Why are medical associations against alternative medicine?

By jayabee52 Latest Reply 2012-02-03 17:24:00 -0600
Started 2011-12-30 01:59:51 -0600

People who know me fairly well from the past years on DiabeticConnect knows that while I try to be kind, I do not suffer "snake oil salespeople" gladly. I had been pretty much enthralled with Medical Doctors and practitioners of what is known as "allopathic medicine". After all I made my living in that field for a number of years as a Certified Nurse Aide, both in home health and in hospital settings.

Of late, however, I have been rethinking my thralldom to allopathic medicine. My start was giving up insulin to treat my diabetes and manage it with what I ate and did not eat, plus a little exercise. It was tough, but I have had success when I followed my plan.

I then added other supplements to my medications because what I was taking for Burning Neuropathy pain just wasn't doing the trick. So after reading and research, I decided to try Alpha Lipolic Acid, and that seemed to have an effect of lessening the burning pain. Long story short, I have added other supplements to my regimen too and considering others still.

So I am rethinking my relationship with Allopathic medicine also. I haven't given ut up entirely an I have NOT become so open minded that my brains fall out, however, I am giving other forms of "medicine" a rethink too. It was in this context that I received this newsletter from Dr Mercola today and wanted to get your opinions on it ~


I know Dr Mercola is a Hero to some and a Zero to others, but some of what he says rings true to me especially in my mental evolution in the ways my mindset has changed.

What say YOU?

57 replies

trc0705 2012-01-17 20:30:30 -0600 Report

I believe that God placed everything "natural" on this earth that we need to stay healthy. However, there are some businesses that will do their best to turn something that is "natural" into something that isn't and still market it as safe and natural.

The best thing is to do your own research and find the facts about a product before you buy it and then reread the ingredients to make sure what you are buying is what you think it is.

I think it is AWESOME that you have taken steps to help your body control the diabetes naturally. I commend you on that.

I have done a fair amount of research on vitamin supplement and natural ways to heal the body, but I love learning about that stuff and am open to finding out more.

jayabee52 2012-02-03 17:24:00 -0600 Report

On the other hand some things which are undoubtedly natural are not safe. One example is nightshade. It is natural but it is not safe to consume.

I am with you about learning about stuff, and have been very cautious in adding new items to my plan of treatment.

Dixiemom 2012-01-03 19:00:49 -0600 Report

I am not surprised by this article. The AMA is in cahoots with the FDA also. They would like to see the use of vitamins and supplements regulated by the FDA. We would be a whole lot healthier if more people practiced the alternative method of healing. My acupuncturist is a medical dr. but he practices alternative medicine along with accupuncture. If one reads the side effects of all medication it becomes very scary. None of them don't have a non-lifethreatening problem attached to it. Dr.'s don't want us to take supplements as we'd be healthier then we are now and they would be out of business.

GabbyPA 2012-01-05 16:58:17 -0600 Report

I know, those side effects are just terrifying! I would be afraid to take most of these new drugs because of all the little fine print and whispered cautions.

realsis77 2012-01-02 16:03:44 -0600 Report

happy new year my sweet friend! this is a very personal choice. Honestly im also open minded however, i would proceed with extreme caution!! As you know if we get higher numbers we are at a higher and certain risk for problems! If the alternative way of medicine is not showing the results you desire soon for your own health and safety it might be wise to switch back to traditional methods. Be cautious James, I wish only the best for you!! Your a smart man, use discretion and you will know when to say enough is enough if things dont work out! God bless you!! And Good luck!

jigsaw 2012-01-01 17:52:05 -0600 Report

I have turned to alternative medicine a few times. I stiil incorporate it into my healthcare practices along with conventional medicine.. Any medications that I take, whether natural, herbal or whatever are always with the guidance of a knowledgable medical professional. Some food for thought: I have had a few doctors and in one situation a few medical professionals at a hospital tell me that with certain naturapathic treatments and supplements including herbs, if something were to go wrong, they may not be able to treat an individual. They further explained the reason is they are not trained in this area. A perfect example is after my wife had her stroke. If I had used the Alternative method to treat her blood clotting condition, hospitals and most conventional practitioners could have been at a loss if something went wrong. I believe it's a matter of educating ones self in order to make the best decision for any type of healthcare. To be informed, and take an active role along with your physician is to be healthier.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-01-01 07:04:13 -0600 Report

James I don't know how you do it without any medication, as you all know I've only been in this 4 months now. The Endo called me this week from Mayo Clinic with news that my antibodies are strongly abnormal and seem to be increasing. I had been there first part of December and he said I would see a higher need for insulin if I am not seeing it already. he was right, although I am trying to be positive I haven't changed my diet and didn't give in to holiday temptations and my BG is running high especially in the evenings. I have increased my Lantus to 15 units and last night went to bed with a 215 BG, woke up at 196. I don't eat over 45 g of carbs per meal am taking 2 Alpha Lipoic Acid @ 300 mg each in the morning. I will talk to the nurse after the 1st and I have to be careful with Novolog cuz it can drop me like a hot potato, any ideas! I want to keep a positive attitude, but this is not how I wanted to start the New Year. I don't want to be scared of this I need to know what I can do? I needed to vent to my D friends!!!! Feeling down this morning.

long island girl
long island girl 2012-01-03 18:13:00 -0600 Report

dear set apart i know it stinks having this disease one tip i learned from my nutritionist is have a 90 calorie or less yogurt before bed i like dannon light it is supposed to help with your blood sugar during the night

long island girl
long island girl 2012-01-03 18:14:50 -0600 Report

are you eating every few hours that helps regulate bs i have breakfast at 9am snack at 10:30am lunch at 12:30pm snack at 3:30pm dinner around 5:30 or 6 pm a snack and my yogurt before bed

Set apart
Set apart 2012-01-03 22:06:56 -0600 Report

I am now eating 1 slice bread with a little peanut butter that usually helps. I am doing better with my bgs will go down to 14 units of Lantus now. I love yogurt, but am lactose intolerance so that's out. Thank you.

hughsbayou 2012-01-01 09:07:47 -0600 Report

Try adding Benfotiamine, a B-1 synthetic that is lipid soluble. It has had a tremendous benefit for me as I now do not take any meds. I had been on Metformin for awhile but it never got my BG in the normal range. Now it is. I also find I can be a little less tight on carbs which is nice because now I can eat a sandwich made with the thin sandwich rounds and get now real rise in BG. I've found that not being able to eat bread to be one of the hardest things as for some types of foods and situations it's kind of the delivery system.

One can read about Benfotiamine at the Life Extension website. Interestingly, although the info about it explains in great detail how it works for diabetics, they don't have it listed in their diabetic supplements list. It's separate. I buy it through Amazon.com as it's cheaper there for the same thing from the same company. About 40 cents a day for 1000 mg a day.

I also have added the Alpha Lipoic Acid from Life Extension and it's slowly having an effect on my neuropathy in my feet. Sometimes I get pretty impatient with the slowness of it but then have to remember just how bad they were at one time to ease my anxiety. Having sore feet is just life destroying, worse than my back pain when I have it.

Best of luck!

northerngal 2011-12-31 21:18:40 -0600 Report

The major problem with holistic/natural etc is that the claims they make are NOT tested by a non-biased organization. Therefore, they can make any claim they want and there is no proof that it does or doesn't work. Often, other additives can have dangerous side effects in combination with prescribed medications. They can make them more stronger, or completely negate the effect the medication is trying to achieve. Be very careful with all suplements and vitamins, and make sure your MD is aware of everything you take. Some "harmless" supplements can be very harmful if combined with the wrong foods or medications.

Dawnnie 2012-01-01 20:42:43 -0600 Report

unfortunately, doctors don't have an education in natural supplements and they aren't pharmacist, so how would they know what is good and what is bad?

Caroltoo 2011-12-31 21:33:21 -0600 Report

Health claims about use and efficacy of supplements and herbals are regulated by the Federal Government. Some of the issue is our own desire to believe in healing which means we read things into advertisements that are perhaps implied, but not specifically written.

My own bias is towards herbal and supplemental medication because it uses a preventive approach rather than waiting until we need a radical "cure". I'd much rather not get the problem to begin with.

Now, if we could have well tested preventive practices, that would probably be optimal, but it is a bit difficult to set up a way to run a scientific test on what could have/but didn't happen.

jayabee52 2011-12-31 21:29:34 -0600 Report

That is one of my Bugaboos too. People say "It's all natural so it can't hurt you" But my reply to that (i know it a bit over the top, but it gets my point across) Yes Nite shade is all natural and it CAN kill you! As with anything medical we must be careful, alert and aware!

Thank you for your contribution!

hughsbayou 2012-01-01 09:11:35 -0600 Report

yes this is true and one must be careful of "natural" substances. And small amounts of some things can have a really large effect. However, there is actually quite a bit of research with a lot of vitamins. Most of it is being done in Europe where, because it's all about finding cheaper ways to treat things, a lot of research is paid for by various governments. Here, since most research is now being funded by drug companies looking for new things to sell us the approach is different. Not that they are evil, it's just the effect that occurs when the idea is not just to help people, but to make a profit doing it. A lot of things are ignored just because they'll never make the money.

GabbyPA 2012-01-01 08:19:21 -0600 Report

This is so true and people need to understand that our bodies function in balance and when we add or subtract too much of anything it messes us up. We have to be very careful in what we try.

kandiy 2012-01-02 20:25:17 -0600 Report

Thank you looking forward for this challange in life with diabetic keeping it under control

Type1Lou 2011-12-31 13:04:49 -0600 Report

Dear James, I believe that there is definite value in alternative medicines. So many of our current drugs are "rooted" in botanicals. I also knew an endodontist who studied acupuncture and effectively used it in some of his procedures. Ayurvedic medicine has long been practiced with good results in Asia. We just have to be wary of the "snake-oil" salespeople just trying to make a buck. I love the DC discussions where individuals tell us what is working for them. There are no magic potions out there that will cure us but there is a lot that can help us. Wishing you a healthier 2012!

locarbarbie 2011-12-31 11:41:00 -0600 Report

I stumbled upon Dr. Mercolas website a few months ago. I always enjoy perusing his newsletters. Some of the topics are quite thought provoking. What I especially like is his low key demeanor. I understand he has products that he sells and will at times mention, yet he gets pretty much right to the point and I never get the feeling that he is trying to sqeeze me for my money. I feel that he is passsionate yet sincere and he will also admit to being mislead or misinformed on occaision.

Lady Quilter
Lady Quilter 2011-12-31 13:00:52 -0600 Report

I love Dr. Mercola. I have been readying all his articles, and I buy vitiams and supplements from him. They are great and don't have a lot of the extra additives that other products have.

tabby9146 2011-12-30 19:12:46 -0600 Report

I am getting very interested in supplements and natural holistic, or homeopathic things too, though I have yet to try any. I believe many do work, many help people, there is just way too many that swear by certain things, and Dr. Oz believes in them, (I know, many like him many don't ) I wish more doctors could be more open minded to this kind of thing. I am interested Jayabee in which ones you take and for what. I have started to read some of Dr. Mercola's articles, some not so sure about, others he seems to be right about.

Dixiemom 2012-01-05 18:05:21 -0600 Report

Haven't read anything by Dr. Mercola but I also joined the Real Age site to which he belongs. Most of his comments and treatments are just plain common sense. Medicine is complicated and Dr.'s are still practicing.

jigsaw 2011-12-30 09:07:46 -0600 Report

In this material world unfortunately fortune and power seem to overide almost everything. This is such a broad and complex subject that I guess I'll just simplify and narrow my response to some personal experiences. I believe that some of the various forms of medicine are slowlly coming together. I am referring to conventional (allopathic), naturopathic, homeopathic etc. The right information can certainly give one the tools necessary to gain all this type of medical aid. I have utilized conventional, naturopathic, and homeopathic medicine as well as doctors in each of these professions for about 30 years or so. They can all be beneficial in their own right. The doctors (conventional medicine) I use currently are fairly open minded to naturopathic medicine. This was not the case 15 to 20 years ago. Most conventional medicine doctors in my experience, were adamantly opposed. On the other hand, I also saw a naturopathic doctor back in time. Unfortunately, my insurance would not cover the tests that he performed, so it was 100% out of pocket. Worst case scenario, and with questions regarding naturopathic, I have had my doctors say they are not trained in that area. My endo who is not trained in nutrition, employs a nutritionist/dietician, a few diebetic educators that all seem to incorporate some naturopathic ideas.
Here are a few experiences I had that utilized various types of medicine.
Eleven years ago, my wife had a stroke. I't was 5am in the morning when the dog started scratching my sleeping wife's abdominal area and woke her up! It was at that moment that we discovered that my wife could not form her words! Alarmed, I rushed her to the closest hospital, about 5 minutes away. They determined that she was experiencing a stroke in the base of her brain, put her on an IV with a clotbuster (Heparin) and probably saved her life! The question was what caused the stroke at her relatively young age of 49. It was determined that she had factor 5 leiden, a blood disorder that causes clotting. She was put on coumaden (blood thinner) and will probably be for the rest of her life. A naturopathic doctor offered to treat my wifes clotting condition with natural methods. With the relatively small amount of info available on this method of treatment, we chose the conventional treatment of coumaden. After all it's her life, and the potential of another stroke with the wrong choice. If she did not get to the hospital in time, her doctors said she would have either died in her sleep or been paralyzed from the neck down.
One more interesting story involving naturopathic medicine. My dog began to have trouble moving her right hind leg at age 2. She was in much pain, and frequently whined. The vet determined that she had hip dysplasia. Two vets wanted to perform surgery on her hips. After much research, I found a solution through a naturopathic vetinarian book.I found out that hip dysplasia in young developing dogs could be treated with mega doses of vitamin C. I also used Boswellia a natural herbal extract and anti-inflammatory that is considered safe with no known side effects in dogs. To this concoction I added large but safe doses of glucosemine as used for humans . Within one year and with an x-ray, the conventional vet was in awe! He had never seen hip dysplasia show improvement as witnessed by this second x-ray. Today and at age 13 my dog can run , jump, and play without pain as if she were much younger. As for my wife, If I live long enough, she'll probably end up pushing me around in a wheel chair! So in conclusion, and with all these power struggles amongst giant medical and pharmaceutical organizations, we still have some amazingly wonderful choices available.

dietcherry 2011-12-30 18:46:54 -0600 Report

Do you think your dog sensed something was wrong with your wife??

jigsaw 2011-12-30 19:30:13 -0600 Report

There is no doubt in my mind that the dog sensed it. She is a very special dog with a highly developed extra sense. As a matter of fact, she watches tv with intense interest for up to a half hour or so, sings to Reggae music only (it's the funniest thing) and hates to let my wife out of her sight. If it wasn't for Jamie, our dog, my wife would probably not be here today. Jamie never jumped on her abdomen before, and never did it again!

dietcherry 2011-12-30 19:38:16 -0600 Report

Incredible! I love these kinds of stories! My 2 cats will start meowing like mad before, during, and after Ive seizured from low blood sugar. They circle me and get highly agitated. But darn it they never bring me my glucose tabs lol

northerngal 2012-01-02 14:30:41 -0600 Report

Time to listen to your kitties! They probably just want to keep you around to feed them haha, but animals sense things we can't. The animals ran to high ground in Japan BEFORE the tsunami hit! They are in tune to nature because their lives depend on it (if they aren't your pet)

dietcherry 2012-01-02 15:04:22 -0600 Report

Im familiar with this phenomenon I was only asking specifically about his dog because I didnt know if her behavior was typical or if she was sensing his wifes distress.
By the time my cats start reacting I am too far gone to self-medicate. :(

northerngal 2011-12-31 21:26:20 -0600 Report

A relatives dogs always seemed to know something was wrong when my bs went low, they just weren't trained to alert me. One would never let me out of his sight when I dog sat. Thats funny, he was person sitting while I dog sat. German Shepherds are very intelligent dogs. I think all animals sense when something is abnormal, they simply don't know how to tell you.

reneeramaekers 2011-12-30 09:40:48 -0600 Report

I never wanted meds and I have found that natural remedies work for me. Diet and excersie are the best but everyone has to make their own conclusion
Happy new year !!

GabbyPA 2011-12-30 08:41:57 -0600 Report

Welcome to the dark side James! Mercola is not my hero, but I follow a lot of what he writes about. That is why I encourage people to keep an open mind. It makes me feel so good to know that your mindset has opened up in that way. There is a LOT of truth in his writings and many others that defy convention. Not right for all, but an open mind helps a lot!

hughsbayou 2012-01-01 09:20:58 -0600 Report

Someone told me about Mercola but I've found some of his recommendations to not make a lot of sense. Then there was a thing he did on vaccines that was just over the top for me. I just am not an alarmist about vaccines and believe that there has been far more good than harm from them. There were a couple of other things about his approach that made me start to see him as a huckster. The LIfe Extension people seem more balanced but I have found some stuff in there that bugs me also. For the most part their information is right on and well researched and footnoted.

I think that there is a lot of value in supplements. In fact I am using a couple of low cost supplements to keep my BG normal where the Metformin just didn't do the job. I take no meds these days, just some vitamins, CoQ10 and some fish oil and my blood work is all back in the normal range. I feel better as well. I can't discount the exercise program I put myself on, but it's really not that much. About 45 min every couple of days and maybe a 15 min stretch and so on every morning.

AuntieBear 2011-12-30 03:43:24 -0600 Report

I personally believe that all diseases/ailments could be cured if all practitioners of the different forms of healing would just learn to play together. Unfortunately, they still refuse to surrender the belief that they are 100% right while everyone else is 100% wrong. Until they learn they do not have all the answers and learn to work together to find the best way to heal the sick or wounded we will be besieged with illness and injury. That is why it is so important for us to be open-minded yet cautious in our quest for optimimum health. Just my two cents worth.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2011-12-30 12:38:42 -0600 Report

Auntie they reason they don't play together can be summed up in 5 letters..
M-O-N-E-Y. There is big money spent on research for cures so why cure anything if they can make money. I actually believe that there is a cure for every disease sitting either at the National Institute of Health or the Center for Disease Control.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-01-01 20:03:00 -0600 Report

You are so right after 4 months of this I have 4 BG test kits sent free to me of course. With enough lancets and some strips to get started. Hmm then we find out that strips are over $1.00 each. Meds, Drs., they Have to hold one another's hands after all it's only a multi-billion dollar industry.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-01-01 20:07:56 -0600 Report

I think it is a shame test strips cost more than the meters. There is definitely something wrong with that picture.

jayabee52 2011-12-30 04:19:06 -0600 Report

thanks for your opinion Bear! It is IMO more than .02 worth! I am coming to the same conclusion as you. Perhaps a bit slow in getting there, but I am getting there.

Caroltoo 2011-12-30 02:27:43 -0600 Report

In my perfect world, my doctor, chiropractor, and massage therapist would all know each other and work together for my well being. I do have two out of three as my present doctor and my massage therapist do work well together. I am about to try out a new chiropractor to see if I can make it three out of three. I do know, regardless of the rivalry between the AMA and alternative medicine practitioners, that I will continue to use all three as all three have made major, but different contributions to my health.

This became so clear to me after 2 years of "pain treatment" following an auto accident in which I broke L5 in two places and narrowly missed becoming paralyzed from the waist down. My osteopath wanted to refer me to a counselor for pain therapy … "to teach me how to live with pain." My response was that I was married to a psychologist, had similar training myself, and could see no reason why I would want to see a third therapist, besides which "I wanted to get well, not get medicated." He said, "You will probably always have pain." I said, "That isn't what I want for my life, so I am going to stop coming in here where you don't expect me to get well, and go see a chiropractor who will help me get better!" I did and it worked. Amusingly, I later saw where the office had subsequently secured the services of a chiropractor for their clients.

My previous medical doctor took a pretty standard AMA position against nutritional supplementation which is primarily why I never discuss supplements with my doctor…he simply dismissed it. I might have taken his concerns more seriously if my sister were not a dietitian. I so clearly recall one of her early comments about how ignorant doctors were about nutrition; it has influenced my attitude and I do my own research.

At the moment, I am blessed to have a physician who works with me, actually recommends supplementation, and will work with my massage therapist. I have a team who shares my beliefs and I think I am stronger because of it.

northerngal 2011-12-31 21:36:58 -0600 Report

MD's are trained to heal the body with medications because they've got proof that its effective. As far as pain or injury, only certain MD's are trained in that specialty, so you will get some resistance. My Doctors are both perfectly accepting of using a chiropactor (have bad hip that is likely arthritic, but the adjustments have helped a lot. Don't believe in muscle relaxers because they just knock me out and thats dangerous for a diabetic) I just requested a new cardiologist because I felt the one I had was not hearing me, didn't have a clue about diabetes and being active (walking doesn't count for me) and there just wasn't a connection. My endocrinologist thinks I did the right thing. She encourages patients to speak up

Caroltoo 2011-12-31 21:41:43 -0600 Report

True to a degree, but you only have to look at Actos causing bladder cancer, Metformin causing all sorts of stomach and intestinal issues, to realize that it is not a complete, nor healing response.

northerngal 2012-01-02 14:26:24 -0600 Report

Thats type 2 though. I'm type 1 and without insulin, I'd be dead. I don't have a choice and believe that the two should be separated. Far too much information out there is targeted for type 2 and has no relevance for type 1. The diet information is similar, to a point, but basically they are separate diseases. I hear you about the medications and side effects, unfortunately, thats all thats available. I have heard that a lot of the "older" medications are actually better, with fewer effects. Speak to your MD, maybe that would be a better option. We aren't clones, what works for one, may not be best for someone else and if you don't speak up for yourself, no one else will. Good luck!

Caroltoo 2012-01-02 16:32:07 -0600 Report

Oh, totally, there are medical conditions that only a doctor and pharmaceuticals can deal with. I wasn't even really speaking so much to diabetis, but to the more general approach of keeping ourselves health and preventing disease before it becomes disease whenever that is possible. Anyone dealing with an autoimmune disorder doesn't fall into that category!

Even within the type 2 community there are radical differences in terms of what works and what doesn't. However, you bring up an interesting question I've wanted to ask someone and haven't yet. Maybe you would tackle it. How do the eating patterns for type 1 and type 2 (non-insulin users) differ? What I've noticed so far seems to be around things like: timing of meals, number of carbs consumed at each meal, and, of course, the obvious use of insulin.

jayabee52 2011-12-30 03:12:48 -0600 Report

That is very heartening to hear! Glad you weren't paralyzed.

In my Home health clients I had a lady who became a good personal friend, and I see her occasionally to this day (as a friend and confidant) who broke her back in an auto accident and became a quadrapelgic. I saw her daily for a couple years and I know how she struggled with her condition.

Fortunately she has enough use of her hands to operate a joystick on a power chair, a phone and a computer (using a specially adapted pencil). It breaks my heart to see what she goes through to accomplish her activities of daily living, but she does!

Caroltoo 2011-12-30 07:05:26 -0600 Report

I will be eternally thankful that I did not have to fight that battle! Perhaps the Lord knows that immobility is the one that might have brought me to my knees in despair, not in prayer and supplication. I have just enough pain to be reminded daily of what I have to be thankful for.

And, yes, in case you are wondering, I am having a night owl moment myself.