Interesting Information: October 27, 2014
The Gold Standard:
Double-Blind Studies and Cough Syrup, Antibiotics for Ear Infections, and Knee Arthritis
I had a really, really bad ear infection this summer.
Friends kept asking me if I’d been to the doctor to get an antibiotic.
But, somewhere I had read that antibiotics don’t really help ear infections. And I am SUPER antibiotic cautious anyway as they wipe out ALL your gut flora and fauna, which is increasingly being shown to be a really dumb thing to do. And, sometimes one’s immune system needs some inflammation to strengthen itself.
I did some selected herbs and some homeopathic treatments, and eventually, the ear infection resolved itself. (I will not be swimming without ear plugs in our wild water next summer though.)
I’ve been catching up on back issues of various magazines in my read pile. A sidebar in the November/December 2014 issue of Well Being Journal (7) caught my attention. The sidebar referenced an article by Steven Bratman, MD, on the importance of using evidence-based medicine in the form of double-blind studies. Here’s a quote.
The double-blind study has caused a revolution even in conventional medicine. Many old beliefs have been tossed out when double-blind studies were finally done. It’s been discovered, for example, that (as noted earlier) over-the-counter cough syrups don’t work,10 that immediate antibiotic treatment for ear infections is probably not necessary or even helpful in most cases,11-15, 30 and that cartilage scraping for knee arthritis is no better than placebo7. (The numbers are footnotes).
The whole article can be read at the url below–and it’s a good article on why double-blind studies are so important.
So, now I’m asking myself WHY so much of what is practiced today in conventional medicine has NOT been proven via double-blind studies…
I hope you’re thinking about this issue, too, and asking for evidence of a double-blind study BEFORE you accept any drug, treatment, or so forth…