I was lucky enough to see Venus Williams play her first professional tennis match when she was a teenager. It was obvious she was something special and her coach-father said “If you think she’s good, wait until you see her little sister.” (Serena Williams).
Venus and her sister, Serena have dominated women’s tennis over the past decade but she is currently sidelined with a diagnosis of Sjogrens Syndrome. (pronounced Show-grins). It is a chronic auto-immune disorder where white blood cells (immune function cells) target the body’s moisture-producing glands. Symptoms include dry eyes, dry mouth, extreme fatigue and joint pain. Sometimes it co-exists with other auto-immune diseases like thyroid disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms can wax and wane and getting the right diagnosis can take time. I can imagine Venus going to her doctor and complaining of fatigue and dry mouth. Considering her athletic schedule, she was probably told to get some rest and fluids. The diagnostic key should have been Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*
Glucosamine is widely used for osteoarthritis pain. It’s not as impossible as homeopathy, but its rationale is improbable. As I explained in a previous post:
Wallace Sampson, one of the other authors of this blog, has pointed out that the amount of glucosamine in the typical supplement dose is on the order of 1/1000th to 1/10,000th of the available glucosamine in the body, most of which is produced by the body itself. He says, “Glucosamine is not an essential nutrient like a vitamin or an essential amino acid, for which small amounts make a large difference. How much difference could that small additional amount make? If glucosamine or chondroitin worked, this would be a medical first and worthy of a Nobel. It probably cannot work.”
Nevertheless, glucosamine (alone or with chondroitin) is widely used, and there are some supporting studies. But they are trumped by a number of well-designed studies that show it works no better than placebo, as well as a study showing that patients who had allegedly responded to glucosamine couldn’t tell the difference when their pills were replaced with placebos. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*