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Jun. 23 2009 - 4:15 pm | 838 views | 4 recommendations | 6 comments

Once Again, HuffPo, Oprah Trying to Kill You

The Toxins! The Toxins make you fat!

The Toxins! The Toxins make you fat!

Can someone—anyone—help me figure out Dr. Mark Hyman, of “UltraWellness?” He seems to be your standard-issue huckster medicine man, selling an 11-point plan for total weight loss and happiness via a series of DVDs and books. Also he testified before congress alongside Dr. Oz! Everything he writes is vague bullshit about tossing out the “old, conventional model of modern medicine” in favor of… “whole systems research.”

But, god help me, most of the points in his “9-point plan” to “fix our broken healthcare system” seem to make sense! They are all about nutrition, preventative care, education, and even electronic record-keeping. But I can just tell from his tone (and the fact that he has so many books for sale) that it’s a smokescreen for quackery. And hey, here is the quackery, in a PBS special called “The UltraMind Solution.”

Before I could change the channel, I heard Dr. Hyman make the following comments: “The way we think about disease, mental illness, and our brain aging, actually has nothing, nothing to do with how our body actually works … The way we think about disease is all wrong … the name of the disease tells us nothing about the real reason or the causes of them. Diseases don’t exist.”

Yes, Dr. Hyman. They do!

Dr. Hyman’s “functional medicine” seems at first like a lot of well-intentioned attempts at changing the nature of diagnoses and treatment of chronic illnesses, but then it falls right back into the typical “buy my book and lose weight and cure food allergies” and “your rheumatoid arthritis can be taken care of with a diet” claims of snake-oil salesmen.

And his latest sales pitch, “The 7 Keys to UltraWellness” (are quack doctors so poorly read that they’ve never come across Orwell, Anthony Burgess, Philip K. Dick, or anyone else who could teach them not to use such creepy fucking language?), is, of course, currently the lead story in the HuffPo’s Living section. It is nigh-fucking-unreadable.

But. We learn that Hyman is a former emergency room doctor and “the husband of an orthopedic surgeon.” And throughout, he takes reasonable points—many diseases are preventable and care should take into account a person’s whole lifestyle and background, not just the immediate symptoms—to ridiculous conclusions. Like: we are all suffering from “smoldering hidden inflammation that will kill us until we learn how to control it.” But he gets results!

But within a few months–even weeks–their lives open up again. This week alone, I spoke to a 27-year-old woman who could not lose weight and was constantly tired. She finally lost 20 pounds effortlessly by getting treating her mercury toxicity.

And there was the 78-year-old woman who felt she was on her way out with symptoms of fatigue, memory loss, joint pains, and bad digestion. She now works out every day and is full of energy, simply by treating her nutritional deficiencies and getting back in balance.

And the 30-year-old woman with PMS, migraines, stomachaches, acne, and polycystic ovarian syndrome who is completely better after getting her system back in balance.

And the 47-year-old woman with chronic sinus infections and fatigue who hasn’t had a problem all winter.

And that was just part of one day!

Anecdotal success stories! Yay!

In general, beware anyone offering to sell you the secret the experts don’t want you to know. Especially if the seller has appeared on Oprah.

Maybe someone at HuffPo’s feeling a little guilty today, though, cause they’re also promoting a story by a boring ol’ non-celebrity doctor about how vaccines don’t cause autism.


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  1. collapse expand

    Don’t you hate it when crazy people make things that say sense? You know if you push them, it will rapidly break down, but if you just let it drop, it will drive you crazy. Boy does that get ironic fast,

  2. collapse expand

    Alex,

    My neighbor next door to the building I live in owns a small breakfast/lunch restaurant. Mary is Chinese and her husband, David is Vietnamese. Mary says the definition is best described using two word…danger and opportunity as there is no one word in her dialect to give the definition in a word. It is not pick or choose as Dr. Hyman seems to suggest.

    It’s easy to see why he has presented this as an opportunity, but that isn’t the definition of crisis. She says that books on spirituality have embraced opportunity as the definition as well. I asked her if there was a better way to explain crises and she said no, you have to take both together and since people that speak English do not have similar words you just have to combine them the best you can. His nine-point plan is as you describe. It is like combining Oprah’s Dr. Oz and training expert, Bob Greene. They represent diet and exercise and Oprah pretty much looks away as she hates both. She pretended to love both until this latest major weight gain. She has brought on such guests as Jenny McCarthy, whom is desperate to not blame herself for her son’s Autism, she blames vaccines which is not only hurting her, but puts other children at risk for the diseases that vaccines do protect from if she has another child and refuses to vaccinate. There is no scientific evidence yet to prove Jenny McCarthy’s theory. That’s all it is.

    In fact, if you have any lame-brained scam or theory and have access to Oprah, you will reach a large audience whether your theory ever pans out or not. When Dr. Oz is on and disagrees, he politely stays silent. He has a new show through Oprah coming out soon. Suzanne Somers has dedicated her day to a regimen of exercise, diet and a slew of shots and supplements that are not regulated by the FDA. Red Bull is considered a supplement and is not regulated by the FDA. The sixty some pills she takes first thing in the morning is only the beginning. One of the things she does take that is regulated is Human Growth Hormone (HGH). It is hard to get and very expensive and there are many different kinds. Probably why Baseball can’t test for them all. I have read a lot about HGH and mine is high end, but it is the only one approved by the FDA for the condition that it actually treats. So, Suzanne Somers is desperate to look younger and has foregone traditional treatments for breast cancer. Let’s say for the hell of it she had liver cancer so that it takes sex out of it. Men do get breast cancer, but it makes up around 1% of the cases. One thing that might surprise you is that prostrate cancer kills more men than breast cancer kills women. There are many cancers that kill more men than kill women from breast cancer. I guess men matter less for that fact to not be out there. Ask two men and two women which kills more, prostrate cancer for men or breast cancer for women. All four would normally choose breast cancer as it gets so much publicity.

    Oprah is dangerous for passing along Suzanne Somer’s “liver cancer” treatment. I am surprised that Oprah hasn’t used Dr. Hyman yet. He reminds me a little of our President. He speaks eloquently and says either nothing or very little. His nine-point plan in print clearly shows that. He makes one relatively close change in technology and one whopper. He equates the eight track player to an i-pod. I guess he forgot cassettes and CD’s. But, if you have read him at all, it is not attached to even an idea really. He isn’t all there and lets face it, Congress doesn’t know much about healthcare because they have excellent coverage.

    I have 17 chronic diseases. The least dangerous, on the surface is chronic sinusitis, which for normal people means that half the year you usually have a sinus infection (viral) except I have the worst class of Asthma-severe persistent. I may use a couple of other examples, but probably not as I deserve my privacy. Dr. Hyman would probably call my catastrophic care for 17 chronic diseases…17 opportunities. He is dangerous. I can’t believe that a California institution paid for his PBS appearance and they showed it.

    You have read your embedded source material and in the paragraphs leading up to #`1 on his list:
    “Yes, some industries will fade, as funds are allocated toward policies and initiatives that prevent and treat chronic disease through dietary, lifestyle, and community interventions instead of expensive drugs and medical technologies. But other industries that promote health and wellness will flourish in their place.” (Dr. Hyman)

    He actually wants these unproven catch-phrases instead of expensive drugs and medical technologies. I find no comfort in that.

    #1. Change reimbursement to include payment for healthcare teams focused on lifestyle treatments for chronic disease and the use of functional medicine, not just for expensive (and often unproven) procedures.” (Dr. Hyman)

    So, he does something shrewd when you combine the two, he does not threaten to cut off financing for functional medicine , not just for expensive (and unproven) procedures. Years went into studying MRI’s etc. What procedures is this guy talking about. He is so vague because he is a quack.

    Congress will never go along with this. This is just my take, I will be here all night if I move on to HuffPo…you know your own post and what’s wrong there. His theory and it is just that…a theory is really healthy living and prevention. God damned, if I knew it was all this simple!

    I am surprised by your final thought, I was under the impression that Jenny McCarthy was available to open her big uninformed mind and tell all about vaccines and Autism. The truth is she is being considered for a show on Oprah’s new network.

    Sorry, I couldn’t be more concise or brief, but there are many inflammatory things I know about Oprah and HuffPo. I’ll trust my damn doctor, that’s what she is there for. My main disease, which isn’t important for this post is her specialty, but I have benefited for all the things she has learned along the way during residency etc. Thanks for your time.

    Sandy

  3. collapse expand

    @mrsandyclark
    I’m going to ignore the rest of your word vomit and focus on the first paragraph. What in hell are you talking about? I see a cliché trying to escape, you apparently have a couple of friends who work with food and there’s a Dr. Hyman thrown in there for balance, maybe. I stopped reading there. Either you are a prolific spammer or you are not accustomed to making sense with the written word. Good luck to you.

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