Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Health Nuts Are Coming!

The whole gallbladder, sphincter of oddi dysfunction and pancreatitis trifecta o' fun is driving the health nuts in my life crazy.

You should do energy healing.

See my chiropracter.

Take these vitamins.

Do a detox.

I'm pretty open to alternative therapies. Long time readers will know that I've tried lots of off-the-books things in an attempt to improve my health. Some of them were very helpful, but there are limitations.

1. Alternative medicine or therapies tend to have mild effects that require constant input of money and procedures/pills to maintain. They are rarely curative in my experience. Helpful, yes. Worth trying? Yes. The cure? No, not so much. See also: Expensive.

2. Alternative medicine and therapies don't hold themselves to rigorous standards. Claims of being able to cure various ailments are made without blinking and without much scientific investigation (from what I've observed). There is science going on, but in day-to-day practice I heard a lot of unsubstantiated statements such as 'you won't have asthma anymore.'

Ha.

Sorry, folks, I will still have asthma no matter how many Meyer's Cocktails I shoot into my veins. The expensive (and foul tasting) vitamins don't stop the asthma either. The IVs helped keep me out of the hospital when I had bronchitis, they were better and more effective than a nebulizer treatment but they didn't make me asthma free. If I could afford the IVs, I would do them before going to the ER in the future, but there's no insurance coverage and they're $300-$400 a pop. (Also, alternative docs don't work nights or weekends and shut their clinics down for their vacations with no back up.)

There are limits, but alternative medicine doesn't like to recognize them.What's so scary to me about this is the alternative doctors routinely tell patients to stop taking all their medicine. Why? Because they are going to be cured of all that ails them! My alternative doc wanted me to cold turkey my asthma meds. This is crazy because it would have removed steroids from my system when my HPA axis was already struggling, and also I have asthma. It's not going away. I ignored them and kept sucking on my inhalers.


Maybe in 1950, you could have done the IVs and the vitamins and the super special diet and achieved something close to a cure, but our standard of living is so different now, the food quality is not the same and the environment has things in it that didn't exist back then. How can you reset a person's health when the environment itself has not been reset? You can't. Not even with a vegan diet and fancy vitamins.

It's not that simple unless we're talking the stereotypical patient living on fast food and the only vegetable they touch is the pickle on their hamburger. Those people probably would notice a change, but I was already gluten free, juicing and making spinach smoothies so...

3. There are side effects and risks. Alternative medicine isn't necessarily any more or less benign than allopathic medicine. I tried licorice for the adrenal insufficiency, but had to stop because it jacked up my blood pressure.

 To me, cutting out my gallbladder is the neatest solution. It carries risks as well, I'm aware of that, but long term, I believe the outcome of surgery is better established than if I went to the chiropracter every week, took special vitamins every day etc... I do not want to end up in situation where I've gone all natural with my medical care only to have stones build up in my gallbladder resulting in a more serious case of pancreatitis than I've already had.

That being said, I would love to see more research on alternative methods. Particularly the IVs for asthma. There IS something valuable there, but it gets clouded by all the snakeoil charmers.

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If you have adrenal issues and want to connect with other patients the following message boards are wonderful resources:

http://www.mdjunction.com/forums/adrenal-insufficiency-discussions/general-support

http://www.addisonssupport.com/