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How do you know when to listen to a doctor and when to explore alternative options and/or natural treatments? i've read about kris carr and seen her movie. i also had a friend of our family battle cancer for a few years. she was recently told she had 1

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Peng
Internal Medicine 28 years experience
There : There are many anectdotal success stories for many treatments for different cancers, and they do indeed give us hope for future treatments. Medical doctors offer allopathic solutions (ie. "western medicine) solutions to problems based on our best available science and experiments done in large scale. Conventional medicine is based on evidence-based medicine, and advice from mds should be considered in that framework. Even if i strongly believe in a treatment strategy that is considered alternative and not based in evidence, i can not, in good faith, with the weight of my degree (and the responsibility that it carries) recommend it. Licensed mds do not ignore alternative treatments, and are hopefully open to them as adjuncts to conventional medical care, but we can not recommend it as a health care professional. To do so would be misleading you to believe there was evidence supporting such. You, as a consumer of health care resources, are free to choose your own therapeutic options for whatever ails you, with conventional medicine being just one option in a list of the multiple types availabe to people today. The days of "doctor knows best" are gone, so the responsibility falls on you to be informed and educated to make sure you are not choosing an option that could be detrimental to your health when better options exist. Best, - john peng, md.
Dr. Tedde Rinker
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
That : That is a difficult question to answer, as it can apply to so many conditions. In the case of a medical emergency, it seems to have to trust to the care of the doctor or health care provider who is available to you. For more chronic conditions, i suggest you listen carefully to your (conventional) doctor's advice, and if you have any reservations, or feel that you are not getting well, consult with other types of healthcare providers. There are many medical traditions besides the conventional prescription pharmaceutical medications that are so often prescribed by most american physicians: there is oriental medicine which has been practiced and refined over 3000 years, and indian (ayurvedic) medicine that is equally based on thousands of years of practice. There are also western herbal traditions, body therapies and natural medicine practitioners. The bottom line, is, it's your choice and no one will prevent you from getting a second or third opinion from alternative healthcare practitioners. Then you can weigh the information and recommendations you receive, discuss with family or friends, and use your own "gut" feeling about what would work best or makes them most sense for you. I hope that is helpful. I have written a book entitled "renegade patient", which discusses at great length the various alternative health care you might find and information about the training and skills of different types of healthcare providers. You can find it on online bookstores like amazon.Com kind regards, dr. Tedde rinker los altos, ca.

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Last updated Oct 3, 2016

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