Credible sources of alternative health information
June 7, 2011 4:51 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite credible alternative health blogs and websites? I'm particularly interested in those sites that critically draw upon existing research, less interested in those that are attached to really fringy political or philosophical approaches or other weirdness.

I've read a lot of Dr. Andrew Weil in the past and found his stuff helpful.
posted by mecran01 to Health & Fitness (16 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure what you mean by 'alternative health'. Do you mean non-pharmaceutical approaches? Recent developments that seem to be promising despite a small number of trials? Using medication for purposes other than those for which they tend to be prescribed (eg ADD meds as smart drugs)?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:55 PM on June 7, 2011

I don't know about the OP, but sites that do any of the things you listed would be interesting to me.
posted by jsturgill at 4:58 PM on June 7, 2011

Tough question--I am sure there are many without a subtle marketing arm. This is the only one on which I rely. Pretty main street but I think the research, findings, and data is credible.
posted by rmhsinc at 4:59 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

posted by PickeringPete at 5:00 PM on June 7, 2011

Drat iPad autocorrect:
posted by PickeringPete at 5:01 PM on June 7, 2011

The site rmhsinc links to is much more reliable than Andrew Weil. Most "alternative" medical advice websites are full of lies.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 5:08 PM on June 7, 2011

Response by poster: Yeah, I'm not relly sure what it's called now, perhaps "integrative health." Herbs and stuff, but backed up by credible studies? Treatments that work better for certain conditions than allopathic medicine?

I'm asking because my neighbor is seventy, and he's got pneumonia. He has good health insurance, but I'm wondering if there's anything to help with the healing process that is "non-traditional" but not nutty or flakey.

Yes, I sound like an idiot, but hopefully that clarifies the original question somewhat. If I knew what I was talking about, I'd be over on :)
posted by mecran01 at 6:07 PM on June 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This is an earlier question with a bunch of answers - you may find some of that stuff useful.
posted by restless_nomad at 6:08 PM on June 7, 2011

I was just about to re-post my big paleo linkdump when I spotted my previous addition in that old askme.

To reiterate my endorsement though I strongly recommend Whole Health Source - a fantastic resource full of evidence-backed nutritional science.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 6:18 PM on June 7, 2011

The Mayo Clinic is not alternative, but it is a respected source of evidence-based health and medical information.
posted by lulu68 at 7:02 PM on June 7, 2011

and also Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center - About Herbs, Botanicals and Other Products. These are not just cancer-related.
posted by Wordwoman at 7:08 PM on June 7, 2011

Seconding NCCAM. Very reliable.
posted by Adamsmasher at 7:56 PM on June 7, 2011

Do you know if your neighbor has viral or bacterial pneumonia? Bacterial is most commonly the result of strep or a staph infection, and he really needs antibiotics to treat that. Pneumonia in the elderly or very young is really serious and can be fatal.

Viral pneumonia is just as serious, and sometimes with viral pneumonia you can get a bacterial infection on top of it, pretty much because when your immune system is compromised it can't fight anything off very well.

So, he should know what he's dealing with and get antibiotics if necessary with that excellent health care!

At home, your friend should try to get some rest, but sit up rather than lay down whenever possible. It will be harder for him to breathe if he is lying on his back. He should make himself walk if he can, and coughing is actually good for him--though it will likely hurt--to help clear that congestion out of his lungs.

When my son was very little, he had a severe case of bacterial pneumonia, and in addition to the antibiotics in his I.V., what blew my mind was that they gave us a little, for lack of a better word, hammer to pound him on the back with, to break up the congestion. I had to leave the room to collect myself the first time they showed us how to use it. It's really, really hard to make yourself hit your kid on the back, even when you know you are supposed to. I hate just remembering it. But your neighbor might need someone to do something like this for him.

Look for signs of pale blue around his mouth and the tips of his fingers--signs he is dangerously low on oxygen. He may have a portable oxygen tank at home (they give these to patients with emphysema) with a mask; if not he will need to go to the hospital.

Hope he feels better. You are a good neighbor to look out for him this way.
posted by misha at 6:34 AM on June 8, 2011

Oh, and I meant to include the Mayo Clinic entry on pneumonia! I see others have mentioned the site, but here's the specific link.
posted by misha at 6:36 AM on June 8, 2011

Response by poster: Misha, thank you. My friend is a retired physician and I am unrealistically hoping there is something in the realm of complementary medicine that a) will hasten his recovery and/or forestall death, and b) be sufficiently documented so as to persuade him that there is no harm in checking it out.

Of course, these links are great and will find use in many other contexts, thank you.
posted by mecran01 at 8:39 AM on June 8, 2011

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