Naturopathic Doctors are experts in holistic wellness, including diet, exercise, stress reduction, and also prescription medications!
Why is it important to see a Naturopathic Doctor when you’re taking a prescription medication?
Many medications are life saving and necessary, but they can also strip the body of vital nutrients required for long-term wellness. A Naturopathic Doctor has extensive medical knowledge and database access to determine which nutrients and hormones are being impacted by a drug.
Examples of nutrient-robbing medications:
|ACE Inhibitors (for cardiovascular disease): Lotensin, Vasotec
|Antibiotics: Penicillin, sulfonamide, erythromycin
||Calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, disruption of beneficial intestinal bacteria
|Benzodiazepines (for anxiety and sleep): Valium, Xanax
|Beta Blockers (for cardiovascular disease): Inderal, Lopressor
||Coenzyme Q10, melatonin
|Birth Control Pills: Ovral, Demulen
||Folic acid, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, zinc, selenium, trace minerals
|Bronchodilators (for asthma and respiratory problems): Albuterol, Serevent
|Calcium Channel Blockers (for cardiovascular disease): Cardizem, Norvasc
|Diabetes Drugs: Glucophage, Avandia
||Vitamins B12 and B6, folic acid, coenzyme Q10, sodium, zinc, magnesium, potassium
|Estrogen: Premarin, Prempro
|NSAIDs: Ibuprofen, naproxen
||Folic acid, iron, vitamin C
|Potassium-Sparing Diuretics: Aldactone, Dytac
||Folic acid, iron, vitamin C, zinc
|SSRI Antidepressants: Prozac, Paxil
||Sodium, folic acid, melatonin
|Statins (for lowering cholesterol): Mevacor, Zocor
|Thiazide Diuretics: Diuril, hydrochlorothiazide
||Magnesium, coenzyme Q10, potassium, sodium, zinc, thiamine, vitamins B6 and C
|Thyroid Replacement: Synthroid
|Ulcer Drugs: Zantac, Pepcid
||Vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc, folic acid, impaired protein digestion
It’s important to not see naturopathic medicine from an all-or-nothing perspective, but more so how it can support your current medical care and lifestyle. NDs are very happy to coordinate care with family physicians, specialists, dieticians, you name it. We are all members of your health team and speak the same medical language and have your wellbeing at heart.
Moderation is key to a balanced lifestyle. That’s why it’s usually okay to eat that chocolate cake at a birthday party, as long as you generally eat healthy throughout the week. Eating organic as much as possible is a necessary step towards long-term health.
It turns out that positive change can happen really fast! Eating organic can reduce the amount of pesticides circulating in your body by 90% after only ONE WEEK! Wow. You can’t ask for quicker results than that.
The study was performed in Australia in 2014 and involved eating 80% organic which might not be as easily done in Sudbury, Ontario. However, you can feel more motivated because any shift in the right direction will have nearly immediate consequences.
Naturopathic Doctors are your best allies for formulating your ideal organic diet free of allergens and FULL of nutrients.
I am a Naturopathic Doctor in Sudbury, Ontario, and I see myself as a naturopathic health investigator. I also see myself as a vehicle for people to access natural but also more comprehensive health care.
My visit structure
I gather all relevant information (health history, medications, supplements, dietary habits, exercise, previous lab results, etc) and then sort through to determine the origin of the patient’s concern. This usually entails a 1 to 1.5 hour intake, blood work performed at LifeLabs and often some additional homework done by the patient (such as a diet and activity log like My Fitness Pal). Once all of the information is compiled the root cause if often quite obvious. It is then up to the patient (with my support of course) to put in the work required to turn things around. The sooner we catch it, the quicker the turn around. It is really rewarding to see such dramatic shifts in a patient’s health with such gentle interventions!
After the initial 1 to 1.5 hour naturopathic appointment I am almost always able to make some initial suggestions to get the ball rolling while we wait for the blood work results (be that dietary, lifestyle or supplement-based). I will then request a second appointment within an appropriate timeline (2-4 weeks depending on the initial suggestions), and it’s in this second appointment that I can really prescribe a comprehensive naturopathic treatment plan. The third visit is usually a quick check in to make sure we’re on the right path (often scheduled 4-6 weeks later), and after that visits are typically every 3 months if not longer… though many patients are completely better by the third appointment and I just ask them to come in if anything new arises.
Why it’s important to make naturopathic medicine accessible
I believe this is how naturopathic care should be. No, we can’t gather everything within a typical 15 minute appointment many of my patients are accustomed to with their family physician, but nor should our patients have to wait three full visits before receiving any recommendations. Naturopathic Doctors are well educated and that wisdom allows us to be able to have a good sense of what’s going on with the patient in the first visit based on the extensive intake. The labs and follow-up should be narrowing down and ruling out.
As Naturopathic Doctors we are THE alternative diagnosticians to the conventional health care stream, and often times our first visit is a patient’s one foray into the natural health realm. We need to make our medicine accessible and useable. Having to wait until the third (often viewed as expensive – though covered by extended health care plans) visit for any sort of explanation of underlying cause or treatment can spook our patients, and more importantly limit their access to our knowledge.
If you have any questions or comments about this visit structure of style of practice please contact me at my practice Nickel Ridge in Sudbury, Ontario.
We are switching hats!
A new baby has shifted my priorities and I’m very happy to report that Matt Lynds, our cherished Registered Physiotherapist, is now the owner and operator of Nickel Ridge! This way I can focus more on my naturopathic practice (spending more time on patient research and continuing education) and I can have my weekends to hang out with my little munchkin. I couldn’t be more excited about going back to work with this clear setup, and I’m looking forward to digging deep into stagnant cases with fresh eyes.
Matt is going to mostly keep things the same, spiffing up the rough edges, add more reception hours and a small gym to support the physiotherapy offerings. You’ll see the clinic name change to Nickel Ridge Physiotherapy, but don’t be fooled, your Naturopathic Doctors and Massage Therapists are still here too.
Let us know if you have any questions or concerns, but we don’t expect any bumps in the road along this transition.
Over and out my friends! See you in the clinic!
All the best,
Dr. Sarah Goulding, Naturopathic Doctor