8 Oct 2018
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS
8 Oct 2018
Are Naturopathic Doctors Safe?
Naturopaths use non-invasive and natural therapies to decrease your symptoms by improving your overall health and treating the dysfunction where it began. The therapies Naturopathic Doctors use carry few side effects and risks. A Naturopath will draw on the body’s ability to heal itself, bolstering the body’s innate ability to keep itself in balance. NDs spend time with each patient to conduct a thorough health history, physical examinations and laboratory tests to get to the root causes of disease or dysfunction. Naturopathic doctors go through rigorous training and education in order to be prepared to deliver primary health care in a safe and effective manner. When a specific concern is out of the scope of a Naturopathic Doctor, they have the training to know when it is appropriate to refer to another health care professional to maintain patient safety.
Are Naturopathic Doctors licensed?
Naturopathic doctors require extensive training and education in order to be licensed to practice in Canada. He or she will have completed an undergraduate degree with scientific prerequisite courses, followed by a four-year naturopathic medical education at one of the seven accredited schools in North America. They will then have completed and passed two sets of provincial licensing board examinations and are required to continue learning throughout their careers. All NDs must complete a minimum of 70 hours of continuing education every three years. With extensive knowledge and training, NDs are licensed and legitimate primary or adjunctive healthcare providers.
Can Naturopathic Doctors help with weight loss?
Naturopathic Doctors are uniquely positioned to help individuals with weight loss as they are able to spend time with each patient to address their weight loss concerns from all facets of health – physical, emotional, psychological. They approach each patient as an individual, keeping a patient centred perspective and getting to the root cause of their issues with weight loss. An ND will help you reach your goals by getting to the deeper causes of weight gain and creating a treatment plan accordingly. Some key aspects of your health that they may address include your metabolism, hormone imbalances and any dietary and/or lifestyle factors. They will treat you as a whole person and take the time to give you a plan that will work for you and your life. You will not only lose weight but, more importantly, you will feel better.
Can Naturopathic Doctors help with depression?
There are many ways naturopathic doctors can help individuals with anxiety and depression. An ND can work with you to manage your symptoms and get to the root cause of dysfunction. Naturopaths use a variety of tools to help manage depression and anxiety including nutrition, supplementation, counseling, acupuncture and botanical medicine. They will work with you and your healthcare team to manage your mental health and improve your quality of life. NDs have long appointments where they are able to take a thorough health history and really hear your concerns, allowing them to develop an individualized plan for you.
Can a Naturopath help with fertility?
A naturopathic doctor can work with both you and your partner to get to the root of your fertility difficulties and enhance your chances of conceiving. Whether you are planning on doing IVF or trying to conceive naturally, a NAturopathic Doctor can help guide and support you through the process and optimize your chances of conception. They can:
- Run lab work to assess your cycle and hormones
- Teach you how to monitor your own cycle
- Prescribe supplements and/or herbal medicine
- Work with you to adjust your diet
- Perform acupuncture
- Counsel on lifestyle modifications
- Address your environmental toxic exposure
There are many ways an ND can benefit your fertility, get in touch with yours to see how they can help!
Can a Naturopath help when pregnant?
A naturopathic doctor can be an excellent adjunctive care practitioner to support you through your pregnancy. An ND can support you emotionally and physically through all stages of pregnancy and provide safe and effective treatments to many conditions that may arise throughout. Such conditions may include morning sickness, varicose veins, constipation, thyroid dysfunction, among others. Because many conventional treatments are contraindicated in pregnancy, Naturopaths are well positioned to assist with safe alternatives including botanicals, acupuncture, nutrition and lifestyle modalities to support your pregnancy from conception to birth.
Can Naturopathic Doctors help post-partum?
Naturopathic doctors are in a unique position to support women through post-partum period with several modalities at their disposal. Naturopathic doctors can assess your needs through a thorough intake assessment, physical exams and lab tests. These will allow them to find and treat the root cause of your complaint or support you through optimizing your post-partum health. Through lifestyle, nutrition, botanical medicine and counseling, NDs can help you reach higher levels of health for both you and your baby. Some post-partum conditions and issues they can address include lactation support, exercise counseling, healthy weight-loss, constipation, hemorrhoids, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, post-partum thyroiditis, depression, trouble sleeping, and tissue healing. A naturopathic doctor can support you getting back to your optimal-self and prime you to support your baby in the best way you can. Talk to an ND to see what they can do for your post-partum experience.
Can a Naturopath help with IBS?
Naturopathic doctors are great at helping individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). With their knowledge of physiology as well as the longer appointments to hear all of your concerns, they are able to determine the root cause of your symptoms and treat accordingly. A naturopathic doctor will develop an individualized treatment plan for each patient – because each patient is different! There are several options and tools at an NDs disposal to help manage and treat your IBS, naturally. Depending on the cause of your symptoms, an ND may use food sensitivity testing, nutritional changes, botanical medicine, acupuncture, stress reduction techniques and/or lifestyle and exercise to address your IBS.
Can a Naturopath help with hormone imbalances?
A naturopathic doctor can help find the root of your hormonal concerns and treat the cause of dysfunction or imbalance rather than managing the surface symptoms. Did you know that often your gut has a huge role to play with your hormone balance? There are many reasons for your hormones being out of balance and a naturopathic doctor can find the cause through a thorough health history as well as physical exams and lab results. They have many tools and modalities at their disposal to manage your health including nutrition, lifestyle counseling, acupuncture, supplements, and botanical medicine.
Naturopath, why am I so tired?
Fatigue affects countless individuals on a daily basis and can greatly impact quality of life and functioning. There are innumerable reasons why you might be feeling fatigued during the day such as dysfunction of your thyroid, nutrient deficiencies, poor sleep hygiene, poor nutrition, among others. Your naturopathic doctor can get to the root cause of your fatigue and provide an individualized treatment plan to get you to optimal energy levels and improve your quality of life.
Can a Naturopath help with Allergies?
There are many reasons you could be experiencing allergies and a naturopathic doctor will work with you to get to the root cause or trigger of your symptoms. Using nutritional changes, supplementation and herbal therapies, they can help relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life during allergy season. Naturopathic Doctors can also conduct food sensitivity testing for patients who are experiencing digestive or skin concerns, inflammatory concerns, weight changes, headaches or ADHD. Although your ND cannot order conventional allergy testing, they can use their multiple modalities to help alleviate symptoms resulting from seasonal allergies to food sensitivities and will be able to refer you to your MD in the case of more severe reactions.
What will a Naturopath do?
Seeing a Naturopathic Doctor for the first time can be quite a unique experience. The initial appointment will include a thorough health history where the ND will ask you about all facets of your health. This will include your main concerns but also past medical history and family history. Depending on your concerns, physical exams may be performed to allow the ND to get a deeper understanding of your health. Your ND can also order a wide range of laboratory and diagnostic tests in order to get a more full picture of how to proceed with your treatment plan. They are also well trained to refer for adjunctive treatment from other healthcare practitioners if needed.
Can a Naturopathic Doctor Diagnose Celiac?
Generally, a diagnosis of celiac disease requires both a blood test, followed by a small bowel biopsy. A naturopathic doctor can run blood tests to determine with quite accurate certainty if a patient has celiac disease; however, these tests are not typically enough to fully diagnose celiac disease. Something important to consider if you are going have blood testing conducted is that in order to have an accurate test, you must not already be on a gluten-free diet. This can be difficult as many people with undiagnosed celiac disease put themselves on a gluten-free diet because, unsurprisingly, it makes them feel better! If you have been experiencing digestive concerns such as diarrhea and flatulence, anemia or skin rash, talk to your ND about how and if you should be tested. Once diagnosed, they will be able to help guide your diet to improve your health and wellbeing.
Can Naturopathic Doctors Order Blood Tests?
A Naturopathic Doctor can order a variety of blood tests to help get a better picture of your overall health state. Blood tests can be an important aspect of a naturopathic doctor’s work-up in order to get a fuller understanding of your health and symptoms. Although blood tests ordered by a naturopathic doctor are not covered by OHIP, they use the information gathered through a thorough intake interview to assess the need for each individual test and how the results will impact your treatment. A naturopathic doctor can sit down with you and explain the relevance of each test they are ordering for you.
Are Naturopathic Doctors Covered by Insurance?
Although Naturopathic Medicine is not covered by OHIP, many extended health coverage plans include a set amount of naturopathic care per year. It’s important to determine how much insurance coverage you have in order to make the best plan possible for your health.
Can a Naturopath Prescribe Medicine?
In Ontario, Naturopathic Doctors who have taken an additional prescribing exam have the ability to prescribe some medications and a variety of supplements at levels above which you can buy over the counter as well as intravenous therapy of certain nutrients. Although they cannot prescribe certain pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics, they prescribe many supportive herbal treatments, supplements and nutritional therapies. A naturopathic doctor will be able to tell you what treatments they can prescribe and will make appropriate referrals when your needs are outside of their scope of practice. NDs are well trained to refer as needed and safely support you with the medicines you are already taking. Understanding drug interactions between two pharmaceuticals or between a pharmaceutical and food, supplements or botanicals is an important aspect of naturopathic training.
Can a Naturopath help with thyroid problems?
A naturopathic doctor can work with you to address your concerns and manage your hypo/hyperthyroidism. In some cases, this may mean working alongside your MD to manage drug side effects or improve your symptoms through diet, lifestyle, supplementation, herbal formulas, among others. Naturopathic doctors may also prescribe desiccated thyroid in some cases of hypothyroidism when necessary. An ND will treat you as an individual and manage your symptoms and concerns in a way that works for you and your life. Taking into account all facets of your health, your ND will be able to make recommendations that help treat your concerns at the root of the problem.
If you have further questions about Naturopathic Doctors, feel free to reach out to our clinic in Guelph at 519-265-8035
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