Gus' Editorial 23

By Gus Donnachaidh

Originally published in EUG #36

I express my apologies to everyone for my rantings in this editorial column in EUG #35, especially the complaints about inappropriate filename lengths and accesses to directories. I was beginning to get annoyed with myself for being so late with EUG #35 and took it out on everyone else. Bad boy, don't do it again!

I must also offer my apologies to everyone for the many mistakes that I frequently make with the Menu programs. Hopefully they don't cause too many difficulties. In EUG #35 though, Robert Sprowson's test program to check your machine's compatibility with his Doomsday device was not called because I had spelt its filename wrongly (and not bothered to check to see if the two were linked).

I have read in the press recently that a Japanese company have developed some sensors that can be fitted into the body and which will continuously monitor the functioning of the various internal organs. Apparently, they give reports to the patient's doctor of any problems.

Well, this is just what we need. Yet another reason to worry about our health. And a lot of money for very little work to some doctors.

A few weeks ago, a young man came to visit my wife and I. After we'd finished with the business he'd come for, we offered him a cup of coffee. He said that he could only drink decaff. Fine, that's what my wife and I drink anyway. But he also couldn't have milk or sugar. When we asked why, he got to talking about his uncle who was diabetic and had to take insulin.

He'd become worried that he might also be prone so went to see a Naturopath. This Naturopath told him he had a greater chance than most people of getting diabetes because it could be genetically inherited. She said he was lactose intolerant and should avoid sugar as it might bring on the diabetes. And that he should also avoid caffeine because the lift it gives you is in fact a sugar boost and this too might bring on diabetes.

We didn't say anything to him of course but this was total rubbish.

Firstly, his uncle has "type one" diabetes. This young man's chances of getting type one diabetes are very slim and, since he is still in his mid-twenties, they are probably no greater than for anyone else, which is practically nil.

I have known a number of people over the years who have seen Naturopaths and almost all of them were told that they were lactose intolerant. It's a very rare condition. It can't be diagnosed over a chat. In any case the symptoms are rather evident and it doesn't even cause diabetes.

Decreasing sugar intake will not prevent diabetes.

Caffeine does not give a sugar boost. That lift is caused by the caffeine briefly dilating blood vessels supplying more blood, and so more oxygen, to the brain. The same effect causes an increased fluid loss through the kidneys.

'Conventional medicine' has disillusioned many people because of the attitude of many practitioners and increasing numbers of people are turning to 'alternative' medicine. Many 'alternative' practitioners give an excellent service: Registered medical herbalists, acupuncturists, Chinese medicine practitioners. And there are the charlatans. Naturopaths are charlatans.

Keep the submissions coming in. They are what EUG is all about.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #36