63% of the US Population Seeks Out Alternative Medicine but Doesn’t Tell Their MDs

According to Natural News, the majority of the United States from 50 and up do not mention that they are using alternative medicines with their MDs.  The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine along with the AARP did a survey and found that most americans keep quiet about alternative and natural medicines that they are partaking in.

Many health experts state that letting your MD know about other methods is necessary to prevent any conflicts between anyone that may be using Alternative medicine along with over the counter and prescription drugs.

In a survey of 1,559 people age 50 and older, 63% have sought out alternative care.

Among that 63%, 69% did not discuss their use of with their MD. The most popular alternative methods are massage therapy or chiropractic manipulation, and herbal or dietary supplements. Other types used included hypnosis, acupuncture and naturopathy.

The most common reason responders said talking about seeing an alternative provider never happens with their MD is simply because doctors never ask. Other reasons include about 30% may not know they should tell their MD.  17% believed their MD would not understand the subject and 12% stated that they thought the MD would discourage the use of the alternative practitioner.

“The fact is, most American adults use some form of alternative medicine. Reasons are because it’s safer, less expensive and more effective than the normal MD “drugs-and-surgery approach,” said consumer health advocate Mike Adams, author of numerous books on natural health. “One reason patients don’t discuss these therapies with their  MDs is, frankly, that many doctors are egotistical, closed to new ideas and even downright hostile when they learn that patients are educating themselves about health, nutrition and disease prevention. Doctors are being taken out of the loop because more and more people are seeing them as irrelevant to their health.”

Now as doctors we take an oath stating that we put our patient first and “do no harm.”  It is hard for me to figure out why MDs discourage patients from getting safe, natural care.  It may be because they are not well versed in what we do or that over the years older medical providers have said disparaging remarks.  In any case, patient should be offered every angle to get themselves well.

Chiropractic has a very high success rate, but in those cases where I can not help, I send them to someone who can.  Isn’t this what we are supposed to do as healthcare providers?  Hopefully everyone will start to recognize that every vocation has a place and learn how to use them.

References: http://www.naturalnews.com/021593_alternative_medicine_complementary.html