Alternative Medicine Ebooks
The use of alternative medicine therapies for cancer patients varies from 7 to 64 in published studies with an average prevalence of 31.4 Ernst, 1998 2103 .7 Interestingly, it appears that up to 72 of those patients using alternative therapies do not inform their doctors.1 Many patients hold high expectations for their alternative medicines. Most patients who utilize complementary therapy expect it to improve the quality of their life, over 70 expect it to boost their immune system and 62 believe that it will prolong *The term conventional medicine refers to medicine as practiced by holders of MD (medical doctor) or DO (doctor of osteopathy) degrees, some of whom may also practice complementary and alternative medicine. Other terms for conventional medicine are allopathy, Western, regular and mainstream medicine, and biomedicine (source http nccam.nih.gov). their life. As many as 37 of CAM users anticipate that the therapy will cure their disorder.4 Lazar and O'Connor reported several...
Some consumers object to taking medications because of concern about the long-term use of psychotropic medication, or because they are opposed to the ingestion of chemical substances for philosophical or religious reasons. Such individuals may explore alternative treatments. Nutritional supplements and special dietary regimens have been used since the 1950s, but thus far there is no solid scientific support for this approach (Torrey, 2001). Others try homeopathic remedies, or relaxation techniques. Patricia Deegan, a consumer advocate, has written a manual on nonmedical strategies for reducing and coping with symptoms called Coping with Voices Self Help Strategies for People Who Hear Voices That Are Distressing (1995). For example, when experiencing aversive auditory hallucinations, some consumers may obtain relief by listening to soothing music with headphones. (For more information on Dr. Deegan, see the biography in Chapter 12.) The exploration and use of alternative treatments for...
The limits of scientific medicine leave room for alternative interpretations, explanations, and therapies, for example, alternative medicine like chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and a multitude of herbs and natural folk remedies. Some people are reluctant to use governmen-tally approved and regulated remedies, regardless of testing, and prefer to use relatively untested and loosely regulated nutraceuticals (drugs marketed as foods). (See Chapter 5.) Some forms of alternative medicine have no theoretical foundation and no empirical support, and seem to be fraudulent attempts to exploit human suffering. However, the history of medicine includes a number of folk remedies that were discovered and subsequently absorbed by mainstream medicine, with or without scientific proof. Examples include digitalis, rau-wolfia, and smallpox vaccinations. Acupuncture may be moving from illegitimacy to legitimacy.
Vitamin and mineral supplementation may also be beneficial. Dietary supplements with increased tryptophan have been utilized in an effort to reduce premenstrual symptoms, particularly carbohydrate craving. A variety of herbal medications have also been used for treating PMS. This has been particularly welcomed by many patients who prefer so-called natural remedies. Other alternative strategies that have been investigated include acupuncture, massage therapy, and homeopathic remedies.
The study of a pharmacological agent, such as a prescription medicine, an over-the-counter drug, an alternative medicine such as St. John's wort, or even a nutritional supplement, requires an interdisciplinary approach. Knowledge of pharmacokinetics, pharma-codynamics, pharmacogenetics, chronopharmacology, modulators, and biologic molecular markers must all be incorporated to ensure the development of safe
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