How can a naturopath assist you?
A naturopath specialises in the treatment of health conditions using nutritional supplements, herbal remedies or diet and lifestyle advice. It can assist in the management of many longstanding health issues and also focuses on preventative health, to delay onset of or reduce severity of health problems that one may have a genetic predisposition to.
In addition to improvement in or resolution of symptoms, some of the benefits people notice when they embark on a natural treatment program with a naturopath include, better sleep, reduced fatigue and more energy and vitality. This is why even if a person does not have a specific health issue or medically diagnosed condition, they can still benefit from seeing a naturopath. Some of the other benefits are better ability to deal with stress, more efficient digestion, and improved mood.
Most naturopaths can treat the following conditions:
- Diabetes and other metabolic disorders
- Hormonal Imbalances (male or female)
- Recurrent Infections
- Chronic illnesses
- Digestive disorders
- Auto-immune disease
- Anxiety, depression and other mood disorders
- Dietary deficiencies, special diets for athletes, etc
- Food allergies and/or food intolerances
And much more!
If you suffer from any of these conditions, chances are you have visited a doctor and may have been presented with treatment options that are limited. In some cases, the medications are necessary but a naturopath can work in conjunction with your doctor to address lifestyle strategies that may reduce your reliance on pharmaceuticals in the long term.
In other cases, medications may be avoided by trying natural treatment options first, and kept as a last resort. Several clinical studies have shown herbs, nutrients and superfoods to be beneficial in treatment of health conditions, and in some cases offer additional health benefits. It is wise to select a naturopath that practices ‘evidenced-based medicine’ which means he or she only prescribes remedies and treatment options that have featured in clinical trials that have supported their therapeutic benefits.
The reason it is better to visit a naturopath than to purchase products from chemists and health food stores is that a naturopath takes a detailed case history as part of the initial consultation. This addresses different body systems, so that the naturopath can tailor treatments specific to your health needs, metabolic state and constitution. A health store or chemist may not consider all these health aspects and often the focus is on upselling products rather than prescribing what is needed and in many instances seeing a naturopath would cost less. Many a time a naturopath may address the health issues at hand with diet and lifestyle advice alone.
Clients often opt for natural treatments due to avoid side effects associated with certain medications which may at times be worse than the condition itself. On the whole, natural treatments are safe and effective and are a way of decreasing dependence on pharmaceuticals. Adverse reactions to natural remedies are rare, and often are linked with inappropriate dosages used or poor quality excipients (binders and fillers that are added to tablets) found in a lot of the cheaper supplements or out of date products consumed.
Nimisha Singh is a qualified Naturopath from Melbourne, Australia, and is FitVoo’s resident naturopathic and wellness researcher and author.