Is Your Doctor Supplement Savvy?
Is Your Doctor Supplement Savvy?
If you are an intelligent, educated adult with a concern about modern healthcare- specifically your own- you may have some concerns about the dangerous side effects of modern pharmaceutical drugs. You've heard the long list of possible side effects rapidly spewed off on each drug announced on those television ads. It makes the commercial itself, showing happy, active, healthy-looking people, almost seem oxymoronic. If it makes you think that taking those new, innovative drugs is something akin to playing Russian Roulette, you are probably right.
All those dangerous side effects should make you think. Why aren't there remedies out there that will alleviate my (fill in the blank here- diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, headache, PMS, allergies...) without my having to worry about ending up in worse shape than when I started? Isn't there a way I can feel better without somehow paying a drastic health price for it in a different area?
If you have been searching for a remedy that offers relief for your health condition without those dangerous health risks, you are not alone. People are returning to older, more natural health remedies in droves. Your mother or your grandmother could probably steer you in the right direction by telling you what THEY did for healing and relief.
They knew about apple cider vinegar to speed up weight loss, mixing it with honey to soothe a cough, peppermint for indigestion and ginger tea for nausea. No matter who you get your information from, the biggest appeal natural remedies holds for people is the lack of dangerous side effects. In many cases, Grandma's advice is excellent. Gentler remedies worked back then, and they still work today. Modern medicine has steered us away from what worked for centuries and replaced it with chemical solutions that suppress symptoms but cause a slew of dangerous complications.
On your next doctor visit, you might consider asking your doctor about natural solutions for your particular condition. I did this with my doctor. All I got was a blank stare and a lecture about how natural supplements and spices "have not been tested" and I was taking unnecessary risks with my health. My doc didn't appear to realize how ridiculously healthy I am, and that every time he sees me all of my numbers, tests and screenings come back perfectly within range. It's not an accident.
Home remedies and nature's ability to heal is not a fad. It is a valid alternative to the symptom suppression style of treatment used by mainstream medicine. You could call it rebellion against modern medicine's reliance on treatments and therapies that many perceive as being more harmful than helpful.
Doctors are there to serve your healthcare needs. I believe they initially began by wanting to help people heal. But somewhere along the way, they have been turned into drug peddlers. The big drug companies are at the root of this problem.
What you must realize is that drugs have both positive and negative effects. On the one hand, according to Dr. Mercola, " the most commonly used prescription drugs...now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined." Natural remedies, on the other hand, are gentle on your body and have few if any side effects. You do have to be aware of possible interactions with pharmaceutical drugs, though, so if you are taking a prescribed drug, be cautious about adding a natural medicinal to it.
For years medical schools have taught new doctors a certain method of healing that concentrates on chemical manipulation of your body's systems. Schools teach attacking disease after it has occurred instead of preventing its occurrence. Very few medical students are required to study the role exercise and diet have on health, but that is changing. The demand these days is for doctors to have a broader knowledge base. Patients are asking questions and trying things on their own. The best doctors are now the ones with both a conventional and homeopathic education.
These days the alternative medicine business (which includes holistic, homeopathic, chiropractic, naturopathic practitioners as well as Chinese and Oriental Medicine practitioners) has gained so much popularity that it seems it is making a comeback. Alternative medicine practices are thriving because people recognize the difference between "building a solid health base with gentle, non-toxic treatments that treat the whole person" approach versus "treating the symptoms by manipulating bodily systems with chemicals and drugs" approach. It's becoming more important for professionals to consider as they recognize the drawbacks and limitations of drug-based medicine.
As the failures, side effects, toxicity and drawbacks to drug-based medicine drive more people back to proven natural remedies and preventive techniques, alternative medicine is coming back into its own. Its popularity is fueled in no small part by dissatisfied patients- or friends and families of patients- who have fallen victim to the drawbacks of modern medicine (I.e.: side effect damage). There is a growing awareness of the wide range of chronic diseases that are preventable with the proper dietary nutrients and readily available supplements. It's becoming evident that conventional doctors need to become more familiar with dietary interventions, therapies and supplements so they can knowledgeably (and impartially) discuss them with their patients.
Some of the concerns expressed about dietary supplements by mainstream medicine regarding ingredients and quality may actually have some validity. The companies manufacturing and bottling herbs and vitamins should definitely have to conform to a standard requirement for purity and for content, and just like any other drug manufacturer they should have to meet quality and potency control requirements. There are good supplement companies out there, who are follow stringent guidelines regarding the potency and quality of their products. They should be FDA registered and GMP (good manufacturing practices) compliant. Finding them (and weeding out the others) is the tricky part. But a bit of research today can pay off for years down the road- drug free and healthy.
Eliason BC, Kruger J, Mark D, Rasmann DN. Dietary supplement users: demographics, product use, and medical system interaction. J Am Board Fam Pract 1997;10(4):265-71.