Anyone who has ever been ill (that's everyone at some stage, right?) has had someone tell them how they, or someone they know, was cured using alternative medicine. They might have been told to see a chiropractor, to try homeopathy or be stuck with needles by an acupuncturist. You might have been told to cut all the gluten out of your diet, or to stop eating and drinking dairy products or go vegan. Someone may have bought you a bracelet with a hologram in it, or told you to move out of your house that is near a telephone tower.
Everyone who gives you this information may be sincere in their beliefs and they may know that what they are saying works, at least anecdotally, but is it really true? The internet is awash with an overwhelming number credulous and uncritical stories about 'miracle cures,' so much so that even mainstream media gets sucked into hype and fail to ask the big question: does it really work?
That's where Science Based Medicine comes in. This is a website set up by a team of medically trained science and medicine communicators. They tireless advocate for high scientific standards in health care, and critically examine all of the major public interest stories relating to health and medicine.
Everyone wants to be healthy, of course, and this means that people wanting to make a profit, and others with an ideology they want to push, can take advantage of this. If they lack the training or knowledge to safely treat a sick person at best they will achieve nothing and at worst they could do harm.
Science Based Medicine casts a critical eye on many different health claims and can help you make an informed decision on your own health.
So when someone suggests an alternative method of treatment for your illness, why not have a quick look at Science Based Medicine and see what the current scientific consensus is?
Image used through creative commons licence from Taki Steve.