Top 5 Reasons Patients Seek A Naturopathic Doctor
A naturopathic doctor can serve in many capacities in our health care system. Having knowledge of both alternative medicine and conventional medicine gives them a unique ability to help patients from many angles. Some patients utilize naturopathic doctors as primary care doctors and others look to them for specialist in alternative medicine. While there are a variety of treatments and conditions patients see naturopathic doctors for, 5 reasons seem to out-weigh others.
1: Naturopathic doctors help with sleep and fatigue
Day time fatigue and poor sleep go hand and hand. There are many causes for this such as adrenal hormone imbalance, sleep apnea, neurotransmitter deficiency, prescription medications.
Many people get in the habit of taking prescription medications for sleep and end up needing more and more to sleep. Most of the sleep medications on the market are habit forming and cause you to be dependent on them in order to sleep. The reason they do this is because your body starts to down regulate the production of sedative neurotransmitters in responce to the sedative medications. Then when you try to go without, you can't sleep at all. The other thing that happens to your sleep with these medications is you don't enter into the deeper stages of sleep. Over time this makes a bigger impact on how rested you feel even if you get 8 hrs of sleep.
These are all normal responses but many people find they can re-gain normal sleep patterns with holistic or integrative medicine approaches by a naturopathic physician. When it comes to insomnia or sleep dysfunction addressing the underlying cause and using holistic treatments will get you sleeping deeper and longer.
2. Naturopathic doctors help with aches and pains
As our bodies age small injuries can turn into chronic pain. Sometime the nagging pains can be part of a more complex medical condition and other times the body just needs a little assistance healing the joints and tissues. Degenerative joint disease and degenerative disc disease are a normal part of aging and known as osteoarthritis. While it is normal to have some degeneration with age, it doesn't always cause significant pain. When it does it can range from mild occasional aches to severe and constant pain. The pain itself is a result of the mechanical wear and tear and the resulting inflammation and activation of the local nerves. Exercise and sports can sometimes cause aches and pains that linger. Often this is a result of incomplete repair to the damaged area leading to chronic inflammation and pain.
The common denominator in the above common causes for aches and pains is inflammation. To reduce inflammation naturopathic doctors look at diet first. Because inflammation comes from the fatty acids we eat, it makes sense to consider this for treatment. Having a more balanced omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio, is a good idea.
3. Naturopathic doctors help hard to treat skin rashes
Skin rashes can vary dramatically based on cause, location on the body, person they are on, etc. For some the skin rashes come down to sensitive skin and others part of a more complex medical condition. In many cases some component of the rash is an inflammatory response created by the immune system. This is why a common treatment is some form of a steroid like hydro-cortisone. While this steroid will likely make the rash go down or go away temporarily, it will likely come back too until the underlying cause is addressed.
Sometimes the cause is food allergies or other digestive problems, sometimes vitamin deficiencies can play a role too.
Check out this case study on the skin rashes.
4. Naturopathic Doctors treat menopause
Hormone imbalances are the cause of many symptoms in both men and women. During menopause many women experience hot flashes that can be unbearable. The hot flashes often disrupt sleep which can lead to daytime fatigue and sometimes anxiety too. Hormone imbalances in women can alter mood aside from hot flashes as well. Progesterone is a hormone that stabilizes mood and has actions similar to sedative and mood stabilizer medications. Progesterone deficiency is a common occurrence just before a woman begins to stop menstruating known as peri-menopause. Progesterone deficiency is thought to be the reason for mood changes during this time.
Later estrogen levels fluctuate and fall which is the main reason for hot flashes and night sweats. Many naturopathic doctors support hormone changes with treatments like bioidentical hormone, herbal medicine, and Chinese medicine. In Arizona, bioidentical hormones are very popular.
5. Naturopathic doctors treat digestive complaints.
Often times people with these digestive symptoms may have these for years without getting a diagnosis as to why they are occurring. This can occur when patients symptoms and signs don't match any typical western medicine diagnosis. After seeing digestive specialists and other doctors without luck, they seek a holistic perspective.
Digestion is one of the most fundamental aspects of health because so many other aspects of our health relies on it to function. When we don't have good digestion our energy, immune, and many other aspects of our health are compromised. Because so many other systems in our bodies depend on healthy digestion naturopathic doctors, look at digestive system problems with more scrutiny. Taking time to optimize digestive function will help the entire body in the long run.
With each of the above five symptoms, it is importnat to note that the treatment for these will vary from person to person. There can be physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects to all of the above symptoms above. The role of the naturopathic doctor is to determine which of these is going to make the most impact for any given person. Through doing this all the treatments will be more effecive.
To learn more about how our naturopathic doctors migh treat your health condition, click on the link below for a free consultation with a phoenix naturopathic doctor.