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Alternative Medicines and Caution

Alternative medicine can have benefits, but you always need to exercise caution when choosing herbal supplements or other natural cures. Here are three main points to keep in mind:

  • You should always ask your physician before starting an herbal supplement.
  • You should not diagnose yourself and treat yourself if you believe you have a medical condition.
  • Natural does not necessarily mean safe.

Let’s take a look at these points so you can enjoy the benefits of alternative medicine, but do so safety.

Talking to Your Physician
Put your tinfoil at away. Your physician is not in collusion with the pharma companies to keep you away from natural medicine. In fact, there’s no reason that pharma companies couldn’t sell herbal supplements if they wanted to, so the suppression of information for profit theory is silly on the face of it.

Your physician needs to know if you’re pursuing alternative therapies because some herbal supplements and other products can have dangerous interactions with some pharmaceuticals and may pose very serious risks to people with certain conditions. For example, antioxidants are known for their health benefits but, if you’re on chemo therapy, they may reduce its effectiveness.

Your physician may well recommend certain supplements, so be sure to ask. It’s the safe and sane way to use alternative medicine.

Don’t Play Dr. Self
It takes years of education for a physician to learn the art and science of diagnosis. You and Google make a poor substitute. Do not diagnose yourself with a condition and start treating it. You may end up choosing a treatment that actually makes a condition worse, you may diagnose yourself with something that you don’t have, causing horrible anxiety for no reason or you may misdiagnose something serious, but treatable, as something minor.

Talk to your physician if you suspect there’s something wrong with your body. There’s no substitute for knowledge and many diverse conditions actually share symptoms. Colds and brain tumors, for instance, can both cause headaches, but are far different things where medical intervention is concerned.

Natural Isn’t the Same as Safe
Check the labels on supplements that you buy and only buy from companies you can trust. “Natural” is oftentimes used as a marketing term to imply that something is safe. Hemlock and arsenic can all be described as “all-natural”. As with anything you put in your body, you need to be sure what you’re using is safe, tested and guaranteed to match the concentrations claimed on the label.

Alternative medicine can have wonderful benefits, but you must approach it sensibly and safely!

http://ods.od.nih.gov/HealthInformation/DS_WhatYouNeedToKnow.aspx
http://medical-reference.hubpages.com/hub/What-are-the-Dangers-of-Self-diagnosis-via-the-Internet
http://nccam.nih.gov/health/supplements/wiseuse.htm

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