There is a Part 2 to the story.
I would be remiss if I didn’t present it.
To bring you up to speed, I pretty much tore apart the news story from right around two weeks ago in which some dissatisfied patients and some ignorant news investigators ganged up on a chiropractic doctor in Denver for practicing Functional Medicine.
I hate to burst their bubble, but he was (almost completely) legal in (almost) everything that he was doing. He has “DC” after his name in his ads and all over his website. He is allowed the Doctor title. He is not specifically required to mention “chiropractic” or “chiropractor” if he has the DC after his name. Most state laws require only one reference to chiropractic, and that can take the form of a simple “DC” after the doctor’s name.
He does not call himself an endocrinologist, nor does he claim to be one. By his state law, he can order diagnostic lab testing and sell nutritional supplements. He can charge whatever fees he wants, he can charge them up front if he wants to, and he is not required to take insurance. And get this–health care, especially high-quality care that includes lots of physician time and energy, costs money.
That said, Credeur isn’t an angel. He made some fatal errors, some of which are plainly visible and others could be realistically theorized/inferred.
The most glaring of Credeur’s mistakes is that he uses the word “treatments” to describe what he does in terms of helping certain conditions. Claiming to treat conditions other than those which are neuro-musculo-skeletal in nature will likely land a DC in scalding hot water. It sucks, but it’s true.
The next thing that struck me wrong was the inaccuracy of information. Diabetic patients may indeed lose weight without exercise but it will most likely take them a lot longer. “As little as 3 weeks!” (another claim) may technically be true in some cases, but it’s hardly a probable outcome if the patients aren’t being put on an exercise plan along with their sensible diet. While the short time-frame and the emphasis on diet/supplements over exercise may each have a grain of truth by themselves, they probably won’t be true taken together.
And then there was the emphasis on getting off medications. As doctors who also study pharmacology (and as human beings who witness the declines in other peoples’ health as they continue to take prescription drugs), we would love to see a world like 30 years ago when most people were drug-free. We’d love to see those around us be able to discontinue their medications. And indeed Functional Medicine (which is what it sounds like Credeur practices) can certainly be a powerful enough vehicle to accomplish a restoration of health that amounts to exactly that: being able to discontinue the medication because the physiological dysfunction has been resolved or managed properly through natural means. And THAT is what brings us the warmest of fuzzies inside.
However, to repeatedly emphasize getting off drugs creates a “this or that” divergence, propping up false hopes in people who seek short-term answers and aren’t willing to commit to the longer-term protocols that produce change that powerful. It also alienates and confuses patients who may legitimately need a combination of approaches. Each case is different; to make such lofty promises is potentially dangerous.
The website is a little slick/sleazy, kinda sorta, in a nonspecific kind of way. It reads a bit too much like a sales pitch. Sure, it’s part of an accepted and common model, and indeed there’s nothing illegal about that, but one can see how it might be a turnoff.
If anything will crucify Dr. Credeur, though, it will be a statement he made on his page: “Did you know there are natural treatments to cure your thyroid condition?” (emphasis mine). Yes, this is on the page of the site devoted to the condition of Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune thyroid condition that has absolutely no cure whatsoever.
Repeat after me: Thou Salt Not Use Thy Words “Treat”, “Treatment”, or “Cure” (at least until we have taken some clues from the DOs and merged with the accepted medical profession).