The Risk of Using Alternative Medicine as a Last Resort


Both traditional allopathic medicine and complementary alternative medicine have their roles and their advantages. If one is not going to be concerned about living in health or a healthy lifestyle when health problems show up traditional allopathic medicine may be the best route to take. However, if you are health conscious the complementary and alternative medicine is more than likely you best bet if health problems show up.

The National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reports…

According to a recent analysis of the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, U.S. adults who used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for general health and well-being reported significantly better health status than those adults who used CAM to treat an illness. The NCCAM-funded analysis, published in Health Services Research, also found that these two groups of CAM users had differing health behaviors and patterns.

The researchers examined demographics, health behaviors, and use of conventional health services (general practitioner, medical specialist, or mental health practitioner) among three different groups of CAM users—those who used CAM to treat an illness, for health promotion, or for both purposes. The researchers found that in general, people who used CAM were more likely to have used conventional health services in the previous 12 months than people who did not use CAM. However, people who used CAM specifically for health promotion reported lower rates of use of conventional health services than people who used CAM to treat an illness. In addition, people who used CAM for health promotion were found to have healthier behaviors overall, including higher rates of physical activity and lower rates of obesity, than people who used CAM for treatment.

The researchers concluded that the differences among people who use CAM should be taken into account when pursuing future analyses. Further research is needed to investigate the long-term effects of CAM use on public health.

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It is good that the government conducted a study to validate common sense. If one focuses on health instead of disease prevention then health is the results and if one does not focus on health and only considers alternative medicine when illness arrives. Common sense tells us that if we do not pay attention to the signs on the road that looking to the signs for help after you have had a wreck is not the best use of road signs. The same is true for the road to health and alternative medicine.

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