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Which is more beneficial, pharmaceutical medicine or alternative medicine?

In society today most of the population in the united states is diagnosed with a medical condition that is prescribed with pharmaceutical drugs. I have talked with many individuals that their doctor has prescribed them medicine but have asked to you alternate medicine because of side effects.

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    Feb 13 2013: Ramon, One of your statements in the explaination rings true to me. I read the fact sheet on "side effects" when I get medication .. In most cases I stand a better chance of dying taking the medicine than of the ailment I am taking the medicine for.

    Ramon you do not say where you are from ... In my travels around the world I have seen many forms of medicine practiced. In some cases I thought it was pure rubbish but there were great results.

    The really true doctor is the vet. He only has the condition .. In people we have the take these and come back ... no better then take these and come back ... how about taking a whole bunch of tests ... test results are back .. take these and come back ... return to step one and repeat as often as possible ...

    What would happen if you paid the doctor on the results. Cured 100% of fee. Not cured 20%. or some formula.
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    Feb 11 2013: I am a medical student in my last year, but I am also a qualified Reiki Master and Pranic Healing Practitioner. I have found a perfectly logical explanation for how both of these healing methods fit together. Our focus should not be on which one is right, but which one the patient best responds to, and we should never rule out the possibility of combining the two! In fact, we should insist upon it! Conventional medicine, in some cases cures a disease, however there are categories, such as chronic disease, in which it simply postpones or suppresses the symptoms. Complimentary medicine is not as aggressive, but if successful, has long lasting effects that pinpoint the root of a problem and eliminate it entirely. A treatment plan that quickly removes unpleasant symptoms and eventually cures the ailment, is what all medical professionals should be striving for!
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      Feb 11 2013: What wonderful wisdom.......and balanced point of view.

      So nice to see that at least one future doctor has this wholesome approach to dealing with human ailments.
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        Feb 12 2013: Thanks Mary! Its my TED idea, to bridge the gap between these two healing methods!
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    Feb 11 2013: This may vary greatly by the condition. Many health practices will offer information on both, particularly when treatment of symptoms is at issue.

    Some alternative medicines have a record of successful effects, some may be effective as placebos, and some may be marketed for profit without having any actual benefits to the consumer. As with pharmaceuticals, it is useful to do ones homework abou potential negative effects before jumping in.
  • Feb 11 2013: When medication is prescribed too quickly for superficial symptoms instead of taking care to uncover the correct diagnosis - which is often a lengthy process - it is this sort of carelessness that unfortunately means that some medications can have,ultimately, a negative affect.
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    Feb 11 2013: by definition, everything that has any sort of reliable evidence of working is not alternative medicine, but just medicine. corollary to that, alternative medicine does not have any evidence of efficacy.

    that said, science does not equal medical practice, especially not a heavily regulated practice. so it is quite possible that you get a treatment that is obsolete for decades, or never even was the right treatment, but was pushed into the mandatory protocol by lobbists.
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    • Feb 11 2013: as an illustration as to the seriousness of side affects, and the way these can be underestimated....
      my sister had a 'heart event' and was hospitalised. She was given a strong heart drug, which is normally administered for short periods only. It has strong side affects affecting among other things the lungs and liver.Also one has to stay out of the sun - hardly good for the immune system.
      Somehow or other (this is UK/NHS) she was left on this drug for 10years. After 8/9 years fresh doctors began to say she should be off it. However, none of them would risk overseeing her at this point. She herself was extremely trusting, less questioning than I would have been.
      She died, just 61, in great sadness and distress. She had heart, liver and lung complications.
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      Feb 11 2013: Hi Kate, Hi Reine,

      Side effects from wrongly prescribed medicines can be very serious.

      My own grandmother died at the hands of a negligent doctor. The medicine he prescribed attacked her liver, and she was gone in several days. My grandmother's primary doctor was on vacation, and the young intern on hand at the hospital made the wrong choice.

      Sometimes it is the medicine....but oftentimes it is also human error.

      I also have a dear friend who was given medicine in her youth to treat an illness she simple did not have.
      Now in her old age, all her bones are brittle.
      The fingers in her hands have folded like an accordion, and she must be moved delicately for fear of breaking her.

      So very sad.

      And I will add this. Some individuals place way too much trust in "alternative" medicine.
      I have friends that would have already bankrupted me, if I purchased every new discovery they found at a health food store, or health magazine article. One in particular has sickly children who are undernourished and constantly in the doctor's office, but her kitchen is full of all kinds of herbs and leaves and balms. I'm thinking.........where are the fruits and vegetables and proteins our bodies need????

      Prevention is the best medicine for me.
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    Feb 11 2013: I don't know why people go to doctors and expect anything but drugs. You know, it's called MEDICINE for a reason. Physicians are trained in drugs, radiation, and surgery. That is pretty much it.

    Some physicians are starting to utilize complimentary medicine to alleviate symptoms. But when you have a disease like diabetes or Graves disease or something like that, you NEED medicine. Unless of course you want to pull a Steve Jobs and die from bad decisions.