A Naturopathic Doctor performs thorough health and lifestyle assessments and utilizes advanced functional lab and genetic testing to understand your unique physiology and the root cause of your symptoms.
During an initial consultation your doctor will typically meet with you for a full hour to discuss your health goals, any related health issues and perform a physical assessment. The consultation and assessment help the doctor determine which lab tests to use as tools to illuminate how your body's systems are functioning and whether there are deficiencies in nutrients and vitamins or allergies limiting your total health. Comprehensive treatment plans address diet, supplementation, fitness, and stress management. Your plan is created and implemented to meet your specific needs. Consulting with a Naturopathic Doctor will get you on the right path towards optimal performance, energy, and overall wellbeing.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Naturopathic Doctor, not to be confused with a homeopath or a naturopath, is a healthcare provider that emphasizes prevention and the self-healing process.
Naturopathic Doctors work with a large tool-kit of evidence-based, safe and effective, natural therapies that can include herbs, vitamins and minerals, bioidentical hormones, nutritional IVs and other natural therapies. With this the provider can treat the underlying causes of disease and help to restore the whole body to optimal health.
The Naturopathic Doctor degree (ND or NMD) is earned from a four-year graduate level Naturopathic Medical College with admission requirements comparable to those of allopathic medical schools, including a bachelor’s degree and basic science education. During the 4 years of training, there are intensive studies of medical sciences including anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, clinical & physical diagnosis, pharmacology, cardiology, oncology, gastroenterology, gynecology, and pediatrics.
In addition to this standard medical curriculum, Naturopathic medical students must do extensive coursework in natural therapeutics including herbs, diet, and nutrients. This means Naturopathic Doctors often receive significantly more hours of classroom education than the graduates of many other leading medical schools.
There are currently 5 accredited Universities in the United States offering Doctorates in Naturopathic Medicine: Bastyr University in Seattle, WA and San Diego, CA; National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, OR; Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, AZ; and University of Bridgeport, CT.
Naturopathic treatments generally start with an extensive first visit, followed by clinical and specialty laboratory testing. A comprehensive treatment plan is then provided that can include herbs, vitamins and minerals, dietary recommendations, bio-identical hormones, nutrient injections and intravenous therapies, lifestyle changes and education. NDs use a wide range of natural therapies and write prescriptions for pharmaceuticals when appropriate. Naturopathic doctors promote wellness using the safest, most effective and least invasive therapies available.
The first visit with a Naturopathic Doctor is generally 60 minutes. This allows the health care provider to get to know you, and truly understand your unique history and physiology.
The first follow up visit is another full 60 minutes so that the practitioner can review tests results in detail with you, and discuss your comprehensive treatment plan.
Check in visits are then recommended at regular intervals, and these are generally 30 minutes.
Naturopathic Doctors are trained to treat a wide array of medical conditions including, but not limited to, gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular disease, hormone imbalance, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and endocrine dysfunction such as hypo and hyperthyroid.
This depends on what state you are in, and the current laws in that state. In WA state for example, NDs can prescribe most drugs that you would need. However, they are more likely to use other remedies first. In the state of CA, NDs are limited to hormone prescriptions, but can prescribe other medications including antibiotics, with supervision from an MD.
In the state of CA, Naturopathic Doctors are currently not contracted with insurance companies. However, most labs can be run through insurance and you can request a superbill to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement.