The iron doctor goes to the barricades – News: Medicine and Psychology

Women's Day has changed: on May 4 at 3 pm, around 50 people gathered in front of a covered scene on the Bundesplatz. The somewhat lost group listens to the dedicated votes, which are then presented to a dozen doctors and patients. Also on stage: two women dressed in Helvetia and another woman sitting with a Swiss flag as cover on her knees and an infusion on her arm. A banner with the claim of equality is suspended: "Women need as much iron as men".

This is not a refined artistic performance, nor a rusty satire action of Jan Böhmermann. No, the demonstration is serious. There are pithy words. We are talking about the "global iron lie" and a "pioneering Swiss achievement" that we wish to sacrifice to "foreign standards". Finally, Beat Schaub speaks and asks if the male dominated government punishes women for their menstruation.

The family doctor and the doctor complement Basel are leading the action on the Bundesplatz. And he is almost the inventor of iron deficiency syndrome, including intravenous iron infusion therapy about twenty years ago. Because of this, swirling iron prevails today in Switzerland, and this only in our country. In the United Kingdom, for example, one makes a thousand times fewer infusions of iron. In Germany and Austria, where the iron boom has also started, it is still four or ten times smaller than in Germany.

Controversial therapy costs more than 50 million francs a year

Business is good. Everyone who visits Schaub in his office in Binningen, BL, next to the Basel Zoo on the fifth floor, sees it. Aged 63, tanned and athletic, dressed in a casual shirt, he travels his kingdom in quick steps: a large and bright reception and a waiting room with high ceiling and lots of greens; Along the window, a dozen black leather couches on which women pour iron solutions in their veins by tapping on their smartphone. They are the main clientele of the practice.

A steel staircase goes up to a floor, where the chief has his office even more generous. Schaub sits in the corner of the meeting on the couch, also covered in black leather. Brochures, charts, lists and some of his many books, including the last one: Schweizer Eisenalarm.

Today, more than 100 iron centers in Switzerland, Germany and Austria have returned to Schaub. In addition, many imitators generously provide iron to their customers. It is estimated that in Switzerland, health insurance companies pay more than CHF 50 million a year for infusions of iron. There are also considerable sums of self-payers. Much to the pleasure of Vifor, who sells the only two iron infusions in Switzerland.

However, many are not very happy doctor and health insurance. The generous use of iron infusions can not be scientifically justified, so that the tenor. Still in the press, Schaub appears again and again in an unfavorable light. Three years ago, the news magazine "Der Spiegel" entitled "The Broth of the Guru", the magazine "Health Tips" with "The Iron Craftsman", "Observer", a little more neutral (and not the alone), have titled "A hot iron", The criticism bounces on Schaub. "The dogs are barking, the caravan is moving forward," he says. He can not be irritated by technical objections. At least his economic success gives him reason.

Allerweltsymptoma that is suitable for many diseases

For its part, Schaub does not believe that the federal government expert is currently preparing a report on the benefits and risks of iron therapy. It is scheduled for autumn and is the real reason for the bizarre outbreak in Bern. Because one expects the report to fail because of a lack of evidence of effectiveness at the expense of Schaub iron treatment. The consequence would be that sickness insurance – which already offsets very unequally Schaub's therapeutic approach – would not have to pay for it if there is no shortage of iron recognized.

There is no question that iron is essential for the body, especially for hemoglobin, a blood pigment, but also for other important metabolic processes. However, Schaub also speaks of iron deficiency when ferritin levels stored in iron far exceed the threshold generally recognized as adequate.

It started in the mid-90s. Schaub was a family doctor in Basel, also treated with homeopathy. In one patient, whose vertigo did not attenuate with normal iron supplements, he first administered intravenous iron. Later he tried with ten women, eight of whom were fit after an infusion. The breakthrough finally came in 2006, when Schaub broadcast live infusions on Swiss television to the Swiss television station "Sprechstunde Gesundheit" ("Consultation Hour Health"). "Sales of Vifor, which sells iron infusions, have exploded," said Schaub.

There is a thousand times more iron infusions in Switzerland than in the UK. (Photo: Nicole Pont)

Patients with Schaub iron have common symptoms that are part of many diseases. You are tired, exhausted, depressed, have vertigo, headaches or difficulty concentrating. And they are mostly women. In the normal population, the iron values ​​of women are on average lower than those of men. A biological fact, such as differences in estrogen levels or muscle mass. For Schaub, it is simply an injustice that must be eliminated by infusions. That the massive supply of iron is not only harmless, many cases of complications and even single deaths.

Schaub also believes that many children suffer from diseases such as attention deficit disorder or attention deficit disorder. He first tested the hypothesis on his two sons. "They were lazy, fuzzy, had trouble sleeping and were already getting a prescription for Ritalin," Schaub said. Today, children accompany him regularly for infusions.

The skyrocketing of iron could soon become difficult. But Schaub is combative. In the past, he has also been shown linguistically creative: iron alarm, iron manifesto, iron begging women, iron demonstrators and free after Dan Brown: The Iron Code. One can be curious about new word creations.

(Editors Tamedia)

Created: 07.06.2019, 18:46