I have long advocated, through HonestMedicine.com, the careful combining of conventional and alternative modalities. My point has always been that a sensible medical system would treat patients with carefully chosen, unique combinations of treatments -- both conventional and “alternative” -- that will work best for their particular conditions; and that often, a treatment is ignored, because it is not “standard of care” –- meaning, essentially, that it is not generally accepted by a majority of doctors.
This attitude has always struck me as limited, and I often think, as do many others, that doctors’ are literally “blinded” by the results of pharmaceutically funded “studies,” that are often “rigged” by Big Pharma, so that they will produce the “right,” pro-Pharma results. (Please see "Is It Possible Some Doctors Still Don’t 'Get' the Extent of Big Pharma’s Financial Ties to 'Standard of Care' Research?")
I am posting seven of my pro-Integrative Healthcare articles here. Most have appeared previously on HonestMedicine.com; two are articles I wrote for Alternative and Complementary Therapies Magazine, a professional publication for integrative medical/health practitioners; and two are book reviews: one for HonestMedicine.com; the other, for Amazon.com.
I hope that, after reading these articles, anyone who might have been skeptical about Integrative Medicine as a viable healthcare solution, will come closer to agreeing that it may actually provide the only answer to a system that will stem today’s out-of-control healthcare costs -- while at the same time, providing excellent healthcare for everyone.
♣ Silverlon and Surgery. This article, published by the National Brain Tumor Foundation, gives my very personal account of how Silverlon, an FDA-approved, but non-“standard of care” treatment, healed my husband Tim’s non-healing suture line, eight months after his 2001 brain tumor surgery. For eight months, until I found -- and convinced his doctor to let me use -- Silverlon on Tim’s head, his doctors’ invasive, though “standard of care,” treatments (i.e., repeated surgeries) only made the problem worse.
I wrote this article in an attempt to inform both doctors and patients about this FDA-approved treatment for non-healing wounds. I hope that my article also serves as a reminder that all conventional treatments may not work equally well for all patients; and that, in fact, some standard of care treatments are often costly, as well as ineffective, and that there may some better, less expensive, non-toxic (albeit, non-“standard of care”) treatments, that they really should at least consider using.
♣ Four Lifesaving Medical Treatments: Not So “Anecdotal,” After All describes three treatments, all similar to Silverlon, in that they are effective for many patients, although – again – NOT “standard of care.” Like Silverlon, these three treatments – Low Dose Naltrexone for auto-immune diseases; the Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy; and intravenous alpha-lipoic acid for liver regeneration -- often work better than the “standard of care” treatments doctors routinely use to treat these very serious, life-threatening conditions. Some of these examples are “alternative;” others are innovative, off-label uses, of already-approved medicines. But, in all three cases, they are treatments that work better for many patients than the more expensive, more toxic treatments their doctors routinely use. In each of these cases, there are no available pharmaceutical or surgical treatments that work as well for the patients I have written about, while being almost completely non-toxic.
♣ How Calling Lifesaving Medical Treatments “Anecdotal” Keeps Doctors From Being Curious. Here, I take a closer look at possible reasons doctors are not more open to learning about the successes their patients are having with some non-toxic, very effective, non-traditional treatments.
♣ BOOK REVIEW: David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD's Excellent New Book Panned By the New York Times for Citing “Anecdotal Evidence." This article is my shocked response to New York Times physician/reviewer Dr. Abigail Zuger’s damning review of a very important book by integrative physician David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, who used an integrative approach to successfully treat his own cancerous brain tumor. Dr. Zuger called the treatments he used (mainly nutrition and lifestyle) “snake oil.” The “proof,” for me, is the fact that Dr. Servan-Schreiber has survived a virtual death sentence for over 15 years, using these integrative treatments. Even more impressive is the fact that he has survived with such a high level of cognition and quality of life. My book review calls for the medical profession to be open –- curious, even –- about treatments like these, rather than being derisive, as they so often are.
♣ BOOK REVIEW: My Amazon.com review of Michael Ozner, MD’s new wonderful book, The Great American Heart Hoax: Lifesaving Advice Your Doctor Should Tell You About Heart Disease Prevention (But Probably Never Will). This book, as I state in my review, is simply one of the most powerful “odes” to Integrative Healthcare. In Part 1, Dr. Ozner “blows the whistle” on much of invasive cardiology, pointing out that “of the more than 1.5 million angioplasties and coronary bypass surgeries performed annually in the U.S., fully 70-90% are not only unnecessary, but are also detrimental -- and in some cases, even cause death.” In Part 2, he details his solution: a combination of diet, nutritional supplements, exercise, stress reduction, and lots more – a truly integrative approach.
♣ AUDIO INTERVIEW: HonestMedicine’s interview with Ronald Hoffman, MD. This pioneering integrative physician and author has been a vocal advocate for Integrative Medicine for many years, and has written several books on the topic, including Intelligent Medicine and How to Talk With Your Doctor: The Guide for Patients And Their Physicians Who Want to Reconcile And Use the Best of Conventional And Alternative Medicine. In this interview with me, Dr. Hoffman discusses, among other things, the many ways in which so-called pharmaceutical-company-sponsored “research” into holistic/alternative treatments is often “rigged” –- with the express purpose of “proving” that natural treatments don’t work; as well as “proving” that pharmaceuticals do work.
♣ INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE JOURNAL ARTICLE: Drug-Nutrient Interactions: Leo Galland, M.D., Discusses His New Database (published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies, a publication for integrative medical professionals) For this article, I interviewed Dr. Leo Galland, another pioneer in the field of Integrative Medicine (and like Dr. Hoffman, a celebrated author) about his new database. Dr. Galland created his database for physicians, so that they will have the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully prescribe a combination of medications and vitamins and herbs, to achieve better results -- without harming their patients because they lack knowledge about “alternative” medicine. In fact, Dr. Galland believes (as do most integrative physicians) that, to achieve the best results, the two modalities can (and should) be successfully combined in patient care. But, in order to do this, the doctor must understand how drug/nutrient combinations work. This is the purpose of Dr. Galland’s Drug/Nutrient Database. I wonder how many conventional doctors have purchased it.
To read Part 1 of this article, “Advocating the Integrative Healthcare Solution,” click here.