As some of may be aware of, I recently suffered a stroke to which I am now in recovery. It's slow going and I am looking at it as a new adventure.
Now I will admit there are many matters I am quite ignorant of because, well, it could never happen to me. Having a stroke and dealing with the aftermath is one of those issues. So off to Google I went (actually DuckDuck.go), to find basic information. And boy was that a trip,,,, Facebook was quite helpful as well, but for another reason, that is the topic of which I am going to rant about.
The internet can kill my friends, and the fact that it is allowed carte blanche boggles my mind; but that is a whole other topic.
So how helpful was FB, well we have this gem "Natural Remedies to Reduce High Blood Pressure in 5 Minutes". It starts out by stating, "One of the more dangerous diseases of modern age is the high blood pressure which is caused by increased stress, sleeps deprivation, obesity, salty food, smoking and increased consuming of alcohol."
No, no and no!! these are not causes but contributing factors. In "essential hypertension" which 95% of cases a HBP fall, the cause is UNKNOWN.
Might want to get proper medical advise as to what high blood pressure is because "the muscles get really tense, the blood vessels contract and the pressure increases" doesn't even begin to cover it. Your muscles have nothing to do with it.
As you might well guess, it devolves from there.
A second piece of medical woo was shared by a friend of the show with a warning for me to take my BP into consideration. It was a photo post of the "New Zealand Journal of Natural Medicine" with all sorts of crap plastered on the cover, In response, I noted, "are they trying to kill their readers?"
Which then led to a third piece of woo, a meme entitled Mind in Action:
Needless to say, I became quite irritated,,, Hell if I was in my old fundie days, I would most likely be dead or severely incapacitated,,, it's bad enough I'm a stubborn ox (it took Deb and friend of the show Dave Foda over three hours to convince me to go to hospital) but people don't need to be pushing this shit,,,
What I posted,,,
I'd be fucking dead if I relied on god,,, quit pushing shit before you kill someone. Recent stroke survivor saved by science not an imaginary sky fairy.It was deleted within 24 hrs
As frustrating and galling as this situation is, there is hope. There are people actively combating this shit. People like Professor Stephen and Rachel Brown of AoA. Individuals like our very own Heretic Woman. But there are many professionals as well who blog daily about the dangers of bad science. Who take time from their careers as scientists, doctors and researchers to put forth useful, scientifically solid information for the lay public to devour. But the most important group are the ex-woomeisters and that is what I would like to highlight for a moment in closing.
Amongst all the crap I have came across, this article, IT HAPPENED TO ME: Alternative Medicine (And Poor Critical Thinking Skills) Almost Killed Me,
Back home, I tried more alternative medicine for three more years before ending up in the ICU with acute kidney failure and out of control inflammatory bowel symptoms from all of the useless drugs and supplements I was ingesting without proper follow up with a qualified medical professional.
I decided that perfect health wasn’t possible for me, and decided to have the total colectomy. I had not fully transitioned out of my hatred for modern medicine and conspiracy mindset. I had just decided that I didn’t care about being perfect anymore. I just wanted to end the UC flares and eat food again. I agreed to the surgery and all of its risks.
Now I am healthy. Turns out, there’s this thing called a J-pouch, which I now have. I also finally got real help for my mental illness, too. I made friends who don’t moralize food choices and who accept me as I am. I got married to the best person on Earth.
I still have a very complicated relationship with food. Since my surgeries, I’ve allowed myself to eat an unrestricted diet in order to maintain emotional stability and so I ended up gaining a lot of weight.
I’d like to be thinner, but my mental well-being takes precedence. I have to let go of all of those memories of people complimenting me on how great I looked when I was obviously sick and painfully thin. I had to let go of how pious I felt when I was eating “right.”
Someday, I hope to get to a place where I can handle a real healthy lifestyle without conflating determination with obsession. And maybe…someday…women will be allowed to be fat.
Thankfully I never quite fell into that trap in my younger days. Yes I was vegan, but not for ethical reason, I just didn't like the taste of animal proteins. Yes, I dabbled in the woo, but science in the end always won out. Yes, it is an issue I still struggle with at times and the author of the above offered and explanation of why.
I'm certainly not the first to say this, but alternative medicine is a fundamentalist religion. It is the same sort of victim-blaming, life-shaming, sacrificial culture that my husband dealt with growing up in an evangelical church. We discuss our parallel experiences often. Alternative medicine is a salvation based religion, except that instead of an eternity in heaven, you get perfect health.
Just as we battle religious and political ideology so to must we battle the charlatans of science. Then maybe, just maybe, we won't have to read about people like Belle Gibson, who according to her mother are allowed to “tell little porky pies”.
Australian health and wellbeing blogger Belle Gibson gained a large online following and was due to release a Whole Pantry app and a book on the basis that she had treated her own terminal cancer by shunning medical treatments in place of a healthy diet and alternative therapies. She encouraged readers to lead healthier lives to beat cancer, rather than accepting medical treatment.Sorry to say Ms. Dal-Bello, most people that tell a lie, don't injure or possibly kill people in the process.
It was revealed earlier this year however that Gibson had never been diagnosed with cancer.
Her mother, Natalie Dal-Bello, has now defended her daughter’s actions in an interview with The Herald Sun. She said: “Belle told a white lie, aged 23-and-a-half. So what?
“Belle is allowed to tell little porky pies. Who the hell doesn’t tell a lie in their life? Nobody complained about Belle when she was helping people and now they want to put her under the microscope.”
When you see the junk, whether it be science, medicine or religion, call it out. Call it for what it is,,,BULLSHIT!!