Thursday, January 27, 2011


It's a good possibility you're among the 40+ percent of
the population who have used natural/alternative
medicine in the past year. Relaxation techniques, smart
exercise, massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic,
smart supplementing, among others are all part of this
revolutionary new natural approach to medicine. In
November 1998, The Journal of the American Medical
Association (JAMA)
revealed an interesting trend toward
acceptance of natural/alternative medicine. A popular
survey they sponsored showed the total number of visits
to natural/alternative medical practitioners increased by 50
percent since 1990. This exceeds visits to all primary care
physicians in the United States.

An Additional Disturbing Trend

The survey also showed a significant number of people
utilizing natural/alternative medicine are not telling their
doctors for fear of ridicule, disapproval, or the doctor will
give misinformation. Since natural medicine is my
business, I feel comfortable discussing medicine (natural
or traditional) with any doctor whether they are of the
natural or traditional variety. Most people do not have
this comfort zone due to lack of knowledge. As a result,
millions of people are not telling their doctors they are
combining natural medicine with prescription drugs which
can put them at risk for possible adverse reactions.

Proceed With Caution

Historically, natural medicine has very few or no side
effects. Conversely, traditional medicine (drugs) have
a host of side-effects. Taking extra magnesium

with an over-the-counter laxative can make you "too
loose" leading to diarrhea and possible dehydration.
Most over-the-counter laxatives contain magnesium.

St. John's Wort has helped millions of people with mild to
moderate depression. However, combining it with
prescription MAO inhibitors may cause "serotonin
syndrome" as reported in the journal American Family
, March 1998. "Serotonin syndrome" can lead
to lethargy and confusion. Another danger to consider is
discontinuing prescription drugs abruptly. Harsh
discontinuation of such drugs risks a potentially dangerous
rebound effect according to Dr. Harold Bloomfield,
co-author of the book Hypericum & Depression If you choose to quit using
prescription drugs is recommended you gradually
wean yourself from them. Hypericum, by the way, is the
active ingredient in St. John's Wort. The message I'm
attempting to convey is: Generally, do not combine natural
medicine and drugs that have similar actions.

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