Alternative Vs Traditional Medical MS Therapies
Many of us with MS are not happy nor satisfied with the things that traditional medicine has come up with to help MSíers overcome and/or control our symptoms. So, being eternally hopeful, we seek out alternative therapies that we feel might be of more help to us than those that our doctors can offer.
First of all each of us must be aware that there are many "Bad Guys" out there who will do almost anything to make a dollar or two. We MSíers, as a general rule, are angry, frustrated, frightened, and ready to believe any good story as long as the punch line offers hope of living without being crippled. Even if itís very costly and totally unbelievable we are primed to grab at any straw to shed ourselves of this terrible disease. Oh boy, are we ever the perfect mark for a truly gifted con artist. So Beware!
First of all, there is no cure for MS; PERIOD! If anyone ever uses the word cure in reference to MS treatment, there is nothing for you to do except to understand, you are dealing with a scam artist. If you give them one penny, it will be gone forever and you will get nothing in return. There is NO CURE for Multiple Sclerosis.
Besides the drugs that your doctor will recommend to you, there are some alternatives that are helpful. Just as not any one or even any combination of the available drugs is ever going to be anywhere near 100% helpful to 100% of the MS patients, none of the alternative therapies work every time either. We don't live in a perfect world!
As I see it, the main differences between your doctorís drugs and the alternative medicine treatments are three fold. Drugs are almost always much more expensive. Of course, medically accepted drugs are usually covered by insurance, therefore they donít cost you anything, right? Think again. The drug company makes a profit. The insurance company makes a profit. Somebody, somewhere has to pay the bill. Even if you are not charged directly do you think that you, your family, your employer and your tax money can avoid paying a portion of that bill? I donít think so.
The second difference is the side effects. No drugs are without side effects and almost no alternative therapy has any known side effects. Side effects are almost always a negative influence on our lives, so they must be taken into consideration.
The third difference is that drugs bulldoze their way into and through your body. If they should happen to work for you it is by brute force. And all the patient must do is take them. Whether they work or not is the responsibility of the doctor. Alternative therapy's effectiveness is usually built on finesse. Get your body to heal itself. Alternative therapies are always the direct responsibility of the patient. They are individual work for each and every patient! They take will power to accomplish. And win or lose the patient has to look him/herself in the mirror and take the blame or praise.
OK, what does alternative medicine really mean? Alternative medicine is anything, bad or good which does not have the Good House Keeping Seal of the medical establishment. But the establishment seal of approval is not always the best thing.
All the "bad guys" are not running alternative medicine scams. The medical establishment: Is led by the pharmaceutical companies and the profits gained from drugs. The "medical establishment" is made up of probably the most "you watch my back, Iíll watch your back", unethical, greedy and totally despicable "good old boy" group of people on earth. It includes all of those people who ever wrote and/or promoted a "medical" point of view that put the drug companies first and the patient absolutely last. And, Iím sorry to say that includes about 90% of all the PhD Thesisís written on medical subjects. And these are the people who give the blessing or officially turn thumbs down on every medical therapy.
The normal way it works is that a pharmaceutical company comes up with an idea. Something which they can patent. The idea includes minimal cost ingredients (ten cents to three dollars is typical). Then they search for young PhD candidates in "prestigious" institutions of "higher learning" and offer to sponsor the candidate to do research on the drug companies pet project. Of course there is a very clear understanding that the research findings must somehow justify the pharmaceutical companyís position. If they do not the findings will not be published and/or the PhD sponsorship will be withdrawn. Sound sinister? It is. It is pure and simple greed. After all, a new drug patent means at least 17 years of the exclusive right to produce and profit from the patent.
Did you ever wonder why and how anybody ever affords all the advertising for prescription drugs on TV at hundreds of thousands of dollars per minute? Produce a drug that costs a dollar or two in raw material and put a suggested price to the (sick patient) consumer of $20, 25 or even 55 or 155 dollars a pill or shot and see how much money is available to create a demand. Does Billions of Dollars compute in your mind?
And of course once that naÔve PhD candidate makes a name for himself and his "brilliant medical research discovery" he will die trying to defend his findings, right or wrong. The big universities also become a part of the problem (who do you think gives out the PhD and actually gets the money? And of course if a university backs a project, the medical college of that university had better darn well find the thesis worth supporting and beyond refute.
So, then the insurance companies get involved and everybody gangs up on the government. Want to get elected or re-elected? Donít rock the boat. And suddenly we have a newly licensed MS drug that is effective less than 50% of the time, is outrageously expensive and causes massive side effects. Everybody Ďs rich and happy!
It happens in every disease, but here on this web site we are selfishly only interested in MS drugs. We have the general purpose ABC drugs in MS. None of them even close to 50% effective. We also have the cortisone steroids (massive side effects) and tremendously expensive things to control specific symptoms like Baclofen for spastic muscle problems.
Alternative medicine is using procedures and things that are most of the time less expensive and at the same time equally effective. Now and then much more effective than the big money drugs. Ah, thatís the rub. Since there are no massive profits without competition, there are also no big money backers. Good alternative medical treatments die for lack of support. In fact many alternative therapies receive "mysterious", well financed, active opposition.
I like to think of simple things like diet, exercise, stress control, herbs, vitamins, minerals and hands on massage as preferable to feeding corporate greed and receiving less than stellar results.
Thatís what this section is all about. Are there satisfactory alternatives to the medical drug culture that we live in? I think the answer is a resounding yes in many cases. I honestly believe that many good men and women (physicians) who have the innate ability to be really great healers allow themselves to be first brainwashed in medical school and then seduced with the "easy way" to gain the approval of their peers. They end up being deaf, dumb and blind prostitutes of the greed that we call todayís medicine.
In MS, many alternative things have been tried. Most of them with even less of a success rate than traditional medicine has. Many, such as Cobra Venom shots, having a patientís amalgam tooth fillings removed and magic spells will be ignored here. It is true that those things improved the lot of a few dozen MSíers here and there. And now and then. But they canít be repeated on a regular basis so there isnít enough of a worth while result when we are talking about 300,000 or more MS patients in the world. If somebody chooses to try something like that all I can say is donít spend money you canít afford to flush down the sewer. However, being the eternal optimist, I do wish them good luck.
Here, we will stick to things that have shown to be helpful to a large percentage of MS patients. Iíd rather spend my time and effort studying things that help seven out of ten, four or five of ten or even the drugs at the rate of three or four out of ten than things that help only one out of a hundred, or a thousand or maybe even only one in ten thousand.
I would caution all visitors to this site about jumping on any alternative medicine bandwagon prematurely. MS is a disease that Iíve had for a long time. I fully expect to have it until I die. (Research is not even anywhere close to finding a cure) So, here is my philosophy on new MS treatments. When I hear about a new "MS miracle" treatment, I wait. (I hear about of one approximately every three years.) I do not intend to start anything on a whim. Since Iíve had MS for thirty-three years, one more month, or six more or a year longer isnít going to make that much difference to my life.
I want to see one hundred Multiple
Sclerosis patients roll into the place of MS miracles in their wheelchairs
and then watch more than 90 of them walk, run, skip or dance back out
the door. Then Iíll make my move. Iíll arm wrestle anyone in the world
for spot # 101 in that line. If you hear about the miracle, take a deep
breath and wait. What difference does waiting just a little longer make?
When and if the miracle comes along, you will still be able to get in.
And if the miracle runs out before you get in? Was it really a miracle?
I think you probably just saved a buck or two.