If you are the type of person that believes in ufo’s, alien abductions, psychics, big foot etc…. you might not require a lot of medical evidence before trying herbal and alternative medications. But as a medical professional, I would lose my reputation by recommending stuff that didn’t work. I must require a high level of evidence. The highest level of evidence is called a met-analysis of randomized placebo controlled studies and the lowest level is an observational study.
My biggest pet peeve is when people who require very little medical evidence make recommendations to the general public who are easily confused and mislead. Beware of such bad advice. Here are some examples of bad advice.
Most common bad medical advice I see on the internet is recommending that someone treat a disease with herbal medicines.
If you have, or think you have, a disease that is getting worse and progressing….like prostate disease, glaucoma, cancer, infection….you need to go to a real medical doctor to stop the destriction of your body. You need treatment that is proven in the medical studies to work and work fast. You need a product that yields consistent results and that is tested and standardized.
In my opinion, the only time it is okay to treat yourself with herbal medications is to ease your discomfort when you know the source of the discomfort and that is being addressed. For example, it’s okay to take turmeric or curcurmin for arthritis pain caused from old age or an old injury. In fact it works very well, and it’s proven in the medical literature to work better than even some prescription drugs. And it’s safer. I know a good thing when I see it and I will tell you.
It’s also okay to use ginger to treat nausea and it’s okay to take probiotics for stomach upset and/or diarrhea…..as long as you are not delaying treatment for a serious condition.
But it is not okay to use saw palmetto to treat urinary problems. Saw Palmetto was shown in randomized trials to work by the placebo effect…even at very high doses…..it doesn’t work and you can delay treatment for prostate cancer if that is what is really going on. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21954478?dopt=Abstract
It’s also not okay to treat cancer with herbs….I have links in my twitter account with articles to treat skin cancer with herbs. Really? The cancer could be spreading like wild-fire while you are taking herbs that have the potential to be nothing more than grass clippings sold by con artists.
However, I do believe in the possibility of miracles. Especially miracles created from a strong and healthy mind. Louise Hay writes about them and so do other people. I believe that they are possible, and I would recommend you pursue those avenues at the same time you receive traditional medical treatment. But I would NEVER recommend delaying traditional medical treatment from a medical doctor.
And just to let you know, we use about 20 dietary supplements in the hospital and they do have a place in keeping us strong and healthy under the right circumstanses. I’ll let you know what those are in my book.
Second pet peeve, do not stop taking the medications your doctor has prescribed, especially medications for diabetes or high blood pressure. If you have high blood sugar or high blood pressure you are aging at an accelerate rate. If you stop your medications you most certainly will shorten your life. But it is okay to make dietary and lifestyle changes to cure and treat those diseases. Just don’t stop taking your medications until your doctor has given you the official “okay”. Usually you must sustain your radically new and strict lifestyle for several weeks or months before it’s okay.
Third pet peave :beware of probiotics. Yogurts are good, but the supplements can be a waste of your money if you don’t get the right ones. A con artist can put powdered milk in gelatin capsules and make general claims to boost your immune system and keeps you healthy. Those words mean nothing. No one would ever know if they were not working.
The only probiotics I recommend are the ones that appear in my medical studies and I recommend them for those specific purposes. I don’t recommend them for general health. I recommend whole food and like yogurt, an orange, a salad…but NOT probiotic supplements. Reason being, everyone’s gut bacteria is different. If I went to Mexico I would get sick from their common bacteria. What is healthy bacteria for them is not healthy for me. It’s the same with probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria that live in our intestines. Each specific type of bacteria performs a specific action and that is why they are not interchangeable.
Just for the record: Only two probiotics have been proven to cause weight loss and they are not on the market as of this date. You canNOT substitute a random probiotic and expect to lose weight. We are dealing with specific bacteria that produce a specific effect when they live in the intestines.
Two or three probiotics have been proven to boost the immune system. They were given to children in daycare who were constantly sick and that’s how the know they work. But not all probiotics across the board boost the immune system. You can read my past blog on boosting the immune system to find out which ones work.
If you want a probiotic to prevent diarrhea associated with antibiotic use you need to use lactobacillus and or saccromyces.
The probiotics claim-to-fame is the lactobacillus probiotics made famous by yogurts. These live bacteria secrete lactic acid and change the pH of the skin and environment thus preventing yeast infections. (But frozen yogurts don’t work because the probiotics are frozen/dead…fyi)
Sometimes probiotics can be inactivated by freeze-dry method and brought back to life with the addition of water. But they have to be alive to work. Which is my pet peeves number 4. If anyone recommends you take frozen yogurt or frozen kefir as a source of probiotics, then they don’t understand how probiotics work. Don’t listen to them. Dead probiotics do not work. They have to be alive and plentiful. Which reminds me, don’t waste your money on discounted or sale probiotics. They are usually old and half dead.
Bad medical advice is more prevalent than you realize, and it’s usually given out by sales people and people eager to believe anything. Beware and keep in touch.