Category Archives: evidence based medicine

Fibromyalgia and unnecessary tests: more care is not better care

“He’s (sic) the best physician that knows the worthlessness of most medicines”, Benjamin Franklin

This is not a blog about doctor bashing. I have been so fortunate for many decades to have a physician who does not suggest unnecessary tests, is sympathetic , highly intelligent and comforting. Rather it is about the run around that many people with chronic pain experience as they ‘doctor shop’. Physicians do not want their patients to suffer. However, often they are stymied by the host of symptoms presented to them which cannot be explained. For that reason many people are burdened with a deluge of medical tests without receiving any concrete explanation about their condition.

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Fibromyalgia, Evidence Based Medicine and ‘Complementary / Alternative’ Practices

“Question everything”, Maria Mitchell

Frustrated that there is not much hope for relief from the usual medical system and its approach to fibromyalgia, many turn for help to practitioners who provide either complementary or alternative medicine (C/AM). The differences between the latter two is an artifical separation since they both entail using concoctions, therapies, herbs, or homeopathic remedies that are one and the same. The more interesting issue is how  they differ from the traditional scientific ‘western’ medical approach, or what has been known as ‘allopathic’ medicine, or now commonly referred to as ‘evidence based medicine’ (EBM) of health care. However, within this discussion I do not refer to EBM as within the domain of CAM as many ‘alternate’ practitioners are prone to do.

What makes something considered to be complementary or alternative as opposed to mainstream, or scientifically based medicine?  Sometimes this distinction becomes blurred and confused with one another, for example, taking vitamins or supplements. Are they the domain of EBM or AM ?  Is it because there are scientific experiments that provide evidence that specific vitamins are essential for healthy living, as in the recent data on Vitamin D? As usual, I have more questions than answers. Sometimes the issues are not clear cut with many shades of gray.

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