April 12, 2010 |
For millions of people, the quietest room is never quiet enough. Even when surrounded by silence, they can hear a ringing or buzzing in their ears that drives them to distraction. The sound is called tinnitus, and sufferers — often people with hearing trouble thanks to advanced age or loud sounds — are willing to go to great lengths to stop the noise. Some plead with their doctors to cut their hearing nerves completely, but even this drastic measure won't help. The few patients who have had the procedure could still hear their tinnitus — and nothing else.
July 20, 2012 |
Silymarin, an extract of milk thistle widely used around the world for treating liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus, provides no more benefit than a placebo, researchers reported this week. Some estimates are that as many as a third of the estimated 3.2 million Americans with hepatitis C -- as well as many more millions around the world -- are consuming the drug in an effort to alleviate their symptoms. The new research by a team headed by Dr. Michael W. Fried of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine suggests that they are simply wasting their money.
September 17, 2010
An analysis of 10 studies involving more than 3,800 people has found that glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for joint pain are ineffective either alone or in combination. Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements have been popular for years among people with arthritic knees or hips. According to the authors of the study, worldwide sales of the supplements reached almost $2 billion in 2008. Previous studies on whether the drugs work to relieve arthritis pain, however, have been conflicting.
December 21, 2004 |
The ancient Chinese therapy of acupuncture can help ease pain and improve movement for people with arthritis of the knee, a study concludes. "For the first time, a clinical trial with sufficient rigor, size and duration has shown that acupuncture reduces the pain and functional impairment of osteoarthritis of the knee," said Dr. Stephen E. Straus, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
April 1, 2002
I was in shock when I read "Finally, Science Weighs In" (March 18). The new head of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine indicates that he plans to study unconventional medicine using scientific methods. The center, which he heads, has already been in existence for 10 years and has spent millions of dollars doing this but to date has not proven the efficacy or value of even one alternative treatment. When a treatment that appears to be of value does surface, medical scientists study it using scientific methods and, if it proves to be of value, it's added to the physicians' medical armament.
September 27, 2010
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine recommends asking the following questions of your insurance provider before seeking alternative or complementary treatments: Is this treatment covered for my specific health condition? Does this treatment need to be preauthorized, preapproved or ordered by a prescription? Do I need a referral from my primary care provider? Do I have to see a practitioner that is part of my network for the service to be covered?