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Friday, February 20, 2015

More about CAMS (Complementary and Alternative Medicines)

Overview

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) includes a wide variety of interventions — from diets and supplements to meditation and T’ai Chi — which come from many different disciplines and traditions. Most are considered to be outside the realm of conventional medicine, although others, including vitamin Dexerciseacupuncture and cooling strategies, for example, are establishing their role in comprehensive care through scientific study and clinical trials.

When used in combination with conventional medicine, these interventions are referred to as "complementary;" when used instead of conventional medicine, they are referred to as "alternative." In the United States today, the vast majority of people incorporate one form or another of CAM as part of their MS management, most often in combination with their prescribed MS treatments. 
The American Academy of Neurology recently released a guideline on the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in MS.

Safety & effectiveness

Many people use CAM because they believe that anything sold online or over-the-counter at a pharmacy or health food store is healthy and harmless. But many products that claim to be safe and beneficial may not be. Unlike conventional medical treatments that are thoroughly tested and carefully regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most CAM therapies have undergone very little — if any — scientific study to evaluate their safety and effectiveness. So some forms of CAM may be completely safe for a person with MS while others may actually pose significant risks — by producing significant side effects, over-stimulating the person’s immune system or interacting negatively with other medications a person is taking. Some may provide some benefit for a person with MS while others offer no benefit at all.
Carefully-designed clinical trials are the best way to determine the safety and effectiveness of a particular treatment. Here’s why:
  • Because the course of MS is variable, and each person’s symptoms tend to come and go in an unpredictable way, the only way to determine the effectiveness of a treatment is to test it on a large number of people.
  • Because most people — regardless of the disease they have — will have a positive response to any new treatment they receive (even if it’s an inactive substance or placebo). The effectiveness of a new treatment can only be proven by comparing it to a placebo or to another treatment that has already been shown to be effective.
  • Because every treatment carries with it the risk of anticipated and unanticipated side effects, the only way to evaluate a treatment’s safety is to evaluate it in a large number of people over a sufficient period of time.

Guidelines for considering or using CAM

Questions to ask when considering CAM:
  • What does the treatment involve?
  • How and why is it supposed to work?
  • How effective is it?
  • What are the risks associated with its use?
  • How much does it cost?
Keep your physician informed about everything you are taking. Not sharing this important information is like asking your physician to treat you blindfolded — and knowing everything you are taking will allow your doctor to alert you to possible side effects or drug interactions.
Don't abandon conventional therapy. The treatments your physician prescribes for you are the ones that have been evaluated in controlled clinical trials or accepted by the MS medical community as safe and effective therapies. So stay with your prescribed treatments even if you decide to add CAM to your comprehensive treatment plan.
Document the experience. Keep a detailed log of what you take or what is done and any changes you experience. Use this form to track your prescription and over-the-counter treatments (.pdf).
Source: National MS Society






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2 comments:

Anonymous said...


Guidelines for considering or using CAM


Questions to ask when considering CAM:
What does the treatment involve?
How and why is it supposed to work?
How effective is it?
What are the risks associated with its use?
How much does it cost?

You have the nerve to ask what it costs when the cost of DMDs are outrageously high.

wayne fenton said...


Guidelines for considering or using CAM


Questions to ask when considering CAM:
What does the treatment involve?
How and why is it supposed to work?
How effective is it?
What are the risks associated with its use?
How much does it cost?
You have the nerve to question what it costs when the DMDs are ridiculously ,outrageously priced so very few people can afford them if you are unlucky enough to not have insurance not to mention that they probably are not effective or have very bad side effects.