Alternative medicine

Orthodox vs alternative medicine

Recently, there has been heightened suspicion regarding orthodox medicine as people are more and more interested in alternative medicine. The consensus is that orthodox medicines are artificial chemicals that are harmful to the human body. Unfortunately, the assumptions of this theory do not take into account the desirable good effects of orthodox therapies. On the contrary, the undesirable effects which are presented as the main disadvantages of orthodox medicine compared to alternative medicine are amplified.

Many people prefer to take herbal teas, supplements, and topical herbs rather than orthodox pills. They are the same formulations and appearances, but one is perceived as harmful and the other harmless. Reasons for this include dissatisfaction with orthodox conventional treatments, high cost of treatment, incompatibility with individual values ​​and religious and cultural beliefs. The term “natural” treatment or supplements drops the guards of people who disregard the use of orthodox medicine, as they are often willing to try “natural” remedies. Who said that these “natural supplements” do not have their side effects?

It seems that alternative medicine does not engender the same level of mistrust as orthodox medicine from the general public, as alternative medicine can date back centuries and be known to be quite effective. It’s more like a case where the devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know.

Additionally, the apparent reliance on alternative medicine can be attributed to its lower cost, availability, and accessibility. Orthodox medicine includes prescription drugs that cannot be dispensed without a doctor’s prescription. Therefore, the person must make an appointment with a doctor and go through time-consuming processes before starting treatment. Individual patients often have limited interaction with the physician, which can lead to dissatisfaction with diagnostic and treatment modalities.

A combination of alternative medicine with faith/spiritual healing also makes alternative medicine more appealing. Indeed, the combination of the two makes it more likely to align with a patient’s religious and cultural beliefs.

Especially since the alternative medicine provider takes the time to listen to the complaints of the client and is perceived as a person with special healing powers. This perception may play a role in improving the mental attitude towards illness, which is known to determine, to a large extent, the response to treatment of an illness.

Some people swear by the effectiveness of traditional medicines even with non-uniform preparation methods and incorrectly dosed doses administered. This is not debatable, as many traditional remedies are discovered and used based on anecdotal evidence. Some are dissolved in solvents produced under environmental conditions where contamination is unavoidable. Side effects are considered part of the mechanism of action. People believe that their ancestors enjoyed a better life without orthodox medicine.

In fact, some orthodox medicines have been adopted from traditional remedies after scientific research evidence has shown their effectiveness in treating this particular disease. A good example is the cinchona bark which was and still is used as a traditional treatment for malaria. The antimalarial derived from cinchona bark — quinine — is still a very effective antimalarial drug.

Some people strongly believe that the orthodox drugs they have ingested have altered their natural genetic makeup. And that pharmaceutical companies are not to be trusted because they are only in it for the money, and therefore studies and research results are often fake or fabricated. They can then be extremely paranoid in their discussion with doctors, so much so that it starts to feel like a personal attack on individual medical staff.

Medical staff should be careful not to become defensive and further raise suspicion.

It’s best to approach this topic diplomatically, citing scientific evidence, research, and evidence-based medicine. Emphasizing that the consequences of research misconduct are serious and that pharmaceutical companies would not be involved in such things, as there are many regulatory bodies with rigorous processes before a treatment is approved. Even when new treatments are approved, adverse effects are reported and drugs can still be withdrawn if the risk of harm outweighs the benefits.

We have seen some integration of traditional and orthodox medicine — for example, training of traditional birth attendants (TA) and work hand in hand with them in communities in parts of Africa. It was found at reduce maternal and perinatal mortality. These integrations can allay fears and distrust of orthodox medicine in communities, although some are set in their ways and stick to their beliefs and misconceptions despite overwhelming evidence.

Adults who are able can choose to refuse conventional medical treatment. And that’s fine if it doesn’t put other people at risk and isn’t a public health issue.

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About Grace Eneh, MBBS

Grace Eneh is a physician and neurology researcher. She is passionate about proper communication with patients regarding their medical condition, believing that a large part of chronic disease management relies on patients understanding their illnesses and the need for lifestyle changes and adherence. medication. His areas of interest are
epilepsy,
stroke, and dementia. She owns a writing business, is an author and has published numerous articles for various online media. She enjoys reading and spending time with her family.

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