I am far from being any sort of infectious disease, emergency medicine or pharmacology expert and way out of my lane on this one, but if ‘Karen from Facebook’ can have a view, then why can’t I? What I do think I am good at is reading, evaluating and critiquing published scientific research as well as evaluating consensus among real experts and not just those who have a YouTube channel, and it is that which informs what I am writing about here. Observing all the political shitfuckery that has gone on around this has also been fun as well as informing and there is a lot to be learnt from the whole episode.
Hydroxychloroquine is in a class of medications that were first used to treat malaria, but are now more commonly used as a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) to treat conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, childhood arthritis and some other autoimmune diseases. In March 2020, the then USA President, Donald Trump touted hydroxychloroquine as a ‘game-changer’ for COVID-19. We now know that it was not even close to being that. How did it end up there?
I have been doing my weekly update on research and views for a few years now and you start to see patterns in the research and the literature. One that really stood out like a sore thumb was vitamin D. At one stage a year or so ago, I was commenting at least weekly on something to do with vitamin D and the foot. I even got feedback that I was some sort of vitamin D junkie (I’m not). More lately its probably once a month or so, but that is still a lot compared with other topics. Its hard not to miss how much research has been regularly and recently added to the threads on Podiatry Arena on vitamin D and the diabetic foot and the thread on vitamin D and foot and ankle injuries. With that sheer volume of content and research one can not help but think that it might be important and relevant.
It is disappointing to feel the need to write about ‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ again. I have done it before here and here. Many others have done the same as it is great fodder for skeptical writers. ‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ is still bollocks and made up pseudoscience nonsense. What is disappointing is those who have the benefit of allegedly developing the critical thinking skills that are supposed to come with getting a degree from a University fail to see through the nonsensical claims and blindly share it with no clue what is wrong with it. We have to do better.
I have previously written on all my clinical work, research and teaching experiences with calcaneal apophysitis and just how much I realised I did not know and just how much I learnt when my own child got it. As my daughters have just come out of the age bracket where the condition is common, I used that opportunity over the last few years to chat to as many of their friends and their friend’s parents that I could about their experiences with ‘Severs Disease’ whenever I could (an unrepresentative purposively selected sample with recall bias and no ethics approval, but, hey no worries).
Concussions have always had a particular interest for me. The politics around concussion in sport and the alleged cover-ups and the significant public health consequences have long been a fascinating issue to follow. Will Smith’s 2015 movie, Concussion and the 2013 book, League of Denial highlighted just how political and controversial it has become. Who remembers or knows what the Lonergan Shuffle is?
Why should Podiatrists be concerned about concussions?
Chilblains are generally not that responsive to treatment with most interventions having some effect, but no one intervention really curing them or having any great consistent affect. Lots of people have opinions and preferences for treatments, most of which have not yet been shown to do any better than a placebo. When there are no definitive treatments shown to work for a condition, then the wide range of anecdotal recommendations and choices to treat will contain many treatments that simply can not work and if they do appear to work, then its more likely to be the natural history rather than the treatment.