This caveat is true not only for BPH but should and could be applied to all aspects of alternative, complementary, and my field Holistic medicine. To know the difference of the three latter types of medicine please go to my blog on this: (Complementary, Alternative, Holistic: What’s the difference). There is a difference! One must understand that many diseases and disorders have similar and often the exact same symptoms and signs. Therefore, to get the right diagnosis a healer must know this. This list of similar symptoms and signs is called the Differential Diagnosis (DD). All students in medical school, osteopathy school and a four-year Natural medical college learn about the DD. What a good healer also learns over time is that each person is an individual and that the designated treatment might not work for that individual and alternative treatments or combinations must be considered, or even sending the client to a different expert. Case presentation for an example: A man starts to get the symptoms and signs of BPH (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia): urgency to urinate, split stream, nocturnal urination, frequency and difficult starting and maybe some dribbling on completion. Being that he is holistic he starts and continues to use a quality controlled prostate supplement rather than the allopathic pharmaceutical with known side effects. Some promoted alternatives to the pharmaceuticals are: saw palmetto, stinging nettle, beta sitosterol, lycopene, zinc, selenium to name just some. All of these work especially in combinations but that does not mean that they are curing and not just halting the problem. Worse is if the holistic treatment is hiding another evolving problem. Eventually he develops right lower flank pain anteriorly and posteriorly about 8 AM. He stays in bed until 3 PM with the pain being rated about 8-9/10; when his wife decrees that they journey off to the emergency department (ED). After several hours in the waiting room the nurse asks for a urine sample. After a few minutes he needs to urinate again and asks for a urinary filter believing it could be a kidney stone that he could catch for diagnosis (since there exists different types of stones). They say they do not have any (even though they are one door down from the entrance to the ED). He urinates and the pain drops from an 8 to about a 3. He goes along with a stone theory diagnosis but he still undergoes a CT scan. The diagnosis comes back as hydronephrosis (kidneys bilaterally enlarged) and therefore potentially dangerous to losing both kidneys. This hydronephrosis has been quietly developing over many months because the prostrate was enlarging to the point of being enormous and thereby blocking the full emptying of the urinary bladder. Because the bladder was retaining residual urine and continuing being stretched to accommodate the residual urine it was not only losing its muscle tone but also enlarging enough to partially block (at this point) the complete emptying of the kidneys which were accommodating by enlarging and potentially could be destroyed. This latter would mean dialysis for life. He finally had to undergo a 3 hour robotic surgery of the prostate and saved the kidneys.
The point of the above is that it is always possible to be treating a pathological condition with holistic medicine without consequences and without an allopathic approach. I also believe that usually the outcome will be curative or alleviate; but still the possibility exists that it can be another or different problem or one generated by the original. The latter especially if the healer is trained to believe that all diseases can be treated by their educated method. When one is so dedicated to an alternative type of medicine it is as hypocritical as the ones dedicated only to western allopathic medicine. Both have their positive sides and this is why it is important for the client and the healer to take time for deep conversations and understanding. Also if an alternative method is not in a reasonable time achieving good results another discussion with the healer is needed (without ego interference) and the possibility of seeking another opinion.