HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - In these hard economic times, many of us are trying to save money on doctor visits. That's why some are turning to alternative medicine. But is it as beneficial as traditional practice?
"?You feel like all your hormones are in balance? Are you taking your supplements,?" asks Dr. Debra Gillum with Alternative Medicine Associates in Madison. "
Gilliam practices natural medicine at her clinic in Madison. Gilliam treats patients with a wide variety of illness and diseases using therapeutic or preventive health care.
"People will drive to come to alternative medicine," Gilliam said.
Many patients are looking for ways to stay healthy in hard times.
"I think the people that know the benefits of doing natural care, know when the economy does come back up they don't have to lose 2 to 3 years trying to regain their health," said Gilliam.
"There's all kinds of things that encompass why a patient would be not feeling balanced or at their best optimal balance," Gilliam said.
Yvonne Espy has been a patient of Gilliam's for five years.
"I needed help so desperately," Espy told WAFF 48 News. "I had done some research and realized most of my problem may have stemmed from antibiotics."
Espy suffered with adult acne, memory problems, headaches and irritability -- all associated with an overgrowth of yeast. When regular medical treatment didn't help, she turned to alternative medicine.
"I have seen a great improvement in my health overall," Espy said.
Terry Wingo is a compounding and natural pharmacist and owner of Madison Drugs who has researched both types of medical treatment.
"People are seeking wellness. They want to feel better overall and not just manage a symptom," said Wingo.
The more modern approach often requires medication, like high-priced antibiotics, to treat illnesses. Alternative medicine seeks natural, sometimes less expensive ways to heal.
Wingo said price shouldn't be a factor when seeking treatment.
"Whether it's a traditionally trained practitioner or one classified as alternative, we need to find one who is seeking ways for us to get well and manage what's wrong," said Wingo.
Today, there are more natural treatments than ever. People could buy books on ways to manage everything from food allergies and diabetes to heart disease. Even some pharmacies carry over-the-counter vitamins and drops alongside more traditional medication.