Drawbacks of Allopathic Medicine

By Val Silver

Modern allopathic medicine, or allopathy, offers significant benefits and drawbacks. It has saved lives and improved quality of life for many. Unfortunately, conventional medicine has also diminished quality of lives and cost the lives of many. This article includes a discussion of eight negatives associated with our modern medical system and five tips to minimize the risks associated with it. 

What is Allopathic Medicine?

Allopathy refers to the science-based medical system common in the United States and much of the modern world. Originally, it was a derogatory term for the heroic medicine system of 19th century Europe coined by Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy.  Rather than addressing symptoms with 'similars' and treating the causes of disease as Hahnemann preferred, the heroic approach aimed to correct disease-causing imbalances in the body by using harsh methods, such as bleeding and purging, to induce an opposite reaction.

Today, modern allopathic medicine primarily relies on on diagnosing illness and the use of pharmaceutical medication and/or surgery to suppress or treat symptoms of disease in a part of the body. It is not a whole-person approach that focuses on finding and correcting the cause of the symptoms except in the case of infectious diseases and injuries.  

8 Negatives of Allopathic Medicine

Few people would argue that when it comes to diagnostics and acute serious injury or illness care, the benefits of our modern medical system are without equal. That is where the agreement often ends, as there is quite a lot of dissatisfaction with other aspects of this system.

This is why it is important to carefully weigh your options and risks, and educate yourself before making decisions regarding your wellness needs. When you know the risks and alternatives, you can take steps to minimize them and improve your chances of a positive outcome.

  • Holistic practitioners believe that the emphasis of treating parts and disease instead of people is a flawed approach (not talking about the broken leg here). One part of the body may be calling for attention at the moment, but chances are the problem is more global, and that particular part is just showing the vulnerability. The focus on parts, disease and symptoms has earned our modern medical system the title of disease care, rather than health care.
allopathic medicine, it's more important to know what sort of person has a disease quote by Hippocrates
  • Doctors are often over-scheduled and get very little time with patients, making it easy for them to rush to a diagnosis or miss the whole picture.  There is also a not so small risk of being misdiagnosed and therefore receiving inappropriate or unnecessary treatments. 
  • Doctors receive little, if any, education regarding nutrition and healthy living. They may suggest diet and exercise, but the patient gets no details either because of lack of time or lack of expertise. This is all many people need to improve their health, with or without other medical intervention. And since many patients would rather just 'pop a pill', this compounds the problem.

  • Insurance companies do not reimburse medical facilities for providing prevention or lifestyle support to patient even though it costs much less than drugs and surgeries. Eventually because of funding, facilities are forced to end these programs. This is a difficult situation for health care providers.  A diabetes specialist once explained to me that he was often refused insurance payment because patients were given effective dietary advice in addition to needed medication. He said they would readily pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars for amputations and other surgeries related to complications, but not prevention.
  • Since we live in a society that stresses doctor responsibility for patients instead of self-responsibility, doctors are in a difficult position. They refer patients for too many tests and procedures at greatly increasing costs to protect themselves from lawsuits. And who can blame them? 
  • In the allopathic medicine system, drugs or surgery are primary treatments for health conditions. Since drugs do not usually cure, but suppress and change the way the body functions, this covers up the condition instead of curing it. Sometimes this is helpful (like with severe pain), but when little or nothing is done to regain health, the condition worsens over time. Patients who would be good candidates for lifestyle improvements or alternative therapies are not given that opportunity, even when that is all they need to get better.
  • Invasive procedures and strong drugs can cause serious consequences. Drugs, surgery, hospitalizations and other medical procedures are responsible for many adverse reactions, including death. Contracting a dangerous infection is a serious risk when someone is hospitalized. Properly prescribed medications kill over 100,000 people in the U.S. alone. Another hundred thousand die from accidental overdose or prescribing errors. Surgery and certain procedures can be traumatic or deadly. They do not always cure the problem and sometimes make problems worse. 
  • Pharmaceutical research is sometimes flawed and often slow. Money is a big driver. This means that ineffective or dangerous drugs may make it to market and stay too long after people suffer or die from them. It also means that people cannot take advantage of promising new treatments soon enough or at all if they do not get approved. Natural remedies that may be every bit as effective as pharmaceuticals are not often researched because there is little money to be made and the expense of controlled research and approval is enormous. Some people go to countries outside the U.S. for these treatments. 

Even though the drawbacks of allopathy are serious, and the modern medical  system needs to be improved in important ways, the benefits of allopathic medicine are equally significant.  

5 Tips for minimizing risks associated with modern medicine

  • Regardless of the type of health care you choose, take full responsibility for your health and have a wellness plan to get healthier. Patients who play an active role in their care by making decisions, asking questions and following through on their decisions have better outcomes than those who give control to their medical providers. 
  • Familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of allopathic medicine in regards to your health conditions. Take steps to maximize the positives and minimize the risks. This includes researching procedures and medications before using them. Do due diligence until you have a full understanding of your condition. Research what allopathy has to offer, how it can be incorporated as part of a holistic approach.
  • Keep an up-to-date record of your health history and current medications and treatments. This way you can minimize potential problems while optimizing the benefits you'll receive.
  • Bring a trusted other with you whenever possible for consultations and procedures to advocate for you by asking questions, filling in details, and offering support. 
  • For serious conditions, it may be wise to get second and even third opinions. If you are not satisfied with your care, seek another provider.

When you follow these simple guidelines, you are likely to have a much more positive experience with allopathic medicine and have better outcomes. 

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Drawbacks of Allopathic Medicine page updated 02/2020

Source: Allopathic Medicine

For Educational Purposes Only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult with your health provider before using natural remedies and/or complementary therapies if you are pregnant, nursing, or you are being treated for a medical condition. Be aware that certain herbs and supplements interact with medications.

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