Video:When Alternative Therapy Is Dangerouswith Dr. Bob Lahita
Alternative therapy medications can sometimes be dangerous when treating certain conditions. Learn more about alternative therapy and it's warnings in this video.See Transcript
Transcript:When Alternative Therapy Is Dangerous
Hi, I’m Dr. Bob Lahita. I’m Chairman of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. And, the question I’m often asked is, when are alternative medications dangerous.
Testing is Limited for Alternative Medicine
Well, first of all, we have to say that alternative medications can be dangerous to anybody, but they can also be beneficial. And, I’m not an expert on alternative medications, but I can tell you that generally alternative medications do not go through the same trial and error research that regular, traditional medications go through.
Dangerous Medications for Autoimmune Disease
But, there are specific ones that can be dangerous to patients with autoimmune diseases, for example. Two of those are echinacea, and the other is melatonin. Both of these are immunostimulants. Melatonin people take to sleep regularly, and echinacea people take for curing the common cold, for example, or treating the flu.
If you happen to have an autoimmune disease where your immune system is already highly geared or highly regulated, taking these medications may result in an adverse effect on you.
Safe Alternative Medications
Now there are other medications that are fairly safe like omega fish oils, glucosamine for osteoarthritis. None of these are really dangerous to you unless you take them as a substitute for being evaluated by your doctor.
In most of these serious arthritic diseases, physician evaluation is imperative to get you on the right traditional (or orthodox) therapy, and alternative medicines are not the way to go because unfortunately, most of the arthritic diseases have no cures. And, as a result of your taking alternative medication, the disease will continue to progress, and it may actually be rather late for you to get adequate therapy if you persist in taking your alternative medication in lieu of what we know really works.
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