1. Patients launch $1.27 million crowdfunding campaign for ME/CFS gut microbiome study.
    Check out the website, Facebook and Twitter. Join in donate and spread the word!
New Exercise Study Brings Both Illumination and Questions
Simon McGrath looks at new objective evidence of abnormal response to exercise in ME/CFS patients, and the questions that researchers are still trying to answer ...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

1 disorder which traditional medicine can't cure, and alternative medicine can?

Discussion in 'Alternative Therapies' started by svetoslav80, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

    Messages:
    484
    Likes:
    149
    Bulgaria
    May someone tell me such disease, which only alternative medicine can cure, and traditional medicine can not? By alternative medicine I mean Acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, TCM ... If you really know such disorder, I hope you show a strong evidence and proof, and not just giving a name. Of course, this is a provocative thread, as I only believe in traditional medicine, but it is also a chance for people with different opinion to disprove me.
  2. mellster

    mellster Marco

    Messages:
    799
    Likes:
    178
    San Francisco
    It's too much work to come up with a example plus all the proof but I would say that many - if not all - herbs can be viewed as (natural) drugs and traditional medicine often reproduced them synthetically cause it's cheaper. So there is no way you can draw a line between traditional/conventional and alternative medicine, they have to be used together to get best results.
  3. svetoslav80

    svetoslav80 Senior Member

    Messages:
    484
    Likes:
    149
    Bulgaria
    Right, I agree about herbs, but taking in mind that active ingredient in herbs can't be measured and in drugs you know the exact quantity.
  4. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    5,047
    Likes:
    3,216
    N. California
    There are many examples of alternative medicine having remarkable results, when standard allopathic medicine fails.
    Below is a recent example.

    I personally have had absolutely *horrible* reactions to all the pharma drugs I've ever taken, and the doctors I've seen have only made me worse with their misinformation and bad advice. The current 3 year long crash I'm still recovering from was caused by another ignorant MD. From now on I plan to avoid them like the plague.

    TCM and acupuncture have helped more than anything else, along with certain supplements, which I've found through trial and error.

    There is no cure yet for this disease, and many others. Doctors are not the saviors with the answers. Everyone has to find what works best for them. I wish us all success on the journey.

    [video=youtube;KLjgBLwH3Wc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLjgBLwH3Wc&feature=share[/video]
    Sparrowhawk likes this.
  5. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes:
    1,229
    Los Angeles, USA
    Tito, peggy-sue, WillowJ and 3 others like this.
  6. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

    Messages:
    588
    Likes:
    193
    U.K
    Science has not yet found any effective medical treatments for m.e. probably because so little bio medical research has been done

    However, I sometimes wonder whether as we have no reliably tested, evidence based medical treatments a vacuum is created in which alternative medicine steps in. People are ill and desperate and wish to try things. I did one year of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, no benefits. I'm not knocking alternative treatments, some may well help with symptoms, but I do worry alternative medicine can make a lot of money from illness where there are as yet no effective treatment.

    I'd say both mainstream medicine nor alternative medicine have the definitive answer for m.e yet. And it's certainly true medication comes with side effects and people with me can be very sensitive to meds which many doctors don't recognise, causing unnecessary suffering for people with m.e.
    Ocean likes this.
  7. LBS

    LBS Senior Member

    Messages:
    115
    Likes:
    21
    Sacramento, CA
    Im a little bit surprised by this question, and particularly by its presence on this forum, where so many discussions center around the lack of funding for avenues of treatment that seem promising, and the possible bias of influential researchers within this field of study.

    Youre asking for proof of alternative methods when we have precious little proof for any methods at all, and the methods for which proof purportedly does exist do not appear to be helpful in many cases and may, in fact, do more harm than good. So we should all be asking this same question about our treatments of choice.

    Assuming that what youre seeking as proof would be peer-reviewed studiesand particularly RCTspublished in respected western journals, Id have to say that youll find very little, and that there are a myriad of reasons for this.

    By far the biggest reason is that there will only be studies where there is money to fund them. Currently, the vast majority of funding goes into research that is developed through the traditional, Western medical channels, either through governments or the large pharmaceutical companies. Most of these will focus on treatments that have potential to have some economic impactin other words, if a treatment is found to be useful, someone can make a profit from it, or someone can use it to justify not spending more money on patients than is already being spent.

    This is not always the case, but we see from many discussions here in this forum how hard it is to direct research efforts on the basis of promising science alone. So to base our trust solely on this set of outcomes and not allow other possibilities seems a bit narrow to me.

    I work in a medical research department for a large university. One of the things I have learned is that, for each scrap of information we develop through research, there are vast unanswered questions. The big joke in medical research is that the end result of all research is that more research is needed. Medicine, even traditional western medicine, will likely always be functioning primarily in a best-and-most-educated guess mode of operation. We simply do not have the evidence-based research needed to do more than this in a large majority of treatments and cases.

    That is not to say that our best guesses are not often very good and effective, but do remember that we treated peptic ulcers for decades through diet alone, believing our food choices to be the cause, and that the researchers who discovered that h. pylori causes ulcers were not taken seriously for a long time. I believe one of them even had to infect and then cure himself in order to prove to others that these results were sound. Antibiotics for an ulcer would have been considered an alternative treatment just a few years ago.

    So, in the alternative treatment bin we have, among other things, Traditional Chinese Medicine. For the purposes of full disclosure, yes, this is the treatment method I have chosen. I chose it because my physician, trained in both modalities, was straight enough with me from the outset to tell me that Western medicine cannot offer me much relief (which I already knew), and was willing to prescribe from the large array of herbal formula options available through TCM. The results so far are encouraging enough for me to continue with the treatment.

    Traditional Chinese Medicine, as a system of medicine, evolved quite differently from our Western approach, and it views the human body and disease states in a very different way. I dont know if that is right or wrong, but the one thing that TCM has going for it which the Western approach does not is a very long history of close observation and treatment refinement.

    Many of the formulas available through TCM date back thousands of years. Chinese doctors kept notes about the efficacy of their prescriptions. Is this as good as a RCT? Of course not. But, given that Im not likely to ever see RCTs on any of the ingredients in the TCM formula I use, and that Id like to feel well while Im still young enough to enjoy it (Im 52), and that nothing has been provided by western medicine that gave me much relief, I have decided that-- for me-- its best to seek my own proof in the pudding, as it were.

    This is not to say that there arent plenty of cautions to be issued with regard to TCM or, indeed, any alternative therapies. The medicines themselves can be altered or contaminated, as there is little quality control, so one needs to shop around for reputable manufacturers and stick with brands that work. Other therapies may be out-and-out fraud. One needs to apply a measure of caution, common sense and reason to any possible treatment. If it seems outlandish, it very well may be. Caveat emptor.

    For myself, Im happy to acknowledge that I dont have all the answers. For example, I personally dont think that true homeopathic medicine makes a lot of sense, yet I have to recognize that the ideas which gave us effective immunotherapy treatments for allergy patients were germinated in the old homeopathic methods of diluting a disease-causing substance and exposing a patient to the dilution. We can also see the seeds of vaccination in this old practice. So even from within this area of questionable medicine, some important treatments have arisen. And there, I suppose, can be found some proof of the Western variety, as there are plenty of studies to back up the effectiveness of both of those treatments.

    So, to me, we live, and we learn, and we might find the most amazing things in the strangest, most unexpected places. I really dislike the idea of taking things out of the bag of possibilities just because they dont fit within one world view.
    zzz, Snow Leopard and L'engle like this.
  8. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

    Messages:
    5,047
    Likes:
    3,216
    N. California
    \

    Good point, Andrew.

    All our ancestors used herbs and foods as medicine for thousands of years, simply because there were no drugs available to them. My grandparents, who lived well into their 90's, were born prior to the pharmaceutical revolution. They were very knowledgeable about herbs and nutrition, and avoided drugs as much as they could. When you consider that MEDICAL ERROR is the third leading cause of death in the US, I think they made a wise choice. http://www.cancure.org/medical_errors.htm
    Ocean likes this.
  9. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,188
    Likes:
    11,260
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    I would like to elaborate on what Andrew said and what LBS said. Barry Marshall was a doc in a research team looking at bacterial causes of ulcers. He was considered a quack, and almost lost his medical licence I hear. Nobody took him seriously. So he was out there extreme, vitually a quack according to conventional wisdom. A few years ago he shared the Nobel prize in medicine for his discovery. His treatment is now the standard.

    Alternative therapies have long traditions. I see them as an accumulation of wisdom over centuries. Some of it is gold, some if it is lead, and some of it is fools gold. The secret is in finding out which is which, something that conventional medicine is slowly doing. Why is this so slow? These are natural substances, they can't be patented, and as such drug companies don't want to know about it. Occasionally if they can convert one of these natural substances to a drug you will see drug company involvement - tweak the active molecule a little so it is no longer found in nature and you have a drug.

    I liked your comment LBS on medical humour - its indeed true, the more you understand the more you realize what you don't understand. As knowledge accumulates, so does perceived ignorance. An old PhD supervisor once said that the beginning of wisdom is when you realize you can't know it all, its not possible. People who are sure they have all the answers often don't know enough to realize how limited their knowledge is. Like doctors who think they understand CFS but haven't read any ME or CFS research since the 80s.

    Bye
    Alex
    WillowJ, Nielk, L'engle and 1 other person like this.
  10. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes:
    329
    Southern USA
    I hope the best "cure" with be a natural supplement. Not sure if they are studied enough. I know correctling deficiencies and using supplements have done wonders for me with my CFS and POTS. Chemical meds. are never good for me and so many others. There may never be a cure. Like most illnesses, the illness is controlled and people live better lives.
  11. m1she11e

    m1she11e Senior Member

    Messages:
    309
    Likes:
    87
    Florida
    You know what, I have always asked what traditional medicine has ever CURED. I mean truly CURED. I am sure there are things but when I think of the major illness' out there like MS. AIDS, Diabetes, Lupus, heart disease and so on...no cures after years and years of millions of dollars of research.

    Ive seen many more people CURED with diet and supplements. CURED where the disease is gone.

    With that said, I have not been cured by either and am opened minded to both.
  12. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes:
    329
    Southern USA
    True, many, many illnesses are chronic. I choose supplements for sure. I take prescriptions when I have to, infections etc, but supplements for my CFS and POTS.
  13. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,188
    Likes:
    11,260
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Diseases with conventional pathogens are routinely cured by antibiotics and the like. Some pathogens do not as yet have effective drugs. Most chronic diseases are molecular, involving disturbances at subcellular and cellular level. Molecular medicine is in its infancy. I don't expect to see solutions for molecular diseases for years to decades, but one by one there will be solutions. Bye, Alex
    peggy-sue likes this.
  14. searcher

    searcher

    Messages:
    491
    Likes:
    1,232
    SF Bay Area
    I am with Alex on this one- conventional medicine is great when there is either a 1) known pathogen or 2) surgical fix. I expect chronic illnesses will eventually be solvable with pharmaceuticals, but that could be many years from now since we understand so little of the underlying causes. So the question is which system of medicine is best for ameliorating symptoms and potentially helping get at the underlying cause? At this point I trust the systems that have a more holistic view of the body a bit more, although I still occasionally use some pharmaceuticals for specific symptoms.
    madietodd likes this.
  15. Annesse

    Annesse Senior Member

    Messages:
    163
    Likes:
    17
    I have seen many illnesses cured through the use of herbs. One is MRSA. Also, antibiotic resistant ulcers and sinus infections. Over and over again, when antibiotics did not work, herbs stepped in and did the job. With no side effects whatsoever. Here is an article on one successful herbal treatment for MRSA. This young man was days away from losing his arm. http://rapidcityjournal.com/lifesty...cle_017d21fc-6aa9-11df-a009-001cc4c002e0.html

    Another time I used this remedy, it took a 9 month MRSA infection and knocked it out in 4 days. The man had had blood work done every Monday for the entire 9 months. He went off of his antibiotic on Thurs. and on the herbs. The infection was gone on Mon. He was flown to Mayo Clinic to verify that it was indeed gone. Mayo said, " The infection is completely cleared and the herbs took it away." I recieved a call from Mayo asking me if they could study the formula, but I had already agreed to send it to a leading MRSA researcher at the University of Arizona. When she put the rememdy in a petri dish with MRSA and MSSA, there was a huge kill zone. I still have the pictures of the petri dishes. I have never seen this remedy fail.

    With a combination of diet and herbs, I have seen breast cancer that had metastasized to the liver and lungs completely gone in 3 months. The women (a nurse) had been receiving treatment at MD Anderson in Houston. They did a final round of chemo and radiation and sent her home to die. When I met her, she was writing her memoirs. She was brought to see me by a doctor's wife. She changed her diet and started on herbs that day. She flew back to MD Anderson for her checkup and they could find no trace of cancer. She is back at work and has just finished building a new home. They recently declared her cancer free.

    I have seen full recovery from MS, lupus, fibromyalgia, CFS and RA. All with just diet. This is no testament to me whatsoever. The credit goes to the people themselves and the diet and herbs they put their trust in. I did not charge any of these people. I even paid for the herbs myself, so I was not driven by profit. We all have the "ruby" slippers, some of us just don't know it yet.
    Sparrowhawk likes this.
  16. Sallysblooms

    Sallysblooms P.O.T.S. now SO MUCH BETTER!

    Messages:
    1,767
    Likes:
    329
    Southern USA
    The Ruby Slippers do not make money for the drug companies. That is the problem. We really do have most of what we need. I do know we need meds sometimes but so many things are made better with supplements, foods, etc.We all have to keep speaking up like with the FDA's over reaching draft guidance etc. I keep up to date with Life Extention, Alliance for Health etc. Their Facebook pages and sites.
  17. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,188
    Likes:
    11,260
    Logan, Queensland, Australia
    Hi Annesse, there is something else to be said for herbs, even culinary herbs. Ever looked at the nutrient profile of parsley for example? Vitamin levels that are off the charts! It makes "superfoods" look sick. Most herbs are like that. So even if the herbs are not good cures, many herbs (especially fresh) provide vital nutrients. Bye, Alex
    peggy-sue likes this.
  18. Annesse

    Annesse Senior Member

    Messages:
    163
    Likes:
    17
    So true guys. I read that the lowly dandelion leaf has nearly every vitamin and mineral known to man. But in perfect proportion. For instance, if you go to the doctor and get a prescription for a diurectic, he will also need to give you one for potassium, since you will lose potassium.
    The dandelion is also a diuretic. Nature knows this, so it has put 4 times as much potassium in a dandelion plant as in a comparable green plant that is not a diuretic. My motto is NATURE HAD IT FIRST.
  19. anniekim

    anniekim Senior Member

    Messages:
    588
    Likes:
    193
    U.K
    Some interesting perspectives here, given me food for thought....
  20. Tristen

    Tristen Senior Member

    Messages:
    613
    Likes:
    421
    Northern Ca. USA
    True. Allopathic Rx drugs are derived from one of 3 sources....plant, animal, chemical. Seems to me that at least some of the efficacious plant and animal sources had to of been discovered and used well before pharma got it's hands on it. Lets see if Curcumin is still in the "natural medicine" category in a few years.

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page