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A Patient, Chronic Diseases and Alternative Hope!

A Patient, Chronic Diseases and Alternative Hope!

A forceful alteration of lifestyle can take a huge emotional toll on a person. Having knowledge of impending doom is often so extreme that a tiny ray of hope can initiate investigating alternative pathways to a cure. Let me walk through a hypothetical but strikingly possible situation in medicine. Patient passes through a battery of diagnostic tests along with accompanying physical and emotional pain, and is unable to find a formal diagnosis and/or is totally incapable of relieving pain.

In this example, a patient is suffering from a chronic disease such as some skin conditions or cancers, where a change in lifestyle is absolutely necessary. The patient attends doctor's appointments religiously. Even after an enormous effort of sticking to lifestyle modifications, attending doctor's appointments, and taking costly and at times painful therapies, the Devil's claw of their untiring disease attacks back. This patient typically will lose faith in the medicine they received to this point and start looking for alternative sources to maintain faith and hope. Society is full of suggestions, especially with easy access to the Internet. Dr. Google may become the patient’s favourite choice for medical information.

The information provided on the Internet is broad and not personalized to a specific patient's disease pattern. A possible alternative treatment could have a successful effect on one patient but could be equally catastrophic to another with just a small difference in the disease presentation. Alternative medicine like homeopathy, Ayurveda, and Chinese medicine have a bandwagon of praising advertisements with countless positive feedback testimonies but all too often, to achieve this image negative online comments are deleted by site administrators. A person with already weak hopes for streamlined medical care may easily switch allegiance to alternative therapies.

A dangerous collision is formed from of the tiniest ray of hope held by a patient and an overwhelming bombardment, both favorable as well as false positive, of advertisements from alternative medicine practices. The patient leans increasingly towards other substances or practices as therapies. In many cases, a patient will completely quit allopathic medication and switch their entire medical lifeline to alternative medicines. All these substances used as treatment, lack the clarity of systemic information about its effect on the body and/or lack scientifically supported research to prove its safety and effectiveness. As a result, the patient often succumbs to death or disability.

Drugs used in alternative therapy have some success if used appropriately. The coauthor argues that the “little ray of hope” that led a patient to alternative therapy can sometimes be the precipitating factor in finding successful treatments for some dreadful disease conditions. This can initiate creating supported scientific research and introduction into mainstream medications. This approach can lead to the invention of innovative treatments.

It is very important to keep a balance between the false advertisements of alternative medication and the ease of its availability without investigation into its adverse effects. The FDA and other national food and drug agencies are very vigilant in the Western world. Nevertheless, with the help of the Internet again, when it is readily available in the other parts of the world, it can be imported.

Any medical practitioner refusing the idea of using alternative therapy is losing the chance to fully understand a patient’s frustration as well as continuing their comprehensive care. In another breath, the practitioner also loses the chance to patent a new therapy. Although, overemphasizing contributions from alternate therapies without a complete understanding or without learning their adverse reactions can be very catastrophic and undermine the purpose of patient care. Navigating through streamlined medicine and alternative drugs is very crucial for a practitioner to ensure the best treatment outcome and improving a patient's overall health. 

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