Tracey O’Shea: Next question is “I have a couple of patients who are in a lot of discomfort and pain, and I find that they have been doing research and taking things they find on their own. Have you had this happen, and how do you prevent [it]?”
Yes, I mean, we live in a really information-driven world where you can Google something and get just a list of random recommendations, and Chris is very tolerant of this and I think it’s [from] a place of compassion. People are desperate sometimes, and they’re looking to find anything that can work for them, so how we kind of handle this is I usually just ask patients to let me know ahead of time or if they’re thinking about doing something or they want to add in a new research, whatever it might be, a supplement, I just ask them to communicate with me and just let me know, and I just come from a place more of, like, I want to make sure they’re safe and I want to make sure that whatever they’re adding in is not going to interact or be contraindicated with anything that we are putting in. As you know, a lot of supplements come with 20 different ingredients, and when you do a supplement review, the person, like, is taking five times the amount of what they should, so that’s kind of where I come. I don’t fight them a lot on this. I try to really come from a place of understanding and don’t wave my finger or scold them but just say, like, “let’s just keep open these lines of communication so that I make sure that what you’re taking is safe and that I can do some research on it if I don’t know about it,” and sometimes, I don’t know about what they’re coming at me with and what they found on some random website. We just don’t know, and if there’s no research to support it, then I let them know. “There’s not a lot of research to support this. If you want to give it a try, if I find that the risk is pretty low, great, give it a try, [and] let me know, but I would only do it for this amount of time.” This isn’t easy. We have this happen quite a lot, and then I make sure that I give them a lot of additional recommendations on my end. So, if it’s something like discomfort and pain, we may give a little bit more recommendations for, like, boswellia or Wobenzym or high-dose curcumin. There’s also a lot of neuroplastic pain options that are available. Chris and I did an article about chronic pain. I think it was part of the Academy Notes, so I’m going to have to find out if you want a little bit more recommendations, but yes, this is difficult. I don’t think there is a perfect answer with how [to] prevent people from going out on their own and trying new things, but I would just come from a place of safety and wanting to keep lines of communication open and kind of do your best to help guide.