The other day, Glenn Beck announced on his show that he’d been battling a rare neurological disorder for years and tearfully described his symptoms and how he finally found a diagnosis and medical salvation from a “chiropractic neurologist.” David Ferguson at Raw Story reports that this is almost certainly complete bullshit.
The illness, Beck said, baffled doctors all over the world, but has now been diagnosed as “adrenal fatigue” by maverick “chiropractic neurologist” Dr. Ted Carrick.
Beck said that the mysterious ailment came on gradually over the course of the last few years, causing him to lose his memory and to suffer seizures, intense pain in his hands and feet and fits of vocal paralysis. He had long bouts of insomnia, mental “fogginess” and a spate of emotional outbursts that he said “quite honestly has made me look crazy.”
Now, after a range of treatments by Carrick — including being strapped into and spun around in a giant gyroscope — and an intense regimen of spiritual work and fervent prayer, Beck claims to have a “clean bill of health.”
“My brain is back online in a big way,” he said Monday.
I’m not sure it was ever online in the first place, but let’s set that aside. Let’s find out about “chiropractic neurology.”
“Chiropractic neurology” is a controversial branch of medicine that Yale University neurologist Dr. Steven Novella dismissed outright as “pure pseudoscience” in a column from November of 2011.
“Chiropractic neurology does not appear to be based on any body of research, or any accumulated scientific knowledge,” Novella wrote. “I am not aware of any research that establishes their core claims. A search on PubMed for ‘Carrick T’ yielded nothing, and searching on ‘chiropractic neurology’ yielded mostly studies about neurological complications from chiropractic treatment.”
“Chiropractic neurology appears to me to be the very definition of pseudoscience — it has all the trappings of a legitimate profession, with a complex set of beliefs and practices, but there is no underlying scientific basis for any of it,” he concluded.
Raw Story spoke with a representative of Emory Health Care in Atlanta who pointed out that Beck’s symptoms do not actually match those typically associated with adrenaline fatigue, which is a syndrome that affects people exposed to high levels of stress over long periods of time.
Adrenal fatigue patients are typically treated by a nephrologist, she said, because the adrenal glands are located directly atop the kidneys, or an endocrinologist. Symptoms of adrenal fatigue are mostly limited to a deep tiredness that sleep doesn’t help and mental fogginess.
New York psychiatrist Dr. James Halper pointed Raw Story to the work of Dr. Todd B. Nippoldt of the Mayo Clinic, who wrote, “Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of non-specific symptoms such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. The term often shows up in popular health books and on alternative medicine websites, but it isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis.”
“It’s frustrating to have persistent symptoms your doctor can’t readily explain,” said Nippoldt. “But accepting a medically unrecognized diagnosis from an unqualified practitioner could be worse. Unproven remedies for so-called adrenal fatigue may leave you feeling sicker, while the real cause — such as depression or fibromyalgia — continues to take its toll.”
Yep. Sounds like bullshit.