Assorted Links

  • Doctoring to the test. Megan McArdle describes the medical equivalent of “teaching to the test”. Although she had the usual symptoms of too-little thyroid hormone, her doctor would not give her more synthetic hormone because her Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) level was within “normal range”.
  • The Rotten Heart of Europe: The Dirty War for Europe’s Money by Bernard Connolly is out of print, but you can buy a used copy  ($600) or download it (free).
  • More evidence that butter is good for you.
  • The trouble with lab mice. Nobel Prizes in Medicine, I’ve said, show the continuing failure of researchers to make significant progress on all major diseases. This article is a closer look at the problem. “We’ve had thousands of mouse studies of tuberculosis, yet not one of them has ever been used to pick a new drug regimen that succeeded in clinical trials. ‘This isn’t just true for TB; it’s true for virtually every disease,’ he tells me.”

Thanks to Ivy Hsieh and Allan Jackson.

8 Responses to “Assorted Links”

  1. charlie Says:

    rule of thumb: women goes into a doctor complaining about a thryoid issue. Give her a reference to a psychologist.

    True about 75% of GI complaints as well. If there’s not blood in the toliet, you dont’ need a doctor.

  2. Jim Purdy Says:

    Megan McArdle asked: “Will evidence-based medicine push us even more towards looking at numbers rather than listening to patients?”

    “Listening to patients?”

    Now that’s a concept that I haven’t seen practiced by many doctors. They all seem to be spend my allotted 3-minute visit typing out expensive prescriptions that their computers tell them that my insurance will cover. Meanwhile, they ignore me sitting there telling them that I don’t want any drugs for lifestyle-caused issues like cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar, and that I only want lifestyle advice.

    Forget evidence-based medicine, I’m ready to try shoe-based medicine. Maybe I could get a doctor’s attention if I whack them over the head with a shoe.

  3. Alrenous Says:

    There’s a good reason you go with the objective tests, though.
    If you have a bunch of thyroid symptoms but normal thyroid levels, most of the time it’s because someone’s made a mistake somewhere and your thyroid’s fine.

    That said, in this case the House solution is perfect. Give ‘em thyroid stuff and see if they improve. Unlike say, chemo, hormones tend not to have the capacity to cause permanent damage. May as well just try it and see.

  4. Seth Roberts Says:

    Megan McArdle asked: “Will evidence-based medicine push us even more towards looking at numbers rather than listening to patients?”

    Maybe we should call it evidence-rationalized medicine.

  5. Seth Roberts Says:

    rule of thumb: women goes into a doctor complaining about a thryoid issue. Give her a reference to a psychologist.

    and you know this because…?

  6. Sam Says:

    Just a note on the butter article: according to Wikipedia, kombucha contains butyric acid.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butyric_acid#Biosynthesis

  7. Pieter Says:

    I think the link about the butter should go to Stephan Guyenet himself at http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/12/butyric-acid-ancient-controller-of.html, and not to a site that just copies other blogs.

  8. Perfect Health Diet » Around the Web; Home for the Holiday Edition Says:

    [...] Seth Roberts, the trouble with lab mice. “We’ve had thousands of mouse studies of tuberculosis, yet not one [...]