Echinacea ....pah

21 to 35 of 35 messages
19/12/2002 at 18:31
Agree with you totally Chris - too much in the papers is worthless - either poor research design, or even if it isn't we don't get the info to judge whether it is or not.

I guess being able to see the sample size and other study design factors would broe the crap out of readers of The Sun and even the more serious papers, but it's essential to form a judgement of the value of the study.

I think I heard somewhere (okay - that in itself is dodgy) that the current panic over the MMR vaccine was based on a study of abotu 20 people!
19/12/2002 at 23:15
Thought I might take the opportunity to set out (again) the statistical basis for my cautious but increasing optimism wrt echinacea consumption. The more rigorous mathematicians amongst you please excuse the crude modelling.
Previous history suggests I average 4 colds/sore throats/respiratory whatever per year. So in any month, the probability of picking up a bug can be reasonably assumed to be 1/3 .
Started taking echinacea mid-April this year in desperation after a bug forced me out of a 5K race I'd been looking forward to. 8 months on, no further bugs have hit me. Odds against that are (2/3)**8 (anyone got a better way of writing power functions?) - which is rather less that 4% or 1 in 25.
Random chance? The longer this continues, the less plausible it becomes that it's down to "random chance". Certainly I don't think I've ever got this far into the winter before without picking something up.
19/12/2002 at 23:20
are u mixing with children less have to look at all perameters
19/12/2002 at 23:21
Fatbut,

Far from being clear, the colesterol issue is becomming ever more complicated. I am surprised by your statement of "fact". There are many people who have a decent diet, do not over-eat and are otherwise healthy. But they can suffer from high colesterol. There are masses who consider themselves to be healthy and could have a colesterol count through the roof. What percentage of the population know their colesterol level - Not many! And most that do have probably only been tested because another problem showed up.

Let's not get blinkered (as I said) to beleiving that we know everything.
Steve.
19/12/2002 at 23:23
I've been usin echinacea for years as a way of preventing illness. I am certain it works.

As for doctors. They just love prescribing anti-biotics. Great. And they love writing out sick notes for people who have got nothing wrong with them
19/12/2002 at 23:32
Soory i like antis, echinacea works for short periods loses effieciency over long periods, u probably dont mix w small children, colesterol is genetic eat eggs if its genetic u r in trouble if not u can eat 70 a day and not have a probvlem other than constipation and hey as a runner that is a good thing.
19/12/2002 at 23:34
I think more likely they try to help people, and try to be on their patients' side, and generally consider that if their patient feels they are unfit for work, then it is not for them to decide whether they are or not

I might be wrong like - and I would hope that doctors would not collude with patients in obvious lead-swinging - particularly if this is not ultimately in the best interests of the patients health

I hope if I ever get ill, my doctor will be there to help me not police me

19/12/2002 at 23:37
Drs know best.
20/12/2002 at 08:39
Or think they do
20/12/2002 at 09:56
Freaky,
Answer to your question is "no" - the opposite is the case. My younger son Nicholas (4) started at infants school in September - so we have 2 boys in contact with a lot of other kids. Nicholas has had a persistent cough for the last 2 and a bit weeks - he's certainly bringing bugs into the house.
And let's not forget the Godawful open plan office at work, shared with some 40+ others....
20/12/2002 at 10:09
Hi everybody
People believe what they believe and it is a rare piece of a reseach that can alter someone's views (doctors included).

Actually, doctors do their best to avoid antibiotics. People might be surprised to learn how often GPs resist pressure to prescribe them. See thread on mobile phones and smears and the bbc article that provoked it.

The idea that GPs like to issue sick notes for malingerers is another idea that I often encounter. Big AL is correct, we are trying to be the patient's advocate and help them not police them. How would I benefit from colluding with lead-swingers? It's my tax money as well as yours.

dr eamonn
an NHS employee and proud of it
20/12/2002 at 23:56
Eamonn, I agree, there has been a move towards prescribing less antibiotics. They were grossly over prescribed in the first place and were seen as the great messiah to against ills. Now we have MRSA awaiting another silver bullet.

I do feel for docs though. They used to be the fount of all knowledge and the doc was number one. We all have access to a depth of information now which puts an impossible pressure on docs to be up to speed on everything under the sun. It is easily possible for the patient to enter the surgery with more specific information about the presenting problem than the doc.

Sorry if two versions of this message appaer. I pressed submit and it vanished!

Steve.
21/12/2002 at 00:00
Oh and regarding Vit C, Heart attacks, cholesterol etc. Our GP is seriously looking into the whole thing and so he is someone who is unafraid to have his views challenged and maybe changed. Oh for more like him.
21/12/2002 at 07:52
You know, I love you lot! You're never boring. However........ for a change I have to disagree with V-rap (ducks nervously). I used to get a cold EVERY month. Since taking echinacea at the first sign of anyone sniffling anywhere near me, I just don't get them. Don't care if it is the placebo effect - I still avoid the colds.
21/12/2002 at 13:35
Dr Eamonn,

I'm a journalist and I know some really good ones. I also know some crap ones. It's the same withh doctors I'm afraid. My own GP is brilliant I also know a GP socially who is a very sound man who knows his stuff. Both of them accept that some GPs hand out anti-biotics like confetti and that there are some GPs who are targeted by the skivers. Word gets round who the soft touch doctors are.

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