Saturday, July 22, 2006

Holistic Medicine PSA

Aside from my documentary obsession, I also love medical shows...the grosser the better. Two of my current favorites are Medical Incredible and Super Humans. On one of these shows there was a story about a woman that suffered from Argyria. A condition caused from ingesting dietary Silver salts (colloidal silver) that turns your skin grey (it is sometimes called "walking dead disease".

"...Colloidal silver dietary supplements are marketed widely for cancer, AIDS, diabetes mellitus, and herpetic infections. Cases have followed the prolonged use of silver salts for the irrigation of urethral or nasal mucous membranes, in eye drops, wound dressing, and the excessive use of an oral smoking remedy containing silver acetate. Argyria has also been attributed to surgical and dental procedures (eg, silver amalgam-tattooing, silver sutures used in abdominal surgery). Blue macules have appeared at sites of acupuncture needles and silver earring sites. Great individual variability exists in the length of exposure and total dose needed to result in argyria...
...In the US: Argyria has become a rare dermatosis, mainly because of the avoidance of silver-containing compounds as medicinals and a decrease in occupational exposure in the silver industry. Exposure to silver was common in the early part of this century. The famous Blue Man, a member of the Barnum and Bailey Circus sideshow, had a classic case of argyria." (source)

Though silver is no longer common in FDA regulated drugs it is often found in many holistic compounds and many of the dietary supplements found online...

You may be aware of this condition because of "Stan Jones of Montana, a Libertarian candidate for the United States Senate in 2002. Jones acquired argyria through consumption of home-made colloidal silver which he made due to fears the Year 2000 problem would make antibiotics unavailable. The peculiar colouration of his skin featured prominently in media coverage of his unsuccessful campaign. Jones promised that he was not using his silvery complexion as a gimmick. In fact, he continues to promote the use of colloidal silver as a home remedy. He has said that his good health, minus the unusual skin tone, is the result of his use of colloidal silver." (source)

You may balk at "big drug companies" for hoarding cures and overcharging --but before you self-diagnosis and buy online... remember these pictures and check there is no silver in what you are purchasing!

Read Rosemary's Argyria Story

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