November 19, 2013

Complementary and Alternative Medicine, CAM

When it comes to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), I wonder why it is doctors will not accept information and sometimes even patients that try to be honest about their natural medications and are pushed out by some doctors.

In this blog, Dr. McCarthy states, We doctors have a strong (and understandable) tendency to think within our own traditional medicine worlds. But, there is a much bigger world than traditional medicine when it comes to making patients feel and get better. And sometimes it’s patients who need to teach doctors.” Bold is my emphasis.

Yet many doctors could care less. Even the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has removed nutritional supplements from their formulary. They say that because most nutritional supplements are unregulated, they may be dangerous. On top of that, the hospital will not allow patients to use most supplements without running a medical gauntlet and signing all sorts of forms.

While I do use a few supplements, I do not appreciate doctors that completely oppose them. I understand people on the diabetes medication metformin and why they often develop vitamin B12 deficiency. Metformin can in many people cause problems of B12 uptake and cause the deficiency. Yet many doctors still claim that a well balanced diet is the only way and will not test for any deficiencies.

Now I will say that I have no doctors that will not test for deficiencies and they will when I request them. Fortunately, I have not needed any tests because the VA has and will be testing for most vitamins and minerals.

Now, I will direct some attention to patients that refuse to tell their doctors about natural and nutritional supplements they are taking. This is important for any new medications your doctor prescribes. Unless the doctor knows all the natural medications you are taking, the prescription medication may have adverse effects with the natural supplements.

If you have a doctor that is opposed to all natural supplements and won't talk about them, then you need to talk to your pharmacist about potential conflicts. Save yourself from problems.

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