

So much of the alt med I hear/ read about involves the same:
hand waving, woo babbling and weight loss.
Although advocates might carry on about “energy exchanges”, “chakras” and ” green living”- basically, they get people to lose weight.

If you eliminate enough processed food or animal products or high fat foods or high carb foods or large portions, you will lose weight. You don’t need smoothies rife with superfoods ( see naturalnews store), magical elixirs ( see Ell MacPherson’s Welleco store) or green and red stuff ( see Gary Null’s store)..

If I consume about 1600 calories a day, I will lose weight. It doesn’t matter if it’s comprised of salads, yogurt and salmon or sushi and cappuccino ice cream ( which is what it was yesterday)- it’s 1600 calories.

PEDANTRY WARNING:

t’s comprised of

Nothing is ever “comprised of” anything. The whole comprises the parts. I will readily cop to being a selective prescriptivist, of course.

I do hope the weight loss holds, which of course will largely depend on if the lifestyle modifications she made are permanent changes or just something that she managed to accomplish while in a highly controlled environment while part of the program. It would be interesting for Cleveland to do a follow up story on this 5 years from now (yes, probably unlikely to happen).

Obese patient in a rural area who probably ignored physicians’ advice to diet now feels better after massive weight loss. Ho Hum. The only benefit I can see is that the Cleveland Clinic presented a highly-controlled environment and support. As others have stated, what will she look like in the long run? She is down in some medications but is probably on a bunch of supplements and it is unknown how those supplements may interact with her prescription drugs or even with each other. Wouldn’t it be nice if NCAAM studied things like that?

Is it accurate to say that functional medicine is akin to p-hacking –torture the data until it confesses? Or in this case, the patient’s metabolism.

Orac said, “… its opening of its Center for Functional Medicine run by über-quack and functional medicine guru Dr. Mark Hyman.”

To get an idea of just how bad and quacky Mark Hyman is, have a look at these Huff Po articles he wrote:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/why-current-thinking-abou_b_275753.html
“Why Current Thinking About Autism Is Completely Wrong
“Autism is caused by poor mothering.” That was the belief of the medical community until the late 1960s.

“Autism is a genetic brain disorder.” That is what most people — and most of the medical community — believe today.

I’m here to tell you that neither one of these statements is true.

The real reason we are seeing increasing rates of autism is simply this: Autism is a systemic body disorder that affects the brain.

Sam’s Case: Autism as a Systemic Disorder
… He received diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, mumps and rubella, chicken pox, hepatitis A and B, influenza, pneumonia, hemophilous, and meningitis vaccines — all before he was 2 years old. Then something changed. Vaccines may affect susceptible children through different mechanisms. In some it is overwhelming of an already taxed immune system with over 2 dozen vaccinations at a very young age, for some it is the thimerosal (ethylmercury) used as a preservative until recently in most vaccines (although it is still present in most flu vaccines).

He lost his language abilities and became detached. He was unable to relate in normal ways with his parents and other children. And he became withdrawn, and less interactive. These are all signs of autism.
etc., etc. etc.”

Vaccines. It’s always vaccines.
Note some of his references remembering he wrote this article in 2009: AJ Wakefield multiple times, Jeff Bradstreet & AJ Wakefield in JAPS (during the time Wakefraud had attached himself to Bradstreet’s Florida operations), Mark Blaxill & Boyd Haley, the Geiers. Quite the rogues gallery.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/mercury-how-to-get-this-l_b_469358.html
Mercury: How To Get This Lethal Poison Out Of Your Body
If you are heavy, it could be making you sick and tired and age prematurely. And I don’t mean heavy with fat …

I mean heavy with heavy metals — like mercury!

There’s no doubt about it, mercury is the most alarming, disease-causing source of environmental toxicity that I see daily in my practice. Many of patients have toxic levels of mercury — and they’re not alone. I personally suffered from mercury toxicity and chronic fatigue syndrome —which I cured myself from, in part by getting rid of the mercury in my body. So I know about this first hand.

I became toxic because I polluted myself by growing up on tuna fish sandwiches, eating sushi, living in Beijing, … and having a mouthful of amalgam (a.k.a. mercury) fillings.

All of these exposures, combined with genes that prevent me from effectively detoxifying metals in my body, …”

‘We’re all being poisoned by mercury!!!! Pull out yer amalgam fillings!!!! I know it’s true… Boyd Haley and others told me!!!! Oh, and get a provoked Hg test from doctorsdata!!!!’
Also note his pub. from his quacky conference: The impact of mercury on human health and the environment found in Alternative therapies in health and medicine 10(6):70-5 · November 2004; of which M. Hyman is the editor… fancy that. Take a look at the 7 references:
One is an article by Boyd Haley and Mark Blaxill et al. in INT J TOXICOL
A second is an article by Sally Bernard and Lyn Redwood et al. in MED HYPOTHESES
Now there are some real experts and not quacks and cranks at all. (/sarc)
Ahem… “You are known by the company you keep.”

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/autism-mercury-toxicity_b_497047.html
How to Rid Your Body of Mercury and Other Heavy Metals: A 3-Step Plan to Recover Your Health
After my recent blog on mercury, I’m sure many of you are depressed and discouraged about mercury and its toxic effects. The bad news is today I am going to review more of mercury’s toxic effects and expand on what I learned at the medical conference on mercury I mentioned in my last article on mercury …

But the good news is I will provide you with a clear, three-step plan to help your body detoxify from mercury and other heavy metals and recover your health.

Mercury and Autism: Part One
In my last article on mercury toxicity, I talked a little bit about the link between mercury fillings and autism. Now I’d like to discuss mercury’s effects on this condition in greater detail.

Boyd Haley, Ph.D., …

How the Lancet and The New York Times Got it Wrong on Dr. Wakefield’s Research
The recent retraction of the Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s publication in the Lancet showing intestinal inflammation and vaccine strains of measles virus (proven by DNA analysis) in the intestinal tracts of autistic children seemed more about inquisition and less honest scientific inquiry.”

etc., etc., etc.

Vigorous and cranky defense of Wakefield’s fraud and Boyd Haley’s “research” complete with konspiracy theories!!!!11!!!

Mark Hyman has a long history of associating with alt-med frauds, cranks, and crackpots and has published more than a few cranky articles himself.
I suppose The Cleveland Clinic could have done worse than Hyman. They could have hired Joe Mercola…
I wouldn’t let him treat my cat.
.
If this post is too long I hope Orac will notify in his inimitable way.

Wow, I just learned something.
Do not use the “greater than” (shift period mark) to offset and highlight your personal comment on the quoted material or you will get a large indented quotation mark followed by a blank line for each time you used that character.
I offset each of my personal comments with 5 greater than signs (as in making an arrow) and you can see the result above.
I wish there were editing capabilities for these posts (or maybe Orac could delete those “greater than” characters to fix my bollixed post.)
.
Sorry.

@ Reality: **

I sometimes set apart ideas or observations by using dashes, such as:

The latest woo-bent articles:
– Jake has nonsense about Dr DG
– Null discusses energy tranfers
– Mikey is hell-bent on selling his alternative to You Tube ( not called woo-tube -btw-)

** I always wanted to converse with reality

The angle brackets are used for formatting. If you want to offset your comments type this in, but use angle brackets instead of angle brackets: [blockquote]Put paragraph of person you are quoting in here.[/blockquote]

I can’t help you with what’s already posted, but if you have some text where quoted material is set off by increasing numbers of those chevrons with each iteration, there is an old piece of standalone freeware floating around called Stripmail that will remove them and make something more readable out of it.

Chris, are you sure you meant to say: “use angle brackets instead of angle bracket.?” I tried but my keyboard must be defective because I couldn’t find angle brackets to replace angle brackets with. Oh well, all this Siberian space stuff the kids talk about is getting me so confused I forgot to wave my cane when I yelled at the kids on my lawn.

“use angle brackets instead of angle bracket.?”

It should be use angle brackets instead of square brackets. I could not edit, and I kind of thought it would be obvious because my example used the square brackets that are not HTML.

Removed “Impediments to health”: like what? When I think “impediment to health” I think; being locked in a basement, living in an area experiencing famine, having a giant ball of hair in your stomach.

Sometimes the phrases the woo-inclined use are just weird, and weird enough I miss all the other things they say.

having a giant ball of hair in your stomach

Hey, bezoars are cool. Not as cool as dermoid cysts, but still.

You’re obviously on a different astral plane. Fractional changes in intrinsic existential vibrations can lead to surprising conflicts of universal consciousness flow. I thought everybody knew that.

It is possible that when conventional doctors mentioned Ms Tedrow’s weight problems, this was considered by her as “fat shaming”, but holistic advice was OK to her.l
If something is truly essential, why body does synthesize it by itself ? This seems to be quite suicidal. Answer is that food supplies them. Expect, of course, when diet is very one-sided:
There are of course any number of twin studies about autism. There is one:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26709141
“Correlation for monozygotic twins were almost perfect”.

Yup, a single greater-than sign invokes blockquote formatting. It’s the same as with the asterisks; basically, the way Slack works.

And yet the local doctor couldn’t get her to lose 80 pounds. I am of normal weight, exercise and lift weights. For years I have been telling the SAME doctor about fatigue, various minor orthopaedic issues, and sleep issues. He helpfully offered to prescribe xanax,anti depressants and most recently, marijuana. Also my blood sugar was testing low, he didn’t mention this at all. (Um, fatigue?) I went to a different doctor who noticed my thyroid levels doubled although still “normal”. Apparently they go with what the lab ranges without understanding anything, such as –there is a lot of debate about the ranges, and that my levels were higher than 97.5 % of the population. And no doctor suggested getting antibodies to test for hashimoto’s. I asked for this myself and had high levels. Apparently testing positive for antibodies is all that needs to be known, and they give no concern to the actual number, so long as it is above 30. How is the level of antibodies not an additional clue that could be investigated? The third doctor was an arrogant a$$, saying you could have worse things. Well yes, but does this mean I don’t advocate for my health?
So this is the reason why people try integrative medicine. I agree all medicine should be integrative, but it’s not. Some doctors prescribe pills without getting to the root cause. I don’t want pills. My husband thought he was treating his heartburn well with prilosec and yet he still developed esophageal cancer. So while I appreciate you pointing out the flaws in integrative medicine, I’d really appreciate if the mainstream medical teams would get their act together.

Yes, I suppose I should have skipped the Augmentin for infected cat bites and scratches. One generally treats disease with prescriptions, hit-and-run.

No I don’t think you should have skipped the augmentin, nor do you either I bet. But you must recognize that many doctors over-prescribe. I was given percocet meds after my c section and was not told anything about the side effects or addiction risks. It was my father, who graduated from medical school in the 50’s who encouraged me to wean off these pills. Back then, they were trained to get patients off pain meds as soon as possible to avoid addiction. I was taking them at that point not for surgery pain(one week after) but because it hurt to nurse. I hadn’t thought about stopping because I figured I was supposed to use up the pills. Not to mention they were probably making me feel miserable.
So many doctors don’t encourage patients to get off long term meds by changing their lifestyle and improving their eating habits. They just keep prescribing. Patients trust their doctors that they will be informed of the risks. And why are you so mean and snide sometimes to some of your commenters? “Do no harm”

Prescriptions have a role in acute care medicine. I am very grateful for my orthopedic surgeon when having an acute injury. But you cannot dismiss the role of functional medicine and nutrition in chronic disease.

My experiences with alternative medicine did indeed help me. But before I go there, I just want to say that IF a dr truly wants to help others, he will take insurance. That’s why Hyman & all these other drs(?) he partners with touting their goods: videos, vitamins and supplements, books, docuseries, give me the “ick” factor. It’s about how much money they can make, fame and never having to see a patient.They train other doctors in their treatment methods…it’s a glorified pyramid scheme – all about the money and making lots of it. I’m sure Dr Hyman is gunning for a show..the ultimate prize just like Dr Oz (who has lost all credibility bc the things he talks about are not in his specialty area…yet people fawn over and idolize him…the media has turned him (and that big jerk Dr Phil) into mega superstars – the Oprah effect). How dare Dr Hyman say he wants to help people, yet he doesn’t take ANY insurance – especially for the most vulnerable (the elderly and poor) on Medicare or Medicaid. He deals in cash only. Good way to hide it from the IRS. I have no respect for people like him. As for alternative treatments, I went to four highly rated OB/GYNs in NYC – heads of departments at top hospitals, I had many miscarriages, and was pushing 40. I was told I was too old, and it would be impossible to have a baby, carry it, and if I did get pregnant, there would be a 1 in 4 probability the baby would have Down’s syndrome. I decided to try Jin Shin Jyutsu (not a martial art…rather acupressure – light touch with no needles). I was told I could come once a week for 19 treatments or 19 days in a row, I was desperate and knew it would be my last hurrah before giving up at getting pregnant after all those years of miscarriages (which not one gynecologist determined were caused by low progesterone which never showed in all the blood work I had done prior to my pregnancies…they couldn’t figure that out?). I decided to do 19 treatments in a row, as I was already 41. The woman who treated me told me I would be pregnant next month and her psychic abilities determined it would be a girl…Ok I thought. Next month arrived, and no period but cramping as though I was going to get one. She assured me I was pregnant, so I did a test, which confirmed I indeed was). I was over the moon and needed an OB/GYN, Imheaded back to the city and picked the female head of OB/GYN at NYU. I brought the test with me and was happy to prove she was wrong that I couldntngetbpregnant. I told her my story, and after hearing it, I’m convinced she thought I was looney. She insisted it was a false positive, did an ultrasound and said there was no baby there. She told my husband to take me to a psychiatrist, because it was a “hysterical” pregnancy. I cried all the way home, while calling an infertility specialist. He told me to wait one more week,,come in, do blood work and another ultrasound. I did and I was indeed pregnant..He also determined I had low progesterone which is why air had so many miscarriages…I was so angrynthatbthenfix was so simple,,and I could have had many children over the prior ten years, if someone had just done the proper testing, I was so full of sorrow yet elated that I would finally have a child..I prayed I would make it to full term. I had the Jin shin practitioner treat me for 9 mos in addition to going for my regular OB visits with the infertility dr the first three months. After that, I had to be transferred to an obstetrician… I refused amniocentesis bc it didn’t matter to me whether or not my baby had Down’s syndrome, and I didn’t want to risk a miscarriage from the procedure. Finding an OB who wanted to deliver my baby was a different story…no one wanted to “assume the fatality” since I was 41! I only gained 27 lbs, bec I watched what I ate and didn’t want gestational diabetes. Nearing my 8th month without an IB to deliver my baby, the infertility dr had me see a high risk OB at Yale…He took me on with a team of Drs discussing the “what ifs”…even though I technically wasn’t high risk. They took my daughter (yep it was a girl) a month early because she was so big… 9.5lbs and 23 inches (I’m only 5’1”) ..if I had gone full term, she would have been 10-13lbs. Every pediatrician at Yale came to see her, because they couldn’t get over how peaceful she was – they asked me what Inhad done bec they had never seen anything like her…she never cried, nursed well, slept through the night from day one …She was my miracle baby. This just goes to show that no matter how much education you have, it doesn’t make you smart or capable. All doctors need to be open to other kinds of treatments and to listen to their patients if they’ve tried something that works (my cardiologist was adverse to plant stanols, sterols,or Chinese red yeast rice for lowering cholesterol, but the minute a businessman told him how it worked for him, then he started prescribing it to his patients…no comment) I was very furious at this head of OB/GYN down at NYU, because she made such a grave error and shouldn’t be practicing,..People said I should have sued her…but I was just so happy to be pregnant. My daughter was perfectly healthy and is now 23… She is a true success story and very smart…she began reading at three…. (I taught her about the world, but her ore-school taught her to read..they thought she was four because she was so big). I think a combination of traditional and alternative works… My mom had COPD/emphysema which got significantly worse after a car accident that fractured her thoracic spine..,went right into end-stage so we were told. The pulmonologist at again, one of the big NYC hospitals, gave her 3 mos to live.She was all of 75 lbs (she was never over 90 lbs her whole life). I took her home to live with me, surrounded her with love, good Drs, and alternative treatments, and she lived another seven years with less than 50% lung capacity…She died from passing a kidney stone..the Drs misdiagnosed her and said the blood in her urine was a bladder infection, and mistreated her…She went into a coma passing the stone…it was just too much for her frail little body…Had she listened to the Drs, and perhaps lived alone, I’m convinced she would have died on schedule after the three months they gave her to live..So not all alternative/complementary treatments are bad… We take a few beneficial supplements like probiotics, Omega 3s, CoQ10, Vit D3 & K2, Vit C, & methyl B12 and methyl folate bec we have the mth fr gene…This may all sound unconventional, but it worked well for me and my family.

Jordana this is an amazing story. What arrogance to assume you couldn’t be pregnant and then noone wanted to deliver your baby. My mom was 41 when she heard her last baby in 1969, its not like it has never happened before. I do believe my delay in getting pregnant was due tplo undiagnosed hypothyroidism. Oh and the stories amout your Mom! And my husband was supposed to have been dead two years ago. While I appreciate Orac pointing out the B.S. in some functional medicine, (ive seen some of it myself)there are are also some serious issues with allopathic medicine as well. Maybe arrogance is at the top of the list.

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