What is Naturopathic Medicine? - Health Inside Out

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic medicine is devoted to understanding the root causes of chronic illness and then using a personalized medicine approach to intervene and reverse these underlying causes of disease, returning a patient to a state of health. The ultimate goal is to return a patient to a fully functioning, drug free, wellness state. This approach can be used to target virtually any chronic medical condition. Conventionally trained MDs who have adopted this philosophy and practice this approach have created the names Functional Medicine, or “Anti-Aging” Medicine.

How is Naturopathic Medicine Different from Conventional/ “Allopathic” Medicine? Conventional medicine is focused on acute illness, trauma, suppressing the symptoms of chronic illness, or heroic end-of-life interventions using a disease-based model: you either have the “disease” and are treated, or you don’t meet all the criteria and are ignored or placated with treatment of symptoms, (i.e., taking an antidepressant for PMS or Ibuprofen for joint pain, or an acid-blocker for indigestion, or a cholesterol pill, or a blood-pressure pill). Yet, you may still feel sick, you need help and you don’t want to take drugs indefinitely to treat symptoms. Naturopathic Medicine can help in these cases; it works to diagnose these conditions at a much earlier stage and to reverse them, hopefully preventing or even curing the full-blown disease state.

What types of Conditions Respond to Naturopathic Medicine? Any patient’s health can be improved with this approach. How much a disease can be reversed depends on how willing the patient is to implement the physician’s suggestions, how much damage has already been done, and what other factors are contributing to affect the disease state (“obstacles to cure”). Starting early and preventing a severe illness is much easier than treating an established full-blown illness. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Conditions treated successfully through the naturopathic philosophy of medicine include:

• Obesity • High Blood Pressure • High Cholesterol • GERD/Indigestion/Acid Reflux • Menopausal symptoms • Andropause (Low Testosterone) • Hypothyroidism • Food Sensitivities and Food Allergies • Irritable Bowel and Intestinal Parasites/Dysbiosis • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohns and UC) • Atrial Fibrillation and Arrhythmia • Congestive Heart Failure • Angina/Coronary Artery Disease • Migraines • Anxiety and Depression • Chronic Fatigue • High Blood Sugar and Type 2 Diabetes • Arthritis • Fibromyalgia • Osteopenia/Osteoporosis • Autoimmune Disease • Asthma • Eczema and Psoriasis • And many others…

Naturopathic Medicine is Personalized Medicine: Each patient is assessed as an individual with an extensive medical, dietary, toxicity, and nutritional history. Treatment is individualized based on specific functional imbalances detected via this approach. Medications may be the same in some cases as those used by conventional physicians, but often medications are compounded or designed just for the individual patient. In addition, nutritional supplements, nutritional IVs, other natural compounds, diet, fitness regimens, and bioidentical hormones may be employed to return the patient to a state of health.

Naturopathic Medicine is Patient-Centered Medicine. By using extensive intake questionnaires, spending ample time with you during visits, and communicating with you by email and telephone, your naturopathic medical doctor will have a better understanding of you and your needs than perhaps any other physician.

Naturopathic Medicine is a Partnership between You and Your Physician. Your doctor will act as a coach, as an educator, as a nutritionist, as a detective, as a researcher, as well as a prescriber of treatment. You will be responsible for altering those aspects of your lifestyle that are contributing to the disease state and cooperating with the prescribed treatments. Your doctor will reassess you and point out where improvements can be made over time.

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