Visiting your primary physician is most likely your go-to resource when you start to feel unwell. But what happens when you’ve had your appointment and followed your MD’s instructions but still feel sick afterwards? You should visit a Naturopathic Doctor.
What is a Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic doctors are trained natural healthcare physicians at accredited 4-year medical schools. What sets them apart from your current physician is their holistic and natural approaches to healing (Think: nutrition, herbs, acupuncture and vitamins). Where your current physician may prescribe antibiotics, naturopathic doctors (NDs) will focus on the causes of your problem like a poor diet or chronic stress.
Their approach does create some skepticism, however, which may be the leading reason why naturopaths are not widely known. President-elect of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Jaclyn Chasse, ND, explains, “There’s a healthy skepticism surrounding what naturopaths do. But naturopathic medicine is not medicine-lite. In fact, I often see patients who are so sick because they haven’t gotten well in the conventional system.” While NDs generally focus on the causes of health issues, it does not mean that they do not suggest certain medications. Chasse goes on to explain that the goal of NDs is to get a patient well, not to hide the sickness’ symptoms.
Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion
What the general public should take into account, however, is that certain drugs and non-prescription medications can actually deplete important nutrients in your body. InVite® Health’s Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Chart, created by Scientific Director Jerry Hickey, R.Ph and healthcare experts at InVite® Health, elaborate, “Whether you occasionally take a pharmaceutical like an antibiotic, or count on a drug long-term such as a cholesterol lowering statin, your need for specific nutrients increases. You must be aware that many prescriptions, as well as commonly used over-the-counter drugs, may cause potentially serious nutrient depletions.”
Naturopathic doctors come in handy when drugs prescribed to treat chronic conditions, like blood pressure, stop working. Herbs, whether through food or supplementation, are many times a naturopath’s initial treatment method. Chasse explains the instance of regulating women’s hormones using herbs – “Certain herbs are incredibly good at bringing hormones back into balance by improving the connection between the brain and the ovaries, where the hormones are made.” Chasse states that, while naturopaths are not trained to manage serious mental-health problems, “We get a lot of training in counseling, about a Master’s [degree] level. We help patients reorganize their lives to limit stress, and we also work with herbs that help the body biochemically manage stress better.” Herbs, along with diet and lifestyle changes, have been shown to help with a number of issues, including heartburn and other digestive issues.”
A consultation with a naturopathic doctor should be high on your to-do list, especially if you are actively searching for the cause of your health problems and not just how to treat them. NDs understand the science behind your health issues and how to help you feel great in order to achieve your best health, naturally.