“Are rheum patients pressured not to take medical treatment? Have you ever read an article that sounds like it discourages medical treatment for rheumatologic conditions? Whether the alternative offered is Eastern medicine, non-prescription medicines, or dietary changes, or spiritual advice, what would you like to say to anyone who would tell patients to forgo medical treatment?”
I usually ignore these links, but I browsed them this time. I was startled that so many people believe that RA is “simply” an imbalance in our bodies, needing only the right foods, herbs, spices or botanicals to effect a cure. Excuse me! That’s so wrong, I can’t begin to enumerate the ways in which it was wrong.
All too many people with RA, who are at their wits’ ends due to the pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints of this horrible disease. And we wish for miraculous cures with all our hearts. These offers of “cures” are just smoke and mirrors, and it is cruel to offer them, to make statements that suggest a possible cure for a disease that is system-wide.
Yes, I was caught-up in one scheme. I’m a nurse, a scientist, and I should have known better. But at that time, the pain was so bad I would have been willing to eat horse-manure if it would cure me! The ingredients were all said to be “proven” in “scientific” studies. But I could not find any of their ingredients in PubMed studies. So the journals cited were not indexed in the most important medical information repository. But I was taken in. Actually, I ALLOWED myself to be taken in because I was feeling so awful. After undergoing the “treatment,” and then finding myself no better and, actually, considerably worse, I left my money (considerable chunk) and my pride behind. I returned to allopathic medicine.
Has treatment along allopathic lines cured me. No. It doesn’t promise to. It admits there is NO cure for what I have. I take medications whose side-effects are almost as difficult to bear as the disease is. And I feel better. Not well, but better. Parts of my disease have abated somewhat. Each time the disease rears its ugly head in a new place, another drug is used and usually it subsides.
The promises of homeopathic and “natural” cures are just vapor. If these things “cure” your RA, or your PA or your other auto-immune disease, you either had one of those quirky fast remissions that a few people have or you were misdiagnosed to begin with. If a remission, then watch for a return. It may not be this year or even the next, but it will come! If a misdiagnosis, better find out what caused the symptoms – they might come back.
I’m not going to be taken in by these ads anymore. Period. They don’t know what they are dealing with. They only want to trap gullible and desperate people who are in pain and take their money. They have absolutely no idea what autoimmune diseases are or the medical facts of the diseases. There ought to be a way to take them down, but I suspect they are like a hydra: cut off one head and 2 more sprout instead!
Then there was the friend who wanted to help. She was really sincere, and worried about me. She had found a “miracle” cure for me. She even paid for the first month’s supply. She was so crestfallen when, after I gave it a try, it didn’t work. Then she and I had a little heart-to-heart. It took a long time to help her understand auto-immune diseases a little, but she finally seemed to “get it.” She never tried to push a “cure” on me again.
It is very difficult to deal with people who feel my pain and honestly want to help. I don’t want to hurt their feelings – I may need them to drive me somewhere or other, or run an errand for me, or even come over and help me in and out of the bathtub. So, I listen and immediately forget their “tips.” Bless their hearts, they want to help me, but their help would hurt.
I want to warn all my friends on the web – do NOT let yourself be taken in by testimonials or exaggerated claims. My experience is multiplied 1000s of times over all over the country. Don’t let yourself be taken in – no matter how much you hurt, no matter how stiff you are, no matter how swollen your joints. All you will get is an emptier wallet.
And don’t let your friends suck you in on some quack claim. Although they very well may mean well, may want to help you, these schemes are not going to help. There is only the possible “placebo” effect you may get for a short while, then it will go away. Trust me on that!