A canna’ change the laws of physics

Scotty, The Naked Time, stardate 1704.3, Episode 7

Posts Tagged ‘menopause’

Mail menopause myths

Posted by apgaylard on March 26, 2009

bigstockphoto_hand_outstretched_with_a_pile__1993865It is no great surprise when the Daily Mail gets it wrong on health (or other scientific) issues.  They have a long and inglorious record in this regard.  A recent article on the menopause continues this fine tradition. 

Neither is it unusual to find therapies of no, and even disproven, worth promoted for the treatment of the symptoms of the menopause.   This topic seems to provide rich pickings for people promoting treatments ranging from the sensible but speculative through to downright outrageous quackery.  The confluence of a condition which potentially affects more than half of the world’s population, self limiting symptoms and the difficulties associated with weighing the risks of HRT make for a potent mix.  The market is large, the media are generally credulous, efficacy is difficult to establish and there are fears to play on.  In many ways an ideal target for so-called CAM. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Posted in Logical Fallacies, Pseudoscience, Supplements | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Novogen and the RCN’s placebo pushing algorithm

Posted by apgaylard on December 15, 2008

a-conservative-clinical-approach-for-treatment-of-menopausal-symptomsIn part three of my two-part series (here and here) on The Royal College of Nursing’s “Complementary approaches to menopausal symptoms – RCN guidance for nurses, midwives and health visitors” I pursue a niggling doubt about the evidence base for red clover isoflavones: the RCN seemed keen on them around the same time the NIH was saying, “studies suggest that it is not effective in reducing hot flashes.” 

The RCN’s evidence centres on a 1996 paper published by Nachtigall and co-workers.  I was so intrigued I bought a copy from the British Library. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Supplements | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

RCN, CAM and the menopause – Part two – Credulous nonsense

Posted by apgaylard on November 28, 2008

complementary-approaches-to-menopausal-symptoms1In part one of this short series on the Royal College of Nursing’s “Complementary approaches to menopausal symptoms – RCN guidance for nurses, midwives and health visitors” I looked at the guidance on herbal remedies.  Now I’m moving on to cover what the document has to say about the role of acupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology and homeopathy in treating symptoms of the menopause. 

Just like its approach to herbal remedies, we shall see that this document falls into the pitfalls of appeals to common practise and tradition; along with a predilection for cherry-picking dubious positive evidence; ignoring more credible negative evidence. 

Before we begin, it is worth remembering that the RCN counsels its members: 

“… You should not recommend products or therapies over others without a good evidence base …”

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in homeopathy, Pseudoscience | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The RCN, CAM and the menopause – Part one – The herbs don’t work?

Posted by apgaylard on November 18, 2008

complementary-approaches-to-menopausal-symptomsI’ve recently stumbled upon the Royal College of Nursing’s “Complementary approaches to menopausal symptoms” and I’m not overly impressed.  So I’ve decided to review it in two posts.  This post looks at some of its introductory sections and then focuses on what it has to say about herbs and the menopause. 

Part two will look at its inadequate treatment of the remaining complementary therapies (acupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology and homeopathy)

Don’t get me wrong, the document has its strengths: a good discussion of the placebo effect and information on possible side-effects from herbs, to name two. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Supplements | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Holland and Barrett hit the menopause

Posted by apgaylard on November 7, 2008

Holland and Barrett 'support' World Menopause DayAnother Week, another charitable day to target, and another set of dubious promotional claims from Holland and Barrett.  This time they have been piggy-backing (somewhat belatedly) on World Menopause Day.  That an event designed to bring some reliable advice to women facing this natural, and unavoidable, transition is used to advertise products of no clear worth seems distasteful to me.

A mail shot improbably entitled, “Beat menopause naturally – save up to 50% on menopause supplements” implies that a range of products can beat the menopause.  The menopause, of course, can’t be beaten; it’s a fact of life.

So much for the advertising strap-line, what of the products that it promotes? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Supplements | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »