Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Anyone Tried Naturopathy? Or Integrative/Alternative Medicine?

Here's the question for the day--should I seriously pursue some sort of alternative medicine avenue for a couple of problems I have? Have any of you got experience with alternative medicine you'd like to share? What treatments have you had?

I'm not in love with allopathic medicine, and I do believe in the interrelation of issues. For instance, I know that because of bilateral symmetry, the pain in my left hip is related to that in my right shoulder. And I also know that when I finally treated my depression with meds, and got some sleep, the pain in my arm got lots better. And as a matter of fact that bit of chronic body pain is linked to my mental state pretty closely--if I start to have a lot of pain and the sun is out and it hasn't rained, it's safe to say I am stressed about something.

So going back to my health conditions, I had a spell in 2009 in which I got my period for six months straight, and the gynecologist I'm seeing has treated that with birth control pills. This doesn't make me happy because a) the last thing I need are meds that make me photosensitive in the freaking desert and b) she's not real interested in the underlying problem, which could stem from a number of things, but which if I were a betting girl I would put $5 on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. I also have a familial history of Hashimoto's Disease (the thyroid disease you can barely diagnose even when you're looking for thyroid disease!), heart disease that is linked to depression, and some problems with pollution and breathing. And I like diagnosis, but in absence of that I'll take effective treatment for these niggling things. And I just think I'll get more thorough attention for them stepping out from the medical mainstream.

I bought a Groupon type thing for an acupuncturist near me, and there was another today for a naturopath in Tempe. Any opinions?


Cookbook said...

I know nothing of alternative medicine but have you considered seeing another doctor besides your current one? The fact that she's not really concerned with the underlying cause of your period problems is kind of a red flag. I hate it when doctors do shit like that.

Kerry said...

Well, she does know why this happened--apparently when you bleed heavily like that it's because you've stopped ovulating, and she ran some tests that came back within the normal range (I saw the results and looked up the levels too). But that's where it stopped, without either of the dreaded "P words" mentioned (perimenopausal or PCOS). So yes, a second doctor would be a good idea, but I'm looking for someone who might be more inclined to look at my systems on a whole.

Genevieve said...

I have had a lot of luck with acupuncture for inflamation related things. (Allergies, sinusitis, acute pain) I have also heard that it is very effective for anxiety and mood. The downside is that it is fairly expensive and you generally need to go frequently for effects to be lasting. My friend here runs a community acupuncture clinic, where you pay on a sliding scale of $15-$40 a visit and up to 3 people are being treated in the same room simultaneously, so seeing if there is one in Phoenix may be a good option.

thelittlebig said...

I have only heard good things about acupuncture even though I sort of don't buy the premise of how it works.

As someone who's had a fuckton of health problems and tried a whole lot of alternative methods, I found that a lot of them don't work. But some of them do. I don't know why, but I eventually had to settle for the idea that I might not know why something works but it does and I should be happy with that.

I can also tell you from exhaustive experience that doctors are human and rountinely miss things and don't know what the hell they are talking about some of the time. Trust your own body, know you own body, and do what works for you.

Sorry, this is a sore subject for me and one I tend to get worke up about.