The pros and cons of alternative medicine -

The pros and cons of alternative medicine

Laurie Godbey beat thyroid cancer, but felt she was losing the battle for her health.

After her thyroid was removed, she was stuck taking several prescribed medications and more than a dozen supplements every day.

She decided to give holistic medicine and Dr. Cathy Rosenbaum a try.

"We went over my medical history, the different medications I was on. She physically looked at all of my over-the-counter supplements; I actually brought the bottles in. And she talked about each one of them," said Godbey.

Rosenbaum created a diet and exercise program for Godbey.

"It took a while to really get to the heart of her needs, her holistic needs. And for us to trust each other, and be open enough with each other that we could work together as a team and work with her physicians as a team," Rosenbaum said.

Godbey now takes one prescription and gets much of her body's needs from natural sources like organic food.  And she's not the only one.

Research from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows that about four in 10 adults and one in nine children nationwide are using some form of an alternative remedy.

"It's just a different way of looking at the healing journey, or the life journey," said Rosenbaum.

But not everyone agrees with the practice. Dr. TJ Redington is the medical director for quality and safety for Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Redington questions the overall cost of such treatments.

Right now, everyone pays out of pocket for Dr. Rosenbaum's services.

A 2007 study revealed 83 million adults have spent nearly $34 billion on visits to alternative medicine practitioners.

Critics also say there's been limited scientific research on the issue.

Redington cautions some supplements could have dangerous interactions with other drugs. 

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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