Many of you may be unfamiliar with the role that a Naturopathic Doctor plays. What exactly do they have to offer me? There are many different reasons for using a Naturopathic doctor (ND).
First off, maybe you have been living with some sort of chronic condition for quite some time now. You have gone to see a doctor and have been on different prescriptions to help manage your symptoms but now you are ready to do things differently.
Maybe your goal is to feel as good as you did 10-15 years ago! A ND has different modalities at their disposal that they can use to help stimulate your body’s immune system, improve the efficiency of the various organ systems, and increase metabolism. We can do this by using herbs, supplements, homeopathics and even hydrotherapy treatments. The body is an incredible machine and its ultimate goal is to achieve balance. Sometimes it just needs a little help in getting this process started. Another reason to visit an ND would be at the first sign of an infection (ex. cold,flu,sinusitis) . Naturopathic doctors have many strategies they can use to strengthen the immune system and improve nutrition in order to assist your body in healing faster. Herbs, supplements, diet, essential oils, homeopathics, hydrotherapy and IV therapy can all be useful.
Environmental Medicine is another area that patients may not fully understand. Unfortunately, we are bombarded daily with all types of toxins. They are in the air we breathe (ex. car exhaust), the water we drink (ex. fluoride and chlorine), the food we eat (ex. GMO’s, high fructose corn syrup, artificial ingredients), health and beauty products(heavy metals, parabens) and cleaning products( variety of chemicals). Most people are now aware that plastic bottles contain BPA (hormone disruptor) that can leach out. Now it is evident that cash register receipts also contain BPA that is being absorbed through your skin when touching them. If we eat non- organic food it can be laced with pesticides. Heavy metals such as mercury, can be found in fish. There is a big controversy over the leakage of mercury from dental fillings. It used to be fashionable to drink from lead crystal but now we know that this is a good source of lead exposure. A Naturopathic doctor that specializes in Environmental Medicine can teach you how to reduce your exposures and to create a safe “green” bedroom. There are several specialty labs that can be run to actually look at exposure and body burden. A lot of these chemicals get stored in the body and over time the body becomes over burdened with these toxins and it starts to affect your health. Some people were born with a slight genetic defect in their detoxification system and are unable to process some of these toxins, causing them to build up quicker.
Perhaps your child is struggling in school with behavior issues or attention problems. Help could be as simple as tidying up their diet by eliminating food sensitivities and adding a few daily supplements.
Have the holidays really caused problems with your digestive system? Do you suffer from gas and bloating? Are you constipated? Did you know that it is normal to have 2 bowel movements a day? Ideally we should eliminate after every meal if our digestive system is working at its optimal level!
Are you suffering from some type of skin issue? Is your hair falling out? Are your nails brittle? A ND would look for the cause and offer a treatment for the underlying issue. Protocol could include balancing hormones for improved energy and mood.
How is your sleep? Stress level? Do you have high blood pressure? ND’s look at the physical body but also look at the mental emotional connection. There are many herbs, flower essences, homeopathics and lifestyle changes that can assist you in relaxing more and returning to a parasympathetic state.
Would you like to lose a few pounds in a healthy way? Naturopathic doctors have extensive nutritional training and can also look at medical causes of weight gain such as metabolic syndrome or food sensitivities.
Do your joints hurt? The answer could be as simple as making some dietary changes and taking some herbal anti-inflammatories.
Are you already pretty health conscious but would like to have a lab done that looks at your nutritional status or maybe you would just like to pick up some monthly supplements?
This is just a few examples of how a Naturopathic doctor can help you.
One last advantage is that a ND will take the time to sit and talk with you. They want to know all about you. Your initial visit usually lasts over one hour! They may order standard labs but they also have many different specialty labs they use too. When you visit a Naturopathic doctor it puts you in control. Your health will depend on how much effort you want to put into it. There may be lifestyle changes that could be recommended. You will have to take supplements and herbs that may be prescribed. Some tinctures could have a bad taste!! There may be a particular dosing schedule that needs to be followed.
The ultimate goal is to restore your health, achieve wellness, and feel the best that you have ever felt!!