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Keep away from instant cure facades

When faced with disease, especially of the chronic and incurable type, you may get to a point where you may be open to trying anything. You have to be cautious though. Some remedies are just a fad, they just leave you where you are, or make you worse. A desperate will to survive or get a cure should never replace objectivity in selecting what you are willing to subject yourself to.

A case in point. A young and childless couple ended up with a rare diagnosis. Her ovaries had failed prematurely, meaning she stopped having periods and didn’t have any realistic chance of achieving a natural conception. But modern assisted reproduction techniques could help, albeit at the acceptance of using donated eggs. But alas, she got offered a cure with alternative medicine. Not any scientifically sound alternative medicine. Well, she only ended up with additional failing organs, thanks to unknown effects of whatever she was taking.

There are plenty of hyped up cures that are a fallacy. Among the commonest are traditional concoctions, which in the modern day come as herbs and all manner of supplements. Don’t get me wrong, some natural products are beneficial to some. But the business of the so called ‘naturals’ is tainted with all manner of useless products, and there is no formal regulation. Some of the stuff you might end up with, claiming to cure whatever you have, is not worth a dime of your health. In fact, a recent population-based study showed lots of harmful effects to those who load themselves up with all manner of supplements. You are better off eating right, keeping fit and free of toxins.

Our part of the world is not completely liberated of so called ‘healers’. Well you have witnessed it before. Unfortunately, this kind of healing is associated with religion, and appeals to certain socio-economic groups for a number of reasons. There’s never a magic wand, or incoherent muttering of mumbo jumbo that will cure advanced disease or reverse a sure path to mortality. Never ever accept to be taken for a ride in the name of non-existence healing powers. It’s all a gimmick.

And then there’s experimental medicine. It’s all there in modern healthcare. Experimental medicine is reserved for rare and incurable diseases, where a search for a possible remedy is usually on course. If being conducted in the realms of medical ethics, this is usually worth a try. But some experimental medicine gets done within the confines of dark alleys, best to avoid such.

If desperate for a cure, your best bet is to subject yourself to proven and tested remedies. If none is available, put your objective hat on and question any and every alternate remedies that come your way. Most fast cures veering off the mainstream are usually a fad. Shun them.

Dr Alfred Murage is a Consultant Gynecologist and Fertility Specialist. amurage@mygyno.co.ke

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