What is naturopathic medicine?

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What is naturopathic medicine?

Post  Migrainegirl on Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:21 pm

Naturopathic Medical school curriculum comprises approximately the same number of total course hours as Yale, Stanford, Johns Hopkins and the University of Arizona schools of medicine. The basic sciences of anatomy, biochemistry, etc, as well as the clinical and diagnostic sciences, including cardiology, gynecology, internal medicine, etc, are all virtually identical in all schools.

The grand difference between naturopathic and conventional medical schools lies in the choice of therapeutics. Naturopathic medical schools train doctors to use medicines made by nature first and drugs only as a second choice for emergency situations or as a temporary measure to control intolerable symptoms while safer natural medicines are used to correct the underlying cause of the disease. Conventional medical schools still have no course studies in Botanical Medicine, Homeopathy, or Clinical Nutrition. Naturopathic medical schools require at least 600-700 additional hours of these core classes.
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Re: What is naturopathic medicine?

Post  Migrainegirl on Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:44 pm

So my experience so far has been that the doctor works off of blood tests and works towards optimizing the levels of various things (adrenals, cortisols, neuro hormones, hormones, thyroid).

Does it work? That's what I'm trying to find out. So far I have much better energy and fewer headaches. We are still getting the levels right though. He has increased my supplements twice now, based on a retest ( some things had improved some not enough). Good news is no side effects!

I asked my regular doctor what he thought. Basically he did not think it would hurt me any, but said there was little evidence it worked. This is true. The problem is such studies are very expensive to conduct, and most such studies are funded by drug companies who will make a lot of money on prescription meds. So in the case of natural supplements, there is no patent, no big payoff and therefore no studies. This is not to say it does not work, just that there are not enough big studies looking into it. Most are relatively small. Also since the doses are customized to individual blood levels, it does not follow a regular medical study protocol of a fixed amount of drug X for everyone.

Bad news is most insurance does not cover naturopaths. I have spent about $3000 on blood tests so far and about $1000 on supplements over the past 3 months. Yes it's a lot. But I'm a lot more worried about getting well. Retiring early and living the rest of my life in pain is nuts. If I can avoid it. Getting my life back is worth that much and way more. Ive certainly spent that much in insurance copays and deductibles for doctors visits, medicines that did not work and made me worse, and injections that didn't work either. I refuse to have my medical care dictated to me by insurance company bureaucrats.

So that is the background on this one. I'll continue to post on how well it is working. I intend to give it through the end of May before making any judgement calls. But so far I feel great.
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Naturopathic medicine

Post  doximom on Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:55 pm

My 18-year-old son had a virus that left him with GERD. The "regular" doctors did every test imaginable including endoscopy, and could not conclude why this happened or how to really help. He was prescribed several drugs including Nexium, which did help for some time. The doctors told him to continue taking Nexium, possibly long term. He is a strong, athletic young man and his symptoms were really bad even with the drugs. Nobody seemed to know what else to do with him, and we were shuffled from one doctor to another.

I finally took him to a naturopathic doctor because I knew she would investigate and do a much more thorough battery of tests. I couldn't afford her fee ($600) so I went to her nurse practitioner who was just as knowledgeable and cost "only" $300. She ordered extensive blood and stool tests, and as it turns out my son had a huge imbalance in his gut -- no good bacteria at all, and tons of bad. No wonder he wasn't getting better.

He was put on a strict diet and lots of herbals, and major (expensive) probiotics. It took about 4 months, but guess what -- it worked. He is GERD-free, and no longer takes any meds. So I am really a believer in these wonderful doctors. They go beyond what traditional doctors do. It did cause a financial setback but it was worth it to make him better.

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Re: What is naturopathic medicine?

Post  Seaine on Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:47 pm

Migrainegirl wrote:The problem is such studies are very expensive to conduct, and most such studies are funded by drug companies who will make a lot of money on prescription meds. So in the case of natural supplements, there is no patent, no big payoff and therefore no studies. This is not to say it does not work, just that there are not enough big studies looking into it.

You're dead on! That's exactly the problem. Thank you for posting this!
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