Understanding Naturopathic Doctors | How They Help & Their Education

naturopathic doctors writing in notepad

More and more people are becoming interested in natural forms of treatment and alternative ways to heal the body. This has led to an increase in popularity for naturopathic medicine and doctors but also comes with questions about the background and clinical training of Naturopathic Doctors and the practices employed.

You might not realize that a licensed naturopathic physician (ND) attends a four-year, graduate-level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all the same basic sciences just as other medical doctors. They also study holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness and are considered primary care physicians by the state of California. The goal of a naturopathic doctor is to treat the underlying cause of the patient’s illness, chronic conditions, or pain, versus treating the symptoms a patient is experiencing.

Why naturopathic medicine?

With healthcare costs rising and a desire to reduce the number of interventions a person needs regularly; naturopathic medicine has become a desirable option for treatment and prevention. More specifically, naturopathic medicine is beneficial to people dealing with chronic pain of any kind, managing hormonal imbalances, or dealing with symptoms that seem to have unknown causes. Naturopathic medicine can also be used in conjunction with conventional medicine to minimize the side effects of harmful treatment options. One key focus of naturopathic medicine is to evaluate someone’s health by looking at the whole picture in conjunction with lab results, not just physical issues.

How do naturopathic doctors differ?

Naturopathic doctors are looking at the complete picture of what’s happening with a patient to address the underlying causes. They use extensive lab testing and epigenetic testing to diagnose the root cause of illness and complaints and are experts in improving human health. NDs typically spend one hour with their patients during an initial consultation to get a comprehensive and individualistic picture of their patient and decide what labs and tests to order.

Once the diagnosis is made, NDs will then work with the patient to develop a personalized plan of care based on the results of the tests and the patient’s lifestyle choices. The healing power of herbal medicine and other natural approaches will often be recommended as a form of medical care, aimed at improving the overall health of patients instead of just masking the symptoms with prescription medication.

What does this mean for you?

If you are suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, hormone imbalance, or other symptoms that don’t seem to have a clear answer or haven’t responded to traditional medicine, it may be time to consider a visit to an ND and consider a naturopathic program of treatments.

An ND is just as well equipped as traditional doctors to diagnose and treat your symptoms; however, take it a step further by using integrative medicine. By offering natural therapies, the side effects and symptoms of conventional medicine are avoided, and the whole body is primed to heal itself. NDs aim to raise your overall quality of life and prevent further illness by helping you optimize your body’s natural functioning.

Naturopathic doctors take a holistic approach

Naturopathic doctors also look at the symptoms and the physical ailments and the outside factors in a person’s life that might be having negative effects on their health. A person’s mental state can play a huge role in physical issues, so it’s important to understand a person’s background, medical and family history, current routines including what type of work a person does and how much stress it causes, etc. In conjunction with extensive lab and (possibly) genetic testing, and by getting a complete history and profile of an individual, a naturopathic doctor can decide the best treatment options to increase the odds of it being successful.

A synergy of natural therapies and functional lab testing

The effectiveness of treatment prescribed will be measured by patient improvement and quantified scientifically by follow-up testing of diagnostic labs.

We are happy to sit down with you and discuss our practice and different treatment options to give you peace of mind as well as hope for maintaining or improving your health in a way that’s best for you. Schedule your appointment with KOI Wellbeing today to start working on your plan for more comprehensive health care.

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