Originally Posted on October 22, 2013
Most of my patients come into my office with a host of physical complaints along with an extensive list of over the counter herbal and nutritional supplements. Half the time they have appropriately chosen remedies for their condition. I typically have a preference for a different dosage than they are taking, but often I will let the person continue their regimen for the time being so as not to change everything at once. That said, I have serious concerns about the quality of supplements patients are purchasing and consuming, along with their motivations for taking them in the first place. I do struggle, as a physician, with the obvious conflict of interest in my line of work. You see, as an ND I not only assess people’s state of health and disease, but I also advise certain treatment protocols that come directly from my shelves. Patients need to purchase remedies and supplements from me in order to fully adhere to my treatment protocols. The upside to this practice, however, is that I only purchase products from highly regarded nutraceutical companies who have extensive 3rd party testing and quality control practices. I can guarantee the purity of whatever remedies I am prescribing. Furthermore, I understand the biochemistry behind what I am prescribing and can match its actions appropriately to your specific needs. This article really highlights why it is important for people to work with someone who understand the supplement industry and how to navigate it not only for one’s consumer-pocketbook needs, but also from the medical perspective. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/267363.php
Lastly, as a naturopathic physician I also have a deep understanding of what it means to truly heal one’s condition. When you have sleep issues, taking 5-HTP is not addressing the underlying issue. If you have high cholesterol, red rice yeast extract does offer you a non-pharmaceutical alternative to statins, but you have not dealt with the cause of your high lipids to begin with. It takes a keen eye and a deep understanding of human physiology to truly unravel the complexity of disease in order that a patient may truly heal. But it can be done and my colleagues and I do it everyday. So why do I maintain my practice? Because people need experts in natural medicine in this day and age of unregulated nutritional supplements in order to be a wise consumer, but also to have someone on their team who can truly help them to heal. Just because you have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, or any other autoimmune or chronic disease, this doesn’t mean you are sentenced to a life of illness. If you have endometriosis, surgery and hormones are not your only option. You can continue to live your life free of symptoms and disease progression. And you can truly heal yourself.