Medical vs. Alternative and Diet – The Six Phases of Dealing With A Health Condition

Medical vs. Alternative and Diet – The Six Phases of Dealing With A Health Condition

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When you have a health issue, you know you want it to go away.

Strip it all away – the research, the worry, the panic and the concern – and that’s the issue at hand. Something is wrong, and you want it fixed.

How you go about fixing it depends on the kind of person you are, the beliefs you have, and your past experiences. Medicine was once hailed as the savior of humanity – a role it undoubtedly still plays. Yet with medicine, there is also side effects and adverse reactions that have made the population dubious.


We now live in a world divided. Some believe that pharmaceuticals are the devil; that the body can heal itself with the occasional nudge from nature. They proclaim that food and natural herbal remedies are all we need for good health.


Others dismiss the above as quackery, woo, anti-science. They say medicine is there for a reason, that it is verified by empirical science and has lead to an increase in life expectancies that “just the body” couldn’t have managed.

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So who’s right?

The debate has become almost tribal. Some of you reading this will already know your team and how you feel. For the rest of you, it can be far more difficult to achieve that ultimate aim of dealing with a health problem: making it stop.


It’s made all the more complicated by the fact that both arguments have some merit. It’s not possible to just dismiss one out of hand if you are trying to look at it from a rational level. So do you have to pick a side?

No, you don’t have to pick a side. You don’t have to become an enthusiast, an advocate – you just have to learn to balance them. Approaching a health condition in a number of phases of thought is by far the most rounded, intellectual way of doing things. It gives you room to give a chance to both methods of thinking and – if done right – find a solution that works for you.

So how to go about it – is it possible to keep an open mind when everyone is so divided? Of course it is – you just need to know how to work through the phases.

For this, we’re going to take the example of a common health condition that impacts millions of lives each year: high blood pressure. You may think high blood pressure is the reserve of the over-60s, but it’s a common medical complaint for all age ranges. Studies such as have shown that “pre-hypertension” (the medical name for high blood pressure) lead to a massively increased risk for future heart problems. This is an issue that cares little for your age, so it makes a good choice to practice this thinking.

While we’re going to use hypertension as an example, the same phases of thinking apply to almost every health complaint.




First, you have to realize you have a problem to deal with. With high blood pressure (HBP from here), this could be through suffering from one of the symptoms and reporting it to a doctor. Alternatively, you may also discover you have a problem through a scheduled health check.

It is not advisable to diagnose yourself with an illness. Even with at-home blood pressure monitors, you should always verify with a doctor that you have a condition before making a change to deal with it.

Phase Two: MEDICAL

It is advisable that the first step you take to coping is to let medical science have a turn. In this example, that may mean medication. There are a number of (very effective) medication options for HBP that you should consider if your doctor thinks they may help.

Phase Three: LIFESTYLE

Any good doctor will discuss this with you. If they don’t, then you have a right as a patient to prompt them to do so.

For HBP, this will mean a dietary change. Do your research on the foods that will be useful, taking from lists like This is not just about eating better all around; you will need to introduce some things to your diet, proven to lower HBP. All of this is something to discuss with your doctor.

If you find a problem at this stage and your doctor is only advocating medical treatment, then seek a second opinion. At the very least, you need to check the dietary changes you plan to make are correct and will not worsen the situation. If your doctor isn’t willing to consider these issues, then frankly, they are not worth continuing with.




There are a number of supplements and other alternative remedies for almost every health complaint you can suffer from.

You may find that the issue is handled with medical intervention, so do you just dismiss these? Not necessarily. No one wants to be on medication forever, and there are solid medical reasons to back this up. So once you have stabilized the condition – and only once it is stable – you can consider alternative therapies.

Phase Five: MEDICAL

Didn’t we just do this?

Yes, but the point is to make sure a doctor approves of your future plans. If you decide to come off medication in favor of alternative remedies, then your doctor needs to know. Don’t just go with something you have read on a forum and expect the same results to continue.


Once stable, it’s sound medical practice to experiment with other ways of long-term management. All you have to do is ensure a medical professional knows about anything you plan to take.

There is a two-fold reason to this. First, it’s just smart practice. Secondly, some of the remedies you intend to take may interact with conventional medication you may be on for other ailments. So any change needs to be signed off by a doctor as a potential positive influence.

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In Conclusion

Try different things and experiment with diet – providing they have no harm. Let medical science have its say, and then you can research and try other options. By following this practice, you get the best of both worlds without any of the associated risks.

Naomi Isted
Editor in Chief, Naomi Isted is known as The Ultimate Lifestylist to her readers and viewers. She is a TV Presenter and Columnist. Ranked in the Top 100 LFW Social Media Influencers AW14 & SS15, Brand Ambassador for Pears Soap UK. Her Celebrity beauty TV Series currently airs to 27million homes on Physique TV in UAE, previously on Wedding TV in the UK. She brings fashion and beauty advice to her readers and viewers on a daily basis. She is Fashion and Beauty Columnist for Herald Scotland and has a Fashion and Beauty Bridal Blog for HELLO. She can usually be found attending celebrity fashion and beauty events in and around London and sharing the latest fashion and beauty trends with her readers.

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