By Dr. Dana Myatt
Thank you for being a subscriber to my HealthBeat newsletter. Nurse Mark and I spend a lot of time researching, writing and doing our darnedest to bring you quality medical news. I know many of you appreciate this because you write and tell us so.
Here’s a problem I see in today’s information-overloaded world. TMI (Too Much Information) actually results in people taking less action. Less action = less results, including less health results.
Why does this happen? Confusion.
If you subscribe to dozens of health newsletters, you will surely encounter differing opinions. Possibly even totally opposite opinions.
Then you can get so confused that you are paralyzed and do nothing, or do something in “dribs and drabs.” If you have elected to follow a truly helpful health behavior, a half-tailed approach will not be as effective (or may not be effective at all) as a sincere effort.
But confusion can kill motivation.
UNSUBSCRIBE. That’s right. Choose the 3-4 holistic health newsletters that you believe to be of the highest quality, then unsubscribe to the rest. Pay good attention to the few newsletters and physicians that you follow.
How Can You Evaluate the Quality of Health Information?
It’s easy to sit back in a Barcalounger and pontificate about how the world works. Every real doctor knows “big words” (medical terminology) and can make even the preposterous sound plausible. Throw in some biochemistry terminology and, to paraphrase, you can fool a lot of people most of the time. Unless you — yes, YOU — have in-depth understanding of human physiology, biochemistry and statistics (needed to help sort good studies from bad), be aware that it may be relatively easy to make something sound legitimate to you.
There was a time my mechanic could pass off unneeded thinga-ma-jigetts and services to me because this isn’t my area of expertise. Enter Nurse Mark, who was an auto mechanic when he was a Puppy. I haven’t been taken to the cleaners on unnecessary car repairs since I married him! But before that, I bought in to unnecessary “repairs” because it “sounded right.” But then again, I’m no car mechanic. I could be fooled.
What Should You Do to End Confusion?
Here’s my recommendation for choosing the 3 to 4 health newsletters (4 MAXIMUM) that you should follow.
1.) Look at the Doctor’s / Writer’s credentials. I’ve seen newsletter authors who are “celebrities” and they have no credentials. They are “famous for being famous.” Maybe they’ve got a “medical degree” from the bogus-and-now-defunct Clayton’s School of Natural Therapy. That would be a mail-order medical degree. Seriously? Look for someone with some “bona fides.” Would you consult a lawyer or car mechanic with a mail-order degree?
2.) Look for supporting evidence. If I say “the Earth is flat,” even with an eloquent argument, I should have studies, data, facts which support my claim. Many “holistic health newsletters” make big claims without ANY supporting evidence. Really? Does this seem right to you?
3.) Check the References. If there is supporting evidence, medical studies, etc., check them out. You might not need to do this every time, but do it at first when you are deciding which newsletters to keep. Just because someone cites a reference doesn’t mean the reference is legit. I find that many “references” are non-existent, and you will, too, if you look.
4.) The Best Authors Might be Folks Who Tick You Off Sometimes. If everything a person says is totally in alignment with your B.S. (Belief System), you will probably like reading their work. But that doesn’t prove their work has merit, only that they agree with you. Are you looking for the truth, or do you simply want your B.S. stroked?
Someone who is reporting medical findings without prejudice and with references will sometimes annoy you, especially if they report something contrary to your already-existing B.S. That’s a good thing, because it means you may be opening yourself to a truth that you were blinded to before. There’s a reason for the expression, “The truth hurts.” Just remember that “the Truth shall make you free.”
How We Research HealthBeat
Nurse Mark and I review over 24+ holistic newsletters. We also read the conventional medical news daily. In the next issue of HealthBeat, I’ll list who we read (both conventional and holistic) and who / what would be on my “short list” for newsletters if I were at liberty to have a short list. Right now, we see the good, the bad, and the ugly side-by-side. That’s why I can tell you that there is just some idiotic stuff you should ignore. I read it because some of you read it and I can anticipate the questions I will get as a result. But I encourage you to drop the unscientific, unsupported, un-credentialed stuff.
That’s My Story and I’m Sticking To It.
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