What are the risks?
The greatest risk is that you
may use these treatments instead of going to your
regular doctor. Complementary medicine should be in addition to treatment from your doctor. Otherwise you may miss important
treatment that could save your life.
Some natural products may be safe when you take them on their own. But they may not be safe if you have other medical problems. And they could be dangerous when they are combined with another medicine you take. To be safe, always check with your doctor before you use any new natural products or supplements.
Natural products can vary widely in how
strong they are. And they may also contain harmful things not listed on the label. Your doctor or practitioner may be able to recommend a brand you can trust.
complementary medicine isn't controlled as much as standard medicine. This
means you could become a victim of fraud. Sellers or people who practice
complementary medicine are more likely to be frauds if they:
- Require large up-front payments.
- Promise quick results or miracle cures.
you not to trust your doctor.
What are the benefits?
One benefit is that many
people who practice complementary medicine take a "whole person," or holistic,
approach to treatment. They may take an hour or more to ask you questions about
your lifestyle, habits, and background. This makes many people feel better
about the treatment, the person giving the treatment itself, and the
In some cases, this type of medicine works as well as
standard medicine. Also, these treatments
may cost less and have fewer side effects than standard treatment.
Some people feel more in control when they are more involved in their own
health. And since most complementary medicine looks at the connection
between mind and body, many people who use it feel better. They like working toward overall wellness instead of just relief from one problem.
Frequently Asked Questions