A Scientist Meets a Naturopath 

I am not sure why, but I expected a personalized, spa-like center, similar to a yoga studio or an acupuncture office without the usual waiting times.

Instead, I was greeted with a busy conventional looking office with phones ringing, too many helpers squished in a small front office and lots of people coming and going. It reminded me of my dental office in the 1990s.

In addition to a relaxing vibe, I expected to be seen on time. But here I was, still in the waiting room at 11 am for my 10:30 appointment. Oddly, in the waiting room there seemed to be a lot written to give us consumers’ confidence. There were series of handouts on the required education and training of a naturopath as well as the personalization of their approach to care.

Yet, I did not see any information in the waiting room about where naturopaths fit into the world of complementary medicine. Perhaps they are just another silo like traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and yoga therapists.


The Chaos That Followed
Coming home with a big bag of tests and little explanation, I soon found myself overwhelmed. Although I am open-minded, the scientist in me wanted proof that this plan – not to mention my personal financial investment – was going to work.

However, my “individualized” plan seemed generic. I expected to come away with specific information on #FoodAsMedicine such as, elimination diet and nutritional supplements. Instead, I came away with a ton of tests, bloodwork, and suggested diet modifications listed on a mass-printed handout.

Not surprisingly, I scoured the Internet for evidence and information on the tests given to me and found myself reaching information overload.


A New Discovery
Diagnosis involving the thyroid/adrenal axis is split among the Western and complementary providers. Traditional physicians order a standard TSH, while others may rely on additional testing such as free T3 and free T4.

Autoimmune patients can find more information on thyroid disease via AutoimmuneMom, Hypothyroidmom, and ThyroidPharmacist.

Also, included in my big bag of tests was a food sensitivity test.  As expected, I found sites and companies claiming their food sensitivity tests were the best or that IV nutrition therapies were good for many conditions.

Still, the truth is that many of these tests are not FDA approved, and one has to wonder how these companies determine what is the “normal.”

Interestingly, I was pleasantly surprised when my Internist okay-ed these tests suggested by the naturopath.

Now What?
When we are hurting, feeling vulnerable and hoping to get better, what one wants is a good old-fashioned healer. I wanted someone to take charge and lead the way. I expected my naturopath to be that someone, but what I found may be yet another silo.

In the end, I have more questions than answers and many tests to experiment with, but I will continue to track, work with my Mymee coach, and maintain a spirit of exploration.

Read my first exploration – DIY Fatigue

Learn more about naturopaths here
Peruse and add your own journey to Autoimmunity Voices

I’d love to hear your experiences with naturopaths or different complementary medicine doctors! Please comment below!


Written With Tiffany Simms

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