Alternative Medical Treatments – There Are Lessons to Be Learned

As a person who lives with a chronic medical condition that significantly impacts how I live daily life, I am very familiar with the concept of seeking alternative treatments. I am also fully aware that some alternative treatments do not sit well with traditional allopathic doctors. But rather than dismissing such treatments as scams, money grabs, and quackery, it would be more productive for the healthcare community to better understand why patients seek them out.

In a nutshell, there are lessons to be learned in the growing desire for alternative medical treatments. Those lessons are painful to some degree. But just like healthcare itself, getting to the root of a problem often requires some measure of discomfort. Avoiding the discomfort does not get us any closer to finding solutions.

Allopathic Medicine Doesn’t Have All the Answers

The starting place for this discussion is admitting that allopathic medicine doesn’t have all the answers. It sometimes seems like we are trying desperately to convince ourselves that it does. It seems like we collectively believe we are just one or two wonder drugs away from perfect health.

In reality, allopathic medicine has its share of failures. My case is a classic example. It took seven years and countless visits to all sorts of specialists just to get a diagnosis of my condition. I cannot tell you how many times I was told that I was imagining my symptoms.

Nearly eight years after my diagnosis, there is no cure for my condition. I can only manage the symptoms. But none of the suggested treatments have worked for me. Some have actually made me feel worse. So now I self-manage while keeping an eye out for any alternative treatments that might help.

Clinical Evidence Is No Guarantee of Efficacy

Allopathic medicine relies heavily on clinical evidence to back up therapeutic efficacy. I get it. I also have no problem with clinical evidence. But clinical evidence is no guarantee of efficacy. Anyone who deals with chronic pain can testify to that.

There are back pain patients across this country who agreed to surgery in hopes of getting some relief. But instead, the surgery made their pain worse. One such patient is someone I know personally. In her case, a traditional treatment deemed efficacious by mainstream medicine was anything but for her. What used to be manageable back pain is now nearly debilitating.

The traditional treatments doctors have recommended ever since have not helped much. She needs access to some alternative treatments that do not involve narcotic painkillers and additional surgeries. If she continues to trust allopathic medicine, I don’t think she’ll ever get better.

If she were living in Utah, I would recommend visiting a KindlyMD clinic. At least they could help her get her state medical card and then introduce her to plant-based medicines. Tens of thousands of Utahns now use plant-based medicines to manage pain.

A System Driven by Profit

This final point is one I hate to have to point out: our profit-driven healthcare system is directly responsible for destroying the trust that once existed between healthcare providers and patients. Many of us simply do not trust the system anymore. We have heard about providers pushing unnecessary procedures and tests. We know firsthand that Big Pharma charges exorbitant prices for medications. The list goes on.

Alternative medical treatments are filling in many of the gaps left by allopathic medicine. A healthcare system willing to learn from its mistakes could benefit from them. But as long as healthcare remains unwilling, those of us who seek out alternative treatments will be considered rogues.

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