"sweet treatment for diabetes" പ്രമേഹത്തിന് മധുരമൂറും ചികിത്സ!

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viswanathan chathoth

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Nov 17, 2009, 8:44:27 AM11/17/09
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പ്രമേഹത്തിന് മധുരമൂറും ചികിത്സ!
This is the title of a 3 page article in the November 2009 issue of "manorama Aarogyam"  magazine. This is about the 'revolutionary' treatment strategy of Dr.M.V.Prasad of kenichira in Wynad, who does not restrict intake of sugars for his diabetic patients. He is reportedly planning to celebrate a festival by distributing ladduus to 5000 diabetics.
Dr.Prasad reportedly passed MBBS in 1995, from Calicut medical college, and is presently working as Asst.surgeon at PHC, Kenichira.
According to the report, Dr. Prasad's sweet treatment ("മധുര ചികിത്സ") started on the day when 'years back', a 73 year old lady was brought to his clinic .Her blood sugar was 304 gm% , and she was on 80 units of insulin, in addition to oral hypoglycemics. the report does not say which mediicnes Dr. Prasad gave her during the consultation. However, we are told about the details of waht her diet was like. I will try to translate the relevant part:  " one chappathi each for breakfast and lunch, and 'muthaari' for supper-this was her diet. Doctor sent her home with an instruction to eat all types of food.immediately after reaching home, she drank tea with sugar, and fell unconscious immediately. She was immediately taken to doctor, and her (blood) sugar was found to be reduced to 27 (gm/dl) . Doctor (Prasad) says that the nonfunctioning  pancreas must have tried to 'eliminate' (പുറന്തള്ളല്‍) accumulated insulin upon unexpected intake of sugar. Thereafter, he thought about including sugar in the trweatment of diabetics. Thougfh he has strted treatment about five to six years back, it is only recently that patients are coming en masse , after getting to know the benefits of this treatment." He is reported to claim that  " In the conventional therapy for diabetes, artificial insulin is injected, and the already damaged pancreas becomes more non-vital. Threfore,the non vital pancreas can be rejuvenated and insulin can be generated in the body itself,  only if all kinds of diets containing energy and sugar are included in the diet".
To say the least, I am quite upset by this report. My own sister-  already having retinopathy and recently on insulin- was quite enthused by this 'discovery ' by this good doctor who studied in the same institution as her dear brother. I had to use very strong words to stop her from experimenting on 'madhura chikitsa'. 

Muralidharan Enarth Maviton

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Nov 17, 2009, 9:52:33 AM11/17/09
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Dear Vish,
What do you have to say about other herbal remedies that suddenly appear from nowhere, receive great publicity and popularity and then goes  out of the picture. The 'insulin plant'  Costus pictus is one example.   Gymnema sylvestre , Gur mar (Hindi )( Chakkarakolli in Malayalam) has a longer presence. Chewing leaves of the latter does  temporarily numb the taste buds that senses sweetness but how that can have an effect on blood sugar, I cannot imagine.

I am worried more of the possible unforeseen toxic effects of these plants when no sort of clinical trials are carried out. From that point of view homeopathy is so harmless!

Murali

2009/11/17 viswanathan chathoth <vis...@gmail.com>

Muralidharan Enarth Maviton

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Nov 17, 2009, 11:12:56 AM11/17/09
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I thought this is as good an opportunity as any to speak up, as moderator, about an issue that has been on my mind for some time. This group is a forum for Brights from all over India but for some strange reason all activity here is restricted to a few Brights from Kerala. I cannot think of a good explanation for this except that the first few members were from the State and therefore the messages might have developed a local flavor and that might have put off  the others from further interaction. I  say this because I have felt this way when  in some of the other groups where I am a member, the discussion for example  becomes so specific to US  and the American way of life that I don't feel like joining in even when something interesting is going on.

I say this after seeing Viswanathan's message with Malayalam script. It does make the messsage much easier to read and understand, but then I am a Malayali. To generalise,  should we avoid embellishing  our messages with vernacular terms ( and also of  very provincial  issues, the nuances of which might not be grasped by all) even when all the issues are  clear to anyone without any knowledge of the language.  Will this be annoying ( however slightly) the non Kerala members?

  What does the group have to say about this? Particularly those from outside Kerala. 

Or is this not an issue at all.


Murali
(Moderator)

2009/11/17 viswanathan chathoth <vis...@gmail.com>

viswanathan chathoth

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Nov 17, 2009, 12:55:41 PM11/17/09
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Dear Murali,
I am quite aware of this predicament.One non-keralite member was surprised to see an article from a malayalm newspaper forwarded to the list , exclusively in Malayalam script.  . In the case of my recently posted letter, I can assure my non keralite friends that you miss nothing by not being able to read the few words in malayalam in my letter. they are all translated in the text itself. Except "muthaari' which i missed....it is 'ragi', or 'finger millet'
As for me, i am quite  eager to learn the occasional word from other indian languages that embellish letters from friends of other states. However, as you rightly noted, inclusion of malayalam scripts is likely to annoy , and i would be certainly more careful in future.
Viswanathan
2009/11/17 Muralidharan Enarth Maviton <emmu...@gmail.com>

Sashikumar kurup

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Nov 18, 2009, 3:35:10 AM11/18/09
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As information to non-Keralites, let me add that the place where this
doctor practises is a village in one of the relatively backward
districts with a higher level of under-educated and tribal population
in Kerala, and so this news has not come into a public discussion
proper. I also doubt whether most of the patients are really diabetic,
since a collusion between a local lab and a doctor in an interior
village is very easily arranged for mutual benefit. This could be a
case of well thought-out charlatanism rather than the crackpot
explanation. The failures in the few patients who are genuinely
diabetic might be easily explained away as a Govt doctor in a rural
village has a lot of credibility in the villager's mind.........sashi

On 18/11/2009, narendra nayak <nare...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I think it is very important for us to remember proper units when
> reporting values. blood glucose is in mgs/dl and NOT GMS/DL. These
> sort of mistakes give an opportunity for our detractors to ridicule
> us.
>
> Narendra Nayak
>
> 2009/11/17 viswanathan chathoth <vis...@gmail.com>:

viswanathan chathoth

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Nov 18, 2009, 11:42:40 AM11/18/09
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>Gymnema sylvestre , Gur mar (Hindi )( Chakkarakolli in Malayalam) has a longer presence. Chewing leaves of the latter does  temporarily numb the taste buds that senses sweetness but how that can have an effect on blood sugar, I cannot imagine.
The following explanation is from the article "Gymnema sylvestre -a memoir" by  , Kanetkar P, Singhal R, Kamat M. published in  J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2007 September; 41(2): 77–81
 
"The atomic arrangement of gymnemic acid molecules is similar to that of glucose molecules.These molecules fill the receptor locations on the taste buds thereby preventing its activation by sugar molecules present in the food, thereby curbing the sugar craving. Similarly, Gymnemic acid molecules fill the receptor location in the absorptive external layers of the intestine thereby preventing the sugar molecules absorption by the intestine, which results in low blood sugar level These molecules fill the receptor locations on the taste buds thereby preventing its activation by sugar molecules present in the food, thereby curbing the sugar craving. Similarly, Gymnemic acid molecules fill the receptor location in the absorptive external layers of the intestine thereby preventing the sugar molecules absorption by the intestine, which results in low blood sugar level."
 I am not very happy with the quality of this article, however.
 
Costus pictus also has some evidence regarding its hypoglycemic effects.See this paper from Cochin:
"Antihyperglycemic and insulin secretory activity of Costus pictus leaf extract in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats and in in vitro pancreatic islet culture" by G. Gireesh et al in journal of ethnopharmacology ,vol.123, issue 3, 25 june 2009.
 
But using these and other plants in crude form is likely to be a dangerous game, I fear. Regarding plants, especially those used as foods,we have much traditional knowledge derived by trial and error by many generations. Use of chakkarakkolli or costus pictus for treatment of diabetes are not even 'time tested' in this manner, i understand.
Even in case of vegetables, I think overstepping traditional method of use should be done with extreme caution. I will recount a personal anecdote:

Sauropus androgynus ("Madhra cheera"/'Cekur manis" ) is a leafy vegetable I grew up with. It was available in plenty in our backyard, and i must have eaten tons of it during my childhood years -cooked in water, with grated coconut garnishing.Later, when we started growing our own vegetables, we planted this hardy (and quite tasty) plant in plenty. However, by chance , a few years ago, i came across the startling news that this  plant can cause very serius lung disease. I searched internet and found that Sauropus androgynus  caused an epidemic of obstructive lung disease in Taiwan.The vegetable was a new introduction from Malayasia-where they are eaten in a cooked form.However, in Taiwan, it so happened that  "uncooked  androgynus juice was widely advertised as a "natural diet vegetable containing large amounts of nutrients and good for rapid weight reduction."Additionally, it was promoted as being effective in controlling hypertension, gynecologic problems, hyperlipidemia, hyperuricemia, urolithiasis, gall stones, and constipation."  The lung disease developed in people who took it uncooked. The lung damage produced was quite severe and irreversible, I understand.

http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/145/9/842 

 I have not stopped eating cooked Madhura cheera,but.
 
Drinking litres of raw bitter gourd juice("paavakka'/'kayppakka') is a current fad among diabetics. Traditionally, we have always used bitter gourd in a cooked form. We have no idea whether this juice is doing any harm.
Viswanathan

 

2009/11/17 Muralidharan Enarth Maviton <emmu...@gmail.com>

Dear Vish,

Harish M Tharayil

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Nov 19, 2009, 12:09:45 AM11/19/09
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I am raising a related issue. Now a days we see several articles in health magazines written by specialist of Complementary and Alternative medicine (CAM). We also see several talks being given by them on TV channels. The organization and style is the same. It starts with a brief overview of basic anatomy, physiology and later pathophysiology and pathology of the disease. Even genetic / endocrinolgical / cellular level alterations are explained as if copied from an authentic medical text book on the subject. But later on as they proceed to treatment part, the language changes to nonspecific predictions and claims which are too good to be true. I recently heard a talk in Kairali People channel in which a homeopath from Tvm was clearly explaining the genetic abnormalities underlying cancer. But he was upset that majority of his patients come for treatment after radio / chemo therapy. Because of this he is unable to give 100% cure. But a few people come to him in the earliest phase who get 100% cure for their cancer. The talk would impress even a specialist as he quotes eloquently from text books, explaining the nuances in plain simple Malayalam. Gullible public may believe in the authenticity of such claims and risk their life. He may be labeling several persons as having cancer and extracting money as there is no way to confirm or refute his claims / diagnosis. In the field of mental health too we have been seeing this. CAM specialists claim that they have cured autism, learning disorder. ADHD etc using their specific treatment. Any one who knows English can buy a medical text book, read it and quote from it.  This creates an impression on the listener who believes that the speaker is an authority. But what he says after that is not backed by the same text book. The system of medicine he learnt has not even a word to say about the particular condition in which he claims to be an expert. There is not much mention of Cancer in homeopathy / ayurveda text books. But still they pretend to have the know;ledge and mislead public.  
A clinical psychologist who runs a talk show on mental health in the same channel was openly soliciting CAM practitioners to his fold and making claims about how much they could benefit by collaborating with each other. Is there any violation of law involved in all these ? What can be done ? 


2009/11/18 viswanathan chathoth <vis...@gmail.com>



--
Dr. Harish. M. Tharayil
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
Government Medical College
Kozhikode 673008, Kerala
Mob:+919847280957

Sashikumar kurup

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Nov 19, 2009, 2:24:46 AM11/19/09
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I have also noticed that Kairali People's Channel is the greatest
offender in this respect ( so-called progressive ! ) Nowadays there is
no need for a text book also, simply googling for the stuff is enough.
The anchors of some of these programmes are Modern Medicine
practitioners themselves, which makes it more credible to the
listeners. the Channels do not have to go around searching for
sponsors and ads for these programmes, the CAM companies themselves
are the advertisers and sponsors. If modern medicine companies and
hospitals were allowed to advertise, I think the CAM guys would go out
of business. ( I am not advocating that, there would be enormous
problems with it ). The Govt can universally apply the same ethics
uniformly to any activity that claims cure for illnesses. This can be
made into law. Another rule that can be brought is, like in the
warning on alcohol etc, a disclaimer banner stating that the above
suggested treatment has not been subjected to RCTs and peer reviewed,
should be compulsorily run at the bottom of such programmes. This can
be made applicable to the print media also.This will meet the Channels
needs for revenue, while taking away the exploitative element. I hope
some advocacy group can petition the govt and place in the public
discussion the workable latter suggestion. As such now, to my
knowledge, only fraud can be alleged, but for that you have to have a
locus standi as a victim first.....sashi
>> "Antihyperglycemic and insulin secretory activity of *Costus pictus* leaf
>> extract in streptozotocin induced diabetic rats and in *in
>> vitro*pancreatic islet culture" by G. Gireesh et al in journal of
>> ethnopharmacology ,vol.123, issue 3, 25 june 2009.
>>
>> But using these and other plants in crude form is likely to be a dangerous
>> game, I fear. Regarding plants, especially those used as foods,we have
>> much
>> traditional knowledge derived by trial and error by many generations. Use
>> of
>> chakkarakkolli or costus pictus for treatment of diabetes are not even
>> 'time
>> tested' in this manner, i understand.
>> Even in case of vegetables, I think overstepping traditional method of use
>> should be done with extreme caution. I will recount a personal anecdote: *
>> *
>>
>> Sauropus androgynus ("Madhra cheera"/'Cekur manis" ) is a leafy vegetable
>> I grew up with. It was available in plenty in our backyard, and i must
>> have
>> eaten tons of it during my childhood years -cooked in water, with grated
>> coconut garnishing.Later, when we started growing our own vegetables, we
>> planted this hardy (and quite tasty) plant in plenty. However, by chance ,
>> a
>> few years ago, i came across the startling news that this plant can cause
>> very serius lung disease. I searched internet and found that *Sauropus
>> androgynus** *caused an epidemic of obstructive lung disease in
>> Taiwan.The vegetable was a new introduction from Malayasia-where they are
>> eaten in a cooked form.However, in Taiwan, it so happened that "uncooked
>> *androgynus *juice was widely advertised as a "natural diet vegetable

viswanathan chathoth

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Nov 24, 2009, 10:54:57 AM11/24/09
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Dear Harish, Sashi;

The CAM scams are squeezing our people mercilessly. Somehow, at least in Kerala, it is not 'politically correct' to criticise CAM.May be, the same holds true for most of India.  Governemt spends crores on setting up and maintaining homeopathic hospitals and homeopathic medical colleges, and is now including it along with all other CAM modalities, as legitimate branches of medicine in the soon to be established health university. ( I understand this is at variance with the report submitted by Dr.Ekbal, who suggested a university for modern medicine.) Certainly, scientific evidence for homeopathy is not very different from that for astrology. Astrology is not yet a course of study in  universities of Kerala, i feel,  only because of historical reasons, not out of our commitment -as a society -to scientific temper.
One may consider at least a  few groups in our society to be  natural allies of scientific medicine: Practitioners of biomedicine and people professing allegience to materialistic politico-philosophical ideas, for example.
Curiously, we hardly ever see any principled objection to CAM exploitation from practitioners of modern medicine.(Harish's long, lone fight being an exception that proves the rule) My guess is that this is because most see it only as a matter of professional rivalry -at the most. They soon learn to do what they do with their fellow-practitioners of biomedicine, adopting a policy of live and let live. In any case, as Sashi indicated, the modern medicine establishment is really big, and there is still not enogh  competition from CAM  to hurt the deeper pockets.
Most  practitioners of biomedicine hardly ever develop any critical understanding of CAM modalities.  Like other people with science education in India, majority of medical practitioners never develop a scientific worldview. The neurosurgry professor who would prostrate before the superhuman 'siddhi' of a swami whose speciality is breaking coconut over his skull and a space scientist who would offer 'thulabhaaram' at Guruvayyor temple and expects the magic of balaji to help getting his satellite in orbit; are two representatives of the same system of education.My most recent reminder of this sad fact was provided by a young colleague, with post graduate qualification. The question , put to me as a person who knows the locality better , was: " Who is a good homeopathic doctor around here? my daughter is getting tonsillitis too frequently" 
 
 CAM is not a concern for leftists , either. November issue of sasthragathi (published by KSSP, committed to the motto, 'science for social revolution' ) carries an article from a yoga advocate that vehemently attacks Dr.Manoj Komath's earlier article on Yoga, that we discussed here earlier.It says : " There is a common factor to controversies in our country- the idea that Sanskrit, upanishads, ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, and yoga are anyway unscientific, and that we a few progressives should oppose all these, thus blindly marginalizing these (sanskrit,upanishads etc..)". The writer accuses that Manoj's  is not a Marxist approach.
Scientific temper is nobody's child in India.
Viswanathan
2009/11/19 Harish M Tharayil <drhar...@gmail.com>

P. Vijaya Kumar

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Nov 24, 2009, 9:40:51 PM11/24/09
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Dear Dr Viswanathan,

Very well written piece I thought. (Came from the heart, did it not?) Congrats.
If in the medical community you are finding few friends, you can imagine what it is like among lay people.
Almost everyday, in both the college I teach in and in my social life, I come across appalling instances of pious ignorance about diseases and their causes and remedies. When I find myself almost totally isolated I counter with what I call my PPT or "Pey Patti Theory".

I tell people that the true test of their faith in CAM will come when they are bitten by a mad dog.
Whose "theory" or "narrative" about what is happening or will happen to one who is developing rabies will you believe? The "narrative" of Louis Pasteur and that of the practitioners of modern science or that of an homeopath or Ayurvedic practitioner?
You are free to try any treatment I tell them. But if you do anything other than have anti rabies shots, I follow,  "I will admire your courage but attend your funeral."

I've used this argument with a number of people. Sadly not too many are convinced. Not even students of science. Not even after I give details of the Benveniste case (the "memory of water" scam) or the debate in Nature or Ben Goldacre's terrific chapter on homeopathy in "Bad Science".

But one continues to try.

So keep up the good work, dear doctor. I think you are doing a very great job.

Warm regards,
P. VK

2009/11/24 viswanathan chathoth <vis...@gmail.com>

Harish M Tharayil

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Nov 25, 2009, 7:25:45 AM11/25/09
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The problem started soon after Independence when the govt (I don't know when, which or who) decided to make Ayurveda and homeo courses last 4.5 plus one year internship. THe DAM, DHM etc were first converted to BAM, BHM etc and later to BAMS, BHMS etc. Soon BSMS was added in Tamilnadu. 
This was done with the sole intention of making these degrees at par with MBBS. This was not based on the course content duration of study etc. The govts started equating them with MBBS and giving similar pay and allowances, though they handle only less than one tenth of patients. Now they have even 3 year MD courses where what they study remains a mystery. I don't think there are separate U G and PG level text books in these subjects. So the underlying issue is clear - it is practice and practice only. As Viswan said most of doctors qualified in scientific medicine have not imbibed the true spirit of science nor its methods. It is only with the advent of EBM that doctors have started to look beyond 'evidence' which is based on eminence. Another issue is the laissez faire doctrine which allows any body to produce and market his product. The only regulator is whether you are able to make people buy your offering. Products licensed to be sold as general health remedies are then advertised and sold as remedies for specific illnesses. This is what is happening to Kamilari, cholesterol QR and most others. The regulators might not be aware that it is their job to control such deviations. Ignorance is bliss not because it is a proverb, but because it earns you MONEY. 
The tragedy is that a huge number of young intelligent students are recruited in to this foul racket, just out of ignorance of their parents and themselves. WHAT A HUGE NATIONAL WASTE !!! WHOSE RESPONSIBILITY IS IT TO PUT AN END TO THIS ???


2009/11/25 P. Vijaya Kumar <pvi...@gmail.com>

v i j a y a n . a . p

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Nov 25, 2009, 9:35:45 AM11/25/09
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Dear friends,
 
     What Harish said about thousands young CAM Docors is very true. It is not only a medical /health issue...
 
  These brilliant youngsters who learned science though out their school and college education are destined to practice a system which is obviously unscientific.I know most of these victims of our system lead a confused life or profession.
 
They themself have every right for good medical care for their children /family/themself. When they are ill they have to follow what they preach or follow modern medicine which they reject publicly.This is a real  dilemma of many honest doctors. 
 
Thank you
 
 
2009/11/25 Harish M Tharayil <drhar...@gmail.com>


  BE SMALL & REMAIN VERY SMALL

viswanathan chathoth

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Nov 26, 2009, 11:25:40 AM11/26/09
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Dear Vijaya Kumar,
Thanks for the great encouragement.It is unfortunate that though we met at the venue of Meera's talk, we were not able to spend time together.

 >I counter with what I call my PPT or "Pey Patti Theory".
 :-) Similar to what Alan Sokal would say..
"Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. (I live on the twenty-first floor.)"
>debate in Nature
On Beneveniste affair, you mean?

>Ben Goldacre's terrific chapter on homeopathy in "Bad Science".
Thanks for telling me..just ordered the book online.
Viswanathan
2009/11/25 P. Vijaya Kumar <pvi...@gmail.com>
Dear Dr Viswanathan,

Hary Jith

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Nov 26, 2009, 5:02:44 PM11/26/09
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Dear Harish Sir,
 
I absolutely agree with you.  When I read your comment, I recalled an incident happened in 1976 or 78 ( I do not remember the year exactly) that the Govt. announced a previlege to Homeo Students as MBS degree.  The MBBS students all over Kerala protested against that. The Slogan of the MBBS students was " Is MBS is a back door to pocket MBBS".
At last the Govt. withdrew that previlege.
 
Any how thanks for your comment Sir.
 
With Regards
 
Abdu Raheem

--- On Wed, 11/25/09, Harish M Tharayil <drhar...@gmail.com> wrote:

v i j a y a n . a . p

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Nov 26, 2009, 9:46:21 PM11/26/09
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:
 
 
 
 Like other people with science education in India, majority of medical practitioners never develop a scientific worldview. The neurosurgry professor who would prostrate before the superhuman 'siddhi' of a swami whose speciality is breaking coconut over his skull and a space scientist who would offer 'thulabhaaram' at Guruvayyor temple and expects the magic of balaji to help getting his satellite in orbit; are two representatives of the same system of education.
 
Dear Viswan /Harish/sashi
 
Another sad at the same time interesting  situation in Kerala is the fact that  the most important/prestigious  employer of Modern medical specialists is a God woman.It is really difficult to gauge the scientific temper of  the our reputed doctors who are made to prostrate before Amma who cures all  ailments  of these healers.Do we have  any successful 'rational' hospital management in Kerala,I doubt !

issue of sasthragathi (published by KSSP, committed to the motto, 'science for social revolution' ) carries an article from a yoga advocate that vehemently attacks Dr.Manoj Komath's earlier article on Yoga, that we discussed here earlier.It says : " There is a common factor to controversies in our country- the idea that Sanskrit, upanishads, ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, and yoga are anyway unscientific, and that we a few progressives should oppose all these, thus blindly marginalizing these (sanskrit,upanishads etc..)". The writer accuses that Manoj's  is not a Marxist approach.
 
 
Personally I think Sashtragathi has done nothing wrong by allowing a dissent to express his view, though  we cant agree with him!
I support a democratic culture where Readers ( including all political parties mouth pieces) are allowed to hear different views.The duty of  people of science is to express their facts  with clarity and courage..as done by Manoj Komath and other friends.

..

 
)
 

 





 





 



 



--

 



-- 

ravindranath tk

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Nov 28, 2009, 8:42:07 AM11/28/09
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Dear Dr. Viswanathan,

          One of my former collegues at Irrigation dept. Calicut is a patient of Dr. M.V. Prasad. I enquired about the treatment given by Prasad to him. He was a diabetic patient with blood sugar  above 300 mg. While carrying on  treatment in the traditional way, by the advice of somebody he approached this dr. and now he is undergoing the 'revolutionary treatment'. Today evening I asked him about his condition. He said that yesterday he tested his blood and the blood sugar is 104mg after taking 'payasam'. He is taking all foods including sugar items, as per the advice of Dr. Prasad. He practices a special excercise at two times, morning and evening as advised by Dr. Before excercise he has to take any drink or food with sugar; it is a must. He also said that no medicine is given by Dr. Earlier I had advised him not to experiment with his health. Now as he narrates his experience I am in a confusion. Request your comment.  T.K. Ravindranath, Kozhikode.

2009/11/17 viswanathan chathoth <vis...@gmail.com>

Anand Nair

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Nov 28, 2009, 12:37:54 PM11/28/09
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The claim that diabetes can be treated by asking the patient to have sweets plus "special exercise" is truly extraordinary. As in case of all extraordinary claims, we would need to demand extraordinarily strong evidence before accepting this particular claim to be true.

In principle, "success stories" (narrated as "flashback") constitute weak evidence. Any extraordinary claim will need to be investigated through meticulously planned tests that (when carried out in the future) would either validate or falsify specific details of the claim. 

In the case of this person whose blood sugar actually came down (after following the unconventional advise given by Dr. Prasad), there was no testable prediction BEFORE the treatment began. What sort of outcome would have falsified the claim? 

If his blood sugar had not come down (or even had gone up), this would have been attributable to other factors, and would not have falsified Dr. Prasad's claim. 

Just so, when the blood sugar did come down (as it did, if we go by the assertion by the patient himself), this proves nothing. Who had checked the blood sugar before the treatment? Could some other circumstance (other than Dr. Prasad's advise) have led up to the reduction of the blood sugar? Who can answer these questions in this specific case?

Anand

Sashikumar kurup

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Nov 28, 2009, 7:59:26 PM11/28/09
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Dear Anand, this is the problem. Each person thinks his/her personal
experience is the best end most ' learnable' experience. Maybe we
have developed that attribute as a part of evolutionary survival in
those primal days when what was good/bad is drawn from personal
experience. The vestiges of this primal attribute may still reside in
some people, so some people just do what does them good, in their
opinion. The primitive man was not concerned about statustical
variabilities and probabilities, the vestiges of which still imhabit
human minds to some extent. In the instant case, I would like more
data, as Anand implied......sashi

viswanathan chathoth

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Nov 28, 2009, 11:17:27 PM11/28/09
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Dear Ravindranath,
I should thank both Anand and Sashi.They have already said most of what I have to say.
 
Anand has  stressed the need   for extraordinarily strong evidence -a point I earlier reminded the editor of the magazine in my short letter,  quoting Carl Sagan. 
 Blood sugar(and blood pressure ) are dependent  on  very many  factors , and pinpointing on a particular factor  as the sole agent responsible for some stray observation is not easy, I feel.Thus, for example , in your friends case, I can, shooting from the hip, think of two things atleast.Was the test done two hours after taking ' paayasam' ? (and,how much paayasam?) Did he  do any exercise after eating? A stroll after a meal is a known factor that would appreciably  reduce blood sugar. I am no expert in treating-let alone conducting research on-diabetes, and there must be host of other questions to be answered , before we accept such extraordinary claims with potentially dangerous consequences.
 
 
 Sashi  has pointed out another important issue: the problem with anecdotal evidence.
The danger of depending on 'personal experience' is a painful lesson  learnt again and again all over the world, but more so in our country . Remember Ramar petrol fiasco.At that time, an IIT scientist reportedly suggested a mechanism whereby hydrocarbon prodcuction by Ramar's 'method' was working-there is carbon in atmospheric carbon dioxide , and there is hydrogen in  water, and they are being combined , to produce long chain hydrocarbons! Before thinking about this outlandish 'mechanism' ,the concerned scientist would have been convinced that such hydrocrabon production really is happening in Ramer's Kitchen pot. Here is where the   problem with  personal experience comes in. She, together with a number of the most important people of science establishment in India, 'saw with their own eyes' how Ramar produced petrol with water and herbs, and of course, "seeing is believing"!
Here is part  of the press report that shows how highly qualified people fall easy   prey to the lure of 'personal experience".    
NEW DELHI, September 5: A high school dropout from Tamil Nadu created history yesterday, when he turned water into a petrol-like fuel by mixing it with a herb he discovered in the hills. Scientists witnessing his demonstration at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) said they were baffled. ``It is incredible but true,'' exclaimed IIT chemist N K Jha who organised the experiment at the request of the Department of Science and Technolog y (DST). What this discovery means is that, given the herb, one can convert plain tap water into a fuel that can drive a vehicle. In fact 30-year old Ramar Pillai who discovered the amazing herb seven years ago has been doing precisely that in his village near Rajapalayam. Pillai, who was invited to Delhi by DST secretary Valangiman Ramamurti, says his herbal petrol would cost Re 1 per litre. All he wants from DST is money to put up a plant in his native place and personal protection. He recently faced an attempt on his life for refusing to part with his secret.

``I am personally convinced it is a discovery worth pursuing,'' said Ramamurti after repeating the experiment himself. The product burnt with a sooty flame, smelled like kerosene and on distillation yielded a pure hydrocarbon fraction with a boiling point of 170 degree (C). ``We have no doubt that we are sitting on something very big...." ............... Simultaneously, the best scientists in the country are going to be assembled to analyse the chemical process in detail before setting up a plant with a production capacity one million litres herbal fuel per day, Ramamurti said. Defence science adviser A P J Abdul Kalam has been briefed and he is reportedly ``excited.".

It all looks comical to us today, with hindsight on this particular story, but we continue to get enthused, and even enchanted, by other pied pipers. The easiest person to decieve is oneself, and the whole purpose of why science is done, is to save ourselves from the mistakes we would make because of our 'personal experiences'.
 
Robert Park, author of the delightful book, "Voodo Science",lists seven warning signs that would indicate that a particular    scientific claim "lies well outside the bounds of rational scientific discourse." I can see about four and a half  ;-)  of these signs in Dr.Prasad's case! see the article "seven warning signs of bogus science" at http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/signs.html
 
Viswanathan
 
 
2009/11/28 ravindranath tk <tkravin...@gmail.com>

ravindranath tk

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Nov 30, 2009, 7:48:47 AM11/30/09
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Dear Viswanathan Sir,

               I have now called my friend (patient) and gathered some more details on the treatment, as you required. His bloodsugar was 366mg when he first consulted Dr. Prasad. Prasad had given him medicines also - 'glinil M'. After taking the medicine for 3 weeks Dr. asked him to stop. In the meantime his bloodsugar reduced to 235,178, and last 104. Last day when he felt fatigue he tested blood and it was seen 83 mg. If he stops excercise he can recover from tiredness, he says. He tests blood after 2 hours taking sugar items with his usual food. Dr. Prasad advises not to do excercise after food; only before food. His relative had advised him to meet this doctor as he had such experience as also so many others. It is said that Dr. Prasad will camp at Kozhikode and he will inform me about the date and insisted me to attend doctor's  class. It is understood that Dr. Prasad's 'treatment' is gaining popularity. As a layman and having only general knowledge on diabetis is puzzled by these informations. As a person who defends only modern medicine, I experience difficulty in establishing my point in this case.  T.K. Ravindranath.

2009/11/29 viswanathan chathoth <vis...@gmail.com>

Harish M Tharayil

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Nov 30, 2009, 7:58:41 AM11/30/09
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Viswan, Vijayan, Sashi and others,
I think this needs further investigation. If this Dr has found some new method to reduce blood sugar (which is aim of all treatments given in Diabetes mellitus) and he does not have expertise to further investigate his claims and produce credible evidence, we should help him by offering our expertise in conducting research. If it is just a trick played to gain cheap popularity, he has to be exposed. Can we do something ?

2009/11/30 ravindranath tk <tkravin...@gmail.com>

Sashikumar kurup

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Nov 30, 2009, 12:38:52 PM11/30/09
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Dear Ravi, did all the changes occur when he was taking glinil M ?
Did all this happen after he stopped the tablets ? when is the first
time he took this treatment , and was there a relapse any time ? From
your account, it does not sound that fantastic. A detailed history
from some patients might be useful. It will be good if you can inform
us of the exact date and time of his class in Calicut. Thank
you........sashi
>>> baffled. ``It is *incredible but true*,'' exclaimed IIT chemist N K Jha
>>> who organised the experiment at the request of the Department of Science
>>> and
>>> Technolog y (DST). What this discovery means is that, given the herb, one
>>> can convert plain tap water into a fuel that can drive a vehicle. In fact
>>> 30-year old Ramar Pillai who discovered the amazing herb seven years ago
>>> has
>>> been doing precisely that in his village near Rajapalayam. Pillai, who
>>> was
>>> invited to Delhi by DST secretary Valangiman Ramamurti, says his herbal
>>> petrol would cost Re 1 per litre. All he wants from DST is money to put
>>> up a
>>> plant in his native place and personal protection. He recently faced an
>>> attempt on his life for refusing to part with his secret.
>>>
>>> ``I am *personally convinced* it is a discovery worth pursuing,'' said
>>> Ramamurti *after repeating the experiment himself*. The product burnt

Anand Nair

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Nov 30, 2009, 9:45:57 PM11/30/09
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It is clear now that the subject had taken Glinil M, a standard medication (of modern medicine) to control diabetis! Then where is the "mystery"? What is the role played by the "new method"?

The question is:- what caused the blood sugar to fall? The "new method" or "Glinil M"? Unless backed up with extraordinarily strong evidence, we will do well to give credit to Glinil M, rather than to the extraordinary claims. The latter would appear to extraneous rituals of the type that magicians routinely indulge in, to divert attention away from the real "trick"!

Anand

PS.

From an internet source:-

"The drug works by inhibiting ATP-sensitive potassium channels[3] in pancreatic beta cells. This inhibition causes cell membrane depolarization, which causes voltage-dependent calcium channels to open, which causes an increase in intracellular calcium in the beta cell, which stimulates insulin release."

Anand Nair

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Dec 1, 2009, 1:16:08 AM12/1/09
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This is an excellent case study to highlight the dangers of relying on "success stories" (narrated as "flashback") :-

Original narration of Dr. Prasad's alleged "success" with the "new method":-

"He was a diabetic patient with blood sugar  above 300 mg. While carrying on  treatment in the traditional way, by the advice of somebody he approached this dr. and now he is undergoing the 'revolutionary treatment'. Today evening I asked him about his condition. He said that yesterday he tested his blood and the blood sugar is 104mg after taking 'payasam'. He is taking all foods including sugar items, as per the advice of Dr. Prasad. He practices a special excercise at two times, morning and evening as advised by Dr. Before excercise he has to take any drink or food with sugar; it is a must. He also said that no medicine is given by Dr."

Revised narrative (when specifics were insisted upon):-

"His bloodsugar was 366mg when he first consulted Dr. Prasad. Prasad had given him medicines also - 'glinil M'. After taking the medicine for 3 weeks Dr. asked him to stop. In the meantime his bloodsugar reduced to 235,178, and last 104. Last day when he felt fatigue he tested blood and it was seen 83 mg. If he stops excercise he can recover from tiredness, he says. He tests blood after 2 hours taking sugar items with his usual food. Dr. Prasad advises not to do excercise after food; only before food."

I detect the following factual inacuracies in the original narration:-

a) The suggestion that at the end of the treatment in the "traditional way" the blood sugar was 300 mg. (The fact is that "traditional treatment" alone brought down blood sugar from 366 to 104 mg!)

b) The sugestion that the blood sugar of a person reduced from above 300 mg to 104 mg AFTER TAKING PAYASAM. (Fact:  "Traditional treatment" -- with glinil M and cutting of sugars -- had already brought down blood sugar from 366 to 104 mg or lower BEFORE taking payasam!)

c) The specific statement that "no medicine is given by Dr." (Fact: The reduction in blood sugar followed the taking of glinil M, as advised by Dr. Prasad himself)

Here is the standard ("traditional") advise by a modern medicine doctor to a patient with symptoms of hypoglycemia (excessively low blood sugar) subsequent to treatment with glynin M:-

"Always keep a source of sugar available in case you have symptoms of low blood sugar"

Payasam is a source of sugar, right? So what is new

Anand

ravindranath tk

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Dec 1, 2009, 1:51:26 AM12/1/09
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Dear Sasi,

          I had got the details of treatment of Sri. Salil (patient - real name hidden) over telephonic conversation with him. Treatment started about one month ago. At the beginning he took glinil M for 2 weeks. Then Dr. told him to stop. During all these time he was taking all  kinds of foods containing sugar, like paayasam. He was frequently testing urine sugar which showed that his diabetes was lowering. He tested blood sugar also which showed diminishing trend, 104mg last time. For more details i will contact Salil in person and will inform you therein. He had promised me to inform the date of Dr's class, which i shall convey to you all. 


  thanking you,   Ravi.

2009/11/30 Sashikumar kurup <sashiku...@gmail.com>

viswanathan chathoth

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Dec 1, 2009, 5:24:35 AM12/1/09
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Dear Ravi, Anand;
I wanted to write earlter, but got too busy at hospital. Yesterday was over only at 3.30 AM :-)

>As a layman and having only general knowledge on diabetis is puzzled by these informations. As a person who defends only modern medicine, I experience difficulty in establishing my point in this case.
It is unfortunate that people with the moral responsibilty to provide scientifc information to public are not doing enough, to say the least.The helplessness you expressed reflects on the apathy of the biomedical community which we discussed earlier.
One thing about treatment of diabetes that  I remember from my undergraduate days-I looked up my old 'Davidson's principles and practice of medicine' to check again today- is this: "There are three methods of treatment , namely diet alone, diet and oral hypoglycemic drugs and diet and insulin"
 It is a misconception that treatment of diabetes always needs drugs.As my old book says, "Approximately 60% of new cases of diabetes can be controlled adequately by diet alone,and about 20% will need oral hupoglycemic drug and another 20%, mainly younger patients, will require insulin. " ....."Practically all young patients who develop diabetes before the age of 40 require treatment with insulin. ....The majority of patients developing the disease over the age of 40 CAN and SHOULD (emphasis mine) be controlled by diet alone..."
So, if a doctor claims that he is treating most of his type 2 diabetes using no drugs, he is just doing scientific medicine, and needs all encouragement. One major problem with Dr.Prasad's claims is that he is going blatantly against standard scientific principles regarding diet, which, as I understand, is the most crucial element in treatment of diabetes. Compare this standard textbook description to 'Sweet treatment", for example : 'Davidson's' says:"Types of diet: Basically there are two types of diet: (1) measured, in which amount of food to be eaten at each time of the day is specified, and (2) unmeasured, in which the patient is supplied with list of foods grouped in three categories: foods with high sucrose content which are to be avoided altogether; foods containhing carbohydrate in the form of starch which are to be eaten in moderation only, and non carbohydrate foods which may be eaten as desired..." (emphasis mine. Sucrose means cane sugar)
Viswanathan
 
2009/12/1 ravindranath tk <tkravin...@gmail.com>

v i j a y a n . a . p

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Dec 1, 2009, 11:51:07 AM12/1/09
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Dear Viswan/Harish/Ravi/Sashi/Anand and friends
 
 
 
     Diabetes has a special place among all modern ailments by the volume of research that has been done in a single clinical condition. Many years of researches  all over the world have brought many path breaking discoveries in the management of diabetes.The discovery  of Insulin in 1920s was a big mile stone in human history.Before the  Insulin discovery diagnosis of diabetes was  death sentence.
 
see the description:
in 1920s Children dying from diabetic keto-acidosis were kept in large wards, often with 50 or more patients in a ward, mostly comatose. Grieving family members were often in attendance, awaiting the  death. In one of medicine's more dramatic moments Banting& Best,  went from bed to bed, injecting an entire ward with the new purified extract. Before they had reached the last dying child, the first few were awakening from their coma, to the joyous exclamations of their families!
 
What is Dr.Prasad's claim ?
 
Is he conducting  clinical research on human beings with known Type 2 diabetics?,Type 1 too ?
( with ethical clearance,informed consent etc)
 
Is he putting  known diabetics on a new trial which does not require Insulin and OHA ?
 
I firmly believe( from the available reports) this as a case of human right violation than medical research or treatment.
 
 
This experiment has the  potential to harm many many  uninformed innocent people ...who are affected with a disease which has standard treatment options that  is accepted all over the world. 
 
I wont allow none of my relatives or friends or patients to sacrifice their health to satisfy the wild claim of a doctor as  diabetes has very effective treatment  now ( I would not have objected before 1920s).
 
If a well controlled diabetic patient (who happened to believe  his claim) die/develop vital organ failure  during the course of his experiment what is the nature of compensation he would  offer ?
 
Is this not a concern of our people ?
 
For him  kerala still a vellerikkapattanam?
 
All modern Govts/Judiciary  make sure that 'doctors' with extraordinary claims pay in millions to their cheated clients..but not ours ..as we have people  who still prefer to live in  dream worlds where extraordinary things happen everyday!
 
Thank you.
 
Dr.Vijayan.AP
 
 
 
 
 


 
           Consultant  Pediatrician

viswanathan chathoth

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Dec 1, 2009, 12:24:02 PM12/1/09
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Dear Vijayan,Harish,Sashi,

Is a Babu.K.V.kind of approach possible? Like making the TC Medical council  ask Dr.Prasad either to show up or shut up? (To those who do not know: Dr.Babu.K.V recently succeeded, after prolonged fight, through RTI act,  to force the hands of Indian medical council to intervene in the infamous contract for endorsement of certain Pepsi products by Indian medical Association)
Viswanathan

2009/12/1 v i j a y a n . a . p <drvija...@gmail.com>

v i j a y a n . a . p

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Dec 1, 2009, 1:07:32 PM12/1/09
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Good thought Viswan!
Should explore that option.!

 

Anand Nair

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Dec 2, 2009, 3:06:28 AM12/2/09
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Let us revisit Dr Prasad's approach to treatment of diabetes (going by the mails from Ravi) :-

a) He used a standard drug of modern medicine (Glinil M) to bring down the level of blood sugar

b) When the blood sugar dropped excessively as a result of this drug (this is a documented side effect of the drug), Dr. Prasad advised sweets to be taken. This too is the standard practice of modern medicine to restore lowered blood sugar to acceptable levels.

c) Now, came the trickery -- Dr. Prasad deliberately played down the role of the standard drug, and pretended that it is the consumption of sugar (a "revolutionary and new" approach) that cured the patient of diabetes. 

This deliberate obfuscation by Dr. Prasad was so effective that in the first narrative, the patient stated that no drug was taken by him -- he probably regarded this fact to be so insignificant that he forgot about it!. Only when specifically asked at a later stage did he recall that  Glinil M was taken -- and that the blood sugar had already sharply dropped,as a result of this drug, before Dr Prasad asked him to have sugar!

This is exactly like the tricks that Sai Baba and Yuri Geller pull on gullible public. They perform stage magic of the type that Sorcar or Muthukkad can do with greater elan & skill. But unlike the honest magicians who make no supernatural claims, these charlatans claim that they are possessed of divine powers. Dr. Prasad appears to have chosen the path of conmanship...

Anand


ravindranath tk

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Dec 2, 2009, 3:08:49 AM12/2/09
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Dear Viswanathan Sir,

          You are quite OK and I fully agree with you. My experience is also the same. I fell prey to diabetes during April 2004 with bloodsugar 360mg. My doctor gave me high dose medicine Glimet DS and he gradually reduced the dosage. And before 2 years as per his advice I stopped medicine. Now the bloodsugar level is normal. When I last tested, two weeks ago, it was only 99mg. I am controlling diet. I am aged 58. I am doing the simple excercise, morning walk for 30 or 40 minutes daily.  But in the case of Salil (patient who we are discussing) he is taking sugar abundantly and the test shows that the bloodsugar is coming down. That is the question. He is doing a special excercise, just like folding and unfolding palms etc. as per the advice of Dr. Prasad. Please also note that now he is 40 and he became diabetic before 4 or 5 years ago. (younger age)

2009/12/1 viswanathan chathoth <vis...@gmail.com>

Anand Nair

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Dec 2, 2009, 3:26:18 AM12/2/09
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Ravi,

You stated, "But in the case of Salil (patient who we are discussing) he is taking sugar abundantly and the test shows that the bloodsugar is coming down."

Salil's blood sugar came down (from 300 to less than 100) ONLY after he took Glynil M. Now that his blood sugar is under control, he may continue to consume sugar "abundantly"-- but only at the real risk that diabetes may relapse. This is NOT what any self respecting doctor ought to prescribe.

I hope Salil is taking the elementary precaution to have his blood sugar tested once a week or so. Or is Dr. Prasad so confident that he has advised not to check blood sugar any more (now that he is availing of the "revolutionary" therapy?

What happens if Salil's blood sugar reverts to over 300 (say, by 15 Dec 2009)? I hope this will not happen. But by taking sugar "abundantly", he has placed himself at a great risk. He would do well to keep Glynil M handy, just in case...

Anand

PS. No, Salil's blood sugar has NOT come down after he started taking sugar "abundantly". Not as per your second narrative. But if this "coming down" of blood sugar is really true, the guy would soon have to be treated for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), or his life is in danger...

Harish M Tharayil

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Dec 2, 2009, 7:29:32 AM12/2/09
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I don't think the TC Medical council is a clean body with good credentials. They have never bothered to update the database of doctors, conduct proper elections etc. They have never 
shown any indication of being a regulatory body. Their recent attempt to collect money from all registered doctors which masqueraded as a re registration drive has been stayed by the High court recently. Let them have their ways. Don't expect them to do something useful. 
I think it is better to contact this person directly and try to find out his true intentions. If he is a fraud we can either leave him alone for the society to intervene or we can warn him before taking some action. If the Science Trust or some such body is willing to start a body which is willing to investigate bogus claims of treatment, that will be the best course of action.  Dr Prasad's false claim can be a good starting point for us. 
I have always thought about such a regular mechanism, which volunteers to take up such investigations. This can help to educate our media colleagues, who fall prey to such dubious claims because of lack of scientific training. From my interactions with media workers, I have found that majority of them come from arts / humanities stream. Many share a general attitude of anti establishment spirit and a tendency to take most such claims as true. This may be because of their need to grab attention and not miss out on a scoop. A constant vigil and regular efforts are need to help the gullible public from falling prey to conmen. 
It is noteworthy that Dr Prasad has chosen a remote area - Kenichira in Wayand as his place of action. This is another common tendency of such conmen. 
2009/12/2 Anand Nair <asn...@gmail.com>

Muralidharan Enarth Maviton

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Dec 2, 2009, 11:38:07 AM12/2/09
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What comes to mind when I read this thread on diabetes cure and that on homeopathy, is the grossly inadequate training in scientific methods that even people specializing in science at university level typically have. In particular, the role that statistical methods play in overcoming the natural tendency to have biases (unwittingly, of course at least in the case of serious investigators) is never given due importance. I am afraid that even the few professional statisticians that I am acquainted with are totally unprofessional in their private lives when it comes to using their knowledge.

A basic level of awareness of the need to have statistical inference when dealing with random phenomena would have brought about an early death to astrology, dowsing, parapsychology  and much of the alternative streams of medicine or at least ended their masquerade as science. Traditional beliefs are so strongly entrenched in the minds of  so many around us that only with a serious concerted effort can it be overcome, at least in the next generation.

Meanwhile we can only hope and "keep our fingers crossed" :-) that the authorities and the legal system will find ways to keep in check at least the more dangerous practices.

Murali


2009/11/30 Harish M Tharayil <drhar...@gmail.com>

Sashikumar kurup

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Dec 2, 2009, 2:48:33 PM12/2/09
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I think Harish has sown the seeds of a good idea here. Science Trust
can have a commitee specifically formed to investigate such
extraordinary claims ( obviously of a modest nature, within it's means
). It should be manned by non-medical members, and medical
professionals should act only as advisors ( to free it of any
suggestion of professional jeajousy or allegation of vested interest
in the people's eyes ).
We also do not know if Salil was obese, amd the soctor's advice
included weight reduction. In that case, having sugar may not affect
him in the short term, he being young enough to still have sufficient
insulin reserves. The option for Salil, if he develops diabetes again
while following this doctor's 'fantastic' treatment, is to file a
police case under swc 420 for cheating, and some other sections for
causing wilful harm to his health. RTI may have no role in this matter
if he is a private practitioner. But let us have Babu's opinion on
this. tCMC is a dinosaur and may not have anything to say in this
matter. I strongly suspect the doctor may not hold a class in Calicut.
If he does, we can pool some resources and have it videotaped, and
anakyse it. Members based in Calicut may be able to arrange it, posing
as patients seeking his advice and treatment, and telling the doctor
that the tape is to convince other family members who are also
diabetic. I am sure Science Trust has some resourceful people who can
mange it.
so Ravi, get the time and place, if that really happens.........sashi
>>>> baffled. ``It is *incredible but true*,'' exclaimed IIT chemist N K Jha
>>>> who organised the experiment at the request of the Department of Science
>>>> and
>>>> Technolog y (DST). What this discovery means is that, given the herb,
>>>> one
>>>> can convert plain tap water into a fuel that can drive a vehicle. In
>>>> fact
>>>> 30-year old Ramar Pillai who discovered the amazing herb seven years ago
>>>> has
>>>> been doing precisely that in his village near Rajapalayam. Pillai, who
>>>> was
>>>> invited to Delhi by DST secretary Valangiman Ramamurti, says his herbal
>>>> petrol would cost Re 1 per litre. All he wants from DST is money to put
>>>> up a
>>>> plant in his native place and personal protection. He recently faced an
>>>> attempt on his life for refusing to part with his secret.
>>>>
>>>> ``I am *personally convinced* it is a discovery worth pursuing,'' said
>>>> Ramamurti *after repeating the experiment himself*. The product burnt

ravindranath tk

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Dec 3, 2009, 8:42:20 AM12/3/09
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Dear Dr. Harish, 
         
     You wrote:  "From my interactions with media workers, I have found that majority of them come from arts / humanities stream". Is it right to say that all the persons coming from these streams lack scientific temper and outlook? In our experience a lot of 'intellectuals' engaged in the field of science having even Phd. are superstitious or lacking scietific awareness. For example Dr. R. Gopimani. Dont think I am diverting from the subject. Ravi.

2009/12/2 Harish M Tharayil <drhar...@gmail.com>

ravindranath tk

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Dec 3, 2009, 8:50:09 AM12/3/09
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Dear Sashikumar kurup,
           
          Sri. Salil is not obese. He was my coworker for long time. He is of average physique. As I said earlier, Dr. Prasad had asked him to have any kind of food without any restriction. So the question of weight reduction doesnot arise, I think. It is a good idea  to have an investigation in the manner you suggested. Of course I will inform the date of his visit at Calicut if it really take place, and if  Salil make me know of it.  Ravi.

2009/12/3 Sashikumar kurup <sashiku...@gmail.com>

Harish M Tharayil

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Dec 3, 2009, 9:48:47 AM12/3/09
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Yes, I agree with you. Having a PG or Ph D in science does not make any one immune to superstitions. But what I meantt was this: As majority of them are from non-science stream their lack of knowledge about scientific methods can be excused. But it is true that misinformation / superstitions promoted by those who are experts in fields related to science is more damaging. 

2009/12/3 ravindranath tk <tkravin...@gmail.com>

Sashikumar kurup

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Dec 4, 2009, 2:12:02 AM12/4/09
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I agree with both Ravi and Harish in this matter. But there is a
difference which makes Harish's point valid. Men of science are apt to
follow their beliefs, customs, superstitions etc ib the personal
sphere of their lives. Maybe this may be out of genuine belief in
some, or just because of family/community considerations, and will not
practise it in their professions. A teacher may believe in God but
still teach Darwin's evolution to students if it is in the syllabus.
An ignorant scribe can do much damage by expressing falsities as
facts to millions of readers and this can harm society much more than
the private activities of an individual.......sashi
>>>> You stated, "*But in the case of Salil (patient who we are discussing)
>>>> he is taking sugar abundantly and the test shows that the bloodsugar is
>>>> coming down.*"
>>>>
>>>> Salil's blood sugar came down (from 300 to less than 100) ONLY after he
>>>> took Glynil M. Now that his blood sugar is under control, he may
>>>> continue to
>>>> consume sugar "abundantly"-- but only at the real risk that diabetes may
>>>> relapse. This is NOT what any self respecting doctor ought to prescribe.
>>>>
>>>> I hope Salil is taking the elementary precaution to have his blood sugar
>>>> tested once a week or so. Or is Dr. Prasad so confident that he has
>>>> advised
>>>> not to check blood sugar any more (now that he is availing of the
>>>> "revolutionary" therapy?
>>>>
>>>> What happens if Salil's blood sugar reverts to over 300 (say, by 15 Dec
>>>> 2009)? I hope this will not happen. But by taking sugar "abundantly", he
>>>> has
>>>> placed himself at a great risk. He would do well to keep Glynil M handy,
>>>> just in case...
>>>>
>>>> Anand
>>>>
>>>> PS. No, Salil's blood sugar has NOT come down after he started taking
>>>> sugar "abundantly". Not as per your second narrative. But if this
>>>> "coming
>>>> down" of blood sugar is *really* true, the guy would soon have to be

Anand Nair

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Dec 4, 2009, 2:35:36 AM12/4/09
to bright...@googlegroups.com
The term "method of science" actually would apply to all fields of human endeavor

The "of science" part is only a convenient descriptor to make the meaning clear, and does not suggest that the method is something that is exclusively applicable for the pursuit of knowledge in the field of natural science.

It is true that when the "method of science" is applied to natural science, we get results with a higher degree of assurance of being accurate, than when we apply this to study economics, history or sociology. But what is significant is that (despite the fact of relatively lesser assurance of correctness), the method of science is still the best bet. By applying the method of science to study economics, history, sociology etc, we greatly increase the chances of arriving at correct inferences even in these "non-scientific" fields.... 

In one word, there would appear to be no alternative method (that is superior to the method of science) for studies in areas outside the formal domain of natural science...

I would strongly recommend that the topic, "Method of Science" be included as formal (and important) part of the curriculum for courses in arts, commerce, management, economics, politics and so on...

Anand


Harish M Tharayil

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Dec 4, 2009, 8:16:45 AM12/4/09