Whenever anyone else hears the word ‘DAN!’ with that little exclamation mark do they go ‘DAN! – DAN! – DAN – DAN!’ to the opening four bars of the theme to ‘Dragnet’? No? Ah well, just me then.
As for choosing a DAN!, it just depends on what type of treatment you are looking for. DAN!’s that are MDs or DOs are typically going to be much more into testing and genetics and lots of expensive and invasive stuff. This, of course, is a gross generalization and isn’t necessarily true of all DAN! MDs, but rather something to be cautious of. A DAN! who is a homeopath or naturopath is typically going to do things more naturally and less invasive. Again, it’s a generalization. There are chiropractors, allergists and other types of doctors that are DAN!s as well, so it is really the type of doctor and treatment that best suits your needs. Many people go with a MD or DO because they can get insurance coverage for some of the services.
Homeopaths and Naturopaths doing things ‘naturally’. Heh. Does this lack of training in medical matters prevent them from performing things like chelation (source as above)?
…which is why we went with a homeopath/naturopath…….We decided to get the mercury out because I knew that Seth had had way too much put into him and it wasn’t coming out at all (he’s a non-excretor).
Homeopaths and Naturopaths doing chelation. Cool.
I talked to one yesterday (a DAN doctor mind you) and how he got qualifications to be one is beyond me. He told me has a couple of autistic patients and knows of the chelation process. If this is all that is required to be a DAN doctor then I don’t see a distinct advantage to them either.
Is your mind boggling yet? Here’s the reply to this commenter (source as above):
I think that being on the DAN list (in the past) meant something like that the person had attended some DAN training– or something rather general like this. Someone (in some post, somewhere) who went to the recent DAN conference wrote about that there is/was some discussion afoot to try to improve on this and make the
info on doctors more useful (or more detailed….or something??)
This doesn’t sound like a recipie for disaster at all. Was Roy Kerry a DAN! Doctor? I don’t know.
I came across some priceless websites pushing the DAN! protocol. They had numerous things in common, chiefly the disclaimer – all variations on the theme of:
this is not medical advice
Which is odd because from that point on, they mostly plough into what can only be thought of as _advice_ about what _medication_ an autistic child should take. There’s a fairly representative sample of what a dutiful DAN! Doc should do on the website of Miriam Jang MD. First, the usual copout from responsibility:
At this point, I would like to point out that this is not medical advice, even though I am a Medical Doctor. Rather, this is a wish for your child or your loved one(s) to have the advantage of what took us eight years to discover. Please take this as a medical disclaimer. All suggestions here should be done at your own risk.
‘Own risk’. Right. Or actually – wrong. She means the risk of the child receiving the treatment. Thats whos health will suffer
when if it all goes wrong.
Dr Jang decides to lead off with some impressive science:
In both Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine, the sages believed that there were only two ways to health: one was to correct deficiencies; the other was to get rid of toxicities.
This ancient art of healing has been practiced continuously for over 5,000 years. The principles of many natural healing systems now familiar in the West, such as Homeopathy and Polarity Therapy, have their roots in Ayurveda. Ayurvedic practices restore the balance and harmony of the individual, resulting in self-healing, good health and longevity.
So, DAN! Doctors are homeopaths and naturopaths who practice er, Polarity Therapy. Polarity Therapy? What the hell?
Polarity Therapy is a comprehensive health system involving energy-based bodywork, diet, exercise and self-awareness. It works with the Human Energy Field, electromagnetic patterns expressed in mental, emotional and physical experience.
Riiiight. OK. Back to er, Doctor (?) Jang. Basically, there’s a load of stuff with no cites – such as:
An important finding is that about 85 percent of Autistic kids are high in Copper and low in Zinc. Furthermore, these kids are very low in an important protein call Metallothionein, or MT Protein.
Hmm. Searching PubMed for ‘Metallothionein autism’ reveals two results. One is an inaccessible review and one is a free PDF published in the confidence inspiringly named ‘Alternative Medecine Review’. A Google search for the same reveals the predicted circus of quackery.
Except….another one of the mercury/autism darlings, Vijendra K. Singh has a paper that states:
serum level of MT did not significantly differ between normal and autistic children. Furthermore, autistic children harboured normal levels of anti-MT, including antibodies to isoform MT-I (anti-MT-I) and MT-II (anti-MT-II), without any significant difference between normal and autistic children.
A dilema, no? (You can read more on this paper here.)
Dr Jang continues with:
I will include a list of supplements that Marky is taking. There are many protocols, with many rationales. When we write down the dosages, please take into consideration that Marky is 11 years old and weighs 75 pounds. Please adjust your dosages according to your child’s weight.
Marky is her son. But isn’t it amazing how a DAN! Doctor is assuming parents know *how* to adjust medications for weight – and is happy to trust them to do so without medical supervision or even consultation!
Towards the end of her piece she says:
Please remember that, if you introduce your child to a new supplement, it is not unusual for the child to experience some adverse effects for a short while…When this happens, it does not necessarily mean that you should discontinue the supplement, unless the adverse effects are dangerous, or persistent….If there are adverse effects, stay at this dose until the adverse effects are gone, then proceed to a slightly higher dose, etc.
So there may be adverse effects but don’t stop unless the adverse effects are dangerous, instead stay on the same dose until the adverse effects are gone. I can’t imagine any Doctor thinking this is good advice. Interestingly, the following appeared from Dr Jang as part of an email newsletter:
I would like to start with some very serious news: we do have to be careful of Vitamin A toxicity with our sweet kids. There is a child with reported Vitamin A toxicity that was so severe that the child had to be hospitalized for 12 days.
Her patient? I wonder. Maybe the practitioner (whomever s/he was) read her advice to ‘stay on the same dose until the adverse effects are gone’.
Dr Jang tells us in relation to supplements that:
We noticed a difference in Marky in less than a week.
And yet later on she says:
In addition, you may not see the beneficial effects of these supplements for a period of time.
Something of a glaring contradiction. Which is true?
Anyway, having expounded all this good advice, Dr Jang closes with:
So, be curious and be persistent. Take good care of yourselves so that you can endure this arduous journey called “Autism”!
Yes, be curious – try everything that takes your fancy. Be persistent – whats a little Vitamin A poisoning between friends? And above all take good care of _yourselves_ so that _you_ can endure this journey…..except, its not _you_ who’s undergoing all these treatments is it? Its your child.
Dr Jang is also a big clay bath fancier (clay baths cure autism? Who knew?)
“…I have put a huge number of patients on these clay baths and the levels of heavy metals – mercury, lead, arsenic, aluminum, and cadmium have come down dramatically…I have been monitoring the levels of metals using all three methods (TD DMPS, oral DMSA and clay baths)and the clay baths are way faster in the removal of metals”.
Hoooo boy! Rashid’s going to be plenty pissed with her. Better than TD DMPS? Surely not! Why not use both? Smother your child with TD DMPS and then wash that stuff off in a nice clay bath? At least your child will have a nice happy splash in a bath.
So, Ken Aitken – welcome to your new role as a Dan! Doctor. I feel sure you can uphold the strong scientific standards your colleagues demonstrate.