Is this alternative medicine?

Dr. Weeks’ Comment:  I have never endorsed the term “alternative” medicine as descriptive of what I offer my patients. Biochemically based, targeting the correction of imbalances which result in dis-ease, utilizing endogenous naturally occurring substances to correct the problem while “doing no harm”  seems appropriate, wise and desirable rather than “alternative”.   The “us-vs-them” dynamic seeps into professional discussions between colleagues if one is labeled “alternative”. think of it this way:  If a  Dr.  Ames prescribes HCTZ for Mrs. Jones’s hypertension but she doesn’t like the side-effects and seeks a second opinion from Dr. Brown who offers her a different drug Metoprolol.  Should  Dr. Brown be labeled an alternative doctor because she gave Mrs. Jones a more appropriate drug?  Of course not.  All we can really say is that if the patient feels better and her blood pressure is healthier on Metoprolol, that Dr. Brown did a better job –  he isn’t alternative.    But now, 1 week later, Mrs. Jones finds that Metoprolol, in that it interferes with insulin sensitivity (recall that the adrenaln response is blocked by this beta blocker)  so that her diabetes becomes more dangerous and her hypoglycemia doesn’t get efficiently corrected; or when new chest pressure and pains terrify her since she finds herself one of the 2%  of patients who have cardiac arrests or part of the 10% of patients who suffer heart failure from the use of this drug;  or when she notes her weight gain and depression and worsening of her asthma (all well known side effects of Metoprolol, especially in the elderly) ; then when she goes to another MD who understands biochemistry and prescribes 1) drinking  less coffee (stimulant)  2) drinking more water  (a duretic in and of itself)  and 3) a bio-available form of magnesium (chelates are much better than magnesium oxide)  and gets great results – no more hypertension and no side-effects,  then why call that last doctor (your’s truly!)  “alternative”.  Call a spade a spade…

Or consider the doctor in this story:  is he “alternative”?

A woman went to the emergency room, where she was seen by a young new doctor. After about 3 minutes in the examination room, the doctor told her she was pregnant. She burst out of the room and ran down the corridor screaming. An older doctor stopped her and asked what the problem was? After listening to her story, he calmed her down and sat her in another room. Then, the doctor marched down the hallway to the first doctor’s
room.

“What the hell’s wrong with you?” he demanded. “This woman is 68 years old, she has two grown children and several grandchildren, and you told her she was pregnant?!!”

The new doctor continued to write on his clipboard and without looking up and said, . . .
“Does she still have the hiccups?”

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