July 7th, 2010 at 1:11 am
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What about Herbal Remedies and Vitamins?

by Kathryn Kilpatrick, M.A. CCC/SLP

So often at the memory fitness programs I conduct for people of various ages, one of the most frequently asked questions is what vitamins should they take to improve their memory. When those questions come up, I suggest that each person check with their doctor. I do not know their medical history and I feel very strongly that it would be inappropriate for me to make general statements about a particular supplement.

Part of my treatment program for my health problems many decades ago was to take vitamins and minerals to build up my immune system. I totally support traditional medicine but I have personally had very positive experiences with a variety of the complimentary and alternative medical options. That being said, I may share with my closest friends what I am taking and why but I suggest if they are interested, they should consult with their physician before making any major changes. I worked very closely with my health care practitioners and pay close attention to how the supplements or treatments are affecting my functioning physically, mentally and cognitively even decades later.

With the electronic age, there is an abundance of information on this topic. With the assistance of someone knowledgeable in that area, you can be directed to reliable resources. Be careful about “quick ” fixes. There is a health food store in my area and the owner has an amazing understanding of complimentary medicine, so she has become one of the several reliable resources I contact when I need information.

In my case, when I met with my primary care physician at the time (1980’s) to discuss my health problems and what approach was starting to show some positive results, he did not care to discuss the matter with me. It became my choice at that point to search until I found a doctor who would respect what I was doing, ask necessary questions, and be willing to talk to the alternative care practitioner I was working closely with, if necessary. Recently I knew someone with some similar health issues and a lot has changed, thankfully, through the years. His physician and alternative health care practitioner are consulting with each other to assist in his care and have even professionally collaborated on some presentations.

Please, if you are taking any kind of herbal remedies, homeopathic treatments, or supplements make sure you present an updated list of that information when you visit each of the doctors involved in your care. In some cases, one of your choices might interact negatively with your medications and some may need to be discontinued prior to surgery. Without that information, you may be taking some unnecessary risks. Article with additional information: Take Charge of Your Medical Information: Communication is a Two-Way Street

Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom.  Thomas Jefferson

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