Have you been dealing with a chronic or permanent disease for which your health care practitioner claims there is no cure? Do you take medication which does nothing more than make the symptoms bearable, yet does not actually do anything to cure the problem. If you fit into this category and this has been on your mind, I highly recommend you take a few things into consideration before blindly putting your faith into a physician.

You might notice a lack of sources for my blog but before discounting my experience, I would like to preface my article by telling you that I suffer from a chronic disease, that I have worked in a medical office, and that I am a doctor’s son. My personal experience in battling ulcerative colitis has made me distrustful of medical professionals. I have been on a perscription drug for about five years now which has caused me minor hair loss, toxins in my kidneys, and taken God knows how much money so that I could afford to keep taking these pills. All the information given to me about this medication was from the drug company, who is obviously a bit biased and therefore will be suttle about the side effects. The doctor who I trusted for years, one of the highest ranking gastroenterologists in Arizona, assured me that I would probably be taking these pills for the rest of my life. He gave me very little information about how my diet could affect my condition, he didn’t tell me much about the physiological cause or effect of my disease, and when I asked him about how my condition would interact with a malaria medication, he claimed that he couldn’t tell me because it “wasn’t his specialty.” When I asked him to get his little, blue drug medical book and explain it to me in layman’s terms, he threw his hands in the air like I was putting him out. The truth was that he had the means to figure out the drug interaction, he just didn’t want to be bothered about it.

I changed doctors after this and met a man who has been eager to help me, has made recommendations other than “take more pills” as my other doctor had said, and, in contradiction to what my former healthcare practitioner had claimed, he told me if he were in my position, he would be trying to get of the pills as well. I still take the pills and I realize that I will have to have patience with my disease. However, I have been on the internet researching this disease, what causes it, how to curb the symptoms, and what the medication can do to an individual (from sources other than the drug company). I have turned to diet changes, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and exercise, things which have helped me considerably and were never suggested by my former doctor.

My point is this: in order to find a sanctuary of health within American medicine, you must do the research yourself. Read some medical journals, get on-line, join a support group, or look into alternative medicine. Healthcare, while effective in some cases and not so effective in others, is a business, not a humanitarian service. Doctors want to make money like anybody else and if they can continue to collect from your insurance company (provided you are fortunate enough to have insurance), it might not matter to them if your health improves. Aside from their desire to keep a good reputation, you are more valuble to doctors and drug companies sick than healthy. I’m not saying abandon modern medicine altogether, I’m just suggesting that you find a doctor you trust. Know the right questions to ask this person analyzing your body. If you ask a question that your doctor is unable or unwilling to find the answer to, then it’s time to drop him. Healthcare in our country is simply to expensive to be received poorly.
Search out all the alternatives and learn whatever you can. Some doctors will tell you that alternative medicine is a sham because they have either been trained to believe this or because they fear the competition it brings to their practice. These people went through eight years of education and several years of internships, so they believe they have earned the right to have an ego. They generally don’t like being questioned or proven wrong. But they are not divine, they are human like you and I and if you forget to trust yourself about your own body, you might end up dependant on your doctor for the rest of your life when you could have found a solution years before. I wish I had been brave enough to adopt this mode of thinking in younger years, for I might not still be battling Ulcerative Colitis to the extent that I am today.

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