Tag Archives | Medicine

Half Of All Americans Believe In At Least One Medical Conspiracy Theory

OuchFlintGoodrichShot1941If you believe that the CIA deliberately infected African Americans with the HIV virus or another medical conspiracy theory, you have plenty of company: about half of all Americans, reports Reuters:

About half of American adults believe in at least one medical conspiracy theory, according to new survey results.

Some conspiracy theories have much more traction than others, however.

For example, three times as many people believe U.S. regulators prevent people from getting natural cures as believe that a U.S. spy agency infected a large number of African Americans with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

J. Eric Oliver, the study’s lead author from University of Chicago, said people may believe in conspiracy theories because they’re easier to understand than complex medical information.

“Science in general – medicine in particular – is complicated and cognitively challenging because you have to carry around a lot of uncertainty,” Oliver said.

“To talk about epidemiology and probability theories is difficult to understand as opposed to ‘if you put this substance in your body, it’s going to be bad,'” he said.

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In 1947 a Live Fish Got Stuck in a Man’s Throat: Here’s How They Removed It

PIC: Klem (CC)

PIC: Klem (CC)

Here’s one from the archives: In 1947, medical personnel had to perform an emergency tracheotomy as part of a complicated procedure to remove a fish that had become lodged in the throat of an unlucky Malaysian man. The man’s family said that the fish had jumped from the man’s net and into his mouth, becoming lodged in his throat. Sounds about as likely as people who visit emergency rooms with rectums stuffed with “foreign bodies” that they “accidentally” fell on while naked, but what do I know? Stranger things have happened. Anyway, this is a pretty gruesome story…

Via Discover:

CASE REPORT: A Malay villager was admitted to the Malacca General Hospital on Feb.27, 1947, in a very distressed state, with laryngealobstruction.There was a marked stridor and retraction of the intercostal spaces. He was throwing himself about on the stretcher and was very dificult to examine, and of course quite unable to give any history.

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Six-Hundred Year-Old Petrified Poop Contains Antibiotic Resistance Genes

PIC: Dr. Graham Beards (PD)

PIC: Dr. Graham Beards (PD)

Once you get over the shock of a perfectly preserved 14th century turd (Dude, what did you eat?), the story is actually pretty interesting: Scientists examining a six hundred year-old piece of human poop have discovered the presence of genes that provide antibiotic resistance.

Via Heritage Daily:

A team of French investigators has discovered viruses containing genes for antibiotic resistance in a fossilized fecal sample from 14th century Belgium, long before antibiotics were used in medicine.

The viruses in the fecal sample are phages, which are viruses that infect bacteria, rather than infecting eukaryotic organisms such as animals, plants, and fungi. Most of the viral sequences the researchers found in the ancient coprolite (fossil fecal sample) were related to viruses currently known to infect bacteria commonly found in stools (and hence, in the human gastrointestinal tract), including both bacteria that live harmlessly, and even helpfully in the human gut, and human pathogens, says corresponding author Christelle Desnues of Aix Marseille Université.

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Man Had 42 Pearls Lodged In His Flesh In Alternative Medicine Gone Wrong

4790-P7Today’s waking nightmare via Your Jewish News:

A 61-year-old man named Zou of Beijing, China, had to undergo emergency surgery to remove 42 pearls that were embedded in his body for years as part of an unusual remedy for severe pain in the legs.

Doctors in Changsha, Hunan Province, removed the pearls from the man’s waist, hips and legs. Zou suffered from back and leg pain when a friend introduced him to a doctor in Yiyang, Hunan Province, who places pearls under the skin in order to heal pain.

One of Zou’s relatives who underwent the pearl therapy, got better. However, Zou started experiencing a sharp pain in his legs last year, which subsequently left him unable to walk. As a result of the unusual remedy, Zou had contracted bilateral femoral head necrosis, a condition which stops blood supply to the bone.

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Study Suggests Marijuana Could Prevent The Spread Of HIV

HIV-budding-ColorShould weed be part of AIDS prevention? Daily marijuana use by the HIV-positive could block them from infecting others, the Daily Beast reports:

The study itself was fairly simple. For 17 months, Dr. Molina and her team at Louisiana State University administered a high concentration of THC to 4-to-6-year-old male rhesus monkeys who were RIV-positive (a virus in chimps similar to HIV), twice daily. An examination of the tissue in their intestines before and after the chronic THC exposure revealed dramatic decreases in immune tissue damage in the stomach and a significant increase in the numbers of normal cells.

During HIV infection, one of the earliest effects is that the virus spreads rapidly throughout the body and kills a significant part of cells in the gut and intestine. This activity damages the gut in a way that allows the HIV to leak through the cell wall of the intestines and into the bloodstream.

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Why Ordinary Food Will be the Future of Medicine

Pic: GardenKitty (CC)

Pic: GardenKitty (CC)

T. Colin Campbell, one the featured scientists/doctors in the breakout documentary Planeat, writes at CounterPunch:

The Problem

Few issues have become so intensely debated and politically charged as the need to reform the health care system. This debate has resulted in the ObamaCare program (The Affordable Care Act), which aims to expand and improve health care, thereby reducing health care costs.

Presently, US health care costs constitute 18% of GDP, up from about 5% around 1970 (1). These costs are burdensome and many sectors of our society are paying the price. School programs are being scaled back because of the escalating costs of retiree health care benefit programs, as illustrated in Michigan where they are “laying off teachers, scrapping programs and mothballing extracurricular activities…[because of]…health care bills of retirees.“(2). About 60% of personal bankruptcies are now attributed to medical care costs (3) and these rising costs are eroding family incomes (4), among many other devastating outcomes.

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“Epidemic Of Sleep” Reported In Village In Kazakhstan

sleepingIs it mass hysteria? A mysterious epidemic that could grind society to a halt? Or perhaps a logical response to the complexities of modern life? Via Brazil Weird News:

An “Epidemic of Sleep” is how doctors are calling a strange disease that spread among the villagers of Kalachi, Akmola region, Kazakhstan.

Local TV channel KTK reported that, even now, nothing is known about the cause of the disorder. It was found that the affected people are not close nor had any fortuitous contact with each other.

The complaints relate symptoms such as weakness, fainting, even hallucinations. All victims begin to feel an irresistible desire to sleep. Village resident Hope Yakimova said: “People are falling sleeping suddenly, anywhere, standing or sitting.”

Radiation levels and samples of air, water, and soil were measured across town. The blood of the victims was also analyzed seeking traces of heavy metals and other toxic substances.

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Scientist Says Ayahuasca May Fight Cancer

ayahuascaVia SAGE Open Medicine, Brazilian scientist Eduardo E. Schenberg lays out psychedelic shamanic drug’s possible anti-tumor properties in great detail and calls for further investigation into its use as an alternative cancer treatment:

Used for centuries in the Amazon basin by healers and shamans for many different purposes, including the healing and curing of illnesses, ayahuasca is a plant decoction that may be useful in the treatment of some types of cancer. The decoction is most commonly made of two plants in two possible combinations: Banisteriopsis caapi with Psychotria viridis or B. caapi with Diplopterys cabrerana.

There are at least nine reports of cancer patients who consumed ayahuasca during their treatment. Four were reported in a peer-reviewed article, one in an institutional magazine, one in Internet sources, two in a scientific conference (later mentioned in a peer-reviewed article), and one in a book. The origins of these cancers were the prostate, colon, ovaries, breast, uterus, stomach, and brain.

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People Who Drink Their Own Urine Each Morning For Good Health

urineOPEN Magazine has the hottest alternative health secret to start off 2014:

77-year-old south Mumbai resident Sudarshan Dheer’s daily routine begins by waking at 4:30 am and drinking a glass of his own urine. When he is afflicted by an infection or any other ailment, he increases the usage to three times a day. While all this might sound unpalatable, Dheer is part of large community of people who believe that the consumption of one’s own urine gives a huge boost to immunity.

Dheer heard about auto urine therapy (AUT), as it is called, nearly four decades ago when he had a painful viral infection. Somebody told him to read a book called Water of Life, the bible of urine drinkers written by John Armstrong. Dheer began to drink urine and his ailment came under control.

Morarji Desai, the late Prime Minister of India, was a urine drinker who felt no coyness in talking about it.

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