Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bogus Diagnostics and Therapeutics: ND Pincott, an Electrodermal Ruse, and Recommended Orthorexia

here, I quote from a recent glowing piece on naturopathy in Canada [see 001., below]; then from scientific criticism of the naturopathic methods and claims [see 002., below]:

001. Kristen Douglas of campbellrivermirror.com reports in "Breaking Down Barriers to Naturopathy" (2012-05-22) [vsc 2012-05-22] [also here; my comments are in unquoted bold]:

"as a naturopathic doctor [...] Pincott's work is all about [...what is] 'safe, effective, and proactive' [...]";

lets put that to the test.

"Pincott sees patients with an array of medical issues – from cancer to high blood pressure. 'I treat everything, all sorts of conditions,' Pincott says. 'I have people coming in because they’re infertile, I’ve treated kids with attention deficit, I’ve treated kids with autism. I treat men with prostate problems, you name it' [...]";

I think it's safe to say that NDs think that they can treat any type of problem...and do.

"Pincott has several patients with asthma [...] 'we teach the underlying causes of disease. For example, with asthma, it's dairy [...] 'getting people off dairy is a big one' [...]";

I do not think that is true, in terms of scientific evidence. 

A 2005 study "Milk Consumption Does Not Lead to Mucus Production or Occurrence of Asthma" states: "there is a belief among some members of the public that the consumption of milk and dairy products increases the production of mucus in the respiratory system. Therefore, some who believe in this effect renounce drinking milk [...] in some types of alternative medicine, people with bronchial asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease of the lower respiratory tract, are advised not to eat so-called mucus-forming foods, especially all kinds of dairy products. According to different investigations the consumption of milk does not seem to exacerbate the symptoms of asthma and a relationship between milk consumption and the occurrence of asthma cannot be established."  Sounds to me like "with asthma, it's dairy" is quite an empty promise by ND Pincott and quite a torture visited upon a patient: therein, orthorexia.

"'we're a tiny profession compared to the medical profession [...] trying to educate people' Pincott says [...] Pincott writes a monthly column for North Island MidWeek as well as monthly Ask the Expert pieces in the Mirror [...] Pincott has several binders full of educational newspaper clippings and a bulletin board full of health pamphlets [...] to find out more information, visit Pincott’s website at www.DrPincott.com [...]";

ah, yes, PROFESSION, EDUCATION, EXPERTISE, INFORMATION! We will visit.

"Pincott encourages people to come in and find out more about naturopathic medicine [...and offers] free candida testing or free taste testing [...to] try nutritional supplements [...] the candida test is a five-minute, electro-dermal acupuncture that gives the doctor an idea of a person’s intestinal health. It also determines how sensitive a person is to yeast growth in the gut [...] Dr. Ingrid Pincott sees some abnormalities as she tests [...a patient's] organs for signs of illness [...] through organ testing [....which] can sniff out illness before a patient actually feels sick [...]";

so, electrodermal, acupuncture, and some kind of projection of results upon the patient's poop pipes. This Pincott page confirms that 'organ testing' involves a machine called an "EAV Dermatron".  And here she talks of an "organ testing machine" (and here).  Here she mentions "EAV organ testing",  and here the "EAV organ testing machine."

002. some criticisms of electrodermal screening (EDS) and acupuncture:

002.a. the EAV Dermatron or Vega-like machines:

002.a1. Quackwatch writes in "Quack 'Electrodiagnostic' Devices":

"thousands of practitioners use 'electrodiagnostic' devices to help select their recommended treatment. Many claim to determine the cause of any disease by detecting the 'energy imbalance' causing the problem. Some also claim that the devices can detect whether someone is allergic or sensitive to foods, deficient in vitamins, or has defective teeth [...] the diagnostic procedure is most commonly referred to as electroacupuncture according to Voll (EAV) or electrodermal screening (EDS), but some practitioners call it bioelectric functions diagnosis (BFD), bio resonance therapy (BRT), bio-energy regulatory technique (BER), biocybernetic medicine (BM), computerized electrodermal screening (CEDS), computerized electrodermal stress analysis (CDCSA), electrodermal testng (EDT), limbic stress assessment (LSA), meridian energy analysis (MEA), or point testing [...] the first EAV devices were developed by Reinhold Voll, a West German physician who had been engaged in acupuncture practice in the 1950s [2]. In 1958, he combined Chinese acupuncture theory with galvanic skin differentials to produce his EAV system. His first transistorized model was the Dermatron [...] the devices described in this article are used to diagnose nonexistent health problems, select inappropriate treatment, and defraud insurance companies. I believe that EAV devices should be confiscated and that practitioners who use them are either delusional, dishonest, or both. If you encounter any such device, please report it to the practitioner's state licensing board, the state attorney general, the FDA, the Federal Trade Commission, the FBI, the National Fraud Information Center, and any insurance company to which the practitioner submits claims that involve use of the device."

002.b.  acupuncture:

002.b1. MD Novella writes in "Why I Am Skeptical of Acupuncture":

"acupuncture is the practice of placing very thin needles through the skin in specific locations of the body for the purpose of healing and relief of symptoms. This practice is [supposedly] several thousand years old and is part of traditional Chinese medicine [...] acupuncture has recently been transplanted to the West, riding the wave of tolerance for unscientific treatment practices marketed as 'complementary and alternative medicine' [...] the scientific medical community has still not accepted the practice as a legitimate scientific practice [...] Acupuncture is a pre-scientific superstition [...] taken as a whole, the pattern of the acupuncture literature follows one with which scientists are very familiar: the more tightly controlled the study the smaller the effect, and the best controlled trials are negative. This pattern is highly predictive of a null-effect – that there is no actual effect from acupuncture."

there you go, baby.

003. what's really 'breaking down':

it appears our collective rationality is breaking down, and fantasy is overtaking reality.  Naturopathic figmentation is posing as what is true, while such falsehood is protected by licensure, and journalistic integrity is nonexistent.  Why not a single criticism of this nonsense by reporter Douglas?
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