Friday, April 3, 2009

Medical insurance call: a case of iridology

iridology of iris and eye The economic crisis apparently has an effect on my business: the patent consultancy has been falling off, and there is a notable increase in the demand to settle alternative medicine cases. It's all logical - people have less capital to secure their intellectual property, and less capital for conventional medical treatment. Hence, they turn to the soothsayers of the alternative medicine, which in the end are as brutal on the bank account as conventional medicine. The most recent case is that of iridology. The state insurance commission called me with the case of a patient that started to combine ear-nose-and-throat MD visits with visits to an iridologist. The lab tests for the last year showed plenty of vitamins, iron and a good liver profile. The patient complained of sinusitis, which really was a reaction to dry, furnace heating-dried air. Yet the iridologist decided that the patient's iris indicated a lack of selenium (!) as well as iron, which was responsible for the stuffy nose. The patient stopped going through with the MD's prescribed, over-the-counter treatments, and made other decisions that complicated medical insurance claims, and prompted me being called onto the scene. I immediately advise the patient to start using a vaporizer, which she had (ultrasonic), and she found a good deal on a hot-water vaporizer that can be attached to the furnace. She immediately reported relief in breathing through her nose. I made an appointment with the iridologist, and made a usual request for a free advice. In the process, I asked the iridologist very basic questions, which challenged the laughable principles of the scam:
  1. the founder of the iridology did not know enough about owl's eyes to start making deductions about human eye;
  2. the iris is an island in the middle of the eye, relying on the air for oxygen absorption, and on the nutrients seeping through the glassy matter of the eye;
  3. the only physical connection to the rest of the body is a nerve that controls dilation of the pupil.
  4. iridology has had no clue of the selenium inside the human body, for the last 150 years.
The iridologist has failed to show me the presence of iridology research materials analyzing the ENT problems. Nor did the iridologist produce any publications that are peer reviewed. She referred me to many of internet web sites that brag about case stories (not studies) where diagnoses were made using the owl's eye ideology of the scam's author, with no other lab or doctor-administered tests. I also challenged the iridologist to explain the difference between the iridology assessment of the selenium and iron deficiency, and the professional alb results consistently showing the contrary. That prompted the iridologist to say that iridologists and their patients are successful "because they have faith in it." QED. Case finished.

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