Be Wary of Fad Diagnosis

Fad Diagnosis – even doctors and science can’t agree. 

We hear it over and over. Some new diagnosis that suddenly everyone has or knows someone that has and thus, we need to get tested. In this article, I intend to provide my thought process for debunking fads and following sciscience-baseddical resources. I’m also providing links to credible sites where you can do your own research. 

Whether it is IBS, Leaky Gut, MTHR Gene, Hashimoto, RSD, ABC…  you know where I’m going here.  But what you don’t know is that these fads start somewhere.  When we get desperate for a solution, we buy in. And when we buy in, we lose time and a lot of money. But the worst part is we lose hope.  And that is the one thing we can’t afford to lose.  While I do a lot of research on what to do for my loved one, I try hard to avoid the arguments that erupt over what many call quackery or fads and others claim scientific proof.  Fad Diagnosis are those ideas that suddenly everyone has.  Remember when suddenly all the kids had to be checked for Attention Deficit Disorder — a new disease? Or was it too much structure and too much sitting around?  Remember when no one had a gluten intolerance but ate wheat moderately? Now it is more popular than ever to claim a gluten intolerance.  These are fads.  Maybe there is a little thread of validity?  

 

When it comes to Fad Diagnosis, you have to do your research.  To do that you have to learn to recognize the authorities, the science-based information, and the fads.  This sounds so common sensible, but when desperate to feel better you tend to blow off the sensible and jump to something reachable.  Thus, the things that make no sense seem logical and worth a shot. 

Enter the medical profiteers. Enter the MLMs. Enter all those who will swear up and down that their elixer has cured so many others and you just have to give it a month or so — even though they have no medical proof. They have stories. 

So this morning I read of yet another claim regarding Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This time, it’s not probiotics that will cure but that ‘there is proof that Leaky Gut Syndrome can be treated with Probiotics.  Well, probiotics are quite the popular remedy for nearly everything — so I read. I also know that they do nothing but cause gas for me.  The discussion over Leaky Gut caused a stir in my house. I’ve heard of it for years, but it’s growing in popularity. And yet… Google hits don’t include most of the fact-based science sites. Only the fad based popular health and wellness sites. 

One of my favorite fact check sites is written by a doctor, Steven Barrett.  While I know he is just one person, what I like is he writes well, cites credible resources and offers science-based proof that knocks the fads back to “faddome”
He writes about fad diagnosis and lists some common ones here: 
Quackery Related Topics

On Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Here’s an excerpt of what he says about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
“Only a small percentage of people troubled by fatigue have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). According to criteria developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CFS should never be diagnosed unless fatigue persists or recurs for at least six months and is severe enough to reduce the patient’s activity level by more than half. In addition, the fatigue should be accompanied by several other symptoms, such as severe headaches, low-grade fever, joint or muscle pain, general muscle weakness, sleep disturbance, and various psychological symptoms. Consumer Reports has called CFS “a magnet for quacks,” and warned that “some practitioners create CFS patients by finding the syndrome in people who clearly don’t have it.”  

“CDC studies show that CFS can be as disabling as multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, end-stage renal disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and similar chronic conditions.here’s a link to the real symptoms of CFS — in case you need to prove to someone the disease is real”: 
CFS Symptoms per the CDC

Why is this important? 
As we enter our older years, we gain maturity. We learn to distinguish between fact and fad. But when it comes to medical, we still want to trust the expert who went to medical school.  Or do we trust the Naturopath who went to a different kind of medical school?  It’s gotten quite confusing.  

What I do is I seek fact based / science based medicine. I start with the National Institute for Health because they have provided excellent resource materials for anyone.  It’s no longer just a doctor’s resource bank. It’s open to us all.

National Institute for Health: NIH
Want information related to Senior Health: NIH Senior Health Resource
Medline Plus is a great site for clear informations: www.MedlinePlus.gov 

And of course, the main page for the CDC is here: http://www.cdc.gov/

The truth folks, is whatever really works is going to be an individual thing. And some things might work for a while and then stop. At least, with a lot of chronic conditions this is the case.  I’m simply trying to steer people away from promoting crazy cures that mean nothing if they can’t be scientifically proven. 

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