mainstream

  1. New standards for sinus infections

    I never thought I'd see the day!

    A mainstream medical association is actually urging docs to stop giving out the armloads of meds that usually accompany sinus infections and try a completely natural treatment instead.

    I'd stand up and applaud the Infectious Disease Society of America's newest recommendations, but that would be like applauding an Amtrak train for pulling into the station "only" 16 hours behind schedule (and yes, I've seen it happen).

    Except in this case, the IDSA is several decades late!

    So from the "better late than never" department, the new guidelines call on docs to stop prescribing antibiotics, antihistamines, and nasal decongestants for every patient that walks in with a sniffle, because these drugs simply don't work.

    At best, they bring a whole lot of nothing to the table since up to 98 percent of all sinus infections are viral -- and antibiotics don't make a bit of difference when it comes to viral infections (plus, their overuse leads to the creation of drug-resistant germs).

    At worse, it's a recipe for more misery -- because decongestants and antihistamines can actually make the condition WORSE, not better.

    If you really want a good scare, try reading the warning label on the spray decongestants people shoot up their nose like there's no tomorrow. They can actually cause "rebound" congestion in as little as three days -- which is why people who use these meds can actually end up hooked on them.

    "Nasal spray addiction" might sound ridiculous -- but it's very real.

    Instead of pumping junk up your nose, use plain old sterile water and a nasal irrigator.

    This used to be considered "alternative medicine." Now, it's actually part of the new guidelines -- and if your doctor looks at you funny for even mentioning it, tell him to try to keep up with the times.

  2. Homeopathy under attack... again!

    Mention the word "homeopathy" to a mainstream doctor, and you can practically see the steam shoot out of his ears.

    Maybe that's why I love it so much!

    Right now, the entire field is under attack around the world -- especially in Britain and Australia, where major medical organizations are calling for a complete ban on the practice.

    They claim homeopathic remedies are so diluted they can't possibly work. Notice the supposition over science there. Not "proven not to work" but "can't possibly work."

    Now, I won't sit here and tell you every homeopathic remedy works as promised. But plenty of them do -- and there are enough studies to back them up that you'd have to have your head stuck up your you-know-where to dismiss the entire field.

    Some of these studies have even been published in the world's most prestigious mainstream journals, including BMJ and Lancet.

    But the arguments against homeopathy are just a smokescreen to begin with. Docs don't hate it because it's ineffective. If that was the threshold, they'd be protesting half the drugs they prescribe every day.

    No, the real reason homeopathy gets them so worked up is that it represents a direct threat to the bottom line.

    Every patient cured by a homeopath or a homeopathic treatment is a patient who doesn't need a mainstream doctor or drug -- and a patient who might not even bother with a "real" doctor next time he or she gets sick.

    So you see, there's an inherent conflict of interest in letting mainstream medical groups set policy on homeopathy -- like letting Ford regulate Chrysler.

    Just ignore the steam coming out of those docs' ears. If you're sick and think a homeopathic treatment might help, visit a real homeopath.

  3. Shaking up conventional wisdom

    You've heard me say for years that salt isn't your enemy and that cutting back won't lower your heart risk OR save your life -- and now, the mainstream is finally catching on.

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