Author Topic: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment  (Read 7702 times)

Offline Mr. Bill

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A “Natural Cure” for Eczema Leaves a Young Child in Agony…..

In summary: a 6-year-old boy who had previously been suffering with eczema developed a batch of serious symptoms: "lower extremity pain to the point of crying with attempts to walk or to even bear weight", "malaise (extreme fatigue), nausea, poor appetite, and unusually dry lips that were cracked and bleeding", and "a significantly elevated serum calcium level".

After a long series of tests and medications, the parents finally revealed that, 6 months previously, they'd started the kid on a regimen of pills prescribed by a natural-health practitioner for his eczema.  The pills contained a massive overdose of Vitamin A.  This was in fact the cause of the serious symptoms.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2015, 01:16:49 PM »
Science.  Still works, whether you believe in it or not.


Honestly, too many people don't do the research.

Online FreeLancer

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2015, 01:51:05 PM »
Naturally.... ::)

nkawtg

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2015, 03:59:20 PM »
I just hate the "Natural" craze.
Arsenic is all natural too.

Offline outoforder2day

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2015, 07:56:59 AM »
Science.  Still works, whether you believe in it or not.
Honestly, too many people don't do the research.

Or they do the wrong kind of research to justify their beliefs in miracle cure X.

There's a lot we haven't discovered out there in the natural world, and I'm sure you can cut a lot of medications through proper diet and exercise, but modern medicine (and science in general) is a damned great thing to have.

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2015, 10:59:28 AM »
What a great "practitioner".  I wonder if the parents had told the practitioner about the symptoms and he didn't connect the two or if the parents went to one 'doctor' for one problem and went to another Doctor for the other problems?  (I can't open the article on my server)

That to me places the real blame.  A halfway decent natural medicine expert would have recognized the problem, but he had to know about it.  And that's not to say this guy was halfway decent.

At the very least, the parents should have let the Doctors know all the stuff they were giving their kid.  Otherwise, they were wasting their own time and money.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2015, 06:41:26 PM »
There's a lot we haven't discovered out there in the natural world, and I'm sure you can cut a lot of medications through proper diet and exercise, but modern medicine (and science in general) is a damned great thing to have.


Exactly.


I take magnesium every night to keep the migraines at bay.  Nice and natural, and it's likely I'm not getting much of it in my food.


And when I end up with a migraine anyway, sometimes I just deal with it because I don't like taking meds when I don't really have to.


But when I get a bad one, you can bet I'm popping an Imitrex because it works.


Offline Oil Lady

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 04:57:35 AM »
Almost all vitamins (with some exception) have a toxicity level that can wreak havoc when you've imbibed too much of them. There are charts and graphs all over the internet clearly delineating (for free!) what the toxicity levels are, and the signs to watch for in the even that the toxicity threshold is being approached.

That was a dumbass practitioner.

I have Vitamin A capsules myself because I get annoying warts on occasion. When a wart comes along, I break open a Vitamin A capsule  rub the Vitamin A oil directly onto the wart, pop a second capsule into my mouth, and dig away at the wart with a pair of nail clippers. I will do this 3 or 4 days in a row, during which time I additionally engage in the supplemental activity of grabbing an emery board (that's a disposable, cardboard nail file) and endlessly sanding away at the wart while I'm watching TV. I barely need to keep at this whole procedure beyond 3 or 4 days in a row before the wart has been defeated. Sounds to me like this practitioner had the kid on that regimen for 6 months. Lucky the child isn't dead!

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2015, 06:01:10 PM »
Overdosing on vitamin A is not a natural treatment...

A decoction of the inner bark of white willow would be a natural treatment. (Not for the same thing, I'm just giving an example of something natural that actually does work)

Let's keep crap people call natural treatments (hint: it can't be a treatment if it doesn't treat anything) and actual natural treatments separate please.

Online FreeLancer

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2015, 06:24:10 PM »
Let's keep crap people call natural treatments (hint: it can't be a treatment if it doesn't treat anything) and actual natural treatments separate please.

How does one determine what qualifies as an actual natural treatment?

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2015, 07:06:52 PM »
How does one determine what qualifies as an actual natural treatment?

If it treats something  :P

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2015, 07:17:24 PM »
If it treats something  :P


And doesn't kill you from something else.


Retaining all of your limbs and organs is also a plus.


Online FreeLancer

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2015, 07:34:55 PM »
If it treats something  :P

How does one decide if the treatment is actually effective?



And doesn't kill you from something else.


Retaining all of your limbs and organs is also a plus.

So, no side-effects allowed?

Offline RuggedCyclist

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2015, 07:43:02 PM »
How does one decide if the treatment is actually effective?

Well, if it treats the condition, that means it's effective right? (I'm being a little sarcastic here, applying tautological logic to the word treat)

Why not the same way they decide if a synthesized drug treatment works? Or you could try it yourself. Does peppermint tea calm your stomach? Probably. Does overdosing on vitamin A cure eczema? Nope.

Side effects... Does that mean most pharmaceuticals don't count? :P

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2015, 08:27:04 PM »
So, no side-effects allowed?


No side effects that are either permanent or worse than what you're attempting to cure.


Because trust me, the stuff the doctor prescribes has side effects too.


For instance, when a migraine does get bad enough for me to take Imitrex, I end up weak (which I don't usually notice until I try to run), can sometimes make me a little dizzy.  And when I take a shower, it feels like I have a sunburn.  But all of that is better than squinting for three days because I'm in pain, and light/sound make me want to hide in a cave until it's over.


I hold natural treatments to the same standard.  They have to work and be a better alternative than what caused me to take them.


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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2015, 08:56:28 PM »
Why not the same way they decide if a synthesized drug treatment works?

Great idea.

Or you could try it yourself.

I don't trust myself.  The placebo effect is real, especially when treating self-limited symptoms/disease, and the lack of objectivity screws up the data.  That's why we've got randomized controlled clinical trials. 

Side effects... Does that mean most pharmaceuticals don't count? :P

Absolutely not.  Everything has side effect potential.  Natural or synthetic, it doesn't matter, it's all toxic at a certain dose.


No side effects that are either permanent or worse than what you're attempting to cure.

Sometimes you just don't know and there's always some risk involved.  There are some incredibly rare but very deadly side-effects from many commonly prescribed substances, the one in a couple million kind of thing.

Because trust me, the stuff the doctor prescribes has side effects too.

Definitely.

I hold natural treatments to the same standard.  They have to work and be a better alternative than what caused me to take them.

Agreed.  But most see "natural" and think it means the same as "safe."

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2015, 09:15:49 PM »
I don't trust myself.  The placebo effect is real, especially when treating self-limited symptoms/disease, and the lack of objectivity screws up the data.  That's why we've got randomized controlled clinical trials.


Hmm.  As long as it's not going to kill you, and not everything does, might the placebo effect still be a valid treatment?  Obviously, if it's going to get worse and become more of a problem later, then it's not a good idea.  But if it's not...


For instance - I have keratosis pillaris.  Chicken skin on my upper arms that you really can't see or anything, but it feels like I have goose bumps 24/7.  Before anyone says it, yes I;ve tried eliminating gluten and a few other things.  It doesn't help.  It's genetic, which I also know because I've had my DNA analysed (really cool, by the way).  And it's also completely harmless.


But if I wanted to try something... odd.  And the placebo effect kicked in pretty good, then would that actually be a good thing?


Admittedly, it's pretty rare to have something wrong with you that is completely harmless.  But it was just a thought.



[/size]Agreed.  But most see "natural" and think it means the same as "safe."[/size]



Very true. And it ain't necessarily so.  Even water can kill you in big enough doses.


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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2015, 02:20:47 AM »
The ethics of deliberate placebo treatment is thorny, but it happens a lot in modern medicine. 

About three-quarters of people with viral upper respiratory infections who go to the doctor will get antibiotics, which makes absolutely no difference in their recovery.  Given that over-prescribing of antibiotics leads to increased resistance and increased patient deaths from real bacterial infections, a really good case can be made that it is an extremely unethical practice that severely impacts the rest of society. 

Lab tests and imaging studies are often ordered for no other reason than to pacify the "worried well" patient.  While it's maybe not as bad as inappropriate antibiotic use, there's still a significant cost, both in dollars and patient morbidity (sometimes even mortality) in chasing down the inevitable false positives found during inappropriate testing.

While many natural remedies may work perfectly well as placebos, it's dangerous to assume that they're all harmless or less likely to cause side-effects than FDA regulated medications.  For example, plenty of people wind up with serotonin toxicity from combining something like St. John's Wort with another herbal substance, or sometimes even an SSRI, to treat their depression.  Many patients will not communicate to their allopathic physician that they are taking herbals, and likewise won't admit to their naturopath that their on a "synthetic drug."  So, even assuming that the opposing disciplines would be able recognize the risk of harmful interaction (which is a pretty big assumption on both sides) you essentially wind up overdosing merely from a failure of communication.  Honestly, I would guess that is what likely happened to this poor kid with the eczema, the parents didn't feel the need to communicate the naturopathic treatment to the doctors who were trying to workup his odd set of symptoms, because it's "natural."

Offline r_w

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Re: 6 year old boy suffers severe symptoms from "natural" eczema treatment
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2015, 04:58:59 AM »
This could be a problem when stacking treatments (natural or synthetic), supplements (daily vitamins) and good food.  But is actually kind of surprising because uptake of most supplements is so poor it wouldn't be a problem.

There are two reasons many vitamins contain thousands of percent of the RDA: 1, the rda is wrong and 2, the body only absorbs a small percentage of a supplement. There are only a couple oral forms of B vitamins that get any uptake, for example.  Especially if you have gut issues to begin with.  That is why vitamin shots are all the rage right now in some doctor circles.