What is a Naturopathic Doctor and What Can They Do?

What is a Naturopathic Doctor and What Can They Do?

Health & Wellness
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Naturopathic doctors are like your primary care physician. They study the art of medicine and they are medically trained to handle patients for many years. It is important to address that there are different types of naturopathic practitioners and some often confuse one over the other. With that, we would discuss who they are, what they can do, and how they can help you.

Who they are

Before delving into the difference between traditional naturopaths and naturopathic doctors/physicians, it is important that you first understand what naturopathic medicine is. Naturopathy or naturopathic medicine is the field of medicine practiced by naturopathic practitioners. It is a distinct primary care medicine that combines the traditional old healing practices with the current scientific research. Patients get the best of both worlds from recognizing their body’s natural healing capacity to supplementing the healing process with the latest scientific development.

To put it simply, it combines natural care with some of the latest treatments and devices in medicine today. That is why there are naturopathic clinics that offer natural supplements along with diagnostic laboratory services.

Traditional Naturopaths

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlighted that traditional naturopaths are not accredited and are often not eligible for licensing. While they may receive the proper training, the U.S. Department of Education has yet to recognize their educational background and training. Traditional naturopaths can only serve as a consultant or wellness coach. They cannot diagnose nor prescribe treatments to patients.

Naturopathic Doctors

Unlike traditional naturopaths, naturopathic doctors or physicians are licensed medical practitioners who can diagnose, prevent, and treat patients with illness. Like other licensed medical professionals, they complete their training as well as their 4-year graduate-level program in an accredited and recognized school by the U.S. Department of Education. There are even jurisdictions in the United States wherein they have to pass an examination in order to meet all the licensing requirements.

Based on that information alone, you can trust a naturopathic doctor the same way as you trust your own doctor or family doctor. They went through all these rigorous processes and gain all the experience to ensure that they can help and treat you more effectively.

What they can do

As discussed earlier, naturopathic doctors are primary care physicians. So apart from treating patients with illness, they also help maintain the overall health of the patients so that they can prevent any acute or chronic illness from happening.

That said, you would notice that tons of homeopathic clinics often specialize or offer other supplementary treatments that help patients achieve optimal health. Here are a few specializations or areas that naturopathic doctor often target:

Hormonal Imbalance

Hormones play a big part in regulating most of our bodily functions. No matter how healthy your lifestyle is, a number of your bodily functions would lag or start to deteriorate if you have too little or too much hormone.

That is why many naturopathic doctors across the states advocate for a better and more optimal hormone for their patients. They have become the go-to expert when it comes to hormonal health.

Thyroid Management

In connection to hormonal imbalance, thyroid is the endocrine gland responsible for secreting our hormones. With that, it is only right that these hormone specialists are worried about your thyroid gland as well.

If your thyroid malfunctions, then you would experience a lot of symptoms associated with diseases such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, poor memory, and others can disrupt your normal everyday life.

To prevent all of these, a naturopathic physician can help you prevent them by simply monitoring your thyroid hormones and keeping them at an optimal level.

Mental Health

It is no secret that mental health affects our overall health. If your mind is always in a muddle, then you would have a hard time performing and doing your normal everyday routine. You would not have the energy to socialize, do exercise, and perform better at work if your mental health is not in the right state.

A naturopathic doctor can help you alleviate your stress and anxiety. By balancing your cortisol production, it would be much easier to sleep at night and your body would have a much better stress response. Because while stress and anxiety do not disappear altogether, there are still tons of ways to make it more manageable and less painful.

With that, the best place to start is to consult with your naturopathic doctor and find ways how you can achieve optimal health in the long run.

Ellie Griffin is a freelance writer from the US with a passion for health, wellness, beauty.