New This Week: June 7, 2012
45 Nearly Useless Medical Tests
Believe it or not, common sense is making a bit of a comeback in conventional medicine.
In a program called "Choosing Wisely," nine medical societies have listed the 5 most unnecessary tests in each of their specialties, for a grand total of 45 routinely ordered tests that are useless in all but the most serious cases. (As we've discussed recently, sometimes those tests aren't only useless — they're downright deadly. Case in point: routine PSA testing for prostate cancer, which research shows actually leads to more suffering and deaths from overtreatment of slow-growing cancers.)
The American College of Physicians (with 132,000 members) have partnered with Consumer Reports to jointly participate in the Choosing Wisely initiative, while simultaneously developing their own, similar educational program called "High Value Care."
Of course, not everybody is happy to embrace medical common sense. As soon as the medical societies started publishing their lists of unnecessary medical tests, groups with a financial interest in the tests — along with their corporate buddies in the media — started crying "medical rationing!"
It's difficult to have a discussion about the fact that our medical care system is driving us into national bankruptcy when some in the health industry appeal to mob hysteria with this type of sloganeering? We can't! So it's up to YOU to be an informed consumer of medical care. That means recognizing the difference between common sense, where you get only the medical care that that is best for you, vs. testing that gets popular, even among well meaning physicians, because it is profitable rather than helpful. I encourage you to look at all the unnecessary tests Choosing Wisely identified. You can see them at the Choosing Wisely website.
You'll find a lot of good recommendations there: Don't do medical imaging for an uncomplicated headache. Avoid routine, pre-op chest x-rays. And many more. I don't necessarily agree with every recommendation, of course. But they're definitely a step in the right direction, and a number of these suggestions reflect what I've been saying for years (sometimes decades).
Love & blessings,
Dr. T on The Frankie Boyer Show (Podcast)
I was a guest on Frankie Boyer's webcast program last week. We discussed a recent study on fibromyalgia and energy, and our foundation's new study on treating autism with NAET. The program is about 45 minutes long. But my segment is in the first half (Dr. Steven Lamm follows me with a discussion on the importance of gut function to health).
More Evidence That Flupirtine Can Relieve "Untreatable" Pain
Flupirtine is an old, pain-relieving medicine available in Europe but not in the U.S. In 2000, a doctor reported four cases in which a daily dose of 200 to 600 mg of the drug successfully treated fibromyalgia symptoms (not only pain, but insomnia, depression, brain fog and fatigue) when all other drugs had failed. A new case history reports the same positive results for flupirtine with small-fiber neuropathy, a type of pain frequently seen in fibromyalgia.
Does Sugar Make You Stupid?
A new UCLA study shows that a high-fructose diet (for instance, drinking too many sodas) sabotages learning and memory.
Optimizing Digestion With Probiotics
Probiotics are gut-friendly bacteria packaged in a supplement, and research shows they can help improve healthy digestion in many ways. Here is yet another study on the health-enhancing power of probiotics
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A Very Cool Fund Raiser
HoneyColony is young company in the making that's asking for your help. They want to create a "social e-commerce website" that finds, evaluates, shares, and distributes products and ideas that support optimum health and a holistic lifestyle — the very things we care about. To raise funds, they've joined a really novel website called Indiegogo — a new kind of place where young startups can present their ideas to the world.
Support HoneyColony and Get a Cool "Perk"
Visit the HoneyColony page at Indiegogo and listen to their plan. If you like what you see, you can help with a small donation. As way of thanks, they'll send you any of a number of cool, health-related "perks" you can choose from.
They only have two weeks left to meet their goal. Please consider giving them a hand!
Cat and Dolphins Playing Together
This Week's Joke
Crazy Laws in Colorado
It is illegal to ride a horse while under the influence.
You don't need a license to wear a holstered six-gun within the city limits of Colorado Springs, except on Sunday, Election Day, or holidays.
You cannot drive a black car on Sundays in Denver.
It is unlawful to lend your vacuum cleaner to your next-door neighbor in Denver.
It is illegal to mistreat rats in Denver.
Cats cannot run loose without having been fit with a taillight.
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