How do I know if I am seeing a regulated Naturopathic Doctor?
Naturopathic doctors are regulated health professionals in the field of natural medicine, and training to become a naturopathic doctor requires a university undergraduate degree as well as four years in a college of naturopathic medicine. Training to be a naturopath involves both a classroom and hands-on approach, and there are 2 years of part-time internships and a full internship year to complete the program. Naturopathic doctors must write 2 board exams with the North American Board of Naturopathic Examinations ( NABNE ) and perform written and clinical board examinations with their province or state regulating bodies in order to practice. In Ontario, the BDDT-N ( Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy — Naturopathy ) is the regulatory body for naturopaths, governed under the Drugless Practitioners Act.
What conditions do naturopathic doctors treat?
Naturopathic doctors are qualified to treat and manage a wide variety of conditions, including the following, but are certainly not limited to:
- Gastrointestinal concerns: Heartburn, IBS, Celiac Disease, Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Constipation, Diarrhea, Parasitic and bacterial infections
- Skin: Eczema, Psoriasis, Rosacea, Ringworm, Acne
- Women’s Health: endometriosis, dysmenorrhea ( menstrual cramping and pain ), polycystic ovarian syndrome ( PCOS ), premenstrual syndrome ( PMS ), amenorrhea ( absence of menstrual cycle ), fertility, pre and post-pregnancy support, lactation, menopause, urinary tract infections, yeast infections
- Men’s Health: Prostate health, Impotence
- Mental Health: Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder
- General: Inability to sleep ( insomnia ), chronic fatigue, common cold, flu ( influenza ), pneumonia, bronchitis
What is the difference between a naturopathic doctors and my general practitioner ( conventional medical doctor )?
Naturopathic and conventional physicians are alike in that they both study biomedical sciences at a four-year accredited graduate medical school. Included in this rigorous curriculum are courses such as anatomy, physiology, neurology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, cardiology, minor surgery, and others. Both kinds of physicians can diagnose a disease, predict its course, and prescribe treatment. The difference is in the methods of treatment prescribed.
Is there any scientific basis to naturopathic medicine?
Yes. The effectiveness of naturopathic medicine is supported by a multitude of research, randomized– controlled studies, and continues to grow. Research on naturopathic treatments ( i.e. vitamins, herbs, acupuncture, the relationship between the body and mind ) have positive results and can be found in many reputable scientific journals.
Will my naturopathic doctor expect me to stop taking my pharmaceutical medication ( s )?
NO. Naturopathic doctors have studied pharmacological interventions ( drugs ) that you have been prescribed by your medical doctor, and are trained to work together with your other health care practitioners to give a medical protocol that will not interact with the medication you are taking.
Is a naturopathic doctor covered by OHIP?
Naturopathic doctors are not covered under OHIP, however most private insurance companies do have extensive coverage for naturopathic doctors. You will be provided with a receipt to send to your insurance company for reimbursement.
Are laboratory tests covered under OHIP with a naturopathic doctor?
Unfortunately, no. Laboratory tests that cannot be completed through your medical doctor will need to be paid by you. Some insurance companies will cover the costs of these tests. The costs of the laboratory tests are not dictated by your naturopathic doctor but the laboratory itself, and as a result your naturopathic doctor cannot change the pricing of those tests.
Why does my first appointment so long with a naturopathic doctor?
The first appointment with a naturopathic doctor is an hour in length, and is a very important first visit. This visit the practitioner must assimilate information from your entire medical history ( past and present ), which may or may not include laboratory testing, and a physical exam. Additionally, emotional, social, mental, and environmental stresses are included in this assessment. If a naturopath is truly going to treat you properly ( body, mind, and soul ), this requires time and research to tailor a program that is truly going to benefit you and your lifestyle.
How long will it take me to get better?
This depends on the person. Some conditions are easy to treat and can be resolved very quickly. If your medical concern has been an issue for quite some time, it may take some time to get to the specific causes of what is making you feel unwell. Naturopathic medicine is a very effective method of assisting the body back to wellness; however it can be initially a slower process. Additionally, it may require some work by you as the patient to change certain things in your life which may be impeding your health ( ie. your diet, your lifestyle ). You and your practitioner will work together towards your goals at a pace that is right for you.
Is naturopathic medicine the same as homeopathy?
No. Homeopathy is an energetic healing method that stimulates the body’s vital force to improve health — it is only one aspect of naturopathic medicine. Naturopathic medicine utilizes several treatment options — including homeopathy — to treat the causes of disease and support the body’s innate healing ability. Homeopaths are not currently licensed in Ontario, and do not fall under the governing of the Drugless Practitioners Act.