But I'm already healthy!
You’ve worked really hard to achieve your health and wellness. You eat a balanced diet, with fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats, lean proteins, enjoyable treats and snacks. You move your body and it returns the favor with little to no injuries, you feel great and have lots of energy, you’re able to do the things in life that you want to do. You’re healthy. The “Picture of health” scenario, indicated by 🏆. Do you need a naturopathic doctor (ND)?
OR maybe you do all the things above to achieve health and wellness, but you don’t feel… right. The “But I’m doing everything right!” scenario, indicated by 😫. Do you need a naturopathic doctor?
And maybe you’ve gone to your primary care doctor, perhaps even a few specialists who have all run loads of labs, but everything comes back normal. So your doctors tell you, “You’re healthy,” but you still don’t feel it. The “Labs are normal” scenario, indicated by 📊. Do you need a naturopathic doctor?
While naturopathic doctors are able to help their clients with specific conditions and concerns, they’re also advocates for preventative medicine. That means working with clients who are already healthy and helping them fine-tune their lifestyle to both achieve health goals and mitigate concerns of genetic diseases or family medical history predictions. Let’s consider the above three scenarios as we go through five ways you could benefit from working with a naturopathic doctor even if you’re healthy.
The hidden pattern 😫📊
Naturopathic doctors (NDs) are trained in primary care medicine with an additional naturopathic lens. When NDs order and interpret routine blood work, they comb through results and look for particular patterns of values that might not be flagged outrightly “abnormal” on the lab report. This is particularly helpful for the “But I’m doing everything right!” and “Labs are normal” type of clients. Whether you establish care and bring recent lab work with you, or if your ND orders new labs for you, they will be interpreting these results outside of the obviously “normal” or “abnormal” framework. If they identify an abnormal pattern, they are able to recommend dietary adjustments, lifestyle changes, and/or nutritional & botanical supplements aimed at correcting these patterns.
Specialty testing 🏆😫📊
It might be the case that your routine blood work has neither frank abnormalities OR hidden abnormal patterns. In that case, NDs might order what is broadly called “specialty” testing. Specialty testing includes things like stool, microbiome, micronutrient, food, allergen, toxin, etc. analysis. Ordering such a test is dependent on your symptoms and exposures. This benefit of working with a ND is majorly experienced by the “But I’m doing everything right!” and “Labs are normal” type of clients; however, some of the “Picture of health” clients still like having something like a baseline micronutrient panel performed to see how their current lifestyle and regimen is measuring up.
Naturopathic crystal ball 🏆😫📊
This next benefit goes hand-in-hand with NDs’ ability to analyze routine and specialty lab testing. Sometimes when clients are already healthy, they establish with a ND because they want to prevent disease later on in life. This could be inspired watching friends and family struggle with certain conditions, or when they know a certain illness runs in their family. The culmination of routine and specialty lab testing, alongside understanding the client’s current lifestyle, nutrition, and supplement regimen, NDs are able to explain to their clients what they might expect and what, if anything, they may want to change to avoid something down the road. Now, the name of this section is a bit dramatic, it’s not that NDs have a crystal ball and are able to predict exactly how your health will progress. However, given their training and expertise in natural & preventative health, NDs can help you navigate what risks we know to be true and what cutting-edge research has to say about the influence of diet, lifestyle, and supplementation.
This benefit is helpful for all three scenarios–the “Picture of health”, “But I’m doing everything right!”, and “Labs are normal”.
Establish for the acutes 🏆😫📊
Perhaps you’re happy with your health and wellness, or you’re on your health journey to such a state, and you wish to use natural interventions as often as possible moving forward with the lifestyle you’ve achieved. You can always establish care with a ND and whenever an acute illness pops up (because they will!), you’ll have a ND as a part of your healthcare team to consult with for their recommendations. Since they’re trained in primary care, they’re able to help you navigate when to step up an intervention from natural to synthetic/pharmaceutical. And otherwise, you may get away with never having to rely on a pharmaceutical for those pesky colds, allergies, sore throats, itchy eyes, stuffy nose, cuts, etc. that happen no matter how we try to avoid them.
You have a regimen, let’s fine-tune it 🏆😫📊
Now this benefit of working with a ND is really for anyone who has the internet, social media, friends & family… because we know you’ve all heard about what supplements you NEED to take for this and what you NEED to take for that. And so you buy them, because you want to be healthier and happier! NDs not only know the physiology of vitamins & minerals as well as the mechanisms of action for different herbs, they are also trained to consider supplement, herb, and drug interactions. NDs also care about the quality of the supplements and vitamins you purchase and consume on a day-to-day basis, and can be extremely particular about what brands they recommend. For this reason, NDs thoroughly review the supplements and herbs you may have self-prescribed and can make recommendations with regards to continuation, importance, dose, contraindications, brand quality, etc. This is an integral part of any standard appointment with a ND, but the NDs at Atlantic Naturopathic also specifically offer “Supplement Review” visits for those who are healthy and just want to optimize the regimen they have currently.
You should be proud of your health and wellness–you’ve worked incredibly hard to achieve it! NDs are healthcare professionals who can help you optimize it and mitigate any health obstacles that may come your way.
Written by: Dr. Olivia Froehlich ND