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Medical Care

What is Naturopathic Medicine?

Naturopathic Medicine views the individual as an integral whole, and symptoms of disease are seen as indicators of improper functioning and unfavourable habits of lifestyle. As a result, a primary goal of treatment is to address the underlying cause of illness and to avoid treatments that might cause new illness and complicate the existing disease process. Naturopathic Medicine is founded on the most time-tested medical principle: vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature. Under this system, the goal of the naturopathic physician is to restore the normal functioning of the body through the use of natural substances and treatments that enhance the body’s own healing abilities.

How are Naturopathic Physicians Trained?

Education must be completed at an institute that is approved by the Council of Naturopathic Medical Education and recognized by the CNPBC. After successful completion of the Naturopathic Licensing Examinations (NPLEX) and the CNPBC’s Jurisprudence and Oral/Practical exam the Naturopathic License is awarded.

Do Naturopathic Physicians Perform Examinations?

An extensive history and physical examination may be performed using standard diagnostic instruments and laboratory tests. In addition, much information may be requested related to patient’s lifestyle including diet, emotional stress, exercise and exposure to environmental hazards.

Do Naturopathic Doctors use Drugs and Surgery?

Naturopathic medicine includes the use of hundreds of medications derived from natural sources. Naturopathic Physicians are trained to recognize conditions which can only be healed using drugs or surgery. In these cases, patients are referred to a medical doctor for appropriate treatment.

What Conditions and Illnesses do Naturopathic Physicians Commonly Treat?

Virtually all acute and chronic conditions may benefit from treatment by naturopathic physicians. Medical emergencies are referred to the local hospital.

What are the Advantages of Naturopathic Care?

The goal of naturopathic physicians is to understand the needs of the patient, and involves gathering medical information through Q&A visits, questionnaires, exams and necessary testing. These details are the basis of your evaluation which lead to the recommendations in medicines, therapies and life-styles that are tailored to remediate your health problems. Great effort is made to use natural approaches for you which will involve and teach you in your healing the journey towards health.

How do Naturopathic Physicians Function as Part of Today’s Health Care System?

Naturopathic physicians function as primary care providers and are trained to work in cooperation with all other health care practitioners to combine conventional medical and naturopathic treatment. This means they are frequently the first practitioner to see a patient for a given complaint. When specialized care is required, a referral is made.

Why did Naturopathic Medicine evolve as a separate branch of the Healing Arts?

Throughout medical history, there has been a strong tradition of natural healing. This tradition forms the basis of modern naturopathic medicine. In 1900, a group of medical doctors (M.D.’s) and practitioners of natural healing arts formed the Naturopathic Society of America. These physicians also established naturopathic colleges and large sanitariums throughout North America. Most of these early naturopathic doctors received a portion of their training in European natural healing centres, some of which are still flourishing. Naturopathic Physicians have been registered by B.C. legislation since 1921 and in 1936, they became a self-regulating profession under the Naturopathic Physicians Act. After 1950, a post-war fascination with medical technology resulted in a declining interest in naturopathic medicine. However, a short twenty years later, naturopathic medicine began experiencing a profound rebirth as public interest began shifting back to natural methods of healthcare for millions of North Americans.

Are chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia autoimmune diseases?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (feye-broh-meye-AL-juh) (FM) are not autoimmune diseases. But they often have symptoms of some autoimmune disease, like being tired all the time and pain.

CFS can cause you to be very tired, have trouble concentrating, feel weak, and have muscle pain. Symptoms of CFS come and go. The cause of CFS is unknown.

FM is a disorder in which pain or tenderness is felt in multiple places all over the body. These “tender points” are located on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs and are painful when pressure is applied to them. Other symptoms include fatigue, trouble sleeping, and morning stiffness. FM mainly occurs in women of childbearing age, but children, the elderly, and men are sometimes can also get it. The cause is unknown.

How do I find out if I have an autoimmune disease?

Getting a diagnosis can be a long and stressful process. Although each autoimmune disease is unique, many share some of the same symptoms. And many symptoms of autoimmune diseases are the same for other types of health problems too. This makes it hard for doctors to find out if you really have an autoimmune disease, and which one it might be. But if you are having symptoms that bother you, it’s important to find the cause. Don’t give up if you’re not getting any answers. You can take these steps to help find out the cause of your symptoms:

Write down a complete family health history that includes extended family and share it with your naturopathic doctor.

Record any symptoms you have, even if they seem unrelated, and share it with your naturopathic doctor.

See a specialist who has experience dealing with your most major symptom. For instance, if you have symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, see a gastroenterologist.

Get a second, third, or fourth opinion if need be. If your doctor doesn’t take your symptoms seriously or tells you they are stress-related or in your head, see another doctor including the naturopathic one

What types of doctors treat autoimmune diseases?

Immune system problems can be very puzzling. Juggling your health care needs among many doctors and specialists can be hard. Dr. Heathir focuses on ways to help you to integrate treatments like these ones:

  • Vitiligo (vit-ihl-EYE-goh) — a disease that destroys the cells that give your skin its color
  • Rheumatoid arthritis — a disease that affects the lining of the joints throughout the body
  • Addison’s disease — a disease that affects the adrenal glands, which make hormones that help your body respond to stress and regulate your blood pressure and water and salt balance. Low adrenal function.
  • Type 1 diabetes — a disease that causes blood sugar levels to be too high
  • Graves’ disease — a disease that causes the thyroid to make too much thyroid hormone
  • Pernicious (pur-NISH-uhss) anemia — a disease that keeps your body from absorbing vitamin B12 and making enough healthy red blood cells
  • Lupus — a disease that can damage many parts of the body, such as the joints, skin, blood vessels, and other organs
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