By T. Jared Bunch, MD
Published Aug 28, 2013
One of the most common statements that I hear from patients is “I don’t want to take drugs, what are my alternatives? Are there any ways to treat atrial fibrillation naturally?” I do live in a state where there is a tremendous interest in natural therapies. Numerous herbal and nonherbal supplement companies are based in Utah. Also, there are many multi-level marketing companies that bring these therapies directly to your home. In this environment, it is not uncommon for me to be asked these questions multiple times in a day.
Most of the time patients are nervous about asking questions about nontraditional approaches in medicine. The nervous feelings often stem from fears of the physician not understanding or approving of alternative approaches or that these approaches may be in opposition to what the physician may want. In my practice I want my patients to feel comfortable discussing any matter with me. I want to learn about their use of herbal and nonherbal supplements. If they have a new agent that has brought them benefit, I typically will research it to learn more about the substance and the potential health related benefits or risks. In general the use of herbal and nonherbal supplements and alternative approaches to health care has increased dramatically, so it is important that patients and physicians discuss these therapies without any hesitation.