Tagdiabetes

Traditional Medicine, a Conversation with Renee Davis

I found this interesting because I normally come down in favor of western medicines and treatments:

In the case of the diabetes epidemic, I really paid attention to the narrative of the disease as dictated by Western biomedicine and, in contrast, indigenous peoples of Western North America. And I learned that they are operating on very different narratives. Western biomedicine says diabetes is caused by Indian genes, poor diet & lifestyle, etc. To many tribal people, this is a very doom and gloom story–if diabetes is caused by bad genes, what can you do about it? It’s disempowering. It also shames and blames Indian identity. Not surprisingly, many medical interventions, like getting diagnosed and treated, are traumatic in their own way. Getting one’s blood drawn and scrutinized for glucose levels, for example, reminds many of having their blood scrutinized for tribal enrollment. It can be felt as another face of social control.

Many tribal people, in contrast, understand the diabetes epidemic as an expression of the generational trauma they’ve experienced. Things like European epidemics, Indian boarding schools, nutritional trauma, environmental degradation, and reservation life were really hard hits to Salish life and culture. And these wounds span generations. And this is cited as the cause of the diabetes epidemic in tribal communities. So in this sense, there is definite spiritual and cultural dimension in diabetes etiology with Salish people.

So you have these 2 ways of looking at diabetes: one focuses on genes & diet, the other addressing cultural wounds. So when you build a diabetes program based in a biomedical understanding and try to implement it in a community that sees generational trauma as the primary cause, the program will fail. However, if you create a tribal diabetes program based in their cultural understandings, then you can get somewhere. So that was the big lesson: know the mental models of who you’re working with, and meet the people where they are. Not where you are.

Full Story: Traditional Medicine, a Conversation with Renee Davis

The whole thing is worth a read.

Stem Cells From Testes Produce Wide Range of Tissue Types

U.S. researchers say they’ve successfully reprogrammed adult stem cells from the testes of male mice into a wide variety of cell types, including functional blood vessels, contractile cardiac tissue, and brain cells.

If the same can be done with adult testes stem cells from humans, they may offer a source of new therapies to treat men with health problems such as heart disease, vascular diseases, diabetes, stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer, the researchers said.

Full Story: Washington Post.

(via Hit and Run).

Hacking Your Body’s Bacteria for Better Health

Some scientists say we’re overdoing it. All this killing may actually cause diseases like eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and even diabetes. The answer, they say, is counterintuitive: Feed patients bacteria.

“Probiotics (pills containing bacteria) have resulted in complete elimination of eczema in 80 percent of the people we’ve treated,” says Dr. Joseph E. Pizzorno Jr., a practicing physician and former member of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy. Pizzorno says he’s used probiotics to treat irritable bowel disease, acne and even premenstrual syndrome. “It’s unusual for me to see a patient with a chronic disease that doesn’t respond to probiotics.”

Full Story: Wired.

ADHD: a Farce

Looks like some physicians are finally seeing the light on the whole ADD/ADHD excuse that runs rampant in our society.

“Retired California neurologist Fred A. Baughman Jr. fired off a letter in January 2000 to U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher in response to Satcher’s Report on Mental Illness. ‘Having gone to medical school,’ Baughman wrote, ‘and studied pathology – disease, then diagnosis – you and I and all physicians know that the presence of any bona fide disease, like diabetes, cancer or epilepsy, is confirmed by an objective finding – a physical or chemical abnormality. No demonstrable physical or chemical abnormality: no disease!”

“It is this direct, no-nonsense style that has made Baughman a pariah among the psychiatric and mental-health communities and a hero to families of children across America who believe they have been ‘victimized’ by the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) label. The ‘disease,’ Baughman tells Insight, ‘is a total 100 percent fraud,’ and he has made it his personal ‘crusade’ to bring an end to the ADHD diagnosis.”

Full article (via Invisible College).

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