Posted by: Chris Maloney | February 3, 2012

SECSy vs. RUDE: How To Choose An Alternative Medicine (Or Any Treatment).

English: Medicine "Strattera" (eg. u...

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I wish I could take credit for this, but it goes to Elizabeth Hurt.  She points out that we don’t need one standard for all medical treatments.  We need two.

Treatments that are SECSy:  Safe, Easy, Cheap, and Sensible should be tried first, before you try anything from the RUDE group:  Risky, Unrealistic, Difficult, or Expensive.

The trouble is that most, if not all of conventional medicine falls more and more into the RUDE group because it’s so darn expensive.  So what I do becomes more and more SECSy every day.

So we progress forward on our never-ending quest for more evidence-based medicine.  But keep in mind that just because stenting your heart has five hundred more studies than eating a macrobiotic diet, maybe, just maybe, you should try the diet first.  Evidence doesn’t trump common sense.

In passing, Ms. Hurt trashes on two of my favorite things.  I would respond that drugs are simply overpriced, synthetic herbs with more side effects.  And homeopathics are harmless at worst, helpful much of the time.  Both are WAY more SECSy than the meds for ADHD.

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2011 Oct;13(5):323-32.

Dietary and nutritional treatments for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: current research support and recommendations for practitioners.


Nisonger Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Evidence for dietary/nutritional treatments of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) varies widely, from double-blind, placebo-controlled trials to anecdotal. In guiding patients, clinicians can apply the SECS versus RUDE rule: treatments that are Safe, Easy, Cheap, and Sensible (SECS) require less evidence than those that are Risky, Unrealistic, Difficult, or Expensive (RUDE). Two nutritional treatments appear worth general consideration: Recommended Daily Allowance/Reference Daily Intake multivitamin/mineral supplements as a pediatric health intervention not specific to ADHD and essential fatty acids, especially a mix of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and γ-linolenic acid as an ADHD-specific intervention. Controlled studies support the elimination of artificial food dyes to reduce ADHD symptoms, but this treatment may be more applicable to the general pediatric population than to children with diagnosed ADHD. Mineral supplementation is indicated for those with documented deficiencies but is not supported for others with ADHD. Carnitine may have a role for inattention, but the evidence is limited. Dimethylaminoethanol probably has a small effect. Herbs, although “natural,” are actually crude drugs, which along with homeopathic treatments have little evidence of efficacy. Consequences of delayed proven treatments need consideration in the risk-benefit assessment of dietary/nutritional treatments.

PMID: 21779824

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