Two studies show that the use of alternative medicine delays early treatment of diseases.
When a mysterious illness strikes, people may become more open to using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to get well.
This is also the case when the illness is a severe one. Cancer patients often explore alternatives such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), homeopathy or products like herbs and vitamins in the belief that they can strengthen their immunity or fight the disease.
Two recent studies done in Singapore acknowledge the widespread use of CAM among people here and conclude that CAM may sometimes do more harm than good.
HELP FOR RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS
One of the studies found that the use of CAM led to a delay in patients seeking medical help for early inflammatory arthritis or the early stage of rheumatoid arthritis.
Inflammatory and rheumatoid arthritis are autoimmune diseases that cause chronic inflammation of the joints and other areas of the body. They are different from osteoarthritis – the most common form of arthritis – which is wear and tear of the cartilage.