There are several symptoms or diagnosis that could lead you consult with a Naturopathic Doctor. Within our practice, here are the top eight.
1. Your stomach is killing you.
Can’t beat the bloat? Are your IBS symptoms ruining your social life? Having trouble managing your Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis symptoms? In many cases, simple changes to your diet may provide you with a better solution than taking meds to treat your symptoms. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I regularly use food as medicine with wonderful results. Also, I perform diagnostic testing not often offered by conventional medicine to determine the root cause of your digestive dilemmas. Determining what bacteria is, or isn’t, living in your gut, and how you are breaking down fats and proteins can often lead to resolution of symptoms for good.
2. Your hormones are out of whack.
Do you have raging PMS symptoms? Are your periods irregular? Are your hot flashes out of control? Conventional medicine does not have many tools to support the body’s hormone production and balance other than birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. There are many botanical herbs that can dramatically reduce symptoms by improving communication between the brain and ovaries; where many hormones are made. Additionally, making nutritional changes and using food as medicine can improve symptoms even further.
3. You have an autoimmune condition.
When your immune system “goes left,” and starts attacking your body’s naturally healthy cells, an autoimmune condition (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, etc.) is often the result. Conventional Medical Doctors will often prescribe pharmaceuticals, such as steroids and immunosuppressive drugs, to decrease inflammation and prevent further cell damage associated with autoimmune conditions. While many of these prescribed medications may be necessary to manage the condition, I will complement treatment by addressing what may have caused the immune system to “go left” in the first place. A great place to start is your diet. Many foods can contribute, if not cause, the inflammation occurring in your body. The addition of botanicals and other Naturopathic modalities may also help restore balance to put your immune system back “in check.”
4. Your blood pressure is creeping up, or you have type 2 diabetes.
Chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, often can benefit from pharmaceutical medications. However, over time, these medications often lose their efficacy. There are many herbs and nutraceuticals that can help manage these symptoms while I help my patients make lifestyle changes to help reverse and resolve the cause of what started their symptoms in the first place. I spend extra time with my patients to identify the obstacles in their life preventing them from making these changes, resulting in better compliance and results!
5. You are feeling depressed or anxious.
Most patients that visit conventional Doctors for depression and anxiety will leave the office with a prescription for a pharmaceutical drug. While these drugs may treat the symptoms, I strive to determine and treat the cause of your depression and/or anxiety. Naturopathic medicine offers many modalities to encourage lifestyle changes, botanical herbs to restore proper biochemical function, and tools to cope with acute stress. It is this comprehensive approach that brings true healing and resolution of symptoms.
6. You have cancer.
Disclaimer: When it comes to cancer, or any disease for that matter, I am not suggesting you fire your MD in favor of an ND. However, in the case of cancer, Naturopathic Medicine can assist in minimizing side effects related to chemotherapy, radiation, and other cancer treatments. In fact, clinical studies prove that natural therapies, such as botanical medicine, can help patients do better while on chemotherapy.
7. You are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
Pregnancy, and trying to conceive, can present many new and difficult challenges to expectant parents and couples. Naturopathic medicine has many safe and effective alternatives to pharmaceutical medications that expectant mothers can’t take due to the vulnerability of their growing fetus. Correcting physiological imbalances often not addressed with conventional medicine can often not only result in long awaited conception, but also a healthy pregnancy.
8. You have just been told there is no treatment for your health concern and you’ll just have to live with it.
Unfortunately, this is a story I have heard too often. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I have the unique advantage to spend time with my patients and listen to their whole story. This enables me to make connections that may not have been made by other practitioners. I practice under the philosophy of treating the whole person to include all body systems, mind, and spirit. When all of these aspects are considered with treatment, incredible change can occur.
Dr. Margaret Litchy-Miller
About this article: This article was re-posted/shared by Dr. Margaret Litchy-Miller, ND, during her time as an educator on TrailheadHealth.com. We thank her for his participation and expertise. To learn more about Dr. Margaret, you can visit http://drlmillernd.com