As health care costs rise across the nation, many Americans are finding themselves struggling to make ends meet. Even with proper health insurance, many Americans end up going into debt as a result of medical bills, payments, medications, and more. As a result, some have been avoiding seeking professional treatment due to the associated cost, in favor of home remedies and over the counter solutions. However, not all of these supposedly easy and low-cost treatments are genuinely helpful, and skipping on major medical intervention can sometimes have deadly costs.

Exaggerated Claims

Many over the counter solutions that people turn to as an alternative to prescription medications come with side effects and issues of their own. However, what could be more of a risk than the side effects for these so-called alternative medicines is the fact that many have little to no effect at all. Walmart has recently been sued over the way it markets its homeopathic remedies.

Over the counter homeopathy is just one of many “home remedies” that people turn to when prescription medications are too costly. Still others look to items in their own kitchen cabinets. While honey is technically an acid, with a pH between 3.2 and 4.5, low enough to inhibit the spread of some bacteria, it’s hardly a replacement for proper antibiotics. In addition, the recent CBD boom has led to many people looking to hemp as a solution, but recent FDA statements may put this industry at risk.

Avoiding Intervention At A Cost

As costs climb, many avoid visiting doctors for routine appointments as a means of cutting costs and sticking to budgets. However, avoiding routine checkups can result in not noticing early symptoms of harmful conditions or entirely missing necessary preventive care. For example, only 93.7% of children aged 19 to 35 months have received the Polio vaccine, with many families opting out of vaccination. Patients avoiding professional care also causes people to struggle with health issues alone when they should be relying on professional medical assistance. Approximately 80% of dieters are trying to lose weight on their own, despite medical opinions and input being helpful during this process.

Lack Of Insurance, Lack Of Care

Without proper medical insurance, and sometimes even with insurance, many are forced to go without necessary procedures. An emergency medical situation, for example, cannot be planned or budgeted for, and has the potential to put many families into incredible debt when they cannot afford the cost. Gibbon developed the cardiopulmonary bypass in 1953, and over time, the procedure has been perfected. Realistically, the overall price should have stayed consistent with inflation, however, medical costs have skyrocketed well above standard cost increases due to the passage of time. Many find themselves unable to afford emergency care in particular, putting those in medical emergencies in a financial crisis as well.

Potential Solutions

While costs continue to climb, it’s likely we’ll see more Americans continuing to avoid professional medical care as a means of sticking to a budget. However, with this, public health could potentially be at risk; as more individuals avoid preventive and emergency care, certain health issues are likely to be more common. Without major adjustments to the nation’s health care system and solutions developed to address the consistently soaring expenses associated with seeking medical care, many Americans will continue to struggle when faced with medical dilemmas.