Just common sense

A patient walks in feel­ing tired. Do they need:

  1. A nutri­tion­al check
  2. An explor­a­tion of blood work
  3. A refer­ral to a psy­cho­lo­gist for their inab­il­ity to deal with stress
  4. A good night’s sleep
  5. All of the above

Answer : e) all of the above

One of the most com­mon ques­tions I get is what IS a natur­o­path­ic doc­tor, and how does it dif­fer from my reg­u­lar doc­tor ? In truth, a natur­o­path­ic doc­tor should not dif­fer much from your con­ven­tion­al doc­tor, as we study sim­il­ar sub­jects in school ( i.e. bio­logy, ana­tomy, bio­chem­istry, physiology, etc ), learn phar­ma­ceut­ic­als ( drugs ), send patients for blood work, do phys­ic­al exams, and the list goes on.

So how do we dif­fer ? We pre­scribe dif­fer­ently, it is true. In Ontario, natur­o­path­ic doc­tors ( NDs ) don’t pre­scribe phar­ma­ceut­ic­als. We may use acu­punc­ture, or herb­al medi­cine, or a vit­am­in, or explore your diet to improve your health.

These things sound very simple, and so under­stand­ably, you are sus­pi­cious. How can broc­coli help with my chron­ic fatigue ? That sounds silly. Well, this would be silly if a broc­coli defi­ciency is what we were address­ing. Perhaps instead you are lack­ing in key nutri­ents in broc­coli and we then may look at the rami­fic­a­tions of defi­cien­cies in mag­nesi­um or anti­ox­id­ant vit­am­ins, and how then major organ sys­tems in your body may also be affected by these nutri­ent defi­cien­cies. There are then lar­ger implic­a­tions for your dis­taste for broc­coli !

The Truth

The lux­ury natur­o­path­ic doc­tors have is simply, time. I have the time to dig a little deep­er for chron­ic con­di­tions that will not go away with an anti­bi­ot­ic after the 3rd treat­ment, and find out why exactly you have not slept in a year and why your sleep med­ic­a­tion is simply not keep­ing you asleep, and why it might be giv­ing you night­mares. It is a very indi­vidu­al­ized approach because of more time togeth­er. Our bod­ies behave in pre­dict­able ways, and one of my jobs is to dis­cov­er the indi­vidu­al ways in which your body’s essen­tial needs are or are not being met.

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