Natural Medicine Q&A
Ask Dr. P
by Kasra Pournadeali, ND
Natural Medicine Specialist
Well, it's spring, and with the change in season, comes allergies. Are you suffering yet? Is your nose runny? Can't stop sneezing? Are your eyes watery and raw from the constant rubbing and wiping? Remember that Natural Medicine has many weapons to help you in your war against allergies. If you need a refresher of how, pick up a copy of last May's edition of Ask Dr. P, in the Journal or contact our office, and we'll try to help you out. This month's column, focused on recent questions, has something for everyone. Remember, Ask Dr. P is for you!
Q: Dr. P., is Natural Medicine safe? Amy
Using Natural Medicines is typically safer than using conventional drugs. If in doubt, compare over 180,000 deaths yearly from conventional drug reactions to maybe a few deaths from misuse of a Natural Medicine. Really, there is no comparison. Exceptions do exist however; especially when Natural Medicine is used unsupervised. Let's take my patient Michael, for example. Michael who was taking a drug called lovastatin to improve his cholesterol status, was also taking high dose niacin, as recommended by a health store clerk for the same reason. Sounds reasonable right? Wrong. Taking niacin and lovastatin can cause muscle breakdown, kidney failure, and even death. Michael was exhibiting symptoms of muscle breakdown, but we were able to intervene before he had any permanent organ damage. The best part was that Michael was able to discontinue his lovastatin, which, like many drugs, has undesirable side effects.
Q: Dr. P., would Natural Medicine offer anything for an 8 year old with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia? Ty
For a kid with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, a type of cancer of the blood, I would recommend several different nutritionals & plant medicines. They would be targeted to help manage the side effects of the conventional treatments; protect the liver, heart, and other key organs, which are subject to damage during chemotherapy. Likewise I would support the child's overall health by optimizing
nutrition through a therapeutic diet. Most kids, and adults for that matter, become malnourished during & after conventional treatment for cancer. This can be prevented, chances for recovery can be improved, and again, side effects of conventional treatment can be managed with Natural Medicine.
Q: Dr. P., I believe I have a UTI (urinary infection), I have low back pain similar to when previously had a UTI. I'm curious if I need to take antibiotics or if there is a more natural way. Lisa
You need to be evaluated right away. It's likely you will need antibiotics. If it's back pain associated with kidney infection, withholding antibiotics could lead to permanent kidney damage, which we, of course want to avoid. You could also employ some natural methods to manage the side effects of the antibiotics, to help fight the infection, and to promote urinary tract health, but you still will need a proper evaluation, and recommendations based on that evaluation. It would also be prudent to figure out why you got the infection in the first place, and if you're prone to them, make sure that you are educated on the steps necessary to prevent them from happening again. Remember that back pain can be caused by a number of things other than a kidney infection, kidney stones, muscle spasms, slipped discs, tumors, arthritis, fractures, are just a few examples. Make sure to get evaluated.
Q: Dr. P., I believe in Naturopathy and want to pursue a degree in it, but I am having a hard time finding avenues that can ensure me a secure future when I get finished educating myself. Do you have any suggestions? Michael
I would suggest you attend one of the accredited schools of Naturopathy. Many schools claim accreditation, but unfortunately are only accredited by agencies, created for just that purpose-- without any real authority. A nice website, which lists many accredited schools including schools of Naturopathic Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, etc., is: http://www.naturalhealers.com/about.htm. Feel free to contact me at the office if you would like to discuss it further. Good Luck.
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