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Iridology Is Nonsense

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Description: Article by Stephen Barrett, M.D., explaining the lack of scientific evidence to support the practice. (March 28, 2008)
Announcement: Your Guide to Quackery, Health Fraud, and Intelligent Decisions      Iridology (sometimes referred to as iris diagnosis) is based on the bizarre belief that each area of the body is represented by a corresponding area in the iris of the eye (the colored area around the pupil). According to this viewpoint, a person's state of health and disease can be diagnosed from the color, texture, and location of various pigment flecks in the eye. Iridology practitioners claim to diagnose "imbalances" that can be treated with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and similar products. Some also claim that the eye markings can reveal a complete history of past illnesses as well as previous treatment. One textbook, for example, states that a white triangle in the appropriate area indicates appendicitis, but a black speck indicates that the appendix had been removed by surgery. Iridology charts—dozens of which exist—vary somewhat in the location and interpretation of their iris signs.
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