Are Alternative Health Therapies Risky For People Who Are Diagnosed With Life Threatening Illnesses?



Are Alternative Health Therapies Risky For People Who Are Diagnosed With Life Threatening Illnesses?

In recent years, we have seen a noticeable increase in the number of people choosing to opt for alternative health therapy as opposed to mainstream medicine. It should be understood that there is no real clarity about alternative health therapies, and so there is much controversy about it within the traditional environment of medicine.

Are Alternative Health Therapies Risky For People Who Are Diagnosed With Life Threatening Illnesses?

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Let us begin by first gaining a clearer understanding of what alternative therapy is. There are several different types of alternative health therapies including ayurveda, homeopathy, acupuncture, acupressure, herbs and more. The underlying perception of alternative medicine is one that has no scientific foundation. This is because alternative therapies fall outside what is termed traditional or mainstream medicine.

For this reason there is doubt about the safety of the procedures involved. The effectiveness of these therapies is also brought into question since no testing is being done to prove its worth. There are many doctors who hold fast to the belief that alternative health therapies like acupuncture, herbs, massages and meditation are quite ineffective in treating any health conditions. The general belief is alternative therapies may even be dangerous to certain health conditions.

That said, it is important to present the other side of the coin! The popularity of alternative health therapies cannot be denied. A large amount of this popularity is attributed to aging sections of the population who seek to alleviate the aches and illness that are part of growing older. When conventional medicine fails to bring relief, patients are forced to seek alternative treatment methods. There are people who are firm believers that natural healing methods are far superior to mainstream medicine to heal health problems. These are but few of the reasons why people seek alternative health therapies making these forms of treatment highly popular.

To present a non-biased approach to alternative health therapies, it is essential to talk about the perceived risks associated with these therapies. The primary risk in using alternative health therapies lies in the fact that the substances such as herbs are untested. Alternative medicine has opened the door to a great deal of ‘quackery!’ Many non-professionals practicing alternative medicine make large claims to the efficacy of the substances prescribed because of the profit motivation.

This is an unethical practice of alternative health therapies that does not consider the safety and wellbeing of the individual. One example is the many herbal products touted online and in stores to help restore memory, increase metabolism and decrease weight. For the most part herbs are non-threatening; however, we need to be aware that certain remedies can cause a great deal of harm when taken continuously over a period of time in excessive quantities.

Take the case of ephedra (ephedra sinica); the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibited the sale of any dietary supplements containing ephedra (ephedrine alkaloids) because it was found to present a high risk of injury and illness. Major health concerns associated with ephedra include hypertension, arrhythmia, heart attack and stroke.

There is another risk associated with alternative health therapies. People who are diagnosed with life threatening illnesses like cancer or other types of chronic illness, upon seeking alternative health therapies, forgo conventional medicine and all the benefits it may yield. Mainstream medicine has after all been tried and tested before being approved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. People put themselves at great risk to the extent of risking their life when they choose alternative medicine over traditional medicine that has been scientifically validated.

Patients who combine conventional medicine with alternative health therapy, but fail to reveal this to their physician, may end up putting their health at high risk. Prescription medicines can produce negative reactions with various herbs and plant extracts prescribed as part of the alternative therapy. The risks include a seriously lessened effectiveness of the prescribed medicine and toxicity that can cause very serious damage to the body. When the medical doctor is unaware of the alternative therapy substances taken by the patient, the doctor may end up prescribing medicines that interact unfavourably and harmfully for the patient.

The intent is not to knock alternative health therapies; there are some very good ones available. The important thing is to seek out a qualified professional to prescribe and deliver the therapy. Avoid products that claim to produce miraculous results – too good to be true? Then it probably is!

Are Alternative Health Therapies Risky For People Who Are Diagnosed With Life Threatening Illnesses?

Alternative Health | Alternative Health Articles | Alternative Health Blog | Alternative Health Care | Alternative Health Magazine | Alternative Health Supplements | Alternative Health Websites | Alternative Medicine | Holistic Health

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