What To Expect in a Naturopathic Visit
Our Program Consists of:
A detailed health history, family history and physical exam is done to determine present and past physical health factors as well as psychological issues that may be contributing to the health concerns of the patient. An evaluation of lifestyle and environmental factors also adds more information to help the doctor determine the right program for the patient.
Additional functional methods such as muscle testing or Vega testing will be done by the doctors in an attempt to gather as much information about your present state of health from another point of view.
Standard Lab Diagnosis may be suggested and is done either through the patient's medical doctor or through labs used by naturopathic doctors. There is an additional charge when these tests are done through the ND's office.
Following the first visit an individualized treatment program with dietary, lifestyle and supplement recommendations will be provided. Treatment programs are generally given for a month period and a follow up visit to evaluate progress is scheduled a month later.
Individualized treatment protocols are recommended based on the results of the specific tests and lab work done on the patient. A naturopathic assessment and program includes education of the patient about how to care for themselves based on their needs and concerns, time and energy available. Our goal at the clinic is to assist individuals in gaining and maintaining optimal health on all levels: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.
A second visit will be scheduled one month later to evaluate the progress of the patient and make any necessary changes. At this time live blood cell testing or specialized urinalysis may be conducted to aid in achieving an optimal state of functioning in the body. Subsequent visits will then be scheduled in three to six month intervals.
We encourage our patients to ask questions and address all concerns that they have as one symptom may be related to another symptom going on at the same time in the body.
Specialized testing that may be recommended for follow up visits:
Specialized testing provides the ND with additional insight into the disease process and may be recommended for the second appointment if it's felt this testing would provide helpful information regarding the patient's condition. Unfortunately any testing recommended by Naturopathic Doctors is not covered by Alberta Health Care or extended Insurance programs so care is taken in our clinic to ensure that any extra testing is warranted so the patient is not paying out of pocket for unnecessary information.
When recommended properly these specialized tests can provide valuable sources of information that conventional testing may miss. For example, if we use a condition such as heart disease, in screening for heart disease standard medical testing would include blood tests and an EKG and should evidence of heart disease be found in the patient, additional testing would be recommended by a cardiologist.
A naturopathic doctor would also use tests such as homocysteine found on a blood test which is a major indicator for heart disease, live blood cell analysis which can indicate problems with the consistency of the blood and free radical presence which contributes to heart disease. These tests can give the naturopathic doctor additional information to structure a therapeutic treatment plan specific to patient conditions and concerns.
Examples of Specialized Testing that may be recommended:
- Live Blood Cell Analysis - used as an adjunct to asses the earlier signs of disease in the body. It helps to assess the functioning of the liver, immune and digestive systems as well as dehydration, vitamin E deficiency, early signs of stroke and iron/B12 deficiency. Learn more about Live Blood Cell Analysis.
- Specialized Urinalysis - used to evaluate levels of certain nutrients, bowel integrity, and stress hormone levels. Learn more about Specialized Urinalysis.
- Salivary Hormone Tests - are more sensitive than blood levels to measure estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid hormone and stress hormones such as cortisol and DHEA. Evaluation of these hormones may indicate imbalances that result in menopausal symptoms, decreased ability to adapt to stress, metabolism imbalances resulting in weight gain or loss, cancer and cardiovascular degeneration.
- Basal Body Temperatures and the Iodine Test - a simple yet useful test that can be used to evaluate the function of the thyroid gland, the hormone system that regulates body temperature and metabolism.
- Orthostatic Blood Pressure (lying then standing) - a test done in the office which can help determine the person's stress adaptation capability. The adrenal glands are the stress adaptive organs so any change in the orthostatic blood pressure can indicate functional adrenal problems.
- Food Allergy Testing - A number of health conditions are either caused or exacerbated by people eating foods that they may be allergic to and identification and avoidance of certain foods can often resolve a number of challenging symptoms
- Hair Analysis - testing that can be can done when mineral imbalances or heavy metal toxicity are suspected.
- Dietary and lifestyle review and counseling - Diet and lifestyle recommendations are based on the individual needs and food responses of the patient.