DIETS, SHARK CARTILAGE AND OTHER 'NEW DISCOVERIES'!!!
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provided by Thomas J. A. Lehman MD
best care - with great care
Dr. Lehman is the author
of many textbook chapters and articles on the care of children and young adults
with SLE. He practices in New York City. Click here for more
information about Dr. Lehman or the Hospital for Special Surgery.
nothing more frustrating than realizing that you or your child has an illness
that the doctor can't 'cure.' Every one of us thinks, there must be
something I can do about it. Even if we don't think of it ourselves, our
friends, our neighbors, even people we meet on the street are quick to tell us
they know somebody who knows somebody who stopped eating tomatoes, started
eating a low fat diet, took large doses of vitamin C, ate shark cartilage or
did something else AND THEY GOT BETTER. My goodness , we think. Why
don't I try that. It can't hurt!!!!
Brazilain herbal 'curer' with a selection of his wares on display
in the city square in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
For many poor Brazilians this is the only health care they can afford.
Unfortunately it's not very helpful.
here for information on a book I have written which discusses this subject in
'new discoveries' are harmless and I have no objection to people who are under
a doctor's care 'trying things.' Unfortunately sometimes people try
'alternative medicine' without getting a proper medical evaluation first. I've
seen children with cancer who went undiagnosed for six months while their
families' gave them health food to fix things. One of my patient's cousins died
of Vitamin D overdose! A chiropractor told him it would strengthen his bones.
One of my patients with lupus nearly died because he stopped his prednisone
when an Oriental faith healer told him it was interfering with 'his cure.'
wants to do everything they can for themselves and their children. If you are
going to use 'alternative' health care, diets, pills, or whatever, there are
three important things to remember.
1) Make sure you have
been carefully evaluated and you continue to take the medicines your doctor recommends.
2) Make sure the
'medication' or special diet you are taking is safe!! Also make sure your
doctor knows so he can be sure it won't interfere with the medicine you are
supposed to be taking. If you're too shy to tell your doctor about your special
..... You shouldn't do it!!! Tragedies can result!!!!
3) Remember that
numerous studies have shown that one-third of patients will feel better in any
six month period no matter what medication they are taking. The person who
swears to you that a special diet made them get better isn't crazy or lying;
they may very well have gotten better at that time, but that doesn't mean
anything about your case.
If you can
afford to take harmless supplements and they make you feel better, that's
great. We all want to feel we are doing everything possible. However, when you
spend $100 on a bottle of shark cartilage, are you throwing away money that you
need for something else?? If there was an alternative medicine that worked for
people with arthritis, every one of us would be happy to recommend it.
read in the newspaper about a new cure that doctors have discovered. As a
doctor who has done a lot of research, I'm always interested, just like you
are. Most of the time what you read about as 'new' today, those of us caring
for patients have been hearing about for years. Recently several of my patients
were very amused to see headlines about a wonderful new cure. They'd already
tried it for six months and didn't get any better. The medical community is
constantly searching for better treatments. There are thousands of abstracts
being sent to scientific meetings every year with new ideas and hope for making
everyone better. The new developments to pay attention to are the ones that are
still being talked about a year later. That's very few of them. Often the 'new
cure' in the newspaper can't be had for any price. Even more often, something
seemed to work in a few patients, just like the diets above. When it gets
extended to a large number of patients for careful testing it doesn't work, but
the newspapers never get around to reporting that it didn't work. Funny, isn't
it. When you hear about something new in the newspaper, wait six months. Then
see if it's still around. Often it's gone. Sometimes because it didn't work.
Sometimes because it causes harm. It takes years of careful testing for new
drugs or techniques to reach public availability.
book –click here to order at a discount from
“Dr. Tom Lehman’s experience and compassion are evident on every page of this
book, and they help guide the reader—child, parent, and
healthcare professional alike – through the
world of childhood arthritis. This book
is an absolute gem written with a single goal in mind: improve the lives of kids with arthritis.” -- Jack Klippel, M.D. President and CEO of the Arthritis
“Dr. Lehman has given parents and families of children with
arthritis the first book that speaks to the parent and child as equals. His book explains the illnesses, the
medications, the lab tests, and the disease course in simple, understandable
lay language and givens them valuable insight into how a pediatric
rheumatologist thinks. Bravo!”-- Charles Spencer, M.D.,
Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University
of Chicago, La Rabida
It’s not just
A guide to childhood muscle, bone, and joint pain,
rheumatic diseases and the latest treatments
Click here to see the table of
has always been a frustration trying to answer the many questions I have
received from people over the web. I can’t
take the time and give them the detail I would like to. I have to take care of my patients. This book is a distillation of my experience
answering questions for parents and health professionals over 25 years of
practice. If you want to know about the
diseases, the tests, the medications, or how to be sure you are getting the
best care– If you are the family member of a child with joint pains, this book will
give you the answers. If you are a general physician, a pediatrician,
or a nurse who cares for children with these diseases it will answer many of
the questions families ask you, and you can recommend it to them. It will also answer many of your questions
about what shots to give, what precautions to take, and the other questions
families, pediatricians, and other health care providers have asked me over the
Dr. Lehman is the author of many
textbook chapters and articles on the care of children and young adults with rheumatic
diseases including SLE, JRA, dermatomyositis, scleroderma, Kawasaki disease and related conditions. He practices in New York City. Click
here for more information about Dr. Lehman or the Hospital for
Click here if you are interested in
making an appointment with Dr. Lehman
Click here for BOOKS on childhood
This site provided by Thomas J. A. Lehman MD
Chief, Division of Pediatric Rheumatology
The Hospital for Special Surgery
535 E 70 St, New York, NY
212-606-1151, fax 212-606-1938, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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