Saturday, July 04, 2009

Are there alternative therapies to prescription drugs when treating seizures?

Prescription drugs have helped millions of people fight off many different types of illnesses. But, one local man tells Eyewitness News, his family has run into several medical problems and is now using alternative therapy for ailments.

Frank O'Brien and his wife are much more active that your typical 80 somethings.

Just a short time ago, it wasn't the same story. Frank's wife developed an infection in her body. Frank says he took her to several doctors, all were having a hard time figuring out what was wrong and eventually she was prescribed medication.

That's when the seizures began, and she went to the hospital for more tests.

"When they got done, they said 'well, it's the flomax, its one of the side effects of the flomax.' They don't ever tell you about that," says Frank O'Brien.

Now Frank wishes they had.

"On the advertisement on TV, it says 'it could cause an inadvertent drop in your blood pressure.' Well that's a seizure, they're describing a seizure, what causes a seizure," says O'Brien.

Rick: "Do you think they're being fair?"
Frank: "Well they do put the disclaimers on.... We're a society today to make things appear better than they are, and we use words to show that."

At that point the O'Briens decided to switch over from the conventional prescription and over the counter drugs, to natural alternative therapies, like herbs and vitamins.

"My eyesight is better today than it was 12 years ago," says O'Brien. "I don't wear glasses, I used to wear glasses all the time. Now, I just carry these little reading glasses. Out there, I'm fine."

Dr. James Gardner, a chiropractor, prescribes alternative therapies to his patients, he claims, with much success.

"We're trying to be as efficient as possible," says Dr. James Gardner.

Part of that includes making sure the person being treated with alternative therapies has a well balanced diet.

"That's where the herbs and other natural treatments come into line, when you have a deficiency that's created from a lack of nutrition, then those can step in and help guard and protect and heal," says Dr. Gardner.

Dr. Gardner doesn't rely soley on these alternative methods.

"I'm able to determine through the diagnostics if they need to have a follow up with their doctor, which I think is important, to have a team effort done," says Dr. Gardner.

The same goes for the O'Briens. They look for alternative therapies first, but haven't counted out prescription drugs.

"We'll use them if we have to," says O'Brien.

"The heath care system, to become better, is going to require improved efficiency in communication between people looking for natural care and the different types of physicians," says Dr. Gardner.

You heard Dr. Gardner talking about the importance of working his treatments out with a medical doctor. We also spoke with a few local physicians on the phone, all tell us you need to consult your own doctor before starting any new treatments.


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