Should so called alternative medicine be evidence and not anecdote based?

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I would like to know if the majority of individuals using this forum are at all concerned with knowing via properly conducted clinical studies, what they dose themselves with, and if they understand what constitutes evidence.

I found myself commenting on someone who was seeking advice on a so called alternative therapy, and wondered if many people were prepared to take substances that have little or no evidence of benefit, or harm?

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  • Posted

    I know of people who take alternative medicine for a particular condition that has little to no evidence for treating that condition. One thing that seems to be a growing concern is drug-alternative medicine interactions and contradictions. For instance, St. John's Wort is known to have major interactions with various drugs. However, most of the information on alternative medicine lacks safety information. People will continue to take alternative medicine because it is in many cases cheaper, more accessible, and considered safer. Though one should realize that just because it is natural, does not necessarily mean it is safe. Nonetheless, some alternative medicines have evidence supporting their claimed benefits. Unfortunately, there is no one go to source for information on the safety and efficacy of alternative medicines.

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    • Posted

      I am fully in support of your comments. In the U.K there is a Professor of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine by the name of Edvard Ernst. He has published on the various evidence such as it is. He makes it possible to judge how these products may be compared with conventional medicine, and what side effects, conta-indications, drug interactions, and efficacy that may have. Some seem to be of benefit, but most are sadly quite disappointing.

       

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  • Posted

    People should do their research.  I find that greenmedinfo by sayer ji has documented studies posted to articles.  However, I think they got it wrong with recent article on iodine.

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    • Posted

      Yes, greenmedinfo has a lot of research articles and citations. But after reviewing this site, it seems that they lack information on safety and interactions. The site also doesn't post research articles that mention about negative results on a particular alternative medicine. Unless, I missed something.

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  • Posted

    I sought natural medicine due to conditions Western Medicine claims are incurable.
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    • Posted

      I would be interested in hearing about the quality of the evidence provided for these this so called " Natural Medicines " 

      I often hear it said that natural means no chemicals. I can't think of one natural thing that is not made entirely of chemicals......can you???

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  • Posted

    who says there is enough evidence or not? How much evidence do we need?

    I have had this discussion with doctors too and they always say that but I thought that vitamins for instance typically had trials but maybe i'm wrong ,that's what I heard anyway

    It's not a black and white issue

    It's not like vitamins never have trials!

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    • Posted

      If you watched the Trust Me I'm a Doctor series last year they looked at vitamins and other health products. Not only did the strength vary but some had no trace of the said product in it. This included from so called reputable High Street companies.

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    • Posted

      Yes indeed they have been subjected to clinical trails, but you need to read and comprehend them in order to know what they told us about swallowing loads of pills in the vain hope they would work some miracle or other. As far as I can make out, in general they provide the taker with very expensive urine!

      For the most part, we get plenty of vitamins from our diet. Rather look to the quality and quantity of the food consumed.

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  • Posted

    OK, Here's a sample of positive benefits from alternative medicine: Say you have Diabetes and poor circulation in your feet, before long you find yourself with your doctor telling you that they will have to remove your toes. Now, do you except the fact to what your being told because your doctor has no knowledge of herbs, and just go a long and have your toes removed? Or do you search for help with alternative herbs?

    In 2009 a co-worker asked me if there was anything that could save his brother's toe. I asked how long does he have, and I was told, on his next appointment they were going to set a date to remove them. In only theory and a strong guess, I said yes, if he uses the herbs I gave him as a tea to soak his feet in, every 6 hours and don't rinse the herbs off after the soak. I think it might help. He had a total of 5 days, counting the days he receive the herbs and the morning before his appointment.

    I was told that his Doctor was impressed with the improvement and said he had no understanding about herbs, but to keep doing what he was doing with the herbs.

    A few months later I was told that his toe nails grew back a long with the circulation in his toes & feet.

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    • Posted

      Now this is just the kind of problem one has when speaking to people who do not understand what proof, or evidence is all about. This is due to the lamentable state of science taught in so many countries. Were wackttopost to comprehend the idea of probability, we may be speaking a shared language of understanding. I fear I may appear to be speaking gobbledegook and wasting my time, but here goes anyway.

      The scientific principle maintains that just because something happens first, it does not nessesarily cause something that happens after. What is represented here is anecdote, and not evidence. Thousands of years ago this was recognised  and put into Latin, pardon to Latin scholars if the spelling is not correct. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Pitty what they said all that time ago, is unfortunately still not understood!

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