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The things you learn from the internet…

In Uncategorized on September 11, 2008 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

The things you learn from the internet. I never knew that Autism could be effectively treated with epsom salts, of all things! Forget evidence or randomised controlled trials–I just saw a great article on eHow about how to do this. Imagine a website that can help you choose the correct chakra crystals (also by Melanierose, the epsom salts author, stay at home mother and president of the PTA), get rid of cellulite, make chicken quesadillas, and everything in between.

Unless the epsom salts article was intended as a joke, I cannot fathom why it would be allowed to stay up. Someone I showed it to suggested that was because ‘it won’t do any harm’. Yes, except the harm implicit in misinforming people and spreading the word about quack treatments.

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2 Responses to “The things you learn from the internet…”

  1. I didn’t read the article, but I do know that epsom salts can, and do, make a difference for many children on the spectrum. I’m not sure I’d use the word “treat,” as that can often be mistaken for “cure,” for which there isn’t one, but epsom salts definitely do make a difference. They are known to be a calming factor if added to baths…they also soak in through the skin and aid the intestinal system. Some doctors actually even suggest it, but again, I didn’t read an article so I’m not sure what else it’s reported to do, just that we have used epsom salts and seen a difference.

  2. Hi there,

    Most people in healthcare do not use the word “cure” because a cure (a total remission of symptoms and disease) rarely happens. Even when the word “treat” is used, it is used with caution. So an article on “treating” autism that doesn’t report evidence for the clinically effective treatment of the core signs and symptoms of autism, does not describe the population, does not randomly select and assign participants to a control and a treatment option, should be thrown out as a poor testimonial.

    I did a quick search and found a review that suggested epsom salt baths were beneficial in autistic children. The problem was that it cited a website (that no longer exists) that provided ‘parental testimonials’. No good and unreliable.

    While it is generally understood that epsom salts are safe to use, there is no evidence of value that they are effective in treating autism. Probably because of this, there is little motivation for researchers to undertake research into epsom salts.

    Reference:
    Autism, an extreme challenge to integrative medicine. Part II: medical management – Autism – Brief Article
    Alternative Medicine Review, Dec, 2002 by Parris M. Kidd. Accessed 12 Sept, 2008: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FDN/is_6_7/ai_96416601/pg_11?tag=artBody;col1

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