The example I’m analyzing in this post is a video titled “Problems and Causes of Thyroid Diseases – Part 1” by Aliaksandr Haretski. (10)
In the process of responding, I cover five issues in five separate blog posts:
- The most misleading types of thyroid naivety and quackery out there (this post)
- How to define, detect and minimize naivety and quackery
- How to distinguish between “temporary or mild” and “permanent and severe” forms of hypothyroidism
- The belief that thyroid hormone pharmaceuticals can harm the body
- The belief that some thyroid hormone pharmaceuticals are better or worse than others.
According to the website linked to the video, the “Academy of Regenerative Medicine is a training, research, medical, recreational, regenerative and gerontology (rejuvenation) institution, founded in Swiebodzice, Poland in 2010.” (9)
I got this link from a comment on one of our posts. I watched it out of curiosity and wrote notes while listening. It did not take long to see that this video was not sharing trustworthy information.
Before I deleted the comment with the link due to fear that it may mislead others, I responded to the commenter by offering a very brief critique of the video’s claims.
Unfortunately, the commenter’s response showed that they still trusted more in this practitioner’s supposedly effective therapies than in their scientific basis and logic.
This is a dangerous stance to take.
By my critical analysis here, I hope to help our community understand how to distinguish good thyroid science from naivety and quackery.
What are the most outlandishly misleading messages online about thyroid disease?
1. That all thyroid disease can be “cured” entirely by diet or other non-medical interventions, and
2. That taking thyroid hormone medications can harm your thyroid gland.
There are others, of course.
You might laugh about these claims and dismiss them. However, you may also meet a thyroid patient who is innocent and gullible. You might need to help them by cautioning them about these kinds of messages.
No doctor or patient is completely immune to more advanced forms of naivety or quackery. Science itself will never achieve a state of perfect knowledge or understanding. Nobody can claim to be perfectly scientific and reasonable at all times.
However, we can develop our critical reasoning skills, we have a rich human inheritance of scientific knowledge we should never ignore, and we should always try to learn more and to remain open to dialogue and constructive criticism.
This video’s opinions on thyroid health and therapy include the two most misleading messages above.
It reveals a deplorable naivety about verifiable facts about thyroid glands and thyroid hormones, especially the permanence of certain types of thyroid diseases and the necessity of thyroid hormone therapy to treat them. (1)
The first fallacy he relies on, which carries on throughout the video, is reliance on his self-established claim to be an expert or authority. The fallacy of authority is “claiming that something must be true because it is believed by someone who said to be an ‘authority’ on the subject.” (8)
Authority is never a sufficient reason to believe claims.
I cannot and do not boast of medical credentials, but at least I cite authoritative publications from those who do. Also, when I go to those sources, I try not to merely trust in their credentials, but in their evidence and reasoning.
No proof is ever complete, but this video does not even try. There are no experiments or studies, just his own observations, which are not expressed in enough detail for a listener to examine them.
If you follow the link to the website under the video, you will see there are no citations, only claims, and many of the claims are even more outlandish than those in the video and beg for citation.
This man expresses an overall philosophy, a set of presumptions and attitudes toward science and medical intervention.
His theory, expressed repeatedly in this video, is that we ought not to interfere with bodily functions in any way. He does not believe there are any circumstances that justify taking thyroid hormones, and thinks it’s all a deception to sell you drugs (17:57 to 18:50).
This kind of philosophy might be very attractive to a person who is disillusioned by modern medicine, understands that economic interests are involved, and has had some past negative experiences.
We often hear sweeping generalizations that “Big Pharma” is to blame. We also have to thank pharmaceuticals for a lot of good.
This is a fundamental sweeping premise that blinds him from seeing that hypothyroidism is often a permanent and chronic condition that must be treated.
Based on this philosophy, he claims many times that the thyroid gland and thyroid hormone imbalances will always heal themselves if we just live and eat “normally.” (See 15:43 to 16:24; and 18:36 to 19:00)
The video I’m analyzing in this series reveals an extreme naivety of thyroid disease and therapy, and a form of quackery.
There are many levels of naivety and quackery.
My next post will define and discuss “naivety” and “quackery” in more detail.
See the reference list for all 5 posts in this series: “REFERENCES for “Thyroid science naivety and quackery” posts