See A Naturopathic Doctor; Your Heart Will Thank You
Do you have a Naturopathic Doctor yet? If not you may be missing out on some major benefits according to a recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. The study showed that people who were receiving care from a licensed Naturopathic Doctor (ND) for one year (in addition to standard medical care) had a lower risk of heart disease than those who only received standard care from a medical doctor. They also had a 17% decrease prevalence of metabolic syndrome which is the combination of high blood pressure, high body fat, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. Heart disease is a common disease and is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. so decreasing this risk with Naturopathic care translates to thousands of lives saved each year. It also means potentially saving hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in healthcare spending each year.
Another study published last year highlighted greater improvement in patients with diabetes after receiving care from a Naturopathic Doctor along with standard care vs. standard care alone. These are powerful results and hold so much potential for transforming health care in the U.S. Why are Naturopathic Doctors so effective for prevention and treatment of heart disease? NDs take the time to partner with patients so they understand what heart disease is, the causes and risk factors, and most importantly how patients can take control of their heart health through diet, exercise, supplements, and stress management to prevent and treat heart disease.
Most medical doctors would agree that conditions related to heart health such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure can often be treated with lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, they frequently do not have the time to discuss diet and lifestyle or give patients the support they need. With the time constraint it becomes easier for them to recommend medications for heart-related conditions. NDs can prescribe medications but often don’t do this as a first line treatment if it’s not absolutely necessary because natural therapies, diet, and exercise are so effective. They also gladly take the time to offer patients support and education during the transitions.
The added benefit of working on heart health with a Naturopathic Doctor is that many other symptoms and conditions will likely improve too. Conditions like arthritis, diabetes, autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, chronic pain syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, and asthma, often respond very well to the same recommendations NDs give to improve heart health because they share the common denominator—inflammation. In other words, reduce inflammation and you will reduce all chronic disease.
This study is another example of the importance of utilizing an integrated, team approach to healthcare which includes both Naturopathic Doctors and Medical Doctors. Patients benefit tremendously from this collaborative approach and the effects spread far beyond heart health alone.
If you do not have a Naturopathic Doctor yet and would like to learn more about how you could benefit from Naturopathic Medicine, Dr. Hulsing offers a free 15 minute consultation for prospective patients.
“Adjunctive Naturopathic care for type 2 diabetes: patient-reported and clinical outcomes after one year.” Ryan Bradley, Karen J Sherman, Sheryl Catz, Carlo Calabrese, Erica B Oberg, Luesa Jordan, Lou Grothaus and Dan Cherkin BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2012, 12:44
“Naturopathic medicine for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: a randomized clinical trial.” Dugald Seely, Orest Szczurko, Kieran Cooley, Heidi Fritz, Serenity Aberdour, Craig Herrington, Patricia Herman, Phillip rouchotas, David Lescheid, Ryan Bradley, Tara Gignac, Bob Bernhardt, Qi Zhou, Gordon Guyatt. CMAJ April 29, 2013.