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MD Anderson Specialist Shares Health Tips With Seniors

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From fish oil to acacia berries, the barrage of health trends offers an unending stream of promise. But do they really work?

Finding reliable health information is easy, if you know where to look. Jerah Thomas, a health education specialist with the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson, recently shared with Houston-area seniors the best information resources for alternative, complementary and integrative medicines.

CLASP_small.jpgThe presentation was part of a weekly series on a variety of topics, provided by the University of Houston at Clear Lake and the Clear Lake Association of Senior Programs (CLASP).

"As a League City (Texas) native, I'm happy to serve as an educator in my community," Thomas says. "At MD Anderson we work to improve the lives of our patients by integrating traditional and evidence-based complementary medicines. As health care providers, the more we learn and listen to the community, the better equipped we are to give people the quality care they need."

Thomas recommends approaching complementary medicines with a critical eye and plenty of research, but says that some such therapies complement traditional treatments well. "For example, we may recommend acupuncture for chemotherapy-related nausea," Thomas says.

Thomas notes that before starting any alternative/complementary treatment, it's important to speak with your physician about the medical supplements or therapy you're considering. Your doctor will then be able to recommend the best approach for your particular health needs.

Information on integrative therapies, as well as recommended resources for reliable information, can be found at www.MDAnderson.com/CIMER.

For the next available CLASP minicourse, visit www.uhcl.edu/clasp.

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