My mom wants me to start homeopathic treatment. How do I get her off my back?

I’ve had a number of health problems this summer. I was diagnosed with bladder polyps, and had surgery to get those removed. But every two weeks I’ve been getting sick with other random things (stomach viruses and strep throat, among others), that presented along with hematuria (blood in pee, for the uninitiated) and flank pain.

I’m not looking for medical advice - I’m under the care of a GP and my urologist, and while they don’t really know what’s going on yet, I’m mostly content to just let them do their jobs.

But my mom’s convinced I have a candida reaction, and I need homeopathic treatment. She claims that all the antibiotics I’ve been on (and I have been on a metric buttload of them) are causing yeast to colonize my body, even though I’ve seen no symptoms of oral or genital thrush. I eat a ton of yogurt every day, and I’ve started drinking kefir too, just to prevent any actual yeast infections, so you don’t need to preach probiotics to me. They can’t do any harm and they taste good.

So how do I (gently) get her to shut up about homeopathy? She’s always been an overly credulous new-agey type, and I really don’t want to have to explain how the law of similars is completely illogical over the phone. I was going to send her a quackwatch link, or a link I found listing candida as one of the FDA’s top 10 medical rip-offs, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings. She’s rather sensitive about her new-ageyness. Advice?

Oy, that’s a tough one. I suppose I’d try something along the lines of “Mom, I know you’re trying to help, but it’s really not for me.” I expect you’ll end up repeating variants of that quite a few times. Unfortunately, I’d be surprised if gentle works to get her to drop the subject, since she does honestly believe that what she’s suggesting will help. I can’t think of a gentle way to persuade her that her beliefs are wrong, but you might have some success convincing her that homeopathy just isn’t right for you.

Just tell her that you’re starting the routine, then go walk past the store where they sell the remedies. You’ll get just as much effect as if you had actually taken the cure.

Describe to her how the homeopathic treatments are made, that’s sometimes enough.

Well, if you don’t want to offend her, humoring her might work. The advantage of homeopathy is that given that it’s absolutely ineffective, it’s pretty damn unlikely to harm you.

Ideally, you’d be able to teach her some critical thinking skills, but there’s not really a polite way to tell someone they’re wrong.

Isn’t yogurt and keifer a homeopathic solution? Or am I wrong about what “homeopathic” means (I think I am generalizing it too much as non-pharmaceudicals)

Maybe she’s as dim as me and thinks yogurt and keifer ARE homeopathic and you can tell her you’re already doing it.

There’s a scene in ‘Krippendorf’s Tribe’ where to ‘purify’ a young girl, a pig is supposed to be squeezed until it evacuates its bladder on top of her. You could tell your Mom this is the latest homeopathic cure and you want her to try it to as well, as she’s been looking a little ‘run-down’ lately. Of course, pigs are rather heavy as far as squirt-guns go, and the arm-strength needed to chase your poor mom around while carrying a bladder-filled pig would be significant (add a Xena yell for $.99 extra). :smiley:

Reading the OP again, this would be at odds with the whole ‘not hurt her feelings’ thing though (not to mention that the poor pig would be highly disgruntled).

Best forget the whole idea. :wink:

I have good results with humoring my mother whenever she launches into one of her occasional crusades. Although, with my mother, it’s less homeopathy as it is randomly assorted vitamin and herbal supplement kicks.

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You could just tell her that you have already tried it and that it didn’t do anything for your condition.
Nah, that wouldn’t work. The “woo-woo’s” would always find a way around that claiming that you didn’t follow the directions properly, or that it was a bad batch of candida that came from a “non-approved” homeopathic source and that this other brand would be much better.

I think it would be best if you just told her it was not for you and that eventhough you appreciate her concern for your health and wellbeing, you will continue to follow your doctor’s course of treatment.

If the homeopaths are right, it should actually be more effective. You’re breathing in an even more dilute solution of whatever it is than you would get if you took it :wink:

Except in the wallet- you’re paying some of your hard-earned money for something you know won’t work.

Just have her watch while you drink a glass of plain water. Then tell her that, according to the Law of Infinitesimals, you just took the strongest possible dose of every known homeopathic remedy and are feeling better already.

I think you’re thinking of “holistic” or one of the other more general words which refers simply to alternative and/or natural remedies.

Homeopathy is the practice of repeatedly diluting something down (typically 10-30 dilutions of either 1 part in 10 or 1 part in 100 each), which results in a near zero probability that even a single molecule of the original ingredient remains. (1 in 10[sup]60[/sup] is a very small fraction.)

You might talk to your mom and explain that while natural and/or herbal remedies may be effective, homeopathy is snake oil which is using the natural remedy movement as cover. If you make it clear you’re not dismissing all alternative remedies but specifically this one for specific reasons, she might listen.

Or you might be subjected to a boring recital (possibly with graphic and disgusting details) about how it worked for some health problem she or one of her friends had. This farrago of nonsense will not include the possibility that the initial illness was misdiagnosed (by a doctor or by self-diagnosis), something that would go away on its own without treatment and happened to go away after the homeopathic treatment started, psychosomatic, or went away because of the placebo effect. Attempts to discuss those possibilities probably won’t go over well, either.

I’d probably just try to change the subject whenever homeopathy comes up. Or else lie and tell her you tried that, but it didn’t work for you.

Maybe, but I’d be willing to take the risk in the hopes that it might set my mother straight. If it was a stranger on the bus I probably wouldn’t bother, but I’m willing to put up with the occasional boring story from my mom if there’s a chance I might do some good.

Thanks for the advice, everyone!

The nice thing is I live 1000 miles away. So I could tell her I was following a precise regimen of very expensive herbs and tinctures of things and she’d never know the difference. But then I fear that, if (when?!) I get better, she’ll use me as a “case study” on the effectiveness of this crap.

I may try to explain how homeopathic remedies are made, and even if it doesn’t make a skeptic out of her, it’ll at least make her realize that this ain’t for me. Plus, don’t you have to believe in homeopathy in order for it to work? Isn’t that why people claim they fail Randi’s challenges? Skepticism ruins it somehow?

I got to see Mr. Randi speak several years ago, and he mentioned what One Cent Stamp brought up - that sea water is the ultimate homeopathic medicine. I’ll stick to tap water, but I might bring that up too.

And if all that doesn’t work, I’ll smile and nod and change the subject. Though I suspect she’ll be persistent.

I have two questions:

  1. How old are you?


  1. Who is paying for your medical treatment?

If you are over 18 and have a job with medical insurance, it seems the polite, “No, thank you” and never discussing it again should take care of it. (I don’t know you or or mom, so I don’t know how well this has worked in the past.)

Good luck, though. I sure hope whatever is wrong is discovered and treated successfully and quickly.


You: Mom, get the fuck off my back. I’m sick of your homeopathic voodoo shit. Step off, bitch, I’m going to the pharmacy.

Mom: <sob!>

Just have a homeopathic martini. Set a glass on a picture of a bottle of dry vermouth. Pour in a double shot of gin, and drink that. Repeat until you are no longer worried about your mother.:wink:

I apologize for that. I’m pretty sure this isn’t an appropriate place for a joke.