Looking at Alternatives: What Options Are Available for Treating Arthritis. ll

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When the only proof you have that a product works is from a number of other peoples’ statements or testimonials. A few of the people interviewed may have benefited from the product, but many may have been paid a sum of money for giving a positive testimonial. Often people giving a statement are identified only by their initials or first name, which should raise some suspicion.

If you are already taking a prescribed medication and a practitioner tells you to stop all your prescribed medication and start taking this alternative therapy, this should bring up a red flag in your mind. You should always discuss with your prescribing doctor your desire to stop or change your medication. Stopping some medications abruptly can be very dangerous to your health.

Another situation that should raise suspicion is if a practitioner tells you to severely restrict your diet. This is not merely lowering your caloric level, but eliminating whole food groups or fasting for long periods of time. If you believe that certain food groups are creating your problem the best person to contact is a registered dietitian. They can help with regulation of your dietary needs.

This one is commonly used in magazines. You need to send in your money and then they will send out the product. Many times it will be a situation where they will automatically keep sending it to you each month until you notify them to stop. You get started on this plan and they make it hard for you to cancel. Also, there is no way to monitor whether this product is helping you or what it is doing to or for you.

The provider of whatever substance you are trying should be able to provide you with some proof of why their product does what they say it does. If they cannot sight any scientific studies or other reputable means of proof that the product will do what they claim, then you should be suspicious.

The last one is not heard of too often, but it is when the prescribing practitioner tells the patient that there isn’t a need to tell the regular physician about this new treatment. Most reputable practitioners will welcome the opportunity to work right along side with a person’s regular physician.

Now that you have an idea of what to look out for, it is time to talk just a little about how you work with your regular doctor and at the same time another practitioner of alternative therapy. The statistics are high (about two-thirds) for the number of people who use alternative therapy and do not report it to their doctors. The main reason they don’t report it is they believe there regular physician will disapprove or even stop treating them. To some degree the patient is right; not all Western physicians believe in or want to work with complimentary medicine. The fact remains, it is in the patient’s best interest to disclose all information to all doctors who are treating them. If you are having difficulty communicating with your health-care providers, whether they are complimentary practitioners or Western medical doctors, here are some tips that might get you started in the right direction.

It doesn’t matter what kind of doctor you are seeing, always tell them everything you are taking, including over-the-counter vitamins, herbs, mineral and nutritional supplements.

If you have been seeing a doctor over a period of time, then discuss with him/her your desire to seek out the advise of a complementary medicine practitioner. Try to stay neutral and don’t assume your doctor will automatically be against the idea. Sometimes they will welcome the opportunity and actually have some names of good practitioners in the area.

If you are considering a new medical therapy, take the information you have to your doctor and listen to what he has to say about it before making your final decision.

If for some reason your doctor is negative about you taking a certain medicine, then ask him/her to explain to you why they are against it. Most of the time they will also have information on that particular medicine that they can share with you and help you make up your mind about trying it.

If you decide to go to both your regular doctor and seek the help of a complimentary practitioner, you should expect the same cooperation from the complimentary practitioners as you would your regular doctor. They both must work together and with you to develop the best treatment program.

This should give you some ideas about how to work with a complimentary practitioner as well as your regular doctor. Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the different kind of practitioners and what they do. Open up the lines of communication with your own doctor and together explore all the possibilities for treatment. You might just find a magic combination that works for you.