Ineffective, expensive, and strong side effects force me to look for alternative therapy.
We recieved a case:
Treatment recommended by my doctor is not effective, it is expensive and the side effects are hard to bare, and I am finding it hard to carry on. I am interested in an alternative therapy that my friend is using, but my doctor does not want to know about it. What should I do?
Doctors are professionals that can provide help and medical information for patients to treat diseases. But we patients must be very careful not to think that we do not have a choice. A famous Japanese brain surgeon and oncology doctor – Dr Yu Okamoto said in his book: “If we treat ourselves as a problem (instead of a patient/ person), our doctor will feel at ease in his role as a doctor. Because from then on, the doctor will be on top or in a stronger position and this situation cannot be reversed.”
Very often, patients instinctively listen to their doctor’s instructions or advice that they forget they have the autonomy and right make decisions about their health. This kind of relationship with doctors prevent patients from getting real medical services. Dr Yu Okamoto suggests “When consulting a doctor, the ideal relationship would be treating each other as a friend. If you find this difficult, you should at least regard yourself as a customer.”
Patients should always bear in mind that you are the owner of your life, and that you are responsible for your own health. If you feel uncomfortable or any abnormalities during your treatment, often it means that the treatment method is not suitable for you. Strong side effects or ineffectiveness is not normal. If you are in doubt about your treatment, you should discuss with your doctor immediately. It is time to look for a change, so that together you can improve your situation. If patients blindly obey their doctor’s instructions and continue with the treatment, the discomfort or abnormality will persist. Of course, we are not suggesting that one should not see the doctor, but patients must understand that we should be the ones to make the final decision in accordance with our values and preference.
There are many alternative therapies available in the market with claims to be effective, but often the results vary among users, and some of the therapies (including some medications) may be unsafe. If you would like to try alternative medicine, there are a few things you should pay attention to. You should:
- Look for certifications, authentication, or other evidence like patents;
- Look for clinical research data, studies, papers or other scientific proof;
- Look for safety reports or quality control reports;
- Read feedback from other users;
- Seek a second or third opinion from other doctors;
- Ask an expert in the field and understand the therapy fully;
- Do not blindly follow a friend’s or others’ recommendation, or advice from doctors who do not expertise in the field;
- Have a go, but if you feel any discomfort, cease the therapy right away.
There are some reasons why doctors often do not recommend alternative medicine or therapies, please read our other article: Why don’t most doctors recommend complementary and alternative medicine?
- * All research and clinical data should be used as reference purposes only, results may vary.