Patient has preference for natural treatments

Dear Dr. Gott: I am a 54-year-old male. I really enjoy when someone writes to you about an over-the-counter remedy to a problem by utilizing vitamins. You are willing to listen without putting the person down.

I recently had my HMO change my assigned physician to one who was a little more open to options that did not always include synthetic pharmaceuticals. Through my new doctor, I am enjoying naturally compounded hormones and a variety of vitamin and herbal supplements. My insurance does not want to pay the $75 a month for the hormones, but if I opted for a synthetic pharmaceutical for $300 a month, they would pay for it. Insurance and pharmaceutical corporations and their K Street lobbyists have a stronghold on our country thanks to corrupt politicians.

Dear Reader: To begin with, every person has different needs and expectations when it comes to physicians. Some people prefer females, some males; others want an older, more established doctor rather than one younger with the newest training available. It’s what makes us human. I’m glad you found someone who shares your views when it comes to your personal care.

There are many instances in which the appropriate treatment for a condition is physician-prescribed medication. Intense medical training has programmed every physician to appreciate the years of research that precede the manufacture of certain drugs for the treatment of hundreds of serious conditions. We cannot deny that, and thank heavens the research has been done and the medications are available. The combination has saved millions of lives over the years.

The fact that all drugs carry side effects is another issue. Most people don’t experience nasty side effects, and, for the most part, they work as intended.

There are many instances, however, in which a vitamin or herbal supplement might suffice without the use of expensive prescription drugs. It is important to accept alternatives. People are often afraid to express opinions to their personal physician for fear of offending him or her. An over-the-counter remedy is one way in which they can avoid this.

Thank you for writing.

Dear Dr. Gott: My 17-month-old grandson has dry paches all over his body. His doctor said not to let him bathe too long, to dry him right away and keep lotion on. Is there anything else we can do?

Dear Reader: Initially, you need a diagnosis, since the patches could represent a number of conditions. I am assuming he has eczema caused by a malfunction of the body’s immune system.

Because of his age, I recommend checking with his pediatrician before accepting my recommendations. If he agrees, keep the child’s fingernails short to prevent having him scratch the lesions during sleep. Do not bathe him in hot water, as the activity will further dry his skin. Add a small about of baking soda to his bath water, or use an oatmeal soap. Use a humidifier to add moisture into the air.

To provide related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report “Dermatitis, Psoriasis & Eczema.” Other readers who would like a copy should send a self-addressed stamped No. 10 envelope and a check or money order for $2 to Newsletter, P.O. Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.

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