Saturday, June 6, 2009

Diagnosis and alternate medicine

The importance of diagnosis in any medical condition cannot be over emphasized. I have been grappling with pain for the past couple of months, all the while thinking it was hemorrhoids. I have been taking Ayurvedic medication for it for the last month or so wondering why something that worked so well last time was not working now.

Guess what? It was not hemorrhoids after all!

Yesterday I went to a surgeon and he examined me thoroughly and said it was not hemorrhoids. He asked me to get an ultrasound scan done. The scan showed prostatitis. That was the reason for the pain all these days. So, now I have started heavy IV antibiotics along with Bactrim to take care of the infection.

Which brings me to diagnosis. To diagnose the problem, there is simply no alternative to regular medicine (what we call allopathy). However effective alternate therapies may be (even if you find an authentic practitioner), they are no match to the conventional methods of diagnosis.

All these weeks I have been taking the Ayurvedic medication for the wrong problem. Obviously it wouldn't work. That, I think, is a major problem with alternative therapies. They do not have the tools or the procedures to properly diagnose the problem. They have to rely on conventional techniques.

5 comments:

Madras Hash said...

To be fair to the Ayurvedic Doctor, he never got a chance to examine you (being in a different city/state. He was given the diagnosis which he took in good faith and prescribed.

There is no alternate to good diagnosis. A doctor who can diagnose is becoming an almost extinct species. My family has experienced great care under legendary docs like Dr TJ Cherian and some of the CMC Vellore doctors (all deceased), who with a clinical examination would predict what the lab test or scan would find. The great thing about these docs was that these docs would go by a hunch, and then verify it by doing the ONE (or two) diagnostic test which would confirm it. You would walk away with a healed body and a miniscule medical bill. The doctors of today, unfortunately have no such instinct. If some exist, please, please put up a list of such names for the benefit of millions who suffer at the hands of the money making corporate health care system.

Kamal Shah said...

Yes, of course. You are right. But I doubt if he might have diagnosed my problem correctly even if he had seen me. Because there aren't any methods in Ayurveda by which he could have. This was something only detectable by an ultrasound.

Madras Hash said...

What makes you think that Ayurvedic Doctors and Homeopathic ones do not use diagnostic methods like lab tests and scans?

The diff between Allopathic and Homeopathic and Ayurvedic schools is a matter of perspective, philosophy and treatment methods. But the diagnostic methods borrow from each other. I have come across enough non-allopathic doctors who prescribe tests/scans which are done in standard diagnostic centers.

I know enough allopathic doctors who occasionally practice alternate methods since they have seen the treatment work.

It is a different matter that personally I stay away from all doctors, if possible, regardless of the type of medicine practiced.

Above all we all need a huge dollop of luck to get timely and correct diagnosis. That is where a good and experienced General Physician (GP) comes in. Rare breed these days.

Kamal Shah said...

Well, I have never been asked by an alternate therapy practitioner ask for a test. That does not mean they don't. Just that I haven't been asked. So, I assumed they don't. I guess I was wrong on that count.

B said...

I really hope that this works out.