Theodoric of York, Medieval physician

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Bill in Oregon
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Theodoric of York, Medieval physician

Post by Bill in Oregon »

I don't know if anyone remembers these skits in the very early years of Saturday Night Live (when it was actually funny), but some of these early medical practices -- bleeding, mercury enemas, etc., showed us how far medicine has come. But not that long ago ...
We lived in Corvallis, OR, where Dad taught forestry at Oregon State, then a college. He was trying to manage a tree farm while struggling to qualify for tenure among other things and developed bleeding ulcers. This would have been about 1958 or so. If I am recalling a five-year-old's memories correctly, the doctor in Portland confirmed the ulcer with an ingenious but vaguely barbaric test: Dad was to tie a piece of string around a good-sized bite of steak, tie the other end to a tooth, and swallow the thing. A few hours later, the doctor had the string pulled up to examine the piece of beef for traces of blood. You can imagine this made an impression on me at the time. With the ulcers confirmed, Dad was then ordered to go on one of the infamous "bland diets" -- lots of mashed potatoes, glasses of half and half, absolutely nothing spicy.
Yes, friends, we have come a long way in the past 60 years. No one in medicine at that time dreamed that the helicobacter pylori bacterium was the usual cause of ulcers, and that eating spicy foods had very little to do with it.
Last edited by Bill in Oregon on Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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AJMD429
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Re: Theodoric of York, Medieval physician

Post by AJMD429 »

.

It is amazing, and thankfully, the 'technology' has improved fast enough to largely offset the worse communication and nearly absent common-sense I see today from within the medical community.

I am amazed at the pace of increase in knowledge of pharmacology, biochemistry, and epigenetics, in particular. 'They' know stuff that I don't even see how they could have figured out, when it comes to 3-dimensional enzyme structures, interactions, and so on. It almost makes the 'doctoring' part seem easy by comparison when you see the stuff the laboratory people figure out.
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765x53
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Re: Theodoric of York, Medieval physician

Post by 765x53 »

It is amazing that many "Doctors" are still proscribing the bland diet for ulcers. I guess the pharma salesmen haven't been telling them about the latest findings. :roll:
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AJMD429
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Re: Theodoric of York, Medieval physician

Post by AJMD429 »

765x53 wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:05 pm
It is amazing that many "Doctors" are still proscribing the bland diet for ulcers. I guess the pharma salesmen haven't been telling them about the latest findings. :roll:
All the drugs that kill Heliobacter pylori are generic at this point, so nobody will 'push' them. Now in the drug companies' defense, the FDA won't even ALLOW them to mention anything they haven't 'proven' to the FDA, and proving anything typically costs $50,000,000 or so.....so who is going to drop fifty million dollars to prove something when there is zero way to recoup that 'investment'...? You can't patent natural things, hormones, or already-patented drugs. Our system ONLY facilitates this process for synthetic chemicals that can be patented, so that's what we get as 'FDA approved' for everything...

I had to laugh a couple months ago when a drug rep for a modern (recently patented and expensive, although effective) migraine headache medicine brought a neurologist with her because I can ask the neurologist questions that the FDA won't allow a drug rep to honestly answer, and in a moment of enthusiastic candor, I asked her if she was having patients try an inexpensive type of glaucoma eyedrop for migraines, and she said she'd not heard of it. I rambled on, describing how it is thought to work, and that of course it only works maybe 1/4th of the time, but since it is pharmacologically different than other rapid-acting treatments, it may be worth trying. Then I REALIZED that I was blabbering on about a cheap generic drug one could use 'off-label' to replace the very drug the rep had come to talk me into prescribing... :lol: There are LOTS of drugs used off label like that, including Cialis for menstrual cramps, and all sorts of other things. CoVid is the thing that brought the 'off-label' thing to the public's attention, and the idea that physicians like the one who discovered H. pylori are eventually sometimes credited positively, but MOSTLY are derided as nutcases, especially early on.
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elmo123
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Re: Theodoric of York, Medieval physician

Post by elmo123 »

I always liked the skit where either Bill Murray or John Belushi is run over by an ox cart and it's determined that the cure would be a good bleeding.
kaschi
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Re: Theodoric of York, Medieval physician

Post by kaschi »

Speaking of tying something to a string and swallowing it..... and uncle of mine (the same one I made reference to in another thread this evening told me when he was in the Navy during WW II, a seasick sailor would swallow a piece of raw bacon tied to a string. Then it would be pulled out causing the sailor to vomit, which supposedly ended his bout with seasickness. I still to this day do not know if he was kidding or telling the truth!
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