Allopathic, Holistic, and Homeopathic, Oh My! How I Use All Forms Of Medicine To Help My HS (Part 1)
Last updated: December 2022
Doctors, naturopaths, functional medicine, holistic care - what is the difference and how can you use all forms of healing to your advantage? In this series, I’m going to define 4 types of care: allopathic, holistic, naturopathic, and homeopathic. We’ll explore what each one is, and how they can be used in conjunction with one another to help you manage your HS!
What is allopathic medicine?
Allopathic medicine is what is considered ‘standard’, conventional, or ‘western’ medicine. Many people will refer to allopathic medicine as ‘science-based’, but this suggests that there isn’t scientific evidence to support the other types of care, when that just isn’t the case. This includes pharmaceutical medicines like antibiotics, surgical interventions, and care received from dermatologists and your general care practitioner (also known as your family doctor). This is the most common care to receive and usually where most people will be diagnosed with HS.
Allopathic medicine has made quite a few research-based advances for HS, but when it comes to treatment options, other than antibiotics, surgery, and more recently medications known as biologics such as Humira and Remicade, allopathic medicine doesn’t always have much to offer. HS was considered a rare disease until recently and is still very much under-researched. It can be difficult to find a doctor who even knows what HS is, never mind a specialist (as I’m sure many people reading this article can attest to).
The side effects from medication
Many individuals with HS have played the long-haul game with months of antibiotics just to have lesions and weeping reappear within days of coming off of them, myself included, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a try! There are just as many success stories of people using antibiotics as there are stories of them not working. The most common antibiotic that someone with HS will be prescribed is Doxycycline. Common side effects of Doxycycline include nausea, headache, and diarrhea, and can be quite debilitating for some users.
That seems to be the main complaint that people have with allopathic pharmaceutical care - the side effects of things like surgery (long, painful healing times) antibiotics (GI complaints, headaches, rashes, and more) and biologics (immunosuppressant and allergic reactions) are sometimes just as difficult to deal with as the disease they’re being used to treat. It is always important to discuss every possible side effect with your doctors and weigh the options of any treatment against the pros and cons.
My experience with allopathic care for hidradenitis suppurativa
My experience with allopathic care has been a rocky road, but I am a firm believer that allopathic care is an important part of all treatment plans. Working with a dermatologist and a dietician gave me some of the most successful tools in my toolbox for battling HS! I am currently working with a dermatologist to figure out if Humira is the right choice for me - and after all the stories I’ve heard and articles I’ve read, I’m really hoping I can have the opportunity to try it.
In conclusion, allopathic care is still a budding opportunity for those with HS but it absolutely shows success and is constantly advancing. Utilizing allopathic care alongside a holistic and homeopathic approach has given me the most success.
When you need to vent about HS, who do you turn to first?