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All of you who are contemplating asking for medical advice, please read this:

Go to the doctor.

Get your tests done.  If you want to interrogate your doctor about the medicine s/he prescribes, go ahead, but they do know more about your body than you do, from a biological standpoint.

GO TO THE DOCTOR.

Most of us are not doctors and all we can do is commiserate and tell you anecdotes, or provide health advice of highly varied nature and accuracy.  Yes, a doctor might misdiagnose you, might have preconceptions that you don't like or that are inaccurate... but your chances are a lot better there than with a forum group.  Yes, even this one.

And you are at risk of illness.  Yes, even with YOUR lifestyle and wellness practices.

With things like testing for common cancers (and one in four women or thereabouts will have cancer during their lives in the U.S.), you must get over the squick and go do it.  You will hopefully never have a cause to be glad you did... but there's a something-like-25% chance that it can save your life to do it.

Sorry to throw out a semi-irrelevant rant, but it has to be said to a lot of us... I've been noticing and quietly building an ulcer worrying about you particularly at-risk doctor-avoiders.

True.  But without this group I'd never make the appointment.  Thanks for caring.

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i'm in complete agreement. even if vegweb was filled with the worlds best doctors, they can't actually examine you or take blood/do xrays, etc online... and i'm pretty sure that hands/eyes/ears/technology on stuff like that is very useful in making an accurate diagnosis.

i'd like to add: go to your checkups at the optician and dentist too- even if you think you're fine! i know people who skip these- but the optician can spot early signs of dangerous things like diabetes, high blood pressure, and even some cancers, for a start. the dentist can gain a wealth of info relating to your health and pick up previously undiagnosed, possibly life threatening conditions from your mouth- similarly cancers, but many other illnesses show up there though things like receeding, unflamed, or pale gums, weird looking tongues, stinky breath, etc etc etc, too.

i've noticed (generally, not specifically here) some folks are insistant that all doctors are quacks/think they're god/are tools of the evil pharmacutical industry, or that they have absolutely no faith whatsoever in any part of western medicine. i have trouble getting my head around this- i understand their arguments and opinions, but its not been consistantly that way in my experienece. also, it seems a very cut and dried, set in stone belief- and i don't veiw the world that way.

i've seen some great doctors, and some lousy doctors, some helpful, well educated, openminded, flexible, adaptable, intuitive, rational, patient and thoughtful ones, some not so much, and some complete *insert expletive here*'s - on both sides of the coin- western, and alternative. i've come to the conclusion that they're all just individual people (like the rest of us)- all be it generally very smart people with assorted skills. if you don't like, trust, relate to, or aren't on the same wavelength as the doctor you've got, go find another. hate western medicine, go find an ND who will help you use it as little as possible, and minimise its side effects, but help you recognise if and when its vital to your continued existance on the planet.

my NHS doctor in the UK was completely human, but still pretty great- well educated, patient, upto-date, openminded, objective, and willing and able to learn from his patients, as well as learning with them, and sharing his knowledge with them. he praticed both types of medicine (western and alternative) together- he utilised the best of both worlds- because neither system is perfect or foolproof, becuase both have valuable things to offer us, and because people are individuals with different needs. its great to know that there are actually some doctors like this around!

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