A Cautionary Tale Regarding Alternative Therapies

A Cautionary Tale Regarding Alternative Therapies

Lessons from a Chronic Life Leslie Rott

Rarely do I try supplements or alternative therapies. But I was approached to try a supplement geared toward patients with lupus. At the time, I was having some issues that I attributed to being vitamin-deficient, so I jumped at the chance. I naively thought that maybe this untested, not-yet-FDA-approved pill could help me. I went in with an open mind. I really did. And the supplement was brought to my attention at a time when I was particularly vulnerable to saying yes to something I wouldn’t normally say yes to; I was looking for a quick fix.

Unfortunately, less than two weeks after I started taking it, I got the worst headache I have ever had in my life. I couldn’t take more than one step away from my bed without becoming nauseated and dizzy. I couldn’t go to bed. I couldn’t do anything. At one point, I ate half of an energy bar. When it came time for dinner, I still wasn’t feeling well, and I thought that maybe because I had eaten virtually nothing all day, that might be making me feel worse. I ate the second half of the energy bar. Less than five minutes later, it unceremoniously decided to leave my system. 

And that really scared me. I’ve had migraines before. And I’ve had migraines that made me nauseated. But I’ve never actually gotten sick from having a headache until then.

What really got me is that I emailed people at the company to tell them I could not provide them with a positive review. While I couldn’t say for sure what had caused the terrible headache and vomiting, I couldn’t rule out that the supplement had caused it. And I wasn’t willing to stay on it for a minute longer to find out.    

I never received a response from the company. For someone who has always been skeptical of alternative therapies, I am even more of a skeptic now, especially because the company neither stood by its product nor seemed to care  that I had a problem with it, or to follow up and get more information about exactly what I had experienced.

While I do think this company is truly trying to do good for lupus patients, it’s incredibly frustrating that, when its product didn’t work, and worse, made someone sick, that it didn’t have the decency to reach out to learn more.     

So, buyer beware. You get what you pay for, and if something is free, well, that says a lot about it.

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Note: Lupus News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lupus News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lupus.

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