When diagnosed with a chronic disorder for which there is no “cure”, it is natural to search for treatments and therapies that will help us reduce symptoms, or even recover. It is quite normal to listen to anyone who will offer “wonderful” supplements, powders, “miracle” water, detox programs or anything with a hope of making us better.

Be careful. There are many products sold to profit the seller rather than benefit the buyer. There are many people who, without any appropriate qualifications or study, urge those with health challenges to undertake various forms of treatment with no understanding of the patient’s history, sensitivities or current treatments.

Your health team should have your best interests at heart, no matter whether their advice to you profits them or not. Your doctor can advise on drug therapy or surgery, and should do so with no vested interest. Your naturopath/homeopath can advise on complementary therapy to assist your pathway to health, and should be ready to discuss and explore therapies beyond their expertise and refer you on. Your body worker – massage, Bowen, CST or other – will refer you on if their therapy is not proving beneficial.

Family, friends and acquaintances may have good intentions but, without thorough knowledge of your health history, lifestyle and current treatments, are more likely to do harm than good. I am particularly concerned about the many Multi Level Marketing (MLM) companies recruiting almost anyone with promises of independence and wealth by “building a team” of “distributors”.

There are a few products sold via MLM that have some benefits if used appropriately but, because they are “distributed” by amateurs with only MLM company training, very few are ever used properly, and I see patients sustaining damage from taking the wrong thing at the wrong time on the advice of an acquaintance. This is very sad as my patient’s progress may be set back by 6 months or more by well-meaning ignorant action.

Listen to your health care team. If you are uncertain about any form of treatment, ask questions and expect answers. If you are offered treatments, remedies or “wonder foods” from others, discuss these with your primary health care practitioners before spending money or taking new remedies. They may help, but they may harm you.

Above all, be discerning about those offering advice. Are they qualified to give advice, and do they have your best interests at heart? Or are they simply trying to develop a “team”, or line their own pockets at your expense.

Be careful who you listen to.

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John Coleman ND